Leading The Bulwark…
Biden’s Refreshing Boringness
By Pejman Yousefzadeh
There is, after all, a difference between a responsible and adult presidential campaign on the one hand, and a rampantly reckless clique on the other. And while we may be living in a #lolnothingmatters world, and while there is still plenty of time for the race to shift, it is worth noting that the responsible and adult presidential campaign is having its responsible and adult behavior rewarded in the polls. It’s hard to beat an incumbent president seeking re-election, but for the moment, the refreshingly boring Biden campaign is doing just that.
🎧On the Pods…🎧
Mark Salter on John McCain, Romantic and Cynic
On today’s Bulwark podcast, Mark Salter joins Charlie Sykes to discuss his new book: The Luckiest Man: Life with John McCain.
FOR BULWARK+ MEMBERS
The Next Level: These People Should Be Held Accountable
JVL, Sarah, and Tim are angry on the Internets today.
From The Bulwark Aggregator…
She’s Evangelical, ‘Pro-Life’ and Voting for Biden. (She’s Billy Graham’s Granddaughter.) – Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
Graham wants to review ActBlue’s source of small-dollar contributions – Alexander Bolton, The Hill
Trump abruptly ends ’60 Minutes’ interview before planned taping of joint appearance with Pence – Kaitlan Collins and Khalil Abdallah, CNN
Donald Trump’s Strongman Act, and Its Limits – Charles Homans, New York Times Magazine
GOP pollster Luntz blasts Trump campaign as worst he’s ever seen – Jonathan Easley, The Hill
Feds to Let 15,000 Worship on National Mall—Masks Be Damned – Pilar Melendez and Olivia Messer, The Daily Beast
Hundreds of Thousands of Voters Do Everything Right—Then Get Their Ballots Discarded – David A. Graham, The Atlantic
In today’s Bulwark..
Fifty Trillion Reasons Why
Gregg Hurwitz and Marshall Hurskovitz: How to understand the massive transfer in wealth to the top 1 percent—and what to do about it.
The Internationalized Culture War Is a Gift to China and Russia
Martin Skold: Polarized politics based on cultural tribalism, both in the U.S. and the broader free world, is exactly what Putin and Xi need to make the world safe for authoritarianism.
Sending Signals of Support for Tibet
Ellen Bork: Mr. Sangay goes to Foggy Bottom.
The government’s sham case against Google. My friend and former neighbor Patrick Hedger at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance nails it:
If the reported details of the DOJ’s case against Google are true, one thing is clear: this is a political hit job masquerading as a flimsy antitrust suit. It is reported that Attorney General Barr rushed to file this case before the election and the inherent flaws in DOJ’s reported arguments support that assertion. Painting Google as a ‘monopoly’ is nonsensical because the company faces stiff competition and is losing market share in search, advertising, and hardware sales to companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Apple.
Join me & Kim Wehle on Instagram! I went on our good friend and Bulwark contributor Kim Wehle’s Instagram show to talk about the past of the GOP and its future.
Happy Back to the Future Day. Great scott!
Mark Meadows is apparently still using campaign funds… After retiring, he kept spending from his campaign accounts, according to a recent FEC filing.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reported spending tens of thousands of dollars through his campaign and leadership PAC on what appear to be personal expenses, including gourmet cupcakes, a cell phone bill, grocery purchases, lavish meals, thousands of dollars at a Washington jeweler and lodging at the Trump International Hotel, according to FEC filings.
Left to my own devices… I was on my own for lunch at the extended stay hotel today, and wouldn’t you know…
The best part is that they got the order wrong, so it was free. And now I have late night snacks for tomorrow’s debate. (Don’t judge. I really love White Castle.)
House Republicans are concerned… That Biden’s private rental of an Amtrak train (perfectly legal) is concerned that the whistle stop tour may have prevented freight trains with PPE from getting to their destination in a timely manner. I am not making this up. And they’d like a response before election day, of course. Imagine if they put this much effort into looking into Jared Kushner’s PPE boondoggle?
DEVIN NUNES HAS A PODCAST. Which apparently is hosted from “the breadbasket of the solar system.” This is what happens when a legislator has given up on governing.
Steve Bannon, free on bail, goes full QAnon.
The Proud Boys are harassing voters. I was at a Pilot / Flying J gas station on our drive to St. Louis, and I’m a little sad I was giving the evil Jimmy Haslam money while my beloved Browns (which he owns and mismanages) were getting blown out by the Steelers. At the gas pump behind me, a man was filling up his car and was wearing a Proud Boys t-shirt. I didn’t realize they had merch.
For those of you don’t know who the Proud Boys are, they’re an extremist group started by Canadian Gavin McInnes.
Apparently, a domain associated with the group is now sending threatening emails to voters. Was it the Proud Boys? Probably not.
The technical data embedded in the emails do not make clear who was behind the messages. But metadata gathered from dozens of the emails pointed to the use of servers in Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, according to numerous analysts.
“It’s clearly organized and very much planned,” said Rita Katz, executive director of SITE Intelligence Group. “What they did was totally covering their steps. It’s going to be very difficult to find out who’s doing this.”
Speaking of Jimmy Haslam… It’s nice that Odell Beckham, Jr. plays for the Browns. He’s a talented guy. But he’s also not the sharpest tool in the shed, as he recently announced a truce with COVID-19.
Giuliani and Borat… I’m excited for the forthcoming Borat movie. I know not everyone is a fan, but for whatever reason, I am. Absurd comedy often reveals a lot of about society, whether it’s how dumb we can be, how polite we can be, or just how insane these times are. And given the Rudy / Hunter Biden stuff lately, I’m a little surprised that Rudy didn’t make it into the trailers and teasers of the movie where he apparently appears.
Well, that’s it for me today. Stay tuned, and be prepared to stay up late with us to talk about tomorrow’s final debate between Trump and Biden. Bulwark+ members get access to our post-debate livestream, and there’s still time to join. We’ll send you the details tomorrow.
Not a member?
I’m off to pick up pizza from one of Saint Louis’s finest local haunts, Faraci’s in Ferguson. Out here, they use Provel cheese on their very thin crust pizza, and if you’ve never heard of it, here’s a primer. I’m going to bring back a few pounds of this stuff when we leave in a few days.
Questions about my diet? Concerns? Thoughts? Ideas? You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think somebody would like what we’re up to, you can share Overtime with your friends.