For the first time ever, two presidential contenders for the White House didn’t meet on a stage for a presidential debate. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden held two simultaneous Town Halls late Thursday, which ended up showing stark differences between the two.
What We Know:
- Starting with the Biden Town Hall, he demonstrated a certain level of solidity despite Trump’s insistent description of his rival as someone who has “intellectually diminished”. Trump continues to stand his ground on what he thinks of his opponent and has revealed that he would rather tone it down than switch opinions.
- Due to the Town Hall’s more relaxed environment, Biden was able to be free of debate restrictions and speak his mind completely. He spent a majority of the hour and a half event laying out a greater context for his thoughts on various controversial topics. One said topic he seemingly wasn’t able to hit harder on during the last debate was the “Green New Deal”. He explained how at this point, his differences in tackling climate change compared to the plan were because he’s just not convinced that harmful emissions can be reduced at the rate the proposal is insisting it will.
- However, he later stated that the economy would need time to move away from fossil fuels, and proceeded to dive deeper into what he looked into and what would be in store for environmental restoration under his administration. “We can do things like pelletize all the chicken manure and all the horse manure and cow manure and they can be — and take out the methane and use it as fertilizer and make a lot of money doing it,” he said.
No TV Ratings available yet on last nights dueling Presidential Town Halls, but we do have some YouTube data:
Biden: 507,455 views
Trump: 153,660 views
— Jack Black (@Jet1Jack) October 16, 2020
- Something that stood out over his rival Trump, was that instead of persuading voters that his plans are the “right ones,” the result of his performance during the event reassured many followers and those who were skeptical, that he’s mentally capable of running a country. Disproving what Trump has been feeding his audience, without valid evidence, that Biden (Sleepy Joe) is suffering from mental impairment such as dementia.
- Despite stumbling over some words every now and then, there wasn’t a significant moment where the 78-year-old candidate seemed distracted or lacked a firm memory regardless of his past policy battles as vice president or a senator.
- Moreover to President Trump, as always, attention-grabbing was not one of his weak points. The Republican crowd seemed eager as always to hear what the incumbent had in store for them. Much like the previous debate, Trump managed to repeatedly interrupt moderator Savannah Guthrie in the same fashion he would have against a rival or past moderator Chris Wallace. He did appear a bit easier going and less tense than when he appeared on stage with Biden just last month.
As a reminder of the last debate, Trump tried to steamroll over Biden and Wallace, with one of the biggest moments of the night where he was asked to denounce white supremacy. The “Proud Boys,” a violent misogynistic hate group, were told by the President of the United States to “stand back and stand by”.
- Overall Trump’s own comments were to blame for the stark difference in content both Town Halls provided. The difference in substance started when Trump ended up making the event more about his own actions and financial matters, which centered more attention on him the past year, rather than focusing on real policy matters. Ever since his comments on the requirements for Supreme Court nominees, it led many groups such as Democrats, the media, and even Republicans who oppose Trump to believe Judge Amy Coney Barrett was compromised.
- Trump stated there was no discussion between him and the Supreme Court nominee regarding any precedents prior to her nomination. Another topic he showed restraint in and declined again was his call for overturning Roe v. Wade. In showing reluctance on the matter, he brought up the fact that if he were to reiterate these points, it would come off as him creating an image of trying to sway Barrett.
- What was clearly left untouched was his attempt to win back the support and votes of all the woman he’s seemingly forgotten about over his past term and that he would rather see Roe v. Wade stay in place. Trump also described the allegedly $400 million in debts he possesses, which he reassures viewers is “a very small amount of money”. Trump made us aware that many of these debts are due soon and did not specifically deny overseas debts.
Other topics such as COVID-19 and QAnon were touched on lightly, so if that wasn’t enough for viewers, the two candidates still have one final debate on their schedule before the big day on November 3. It will take place on Oct. 22, just a week from the Town Halls, in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s reported that one of Guthrie’s colleagues, White House correspondent Kristen Welker, will be the moderator for this final round.
Georgia Sets New Early Voting Record for Senate Runoffs
Early voting for the two Georgia Senate races began on December 14th. So far, the turnout has been unbelievable and record-breaking.
What We Know:
- As of Dec. 18th, over 1.1 million ballots have been cast in early voting for this Senate runoff election. These twin U.S. Senate runoff elections, as Reuters calls it, will determine which party controls that chamber of Congress. Voting in the Senate runoffs, which are taking place because no candidate won 50% support on Nov. 3rd. State data published on Friday showed the number of accepted ballots was just below the level seen at the same point in early voting for November’s election.
