Place Your Bets: What’s Trump’s October Surprise? [UPDATE-2]

[NB: Check the byline, thanks! Updates will appear at the bottom of the post. / ~Rayne]

It’s become something of a American tradition — candidates pull something out of their asses in October which resets the calculus by which swing voters calibrate their darts before they aim at the board of presidential candidates.

Here are 180 years of surprises, though a few attempts aren’t squarely in October but rather late in the election season:

1840: Van Buren (D) vs. Harrison (W) — Van Buren’s fed prosecutors charged Whigs with voter fraud.

1880: Garfield (R) vs. Hancock (D) — The “Morey letter” purportedly written by Garfield implied Garfield favored Chines immigration.

1884: Cleveland (D) vs. Blaine (R) — Blaine said nothing in response to a popular bigoted preacher’s claim that Democrats promoted “rum, Romanism, and rebellion,” costing him Catholic and southern sympathizers’ votes.

1912: Taft (R) vs. Wilson (D) — Taft’s VP died a week before election day.

1920: Harding (R) vs. Cox (D) — Rumor of Harding’s “negro blood”, Roosevelt’s gays in Navy investigation.

1940: Roosevelt (D) vs. Willkie (R) — Roosevelt promoted African-American Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Sr. to brigadier general.

1964: Johnson (D) vs. Goldwater (R) — Jenkins’ gay sex scandal, Khruschev’s ouster, PRC’s first nuke test, September “Daisy” TV ad.

1968: Nixon (R) vs. Johnson (withdrew)/Humphrey (D) — Nixon undermined Johnson’s peace talks with Vietnam.

1972: Nixon (R) vs. McGovern (D) — Henry Kissinger’s “peace is at hand” remarks referring to the Vietnam war.

1980: Carter (D) vs. Reagan (R) — American hostages remained in Iran.

1992: Bush (R) vs. Clinton (D) — Caspar Weinberger’s indictment (really in June).

2000: Gore (D) vs. Bush (R) — George Bush’s drunk driving charge.

2004: Kerry (D) vs. Bush (R) — missing explosives cache, OBL tape, Saudi oil price cut, terror alerts.

2006: midterm elections — Mark Foley scandal, Saddam Hussein trial verdict.

2008: McCain (R) vs. Obama (D) — Revelation of Obama’s “illegal immigrant half-aunt” made the news.

2012: Romney (R) vs. Obama (D) — Romney’s “47%” tape was released.

2016: Clinton (D) vs. Trump (R) — “pussy grabber” tape + Wikileaks’ Podesta emails, Comey letter.

2018: midterm elections —  A “migrant caravan” materialized in Central America.

My gosh, October surprises going back as far as the Whig Party. Trump will be in good company if he aims beyond his sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service to obstruct Americans’ votes by throwing a late wrench in the works.

But what will that wrench be?

~ ~ ~

There’s already been some speculation as to what kinds of ratfucking Trump will pull at the last moment. Two topics which some suggest may be used to generate October Surprises are the Durham investigation and a vaccine for COVID-19.

I don’t have a feel for the former. Marcy or bmaz might have a better sense of the likelihood. Can’t rule out there being more than one surprise, either. I put my money on the latter, though.

When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, we’re already seeing jockeying around this issue, including the news about Putin’s daughter having been a test subject for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Unfortunately, Dr. Anthony Fauci has naively set up expectations for a vaccine by the end of the year.

… “From everything we’ve seen now — in the animal data, as well as the human data — we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I don’t think it’s dreaming.” …

The problem is that he’s offered inadequate qualifications when asked for comment, though to be fair, this excerpt is from that awful hearing with Rep. Jim “Killer Clown” Jordan being an asshole to him.

It’s extremely doubtful there will be a safe and effective vaccine ready for nationwide or global deployment by the end of the year. There may be one or more candidates which are ready for varying stages of testing, trials, or regulatory approvals.

While there are numerous vaccines in development around the world, American pharma company Pfizer has a candidate nearing a benchmark:

… Pfizer has said repeatedly since June that it was targeting October for its application and the companies started a large late-stage study last month of the candidate vaccine, one of the few globally in later stages of development.

On Thursday they reported data from previous early-stage trials of the vaccine, BNT162b2, that showed it induced similar immune responses and had milder side effects than prior data on another candidate. …

October. Huh. What a coincidence. How odd its timing also syncs up with anticipated roll-out of Russia’s vaccine.

Do pay careful attention to that “milder side effects” bit. There’s a lot in these three words without enough explanation.

Trump’s veep-minion is singing a hopeful refrain, invoking some religious happy talk with the word “miracle”:

But this morning Trump had another temper tantrum via Twitter about the vaccine approval process:

No, you great tangerine dipshit. Speed should NOT be the focus unless you’re worried about re-election and need a Hail Mary pass delivered in October.

For the American public, the vaccine must be safe and effective. There are no shortcuts to these two deliverables, especially since this vaccine will be rolled out to the entire population, from children to elderly. We don’t want a vaccine which causes more problems than the disease it’s supposed to prevent.

Which is why the Food and Drug Administration needs to do its job thoroughly and with as much openness as the process and partners permit. But not with such speed that safety and efficacy are threatened.

What I can’t say is whether Trump’s temper tantrum is meant to pressure the FDA, or if it’s meant to condition the public to believe he is responsible for making the shortened vaccine development timeline happen, so when the FDA does get around to completing regulatory review, Trump can crow he alone can fix COVID-19.

Which is bullshit after 175,695 Americans have died of COVID-19 as of 11:00 p.m. ET today.

~ ~ ~

So what’s your take? What will be the October surprise Trump will attempt to save his ass this November?

This is an open thread.

 . . .

UPDATE-1 — 11:50 P.M. ET —

Son of a gun, just when I was going to log off and go to bed this crap pops up in my feed.

Great. We’re going to hear narcissistic dementia babble with some faux authoritative affirmation from a goddamned ONCOLOGIST and not an epidemiologist/virologist/public health MD about whatever dog-and-pony White House Coronavirus Taskforce stuff this is.

Where will the far-more-trusted Dr. Fauci be during this crap?

We all know the real point of this last minute lob into Saturday night’s dark is a means to change the subject of tomorrow morning’s Sunday talk shows.

The White House doesn’t want the punditocracy to talk about

1) The Democrats’ convention this past week and Joe Biden’s acceptance in particular;
2) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s appearance before the Senate and Steve Mnuchin’s role in the USPS crisis;
3) The Delivering for America Act, H.R. 8015 which passed the House today and now heads to the Senate;
4) The lack of action in the Senate on reconciling the House’s HEROES Act with the Senate’s awful HEALS Act;
5) The beginning of a massive eviction/foreclosure/homelessness crisis;
6) The failures of schools both K-12 and universities to safely relaunch;
7) Mary Trump’s audiotape of Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry in which much tea is spilled about Trump;

and lastly, the ongoing mass death event costing 1200 American lives each day because Donald Trump is such an abjectly corrupt fuckup.

Add that to your predictions — of which item is Trump most afraid of that Team Trump had to manufacture a breakthrough to derail Sunday morning talk shows?

 . . .

UPDATE-2 — 7:15 P.M. ET —

Trump’s 6:00 p.m. presser has come and gone — a quickly slapped together sandwich of a racist anti-China dig, nonsensical back-patting and a ridiculous announcement, with a side of exactly three questions allotted to Fox News (2) and OAN (1) before fleeing the scene like a criminal.

What’s the likelihood the questions were pre-approved?

I am so fucking glad I didn’t turn on my television to watch this laughable circle jerk.

Politico published a story earlier this afternoon about the subject of this announcement: the use of plasma from COVID-19 survivors as pharmaceutical therapy for patients in severe condition, hospitalized with COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma is NOT a preventative therapy.

Experts like former CDC director Dr. Tom Friedan aren’t rah-rah about this therapy or announcement:

The one thing no one was able to ask Trump was whether he’s received this therapy. It’s possible he received a prophylactic dose; I can think of one occasion when it may have happened, three days after Herman Cain died.

Maybe this is the surprise which hasn’t yet been sprung on us yet?

377 replies
  1. Molly Pitcher says:

    I think there will be weekly waves of “facts” from the ‘stuff ‘that Rudy has been fiddling with from Ukraine, Turkey, Italy, Vienna. Notice how he has been radio silent for the most part this summer ? Keeping his powder dry.

  2. Stephen Calhoun says:

    With August surprises unfolding, redwoods burning, maybe two hurricanes bearing down on the Gulf coast, still, my foggy crystal
    conjures Nikki Haley replacing Pence in early October.

    • skua says:

      That would seem to position Haley to pardon a resigning loser Trump.
      Which would seem a poor career move on Haley’s part.
      Though maybe she has said she will pardon resigning loser Trump so as to get the VP position – but when the time comes won’t – so as to keep her options more positive.
      A delicious prospect.

  3. MB says:

    hmmm (scratching head)…Billy Barr announces the international Deep State/Pedophile ring has been busted, resulting in indictments of well-known public figures. Trump becomes God/King officially, his 2nd amendment people invade blue cities and incite senseless violence and oh, the election is called off, because well, it’s no longer needed.

    (Sorry, when asked to fantasize, I tend to go for the very worst scenarios)…

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      Trump trips and falls while visiting ‘Wall’ in Arizona, landing on a nest of baby sandworms. In his struggles to right himself they envelop him and he becomes the god emperor/wurm of dune (Or Arrakhis), eventually falling off a bridge 2000 years later and restarting the cycle leading to new production of Spice.

  4. Ken_L says:

    Trump has been making fatuous claims about the virus since January. He may well make another one about a vaccine in October, but it would be anything but a surprise. Anyone not already a rusted-on Trump Republican will file it with the claims about hydroxychloroquine, ‘oleander extract’, the virus’s inability to survive in warm weather and the repeated assurances it will just go away one day, like a miracle.

  5. P J Evans says:

    The biggest surprise would be him resigning. Followed by Pence, the cabinet, and a bunch of crooked bureaucrats and dishonest judges.

  6. PoxyHowzes says:

    I’m beginning to wonder who surprises whom, and when?
    Here We have “August Surprises” immediately after the Democratic convention and immediately before the GOP convention:
    (a) Postal Service disablement/controversy/hearings; (b) Arrest of Bannon on Chinese-owned yacht, (c) Release of Senate (GOP) report on Russian interference 2016 et seq., (d) “Termination” at District court level of Trump appeal vis a vis Mazurs, Vance, NYS taxes, etc., (e) Order to Trump directly to reimburse Stormy Daniels’ legal fees.

    Makes one wonder what is left for October.

    • Rayne says:

      (a) Postal Service disablement/controversy/hearings

      There are people who are cancer patients waiting for their medications for which they’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars and you think hearings should wait or what? When’s a better time for the dead once-live poultry deliveries?

      (b) Arrest of Bannon on Chinese-owned yacht

      This I grant may have been overdue, but it may have been delayed by Barr’s interference in the U.S. Attorneys. Who do you think is to blame for this “surprise” especially with Bannon admitting on telethon video one of the accused took money for a yacht?

      (c) Release of Senate (GOP) report on Russian interference 2016 et seq.,

      This was likely overdue, and again, schedule might have been delayed by interference from other entities. Sen. Burr might have pushed for it sooner if he hadn’t been under investigation for his insider trading — which was a surprise itself. You’d think he’d know better.

      (d) “Termination” at District court level of Trump appeal vis a vis Mazurs, Vance, NYS taxes, etc.,

      Reaching. I’ll let bmaz address this.

      (e) Order to Trump directly to reimburse Stormy Daniels’ legal fees.

      Reaching, once again. Bmaz?

      Look, you know what would be a real surprise? Team Trump suddenly listens to medical and public health experts about COVID and a nationwide lockdown, plus relaunch of the pandemic response team Trump terminated. That would be a massive shock.

      Come on, try harder.

    • Stephen Calhoun says:

      I predict September will be action packed, especially with schools reopening/closing, weather, and considerable twisted incentives working Trump Inc. into a frenzy of provocation (so as to remind people we’re headed toward a red/blue war of all against all.) Of course, I expect wacko/boffo surprises next month, sort of constituting the opening act for the October insanity..

  7. PoxyHowzes says:

    I seriously think Bill(y) Barr may actually arrest Biden on the basis of something in (or not in) the Durham report. Call me a conspiracy theorist.

        • Rayne says:

          He’s going to have to come up with something more than 50% of the public will accept as legitimate grounds to do so. Everything up to now related to HB has been contaminated by Trump’s own criminal behavior.

          • Yohei72 says:

            Sure, it would be likely to backfire badly, but when has this administration ever not done corrupt things that backfire on them? Their constant harping on HB/Burisma makes it clear they think this is a winning “issue.”

      • PoxyHowzes says:

        I would have said (at some point in the not-so-distant past) that he’s not stupid enough to try to fire the SDNY attorney without telling him first
        I would have said (at some point in the not-so-distant past) that he’s not stupid enough to deploy Bureau of Prisons “cops,” National Parks “cops” and other quasi “cops” against peaceful protesters.
        I would have said (at some point in the not-so-distant past) that he’s not stupid enough to deploy federal “law enforcement where neither the Governor nor the mayor want it.
        But I’m with you — what does bmaz think?

        • Rayne says:

          You’re projecting onto Trump what is likely all Bill Barr, ex. Trump wouldn’t have had a clue that DOJ had access to other militarized personnel.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s a super general guess. Which country/ies and why?

      Team Trump is trying the snapback with regard to sanctions on Iran, but the UN Security Council isn’t likely to budge from a position that the US can’t engage the snapback.

      Will the US start a war over it? They’d be going alone, and it’s antithetical to what Trump has been trying to do overseas. The footsy Israel and UAE have been playing may be preparatory, but there’s inadequate buildup to get the public on board before October.

      China’s another possibility especially given South Seas tensions but Xi is a much cooler head than Trump. He can wait out the election.

      Trump has so damaged any trust the public had invested in the presidency that even a terror attack wouldn’t be adequate provocation for support for any military action.

        • Rayne says:

          Kind of look like they’re asking for trouble, but model that out. How does it go down? What are the subsequent follow-ups? How does any of the action taken convert voters who are on the fence?

    • Chris.EL says:

      responding to Dharms Aug 23: war: how ’bout proud boys etc. vs. “antifa”.
      Things in Portland, OR heating up again (think I read in wapo or cnn, oregonlive would definitely have a story) proud boys evidently came to the rumble well armed with paint ball guns, metal rods, aluminum bats! Reports that police didn’t want to intervene so let protestors on each side just wail away at each other.
      Trump would love to sit back and watch this unfold, then send in his troops.

      • greengiant says:

        Friday there was a truck bomb threat through Sunday in Portland. Federals have escalated their one sided maiming arms race with munitions with many tiny particles which ERs in Portland are X-Raying and removing one by one to avoid necrosis.
        As in many incidents in years past the Portland police have stood down and not intervened when the brown shirts are using batons, hammers, baseball bats and paintball guns with funky loads.

