Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Pandemic cases and WH insanity both surge

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Pandemic cases and WH insanity both surge


Republicans plunge into open battle over attempts to overturn Trump’s loss to Biden

And while the internal Republican Party conflict festers, White House officials are scrambling in private to rein in Trump’s increasing embrace of conspiracy theorists as the defeated president and his most ardent allies continue to plot efforts to subvert the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.

But it all appears to have hardened Trump, who — having been out of sight for more than a week — is continuing to push baseless claims of election fraud, while those closest to him are unwilling to challenge him publicly and are instead only bolstering his efforts.

This could amount to thousands of dollars for many unemployed low-income families. Dem leaders deserve serious props for wringing this out of McConnell.

— Nathan Newman 🧭 “GOP Cut Your Checks in Half” (@nathansnewman) December 21, 2020

But wait: Trump calls on Congress to approve $2,000 stimulus checks, hinting he might not sign relief bill without changes (WaPo). Trump’s chaos ploy​​​​​​​ (Axios). Trump throws GOP under the Omni-Bus (me).

So, let’s recap: AOC has a bill that Chuck Schumer has now endorsed, that would legislate a policy without which Trump is threatening to shutdown the government (with Lindsey Graham’s cheerleading), & that Pelosi wants unanimous consent to pass.

— Taniel (@Taniel) December 23, 2020


IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE QUIET, but we should’ve known better.

IN ONE NIGHT, President DONALD TRUMP pardoned three crooked former Republican congressmen and some private security guards convicted of killing civilians in Iraq, endorsed a primary challenge to Sen. JOHN THUNE (R-S.D.) — “Mitch’s boy,” he said, and also a candidate to be the next Senate GOP leader — and is on the brink of blowing up a massive bipartisan spending and Covid relief deal that his administration negotiated with Capitol Hill.

WE’RE SORRY IF YOU DECIDED TO UNPLUG or downshift in these closing days of this wretched year.

Trump is trying to create pardon outrage fatigue by the time he pardons himself and his children.

— Lawrence O’Donnell (@Lawrence) December 23, 2020

The Hill:

Pelosi responds to Trump: Let’s push for $2K checks ‘this week’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night responded to President Trump‘s call for an increase in stimulus funds following Congress’s passage of the COVID-19 relief package this week, saying she’s ready to push for the $2,000 checks the president requested.

“Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks,” Pelosi tweeted, placing the blame on GOP lawmakers. “At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!”

I’m in. Whaddya say, Mitch? Let’s not get bogged down with ideological offsets and unrelated items and just DO THIS! The American people deserve it. @senatemajldr

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2020

NY Times:

Pandemic Aid Bolsters Biden and Shows Potential Path for His Agenda in Congress

Working together with the president-elect, bipartisan groups in the Senate and House helped push feuding leaders to compromise. It could be a template for the future.

Given the slender partisan divides that will exist in both the Senate and House next year, the approach could provide a road map for the Biden administration if it hopes to break through congressional paralysis, especially in the Senate, and pass additional legislation. Mr. Biden has said another economic relief plan will be an early priority.

Republican had no idea Trump was going to do this. Then again, they still don’t understand he’s trying to destroy their party.

What non-pharma interventions have worked, slowing spread of #COVID19 ? Big Oxford U study finds that closing universities and limiting the sizes of gatherings have had a big impact. (1 MORE)

— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) December 22, 2020


Trump orchestrates final loyalty test in dying bid to subvert election

The president is plotting to force Republicans to go on record answering one question: Are they for or against his bid to overturn the election?

Trump has been strategizing in recent days with a band of his fiercest congressional supporters about the effort, which will involve lodging objections during the typically pro forma congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

It’s a gambit that even Republican leaders and those around Trump concede is doomed to fail, given the makeup of Congress. But that’s not the only point, according to GOP lawmakers, Trump advisers and Republican operatives.

