The WH tax scofflaw paid $750 in taxes, owes nearly a billion dollars

Way more to come on the big Trump tax story, but a bit early for the pundits on that, so we will turn to twitter.

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Otoh, this is a work of art:

I mean, he’s a tax scofflaw and a security risk, but we knew that.

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It’s not up to Robert Mueller, voters. It’s up to you. Meanwhile, LOL it all matters.

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Well, he was losing before the tax story.

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Tom Ridge/Philadelphia Inquirer:

I was a Republican governor of Pa. I’m voting for Joe Biden

Whether the Republican Party can restore itself or not, I don’t know. Whether it wants to or not, I don’t know that either. But what matters to me is that the core group of conservative principles I held as a young man when I cast my first vote decades ago are with me today. They are the same principles exhorted by my party’s forebears — Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Those principles have been indispensible to me in deciding to extend my hand of support to Joe Biden, who I believe absolutely must be America’s next president.

The bigger endorsement, of course, is The Rock.

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Margaret Sullivan/WaPo:

Four years ago, Trump survived ‘Access Hollywood’ — and a media myth of indestructibility was born

I come away from all of this — the past four years of shocking scandals and constant lies, the conversations with voters, the media’s beating-our-heads-against-the-wall coverage of Trump voters who still like Trump — with a changed viewpoint about the needle that supposedly doesn’t move.

Actually, it does move.

In looking back at the “Access Hollywood” episode, I came across an academic study published this year by scholars from the University of Massachusetts and Brandeis University that cuts against conventional wisdom. Entitling their paper “Just Locker Room Talk?,” the political scientists concluded that the revelations did make a difference, finding “consistent evidence that the release of the tape modestly, though significantly, reduced support for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.” These effects were similar among men and women, but noticeably larger among Republicans compared with Democrats.

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Joseph G Allen and Lindsey C.Marr/WaPo:

Yes, airborne transmission is happening. The CDC needs to set the record straight.

But on Monday, the CDC removed this information from its website, bizarrely explaining that it “does not reflect our current state of knowledge.”

So let’s review our current state of knowledge, shall we?

Many scientists have known that airborne transmission of the virus was happening since February. The CDC, however, somehow failed to recognize the accumulating evidence that airborne transmission is important and therefore failed to alert the public.

Michael Grunwald/Politico:

2020 is the Year Trump Was Worried About

If presidential elections really turn on how the country is doing, there’s a good reason for the incumbent to sweat.

The U.S. budget deficit tripled this year to $3.3 trillion, by far the highest ever. The U.S. economy shrank at a 31.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter, by far the worst ever. The trade deficit is at its highest level in 12 years. Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in six years. Unemployment claims, which had never topped 700,000 in a week before March, have topped 700,000 every week since March. Farm bankruptcies are rising, even though government payments to farmers are at an all-time high. Homicides are rising in America’s cities after decades of decline, while a series of police killings of unarmed Black Americans has triggered anguished protests and civil unrest. The West Coast is on fire, and 2020 may turn out to be the hottest year in recorded history. America’s reputation abroad is the worst it’s been since the Pew Research Center began doing international surveys.

In related news, a virus that has already killed 200,000 Americans is still spreading in much of the country, even though it’s mostly under control in most of the rest of the world. Now the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, less than two months before an election that was already inflaming some rather scary tensions, has created a potential constitutional crisis, while President Donald Trump is refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden.

Voters are already starting to vote, and the president is already proclaiming that the election is going to be riddled with fraud, which is not so awesome.

On the other hand … let’s see … Hamilton is streaming on Disney Plus?

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Marc Lipsitch and Yonatan Grad/WaPo:

How to fix public health weaknesses before the next pandemic hits

The list could go on. The common denominator is an antiquated and unstandardized system of linking data from clinical records and public health monitoring in ways that provide evidence on how to control the virus while minimizing the disruption to the economy and society. Electronic medical records — envisioned as a boon for public-health surveillance, providing data that could be readily analyzed — turn out to be much better for billing than for the exchange of data.

The next phase of pandemic response that might be placed at risk by these spotty data systems is vaccination. Accurate records of who has been vaccinated, when and with which vaccine will be essential. They will encourage trust in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, ensure prioritization of the groups that should first receive the vaccine, and aid in monitoring vaccine impact on the pandemic. A patchwork of local systems, already strained, is not well-suited to this task.

Natalia Linos/Boston Globe:

COVID-19 is political, so scientists should be too

I ran for Congress because it needs more scientists. But that’s just one of many ways we can have more influence on our government.

Every race is unique, and it is particularly challenging to draw lessons from campaigning during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing I learned is that a background in health and an unconventional profile can be appealing to voters across the political spectrum. My campaign found high levels of support with both progressive and more conservative voters, and across the district’s diverse geography. Could having more scientists in Congress, with our focus on evidence and data, help bridge the political divide?

Public health needs a political constituency. Otherwise, the funds won’t be there.

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