      • greengiant says:

        Portland Independent press twitter handles
        @iwriteok @MrOlmos @1misanthrophile
        @45thabsurdist @DonovanFarley @MacSmiff
        @suzettesmith @tuckwoodstock @LindseyPSmith7
        @TheRealCoryElia @Pdocumentarians @GriffinMalone6
        @AlexMilanTracy @AndrewJank @hungrybowtie
        and more.

        Portland Mecury @alex_zee
        CourtHouseNews @karinapdx
        OPB @ByMikeBaker
        Oregonian @bethnakamura @MollyHarbarger

      • P J Evans says:

        Some of the PB in Portland had firearms, and *pointed them* at the other side. Police…allowed it.

    • rip says:

      A small nuclear weapon dropped from somewhere on a small US city.

      “Who knows where that came from….”

      Another “War On Them” (WOT) and necessary war time powers.

      • Chris.EL says:

        since DC-ing cable been viewing dvd’s.

        Some of trump’s statements, actions echo pre-existing movies: Sum of All Fears, Crimson Tide…

        Blu-ray player’s on the frittzz, so can’t watch my new copy of Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.

  8. MB says:

    Re: that KayLee tweet in Update-1 above about the “major therapeutic breakthrough” to be announced tomorrow, I found an opinion as to what it is:
    It is called Ivermectin and most pet or livestock owners already have a supply of it as a dewormer or mange treatment.

    Note that it is used with zinc and doxycycline so its basically the same thing as the HCQ cocktail although one of the three ingredients is changed.
    (source: )

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Ivermectin is an antiparasitic used for deworming horses….and doxycycline is an antibiotic used to treat, among other things, chlamydia. Was this suggested by Trump’s demon sperm doctor?? I’ve used Ivermectin for horses and goats, and can’t imagine it has a relevant application with Covid.

      • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

        Oh my god it’s going to start the whole cycle of Fox boosting random unsafe drugs because the President is an addled psychopath all over against.

        • MB says:

          And Hahn, head of the FDA, had no qualms earlier about supporting the distribution of hydroxychloroquine, under an emergency order, ostensibly under the “it couldn’t hurt” rubric, before studies showed it was mostly ineffective and sometimes dangerous. So I guess he’s willing to do that same number again, with a different substance ??

      • ducktree says:

        They’d be better off increasing their dietary intake of capers, which also have anti-parasitic properties (and is way better for you).

      • whocansay says:

        This Week in Virology podcast is an excellent high quality technical source of information for motivated laypersons. They’re smart, skeptical, and informative.

        Suffice to say re: apparent random drugs not specifically anti viral, it’s quite probable that immune system modulating substances could have substantial benefits.

        Don’t want to credit the earlier and current substances that sound like snake oil, and are promoted with scant evidence of efficacy, but I’m cautious about rejecting drugs just because their primary use is malaria or other maladies.

    • Pete T says:

      There has been several papers and apparently recent limited evaluations of Ivermectin, Azithromycin, and Tetracyclines (including Doxycycline). Unsure if studies have been rigorous double-blind and peer reviewed or not.

      I am even less a specialist MD that I am a lawyer – which is to say zip – but these all seem (to me) related to how these drugs might interfere with RNA processing in the Sars-Cov-2 viral replication process.




      • Rayne says:

        I’ve gone into your comment and added numbers for ease of reference.

        (1) That paper published July 9, 2020, says in the title, “(Pilot Trial)” and lower down below the title it says “This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.”

        This should not be used as support for use of ivermectin.

        (2) This paper is a suggestion that tetracyclines’ effects on COVID-19 are studied:

        We believe tetracyclines can be potential therapeutic agents for COVID-19 that is hiding in plain sight. Moreover, tetracyclines overall are much safer agents than other potential agents that have been considered to treat COVID-19, such as chloroquine or antiretroviral drugs. We strongly urge international research groups to consider investigating the potential therapeutic efficacy of tetracycline antibiotics in treating COVID-19.

        I’m also concerned about the authors — they’re associated with the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. Not exactly the field of expertise one might want in treated viral diseases affecting the vascular system.

        This should not be used as support for use of ivermectin or doxycycline in COVID-19 therapy.

        (3) This is another suggestion, not a clinical randomized trial. You highlighted part of the paper but you missed a key clause:

        Of note, the pre-print version of the article from Andreani et al. [14] also reported a significant antiviral effect of AZM alone on SARS-CoV-2. The mechanisms of the antiviral effect of AZM support a large-spectrum antiviral activity. Azithromycin appears to decrease the virus entry into cells [2, 8]. In addition, it can enhance the immune response against viruses by several actions.

        I’ve bolded the part you omitted which is as important as what follows: it’s a pre-print, not peer-reviewed.

        This is their conclusion:

        To conclude, there are several arguments supporting a potential effectiveness of AZM in SARS-CoV-2 infection, including its antiviral activity and immunomodulatory effects. We believe AZM should be clinically investigated as a monotherapy in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

        This paper should not be used as support for use of azithromycin in COVID-19 therapy.

        Come on, Pete, you can read. You could have seen all that and not fallen into the trap of sharing material which could be misconstrued.

    • Rayne says:

      This is the piece which should be read ahead of any bullshit pronouncement about ivermectin.

      Chaccour, C. (2020, May 29). Ivermectin and COVID-19: How a Flawed Database Shaped the Pandemic Response of Several Latin-American Countries – Blog. Retrieved August 23, 2020, from

      Unless there have been clinical randomized trial(s) of ivermectin since this article was published, results of which have yet to be shared publicly and reviewed by appropriate professionals, the concerns outlined in this article must be addressed before any health care professionals and the public accept ivermectin as a safe and effective therapy for COVID-19.

      This paper (published about a month after the article above) analyzing ivermectin’s potential based on other studies only suggests clinical randomized trials are appropriate:

      Heidary, F., & Gharebaghi, R. (2020). Ivermectin: A systematic review from antiviral effects to COVID-19 complementary regimen. The Journal of Antibiotics, 73(9), 593-602. doi:10.1038/s41429-020-0336-z

      On the face of it this is another hydroxychloroquine hype-fest in the making.

      FDA’s website FAQ about ivermectin for COVID-19 remains unchanged this morning.

      Q: Should I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19?
      A: No….


  9. Marinela says:

    Declare a national emergency so he can use the “secret presidential power” in some way to delay, postpone election.

    • Ken says:

      Yeah, that’s my guess. They have “Secret Evidence” that “Antifa” is planning something nefarious, therefore, martial law must be imposed and the election cancelled until further notice. Either that, or everyone can vote unless they’re registered as Democrats.

      • Rayne says:

        I don’t see canceling the election as a possibility even if Trump was to declare martial law. There was too much push back even within his own party when he fielded the possibility of delaying the election. Enough legal beagles came forward with opinions that the executive branch can’t halt what is a state function.

    • Tom says:

      That was my thinking, too, but the President has been so dutifully discreet about the situation in Belarus and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny that the idea of a meeting with Putin when Trump is so desperate for a foreign policy success would look too much like he (Trump) was willing to sit up and beg in hopes that Putin will toss him a dog treat. As the report you refer to states, a Trump/Putin summit would also draw uncomfortable attention to the President’s ‘special relationship’ with Vladimir Putin.

  10. posaune says:

    I worry about this a lot! Can imagine a scenario where Putin supplies vaccine for the US, and the Donald claims that his great international relations have “saved” the US. Ugh. Just read today in the Times that the Mariiansky Ballet (Kirov in Petersburg) as well as the Bolshoi (Moscow) are quarantined again. Why didn’t they get the vaccine?

    • John Lehman says:

      “Putin on the risk”
      https ://

      Except we’re dealing with a real Frankenstein monsters

    • Nehoa says:

      Not having any great thoughts on this myself, I have been reading everyone else’s ideas. This one has my vote. Trump’s team could not have thought of this, but Putin’s surely could. Putin putting the idea in Trump’s ear on the many calls they have. “Mr. President, the world underestimates the quality of Russian scientists. Confidentially, I am telling you that what we have is amazing. Because of our relationship I will let you give this vaccine to the American people first outside of Russia. We can confirm in early October.”
      Trump would eat this up. He desperately wants to announce a miracle solution. And he wants to justify his relationship with Putin. What could be better? Given his lack of discipline, I would not be surprised if he doesn’t blab this coming week.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Which ties in Rayne’s first candidate for an October surprise, the Durham investigation. Its primary purpose, after all, is to undermine what Trump calls “the Russia Hoax,” which is to say the truth about Putin’s sabotage. Durham will throw any/all “evidence” at the wall and let Fox, OAN and Barr/Trump see to making it stick, whether it’s Obama (and Biden!) “spying” on the 2016 campaign or Hunter (and Joe!) “scamming” in Ukraine. If Putin gifts Trump a vaccine, it’ll be a win-win for all.

  11. Rick Ryan says:

    This is perversely fun to think about. For what it’s worth, I doubt it makes as much difference as he’s hoping – with mail-in voting (and particularly with the scandals around Dejoy and the Postal Service sabotage), a lot of people are going to be casting their ballots within the next couple of weeks, not months. He needed an August surprise, and, well, he got a few, but they were all very bad for him.

    That said, I’m certain he’s going to try, primarily with the aim of encouraging older voters to turn out for him, and “hopefully” (never has the term “scare quotes” been more apropos) persuade some to come back to his side and give him another term.

    I’m guessing it’s going to be a series of things, not one singular magic bullet but a whole carpet bombing of the news cycle.

    The big thing, I’m guessing, will be Deals. He’ll make a series of announcements of deals that he’ll insinuate he was saving all along like Christmas presents, because he is a damn sociopath and thinks that makes him look like a “strong leader”.

    I’m guessing there will be some sort of trade deal with China, for one, with some agreements around intellectual property rights and purchases of Midwestern products like corn (this deal, of course, will amount to very little upon closer scrutiny – but that’s not what the headlines will be). These fights with Huawei and TikTok sure strike me as posturing, and he really, really needs something that will make him look good in the Midwest – enough that he’d sign a bad deal for a week or two of good headlines right before the election, hoping the scrutiny won’t unearth the grisly details until after the votes are cast (hence China’s willingness to play ball; the two sides have done similar crappy non-deals before – he is rather uncreative, going back to the same wells over and over again).

    There will probably also be some sort of “deal” around the Covid vaccine, like the US gets exclusive access to some company’s new vaccine for 2021 or something (I’d guess that plays rather poorly, but he seems to think those “exclusive” deals make him look good; he tried something similar around some sort of PPE I can’t be bothered to look up at the moment). Like Rayne and others here have pointed out, he’s telgraphing this one pretty blatantly.

    There may also be some sort of Middle East deal, maybe some sort of superficial “alliance” between Israel and Saudi Arabia, that again probably won’t amount to much substance, but might look good for all of the principals involved. Something like the recent Israel-UAE agreement. It’s an open secret that Saudi-Israeli relations have been warming behind the scenes for awhile now, and both Trump and Netanyahu could probably benefit from some sort of formal peace deal going public (at least, from headlines saying as much), both being in rather precarious places at the moment. Plus, Trump really wants that Nobel Peace Prize – and “bringing peace to the Middle East” might actually get it.

    Basically, he’ll try to make himself look like a “tough negotiator who plays rough but gets things done” – the way he’s been trying to all this time. To his credit [retch], that’s both a more noble and more effective tactic (especially for him) than trying to play the “the other guy is way worse” game.

    That said, there will also almost certainly be the usual fearmongering about “corruption” and Biden’s mental and physical health. Some leaks of Hunter Biden stuff, some tv doctors saying Joe is senile, that sort of thing. I doubt it gets a ton of traction, but I’d guess his campaign knows that and does it anyway, to 1) flood the zone with negative info about Biden, generally, and 2) chip away a few dumb voters here and there who are actually persuaded by the BS, to “hopefully” tip back the close states like North Carolina and Arizona.

    If there is any hacked/stolen info to drop (it’s been weirdly quiet on that front, although hopefully that’s just improved security in action), I’d guess it won’t be any sort of traditional scandalous bombshell (unless it is something truly salacious), but rather stuff to make Biden look much more “liberal”/to the left than he’s been portraying himself. Something like a recording or email with him making ambivalent comments about the protests (“riots”) or even just saying mildly positive things about someone like AOC, that could be spun as him being “soft on crime” or “sympathetic to the radical left”. It’s the strategy the Trump campaign seems to have settled on – again, trying to persuade and/or scare the olds – and it’s easier to tie him to unpopular (with prospective Trump ’16 – Biden ’20 voters) figures/movements that he’s tacitly embraced in being the “unifier” of the Democratic Party. Either he has to walk that back, splitting the party and pissing off the younger voters (particularly younger POC), or he scares off the older ones that are more anti-Trump than pro-Biden. It’s a “good” strategy to spring late in the game, when there’s less time for Biden to recover from any mishandling of it.

    Again, I’m skeptical that all of that’s going to amount to much in the end, mostly because it seems like no one in this country changes their mind about anything anymore, and as it stands Trump’s in a pretty deep hole. But they’re going to try like hell, and October’s going to be just unbearable because of it.

    P.S. Sorry for the novel – it didn’t feel that long when I was typing it!

    • Rayne says:

      I think you’ve covered much of the spread! They may well take Bannon’s approach of ‘flooding the zone with shit’ because it’s worked so well in the past. Not one big surprise but a myriad of little surprises which peck the media and the public into submission.

      However, I recall seeing an article not too long ago in which someone from a fairly conservative part of Pennsylvania said Trump’s craziness exhausted them and they’d had enough — I’m paraphrasing here, sorry. The crazy-fatigue hasn’t been openly plumbed yet.

      • Stephen Calhoun says:

        Crazy fatigue.

        We’ve been exposed to so much gaslighting that sometimes it is easy to not keep front and center that Trump looks like a really bad man to some portion of people who are low-information , non-ideological, sensible, and, inclined to vote their hunch about who will cause less harm.

        A friend described the mood of his conservative social circle of retirees: (they’re) scared of getting sick, and of dying.

        Is such a basic fear possibly at the center of the country’s mood?

        • P J Evans says:

          I think it’s what’s behind the nonbiblical “rapture” that so many fundies seem to believe in.

      • Eureka says:

        That’s interesting to hear more reports: back in May I had commented here on my impression from interactions that Trumpers were exhausted from being Trumpers and would be relieved to be relieved of him, etc.

        And I can add now, related, that I know of at least two PA down-ballot GOP candidates (I think there are more, but recall two) who are not disclosing their political party in their ads or door-knocking* (in fact the ads by the GOP AG candidate sound like something a dem could say, quite by design I’m sure — and from staffers who worked for Toomey, apparently).

