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May 3·edited May 3

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought taking up mortgages to finance consumption is – on the individual level – a really terrible idea. Right up there with credit-card-financed consumption.

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I’m not anywhere near an economist, so this is nothing but my own personal memories. But, I remember in the early oughts, when people refinanced like crazy and pulled equity out of their homes, and then the housing crash happened. I don’t think that this will happen again now, because the economy is much better, while back in ‘04/05 it was artificially propped up by all that equity.

*If*, however, it makes people happier in the lead-up to November, then we might as well. We’re not in the same position that we were in, and we are so short of housing it would take a lot to make a *crash* happen. I’m just shuddering at the memories. But, I’m not an economist or bear any kind of resemblance to one, so…

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May 3·edited May 3Author

Please don't tell me what to do, Don. It's insulting.

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Have you checked out the Reach app? That connects you to the Biden digital team and all their content. (I'm not a a social media creator and don't have a bunch of followers, so I haven't bothered). But I have a bunch of stuff bookmarked in my browser.

For Biden successes there are lots of great resources (many on the White House website!!:

* www.whitehouse.gov/therecord/

* www.whitehouse.gov/invest/

* www.whitehouse.gov/build/

* www.whitehouse.gov/cleanenergy/

Also, Amplify (www.activateamerica.vote/amplify) and DemCast USA.

For the latter, these two webpages are great:

* https://demcastusa.com/2024/01/02/10-incredible-things-president-biden-accomplished-in-2023/

* https://demcastusa.com/2023/11/06/where-has-president-biden-created-the-most-new-jobs-check-this-map/)

Demcast is now on Substack as the Digital Drumbeat (https://demcastusa.substack.com/).

Then there is "What did Joe Biden Do Today?" (https://whatdidbidendotoday.substack.com/), although that one tends to get into the weeds, so it may not serve your purpose.

DemCast also has some great anti-trump material. As do Never-Trumper groups like the Lincoln Project and the Bulwark. They each have channels on YouTube and probably X as well. (I don't do X/twitter). And there is also the Meidas Touch Network on YouTube.

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Very well put together. But …… I see no evidence that the Biden campaign is putting together an argument anywhere near as covert. And… I see no evidence that the electorate cares. The second can’t happen unless the first happens

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I find it hard to believe they ( they being the Biden Campaign) don't have an arm devoted to this. From what I've heard they really are firing on all cylinders, utilizing a multitude of tools to communicate their message(s). As others have pointed out, Biden time and time again has managed to outmaneuver what are seen as impossible situations, both as a candidate and a president. Fingers crossed - but they have to be thinking/working on it in some capacity - especially since I believe Hopium has President Biden's ear!

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Biden is talking about the economy a lot and is drawing differences between him trump.

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It's not breaking through though. The media rarely discusses his legislative achievements and all the companies benefitting from them as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act of bipartisan infrastructure bill. Nor do they put our economy in the context of the rest of the world. The Biden campaign should challenge the media to cover his economic accomplishments and compare them statistically to Trump. They need to use surrogates constantly, daily, repeatedly. As much as I hate Trump he consistently pushes simple messages.

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I agree, I was only replying to someone who said that Biden isn’t really talking about it.

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@ Bowman, Jarrod, Abbi and Jonathan. If you want to see what Biden is actually saying, check out the DNC "Social Ambassador's" REACH which sends it to social media. Can send it as press releases to the media yourselves. https://democrats.org/reach/

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I know that he is saying. The problem is the media rarely covers it. And worse they barely cover all of the many executive orders he's just issued from protecting Native American lands to abolishing almost all Covenants Not To Compete and protecting pregnant women's medical records from out-of-state prosecutors.

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I’ve on Reach and I also post stuff in the economy. Just yesterday there was a social media blast using the #DemsDeliveredOnJobs and we posted and amplified yesterday’s job’s report.

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“Republicans are better on the economy” somehow has become engrained in people’s minds, like “don’t go outside with wet hair or you’ll catch a cold.” It’s false, demonstrably false, and yet people still seem to believe it! What can ordinary (not economists) people do or say to help counteract this, besides, of course, working to elect more Democrats, which is why we are here? (For the record, I live in a very solid blue area, so “talk to your friends and family” doesn’t apply to me - all my friends are liberals, and I don’t speak to my family!)

