This Week In a Nutshell w/ Andrés Arroyo

By: Andrés Arroyo

Well, this week in America politically was definitely crazy. It was kind of like a horrible, chaotic Spanish telenovela, and that is an understatement. This week politically was like a bad reality TV series,like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. So here’s what happened in a nutshell. 

2nd Presidential Debate Cancelled

On October 9th, the debate organizers announced that the 2nd Presidential debate will be cancelled. The cancellation of the debate was announced one day after Trump stated in a Fox News interview that he won’t participate in a virtual debate. 

“I’m not gonna waste my time on a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate. That’s ridiculous.”

– Donald Trump, Fox News interview. 

This decision by the President sparked a lot of backlash from critics, voters, political analysts, and news anchors. Critics viewed Trump’s decision as childish and that the President was acting spoiled. And their arguments made sense. News anchors had to do interviews with people via zoom, skype, and other facetime apps. Friends and families across the nation, my family being one of them, also used these facetime apps to keep in contact with family during the times of covid, restaurants can’t have people dine in, and no fans are allowed at pro sports events. Yet the President wants to be in person in front of a bunch of people, like his campaign and debates he participates in are an exception? 

Some critics also argued that this was in effect, Donald Trump chickening out, as this would have been the 1st presidential debate under the new rules format, which were created so that we won’t have another trash heap debate like the first one was, which Trump interrupted and bulldozed. And it’s believed that Trump likely knows that if he gives Biden a chance to explain his policies in a debate, he would probably lose the debate. So he has to interrupt. But if he interrupts in a virtual debate, the moderator will probably mute him out, or just kick him off the call. It would be funny to see. The moderator would be like, “Silence! Or I will delete you!” 

 Another reason for the backlash was the fact that this was supposed to be a town hall debate, where citizens get to ask the questions, and it’s usually in these town hall debates that the people get to ask hardball questions to both candidates. It’s usually this debate that determines who undecided/swing voters choose to vote for. But don’t be surprised if this was the real reason the President backed out. I mean it’s not like he had a brain aneurysm in the last debate when asked an easy ball question to condemn white supremacist and pro-facism groups, and the best he could cough out was, “Stand back and stand by.” 

Oh, wait… 

So yeah, it looks like undecided voters are still going to be undecided for a while.

No debate, but yet they hold individual town halls at the same time?

When the debate was officially cancelled, the first question in everyone’s mind was: So now what? Well, both candidates and their campaigns ended up deciding to do individual town halls. Both town halls were aired live at the same time, but on different channels. 

Okay, can we just point out how stupid that is? I mean seriously. You won’t debate with each other in a town hall, yet you hold individual town halls at the same time? If you’re a swing voter, I feel sorry for you. You guys want to hear what both candidates have to say, but you can’t without having to change channels and hope that they aren’t on commercials. So you watch one and try to record the other, but you can’t because your DVR is full, and you have to delete things you recorded that you don’t want to delete. So now you’re focusing on what to delete so you can record the other town hall rather than PAYING ATTENTION TO THE ONE YOU WERE PLANNING TO WATCH! Ugh! The struggle is real.

For the most part the town halls might as well have been the 1st debate if there weren’t any opponents to debate against the candidates. They were asked similar questions to what were in the 1st debate, with a few hardball questions here and there. The former Vice President once again refused to give his opinion on whether he supports stacking the Supreme Court, and argued that we should build on the ACA to make it better, rather than abolish it. Biden also said he will follow the science and do what’s necessary to combat the crisis of COVID-19 in the U.S., as well as climate change.

As for the President, he praised his administration’s response to the pandemic. He falsely claimed that we have one of the lowest death tolls in the world, and once again blamed China for the virus, just like he does with everything else in his administration. From Obama to the people he fires, he finds a way to not take responsibility. At this point we’re just waiting to see if he is going to blame Eric. If Trump ends up getting humiliated in the final debate he will probably give an excuse like, “I would have won this debate if it wasn’t for Eric distracting me from behind the moderator” or go with his classic claim that the moderator treated him unfairly. 

But it looks like he will have to use the Eric excuse for the debate as he already used the unfair moderator after the town hall. The moderator did push Trump on some issues like Covid and also pointed out his hypocrisy on far right organizations and conspiracy groups, which in the debate he claimed to not know who the Proud Boys are despite the fact that he was told during the debate of who they were, or what Qanon is, even though he has retweeted and repeated rhetoric from Qanon. The only two true facts that the President has to campaign on are the facts that prior to the pandemic, the economy was doing really well and we had one of the lowest unemployment rates ever.  