        *hmm, now recalling more of the same in 2019 (trying to get votes by name, not disclosing party)

        • Yohei72 says:

          -“my impression from interactions that Trumpers were exhausted from being Trumpers and would be relieved to be relieved of him, etc.”

          I’ve long operated under the assumption that if he leaves office in January, he’ll maintain a strong hold on his base via Twitter, right-wing media,etc., and through them, on the party. But if your anecdotal observations reflect wider, largely unspoken feelings, we might be surprised how quickly his megaphone shorts out and he slinks out of sight. Wouldn’t that be nice?

          I’m not holding my breath, though.

  12. di says:

    Short of a foreign major military act, because the domestic one is already in progress, would not be surprised that he would have his administration approve an unsafe vaccine, as even his family affirms his true nature.
    But the complicit put and maintain him there, and Americans elected him. This is the u.s. system and structure.

    Scientists Worry About Political Influence Over Coronavirus Vaccine Project

    Trump Administration Nixes FDA’s Ability to Regulate LDTs

    Donald Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him’

  13. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    There were rumblings of Clarance Thomas retiring last year, nothing gets deep red voters to the polls more than maintaining the balance of fundamentalist reactionaries on the SC. Say CT announces he will retire soon on Oct. 20th.

    Mitch intimates that they might not have time to fill the seat until after the election, maybe not even until February. Of course this is a lie but lots of media stenographers will dutifully repeat it anyways.

    Trump loses, they confirm a 30 year old misogynist who believes the earth is 3000 years old on Nov 5.

    Trump wins, they confirm a 30 year old misogynist who believes the earth is 3000 years old on Nov 5. Or Thomas just doesn’t retire.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s a pretty good guess. Doubt it’s the topic of tonight’s presser but a SCOTUS retirement could be an October surprise. Wasn’t just Thomas they were encouraging to retire, though, was it?

      • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

        No you’re right, I remember an article mentioning Mitch suggested Reagan/Poppa Bush era circuit judges retire too, and I think I have seen at least one article suggesting Alito wanted to retire. It feels like someone at Politico has been hinting about Thomas every six months though, and he is older than Alito.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Anyone proposed to fill a SCOTUS seat that is acceptable to the FedSoc and DJT will be put through the grinder in the Senate, and well-deserved given what we’ve seen so far. My bet in the first instance would be Rao.

          However, unless RBG goes it would be a like-for-like change and that I do not think will have enough punch to impress the rubes.

          My best are a foreign adventure in Iran or Venezuela which given the planning capability of this WH will be a CF. This week is likely to be a narcissistic shit-show featuring DJT every night, only his family and thralls speaking, and so on. Bring on the drinking games for “carnage”, “Sleepy (or slow) Joe”, “Law-n-Order”, “Chinese virus / Kung Flu / etc.”, “Deep State” etc., but make sure you don’t need to drive somewhere for the rest of the week.

  14. Summertime blues says:

    Trump will pull out all the stops with a program of widespread interference and intimidation at polling places. Votes will be challenged and every effort made to suppress them especially in minority areas. Law enforcement and militia groups could be in the mix as well. He’ll be attracted to strategies favored by autocrats, and that can”t be preempted/challenged through the courts. He’s using a “heads I win, tails you lose” strategy.

    • FL Resister says:

      Unfortunately I think you are correct. Lafayette Square and Portland were warm ups for the main event. Trump wants to talk directly to Putin about using force against his own people.

    • Richard says:

      Yes, what Summertime Blues wrote.
      Classic interference in election. Also happened in 1852 with riots in major cities when “Americans” tried to stop recent German and Irish immigrants from voting by sending bully squads to monitor the polling locations. Violence and fires in St. Louis caused my ancestors to go back to Germany.

  15. Eureka says:

    [Unless the ‘vid is so exploded everywhere such that we are too worried about other things] He will surely do a stunt with extended media plays (a la 2016) with Tara Reade and whoever else he can get his hands on. So perhaps a “surprise” in that regard might be some new accuser, with help from an ally or operative less dumb than, say, fraudster Wohl [****deleting the rest of the specifics — Rayne, you said before to not give them any ideas. Lol, not lol. **** ]. They are nothing if not transparent and repetitive*, and no need to spell out the tie-ins to the obsessions of some of his “followers”.

    But the impact need not be as “big” as a half-assed “fulfilling” of some nutter prophecy, or limited to that willing audience.

    One only need to look at Rose McGowan’s timeline lately to see how all the crazies, foreign and domestic — and labeling themselves with professed ties to everyone from Assange to Bernie to Black radicals — are coalescing around some “I won’t vote for a rapist” and “Dems have done nothing” voter-suppression and -skimming to third parties wokety-woke campaign.

    I also saw some troll-bot-type recently post a reply that was nothing but the link to a state voter registration website, the context being a non-sequitur but for nefarious purposes.

    *repetitive writ loosely, too: I consider the Barr-Durham (et al., and all the angles) scheme an extension of the Putin > Manafort blame Ukraine (/Putin’s enemies, whenever possible) playbook. As with that and things like the poll watchers bullshit, he’s just running the 2016 campaign but with the powers of the Presidency behind the tactics. Lord knows what Yoo has cooking, though I bet some of that will be flexible on-demand production.

    Trump Bespoke Yoo … or would that be Yoo Bespoke Trump? Either way, fucking yikes.

    You really have to scroll and click around for the full effect. Sample:

    • Rayne says:

      I won’t read McGowan. IMO she’s been vulnerable and easily manipulated, perfect example of someone who can be messed with in an influence campaign.

      I’ll watch what MeToo’s Tarana Burke says instead. Twitter: @TaranaBurke

      • Eureka says:

        Agreed, I’m darting an eye there for awareness. As a ‘figure’ right now, she is somewhere between a Corey Feldman (siloed to special interested parties) and a Kanye (broader stage of disruption per media coverage, at least). Seems efforts are underway for her to be a libertarian pull, twained to Kanye’s more Stein-y/IRA-like role.

  16. Eureka says:

    ^ * “professed ties to…” list should include Trump and the Libertarian party (and candidate), too (goes with a comment that vanished, hopefully just in the pokey but it didn’t say anything about moderation).

  17. Anomalous Cowherd says:

    Nah, you guys are all wet. The surprise will be a major Broadway opening of the Donald’s new musical “Springtime for Hydroxychloroquine.” Auditions are going on right now in the West Wing, with Billy Barr and Stevie Miller in competition for the lead.

  18. joel fisher says:

    Although Trump’s attitude toward truth reminds me of Superman and kryptonite, he might try it just this one time with a serious mistake Biden made recently: “I will shut down the country”. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m ignoring the context, but those words (more or less) spilled out of Biden’s mouth in that order. By October people will be awful tired of no restaurants, no sports, Zoom, masks, distancing, kids out of school, and all the rest and there will be Trump, hammering away and telling the public–again truthfully–he won’t shut anything down and Biden will. If Trump wins, last Friday will be remembered as the turning point.

    • Rayne says:

      Sure. That’s what bothers you, revealed in what you think is a Bidenesque gaffe. That’s not an October surprise.

      What bothers me is that universities and schools are opening then having to close, that there will still be no sports operating safely into winter no matter the outcome, that the entire entertainment industry has been and remains shut down and without aid, that small businesses are unable to make any plans if they’re still operating because tomorrow is utterly unpredictable.

      How many children and teachers have to die before the American public realizes we are already in a form of shutdown — it’s just as uncontrolled as that tangerine asshat in the White House. The mask-avoidant people who’ll be restless and itchy this October are the same people who’ve been stupid about the disease and Trump all along; what a pity survival of the fittest doesn’t work faster on them because so many others are protecting them by wearing masks.

      Shut it down for six weeks. Everything. The cost to pay people to stay home will be cheaper than the ongoing losses and deaths if this country continues to piecemeal haphazardly staying open. Develop and fund a plan to improve HVAC systems in all publicly-funded facilities across the country, use the Defense Production Act for that and getting PPE production up to speed in that six weeks.

      Maybe it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with what the truth sounds like when it has science behind it instead of assuming it’s a gaffe.

      • joel fisher says:

        I have to agree it doesn’t count as October, but in 6 weeks it might (I hope not) emerge as the big issue. I’ve been telling everyone who would sit still long enough the exact same thing you said in your penultimate paragraph. It sounds like the truth because it is the truth. It’s OK if I say it; but when Biden says it, what are some fence-sitting Steelers and Eagles fans going to think? If Trump and his henchscum handle this with the evil dexterity that we have seen in the past, there will be Biden on your Facebook feed telling you he’ll impose a lockdown. Slightly twisted, but not terribly, it’ll come out that Biden wants to cancel the NFL. What if PA is as close as it was the last time? Fifteen thousand in each city (five thousand Detroit Lions fans in MI) jumping off the Trump band wagon and onto Biden’s would change the outcome. I think the most important thing is that Biden gets elected. There’s plenty to talk about and plenty to gloss over; this qualifies as something to gloss over. I hope Biden makes a point of buying some Eagles tickets and otherwise does what he can to bury this issue.

        • Rayne says:

          The rebuttal is asking players if they want permanent disability because their owners weren’t willing to sit out six weeks.

          Or asking men in general if they like their sex life and fertility because COVID-19 does a permanent number on their ‘nads.

          • joel fisher says:

            “Once you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow”. Teddy Roosevelt (maybe; but I’m betting not Charles Colson). Anyway, I hope you’re right.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Often attributed to LBJ, whose powers of persuasion often involved having other politicians’ “peckers in his pocket.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Context is everything: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

      Biden’s mistakes are rarely serious, Trump’s routinely are. Joe does have to link any medicine – a shutdown – with reasons for its necessity and with a spoonful of sugar. That’s not remotely beyond him, as it would be Trump.

      • joel fisher says:

        You and I think context is important, but, I really hate to say this, the persuadable voter is not a deep thinker. Points of view must fit on a bumper sticker, indeed, on a hat. Talking to them and explaining how a lockdown will help in the long run and why, is not something they will sit still for.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          One thing the oft-repeated Lincoln comment suggests is that people can readily understand what’s going on, if only given a few choice words.

          It’s the MSM that doesn’t want to explain – or to encourage people to think. It makes it harder to normalize. It makes it harder to sell it sponsors’ products, its bothsiderism, and its horse race-only perspective.

          • joel fisher says:

            “Bothsiderism”; a good way to describe the current us vs. them way of the world. I hear they got rid of the Fairness Doctrine; one side seems to be aware of this fact while the scribblers at the NYT, WAPO, etc. seem not to have heard. Sometimes I wonder who to be mad at (I’m always mad; I just need some direction.): Fox for lying or the MSM for repeating the lies and putting the truth out there for the reader to decide. I just wish they would treat lies with there same 10 foot pole they treated the former name of the Washington NFL team.

          • joel fisher says:

            Please convince me that I’m wrong; I’m begging you. It’s troubling to me that the race is as close as it is and that there are still undecided voters.

    • P J Evans says:

      Biden’s right, though: people really need to *wear masks [correctly] and stay home* for a month, to stop the virus spreading. You can safely go out for groceries – IF everyone is masked. (Even here in L.A., with audio announcements in the stores that it goes over mouth and nose, people can’t get that right.)

      • Ken says:

        My thinking was, if we had a sane government, we have as many people as possible order their groceries/drugs online (And help their neighbors who don’t know how to do that) and pay the USPS/UPS/FedEx to deliver them at government cost.

    • Rugger9 says:

      That depends upon the progress, however, just like we saw with oleandrin pushed by the MyPillow guy it wouldn’t matter to DJT. He’d get his announcement and the people would die after the election (like the ones in AZ that died from home-medicated HCQ therapy) when they’re not useful any longer.

      I think that they will throw everything they can think of in the hope that something sticks and if not, they’ll scream because of all of the smoke there must be a fire somewhere. The question is whether the MSM will let the campaign get away with it. Chuck Todd is a lost cause as a political groupie for politics’ sake, but maybe some of the others will push back.

  19. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Funny Cowherd. Ty.

    Good point about whatever they bring, itll be timed to leave little time to debunk. The confrontations between BLM, ANTIFA, proud boys etc are my bet for where something terrible happens involving gun play- something where multiple people die and the blame was pre arranged. As boaz says many or most are imposters, by which I think hope he means they’re paid and their moves are directed. The protest are accomplishing absolutely nothing new. Looks like they do not know what they want, they just want to protest. Their time would be better spent helping to organize unions everywhere. The union movement is one of the few places you actually see social justice, economic equality, democracy in the work place. Somewhere within 50 miles of Portland some union is organizing somewhere. Go there.

    Whatever the surprise it will be ugly. Eric Prince and Barr will collude on the actions. Whatever it is will be made for prime time. There will be gun play and blood. Whatever Guliani is bringing will be greeted with with disbelief. Joe Biden could shoot somebody on 6th Avenue and still not lose a single voter. What will all the trumpeters do with their venom in the years following Trump’s defeat ? Russia has succeeded in Putin us in a situation where we are at each throats. They’ve succeeded in making sure almost every American is torqued . Two world views. One country.
    I even have to tell myself when the heart rate starts going up in reaction to the stupidity. STEP AWAY FROM THE BOX.

  20. SaltinWound says:

    Insulting nicknames for Trump add nothing to the discourse. If I want to see them, I can go to Facebook.

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump seems to be a spaghetti-on-the-wall guy. So I vote for everything he can come up with. The level of distraction he will need pre- and post-election will be off the charts. By then, there will be over a quarter of a million dead, all on his watch, and more scandals, as rats leave his sinking ship. Dems and his opponents will have the odd surprise of their own, revelations, charges, testimony.

    I tend to lean, though, toward the vaccine. It doesn’t have to work, Trump just needs to the announcement. And as you say, having no baseline, “milder side-effects” could still be deadly.

    • Rayne says:

      That’d be an October surprise, sure, but would it shape the outcome of the election to the benefit of the GOP? I don’t know…

      I don’t know that this qualifies under the American tradition of October surprises because there’s no planning involved. At least there had better not be.

      • gulageten says:

        No, I realize it doesn’t fit the criteria. It wouldn’t even be that surprising, except maybe for himself.

  22. RMD says:

    I’ve seen this idea posted elsewhere; more of a post-election surprise: should Trump lose, he resigns. Pence then pardons Trump.
    This play has precedence. Nixon / Ford.

    • Chris.EL says:

      responding to RMD August 23:
      what is Trump’s out for his non-federal crimes?

      As Frances McDormand would say in Fargo: “He’s fleeing the interview!! He’s fleeing the interview!!”

      Since trump’s FUNDAMENTALLY A COWARD my money’s on Russian protection.

      If Putin comes to US could be to load up trump, the family, the gold — for parts unknown. Or Mar A Lago converts to Russian embassy or Putin palace.