I’ve lived through the 90’s and if employers didn’t rely so much on those rassafrassin’ computerized resume scanners (that screen out too many applicants, IMO) I would say the job market is comparable. Certainly employment is at a better state than any time since. Democrats are *clearly* *demonstrably* “better on the economy and jobs” than Republicans.

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May 3·edited May 3

Only when we loudly make sure that real facts eclipse and, gradually, expunge "alternative facts", will American voters begin to discard false narratives and false perceptions.

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I try to do what I can, but I’m one person, and I know that Hopium (and the VoteDem subreddit) are both created to help individuals make a difference. Where I do feel helpless is in getting the major media outlets on our side. Democrats do not, as often proclaimed, “suck at messaging” as much as their messages don’t get passed on. I’m reminded of that scene in Horton Hears A Who where all the Whos’ “We Are Here!”, get stuck in the dust cloud and never make it out.

Somewhere, somehow, there’s got to be someone who can yell “YOPP” loud enough to break that barrier.

In the meantime, I am really, very glad and proud of the Democrats for having built up such a great grass-roots voting and messaging machine. And of Jaime Harrison for the great job he’s doing leading the DNC. (He’s the best chair since Howard Dean. Fight me.) And, of course, Joe Biden and his team. I was a Warren voter in the primary, and was all “oh no not another older white guy” when Biden was nominated - but he has positively *pole-vaulted* my expectations. He’s the best President I’ve seen in my lifetime - sorry, Barack, you are now second best! (Though Obama still has great taste in books; I never thought I’d like “The Vaster Wilds,” but Obama loved it, so I picked it up, and wound up really loving it too, despite it not being my usual genre.)

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Hear hear!

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It’s both false and frustrating. But the GOP are master communicators and, at best, mildly committed to facts. I find it helpful to constantly and politely correct their falsehoods, including their stewardship of the economy. Additionally every time they or someone else says “Pro-Life,” I correct them and say “Anti-Choice.” Don’t cede the territory. They rely on that!

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One thing to remember. - A lot of the most swingable voters in any election and at this point are just super apolitical and thus very low-information or uninformed or ignorant. Maybe not in general, but on politics and government.

They may seem scary ignorant to you. Like they give you Banjos in the background playin' vibes. But unless/until you know their MAGA types, Trumpers, be patient and kind and down to earth. And for heaven's sake, get *right* to your simplest pro-Joe talking point or two that might be relevant to somebody in their position, *don't* instantly go into rebuttal mode and accidentally put in right-wing noise machine ideas into their heads in the process of rebutting them, that might not have been there in the first place! It's not *our* job to extend the reach and exposure and contact of right-wing TPs and narratives, they do it pretty good on their own. The thing about public speaking and persuasion with busy folks is: "Be Brief, Be Bright, Be Gone".

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Peddling hate and misinformation makes $$$.

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You should make it pro-forced birth and start sharing the ads where the women featured in them had pregnancy complications and were on death's door before they could get what had been the standard treatment for a miscarriage or non-viable fetus prior to the Dobbs decision.

And now the most extreme states want to prohibit travel and prosecute anyone who assists these women. Oh and they want to monitor women's gestation to make sure no pregnancies have been terminated outside the allowable window. Heaven help you if you are one of the women who have miscarried multiple times in an effort to grow their family. The police will be brought into investigate and you will be treated as a criminal.

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May 4·edited May 4

From George Monbiot, in my opinion one of today’s most astute observers:

"[Our] age of extreme political dysfunction… results, I believe, in large part from a kind of meta-deception, called neoliberalism. The spread and development of this ideology was quietly funded by some of the richest people on Earth. Their campaign of persuasion was so successful that this ideology now dominates political life. It has delivered the privatisation of public services; the degradation of public health and education; rising inequality; rampant child poverty; offshoring and the erosion of the tax base; the 2008 financial crash; the rise of modern-day demagogues; our ecological and environmental emergencies."

– George Monbiot, The Guardian

.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2024/may/04/youre-going-to-call-me-a-holocaust-denier-now-are-you-george-monbiot-comes-face-to-face-with-his-local-conspiracy-theorist

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That list of outcomes sounds for like Reagan Rrpublicanism - the trickle down economics. As Simon and others pointed t out, President Biden uses government to make like better for regular folks - like the liberal concensus before Reagan. FDR - 1980.

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Simon, your message discipline is impressive.