But once again most of the talk after the town halls was not about the agendas of the candidates. Instead people were wondering: Who was the woman behind Trump who was constantly nodding and giving a thumbs up every time Trump said something?

Mayra Joli identified as woman seen nodding behind Trump during town hall -  CNN Video

Image from CNN

The woman was later identified as Florida immigration attorney Mayra Joli. Now this town hall was supposed to be made up of undecided voters, but she was not. She is actually a partisan who ran as an independent, pro-Trump candidate for Congress in 2018. So if she ever claims that she is bipartisan, refer to this moment and remember that she is not.

Ballot Royale

This week in not the town halls, but also on the campaign trails, both Joe Biden and Donald Trump double down on their views of voting and election integrity. Joe Biden doubled down on his views saying that he will accept the result no matter what; win or lose. As for the President, he doubled down on his argument that mail-in voting can and will lead to fraud, and stated that we won’t be able to know who won for a long time after election day, rather than November 3rd like he prefers. Trump continues to make this argument even though he has not produced a shred of evidence to support it. It was also investigated, and investigators found that the voter fraud rate/percentage in the U.S. is 0.02%. 

Now that is some rampant voter fraud right? It’s so rampant that it’s not even enough to rig a High School prom king and queen vote. Trump’s false voter fraud argument also screams hypocrisy, as two states that do only mail-in voting, Alaska and Utah, are traditionally Republican states and they voted for Trump in 2016. So given that they do mail-in voting, their election results are possibly rigged to voter fraud as well; or is it just traditionally Democratic states because they don’t vote for Trump like loyal dogs? 

Just saying, if you are claiming nationwide, “voter fraud”, you shouldn’t have a double standard for Republican states; that’s not how a democracy works. In a democracy, you are allowed to have your own opinions and agree to disagree without being bullied or punished by the government. 

So why is Trump trying to discredit mail-in voting and the election system? He’s doing that in hopes that people begin to not trust the election system, and choose not to vote, because the smaller the voter turnout, the greater Trump’s chances are of reelection. He is also setting this argument up as his main point if he decides to fight the results of this election in the Supreme Court if he loses.

“Yeah, I think I’m counting on them (Supreme Court) to look at the ballots definitely. I hope we don’t need them in terms of the election itself. But for the ballots I think so.” 

  • Donald Trump, 1st debate 2020

But if there is large turnout, and Donald Trump loses in an unquestionable landslide, the Supreme Court will have to rule against Trump, or else they will face MAJOR backlash from the people. So please, save the Netflix binge watching for later and GO VOTE!

Supreme Court Hearing

  The Supreme Court hearing for nominee Amy Barrett was… well, it went. It went as expected. Republicans are doing everything they can to keep power and control the Court, and Democrats are doing what they can to keep the seat open. Democrats are also holding Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell accountable, pointing out their double standard action of when they blocked Obama’s supreme court pick as the 2016 primaries were well underway, arguing that the people should vote in November, and that will choose who picks the judge to fill the seat in the Court. Now here are the Republicans less than a month away from the election doing EVERYTHING in their power to nominate a judge and fill the seat now, rather than “letting the people decide” like they argued in 2016 when Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill an open seat in the supreme court. 

The hypocrisy among GOP senators burns. It’s like playing chess with your little sibling, who always tries to bend the rules in their favor; like you are about to take out their knight, but they claim that there was a landmine in between that you didn’t see, so their knight is safe and your rook piece gets blown up. That’s basically how the nomination and the hearings are being treated, with the Republicans bending the rules of the game. 

Basically, the Supreme Court is going to jump to the right for our generation; my generation, which is expected to be the most liberal generation in history, will be affected greatly by this.. So if things seem hopeless, well, it’s not hopeless but it’s the closest thing to it. As of now, Republicans control the Senate, and most are planning to vote for Barrett to be in the Supreme Court. So it’s only a matter of time when she is officially a judge in the Supreme Court. And they know she is a religious conservative; judges in the Supreme Court know it as well. In fact, there has been talk about overturning some rulings on the ACA, women’s right to abortion, and LGBT rights among the conservative judges. The President in the first debate also said he might fight the results of the election in the Supreme Court if he loses. 

“Yeah, I think I’m counting on them (Supreme Court) to look at the ballots definitely. I hope we don’t need them in terms of the election itself. But for the ballots I think so.” 

  • Donald Trump

Well, so much for Supreme Court Judges being bipartisan. 