      • Marji Campbell says:

        I agree with any and all stunts. To add to other’s posts, I just read that Jill biden’s ex-husband is reporting that Jill and Joe had an affair years before, when ex-husband was still married to jill. Remember the Tara Reade allegations? This will probably also fall apart- but, everything, everywhere.

        • P J Evans says:

          Jill didn’t even *meet* Joe until her divorce was in progress. Her husband sounds like he’s out for revenge, years too late.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Once one party to a marriage files for divorce, both parties are “street legal.” Either of them can enter into a relationship with someone else. They just can’t remarry until the divorce is final. If Jill’s husband’s claim is not accurate, he would seem to have separation issues and a vindictiveness problem. He would also demonstrate that he has a willingness to lie and defame, which is one reason why the street legal concept came into being.

    • silcominc says:

      I agree – trump loses and pence pardons. Pence has destroyed any credibility he had so what the heck.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Let’s remember that Pence was so unpopular in deep-red Indiana that in 2016 he didn’t even run for re-election as Governor.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I would not discount the probability of orchestrated violence. It’s part of the chaos that keeps Trump whole. Some of it will be spontaneous, Trump having primed the pump for several years. But he’s the sort of guy who could not resist goosing it, to hide his getaway, delay his departure and his successor’s taking effective command, to promote the idea that his loss is illegitimate and itself a coup against the people (whom Trump would gladly shit on to win a golf bet).

  24. Lawnboy says:

    I read that the Nygard case is stayed yesterday, because the Feds case trumps a civil action. Maxwell/Epstein/Nygard/redacted….. It seems mr T chums the water to distract when needed. I mean 25 pages of redacted names could be revealed by Jane Doe #3 and the media is not on this?

    He has inside track with Bill Bob Barr and perhaps there is some REALLY BAD STUFF in the pipe and he is dumping ink in the water. Bannon, taxes, and the all the things he cant control its then the goto of disinformation.

    I agree with all of the comments on October, but perhaps its more bluster to distract.

    • ducktree says:

      From regarding the stay of the civil class action in question:

      “I’m not surprised by this,” said Winnipeg lawyer Robert Tapper, who isn’t involved in this case. Generally speaking, he said, police don’t want a civil trial to interfere with an active criminal investigation.

      “If you’re the police and the lawyers representing the police investigators, you don’t want the civil trial lawyer scheduling an examination for discovery or a deposition of a witness,” Tapper said. “You want to do your own investigation.”

      ianal, but: There is no there there to your suggestion of undue interference.

  25. person1597 says:

    Speculating from Commander Crazypants’ penchant for stuffing the courts, maybe Clarence retires and opens the seat for Yoo. That, or a high profile Branch Covidian hit to a scotus lib to sideline the opposition during the American Interregnum. That should help put the kibosh on any T vs B pushback. Not that it will work… All the public “breaking” can result in a more concerted public “fixing”, tho not by Barr, but maybe Bharara.

  26. Iraqi Shadow says:

    A correction, if not already noted in the thicket above: The Democratic presidential nominee in 1920 was James M. Cox, not FDR, who was Cox’s running mate.

  27. OldTulsaDude says:

    The only question to answer is: if in a similar position, what would Putin, Duterte, Erdogan, et al do?

    If whatever is coming is a surprise, shame on us.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        And by “shame on us” I mean if we allow whatever “surprise” Trump and Barr have in store to alter our votes or decisions to vote.

    • Rwood says:

      They would stage a false-flag operation. ie: An attack on themselves in an effort to further divide the electorate and also stir favor/sympathy for themselves. This would also supply the excuse needed to crack down on any threat they chose to label responsible.

      I would be looking at blue cities that have seen an unnecessarily high number of “little green men” deployed to them. What blue cities have been spared the protests but still have a bunch of Barrs stormtroopers in them? Albuquerque comes to mind, but if I were Barr I’d be looking for a swing state in which to put my show on. Florida. Ohio. Michigan.

      He needs headlines. Big ones. Terrorism, preferably domestic and somehow connected to one of the groups opposing him, is something he can point to and play the patriot card. Gooliani is probably telling him “You need your own 9-11. It worked for me and Bush!” A September surprise perhaps this year?

      Where is Eric Prince? Who has he been talking to? What federal building/army base/monument is going to be sacrificed? I hope someone is following Prince and knows everyone he’s talked to and met with for the past six months.

      Desperate people do desperate things. I’m not ruling anything out.

      • Pajaro says:

        False-flag certainly possible, maybe several. Feds deployed to blue states/cities now have time to get comfy with the local law enforcement; understand community cleavage points. Abq doesn’t make sense compared to other cities receiving Feds. One thing we do have is nuclear, several national labs nearby. The prospect for a dirty bomb false flag can’t be ruled out. I would put nothing past these people.

        I also think broad voter intimidation at the poles using Proud Boys and other fascist groups is very likely. They’ve as much as promised it and past responses have been too weak to insure a clean vote.

        • Rayne says:

          Given all the references the White House made to the “China virus” between PressSec after 11 pm last night and the press conference this evening, one might almost bet they’re prepping to use China for a false flag.

          Should count how many references to “China virus” during the RNC convention.

          EDIT: Just saw Trump/GOP platform, 50 bullet points with one entire category “End Reliance on China.” Hm…

        • Pajaro says:

          Test bed: Portland Police, after months of heavy hand against BLM protesters, leave the field and turn it over to Proud Boys. Proud Boys assault peaceful protesters with paintball guns (these hurt), clubs, firearms aimed at protectors, and physical assault. Proud Boys pushed back by protesters, only after Proud Boys retire do Police step in to violently push back BLM protesters. Proud Boys escorted off field by Homeland Security.

          Its a test case: the violent right allied with Police and Homeland security will make sure demonstrations and peaceful gatherings will become violent and deadly. Look for this to accelerate in places with Feds through to October.

  28. Coyle says:

    I think we’ve seen a couple of Trump’s “surprises” already, including the physical and institutional destruction of the US Post Office and the creation of what amounts to an extra-legal domestic paramilitary force commanded by AG Barr. That said, the most likely candidate for an October surprise is a vaccine that Trump will tout like the snake-oil salesman he is — hence the recent attacks on the FDA, which by the time Trump & Co. are done will be happy to certify corn syrup, lighter fluid or even demon sperm as a miracle cure.

    • Coyle says:

      P.S. How about a separate post on either a.) ways Democrats can respond to various Trump/GOP “October surprises” and/or b.) ideas for October surprises that might help Democrats?

  29. MB says:

    I feel compelled to throw a little cold water on an early, barely-tested vaccine being rushed out as an October Surprise because: a large portion of Trump’s base are of the QAnon-conspiracy persuasion, and among those types, there’s a large anti-vax contingent who would never take a vaccine of any type, no matter what – even if Trump guaranteed that HIS vaccine didn’t contain Bill Gates/George Soros micro-trackers.

    There’s also a strange sub-cultural convergence going on with some alternative-medicine “wellness” types overlapping with the Q-Anon and anti-vax agendas. The link below is to an interesting podcast delineating how all that intertwines with Trump’s grab-bag of nonsense:

    • Rayne says:

      I hear you, but you need to recall the margins in play. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. She lost in states like Michigan with a margin of only ~10K votes or 0.2% of the vote. That’s all an October surprise combined with multiple voter suppression tactics and influence operations needs to produce to get Trump re-elected.

      A lame announcement about a vaccine mirroring Kissinger’s “peace is at hand” remarks may be all that’s needed to convince swing voters or GOP voters who’ve been losing faith in the tangerine hellbeast.

      • posaune says:

        I believe you’re right, Rayne. I think Trump will push “Putin’s vaccine gift” and declare covid “over,” i.e.

  30. harpie says:

    Among the possibilities, and, not exactly a “surprise” because it’s a replay of 2016, but:
    4:09 PM · Aug 21, 2020

    This needs more coverage:

    Andy Kuchma (aka Artemenko) & Nabil Bader filed Apr 2020 FARA filing to represent Andrii Derkach – who has been leaking Poroshenko tapes to smear Biden

    Artemenko company Airtrans is part of Erik Prince’s Frontier Resource Group [THREAD]

    WS retweets this reply to her thread:
    4:12 PM · Aug 21, 2020

    Great catch Wendy! This is a replay of 2016, when Prince’s last minute “revelations” sunk HRC’s ship in MI, WI and PA. [Link to Breitbart, 11/4/16: Erik Prince: NYPD Ready to Make Arrests in Anthony Weiner Case

  31. biff murphy says:

    The October Surprise… Hmmm.
    Maybe it’s just going to be Trump fucking with every branch of government, continuing to put out his daily happy horseshit about no God with the democrats and how bad they are, and the virus cure is just around the corner, “we will have a vaccine in a very short period of time”. But I have a feeling when he sees how bad he’s done in the election results he’ll just walk away, like the lazy shit he is. He’ll have Pence pardon him for anything federal and try to ignore (unsuccessfully) all state charges against him.

  32. harpie says:

    Via Cheryl Rofer, here’s a good thread about the FDA actions:
    8:43 AM · Aug 22, 2020

    THREAD: For the last 6 months, FDA’s device center worked effectively with labs to advance hundreds of tests for Covid. A new HHS policy that extricates FDA from this work – and goes further, by removing any FDA role over any lab developed test – could put this work at risk. 1/x […]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “Extricates?” I would have said something more like, “prohibits the FDA from doing its official the work.”

      Trump puts more than this work at risk. He puts much of the world at risk, too. He is inhibiting production of vaccines that will be both reliable and regarded by the world as reliable. He keeps the US as a Covid-19 hot spot.

      Apart from an enormous cost to people, that will generate substantial further but avoidable economic loss. That he gets away with it further demonstrates that the GOP is such a danger to society that it should be prohibited from government.

  33. Troutwaxer says:

    “1940: Roosevelt (D) vs. Willkie (R) — Roosevelt promoted African-American Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr. to brigadier general.”

    Actually, the African-American officer promoted to brigadier general in 1940 was Benjamin O. Davis Sr., the father of Benjamin O. Davis Jr., who was one of the Tuskegee Airmen. He ended his career as a three-star general of the Air Force in 1970 and was awarded a fourth star by Bill Clinton in 1998.

  34. Mainmata says:

    In one of his prancing-and-clapping self-congratulatory events, maskless but safe enough for him, he gets to near the edge of the stage, falls off and suffers a severe cervical spinal rupture. This doesn’t kill him but leaves him completely paralyzed from the neck down. He is subsequently “Article 25ved”. Pence becomes president and goes down to a massive defeat.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Waking dreams are a sign someone needs professional help. :-) Being ambulatory is not required for a Bone Collector, mental acuity is. But what base would you use to establish that his post-accident acuity was less than what he had before?

      • Ken Muldrew says:

        But what base would you use to establish that his post-accident acuity was less than what he had before?

        He starts being nice to people.

        • ducktree says:

          Such a radical change in personality and behavior is a sure sign of TBI (traumatic brain injury). And wouldn’t it be awesome?!

  35. Walluso says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if a pardon was dangled in front of Assange with an agreement to publicly claim that there is “no connection between Trump and the Russians” in releasing DNC hacked material. Interesting to read yesterday that Trump’s niece was covertly recording interviews for her book as an insurance policy, so maybe more will come from that. If SDNY acquires Trump’s financial records, it wouldn’t surprise me to see some of the materials or charge(s) being leaked to reporters. With Roger Stone on the loose, I’m not sure what to expect. Fun times!

    • Rayne says:

      I’m not certain how the pardon dangle would ultimately result in swing voters choosing Trump. The Trump-Russia scandal is baked in for these folks because they aren’t outraged enough to vote against him, or rah-rah-Russia enough to have decided to throw behind Putin’s puppet already.

      Mary Trump’s audio recordings are closer to an October surprise though neither Dem Party nor candidate have any control over them. We’ll see what shakes loose inside the next 60 or so days.

  36. Owen McNamara says:

    In this day and age, all the above sound conceivable. Try this on. Sometime in September an embassy, aid station, whatever, is assaulted by terrorists, militia, whatever, and hostages are taken. The right goes bats, sabers are rattled. Trump waits until October, then sends in the Airborne. Blows them to shit and flinders, saving some/all of the hostages. The crowd goes wild. Big story and plays right into the undecided vote. Sometime afterward it is determined that the terrorists were trained by and on the payroll of the Kremlin. But it’s too late, ass face gets another 4 years. And I start drinking in the morning.

  37. Philo T says:

    While Democrats focus on the mail-in ballot and countering GOP legal challenges to it, in-person electronic voting gets hacked. Dem leadership is able to certify the validity of mail-in voting and misses manipulation of electronic tally, certifying a trump victory in the electoral college or at minimum GOP senate control.

    Russia has the capacity to do this, building on the the 2016 network intrusion of state voting systems.

        • silcominc says:

          It does not help. The vote tabulators are also connected to the internet. The whole system of ESS equipment is a total cluster fuck.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Everything helps. There are no silver bullets, there are no home runs that magically win the game in the bottom of the ninth. You bail out the boat one bucketful at a time. That’s why it takes lots of hands to do it.

  38. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mark Meadows says Donald Trump reads so much, Meadows often has to read “well into the night” to catch up with him. Imagine having two top guys in the White House who can barely read the back of a milk carton.

  39. harpie says:

    1] 9:48 AM · Aug 23, 2020-TRUMP

    Happy Sunday! We want GOD!
    [VIDEO from The White House: “The People of Poland, the People of America, and the People of Europe still Cry Out ‘We Want God'” Aug 1, 2020

    A little over three years ago, President Trump delivered one of the most important speeches of his presidency at Krasinski Square in Warsaw, Poland. Standing before a monument to the Warsaw Uprising, he called for defending Western civilization against all enemies who seek to destroy it.

    2] 9:55 AM · Aug 23, 2020-White House Press Pool

    Pool report #2 – Arrival at golf club

    3] 9:58 AM · Aug 23, 2020-James Poniewozik
    [link in next comment]

    Ugh, autocorrect always changes “golf” for me too

  40. Joseph Cannon says:

    I know precisely how Trump will win this election. I predicted it more than a year ago on my own site. I tried to warn people on DU, but I was kicked off for committing the sin of pessimism.

    In a series of posts, I’ve called it the Big Smear.

    The smear will arise out of the Jeffrey Epstein legend. Everyone fears to question this growing mythos, even though we now have proof that Virginia Giuffre has lied about a good many things, including her own age — BY TWO YEARS. She lied about her age to the courts, to the FBI, to journalists and to her own lawyer. This, in a case centering on statutory rape allegations! She also provably lied about Al Gore andBill Clinton. (Secret Service records prove that neither man went to that island.)

    Sarah Ransome has ADMITTED that she lied about many things, including being threatened by Hillary.

    Chauntae Davies is telling a story utterly different from her original claim.