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Thank you, Simon, for consistently reminding us all about the importance of being very loud in the coming months about all the good Democrats have done and that our "ability to win in November may very well depend on how successful we are in ....helping Americans come to a better understanding of how successful we and America have been, together."

Now, a new line of t-shirts and other merchandise with the slogan "Dems Make Life Better," can turn all of us into walking, talking billboards for Democrats. The back of the shirts list HOW Dems Make Life Better, and the website, https://www.demsmakelifebetter.org/, provides toolkits to help support meaningful conversations when wearing the shirts. We now have Spanish versions, "Los Dems Hacen La Vida Mejor," and all products carry the union label.

The slogan was inspired by your "With Democrats, Things Get Better, which was a bit too long for a t-shirt, lol. I hope you will share this website with your readers and help spread the word about an easy way to positively message for Democrats in our daily lives.

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May 3·edited May 3

There are two drivers of inflation that receive far too little attention:

– Greedflation

– Fed interest rates (Yes, you read that right.)

Robert Kuttner at the American Prospect has written several excellent articles on both. The dynamic of how high Fed rates contribute to high inflation is all too little appreciated – and certainly it won’t be highlighted by the Federal Reserve itself!

GREEDFLATION is corporations exploitatively padding their profit margins by increasing prices far beyond their costs. While inflation is currently quite low, since the start of the pandemic the cumulative price increases for many products and in many sectors has been astronomical. This "greedflation" accounts for a significant portion of the price pain felt by American consumers. Call it "experienced inflation", which is far different from what economists generally talk about.

Imho, President Biden and his administration need to do far more to counteract GREEDFLATION, both in terms of regulatory steps and the media narrative. Biden and his team should be "naming and shaming names". What better way to show that Biden is fully on the side of American consumers?

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May 3·edited May 3

On a side note: Americans often complain about the price of gasoline, a complaint that is unfathomable to me. The fact is that gas is dirt cheap here! The price is less than half of what gas costs in many European countries.

But, hey, for people who insists on driving an SUV or a gas-guzzling pickup truck, of course it will add up!

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If I were Joe Biden (and I’m not, I’m a mere armchair pundit) I would sic Elizabeth Warren, she who created the Consumer Protection Bureau, on the “greedflators” with as much power as I could give her. And give her the means to create a committee, because one person cannot do it all herself.

I am heartened by the news that the IRS is beefing up its staffing and agents and going after the big fish now. Maybe this will put a dent in things.

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She should supply the talking points, and sure, speak up about it. But we also need it talked about by guys who look like John Fetterman, Jon Tester and women like Glusenkamp-Perez and Mary Peltola and others without glasses who look more like moms and shopkeepers than teachers and professors.

Sorry, I think Liz Warren is awesome. She really knows what's going on. But men in particular, and unfortunately probably a lot of women didn't like getting lectured by their teachers as kids, and she seems a little too similar to that for them. So, I'm saying to take people's personality prejudices into account and go with the grain and get relatable spokespeople for the cause.

Committee and hearings are still wise though, to force the issues into the news and national attention, no matter who does it.

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Great idea. Warren does such a good job explaining.

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Arctic Stones, We information warriors can all keep “naming and shaming” corporations along with Simon’s short,talking points.I live in a MAGA FL county and there’s no shortage of letters waning on ad nauseam about the economy. One Libertarian tried to say, in her long-winded twisted math way, that shrinkflation was good because it made stuff more affordable.

My most recent Letter To Ed published in my Gannett paper.

Pleased With The Economy

I’m a proud American pleased with the state of the U.S. economy.

Our recovery from COVID was the best of any leading industrial country. We have the lowest unemployment rate in decades and jobs are plentiful. Domestic oil production set records in 2023. Inflation has fallen.

I’m not pleased that corporations, despite record-reaking profits, continue to hike prices even as supply chain pressures have eased.

No worries,though! We can all can save money by eating cereal for dinner as suggested by multimillionaire Gary Pilnick, CEO of Kelloggs.