The only reason why this is not totally hopeless is that there is public pressure to wait on the nomination, ads are being aired on TV, petitions are being discussed to let our senators know that we want them to wait on filling the seat, and let us vote like they said in 2016. Will this public pressure through petitions work? We don’t know. So far the GOP has bent over backwards for Trump. Regardless of how the people feel about their actions, they have chosen Trump. HOWEVER, if the public pressure via these petitions are big enough, and with some GOP members of Congress’ reelection hopes are on the line, the Republicans might have to cave in, and listen to the people if they want to keep their chances of remaining in Congress. 

Attempted Democratic Governor Kidnapping PLOTS

So we all probably heard about the 14 guys that got arrested by law enforcement authorities for plotting to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. Well, according to an AP News report, FBI investigators found out through interrogations that they were also planning to kidnap Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA), that they were part of a right-wing paramilitary group, and had ties to other right-wing militias from “four or five other states” who were in on the plan.

“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders”

  • FBI Agent Richard Trask

So what were the motives prompting the kidnapping plots? Investigators said their plot was motivated by their anger and frustration of the states’ lockdown and COVID restrictions, especially their restriction of keeping gyms closed. 

Gyms? Their solution to reopening their states and their gyms was to kidnap the governors? Aren’t there any other non-violent solutions to that issue? Like you guys didn’t at least propose the idea of just doing some push ups in your backyards before turning to violence? Just saying, violence is not the answer.

  So what significance does this bring? This means that Governor Whitmer wasn’t the only governor to be targeted by these groups, and that they are specifically going after Democratic governors. It also reveals that there are other far-right groups that were in on the plan as well, and it sparks the possibility that Democratic governors across the nations are being targeted by these militias. 

Could this be the rise of far-right terror groups nationwide like we once saw in the south with the KKK? Could this be the start of the oppression of Democrats by conservative groups? We don’t know. Just like when the Trump Administration pulled the U.S. out of the WHO, and the Paris Climate Agreement, turning our backs on our allies while praising dictators like Putin, Jinping, and Kim Jong-un; we have once again entered uncharted territory. 

NY Post Article

This week, the New York Post published what they believed was a “bombshell” article about Hunter Biden and his emails. The article alleged that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, dropped off a laptop at a local computer repair and sail store in Delaware. While repairing the computer, the owner claimed to have found a bunch of emails discussing illegal business dealings involving the company he works for, Burisma, and how Biden supposedly used his political power to benefit his son’s company. 

Here’s the thing though, senate Republicans already investigated Burisma and the Bidens, and the investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. 

So in a nutshell, the story is complete bull****. It claims Hunter dropped off a laptop in Delaware, even though he lives in California. The computer was brimming with incriminating emails and he had handed them over to a Trump supporting shop owner, although there isn’t proof because the security camera footage was missing. Despite that, the store owner was a million percent sure that it was Hunter Biden…. but the owner is legally blind. And this article was written up by a brand new NY Post journalist who just came from her previous job where she was Sean Hannity’s (a pro-Trump Fox News opinion host) producer. And the new journalist’s source for this “bombshell” information was Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, who was recently a target of a Russian disinformation campaign. Oh, and as an icing on the cake, the New York Post is a right-wing news source. So the story really screams credibility. 

Also, really? This is the GOP’s last resort to take down Biden? If you are going to pull a “bombshell scandal” against your political opponent, make sure it not only adds up with actual evidence, but that is also original. An email scandal? Pay attention Republicans! Your saying the same s*** that you said in 2016! This sequel is worse than the sequel to Goosebumps (Haunted Halloween), and is more unoriginal than the sequel to the Spongebob movie (Sponge on The Run).  

And for the record, people aren’t buying it, as the former Vice President is still ahead in the polls in key battleground states that are a must win for Trump. So if they want to have a chance in this election without having to fight the results of the election in the Supreme Court, or suppress the vote like dictators, Republicans better start trying to appeal to people outside of their core base, and become just a little more liberal. But given that they aren’t willing to condemn conspiracy groups, and get the President to at minimum say “Black lives matter, just like the lives of everyone else”, good luck trying to appeal to the rest of the nation.

Donald Trump’s COVID-19 Tour, and His Biggest Conspiracy Theory Yet

Now the last bit of news this week. President Trump, Melania, advisor Hope Hicks, and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany have officially been cleared by doctors as “no longer contagious”, although half of the U.S. is still saying “Where are the ventilators to prove you were sick?”, as they believe he is playing victim to get the sympathy of voters. Meanwhile, the other half who believed he actually got sick are saying “Did the doctors clear the President because he has actually fully recovered, or was it because he pressured them to tell the public that so he can continue to downplay it?”

Regardless, this means he can go back to what he has been doing in the White House for the last four year: binge watching Fox News. But that has not been the only thing he has been doing this week. 