The objections will also force Republicans in Congress to go on record voting to affirm Biden’s victory — acknowledging the outcome and likely inflaming Trump’s diehard supporters, a crucial GOP faction that has joined the president in denying the election results. Republican strategists and Trump allies inside and outside Washington said Trump’s core supporters will remember how their lawmakers vote on Jan. 6.

On one side you have the president trying to figure out how to do a stupid coup so he can be president for life, on the other hand you have democrats wanting states not to go bankrupt.

— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) December 22, 2020

Chris Smith/Vanity Fair:


Now that Trump’s A.G. isn’t breathing down their necks, Southern District of New York prosecutors can gather evidence against, say, Rudy Giuliani without interference. “Everything depends on the facts and witnesses,” a former senior SDNY official says. “But certainly they are more likely to proceed without Barr in there.”

This will certainly complicate Trump’s path if he tries to force Barr’s successor to appoint a special counsel — and make it easier for Biden’s AG to fire one if it comes to that.

— David Lauter (@DavidLauter) December 21, 2020 (GA):

Democrats holding lead over GOP candidates in Senate runoffs: 11Alive poll

But, the races are still anyone’s to win.

But, thanks to contributing factors like caustic rhetoric on the integrity of the election system, the races are still anyone’s to win.

According to the data, Ossoff has managed to widen his lead over Perdue since 11Alive’s last poll on the Senate runoff, conducted a little over two weeks ago. Ossoff now leads Perdue 51% to 46% among those polled – up from his 50-to-48% lead.

Meanwhile, in the other runoff race, Warnock’s lead over Loeffler remains unchanged from two weeks ago; he still holds a 52-to-45% lead. Both polls are within the margin of error, though.

At this moment, it appears both Democratic candidates may be benefitting from Republican infighting over who and what’s to blame for President Trump’s defeat in the Nov. 3 general election. Some in the GOP have laid blame at Republican leaders in Georgia and some extremist supporters of the president have suggested Republicans sit out the election.

A media scooplet from me for @CJR: Rep. @tedlieu is working on legislation aimed at reviving the Federal Writers’ Project—a 1930s New Deal program that put unemployed journalists and authors to work documenting America on the public dime. /1

— Jon Allsop (@Jon_Allsop) December 22, 2020

LA Times:

Many U.S. health experts underestimated the coronavirus — until it was too late

Many leading infectious disease specialists here underestimated the fast-moving outbreak in its first weeks and months, assuming that the United States would again emerge largely unscathed. American hubris prevented the country from reacting as quickly and effectively as Asian nations did, Adalja said.

“a marathon meeting that lasted more than four hours and included discussion of tactics ranging from imposing martial law in swing states to seizing voting machines through executive fiat.” Shorter version: Sedition in the Oval Office.

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) December 22, 2020


Trump turns on everyone

The latest: Targets of his outrage include Vice President Pence, chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Secretary of State Pompeo and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Why it matters: Trump thinks everyone around him is weak, stupid or disloyal — and increasingly seeks comfort only in people who egg him on to overturn the election results. We cannot stress enough how unnerved Trump officials are by the conversations unfolding inside the White House.

The cherry on top of this presidency would be Trump rejecting every loyalist, like Pence, who put themselves on the line for him over and over again.

— William D. Adler (@williamadler78) December 22, 2020

Dr Neelu Tammala/USA Today:

Climate crisis: I used to mull when to have children. Now I ask if I should I have them.

Reliable COVID vaccines spark optimism about 2021 and beyond. There is no vaccine for the climate crisis, but we must create a similar promising future

A recent study reveals that roughly 25% of childless adults consider climate change in their decision not to have children. Over the past 20 years of my own life, my thoughts toward starting a family have always revolved around timing. When is the right time for me? It wasn’t the carefree years of college, the studious years of medical school or the overworked years of residency. Now, as I continue to look forward, the question of when is accompanied by a previously unthinkable thought: Should I?  

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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