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Columnist zeroes in on the ‘biggest deceptions of all’ in Trump’s RNC speech

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President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore)

During this year’s Republican National Convention, the fact-checkers at MSNBC and CNN kept very busy thanks to all of the lies and distortions that came from the speakers — including President Donald Trump. Greg Sargent, in his Washington Post column, stresses that although Trump told a variety of lies during the convention, the ones that stand out centered on the coronavirus pandemic.

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Trump’s message, according to Sargent, has gone from “I alone can fix it” in 2016 to “I don’t take responsibility at all” — which, the liberal columnist notes, were his exact words when, in March, he was “evading any responsibility for what turned out to be only one of many disastrous failures on coronavirus.” For Trump, Sargent emphasizes, “I don’t take any responsibility at all” has become a doctrine and an “unmistakable declaration of what to expect from a second term.”

Sargent notes that Trump’s speech at the RNC on Thursday night “contained countless big lies and distortions” — from claiming that former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, is pushing a “socialist agenda” that will “destroy” the “American way of life” to promising to protect health coverage for preexisting health conditions even though Trump “has tried to destroy the Affordable Care Act and continues to do so.” But Trump’s “biggest deception of all,” according to Sargent, “concerns what he didn’t say and what he didn’t acknowledge” about the coronavirus pandemic.

“Trump’s acknowledgment of the existence of the virus essentially treated his handling of it as uniformly a success story, one in which it has largely been defeated,” Sargent writes — adding that the Trump has “vastly inflated our testing” and “falsely claimed” that the United States has “the lowest fatality rate of any major country” when, in fact, “we’ve seen nearly 180,000 deaths, and we continue to see approximately 1000 daily deaths.”

Sargent adds that Trump has also downplayed the economic toll that coronavirus has taken in the U.S. The Post columnist notes that during his RNC speech, Trump “hailed ‘over 9 million jobs’ gained in the last three months, which insultingly memory-holes that over 22 million jobs were lost —  and we’re still 13 million jobs down. As Paul Krugman details, the current spread unleashed by Trump-urged reopenings has produced another economic pullback.”

The COVID-19 death count, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has grown even higher since the Post published Sargent’s column on Friday morning. Hopkins, as of Friday afternoon, was reporting a death count of 181,092 for the U.S. and 832,918 worldwide — which bears out Sargent’s warning about how rapidly the number of deaths from the pandemic continues to increase.

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“The journey of the Trump presidency has taken us from the false promise of ‘I alone can fix it’ to the reality of ‘I don’t take responsibility at all,’” Sargent writes. “Trump didn’t ‘fix it’ — he smashed just about everything he touched.”


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2020 Election

Outrage against Dianne Feinstein as potential Judiciary chair comes out against Senate reform

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) received harsh criticism on Monday after coming out against Senate reform of the filibuster.

“I don't believe in doing that. I think the filibuster serves a purpose," Feinstein argued.

"It is not often used, it's often less used now than when I first came, and I think it's part of the Senate that differentiates itself," Feinstein falsely claimed.

https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1308169580658012160

Feinstein is in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee if Democrats regain the Senate, despite never attending law school or having ever tried a case.

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2020 Election

Lindsey Graham announces embattled Sen. Joni Ernst will vote for whomever Trump nominates to replace RBG

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday announced that GOP members of the body would be united in voting for whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The nominee’s going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, as reported by The Washington Post's Aaron Blake.

https://twitter.com/AaronBlake/status/1308223330357518336

If Graham is correct, that would mean that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) would be backing the nomination, despite trailing Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.

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2020 Election

A Never-Trump Republican changed her mind — then crumbled when she tried to explain why

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In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Republican Danielle Pletka declared that despite the fact that she refused to vote for Donald Trump in 2016, she now feels compelled to support him in 2020. The piece quickly caught fire online, inspiring ridicule and sympathy from differing corners and triggering a surprising amount of discussion.

In one sense, it’s hard to see what the big deal was. The Post publishes opinion pieces in support of Trump frequently, and this one was not particularly special. Pletka herself is not a particularly notable figure. Like many op-eds, it was sloppy and unpersuasive, making huge leaps of reasoning and glossing over critical points in the argument. It didn’t take seriously any compelling counterarguments. It was, in other words, a mere display of partisan loyalty from a Republican who would prefer to be inside the tent than outside of it.

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