October 8, 2020

I’m going to be brief tonight, folks, but here are the main stories I'm watching:

On October 8, 2020, the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, appears to be melting down. Over the course of the day, he has called for the imprisonment of his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, as well as his own predecessor, President Barack Obama, and called Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris a “monster” and a “communist.”

This morning, he announced that he would not take part in the planned October 15 town hall debate if it were turned into an on-line event. But then, after Biden said he was willing to postpone the debate so Trump could take part, said he would participate in another debate on October 22.

He released a video addressed to seniors, who are leaving him in droves, calling them "my favorite people in the world," and speculated that he could continue to hold rallies as early as this weekend, before his quarantine period is over. He called into the Fox News Channel twice, ranting. Of his bout with coronavirus, he said: “I’m back because I’m a perfect physical specimen and I’m extremely young.”

He is erratic enough that tomorrow, the House will begin to consider a bill seeking to enforce the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, designed to provide an exit ramp for a president who is experiencing physical or mental impairments that make him unable to lead the nation. The bill, advanced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, will not pass, but it will keep focus on what seems to be the president’s precarious mental state.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was supposed to go to Indiana to vote tomorrow, after campaigning in Arizona, has cancelled his scheduled events and is headed back to Washington, D. C.

Everything emerging from the White House today is murky and confused, but there is one event that is crystal clear: the FBI announced today it has stopped a terrorist plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and put her “on trial” for treason. Six men have been charged in the plot, and are now facing life in prison if convicted. Another seven have been charged with planning to storm the state capitol building and start a civil war. They face up to 20 years in prison.

This afternoon, Whitmer called out Trump for refusing to denounce such domestic terrorists. At last week’s debate with Biden, Trump told the white supremacist neo-fascist Proud Boys to “Stand back and stand by.” In April, after Whitmer shut down the state to combat coronavirus, Trump tweeted: “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and at least three of the thirteen men now charged were among those who entered the state’s senate chamber with guns on April 30 to protest Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders.

Tonight, rather than express sympathy with Whitmer or denounce the terrorists, Trump attacked Whitmer on Twitter. Attorney General William Barr, who has been out of the public eye since last the coronavirus super spreader event at the White House Rose Garden in honor of Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to take the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, has not commented.

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Notes:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-debate-coronavirus-quarantine/2020/10/08/81e639be-0972-11eb-a166-dc429b380d10_story.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/08/politics/house-oversight-commission-president-health/index.html

https://nbc25news.com/news/local/president-trump-criticized-michigan-gov-whitmer-in-thursday-night-tweet

https://nbc25news.com/news/flint-water-woes/fbi-militia-group-planned-to-kidnap-gov-whitner-overthrow-government

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/10/08/feds-thwart-militia-plot-kidnap-michigan-gov-gretchen-whitmer/5922301002/

https://apnews.com/article/michigan-checks-and-balances-archive-gretchen-whitmer-da09ca66cd8d5f36722021d3593425ff

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/us/politics/trump-calls-to-indict-political-rivals.html

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