The 2020 Republican Convention Doesn’t Have a Platform—It Has Trump’s Pet Peeves

“The Republican Party has no new official platform for 2020. Instead, the Republican National Committee is pledging to “enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda” and “will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.””

“”Trump ran in 2016 and swamped a sprawling Republican field of more conventional conservatives” and “in doing so, he didn’t merely win the nomination and embark on the road to the White House,” suggests Gerald F. Seib in a weekend Wall Street Journal essay.
“He turned Republicans away from four decades of Reagan-style, national-greatness conservatism to a new gospel of populism and nationalism.

In truth, this shift had been building for a while: Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, the Tea Party, an increasingly bitter immigration debate—all were early signs that a new door was opening. Mr. Trump simply charged through it. He understood better than those whom he vanquished in the primaries that the Republican Party has undergone profound socioeconomic changes; it has been washed over by currents of cultural alienation and a feeling that the old conservative economic prescriptions haven’t worked for its new working-class foot soldiers.

Now, as Republicans prepare to nominate Mr. Trump for re-election at their truncated convention this week, there is simply no way to put Trumpism back into the bottle. If the president wins this fall (and even more so if he loses), the question that Republicans in general and conservatives in particular face is simple and stark: How to adapt their gospel so that it fits in the age of Trump?

As it happens, a new and younger breed of conservatives has set out to do precisely that, often by stepping away from strict free-market philosophies.””

No Qualified Immunity for Kentucky Cops Who Strip-Searched a 4-Year-Old and Threatened Mom

“Back in March of 2017, Curry was driving her kids to karate when she stopped to get them some muffins. She was in the café for just a few minutes. When she came out, two cops rebuked her for leaving the kids.

In Kentucky, it’s a crime to leave children under the age of eight in a car under circumstances that “manifest an extreme indifference” to human life and create a grave risk of death. But the cops didn’t say she’d done that. The kids all looked fine, and they the officers left without charging Curry with a crime. Nevertheless, they felt obligated to call the state’s child protection hotline, thus opening a neglect investigation which automatically required a visit to the Curry home to check on the kids.

When the caseworker arrived at the home, Holly refused to let her in without a warrant. The worker returned with a sheriff’s deputy, but still no warrant. When Holly insisted that they still couldn’t enter, they threatened to “come back and put your kids into foster care.” Holly begged for time to call her husband. They refused. Finally, crying and terrified, Holly let them in.

Labeling that decision “voluntary consent,” the authorities entered the home. Unsurprisingly, the house and kids all looked fine. Even so, the caseworker insisted on strip searching each kid, removing their underwear and examining their genitals for signs of abuse.

A few months later, the caseworker closed the investigation as “unsubstantiated,” saying that what Holly had done was a “one-time ‘oopsy-daisy.'” But she telephoned Curry later and said, “If we ever get a call against your family again, bad things will happen to you, and we’ll take your children.”

At that point, Curry had had enough. She turned around and filed suit against the caseworker and cop, claiming violation of her constitutional rights.

They, in turn, pressed hard for immunity. But in in a powerful ruling on August 19 in Curry v. Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services, Judge Justin Walker said that it was clear the government used an improper threat to enter the home, lacked any evidence that might have justified a strip search, and violated the children’s rights to bodily integrity.”

” To enter a home without consent and examine stripped kids requires a warrant, genuine suspicion of abuse, or an actual emergency. Who knew? Apparently not the authorities in Kentucky, who have been defending the warrantless entry and strip ever since the Curry’s filed their lawsuit in 2018.”

The real Maryanne Trump scandal is the Trump family’s wealth

“President Donald Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, sharply disparaged the president and said she believed he paid a friend to take his SATs in audio recordings published by the Washington Post Saturday night.

Trump “has no principles — none,” Barry said in the recordings provided to the Post. “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”

Barry, a former federal judge, made the comments in a set of secret recordings in 2018 and 2019 by her niece, Mary Trump, who has emerged as a fierce critic of the president.

Barry said that Donald Trump “doesn’t read,” that “he was a brat,” and that she did his homework for him, adding that she believes he paid a friend to take the standardized tests that allowed him to transfer from Fordham University to the University of Pennsylvania.”

“The 2018 Times investigation revealed a pattern of tax evasion that allowed Donald Trump to receive the current equivalent of at least $413 million from his father. Fred Trump, the family’s patriarch whose real estate business was the foundation of its wealth, further enriched the family by hiding millions of dollars of gifts through shell companies.”

“The IRS didn’t catch on, and Fred Trump transferred more than $1 billion to his children. The Trumps paid only about $52.2 million in taxes, rather than the at least $550 million they could have been forced to pay.”

