Your August 2020 Political Rorschach Test

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All Eastern Time

Throughout the day: Donald Trump will pop up when you least expect it as part of the first day of the Republican Party convention. And likely where you most expect it: on Twitter.


10am: The House Committee on Oversight and Reform “will hold a hybrid hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan” on “Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots.”


1:00pm: Donald Trump “participates in a tour of Flavor First Growers and Packers,” Mills River, NC.


1:30pm: Donald Trump “delivers remarks on Farmers to Families Food Box Program Distribution,” Mills River, NC.


4:45pm: Donald Trump arrives back at the White House.


8:30pm – 11:00pm: Republican Party convention Day 1 with speakers including:

Sen. Tim Scott

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Rep. Jim Jordan

Former Ambassador Nikki Haley

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones

Amy Johnson Ford

Kimberly Guilfoyle

Natalie Harp

Charlie Kirk

Kim Klacik

Mark and Patricia McCloskey

Sean Parnell

Andrew Pollack

Donald Trump, Jr.

Tanya Weinreis


Can’t decide whether to wear Red or Blue today?

Take this simple test and getting dressed will be as simple as Garanimals.


1. Which of these matches your anticipatory thoughts about the Republican convention?

A. “There’s just been very little communication with Republican officials and their staffs,” one Republican congressional aide told POLITICO. “There doesn’t seem to be much of an organized surrogate plan. I’d be shocked if they can put together four nights of programming without a major catastrophe.”


B. “That is how Trump operates,” said state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Florida, a Republican. “He loves the big reveal. I think that’s what you are seeing here.”


2. Do you hope the broadcast and cable networks

A. Give the same amount and type of coverage of the Republican convention as they did for the Democrats last week?


B. Boycott the convention and show anti-Trump anchors, correspondents, and talking heads because lying, cheating, disgraces to history don’t deserve equal treatment?


3. This paragraph…

It was a week that in some ways encapsulated the volatile Trump presidency and the baggage he brings into the contest this fall with Mr. Biden: a team at constant war with the criminal justice system, a president defiant of the norms respected by others in the Oval Office, a once-healthy economy sputtering amid a pandemic, an opposition roused and unified by mutual antipathy for the incumbent and discord even among those closest to him.

…from a New York Times story previewing the convention demonstrates

A. The abject unfairness of the so-called Mainstream Media.


B. Truth, justice, and the American way.


4. Your reaction to Joe Biden telling ABC News that as president he would shut down the country if public health officials advised him to do it is



B. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have someone in the Oval Office guided by science?


5. Joe Biden’s focus and cognitive abilities during the full ABC News interview demonstrated

A. He secretly used a Teleprompter; ABC News gave him the questions in advance; the guy happened to have a good day; he looked horrible.


B. The Republican hopes of winning the election based on perceptions of Biden’s fitness are fading fast.


6. News organizations which featured the story of Kellyanne Conway’s departure from the White House more prominently than the announcement of a potential blood plasma treatment for COVID-19 were

A. Demonstrating their normal bias against Donald Trump and shamefully downplaying a wonderful good-news story for the American people.


B. Exercising the right news judgment because Trump’s “announcement” was all a politically motivated sham.


7. The lesson you draw from this essential reading Washington Post story is

More than 534,000 mail ballots were rejected during primaries across 23 states this year — nearly a quarter in key battlegrounds for the fall — illustrating how missed delivery deadlines, inadvertent mistakes and uneven enforcement of the rules could disenfranchise voters and affect the outcome of the presidential election….

In Florida, where mail ballots were rejected at a rate of a little more than 1 percent in the 2016 and 2018 general elections, the rate of rejection for ballots cast by 18- to 21-year-olds was more than eight times greater than for voters older than 65, he said. Similarly, the absentee ballots of Black and Hispanic voters were more than twice as likely to be rejected as those of White voters, his research shows.

A. The widespread use of mail-in ballots in this election represents a major threat to the principle of one-person, one-vote.


B. The widespread use of mail-in ballots in this election represents a major threat to the principle of one-person, one-vote.


8. Your take on Newt Gingrich’s theory about why Trump has not laid out a second-term agenda is

“He has been so intensely focused on all of the implications of coronavirus and the economic problems that he frankly had not thought about it,” said Newt Gingrich, a longtime Trump adviser and former Republican Speaker of the House, when asked about a second-term agenda. “He had a checklist and this came up in late August. You end up with only so much brain space and adrenaline and that is what happened.”

A. Newt has it right as always.


B. Newt has it right for once.


9. This Barack Obama interview quote in the New Yorker’s Joe Biden profile is

“If you look at Joe Biden’s goals and Bernie Sanders’s goals, they’re not that different, from a forty-thousand-foot level,” he argued. “They both want to make sure everybody has health care. They want to make sure everybody can get a job that pays a living wage. They want to make sure every child gets a good education.”

The question was one of tactics, Obama suggested. “A lot of times, the issue has to do with ‘How do we go about that, and what are the coalitions we need?’” he said. “What I think the moment has done is to change some of those calculations, not because necessarily Joe’s changed but because circumstances have changed.”

