Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Donald Trump threatened Facebook and Twitter again after they throttled the spread of a dubious New York Post story about Hunter Biden
  • Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday limited the spread of a dubious New York Post story about Hunter Biden.
  • President Trump tweeted it was "so terrible" that the platforms "took down the story," which they did not do.
  • He threatened the companies, saying "it is only the beginning for them," as he called again for the repeal of Section 230, the part of US law that lets tech platforms moderate their own content.

Trump used the news of his son Barron's coronavirus infection to call on schools to reopen
  • President Donald Trump referenced his son Barron's coronavirus diagnosis while arguing that schools in the US should reopen their campuses.
  • Using incorrect terms at his Wednesday rally in Iowa, Trump said: "Barron Trump, he had the corona-19. He had the China virus, right?"
  • Trump said Barron was asymptomatic and recovered quickly, then added: "It happens. People have it, and it goes. Get the kids back to school."
  • Even after his infection Trump has continued to downplay the effects of the coronavirus.
  • Many schools have reopened across the country, while others stayed closed or are offering a mix of virtual and in-person learning.

8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up
Two new studies show the effect of the emergency $2 trillion package known as the Cares Act and what happened when the money ran out.

After an ambitious expansion of the safety net in the spring saved millions of people from poverty, the aid is now largely exhausted and poverty has returned to levels higher than before the coronavirus crisis, two new studies have found.

The number of poor people has grown by eight million since May, according to researchers at Columbia University, after falling by four million at the pandemic’s start as a result of a $2 trillion emergency package known as the Cares Act.

Using a different definition of poverty, researchers from the University of Chicago and Notre Dame found that poverty has grown by six million people in the past three months, with circumstances worsening most for Black people and children.

“These numbers are very concerning,” said Bruce D. Meyer, an economist at the University of Chicago and an author of the study. “They tell us people are having a lot more trouble paying their bills, paying their rent, putting food on the table.”

Graham conceded Democrats have ‘a good chance of winning the White House’ as committee rushes toward confirmation.
As they pushed their aggressive timetable for confirming Judge Barrett before the Nov. 3 election, Mr. Graham conceded on Thursday that Mr. Trump was in danger of losing, increasing the stakes.

“You all have a good chance of winning the White House,” Mr. Graham told the Democrats on the committee.

“Thank you for acknowledging that,” Ms. Klobuchar interjected.

“I think it’s true,” Mr. Graham replied.

He made the remark as he worked to justify the rush to confirm Judge Barrett, arguing that voters elected a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate — and noting that the shoe could soon be on the other foot.

YouTube Cracks Down on QAnon Conspiracy Theory, Citing Offline Violence
YouTube on Thursday became the latest social media giant to take steps to stop QAnon, the sprawling pro-Trump conspiracy theory community whose online fantasies about a cabal of satanic pedophiles running the world have spilled over into offline violence.

The company announced in a blog post that it was updating its hate-speech and harassment policies to prohibit “content that targets an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence.” The new policy will prohibit content promoting QAnon, as well as related conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate, which falsely claims that top Democrats and Hollywood elites are running an underground sex-trafficking ring from the basement of a Washington pizza restaurant.

Other social networks have also taken steps to curb the spread of QAnon, which has been linked to violence and vandalism. Last week, Facebook hardened its rules related to QAnon content and compared it to a “militarized social movement” that was becoming increasingly violent. This week, several smaller platforms, including Pinterest, Etsy and Triller, also announced new restrictions on QAnon content.

Under YouTube’s new policy, which went into effect Thursday, “content that threatens or harasses someone by suggesting they are complicit” in a harmful theory like QAnon or Pizzagate will be banned. News coverage of these theories and videos that discuss the theories without targeting individuals or groups may still be allowed.

Trump says he's not tested for COVID-19 every day but claims he is 'tested a lot'
  • President Donald Trump revealed that he does not get tested for COVID-19 every day, even after contracting the disease.
  • "I'm tested — not every day. But I'm tested a lot," he said during a Fox Business interview on Thursday.
  • The comments come after the president suggested he's "immune" to the virus. Experts have warned that science can't guarantee that.
  • The disclosure also contradicts previous White House statements that said Trump is tested "more than anyone, multiple times a day."

AG Bill Barr is in the doghouse after failing to deliver on 2 politically charged investigations Trump demanded before the election
  • Attorney General William Barr is in the doghouse after failing to deliver on two investigations that President Donald Trump claimed would uncover evidence of a broad conspiracy against him.
  • This week, one of those investigations wrapped up with no criminal charges and no public report.
  • The other investigation will not be finished before November 3, throwing a wrench into Trump's plans to tout its findings to boost his reelection chances.
  • Trump on Wednesday refused to say whether he will keep Barr on as attorney general if he wins the election.
  • "Can't comment on that," he told Newsmax. "It's too early. I'm not happy, with all of the evidence I had, I can tell you that. I am not happy."
  • The statements mark a stunning shift for Barr, whom the president has long praised as one of his most loyal defenders.