“In 2018, a lawyer for Donald Trump denied the Times’s reporting, saying the allegations of “fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory,” adding, “there was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone.””

“Donald Trump has claimed on the campaign trail to be a self-made billionaire, and he has built trust with many voters on the premise that his business expertise can benefit the country. But the Times’s reporting illustrates how Trump — who was earning $200,000 annually in today’s dollars by the age of 3 — was propped up by family wealth.”

The RNC disarray is a microcosm of everything Trump did wrong with the coronavirus

“On June 20, Trump tried to rejuvenate his flagging reelection campaign with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was meant to symbolize how life in America was returning to normal. But it turned out to be a disaster.

After weeks of massive Trump campaign hype, only about 6,200 people showed up to the BOK Center, which holds about 19,000. Even worse, the Trump campaign’s decision to ignore warnings from public health experts likely fueled a spike in coronavirus cases in the area

“In the past few days, we’ve seen almost 500 new cases, and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots,” Tulsa City/County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said days after the rally, according to the Associated Press.

Herman Cain, a prominent Trump supporter who was photographed at the rally without a mask, contracted Covid-19 after the rally and died. And instead of doing everything possible to keep people safe, Trump campaign workers were filmed removing thousands of “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” stickers meant to encourage rally-goers to social distance.”

“if Trump wanted to have an in-person convention this month, he needed to do the work back in February, March, and April. Instead, he spent that time insisting the virus would go away on its own and passing the buck to governors who lack the resources and jurisdictional authority to handle a pandemic that has shuttered economies and spread like wildfire across state boundaries.

So now, instead of serving as a symbol of Trump’s successes, the RNC will serve as a symbol of everything he’s done wrong. While other countries reopen schools and even sporting events with fans, the US continues to report 40,000 or more new coronavirus cases a day.

Trump has no plan to get the virus under control. On the contrary, he continues to insist the virus will go away on its own — the same talking point he used more than 170,000 deaths ago during the early days of the pandemic.”

Laura Loomer, the anti-Muslim congressional candidate praised by Trump, explained

“Laura Loomer is a former contributor to the conspiracy site Infowars and a self-described “proud Islamophobe.” She is famous for, among other things, spreading conspiracy theories about mass shootings and demanding that Uber and Lyft stop allowing Muslims to work as drivers. She has been banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Paypal, Venmo, and GoFundMe for violating their policies on hate speech.

On Tuesday night, she won the Republican nomination for Congress in Florida’s 21st Congressional District — the stretch of southeastern Florida where President Trump is registered to vote. And on Wednesday morning, the president voiced his support, tweeting about Loomer’s victory five separate times.

“Great going Laura,” Trump wrote in one tweet. “You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!”

Loomer does not, in fact, have a great chance. FL-21 has been represented by a Democrat since 2013 and is generally seen as a safe seat for the party. It would likely take a massive Republican wave election for Loomer to unseat incumbent Rep. Lois Frankel, which seems exceptionally unlikely in 2020. (The Loomer campaign did not respond to a request for comment on this story.)

But her victory is telling nonetheless. In a healthy political party, extremists who cheer the deaths of migrants and were arrested for trespassing on the California governor’s mansion while wearing a sombrero wouldn’t get more than a handful of votes. Instead, Loomer was endorsed by two sitting members of Congress — Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) — and feted by the president himself.

Loomer is now part of a group of fringe Republicans winning congressional primaries in 2020, the most notable of whom is Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia-based believer in the QAnon conspiracy theory who won in a safe Republican district and is very likely heading to Congress.

This is not an isolated problem. A closer look at Loomer, in particular, reveals that the causes of this rot run deeper than Trump and are very likely to continue remaking the Republican Party after he’s gone.”

Mali’s president was elected after a coup. Another coup just removed him from power.

“The relative ease with which the coup leaders — many of them trained as soldiers by US, Russian, and other international militaries — dismantled the government has experts wondering if the operation was long planned, and if the lack of fighting between military units suggested widespread coordination among Mali’s forces.

“This appears to have been organized and thought through,” said Andrew Lebovich, an expert on West African security issues at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

So far, it seems the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, as the military junta calls itself, has no desire to actually run the country. Instead, the committee, which is made up of a mix of colonels and generals, says it will provide transitional leadership until new elections can be held — though it’s unclear when they might take place.”

“Despite the surprise nature of the military takeover, though, few experts were surprised a coup proved Keïta’s downfall. Not only does the country have a long history of them, but it has suffered from terrorist, militia, and criminal violence throughout Keïta’s presidency.

Add to that years of unabashed government corruption plus a spring parliamentary election many believe was skewed to favor Keïta’s political party, and it gave the military an opening to remove the president amid clear popular dissatisfaction.

