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How Trump’s anti-impeachment campaign to confuse Americans could work — if voters aren’t paying attention

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President Donald Trump’s strategy to save himself from impeachment is seemingly to point fingers at everyone else, whether it’s the truth or not.

An analysis by columnist Henry Olsen in The Washington Post explained that if Trump can successfully create a conspiracy theory around former Vice President Joe Biden, saying that he is somehow to blame for Trump asking Ukraine for help in the 2020 election.

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Step one, according to the outline by The Post, go on the attack against Biden’s son, who is not running for any electoral office. Part two is to bring Republicans together around the idea that Democrats are just sore 2016 losers. Finally, he intends to rally Independent voters around Trump’s troubled economy, claiming it’s amazing.

His attacks on Biden end up helping him fight Biden as well as impeachment, and as Olsen explained, conservative media will have the villain they’ve been looking for. Republicans could turn to investigate Biden and his son to try and distract Americans from Trump’s impeachment.

“Trump is also focusing on his less-partisan backers with a more populist approach, arguing on Twitter on Saturday that his opponents ‘are trying to stop me, because I am fighting for you,'” Olsen quoted.

The only problem with this assumption is that it presumes Trump can stay on message about the economy. As evidenced in 2018, he can’t. As impeachments heat up, Trump will continue his Twitter rants, turning the story from the economy to his freakouts.

“This strategy is well-designed to stop the bleeding in public support,” Olsen said. “So long as Trump’s voters remain loyal, Republicans in the House and Senate will likely stay in line no matter what they personally believe. Once that base is secured, Trump can start to pivot off of any new revelations about Biden or the Democratic efforts to punch holes in their story and take the attack to them.”

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For voters not paying attention or who aren’t up on the facts, this can be an easy distraction. In an era of false information coming out of Trump’s campaign, Fox News or right-wing conspiracy sites, uninformed voters can more easily be swayed.

Read the full take at The Washington Post.


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2020 Election

Trump and the GOP have become the party of the dead

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There are few morbid topics subject to greater speculation than the religious loyalty of President Donald Trump's "base." Why an alarmingly large amount of Americans refuse even to entertain any criticism of Trump deserves scrutiny from political scientists, psychologists and perhaps horror novelists working in the school of Edgar Allan Poe.

This article first appeared in Salon.

What is abundantly clear is that no matter who votes for Trump, he and the Republican Party on the national level have no interest in governing on the behalf of living human beings — with the exception of ensuring that a tiny minority of billionaires and multimillionaires enlarge their investment portfolios. Trump evinces no concern for Americans dying of the coronavirus, racist violence or any other malady or injustice. He demonstrates no regard for health care professionals courageously trying to save their patients from dying, and appears cruelly indifferent to the struggles of millions of workers whose livelihoods have been destroyed by COVID-19. Needless to say, Trump also shows contempt for Black Lives Matter, immigrants and anyone who opposes his re-election, which at this moment (and throughout his presidency) is more than half of the American public.

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As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode

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As Florida experiences a surge in coronavirus cases, the residents of the state are facing obstacles like overwhelmed hospitals and a looming shortage in beds.

This article first appeared in Salon.

There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)

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2020 Election

The GOP is a suicide cult

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Back in March, we argued that Donald Trump had become the charismatic leader of the dumbest suicide cult ever. There were fewer than 500 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the time, but it wasn't difficult to see the trajectory we were on at even that early date. At the time, we were commenting on the President's* repeated claims that the whole thing was a big hoax and polls showing that Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to say they were taking steps to avoid becoming infected.

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