A. The silver bullet that leads to MAGA II.


B. Whatever. Unhelpful, but whatever.



By Brian P. Nadeau

Kenosha News reports:

A man, identified as Jacob Blake, was serious condition at a Milwaukee-area hospital after he was shot when officers were sent to the 2800 block of 40th Street late Sunday afternoon for what police called a domestic incident.

More than 60 people were gathered following the shooting at the scene with several saying that the Black man was trying to break up a verbal altercation between two women shortly after 5 p.m.

According to a police department press release, Kenosha police were sent to the incident at 5:11 p.m. and were subsequently involved in an officer-involved shooting.

According to the release, officers provided immediate aid to the man, who was transported via Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. The man was in serious condition. Police radio traffic indicated that a landing zone was established at Bradford High School just before 5:30 p.m. and the man was then transported.

2805 40th Street, Kenosha, WI

A sign on the side of a building

Description automatically generated

Video footage immediately went viral.

CNN reports:

Attorney Benjamin Crump told CNN that Blake's family reached out to him for assistance. Crump said Blake's three young sons were in the car when he was shot.

"They saw a cop shoot their father. They will be traumatized forever. We cannot let officers violate their duty to PROTECT us. Our kids deserve better!!" Crump said in a post on Twitter.

Further details from the Wisconsin State Journal;

Later Sunday, in a scene that mirrored the months of protests over racial injustice around the world that have followed the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people killed by police, marchers headed to the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, which authorities had mostly blocked off. Protesters marched along lines of cars honking on their way to the station and eventually made their way to the rear parking lot. A man could be seen breaking the window of a patrol car parked along the street. Some police officers were positioned on the roof of the station as people continued toward the building

Outside the station, protesters faced off with officers who were dressed in riot gear that included plastic facemasks and held plastic shields and batons that they occasionally used to push people back.

Gov. Tony Evers on Sunday night released a statement on Twitter condemning the shooting of a man who "was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight" and whom he identified as Jacob Blake.

"While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country," Evers said. "We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country ...

"And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites. I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long."

Local station WSAW CBS7 carrying the AP:

Later Sunday, marchers appeared to be headed to protest outside the police station, which authorities had mostly blocked off. Outside the station, protesters faced off with officers who wore plastic facemasks and held batons that they occasionally used to push people back.

The Kenosha Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol were requested at the scene so another law enforcement agency could take over, police said in the news release.

A Kenosha Police Department dispatcher referred calls by The Associated Press to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the agency that will be investigating the shooting. A message left with DOJ was not immediately returned.


The Big 4.2 - by Brian P. Nadeau

Arizona - Early Voting Begins October 7th

* UA back in action, several safety measures in place. (Arizona Republic)

* WWII-era military base Camp Navajo in Northern Arizona eyed for private economic development. (KSAZ FOX10)


Michigan - Early Voting Begins September 19th

* 3 Wolverine State natives speaking at Republican convention. (The Detroit News)

* 'Total chaos' back-to-school for Michigander parents. (MLIVE)


Nebraska-2 - Early Voting Begins October 5th

* Special needs students require more than remote learning offers, parents say. (KMTV CBS3)

* Warren Buffet, turning 90 next week, still eats favorites as if he were 6 years old. (Omaha World-Herald)


Pennsylvania - Early Voting Begins September 15th

* Trump campaign lawsuit to prohibit PA ballot drop-boxes placed on hold by federal judge. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Allegheny County Port Authority bus service back to normal, not unaffected by COVID-19. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


Wisconsin - Early Voting Begins October 15th

* Dane County still taking citizen-led redistricting commission applications. (The Journal Times)

* Whoosh…Pirates sweep Brewers. (Wisconsin State Journal)


TOP STORIES - by Brian P. Nadeau

Sports: 'I Wish We Had Listened Earlier'; Roger Goodell says about Colin Kaepernick, appears to fully embrace crux of kneeling protests. 

Sports Illustrated

Business: MSFT files declaration with court warning Apple’s blocking of Epic hurts gaming business.


Entertainment: Russell Crowe’s 'Unhinged' hits $4M opening weekend, box office win amid COVID-19. 

Hollywood Reporter


Essential viewing/listening:

Inspired by the racial turmoil that has recently rocked the United States, musicians Mel Washington and Wyatt Durrette have decided to take the matter into their own hands the best way that they know how. Their new song “Love Wins”draws a line in the sand against hatred and bigotry, and the message couldn’t have been delivered in a timelier or more moving fashion.

Durrette, known for writing No. 1 hits with country artists like Luke Combs and Zac Brown Band, and Washington, an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right, collaborated on the song as writers and performers. “Love Wins.” takes a realistic but ultimately hopeful stand in the face of racial conflict. “Fear don’t stand a chance against ‘I love you’,” Washington sings at one point over the acoustic backing. In the chorus, the urgency is unmistakable as the pair rise up in harmony: “This ends right now/Love wins.”


Almost $4 million for a Mike Trout baseball card?

Somewhere, Honus Wagner cries, and everywhere the universe’s normal order is disrupted.

What’s next – someone getting a hit in 57 straight games??!!??


Mark Halperin is available to speak by teleconference to you or to your colleagues, clients, or organization about the topics of your choice, including politics, government, and media.

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