'End this nightmare': Rudy Giuliani's daughter urges Americans to vote for Joe Biden in Vanity Fair editorial
  • Caroline Giuliani, the daughter of President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, shared some harsh criticism of her father and his boss on Thursday.
  • "The only way to end this nightmare is to vote," the 31-year-old wrote in a Vanity Fair column. "There is hope on the horizon, but we'll only grasp it if we elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris."
  • She called her father a "polarizing mayor who became the president's personal bulldog," and described Trump's time in the White House as a "reign of terror."

Trump repeatedly refused to condemn QAnon and said he agreed with part of the far-right conspiracy movement during his NBC town hall
  • President Donald Trump repeatedly alternated between claiming he didn't know what the QAnon conspiracy movement was and expressing support for it during an NBC town hall Thursday.
  • "I know nothing about QAnon," Trump said when debate moderator Savannah Guthrie reminded him that the conspiracy claims the world is run by a satanic cult of powerful Democrats and that Trump will save the world from it.
  • "I do know they are very much against pedophilia," the president said shortly after. "And I agree with that. I do agree with that."
  • QAnon has been linked to multiple online hoaxes suggesting there's a worldwide child trafficking ring run by Democrats.
  • The movement to end child trafficking, called "Save The Children," began as a legitimate charity cause, but it has since been widely adopted by QAnon to recruit more supporters to its conspiracy movement, organize rallies, and spread disinformation online.

A truth commission? How insiders think a Biden administration would handle investigating and even prosecuting Trump
  • Perhaps the most vexing question facing a Joe Biden presidency would be what to do about the last guy who had the job: Donald Trump.
  • The list is long of possibilities for what Trump could be in trouble for on the other end of his presidency, when he'd no longer enjoy the immunity from criminal prosecution that comes with occupying the White House.
  • "Even the fact you're considering those questions is itself earth-shattering," Norm Eisen, a former counsel for House Democrats during the Trump impeachment proceedings, said.
  • Many Democratic insiders and other law-enforcement experts said the best path would be to let the normal procedure play out, with FBI-led investigators providing evidence to the relevant US attorneys, who then would make their charging decisions alongside the top brass at the DOJ.
  • But the prospect of a Trump probe is so significant that a Biden administration may want to go outside the typical law-enforcement channels by appointing a new special counsel, impaneling a wider commission of outside legal experts, or even removing the federal government entirely from the picture in deference to state investigators.
  • During an ABC News town hall on Thursday, Biden said he'd stay out of the decisionmaking when asked directly what he'd do about prosecuting Trump. "What the Biden Justice Department will do is let the Justice Department be the Department of Justice," the Democratic nominee replied. "Let them make the judgments of who should be prosecuted."

'Mr. Rogers' versus 'someone's crazy uncle': There wasn't a debate on Thursday, but the dueling town hall format played to Joe Biden's strengths
  • President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participated in separate town halls on Thursday evening in lieu of a second presidential debate.
  • Trump had a shorter one on NBC with "Today Show" host Savannah Guthrie, while Biden went on for longer on ABC with "Good Morning America" and "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos.
  • The Trump town hall mainly focused on the myriad scandals and controversies around the White House, while Biden's offered a more subdued look at what his administration would look like.
  • Biden hung around afterward for around half an hour, mingling with voters and showing his love for retail politics.
  • The tone and even the volume of the two events were polar opposites, allowing Biden to use his affability and humility to his advantage.

The Trump administration declined California's request for disaster declaration for 6 fires following massive wildfires
  • The Trump administration rejected California's request for disaster assistance for six fires after massive wildfires — one of which was the largest one in its history — tore through the state over the last few months.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a disaster declaration and financial aid from the federal government in a letter sent on September 28, estimating damages from the fires exceeded $229 million.
  • "The request for a Major Presidential Disaster Declaration for early September fires has been denied by the federal administration," Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, told CNN Thursday.
  • In Newsom's letter sent at the end of September, the governor emphasized the importance of federal assistance, writing that it was "critical to support physical and economic recovery of California and its communities."
  • "The longer it takes for California and its communities to recover, the more severe, devastating, and irreversible the economic impacts will be," Newsom wrote.
  • Six of the fires that raged throughout the state were among the top 20 largest wildfires recorded in California history. The August Complex fire, located north of San Francisco, scorched a record-breaking 1,029,065 acres, damaging nearly 1,000 structures and killing one.
  • The Trump administration did provide a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration at the end of August in response to the Northern California fires, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provided Fire Management Assistance Grants to help combat the fires at the time.
  • The state intends to appeal the Trump administration's decision to reject the disaster declaration request, CNN reported.

The FCC is examining whether to roll back Section 230 laws that protect social media firms, drawing fire for being Trump's 'puppet'
  • The Federal Communications Commission will "clarify the meaning" of Section 230 of the US Communications Act, its chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday.
  • Section 230 grants internet companies power to moderate the content that appears on their platforms, and protects them from liability for illegal content posted by users.
  • President Trump has railed against Section 230, arguing that it allows tech companies like Facebook to censor lawful speech and target conservatives.
  • "Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech," Pai said. "But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers."
  • Internet rights charity Access Now also condemned Pai's decision, calling him a "puppet for the Trump administration.

Trumpism
or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.