    I know what I’m talking about. I’ve researched the documentation in this case the way Marcy Wheeler researches…well, everything other than Epstein, it would seem. If she looked at the material I’ve seen, I’m sure she would confirm what I’m saying. But no-one in the media will look at the evidence that these “Epstein girls” are lying. Writers fear the backlash.

    Thus, a claimed “Epstein girl” can say…ANYTHING. Imagine a version of “The Crucible” in which the girls get paid to make “witch” accusations.

    So here’s how it will go: A weepy “Epstein girl” — probably someone we’ve never heard of before — will accuse Joe Biden of raping her while she was underaged. She will claim that the encounter occurred during one of Biden’s many trips to the Virgin Islands. (Look it up. He really did like to vacay there.) Perhaps she will say that her “rape” occurred on the island partially owned by Joe’s brother.

    This false accusation will be buttressed by revelations from Ghislaine Maxwell, who knows that her only hope of a pardon is to say what Trump wants her to say.

    Steve Bannon was Epstein’s good friend. Now that Bannon is in legal trouble, he’ll say anything he needs to say to make that trouble go away.

    Before the feds showed up, Epstein’s properties were wide open for the planting of evidence. Expect to see fake photos, perhaps deepfake videos.

    No-one will defend Biden. The smear will go unquestioned. The mindless repetition of the slogans “Believe Women” and “Me too” will silence skeptics and cancel critical thinking.

    In the 1990s, I tried to research a book on Satanic Ritual Abuse accusations, and I learned the hard way: A woman’s tears are more powerful than an H bomb. Everyone hates a man who dares to suggest that a woman can use tears to manipulate. If you DO make that suggestion, you’ll be accused of being a “perp.”

    In the 1990s, I was accused of being a Satanist because I became skeptical of the stories I was hearing from “victims.” (That’s why I gave up the project.) Similarly, when the anti-Biden “Big Smear” hits, anyone who questions the smear will be accused of being a proponent of “rape culture” or the Great Pedophile Conspiracy.

    An army of feminists and other proponents of “cancel culture” will flood liberal sites with outraged demands that “Joe must go.” Feminists would prefer to see Kamala Harris at the top of the ticket. Of course, she will not be able to win after the D brand is tarnished by the Big Smear.

    This is why QAnon and others spread their paranoid gospel about rampant pedophilia. They’ve convinced a large part of the public that any rich person who does not support Trump is desperate to rape a child.

    That seemingly-absurd theory will become conventional wisdom after Joe Biden gets hit by a carefully-backstopped Big Smear.

    This smear that will not only re-elect Trump, it will transform the nation. This could be the crisis predicted in the book “The Fourth Turning,” which the Trumpists consider a kind of prophecy — and a guidebook.

    Trump’s victory is not even a prediction. It’s set in stone. In my mind, it has already happened.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        I would not be surprised to see arrests/smears of various Democrats, but not quite in the over-the-top manner Joseph describes. More likely – and this is an example rather than a specific prediction – they’ll arrest Hunter Biden (or Hillary, or whoever) on October 25th, probably for some kind of very obscure financial crime, then announce on the 28th that Hunter/Hillary has agreed to testify against Joe or something. Nobody sane will believe it, but it will be enough, in combination with other forms of cheating, to get Trump reelected.

          • Troutwaxer says:

            That’s also possible. But I’m not optimistic. The real issue here, I think, is whether the journalists will do their jobs. Sigh.

    • Rayne says:

      “I know what I’m talking about. I’ve researched the documentation in this case the way Marcy Wheeler researches…well, everything other than Epstein, it would seem. If she looked at the material I’ve seen, I’m sure she would confirm what I’m saying. But no-one in the media will look at the evidence that these “Epstein girls” are lying. Writers fear the backlash.”

      Maybe Marcy will put up with this but I won’t. You are NOT going to implicitly/explicitly tell the editors+contributors at this site what or how to investigate any subject, or project their opinions. You do your own work at your own site; we don’t come and piss in your pool.

      The question I posed in this post was: What’s Trump’s October Surprise? Stick to that.

      • Joseph Cannon says:

        “You are NOT going to implicitly/explicitly tell the editors+contributors at this site what or how to investigate any subject, or project their opinions.”

        I honestly don’t see how you could interpret my words in that fashion. Marcy knows that my attitude toward her skills borders on the worshipful.

        I said what I said to emphasize that I’ve looked into the documentation in this case as assiduously as Marcy has looked into the documentation in other cases. If the guy down the street says “I’ve studied the Chilton repair manual for a 1967 Ford Falcon and you haven’t,” he hasn’t insulted me. He is simply telling me that he has an expertise in that area.

        The world is far too large — and there are too many important things to research — that I would never tell Marcy Wheeler or any other writer what to study. I simply am stating that on THIS topic, I’ve done the homework (and will share research materials with any doubter who asks nicely).

        When one stakes out an unpopular position — as I have done — opponents look for any excuse to misconstrue. We’re all guilty of that at one time or another; it’s human. You may have done that here.

        And I did stick to the topic. The Epstein mythos will provide the October Surprise.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          There is this to sort out: “I know what I’m talking about. I’ve researched the documentation in this case the way Marcy Wheeler researches…well, everything other than Epstein, it would seem.”

          Plus it’s rare for someone who maintains their own site to tout it here. It’s more normal to provide a link to something specifically on point to the blog’s subject, rather than to a body of work. That begins to look like an advert.

          • Joseph Cannon says:

            You’ve placed me in a Catch-22. Since the only stories on the internet which collates the material are ones that I’ve written, I should arguably be allowed to link to those pieces. But if I DO provide those links, I will be accused of trying to drum up traffic. (As if I cared about that! If I were of a mind to tout my site, I would be on Twitter. Ask Marcy. She knows that I’ve never done anything to increase readership.)

            So my only recourse is to provide a summary of my conclusions and to let doubters know that if they doubt my assertions, I can send them documentation.

            That’s not unreasonable. That’s how people have argued forever. I mean, look up the letters page in any old copy of (say) the New York Review of Books.

            If I were to write at great length, offering many links, you’d lambaste me for that. If I were to summarize my findings briefly, you’d lambaste me for not proving what I say. Another Catch-22!

            Honestly, I suspect that what is happening here is that people saw the Netflix documentary on Epstein (or some similarly deceptive presentation) and they believed it. People naturally don’t want to be told “You were misled.” So they will look for any excuse to shoot down someone who brings that message, even if he can back up his points.

          • Joseph Cannon says:

            By the way:

            “There is this to sort out: “I know what I’m talking about. I’ve researched the documentation in this case the way Marcy Wheeler researches…well, everything other than Epstein, it would seem.””

            What’s to sort out? She hasn’t looked into it (to my knowledge). She may in the future; that’s not my business. No-one can research EVERYTHING.

            Honestly, you are reading absurdities into plain English.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              BTW, your English sentence is plainly ambiguous. Has Marcy researched Epstein not at all or not well? A funnier example, from Strunk & White:

              “New York’s first commercial human-sperm bank opened Friday with semen samples from eighteen men frozen in a stainless steel tank.”

              • Joseph Cannon says:

                “Has Marcy researched Epstein not at all or not well?”

                I presume she has not looked into it particularly deeply. Can’t be sure, since I’ve not read her every tweet and article, so if you find something, please pass it along. Most people know SOMETHING about the case.

                The journalists I’m angry at — aside from the tabloid sensationalists — are people like Vicky Ward and (especially) Julie Brown. They know damn well that Virginia and Sarah are lying, but they either won’t say anything or they will offer infuriating rationalizations.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  It was not a question; it was a reference to the ambiguity in your sentence and why rayne and others, including me, might have objected to it. Your evasive response suggests you accept the point and are now back on one of your own.

              • John Lehman says:

                Mmmm…Suspicious syntax,…slip up?
                English speaking first didn’t?
                …..smoke and mirrors…not fully made yet…will wait for Marcy.

                • John Lehman says:

                  Suspicious syntax,
                  English speaking first language isn’t ?

                  Humorous Pennsylvania Dutch syntax in English:
                  “Throw the cow over the fence some corn”

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    Germanic word endings carry information now lost in English, which makes the order more relevant for emphasis and style than basic meaning.

                    Unintentionally funny translations are legion in international marketing. A famous Parker Pen translation into Spanish – intended to convey that its fountain pens would not leak – meant that they would not make you pregnant. A hotel in the Far East, where travelers were often worried about drinking water quality, tried to assure its guests by posting a sign in English that said the hotel manager had “personally passed” all the water served in the hotel. He must have had an immense bladder.

                    • John Lehman says:

                      Ya, my Pennsylvania Dutch grandparents used to say “outen the lights” and as sort of a verbal question mark…”you closed the barn door, not?”
                      …and with their enduring lilt my sister Becky‘s name was “Baycky” and mine John was “Chahn”.

              • Joseph Cannon says:

                Seriously, John, what’s your deal? Are you really THAT emotionally wrapped up in what you believe about the Epstein claimants? Yes, Marcy has known of me for years, though hardly closely. We were even supposed to have lunch once but I was out of town.

                But “bona fides” are not the point. Ad hominem attacks only succeed in making the attacker look weak. I’ll be happy to provide you with links and documents and whatever else you seek, and if you find a genuine flaw with what I’ve said about the Epstein mythos, I’ll be very happy to concede your point.

                That’s reasonable, surely?

                • John Lehman says:

                  “Seriously, John, what’s your deal?”

                  -The “deal” is being informed honestly. Simple.

                  “ Are you really THAT emotionally wrapped up in what you believe about the Epstein claimants?”

                  -Have no strong opinion about the “Epstein claimants”and have made no personal judgment about them, don’t much care.

                  What is bothering is a person posting here with a hidden agenda and though you’re raising red flags in that category, the judgement or the accusation has yet to be made.
                  Hence will wait for Marcy.

                  “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  You’re projecting onto John Lehman your emotional investment in the Jeffrey Epstein story. A grotesque story, I grant, but it’s not what we were talking about.

                  As for waiting for bona fides, that’s the point and a routine caution with a new commentator pushing something. Instead of repeatedly selling something without showing what it is – I can turn on the nightly news for that – it would take less energy if you provided one clean link to your site and briefly said why anyone should click on it.

                  • John Lehman says:

                    Thanks earlofhuntingdon for your thoughtful and diplomatic support.

                    The “interesting times” we’re living in reminds me of a 60’s Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth”

                    Thanks again.

                  • Molly Pitcher says:

                    Well, my question about Mr Cannon is why is his name a link to his site ? I stumbled on that yesterday when he first posited his supposition about an October surprise tieing Biden to Epstein. Don’t click on it because it will just drive up his numbers, you can take my word for it. He also has a link to EW on his site.

                    I don’t recall seeing anyone else’s name that linked to another site. But then, I wasn’t looking for it. I will now.

          • BobCon says:

            The idea that something manufactured comes out of the blue involving Epstein and Biden and doesn’t sound like a Jacob Wohl frame job is a long shot. Especially considering how the Reade accusation against Biden went. The press looked hard for corroboration which they struggled to find. Supposed cancel culture types, whoever they might be, seem to have taken a wait and see attitude, and didn’t see much.

            The thing to remember is that Biden’s team is also prepared for hit jobs like this — it’s standard operating procedure to have schedules indexed and potential witnesses lined up and ready to point out problems in accusations, the way Justin Bieber did in June to push back against an accusation against him, which also did not launch a “cancel culture” mob against him. Except for the reasonable mob that has always wanted to cancel him because they can’t stand his music, but that’s a different story.

            Some people have a fantasy that any accusation opens the floodgates, but it doesn’t work that way.

            • Joseph Cannon says:

              “Especially considering how the Reade accusation against Biden went. The press looked hard for corroboration which they struggled to find.”

              I wish I could take comfort in this comparison, but Reade never could offer any evidence — probably because she was lying or wildly exaggerating — and she had a discomforting personal history, to say the least. What I predict is not a lone person’s accusation or an unprofessional Jacob Wohl-style hit. I am talking about a lavishly “backstopped” accusation against Biden — elaborate and expensive.

              Even if the evidence is questioned, the public goes mad at the very suggestion of underaged sex. People stop weighing evidence judiciously; accusation is as good as condemnation. Logic disappears. This is why so many people get angry at me when I note that Virginia Giuffre was an adult when she met Prince Andrew, even though she now admits that she was.

              I’m not sure why, but we are now experiencing a classic moral panic, just like the SRA panic of the 1990s. This panic has engulfed most of the right and no small part of the left. At the suggestion of none other than Peter Debbins (by way of his lecture on YouTube), I’ve been reading Rene Girard on scapegoating. Maybe HE has some answers.

              • Ginevra diBenci says:

                “No one will defend Biden. The smear will go unquestioned.” Mr. Cannon, you just explained yourself why that is extremely unlikely: the Tara Reade example. I happen to be researching a book that includes a chapter on the Satanic Panic. I disagree with your conclusions that a gullible public will believe any woman claiming to be a victim; that wasn’t true then and it isn’t now. Your warning has merit in the sense that Trump tends to accuse rivals of his own bad acts, and that his followers believe everything he says. But your worthy ideas get swamped by over-broad generalizations, and your defensive follow-up comments here.

                • P J Evans says:

                  I get the impression he really really wants a Biden scandal to justify his own positions on politics.
                  After the last approximately four years, Biden is refreshingly clean and honest.
                  Also Reade’s story doesn’t make sense to me – neither location or clothes permit.

    • Jenny says:

      A reminder of Donald Trump’s comments about women.
      “I did try to fuck her. She was married.
      I moved on her like a bitch, but couldn’t get there.
      And she was married.
      You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful, I just start kissing them.
      It’s like a magnet. Just kiss.
      I don’t even wait.
      And when you’re a star they let you do it.
      You can do anything…
      Grab them by the pussy.
      You can do anything.”

    • Smeelbo says:

      I fear Epstein indictment against Bill Clinton, who may well have. QAnon has been telegraphing the Storm for some time.

      This Election is for ALL the Marbles, and I believe there is literally nothing they won’t do to hold onto power, and that they have been preparing for years.

  41. graham firchlis says:

    Why wait for October?

    Today’s “surprise” is likely about convalescent plasma consequent to a Mayo study reported on Aug 20.

    While reasonably documenting confirmation of many earlier studies showing safety, evidence of efficacy is tenuous due to study design. It is nothing more than an aggregation of anecdotal experience in statistical fancy dress, at most suggestive but far from proof.

    High quality clinical studies are randomized with strict exclusion criteria and treatment masking to limit bias. This study is non-randomized, open lable, all comers, with no effort prospectively to reduce confounding factors including entry bias and treatment creep.

    The study is reported out publically prior to peer review, so it reaches a mass audience and may serve as the basis for a forced FDA approval for use without knowledgable critique.

    Recent COX2 approval with disasterous results should serve as a caution against cutting FDA corners.

    Convalescent plasma is not a cure. This study suggests survival efficacy, but the presence of uncontrolled and likely unknown confounding factors severely limit such claims.