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Hi Simon, I thought these two articles--one from NBC News, the second--from NYT might interest you and fellow Hopium followers. The first more or less, backs the overall point you have been making week to week (fully agreed with by myself mind you) in that the vast majority of young voters do not see the Middle Eastern conflict as top of mind in comparison to other issues nor as a pivotal issue steering them away from voting this election and for Biden at that. Granted, the article could be better and I don't even necessarily trust a good portion of these focus groups/polling at first glance. Even though the article's overarching point supports your narrative, the 'tests' conducted are a bit too sporadic and not cohesive enough for my taste. It doesn't support the reality nearly as vividly as it should or as you do. However, it is promising in general to see more articles gradually coming out showing the contrast between what is exacerbated through much of mainstream media---vs---the under-represented reality of where things stand (which I still think boasts well for us come election day regardless the lack of adequate media representation). Below is the URL link to the first one with a caption....

---Young voters are mad about Gaza. But many don't see it driving their 2024 votes.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/young-voters-mad-gaza-many-220041532.html---

"Young people are deeply critical of the Biden administration's handling of the war between Israel and Hamas, as some college students participate in pro-Palestinian protests on campuses across the country. But a pair of new focus groups of politically independent college students in Wisconsin highlighted a key distinction that's also evident in public polling: Few of the participants believe the issue could actually change their vote for president this fall, though some questioned whether it would push them not to vote at all. And they almost unanimously believe former President Donald Trump would do no better (or even worse) on the issue than President Joe Biden has."

The second article URL link and caption is below, offering a potentially promising outlook ahead with regards to the conflict in Gaza (least in the long term). Although, Netanyahu really needs to be out period for any of this to even begin peaceful stages forward....

---Israeli Officials Weigh Sharing Power With Arab States in Postwar Gaza

https://www.yahoo.com/news/israeli-officials-weigh-sharing-power-115400935.html---

"JERUSALEM — For months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has avoided detailed public discussion about the Gaza Strip’s postwar future. Trying to placate both his far-right allies, who seek to rebuild Israeli settlements in Gaza, and Israel’s foreign partners, who want Gaza returned to Palestinian governance, Netanyahu has stopped short of any specific declaration. Behind the scenes, however, senior officials in his office have been weighing an expansive plan for postwar Gaza, in which Israel would offer to share oversight of the territory with an alliance of Arab countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the United States, according to three Israeli officials and five people who have discussed the plan with members of the Israeli government. According to that proposal, Israel would do so in exchange for normalized relations between itself and Saudi Arabia, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter."

So, we'll see where all of this goes as these negotiations could go 'either way.' I still cautiously believe we are seeing the potential peak of the protests now just after the climax of the police presence across campuses. Unless God forbid, Netanyahu moves into Rafah full steam ahead---most graduations will commence and most students including a significant portion of those involved with the protests will move forward onto their summer breaks at home or abroad. Netanyahu is growing further isolated and it's quite plausible he is ousted before the end of the year. Not to mention, a temporary yet, significant ceasefire/hostage release is NOT out of the question and we all know Biden and Blinken are working extraordinarily hard on trying to make that happen which could --- could --- occur in coming weeks. Here's to hoping as all of this on the horizon could be a real game changer in our favor ahead of the election alongside the pivotal issue of abortion rights.

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Hello, sir! New subscriber, big fan! Out of curiosity, is there a reason your chosen date range cut Reagan out? Despite the fact he was the second biggest creator of jobs, even with him included, your point works, the difference is still dramatic.

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Watch my With Dems presentation. I think when the Cold War ended, and a new global economy emerged, everything changed, domestically and globally. It's why I start there, along with when I began all this it was 16 years of Rs, 16 years of Ds, so a clean apples to apples comparison. We have helped America prosper and advance in this new age, the Rs haven't. It may be the most essential thing to understanding how we got here.

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May 3·edited May 3

What a jokium:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/kristi-noem-s-claim-in-new-memoir-that-she-met-north-korea-dictator-kim-jong-un-called-into-question/ar-AA1o6jHo?ocid=entnewsntp&pc=U531&cvid=c816e92380d14702d5f270a3685a2cba&ei=34

Bless her puppy and goat-shootin' heart!

I wonder if she secretly arranged to have this stuff amplified, so she has an excuse not to get "honored" with Veepium by the Orange Man. After all, the last guy didn't like how that felt!

PS- If you're not from the south, just know, "bless your heart" is not a compliment

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"Kristi Noem's most public murder is her political career"

– Mark Sumner, DailyKos

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Great thoughts and insight, Simon! Would it be possible to share direct comparison job creation data of Trump vs. Biden? If Biden has created 400,000+ jobs per month on average, what was the average job growth per month for Trump? That would be helpful in winning the economic argument.

