The Banter Brief: Trump's Self-Served "Sh*t Sandwich"

Another week in Trumpland, another revelation of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Banter Brief!

1. Most Important Story Of The Week

Bob Woodward’s book

With just over 8 weeks to go in this godforsaken presidential election, Bob Woodward dropped a bombshell on the American public in the form of a book based on recorded interviews with Donald Trump earlier this year. What did Woodward tell us? Oh, only that Trump knew exactly how dangerous the Coronavirus pandemic was, but told the public it was no big deal and would all go away because he didn’t want to create panic.

Yes, the Commander in Chief really did understand how deadly the pandemic was, but in the interests of calming financial markets and his gun toting, freedom loving sycophants, he lied about it for months. How big is this story? Even in the never ending scandal fest that is the Trump presidency, this is pretty huge news.

Banter Members can read Bob Cesca’s hot take on the Woodward book here:

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Trump Admitted To Downplaying The Pandemic, But There's Only One Way To Make It Stick

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2. Poll Analysis

Trump has 8 weeks to turn his cash strapped, faltering campaign around if he wants to beat Biden, but there are no tangible signs he is doing this. The polls do appear to be tightening, but nowhere near enough for the Trump campaign to feel confident going into November. FiveThirtyEight’s simulation model actually shows Biden’s chances of winning improving slightly from last week (up from 71 in 100 to 74 in 100):

Does this mean Biden is in the clear? No, not by a long way, especially given GOP efforts to suppress the vote and dismantle the USPS. But it is looking good for Biden as of right now.

3. Quote Of The Week

“This week’s wounds are from Trump’s own quivering, liverish lips and the shit sandwich he stuffed between them on Wednesday. It’s not every day that your hubris and dumbfuckery leads you to do 18 on-the-record taped interviews with Bob Woodward confessing to, oh, 200,000 fucking cases of manslaughter because you lied and lied and lied and lied and lied and lied and lied again to the American people about the impact of COVID. It’s not some vague J’Accuse from the resistance now; Trump admitted early on that he knew just how deadly and how dangerous the virus would be, and lied anyway. That’s some killer clown show.”

- Rick Wilson, co-founder of the Lincoln Project

Bonus quote:

4. What to Watch

What: ‘The Inbetweeners’ - a British comedy about the lives of four suburban teenage boys during their final years of school.

Why: The Inbetweeners is without doubt one of the best comedies to come out of the UK in the past 20 years. Following the lives of hapless teenagers Will, Simon, Jay, and Neil, The Inbetweeners is a wickedly funny take on the trials and tribulations of soon-to-be adult boys struggling to define themselves. The series is narrated by brief case carrying Will, who has recently moved from his expensive private school to the local comprehensive (public school for Americans). In an attempt to avoid bullies and fit in, he befriends hopeless romantic Simon, sex obsessed Jay and nice but dim Neil — three boys who aren’t exactly losers, but aren’t cool either.

The Inbetweeners is a coming-of-age show that everyone can relate to. From the awkwardness of interacting with the opposite sex to navigating teenage social pressures, the show is brilliantly written, sidesplittingly funny, and surprisingly tender at points. Watch the series, then check out the equally funny movies that followed.

[For longtime Banter readers, this was our beloved Chez Pazienza’s favorite show, and as you know he had absolutely impeccable taste]

Where: Netflix

5. Good News

Vaccine development is being done responsibly

This might not appear to be good news, but AstraZeneca’s pause of its phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trials due to severe illness in one participant has a silver lining. As Politico reported:

The news of AstraZeneca’s pause seems to have relaxed scientists a bit, confirming that drug companies are proceeding with caution and not neglecting safety even as they’re under pressure from governments to produce. It even soothed some early skeptics of the Oxford team’s bravado.

Public trust in the vaccine development process is an absolute must before anything is rolled out. With Coronavirus conspiracy theories and anti-vax nonsense flooding the internet, it is essential that big-pharma companies are completely transparent about their process. AstraZeneca’s decision to immediately halt all trials is an indicator that ethical scientific protocol is being followed meticulously, and we can be assured that if and they release a vaccine, it will be safe.

An independent board of experts are now investigating whether the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine was responsible for the neurological symptoms experienced by one of the participants. Hopefully it turns out the vaccine had nothing to do with it (a very likely scenario), but at the very least we can be assured that profit is being placed above safety.

Have a great weekend!

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