"The COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 150,000 Americans is likely to end the woeful presidency of Donald Trump. With the economy, once his strongest suit, in tatters, and two-thirds of Americans disapproving of his handling of the pandemic as well as broad disapproval of how he dealt with recent racial unrest, both Trump and his Republican Party may face a harsh reckoning this fall," writes Joel Kotkin. "The removal of Trump is also a necessary step to the repositioning of the GOP. "
"It has now been more than five months since a U.S. intelligence assessment included in President Donald Trump’s Daily Brief suggested that Russia was paying bounties to Taliban fighters for attacking U.S. and other foreign forces in Afghanistan. And it has been more than a month since news of the intelligence reports became public," writes Seth G. Jones and Juan C. Zarate. "Yet the president and his administration still have not adequately denounced Russian activity or outlined a strategy to counter this type of hybrid warfare."
"Attorney General William Barr left us with a terrifying certainty in the wake of his testimony on July 28 in front of the House Judiciary Committee: Under him, the Department of Justice stands ready to advance any pro-Trump policy, justifying it on the basis of a blinkered, tenuous view of the facts and the law, or maybe just Barr’s personal ideological intuitions," writes Harry Litman.
"Let’s dispense with the myth that the Trump administration has no strategy related to the coronavirus pandemic," writes Michael Hiltzik. "In his statements and the actions of federal agencies under his control, as well as the positions held by his Republican congressional caucus, the strategy is clear: Use the pandemic to make America a crueler place."
"In the 2018 midterm elections, about six out of 10 U.S. poll workers were over the age of 60, and more than 80% were over 40. That presents a major problem for the 2020 presidential contest," writes Maya Patel. "The age group from which most poll workers are drawn is particularly at risk for COVID-19, and primaries held after the global pandemic made clear that finding enough poll workers to staff the November election is likely to be difficult. In Wisconsin’s April primary, for instance, a lack of available poll workers caused the city of Milwaukee to drastically pare down the number of polling locations, from its typical 180 to a mere five. Luckily, this is a problem with a relatively simple solution: Young people should step up and be poll workers."
"Once again, President Donald Trump has shown his ignorance of the Constitution and federal law in raising the question on Twitter of whether the November presidential election should be delayed. To be clear, President Trump has absolutely no legal authority to do this. The date for the election is set by federal statute and can be changed only by Congress," writes Erwin Chemerinsky. "Still, Trump’s Thursday tweet has fueled concern that he will do everything he can to remain in office, no matter what the outcome of the election."
"Once upon a time in a far more stable America, our national agenda was largely shaped by network news, The New York Times, weekly news magazines like Time and The Associated Press. Media productions like the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” not only determined what we would talk about, but also how we would talk about it," writes David Zurawik. "Today, the Times and AP are still playing an important role in what we talk about in Congress, at the White House podium, in the media and at dinner tables around the country. But cable TV is the medium most responsible for shaping the national agenda. Yes, that cable TV with all its opinionated talk, conflict, vitriol and coverage often based in ideology more than journalism on a channel like Fox News."
"If you’re out of work and struggling, fearful that Congress won’t come up with more help for you and millions of other Americans during the pandemic, then you’re probably worried about where your next few meals will come from — not whether you can deduct the full cost of them from your income taxes," writes Dan Rodricks. "And yet, there it is: In the Republican version of the next big relief package, a proposal to raise from 50% to 100% the deduction for business meals at restaurants. Sen. Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, added the proposal to get more executives into restaurants for Mad Men meals in the second half of the year. Nice idea, even somewhat logical — assuming restaurants are open in the second half of the year — and you could almost support it if Senate Republicans were willing to extend emergency food stamps and unemployment relief for hundreds of thousands of families. But they’re not."
"Call it the trial balloon that launched a thousand punctures. On Thursday morning President Donald Trump tweeted: 'With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???' But it was another Trump tweet on Thursday that caught my attention, one that signaled how he might seek to discredit the results of an election he can’t postpone," writes Michael McGough. "'Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!' Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon."
"When the leader of the 'free world' promotes a quack who states that gynecological problems are caused by sex with demons, you know the free world is in big, big trouble," writes Trudy Rubin. "What else can you say when President Donald Trump touts Dr. Stella Immanuel, who claims 'spirit husbands' and 'spirit wives' visit humans in their dreams, and cause fibroids and impotence? Trump retweeted a video in which Immanuel insists that hydroxychloroquine is a 'cure' for COVID-19 and says masks are not needed. Never mind that this dangerous fakery has been repeatedly rebuffed by medical studies and Trump’s own advisers, including Dr. Anthony Fauci; he found the good doctor 'very impressive.'”