    In spite of statistical gymnastics, it appears to me that changing patterns of ventilator therapy between the start of the study and now may account for much of the lower mortality seen here, an independent contributor to recovery rather than a benefit from convalescent plasma administration.

    [Hope the link works, if not mods please correct or delete thx.]

    • graham firchlis says:

      Link got cropped.

      Search keywords:

      stat news mayo covid

      Brings cover article to the top. Link to pdf is in article body, for free. No need to pay for a reprint.

    • Jenny says:

      FDA to authorize plasma treatment over scientists’ objections
      The president will announce the emergency authorization during a press conference with HHS Secretary Alex Azar and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

      Biden/Harris interview tonight on ABC so the occupant of the WH wants to upstage and be first to lights, camera, action followed by person, woman, man, camera, TV.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump’s administration has turned the FDA, always prone to corporate influence, into a house of ill-repute. “Approving” something over the objection of scientists will encourage no one but Trump’s base to use the treatment. But the approval might be a legal defense to certain claims. As usual, Trump brings to normal people utter chaos and the worst of all worlds.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The FDA is trying to hang both ounces of its credibility on the thread that it’s not “approving” the plasma treatment, it is “authorizing” it for emergency purposes. That seems like marlin fishing with six-pound test.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Thanks, EOH, for expressing your reservations about the FDA. In our national desperation, we have clung to an image of this agency and the CDC rather than the truth about either of them. Would that they could do better, and will transcend their compromised histories post-Trump.

        • Knox Bronson says:

          I got to experience living in a small Central California town, Coalinga, for fourteen months and two days (but who’s counting?) a few years back. It was once a wealthy oil town run by the Ku Klux Klan, then the oil dried up in the sixties and seventies & the money moved on. In 1983, a quake destroyed a thousand homes there, as well as most of the tiny downtown. There is, now, a state prison and hospital for criminal sexual deviants, for lack of a better phrase. Walmart closed down while I was there. They tried to bring in some marijuana research industry, but screwed it up rather badly.
          To keep from going crazy, I spearheaded, designed, and built a community garden. I got to know lots of people, the mayor, the city council, the chief of police, marijuana people, everybody. It is Trump country.
          I still get community updates on Facebook. A recent FB poll was about the coming “vaccine,” asking people if they would get vaccinated. No one in the town was going to get it: it’s a Deep State trick, etc.
          The ex-mayor has stopped touting hydroxychloroquine on a daily basis, so I guess that’s a good thing.
          All this to say I’m not so sure a vaccine announcement will be that much of an effective October surprise. Maybe, if Trump turns the hype up to 11.
          I am very worried that we as a nation are not ready for all the crap they are going to try to pull off.
          Lastly, I am very grateful for this website, Marcy, Rayne, bmaz, and all who contribute with such insight and intelligence.

    • Coyle says:

      What are the odds Trump has been getting the plasma treatment himself, hence the mysterious bruise on his hand?

      • Old Antarctic Explorer says:

        Yes! Looks like a line went in; either for taking a blood sample or feeding something in. My wife gets them all the time.

        • P J Evans says:

          Generally blood samples don’t result in that kind of bruising – not unless it’s for something like a timed-interval test like glucose-tolerance, where a vein might blow. (I’ve had a lot of blood samples taken over the last 3.5 years. Only once did I get that kind of bruising. Once from an IV, but it was in for a couple of hours.)

  42. BobCon says:

    My paranoid theory is that Trump and Fox try relentlessly to scream about Biden but fail to get anything to stick because everything they do only cements in place minds that are already made up.

    Until a couple of weeks to go when some mainstream outlet like the NY Times or CNN out of the blue has their own homegrown screaming headline piece about Biden’s ethical and moral failure, which turns out to be, on closer inspection AFTER the election, a totally above board real estate transaction, a low five figure profit on an asset held for years, minor discrepancies on taxes which actually hurt Biden, and full disclosures as required by law.

    But in the meantime the last two weeks of the campaign are tied up in a story so convoluted that nobody can explain why it is an issue without resorting to cliches like “serious issues raised” and “unanswered questions about apparent discrepancies” and Trump gets to coast on a “Bidengate” gift he never expected from a mainstream media source that never bothered to raise a similar alarm about Trump’s misconduct.

  43. person1597 says:

    Even if a Q-ish Biden smear arose wherein a salacious conspiracy was alleged, feeble umbrage would ensue. No dem Monkey Businesses could possibly top Trumpalo Temptation trysts.

    What might effectively stir up fatigued frothers is a putative 25th amendment conspiracy to install our first woman president.

    ” I don’t know where your politics are, but Joe’s got some pretty big things going on. So this is going to be a very important pick, and it will be interesting to see who he chooses,” said Trump.

  44. fubar jack says:

    Everyone expects that the Trump campaign and the gop will go low and they certainly will. Unhinged attacks on his opponents, voter intimidation, spiking the post office etcetera. Fear has worked in the past as a gop strategy to swing voters . This was indeed tried in 2018 with not as great an impact as I’m sure was desired. He does not have an economy that he can brag and take credit for . He and the gop need to win as an existential prerogative. Trump may do the cynical strong man play and go high. “ Only I can fix things” … make promises that he has no intention of implementing. Promises that would enrage the right under normal circumstances but that they will keep quite about because they know what the project is. He did it in 2016 when he won votes from people who are enraged at unfettered capitalism and globalization by denigrating trade agreements etc… I’m worried that he will promise the world to stay in power and push America further towards facism.

  45. Tom says:

    One thing that strikes me is how isolated Trump is on the international stage. I doubt there is a leader of any major Western democratic country who wouldn’t be glad to see him go. They’d probably even help him pack.

    If Bill Barr is banking on the Durham Report to be his October surprise and turn the tide of public opinion in Trump’s favour and against Biden, I think he’s barking up the wrong tree. These repeated right wing attempts to get to the bottom of the origins of the Russian investigation remind me of the old saying about how a dog returns to its own vomit. Continuing with the canine metaphor, if Barr and Durham want to appear before the cameras and sniff each other’s butt and summarize their report’s ‘findings’, they’re welcome to it. Given the continuing threat of the coronavirus and the impact of massive unemployment, not to mention the disruption of the educational system nationwide, I just think that getting up to speed on the Durham report will be way, way down most voters’ Hierarchy of Needs, Maslowwise.

  46. Chris.EL says:

    I’m sure this will be labeled off topic, [apologies] but, to me, this quote put a laser focus on something I couldn’t make sense of for some time.

    Just came across this quote (have not read MLKJr. writings):

    …”Martin Luther King Jr. King’s piece, “The Un-Christian Christian,” argued that white religious believers “too often … have responded to Christ emotionally, but they have not responded to His teachings morally.” …”


    Believe in the message. Believe in the rights. Believe in the justice. Believe in the golden rule.

    Always been suspicious of those that puff out their chests and announce they are Christians!

    One never has to say the word; it would be apparent by one’s actions, deeds, spirit.

    Certainly, a march, by force, through tear gas, would convince observers of only one thing!

    Growing up in California, born in Oakland, never knew what life was like for those in Mississippi until absorbing movie “The Help.”

    Sure it’s corny, but it illustrated a reality beyond my experiences.

    Had no idea.

    • Jenny says:

      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”― Mahatma Gandhi

      • Chris.EL says:

        [Thank you for the slacktivist suggestion — it has distracted me a tad bit from the unbreathable air outside and the threat of more lightning-caused fire and high winds expected this Sunday night!]

        It also led to this intriguing piece on the bizarre church-walk.

        (The photos of trump walking to and the subsequent shot with the bible, obviously he hadn’t carried the book. When Ivanka’s handbag was mentioned, that’s where it had to be. Sure enough someone also intimated the entire thing was Ivanka’s idea.)

        Altogether childish stuff.

        Some interesting points here re appropriateness of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs participating in military garb.
        “God, forgive us, but ours is a monstrous system.”
        — Mary Chesnut’s Diary, on the eve of the Civil War, March 1861
        … and we still haven’t straightened this out yet.

      • Knox Bronson says:

        I was freaked out the other day and called up one of my best friends, who happens to be a stone-cold atheist (I am not), and I said, “I don’t want to hear any bullshit, but we are in Armageddon and Trump is the anti-Christ!”
        He paused for a second and replied, “Do you notice I am not arguing with you?”
        And then we both laughed.
        But still …

  47. Dave Town says:

    Trump has a “mild heart attack” and, against his better judgement, listens to his team of “the best doctors” and resigns. He is advised to spend time recuperating on the Mar-a-Lago golf course (and work on his tan). The GOP rally around their “Dear Leader”, now a martyr for the cause, and support white bread, electable VP Pence.

    • Rayne says:

      Is Pence appealing to the GOP base? He seems like milquetoast, intentionally picked to be a foil to a lightning rod when the people wanted the lightning rod.

  48. silcominc says:

    I think there are several events that we know of and several more we don’t (such as more wildfires, hurricanes, floods) We do know that Cohen and Woodward’s books are coming out in September and the plague’s death toll will continue to rise. As for Trump, I think folks are right that the Barr probe into misconduct will dig up something petty and try to spin it into something huge.

    I think they will also push one or more vaccines in October which have not been tested. I know some folks at FDA and other agencies who are counting down until trump leaves and they will be quick to call their press contacts if needed.

    What I cannot understand is how a 70+-year-old, grossly overweight man is able to keep it up (I am not referring to his small penis). It is the constant lies and barrage of bullshit. I do wonder if he just drops dead. But if he does not, I shudder to think what he will do between the election and the inauguration. I envision the white house looking a lot like the US Embassy in Saigon in September 1975 with papers being shredded and trash can fires in the back yard destroying all evidence.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The lies, fantasies, and chaos invigorate Trump. It only exhausts those tied to reality.

      • Coyle says:

        Here’s the thing: Trump is all about branding. He doesn’t actually do anything. He certainly doesn’t “stand” for anything. He waits for other people to bring ideas to him and he green-lights them if he likes them. He skims money, but he doesn’t put any money in the pot. He identifies the targets, but has other people do the dirty work. Basically, he’s all hat and no horse, which is why it’s so hard to nail him on anything.

  49. Badger Robert says:

    Is an October surprise still possible? Or has it been used so often, that the power to shock has been dissipated?
    The main tactic will be to suppress mail in ballots, because the voting machine hacking is effective on the margin. Trump may have an EC lead during the day of counting, which will evaporate as the mail in ballots are counted. But he will declare he won and that the mail in ballots were rigged. He forecasts everything, Because he has to work so hard to remember anything.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      I think you’re at least half-right, in that the Democrats can certainly do some work to mitigate Trump’s possible October surprise(s.) Discussing his options openly and debunking them in advance might be a good strategy, particularly if done quietly and by people not associated with the candidate.

  50. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Based on his non-presser this evening, Donald Trump’s ability to handle reality is becoming like the Tin Man’s ability to stand in the rain without his oil can. He freezes after about his third breath. We should worry about that, because his growing intolerance for reality ups the ante on what he will do to keep it at bay.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        From your post to Putin’s ear. I imagine Jared and Stephen are also hard at work trying to do to Donald’s political legacy what Donald allegedly did to his dad’s financial one.

  51. Philip Munger says:

    What a marvelous set of hunches, predictions and scenarios. I’m counting on a somewhat orderly transition of power, no matter how many October Surprises Herr Trumpf and Wilhelm von Barr Cook up.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “I’m counting on a somewhat orderly transition of power.” I would agree, if only Donald Trump were a stable genius.

  52. BobCon says:

    This article notes Trump is worried pot legalization measures may hurt him, and Matt Gaetz and Roger Stone are pushing for him to be more liberal than the Democrats. At one point in the chaos of his past, he endorsed legalization.

    I could see Trump jumping on the legalization train in October, which is about the only non-sabotage move I see him having. It would certainly work as an attention grabber.

      • BobCon says:

        Gary Johnson got 100,000 votes in Wisconsin in 2016. I think it’s possible 10,000 were heavily influenced by his pro-pot position.

        I wouldn’t rule out Trump throwing the dice for those votes. In 2000, it would have hurt Bush with white evangelicals, but at this point I think they’ve dropped all pretense of not voting for Trump even if he started selling crack to Christian Academy kids.

  53. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A couple of items from Marcy on twtr: Secretary of State, arch-conservative, religious fundamentalist, and rumored wannabe GOP Senate candidate from Kansas, Mike Pompeo – already in hot water over abusing his post at the State Department – will participate in the GOP nominating convention from and while on his taxpayer-funded trip to what he insists on calling, the Holy Land. (State Dept maps call it Israel.) I assume he’s checked that with his ethics and election lawyer, ’cause it sounds a little dicey.

    Imitating how Congress delegates much of its drafting work to ALEC, South Carolina had its “reopening” plan drafted by the SC state restaurant association’s lobbyists. It went as well as one might expect.

    Lastly, Trump is managing the 2020 election (and everything else) so well, Jimmy Carter’s well-regarded election integrity foundation will launch its first ever domestic monitoring program.

  54. John Lehman says:

    The question that comes to mind is: with an administration led by a “dog sees squirrel “ mentality could any of these scary schemes, plots and skullduggery be fully actualized?

  55. harpie says:

    OMG…the 2020 Republican Party “Platform”:

    […] RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda;

    RESOVLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention;

    RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention calls on the media to engage in accurate and unbiased reporting, especially as it relates to the strong support of the RNC for President Trump and his Administration; and

    RESOLVED, That any motion to amend the 2016 Platform or to adopt a new platform, including any motion to suspend the procedures that will allow doing so, will be ruled out of order.

    • FLResister says:

      Republican platform with the catchy title, Same as it Ever Was, consists of two operating principles:
      Get over it: get used to it.

    • harpie says:

      A well-done thread going through the standing [ie: 2016] platform…it shows why they didn’t change anything…all of their goals remain unmet:
      11:31 PM · Aug 23, 2020

      Since the RNC has said it’s sticking with its 2016 platform, let’s look back at some of the things it said and see how well President Trump has done so far meeting its goals.

      Separation of powers. [cross mark]
      Rule of law. [cross mark]
      Opposition to bigotry. [cross mark] 1/ [screenshot] [THREAD]

      • vicks says:

        This part to me, says it all.
        “WHEREAS, The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today; therefore, be it
        RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda;

        I am trying to imagine this going well,
        I’m not sure that running against Obama, Biden and the evil democrats will be entertaining enough the second time around to distract from the very real need for a leader to address the shit hole we are on our way to becoming.
        I got the sense that there were a few people in his last campaign (like Steve Bannon) that Trump would listen to, all that comes to mind this time around are the freaking nut jobs like Junior and Giuliani that will egg him on, and creeps like Pence, Jared, Ivanka, S. Miller and yes, I will say it Melania, lurking or gliding around and telling him he’s nailing it.

