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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Are Republicans Even Allowed to Run on Raising Taxes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polls of Polls Change Who’s Up
Real Clear Politics
Average
No change Obama
+2%
Talking Points Memo PollTracker No change Romney
+.1%
HuffingtonPost
Pollster
Romney
+.7
Romney
+.2
New York Times
FiveThirtyEight
Obama
+.2
Obama +2.4
Memo 
Average
 Romney +.2 Obama +1

 

The economy confuses

Today was a big day when it came to economic news. First ADP reported the US economy added 163,000 jobs in July, a good number. But ADP’s reports have been trending higher than what the Department of Labor’s numbers have been showing. Then Nate Silver of The New York Times revised up the President’s chance of winning based on positive personal income growth. Then came the kicker: The Fed punted on its last chance to stimulate the economy before the election. This disappointed the market and the Dow closed below 13,000. Put it all together and the jobs report this Friday is very big deal. Although the economy only created about 70,000 jobs a month in the seven years before the economic crash of 2008, the reaction to any report under 100,000 new jobs will probably be quite negative for the President.

Romney’s plan revealed to hike taxes on the middle class

The Obama Administration seized on a non-partisan study that shows Mitt Romney’s tax plan actually raises taxes on everyone but the top 5% of American taxpayers. The shocking finding leaves Romney in the awkward position of being a Republican pushing for higher taxes on the middle class. The Romney campaign attacked one of the institutions behind the study as liberal and thus untrustworthy. The problem: they cited the same institution as reliable in the past. So far Romney’s team only pushback on the actual meat of the study is to suggest that Romney’s lowering of the corporate tax rate would raise wages. So it looks like we’re headed into the home stretch of the 2012 election with Romney sticking with a middle class tax increase as part of his economic plan.

The President is at 50% in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio?

A new CBS/New York Time/Quinnipiac poll shows the President hitting the magical 50% marker in the three most crucial swing states. The methodology of the poll was knocked by Republicans, of course, who believe this election’s demographics will more closely resemble 2010 than 2008. But there does seem to be a trend forming in which the President is outperforming his numbers in swing states as Romney sinks.

The Twitter Political Index

Twitter has introduced a new toy for political junkies. It’s hard to take the comparisons between Romney and Obama on Twitter seriously when the latter has ten times the followers and the former has been accused of buying chunks of his following. But it’s another way to try to know what we can’t know till November.

Verdict: We won’t know until Friday how badly the President needed help from the Fed. So on the strength of the swing state poll numbers and Romney’s indefensible tax position, we have to give the day to the President.

Many Democrats are getting nervous about the upcoming presidential election. Ominous, extensively reported articles by two of the best in the business—the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin and The Atlantic's Barton Gellman—outline Boss Trump's plot to keep control of the White House in 2021 no matter how the American people vote.
Trump is hardly making a secret of it. He's pointedly refused to commit to "a peaceful transfer of power."

"Well, we're going to have to see what happens," is how he answered the question. He added that after we "get rid of the ballots"—presumably mail-in ballots he's been whining about for weeks--"there won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation."

Of course, Trump himself has always voted by mail, but then brazen hypocrisy is his standard operating mode. If you haven't noticed, he also lies a lot. Without prevaricating, boasting, and bitching, he'd be mute. And even then, he'd still have Twitter. He recently tweeted that the winner "may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED" because mail-in ballots make it a "RIGGED ELECTION in waiting."
Gellman gets this part exactly right in The Atlantic: "Let us not hedge about one thing. Donald Trump may win or lose, but he will never concede. Not under any circumstance. Not during the Interregnum and not afterward. If compelled in the end to vacate his office, Trump will insist from exile, as long as he draws breath, that the contest was rigged.
"Trump's invincible commitment to this stance will be the most important fact about the coming Interregnum. It will deform the proceedings from beginning to end. We have not experienced anything like it before."
No, we haven't. However, it's important to remember that Trump makes threats and promises almost daily that never happen. Remember that gigantic border wall Mexico was going to pay for? Trump has built exactly five miles of the fool thing, leaving roughly two thousand to go.
His brilliant cheaper, better health care plan? Non-existent.
On Labor Day, Boss Trump boasted of his unparalleled success in strong-arming Japan into building new auto-manufacturing plants. "They're being built in Ohio, they're being built in South Carolina, North Carolina, they're being built all over and expanded at a level that we've never seen before."
Not a word of that is true. Two new plants, one German, another Swedish have opened in South Carolina, but construction began before Trump took office. Auto industry investment during Barack Obama's second term far exceeded Trump's. His version is sheer make-believe.
But back to the GOP scheme to steal the election.
First, it's clear that even Trump understands that he has virtually no chance of winning the national popular vote. He's been polling in the low 40s, with no sign of change. To have any chance of prevailing in the Electoral College, he's got to do the electoral equivalent of drawing to an inside straight all over again—winning a half-dozen so-called battleground states where he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by the narrowest of margins.
At this writing, that looks highly unlikely. The latest polling in must-win Pennsylvania, for example, shows Trump trailing Joe Biden by nine points. That's a landslide. Trump's down ten in Wisconsin, eight in Michigan. And so on.
So spare me the screeching emails in ALL CAPS, OK? Polls were actually quite accurate in 2016. Trump narrowly defeated the odds. It can happen. But he's in far worse shape this time. Furthermore, early voting turnout is very high, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans two to one.
Hence, The Atlantic reports, "Trump's state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for post-election maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states."
The plan is clear. Because more Democrats than Republicans are choosing mail-in voting during the COVID pandemic, Trump hopes to prevent those ballots from being counted. Assuming he'll have a narrow "swing state" lead on election night, he'll declare victory and start filing lawsuits. "The red mirage," some Democrats call it.
"As a result," Toobin writes, "the aftermath of the 2020 election has the potential to make 2000 look like a mere skirmish." With Trump in the White House urging armed militias to take to the street.
Mail-in votes take a long time to count. Things could definitely get crazy.
True, but filing a lawsuit to halt a Florida recount was one thing. Filing suits against a half dozen states to prevent votes from being counted at all is quite another. Public reaction would be strong. Also, winning such lawsuits requires serious evidence of fraud. Trumpian bluster ain't evidence.
The Atlantic reports that GOP-controlled state legislatures are thinking about sending Trumpist delegations to the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote winner—theoretically constitutional but currently illegal.
Fat chance. If that's the best they've got, they've got nothing.
Anyway, here's the answer: Vote early, and in person*.

[Editor's note: In some states, receiving an absentee ballot means that a voter can no longer vote in person* or may have to surrender the absentee ballot, including the envelope in which it arrived, at their polling place. Please check with your local election authorities.]