- According to MSN, roughly 168,000 Georgians went to the polls on Monday, the first day to vote early in-person in the state’s two critical Senate runoff elections, according to numbers provided by the Georgia secretary of state’s office. By comparison, some 128,000 voted on the first day of early voting for the November general election. Another 314,000 people cast absentee ballots on the first day of the early-voting period. The first-day early in-person turnout broke a record previously set in October when early in-person voting began for the 2020 general election.
- The runoff’s Democratic challengers are Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff against Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively. Perdue won more votes than Ossoff in November, while Warnock won more than Loeffler in a 20-candidate field that also included Republican Congressman Doug Collins. Loeffler and Collins together drew nearly 46% of the vote, according to Reuters.
- The party control of the Senate is at stake in this runoff election. Republicans currently hold a 50-48 seat edge in the upper chamber. If Democrats win in the Georgia runoffs, this will hand them an evenly divided chamber, in which Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote. If both Democrats lose, President-elect Joe Biden will be forced to work with a divided Congress and may not be able to implement his agenda.
Early voting will take place up until December 31st, and election day will be held on January 5th. Georgians still have a few more days to get out and cast their in-person votes. In addition, absentee ballots may still be mailed in before December 31st. To view your sample ballot, find your polling place, or verify that you’re properly registered to vote, log in to the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.
WSJ Columnist Writes Misogynistic Op-Ed About Dr. Jill Biden
The Wall Street Journal was widely criticized over the weekend for publishing a column by Joseph Epstein where he wrote “misogynistic views,” suggesting soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden should stop using her doctorate title.
What We Know:
- Epstein begins the article by writing, “Madame First Lady–Mrs. Biden–Jill–kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name? ‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”
- Jill Biden has spent most of her life educating and holds multiple degrees, including a doctoral degree from the University of Delaware. Her “Dr.” title is noted in all of her public profiles and usually what she is referred to in the media. In the article, Epstein regarded this as “fraudulent, even comic.”
- In attempts to discredit and undermine the numerous achievements Dr. Biden has received, Epstein writes to the WSJ to argue that the prestige of post-graduate titles has been diminished by lack of academic rigor.
“Such degrees were once given exclusively to scholars, statesmen, artists, and scientists. Then rich men entered the lists, usually hoping that they would donate money to the schools that had granted them their honorary degrees … Famous television journalists, who passed themselves off as intelligent, followed. Entertainers, who didn’t bother feigning intelligence, were next,” he wrote.
- In response to the column, Jill Biden tweeted, “Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.” Her response is among several across social media from icons such as Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Republican senator John McCain and a commentator on the morning talk show “The View.”
- Paul A. Gigot, the top editor for The Journal’s opinion section for nearly two decades, deemed the media’s response to the column as a political strategy, stating, “There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism,” as he accused Democrats of coordinated the mass of responses following the publication.
- This is not the first wave of criticism received by the WSJ over their op-eds. According to The Washington Post, members of The Journal’s newsroom have sent letters criticizing Journal columns at least three times this year.
In just one month, nearly 300 employees sent a letter to The Journal’s publisher, Almar Latour, identifying a “lack of fact-checking and transparency” on the opinion desk.
Black Lives Matter Signs Burned at D.C. Churches; Police Investigate as Possible Hate Crimes
An investigation has begun into the burning of Black lives Matter signs at historic Black churches in Washington, D.C., during a pro-Trump rally this weekend.
What We Know:
- The incident will be investigated as a hate crime, and the police are looking for information on the events that occurred on Saturday. The burning of signs occurred at Asbury United Methodist Church, founded in 1836, and Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Frederick Douglass’ funeral was held in 1895.
- The protest is in reaction to the Supreme court tossing a Texas lawsuit and pushing for the changing election results n five swing states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada.
- Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted on Sunday, “This weekend, we saw forces of hate seeking to use destruction and intimidation to tear us apart… We will not let that happen, and continue to stand together strong and United to Love.”
- According to NBC News, Asbury’s senior pastor, the Reverend Lanther Mills, stated the pro-Trump supporters removed a Black Lives Matter and literally burned it in the street. Mills compares the incident to that of the burning of crosses during the days of Jim Crow.
“We are as people of faith. As horrible and disturbing as this is for us now, it doesn’t compare with the challenges and fears the men and women who started Ashbury faced 184 years ago faced,” stated Mills.
- “So we will move forward, undaunted in our assurance that Black Lives Matter, and we are obligated to continue to shout that truth. We are assured that our church is surrounded by God’s grace and mercy,” he added.
During the protest in Olympia, Washington, 4 people were stabbed, and one person was shot in the clash between Trump supporters and counterprotesters.
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