Eager to feed red meat to his base, the President held not one, but several COVID giveaway campaign rallies in battleground states, that are part of the Trump 2020 campaign’s COVID Tour. He even had days where he held two of these super-spreader rallies in a single day, with one in the afternoon and one later at night. Meanwhile Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci are probably in their homes sarcastically acting like the rally speakers saying, “Yaya! Free COVID for you! And you, and you, and everyone hear!” and then muttering to themselves, “Please may at least the rest of the country be following the science.” 

Georgia Sen. David Perdue Speech Transcript at Trump Rally: Mocks &  Mispronounces Kamala Harris' Name - Rev

Image of Trump’s super spreader rally in Georgia. (Image from Rev)

These rallies were just like most of his other rallies. Trump would stoke fear of the left “trying to abolish the suburbs” and “take away your second amendment” through his rhetoric and lie his ass off, and the crowd would cheer at just about everything he said, including this in a rally in Florida. 

“They say I’m immune! I feel so powerful!”

  • Donald Trump  

Yep. Nothing says the President is off Regeneron steroids like screaming “I feel so powerful!” like Jafar in Aladdin when he turned into a crazy genie.

One standout moment from this week’s rallies was in Georgia where Congressman Vernon Jones crowd surfed on the second wave of COVID-19.

Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones on crowd-surfing at a Macon Trump rally |  11alive.com

Vernon Jones surfing the COVID waves of Super Spreader Ocean at Trump Rally Beach in Georgia. 

But rhetoric wise, the most bonkers thing that came out of Trump’s mouth was a Qanon conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden didn’t kill BinLaden, and tried to have the SEAL team killed in a plot to stage Bin Laden’s death. This was a double down move by Trump, as he had actually retweeted the conspiracy prior to the Town hall and three or four other rallies he held, and didn’t condemn Qanon or apologize for that twitter post. 

For the record, this is false. It was so outrageous and crazy, that it drew an angry response from the ex-Navy SEAL who shot the al Qaeda leader, and rightfully so. It should also receive backlash from other former members of the SEAL team, as they risked everything for this country. 

This conspiracy theory is a bigger lie than the debunked theory that Obama and Biden spied on his campaign in 2016. It’s worse than when he claimed the Obama Administration didn’t leave a plan for a virus outbreak, when they did. This was worse than when Trump claimed Obamacare is a “disaster”, when it is the only healthcare act that gives protection to people with pre-existing conditions.  

For four years, the sitting president has bashed Obama and put blame on him. Yet Donald Trump has been in office for 3 ½ years. Obama isn’t president, Trump is. So this leaves us with a question that he should give us an answer to:

Given that you are a racist, making racist comments like calling Mexicans “rapists”, calling demographically black nations “s***hole countries”, and calling COVID the “kung-flu”, is that why you hate Obama? Do you hate him because he is a black man? Do you hate him because he is smarter than you? Is it because he was more successful? Because he made it on his own without needing daddy’s help? Is it because Obama’s better looking? Because Barack and Michelle have a good marriage, and are faithful to each other, rather than you, a man who cheated with and paid off a pornstar? Or if you’re convenient, it’s for all the reasons listed and more? What is it Donald?

What is it about Barack Obama that pisses you off?

Just saying, given that you have been bashing him four four years straight, the people deserve to know. 

Anyway, it’s just a thought. That’s all for this article, hope you enjoyed it, and understood the jokes, and had a little laugh, as we could all use some funny, joyful moments that take our minds off the hard times of COVID, being afraid of our groceries, and making sure toilet paper isn’t a problem. 

Have a good week, and don’t forget to go out and vote.

Sources:

Town hall debate cancelled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZUZYWsr2oY&ab_channel=23ABCNews%7CKERO 

SEAL Team Conspiracy:

https://nypost.com/2020/10/15/navy-seal-who-killed-bin-laden-slams-trump-for-retweeting-qanon-conspiracy-theory/

Governor Kidnapping Plots:

https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-kidnapping-michigan-gretchen-whitmer-arrests-b0d90b827be272781239f8e841d635dd

NY Post “Bombshell” Email report:

https://nypost.com/2020/10/14/email-reveals-how-hunter-biden-introduced-ukrainian-biz-man-to-dad/

Can watch all Trump Rallies (If you are into that) on Right Side Broadcasting Network:

https://www.youtube.com/c/RightSideBroadcastingNetwork/videos

Trump Town Hall:

C-Span has all four days of Senate hearings for SCOTUS Nominee Barrett:

https://www.youtube.com/c/C-SPAN/videos

Biden Town Hall on ABC youtube channel (No full video of the town hall, but there are videos of some segments of the Town Hall)

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