  56. vertalio says:

    I expect DJT and team to go for the shit-meet-fan gambit Bannon espouses; don’t expect it to move the dial enough, given our exhaustion with all this. I’m more worried about an amateur October surprise, say by one of the fringe elements; a Reichstag Fire kind of event that can be played hard to strum the fearful. Plenty of these RWNJs talk a big game. If it’s clear he’s headed for a thumping, do some take the next step to protect their worldview?

  57. drouse says:

    I would bet that unilateral action against Iran is a good possibility. Considering that the entire rest of the Security Council just told him to go piss up a rope, he just might be tempted. The Ukraine is a possible too. Putin could engineer a easily reversed symbolic “victory” that will be over the instant the election is.

  58. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Erik Prince is a mercenary. Meaning murderers for hire. Don’t think for a second Proud Boys have not infiltrated antifa, and the protest groups. This is how it will go down. Plants within the protest groups will fire blanks at federal officers, and the federal troops will return fire. The plants will slip away.

    • madwand says:

      You’re right, all it takes is a couple shots, blanks or live, and the game is on. Down here in my neck of the south, my senator is proudly saying she is fighting left wing radicals, yet it’s ok to arm yourself and walk into a Michigan state house. My thought after DC, Portland, is she must be in on something.

    • vicks says:

      I am going for a positive spin on this, proud boys are not exactly mental giants and Prince seems to have a giant spotlight following him everywhere.
      I think our intelligence people are on to all of these clowns and my kind of October surprise would to see a public uncovering of all thier stupid plots

    • MB says:

      First rat to leave the sinking ship?

      George is quitting the Lincoln Project, they probably have relationship issues which were getting of hand.

    • skua says:

      A rat leaving a stinking shik to “focus on her family” (according to “The Daily Beast”).

      Please pray for her family.

    • harpie says:

      George Conway is “stepping back from his role” at the Lincoln Project as well.

      Four children going back to school learning remotely… and

      Conway’s high school daughter had drawn attention for tweets about her parents and politics.
      On Sunday, however, she also tweeted that social media was “becoming way too much,” so she had decided to take “a mental health break.”
      “See y’all soon,” she wrote. “Thank you for the love and support. No hate to my parents please.”

    • harpie says:

      Kellyanne Conway to leave the White House at the end of the month, citing the need to focus on her family
      August 23, 2020 at 10:39 p.m.

      […] Her husband, George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and outspoken critic of the president, is also stepping back from his role on the Lincoln Project, […]

      Conway’s high school daughter had drawn attention for tweets about her parents and politics.
      On Sunday, however, she also tweeted that social media was “becoming way too much,” so she had decided to take “a mental health break.”
      See y’all soon,” she wrote. “Thank you for the love and support. No hate to my parents please.” […]

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Claudia, the Conway daughter, threatened her parents with seeking emancipation if they didn’t cease and desist their current political involvement. My son follows her MANY, frequently anti-Trump, postings.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Those poor kids! Imagine being just fifteen and needing to send out a public SOS to get your parents’ attention. The Conways’ oldest (Claudia is a twin) were eleven when Kellyanne joined the campaign; maybe they seemed young enough then for the public/private distinction to work–as if Mom could leave the job at the White House. The George & Kellyanne Show never interested me much, but I assumed their kids were older and out of the house, that this was the kind of behavior empty-nesters entertain themselves with in DC. Narcissism knows no party, but Trumpism seems to jack it up to psychosis.

  59. MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

    My bet: They will engineer a fake “terrorist attack” (or attacks) that will seem to have been done by Antifa or some other “librul” organization.

    Probably in a swing state (FL?) where DJT and his crime family can run to Fox, Rush, Alex Jones, etc. and scream 24/7 about how the Dems want to steal the election, how they are the innocent victims of left wing violence, etc.

    By the way, in the 1918 pandemic, I believe Oct. was the deadliest month…

    Hope I’m wrong. Can’t wait to see DJT gone. Keep the faith and keep your eyes open!

    • Rayne says:

      The way the Trump administration and its proxies have constructed an organization “Antifa” out of a patchwork of persons who share a philosophy against fascism does make it possible that an attack could be faked and blamed on a construct.

      I wonder, though, with more than 50% of voters having voted against trump in 2016 and even more motivated now against him, would such an attack find fertile ground the way the 9/11 attack did? Not that they wouldn’t try it. Not that they don’t have persons with the ability to make such an attack happen on their side, whether domestic or foreign.

  60. Eureka says:

    Federal judge in WDPA today stayed the Trump Campaign, RNC, et al.’s suit against Pennsylvania (over ballot drop boxes, trying to allow out-of-county poll watchers, etc.), to first let state-level action play out. Good because it was a stay of the whole case, rather than piecemeal; however, Trump Campaign et al. could appeal this ruling (IMO unlikely for budgetary and timing reasons, *if* they have any strategery), and they can come back to fed court after the state rulings, which might make for some October surprises (changes) depending on timing and the nature of the state rulings.

    Bmaz rt’d the docs:

    Adam Bonin: “Opinion here:[link] Order here: [link] Proud to work with Mark and an amazing team of lawyers at @PerkinsCoieLLP to protect the right to vote for all Pennsylvanians.”

    See also Inquirer reporter Lai thread with backstory explains it all, with a link to Hasen’s tweet (& blog):

    Jonathan Lai 🙊 賴柏羽: “A federal judge has stayed the PA election case filed by the Trump campaign, RNC, and some PA GOP Congressmen that sought to block ballot drop boxes and allow poll watchers across county lines, among other changes. The case is on hold to let state courts figure out state law. [screenshot]”

    Rick Hasen: “#ELB: Breaking and Analysis: Federal Court Steps Aside for Now in Dispute over Drop Boxes and Other Pennsylvania Election Rules [link] This is one of the most important 2020 Election cases and this is a major development.”

    • Eureka says:


      Breaking and Analysis: Federal Court Steps Aside for Now in Dispute over Drop Boxes and Other Pennsylvania Election Rules | Election Law Blog

      Aside to bmaz, with all the talk of Shapiro lately: I haven’t seen anything come up in the news re that Bazelon case in weeks/months … perhaps missed

      • Chris.EL says:

        pausing mid-scroll to interject…

        Best wishes to Conway family – the stress and danger must be off the charts!

        Hope they emerge down the line, hand in hand, ready for a new day in America!
        Saw bits of news that north Korea’s Kim Jong Un in coma, sister to take control.
        Only news reporting by fox and ny post, both trump favs. so I’m waiting for more reputable organizations to report.

        Maybe the former kgb officer (stationed in Germany) arranged for a dose?

        Now that’s a surprise, no?!

  61. Eureka says:

    For Pennsylvanians: Below is a good, updating article with ins-and-outs of voting, especially helpful for our first general with lots of mail ballots, and after some recent election law changes. Some of the Q&A gets pretty fine-pointed about special topics like prison status; what if you change your mind about using a mail in ballot after you order it (or if you never receive it); how the tracking process works. Anyone can write in with a question.

    For example, if you request a mail ballot but change your mind and wish to vote on the machines, you can bring that mail ballot to the polling place on election day and they can void it so you can vote straight-up on the machine (as if you had never requested a mail ballot). [If you don’t have the mail ballot with you, including because it never got to you in the first place, you can still cast a provisional ballot…]

    Jonathan Lai 🙊 賴柏羽: “Pennsylvania: I want to help you vote. I mean that. Here’s a running Q&A guide to how to vote in PA. I’ll add more in the weeks ahead and update answers as they change. Please share with anyone who might benefit or need help. And ask me any questions! [links to ]”

  62. pablo says:

    Probably going to have one of his offspring attacked/assassinated and claim it’s Antifa. Could be Erik, but probably Tiffany. Maybe even Melania if she keeps refusing to hold his hand.

  63. x174 says:

    rayne–thanks for tracing the october surprises back to 1840 with van buren. this was soon after the democratic party and the national republicans formed during the jackson run up. i think our october surprise will be due to some unexpected natural phenomenon though to quote poxyhowzes (supra at 12:23 am), with the steady stream of natural disasters presently unfolding from the rapid melting of the greenland glacier, SARS-CoV-2, the hellish fires in california, the dereecho in iowa, it “makes one wonder what is left for October.” and i’m not talking about the 6.5 m asteroid heading to the earth on 2 november. i’m thinking something more akin to the earth being rent asunder during a record-breaking earthquake and the entire gop consumed in it for all of eternity. or perhaps more simply, the donald and many of his lieutenants will finally get sars-cov-2 and succumb.

  64. harpie says:

    Jacob Blake,
    a 29 year old black man,
    was shot in the back seven times
    in the presence of his three sons,
    by Kenosha, Wisconsin police
    in broad daylight:

    Via Justin Hendrix:
    9:20 PM · Aug 23, 2020

    I won’t share the video. Police in Kenosha shot a Black man in broad daylight. Reports are he had just broken up a fight. His condition is unknown. [LOTS OF INFO IN THIS THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      Would change the last line if I could:

      last night>> in broad daylight

      Jacob Blake,
      a 29 year old black man,
      was shot in the back seven times
      in the presence of his three sons,
      by Kenosha, Wisconsin police
      in broad daylight.

      12:46 AM · Aug 24, 2020

      According to several reporters who have spoken with Jacob Blake’s family, he’s now out of surgery and in ICU, but still fighting for his life.

  65. My Wag says:

    Mideast ‘Peace’.

    Saudi Arabia will sign accord with Israel
    OR at least recognize Israel as a State.

    It’s all about a natural gas pipeline to Europe.
    Israel, Saudi and the Gulf States have been
    cooperating for years ….. see: Syrian War.

  66. madwand says:

    Trump apparently trying to dominate the news cycle at least for the next week with the FDA “approved” blood plasma treatment, the possibility of using a UK developed vaccine, four days of Trump speaking at the Republican Convention, Kellyann Conway and hubby heading to the showers supposedly for the family, maybe, but also may have been the only way to silence George who resigned from the Lincoln Project, we will see.

  67. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The video is on the news. Weapons drawn, two officers are standing on the sidewalk next to the victim and his van, asking him questions. Victim appears to become disgusted with the police. He begins calmly walking away from them and toward the other, driver’s side of the van. Police, weapons pointing at him all the way, do not stop, arrest or handcuff him, suggesting they know they have no probable cause.

    As the victim opens the door to get into his vehicle, one officer, standing immediately behind him, starts firing into his back. Second officer, a few steps farther away and unable to see the victim through the open driver’s side door, automatically does the same, stepping around the door to fire into the vehicle and the victim’s back. Hard to hear, but I would say six to eight rounds, from a distance of three to four feet. The victim is alive and in hospital.

    What caused the officers to believe that they or others were in imminent danger from this man? Presumably, we’ll hear that the lead officer actually saw a weapon in the van that the victim was reaching for. Because if he only assumed there was a weapon, well then….

    • BobCon says:

      A standard claim is that a vehicle is a weapon and police feared he could use it against them. Claims that the victim was making motions to restart the car are used to justify shootings of unarmed people in traffic stops..

    • P J Evans says:

      I read that he had been trying to break up a fight (which was the cause of the 911 call). And seven shots, which is far more than justified, even if he had had a gun – he was walking *away* from them.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Well, there is that the victim was not yet in or seated in the car when the police fired, they made no attempt to stop him from entering the car, they were not in front of or in the line of the car’s travel – it was parked with the engine apparently off – and that an elephant could have avoided being hit by that van on that street. Nor can we tell what the officers said to the victim and what he may have said in return.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A tempest is brewing about Jacob Blake’s shooting. A waterspout is forming over the euphemism, an “officer involved” shooting. Like “active shooter,” it’s redundant, and seems designed to deflect responsibility from both the department and the police officer(s) who used their weapon.

      The public is no longer willing to let law enforcement define “justifiable use of deadly force” any old way it wants to. It is belatedly recognizing that that leaves too many maimed and dead sleeping in the cars, sitting on their own porches, or jogging in a de facto “whites only” neighborhood.

  68. harpie says:


    1] 9:20 PM · Aug 23, 2020
    https://twitter [link broken here] .com KenoshaPolice/status/1297705233322258438
    Kenosha Police tell their side of the story. [screenshot]
    about this:
    1:29 AM · Aug 24, 2020

    Tried to edit out the passive voice.

    2] 12:09 AM · Aug 24, 2020
    Kenosha Police announce “CITY WIDE CURFEW UNTIL 7AM”.

    • harpie says:

      3] 12:24 AM · Aug 24, 2020
      Kenosha County issues “countywide emergency curfew” to be enforced by the Kenosha County Sheriff.

      4] 3:11 AM · Aug 24, 2020
      Kenosha Police


    • harpie says:

      5] 3:47 AM · Aug 24, 2020
      Kenosha Police post screenshot of statement:

      […] [Division of Criminal Investigation] DCI is leading this investigation, and is assisted by Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office. All involved officers have been placed on administrative leave. […]

      6] 7:23 AM · Aug 24, 2020
      Kenosha County

      The Kenosha County Courthouse and Administration Building will be closed to the public today—Monday, Aug. 24—due to damage sustained during last night’s civil unrest. Court hearings will not be held today, but other county services will remain available online or by phone.

      • harpie says:

        re: 6] the phrase “civil unrest“:

        On 8/15/20 the Kenosha [city] Police sent out this tweet:
        12:19 PM · Aug 15, 2020

        For those that received an emergency alert this morning. Please note the follow-up message that was also sent out.

        This was a required test from Kenosha Sheriff’s [county] Division of Emergency Management. [screenshot]

        This is what that screenshot says:

        Emergency Alert
        *ONLY A TEST*ONLY A TEST* NO PROTEST OCCURRING* TEST* TEST* Today, 081520, at noon a planned civil protest at the Public Safety Building 1000-55th St. Please stay clear.

        1] Why was this “TEST”, required by the Kenosha Sheriff’s Division of Emergency Management, not accurately labeled as such in the FIRST alert?

        2] Also, since when is an Emergency Alert required for a “planned civil protest”?

  69. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Questioner: “Is your plan to be pardoned like Roger Stone?”
    Louis DeJoy: [No response]

    What senior government official, when asked a question that unusual, doesn’t fall back on something anodyne, like, “My board hired me to do a job. I am doing it to the best of my ability and they continue to give me their fullest confidence.” A guy who is guilty as hell, that’s who. Louis DeJoy virtually admitted that his game plan looks just like the RNC’s platform: “Whatever Donny says, that’s what I do.”

  70. Molly Pitcher says:

    I hope the noose is tightening.

    “The New York State attorney general’s office has asked a judge to order Eric Trump to provide testimony under oath and the Trump Organization to hand over documents about four Trump properties it is investigating, asserting the company has stalled the inquiry for months, court papers show.

