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An active-duty Army officer swears her oath of allegiance

Here are two interesting political straws in the wind: According to a recent poll in the Military Times, active duty service-members favor Joe Biden over Boss Trump in the upcoming election, 41-37. Given that a poll on the same date in 2016 showed Trump favored by 20 points over Hillary Clinton, this looks like a significant shift.

Almost half of uniformed soldiers (49.9 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of Trump compared to 38 percent favorable, marginally worse than his reputation among civilians.

This too: media critic Eric Boehlert's Press Run website has compiled the bad news about Trump's TV ratings. Not only did the Democratic National Convention draw many more viewers nightly than the Republican event a week later, but "Trump's convention acceptance speech was the lowest-rated one in primetime history, drawing 24 million viewers. (John McCain's acceptance speech drew 39 million viewers in 2008.) Trump drew fewer viewers than Joe Biden did for his acceptance speech the week before."

Several million fewer. Indeed, if the Trump administration were a TV show, it might be on its way to cancellation. "Trump's tepid Nielsen numbers are bad news for the president," Boehlert notes "since he's obsessed with television ratings."

He often boasts about his lofty ratings, even when he has to make them up. Press Run cites an instance in November 2018 when Trump claimed that 9.2 million viewers tuned in to watch him on Fox News Sunday. The actual viewership was 1.7 million.

Could be he's simply over-exposed. Appearing on every night of the GOP convention may have been a mistake. You can hardly turn on the TV without seeing Trump's scowling mug. Americans, Boehlert notes, aren't crazy about reruns. It's nevertheless significant that Neilsen ratings for the Republican show were down 25 percent from the 2016 convention.

Almost needless to say, Trump claims the numbers are rigged.

It's easy to predict that he'll call the Military Times poll crooked too, if he doesn't simply snarl at any reporter who asks about them and flee the podium. Between insulting John McCain's Vietnam War heroism and begging off a World War I memorial service in France because he might get his hair wet—French, German, British and Canadian leaders braved the rain—Trump has done little to inspire respect among soldiers.

Most telling is that "Only about 17 percent of those surveyed felt the White House has properly handled reports that Russian officials offered bounties for Afghan fighters to target and kill American troops, an issue Trump has dismissed as unreliable intelligence."

Given that 81 percent in the U.S. military view Russia as a significant national security threat, Trump's cowering before Vladimir Putin and belittling of NATO have also hurt.

Maybe he can throw himself a big parade, like Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, the chaos, disease and disorder president appears to believe that only stoking racial strife can help him eke out an Electoral College win. (I'd say there's no chance of Trump winning a majority; he'll be fortunate to lose the popular vote by fewer than five million votes.)

Back when that platoon of self-styled militiamen made their way into the Michigan statehouse, Trump tweeted LIBERATE MICHIGAN. Would he encourage White House visitors carrying AR-15 assault rifles? Me, I wondered what was going to happen if one of those dopes pulled the trigger.

Well, we learned the other night in Kenosha, didn't we?

And then the next night in Portland. Is there anybody in the USA who thinks the violence won't escalate?

See, you don't get order without law. And a chief executive who urges supporters to bring guns into politics, or the police to rough-up suspects, as Trump has done repeatedly, fosters lawlessness and chaos.

But somehow it's supposed to be Joe Biden's fault. Apparently because Democrats generally oppose cops shooting black men in the back. So here's what Biden said in Pittsburgh on August 31: "I want to make it absolutely clear…Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It's lawless. It's plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change and only bring destruction."

Biden's since doubled-down: "[Trump] wouldn't even repudiate one of his supporters who is charged with murder because of his attacks on others," he wrote. "He is too weak, too scared of the hatred he has stirred to put an end to it."

Look, call your friendly neighborhood criminal defense lawyer. You can't plead self-defense if you're breaking the law: such as a minor parading around with a gun he's not legally permitted to carry while defying a curfew. Trump can't pardon the Rittenhouse kid either. Murder's a state, not a federal charge.

Meanwhile, anybody who doesn't understand that violence and thuggery exist at both political extremes can't have been paying attention since…

Well, since when? Chicago in 1968? Berlin in 1933?

Sen. Kamala Harris

Photo by marcn/ CC BY 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Sunday slammed the Trump administration for "admitting defeat" in the fight against COVID-19 after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN "we are not going to control the pandemic."

Meadows made the remark Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, telling host Jake Tapper that the president's strategy is "to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," even as cases skyrocket across the United States.

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