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https://www.politifact.com/article/2024/mar/04/Biden-Trump-economy-who-did-better/

Here is an article you may find helpful. Also Simon’s ‘With Dems....’ foundational work is full of graphs and data. He is his latest link....

https://youtu.be/mBHCFzL07kI?si=WtGwcqRSqbqUsppF

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Thanks for the great links!

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Our success in keeping our President (and our democracy) hinges absolutely on the success of our MESSAGING. We have a great economy, a strong, ethical and committed President, and a democracy that's wobbly but still standing. The two issues that the everyone cares about are 1) the economy and 2) abortion, in varying order depending on the day. Simple, easy and very amenable to integration into simple easy stories. The average voter just doesn't have time and energy to pay attention the same way we hard-core political junkies do, so we have to make it easy to remember and share. It sucks, it's prone to inaccuracies, but it's real.

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"Save Our Democracy" includes voting rights and civil liberties, as well as abortion.

1.6.2020 was ALL about an assault on democracy.

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You betcha! And many, MANY more. But these we can encapsulate, make them sound bites.

In the 2004 election, we kept hearing about voter purging, but my husband was completely convinced that there was nothing to it. Even when I got to the polling place and they couldn't find my name. It's why I'm never too quick to dismiss "conspiracy theories," because once in a while, they are proven true.

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Good morning, Simon. Thought this was an interesting snapshot from an Associated Press article released earlier----"TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — A delegation of the Palestinian militant group Hamas was in Cairo on Saturday as Egyptian state media reported “noticeable progress” in ongoing cease-fire talks with Israel while an Israeli official downplayed the prospects for a full end to the war. The proposal that Egyptian mediators had put to Hamas sets out a three-stage process that would bring an immediate, six-week cease-fire and partial release of Israeli hostages, and would include some sort of Israeli pullout. The initial stage would last for 40 days. Hamas would start by releasing female civilian hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Gershon Baskin, director for the Middle East at the International Communities Organization, said it appears that Hamas has agreed to the framework that Egypt proposed and Israel has already accepted. He said the negotiators are now hammering out the details — and if Israel sends its top negotiators to Cairo after the Sabbath ends on Saturday evening, that would signify it's very serious."

Though I am no fan of Netanyahu (particularly as a Jewish person myself), I'm not so sure I stand by the notion of permanently ending the mission to eradicate Hamas. Though one can never truly eliminate a terrorist group (for they'll always regroup to some extent or other), one can however--effectively diminish their capacity, effectiveness, and relevancy--and for some time at that. Like many, I believe at least a temporary ceasefire is necessary as well as, a hostage release in particular above all things. Hopefully, he does not enter Rafah or at least not nearly as aggressively as he 'intends.' Hamas must be taken down and Israel still has the right to defend itself. I know you agree however, Netanyahu is not the right leader to oversee this process. Anyway, it seems there is potential light on the horizon. Also, there is more reporting the campus protests are actually starting to wane courtesy of both Biden's rebuke to the extremist elements of the protests (obviously not the peaceful protests in general) as well as, the law enforcement crackdown (which a handful of us predicted would be the case). Protests however, seem to be escalating somewhat in Canada and abroad though likely not enough to affect Biden over here. What are your thoughts on where things stand pertaining to the election as it relates to this shift in the protests and the hopeful, looming progress in Middle Eastern negotiations? Thanks again for all you're doing.

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Using bullet points, comparisons to trump and to other countries needs to be front and center in the campaign, w all voters and by pressing the media to cover it. Charts like this can definitely work. Powerful visually.

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May 4·edited May 4

Hopium thought 1 - was listening to the most recent Bulwark Focus group podcast and they discussed how - because he thinks he’s winning (and the media says he is) - Trump is off message and overconfident. The Trump campaign’s operating hypothesis according to Sarah Longwell and Dan Caputo is: 1) if the election is about Biden they win and 2) if it is about Trump they lose. Trump is - because he’s overconfident (and thinks that Trump being Trump is working for him and putting him ahead) is just talking about himself and being treated “unfairly.” Trump and his campaign are burning precious weeks not pushing on the messages that work for them (immigration and the economy). Given the very real weakness in his polling strength, this is very good news for us. Here’s the podcast. (Video version): https://www.thebulwark.com/p/video-trumps-f-u-strategy-with-marc-caputo

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