    Mr. Trump, who is President Trump’s son and the executive vice president of the company, abruptly canceled an interview under oath with the attorney general’s office last month, and last week the Trump Organization told the office that the company and its lawyers would not comply with seven subpoenas related to the investigation.

    The filings in State Supreme Court in Manhattan come as President Trump faces legal actions on several fronts. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has suggested in court filings that it is investigating possible bank and insurance fraud by the president and the Trump Organization.”

    • Chris.EL says:

      responding to Molly Pitcher


      They’re bringing in the boys that trump says are running the comp… sorry, Organization!!!

      YAYYY! Hope they nail their little butts in this ongoing, continuous scheme!!!

    • MB says:

      It’s a civil (i.e. not criminal) investigation spurred by Michael Cohen’s testimony regarding insurance and bank fraud involving properties in Westchester County (NY), commercial property in NYC (on Wall St.) and interestingly, the Trump National Golf Club in L.A. County. Regarding paperwork that shows inflated values for insurance purposes and other paperwork that shows deflated values for property tax purposes. Details are redacted to the public. The Trump family in general really knows how to implement stalling techniques, but looks like they’re out of time on these ones.

      • Rayne says:

        About bloody time. Cohen testified before the House in late March 2019; it was a question by AOC about undervaluation of property on taxes and insurance to which Cohen affirmed there had been discrepancies in the figures reported.

        • P J Evans says:

          Three sets of books, I think: one with the inflated values for banks and insurers, one with the deflated values for tax assessors, and the one with the real values that no one outside top organization management gets to see.

        • harpie says:

          4:48 PM · Feb 27, 2019

          Michael Cohen testified that Trump presented inflated assets to insurance but also presented deflated values on golf courses to pay less taxes –> tax fraud.

          Here’s AOC questioning Cohen, Feb 27, 2019:

          Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Questions Michael Cohen On Insurance Fraud At Hearing
          https://www [link broken here]

          • posaune says:

            This was a VERY significant question. One of the best I’ve ever heard. In NYC, discovery of insurance fraud invalidates the Certificate of Occupancy. Which would empty a building, residential or commercial, almost overnight. Worse outcome than cheating on real estate taxes b/c cash flow stops.

          • Rayne says:

            I think I included that same hearing bit in a post back then about profiteering using golf courses. I have my fingers crossed this cracks open the Trump courses at Westchester, Hudson Valley, and Ferry Point. For starters. Trump Towers, also, but my gut says the golf courses are where it’s at for money laundering schemes.

  71. Pace R.H.Pace says:

    One humble correction. R.M.Nixon’s 1968 election opponent was Hubert Humphrey.
    Otherwise you do terrific work. Thank you for this wonderful site. We really love M.T.W. and ll of you.

    • Rayne says:

      I’ll tweak to show both Johnson and Humphrey. Johnson withdrew at the end of March and Humphrey then won the nomination.

      Thanks for the prod, made me go back through Johnson’s election history. I realized that Johnson’s 1964 “Daisy” TV ad, shown only once, might have qualified for an October surprise. It aired in September but was so powerful and raised such a ruckus it only aired once.

  72. Pace R.H.Pace says:

    Maybe you mentioned this , but late summer 1864, Pres. Lincoln was toast for Nov. and even wrote himself a letter saying so.
    “The bottom has fallen out” letter.
    Then Aug.Adm. Farragaught took Mobile and Sept, W.T.Sherman, Atlanta. Those could count as late surprises- considering news travelled slower in those days..

    • Tom says:

      Actually, thanks to the telegraph news could travel very quickly in the Civil War era. Atlanta’s town fathers surrendered to Sherman’s army on September 2nd. The next day, September 3rd, Sherman telegraphed the War Department in Washington that, “Atlanta is ours and fairly won.” Lincoln received the news almost immediately and the rest of the North shortly afterwards. But you’re entirely correct that Farragut’s seizure of Mobile and Sherman’s capture of Atlanta were a tremendous boost to Union morale and greatly helped Lincoln’s prospects in the November 1864 Presidential election.

      • Pace R.H.Pace says:

        Yes, Tom, thanks. Also that year all those newly encouraged troops (male, white ones anyway) were able to vote from the field- overwhelmingly for their Commander-in-Chief.
        Otherwise a Prsident McClelan would have given up too much to the traitors in exchange for ceasefire or something.

        • P J Evans says:

          In my great-grandfather’s regiment: 163 for Lincoln, 6 for McClellan. (Great-grandpa was too young to vote – he turned 21 in mid-April 1865 – but his older brother wasn’t.)

      • P J Evans says:

        Lincoln was known to spend time in the telegraph office, waiting for reports to come it. Today he’d be on the net all the time.

  73. Rayne says:

    Oh this is ~chef’s kiss~ … from @ThatStevenGrant on Twitter:

    Lawyer friend just filled me in on why the Conways suddenly quit their respective jobs to patch up their marriage: “In emancipation proceedings, the court would go through parents’ financial & business records with a microscope in ‘the best interests of the child.’/1

    “I guarantee neither of them want that to happen.” /2

    That absolutely makes sense. Explains why after all this time including the teenager’s acting out over social media that they both suddenly decide to “spend time with family.”

    • posaune says:

      The kid should get a court-appointed GAL in any case.
      Sometimes, teenagers mouthing-off are a a good thing.
      (Remind me of that the next time my 16-yo son goes at it.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Given that both parents appear to be multi-millionaires and don’t need to work every day to pay the rent or provide food or health care, a court would not react kindly to the notion they were too busy to parent. Personally, I’m happier if these two spend less time in public life. Both are toxic. I hope that does not make them toxic for their daughter.

  74. MB says:

    Summary of answers to Katie Porter’s 5 minutes of questions to DeJoy (my paraphrasing):

    I categorically refuse to reverse changes regarding removal of sorting machines and collection boxes. These actions were instituted prior to my accepting the job.

    When asked who was responsible for instituting these changes, he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) name any names.

    When asked if he still owns stock (or “covered calls” or options) in Amazon and XPO Logistics, he categorically said “No.”

    When asked how much it costs to mail a postcard, he didn’t know. When asked the same question about the cost of sending priority mail – same answer.

    When asked if the USPS inspector general finds wrongdoing on his part, would he commit to resign his position? He said no, and then opined that he thinks the IG will not find anything.

    Obviously, he couldn’t be bothered with the small details of what’s involved in overseeing the operation of the institution he is in charge of – which is pretty much the job description of every appointee to a high-level position in the executive branch of this administration.

    Seems that incompetence is the only quality that’s highly valued in government these days. And coupled with blind loyalty, well that’s a perfect storm, ain’t it – they should at least send some folks out to sweep up the fallen leaves and branches before all the forests burn. Oh wait, that’s a job for each individual governor to handle, I forgot.

  75. Molly Pitcher says:

    Daily Beast is on fire today. I have the feeling that the release of the SSCI’s report on Russian involvement has release the floodgates for some news entities.

    “NRA Execs’ Hollywood Sugar Daddy Is Entangled With a Russian Oligarch”

    “More than a dozen Trump administration officials, current and former, described a clandestine relationship between Jared Kushner and the CEO of a Kremlin sovereign wealth fund”.

  76. Morganism says:

    Putin poisons POTUS.

    Vaccine announced, but only dispersed to red states, and in exchange for blood donation for aging vampires. I mean for antibodies for aging repubs.

    Barr announces he will deputize any one with a rifle to protect the people from anarchists and antifa.

    BTW, looks like Russians are doing field tests of their vaccine on unsuspecting Siberians. Check Siberian Times story on inoculating locals against rabies, which is not a usual thing. Keep an eye on samples size for when Russian stage 3 trials paper comes out.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Be careful about whom you cite. Siberian Times does not usually pass the smell test for truthiness.

    • P J Evans says:

      He’s violated just about all their rules over the last month or so. (I’m surprised they didn’t fire him outright after the nightclub pics.).

      • BobCon says:

        I think it is like the Baylor situation, where the trustees had to surgically remove Ken Starr and Art Briles while pretending they knew nothing, approved of nothing, aren’t really sure who this even is.

        Falwell delegated a lot of the administration to a Cheney type, and I would bet there is a lot of maneuvering right now to cover tracks of where Liberty money was going and who signed off on it. Little skunks.

      • Rugger9 says:

        What I find interesting is that Jerry Falwell Jr thought that this revelation was something that could be used to get the story out there before the pool boy got his out. That makes me wonder just what sort of details were buried by the Washington Times statement to a known Trumpie columnist. TPM is wondering as well (but you have to be a Prime member to see it there).

        By “details” we should also include non-JFJ possibilities since nothing sells like sex in the news.

        Something important is being hidden here, but if nothing else this would explain JFJ’s servile bootlicking of DJT. It’s like how the Mafia was able to stay off of J Edgar Hoover’s radar after they found out he liked boys and wore boas.

          • BobCon says:

            The odd thing about both Hoover and Falwell is that both had large parts of their stories in public for a long time. Falwell’s million+ dollar payout for the “hostel” has been know since 2017, and Hoover had stories about his “permanent bachelor” companionship with Tolson in major newspapers and magazines for decades.

            • Rugger9 says:

              Yes, indeed, but this was apparently the “safer” story for publication. Whatever it is they’re hiding (and consider non-JFJ possibilities) it’s a doozy.

    • harpie says:

      Falwell Today

      10:56 PM · Aug 23, 2020

      Revealing. Falwell admits/claims(?) wife had affair with pool boy. And gives the story to one the hackiest/pro-Trump journos out there. Seems clear they’re trying to get [ahead] of some much bigger story. [link]

      Exclusive: Falwell says Fatal Attraction threat led to depression
      by Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets Columnist
      August 23, 2020 09:32 PM

    • gulageten says:

      I believe it was Politico who had a pretty detailed (although ultimately speculative) piece about the pool boy, some photos Michael Cohen flashed in JFJ’s direction, JFJ’s endorsement of DJT, the pool boy changing his name and being gifted a gayish hostel in Miami, etc. I can’t find it again now, so I may have the outlet wrong. But they did seem to have it all figured out ~2 years ago.

  77. punaise says:

    Call me crazy (really, go ahead!) but would it be beyond beyond the pale for a respected elder statesman, say a recent former President, to quietly reach out to top military brass to secure assurances that defense forces WON’T be in the streets and WILL haul Trump’s sorry ass out of the WH when he hunkers down after a resounding defeat?

  78. earlofhuntingdon says:

    PMG Louis “I know nussink” DeJoy took a major hit today. But so long as the GOP Senate keeps supporting Trump, it won’t matter until Trump leaves office, by which time so will DeJoy.

    That DeJoy would take hit after hit is predictable and goes with the job of USPS destruction that DeJoy signed up for. So, how big is the payday for him to take this much shit month after month?

  79. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If Jerry Falwell Jr admits this much without being prodded or under oath, how much more news is he trying to get out in front of? His house must be full of closets, each one full of skeletons and corruption.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Hank Green says the quiet parts out loud. This is probably just the starter:

      The story isn’t just that Jerry Falwell Jr’s wife had sex with someone other than him, it’s that the guy she was having sex with had photos of her and Michael Cohen somehow got the photos and then Falwell suddenly and unexpectedly endorsed Donald Trump.

      Trump, of course is a lifelong atheist, serial adulterer, con man, and criminal. That’s not generally regarded as Christlike behavior. And he is the lest penitent man I’ve heard of. So something else must have motivated Jerry. The sex photos are likely to be the tip of the iceberg. Micky Cohen needed money to get those photos, Jerry needed a lot of money to engage in that behavior and hide it. There will be lots of money crumbs to follow on both sides of this apparent blackmail.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Well, JFJ is no longer needed for the Dominionist vote, and so he became expendable. However, I think there is something else, as noted by how long the activity was going on among other items noted above by others. So even if Becki Falwell starred in a movie that would make Stormy blush, it would only become a reason for JFJ to put her out to pasture and bring in a new helpmate and not much more. It’s not like (as Charlie Pierce puts it) God-botherers like Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh haven’t had just one marriage so there is no real taboo there for those who consider themselves to be “saved” no matter how much they currently sin. It’s not like JFJ wouldn’t be aware of the lessons of the past like Bakker (rehabilitated and back on TV until he struck silver) and Swaggart (IDK what happened to him, but the donkey was a nice touch).

        Maybe Michael Cohen has something in his book. Maybe DJT found out about JFJ from the neo-Soviets working for Putin and leveraged it (though this smells like Stone’s work). My point is to not look too closely at JFJ and miss what else is going on inside the WH.

  80. punaise says:

    hey it’s right there in the Declaration of Independence: “Wife, Liberty (U), and the Pursuit of Humpyness.”

    (a different spelling of the latter word as two separate words is acknowledged).

  81. Molly Pitcher says:

    Well we have warmed up the flat screen and have decided on mushroom brie and baguette with “Pain Killer” cocktails for this evenings showing of the GOP comedy hours. Decided to go only semi liberal tonite. Thought we needed something stronger than the chilled Pinot Girgio for the first night.

    The popcorn will wait till later in the week.

  82. harpie says:

    “Trump is the body guard of western civilization” –
    who’s talking now? [Spouse informs me it’s]: Charlie Kirk

  83. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The RNC messages are a straight up celebration of apartheid, lies about the economy, lies about public health, and lies about the goodness and glory of Donald Trump. If he’s re-elected, America’s Robben Islands and bantustans will be full to overflowing.

  84. Alan Charbonneau says:

    I doubt it’s a vaccine. A positive announcement like that wouldn’t help Trump that much. Who’s votes are going to change based on a vaccine? Plus Trump’s style is to focus on the negative. So expect an attack on Biden being a pawn of Ukraine or some such.

    But I expect governmental agencies to prepare their own surprise for Trump by leaking something like they did with the Russian bounties. Truscott’s article in Salon makes the case for this being a case of people wanting him out. “ Remember that old saying, “When they tell you it’s not about sex, it’s about sex.” Well, when newspapers tell you who refuses to comment on a story, they’re telling you who leaked the story to them in the first place and hinting strongly at their motive. ”

  85. Badger Robert says:

    I guess Ms. Clinton agrees with Rayne that people better think ahead. She also agrees with me and with Mike Madrid of the Lincoln Project that Trump’s main play is obvious based on his history and current statements.

    • Tom says:

      Whatever mayhem Trump decides to inflict on the country to remain in power, I’m sure that in his own mind he figures he’s been entirely open and above board about his plans. For months, he’s been saying the November election will be rigged because of mail-in voting, and more recently he’s claimed that a Biden victory will be proof the election results were fixed. He’s floated the idea of delaying the election, of not accepting the outcome if it goes against him,and of deserving a re-do of his first term because of the damaging effects of “the Russia hoax”. Trump has talked about calling out law enforcement to watch the polls on election day, and most worryingly, about the far-reaching powers he can exert in the event of any national emergency he might decide to declare. So whatever happens, Trump will claim he gave fair warning.

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