Wagué, the junta spokesperson, hit on those dire themes in his statement: “Our country is sinking into chaos, anarchy, and insecurity mostly due to the fault of the people who are in charge of its destiny.”

It’s that widespread sentiment, ultimately, that has many in Mali pleased to see the former leader removed from power. “This isn’t just a coup against Keïta, but a coup against a system that wasn’t working,” Judd Devermont, the US’s national intelligence officer for Africa from 2015 to 2018, told me.”

“IBK dragged his feet on reforming the economy and instituting anti-corruption reforms, and the people had enough of it. “We are tired and oppressed. Our children are also tired, no school nor enough food to feed our families,” Fotoumata Bathily, a Malian protester, told Voice of America last month. “What we need is Ibrahim Boubacar to leave so the country could prosper.””

“That wasn’t all. In 2012, just a year before Keïta became president, armed fighters and jihadists took control of northern Mali. Their influence and the violence that takeover instigated has since metastasized to the central part of the country. This is despite years of military campaigns by Malian forces and French forces (France is Mali’s former colonizer), as well as security assistance from the US and a UN-led peacekeeping mission.

These armed groups have wrought immense havoc in the country. “There was an almost generalized breakdown of authority” in some areas, said ECFR’s Lebovich. Thousands of Malian troops and civilians have died, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced due to years of fighting. The violence has even spread into neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and Niger.”

“many in Mali will hope that much-needed change has come to the country. “The Malian public are hoping for better governance and the true dividends of democracy,” said CSIS’s Devermont. “For now, they’re welcoming the military’s removal of the government with those hopes.””

What it would take to end child poverty in America

“In 2019, about one in six children in America — 12 million kids nationwide — lived in poverty. That’s a rate about two or three times higher than in peer countries. And that was before the worst economic and public health crisis in modern history.

The scale of child poverty in America is a disgrace, not only because of the suffering it creates and the potential it drains from our society, but also because it’s easily avoidable. Child poverty is not an inevitability; it’s a policy choice. And we’ve been making the wrong choice for far too long.”

The tragedy of Hillary Clinton

“Clinton has her faults, but her strengths would have been on display here: a deep understanding of the federal government, a belief that it is the president’s job to solve national problems, an unparalleled enthusiasm for convening experts and synthesizing their knowledge into policy, an unusual enthusiasm for the details of interagency collaboration, a relentless focus on operational details.

President Clinton would be able to tell you where every vaccine in development stood, how fast tests were coming back in all 384 metropolitan areas, what PPE stocks looked like in every midsize city in the country. We would not be free of the coronavirus, but unlike under this administration, we would have a plan, and competent people running it, and we would’ve had it in place for months and months by now.

But that is not the world we live in. In this world, the unqualified reality TV star who won 3 million fewer votes captured the White House and botched the pandemic. And Clinton, wearing suffragist white, was relegated to a few scant minutes on the penultimate hour of the penultimate night of the convention.”

“Like Clinton, Biden is a veteran politician, with a long record dotted with bad votes and taped gaffes. Clinton was often criticized for offering too many policies and too little boldness or thematic vision. Biden is also running on a laundry list of policies, but he’s far more detached from the substance of his agenda, and tends to speak in gauzy generalities. Clinton was criticized as too cautious a figure, too much a creature of the establishment, to win in a country that prefers inspiring outsiders. But Biden has been in politics longer, and tacked more carefully toward the Democratic Party’s shifting center over the course of his career.

Moreover, Biden lacks some of Clinton’s virtues: her policy sharpness, her attention to detail, her polymathic hunger for information, her obvious delight in the details of governance. The difference between them was on display in April when she endorsed him. There’s nothing wrong with Biden’s performance, but Clinton is by far the more knowledgeable and precise in her discussion of Covid-19.”

“What he has that she didn’t is fuzzier: a reputation for likability, for relatability. Clinton was beloved by her staff, by those who met her or worked with her, but the person they described was rarely the person the public saw. Biden’s warmth shines through on the trail. There’s no “you’re likable enough” burns in his background.”

“More Americans voted for Clinton than voted for Trump, but it wasn’t enough. And as Biden’s rise — and historic lead — suggests, what held others back wasn’t just a dislike of veteran politicians, or a desire for a democratic socialist, or a yearning for an outsider. Clinton is not perfect, but neither was the man she lost to in 2016, nor the man she made the case for Wednesday night. America was taught to see her flaws, but not her strengths. That’s not been a problem for the men she’s run against.

“I think there’s a lot of sexism in the way they went after Hillary,” Biden said in January. “I think it was unfair. An awful lot of it. Well, that’s not gonna happen with me.”

He was right.”