Towards an issues-based 2020 election (79)

===2020 Big Picture===
Carter Centre to launch first-ever US election initiative, citing ‘erosion’ of democracy

For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job
In a polarized society, the bureaucrats who operate the machinery of democracy are taking flak
from all sides. More than 20 have resigned or retired since March 1, thinning their ranks at a time
when they are most needed.

Historian Rick Perlstein: America’s Right Turn; 1976 – 1980

Political reporters everywhere please look at this. It’s so good. This is from Madison, WI, but I’ll bet the issues and questions aren’t so different where you are. Reporters should let the citizens, not the candidates, set the agenda! Then demand answers!

Cities sue Census Bureau over ending 2020 head count early


The Alarming Growth of the Supreme Court’s “Shadow Docket”
The court’s most partisan decisions are flying under the radar

Super weird coincidence how SCOTUS is lightning-fast when they need to blow up injunctions
that ensure people can vote, yet extremely slow when it comes to resolving anything else,
like disputes between Congress and the President.

On the other hand…
This is great news – the first good news on voting rights from SCOTUS in ages. The justices
will *not* reinstate an onerous requirement that Rhode Island voters get two witnesses,
or a notary public, to sign their absentee ballots. (Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch dissent.)

19th Amendment Turns 100:
Fight for Voting Rights Builds on Centuries of Struggle Led by Black Women


When and how to vote in all 50 states.
Understand your state’s election rules and deadlines and how to ensure your vote is counted.

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub on CNN: “In 2016, about a quarter of the votes came in through mail in or absentee votes. Voting experts do not really distinguish between absentee voting, which the president or the vice president have endorsed, and mail-in voting.”

Data point on vote-by-mail:
Hawaii just held primary with record high turnout. 99% of votes cast by mail
No reports of problems or “fraud”.


USPS delivered about 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s last year.
It delivered about 2.5 billion pieces of first class mail the week before Christmas. Even if
*every one* of roughly 130 million voters mailed their ballots this fall, USPS could handle it.


Congress’ Stinginess Is Putting Democracy at Risk, State Election Officials Say
‘[Election officials] have this saying: You can have speed, accuracy, and cheap. Pick two, because you can’t have all three’

A white person and a Black person vote by mail in the same state. Whose ballot is more likely
to be rejected? The changes states are scrambling to make ahead of November to help protect
voters from COVID-19 could disproportionately disenfranchise people of color.

ES&S precinct ballot scanners in MI, WI, FL, & IL are not federally certified because they contain
cellular modems that connect to the *internet*. Voters & voter protection groups must demand
they remove the modems ASAP. TY. @JocelynBenson @WI_Elections @FLSecofState 1/

Repeat two for context…
Last week, aides and advisers began pondering possible executive actions Donald Trump could take to curb mail-in voting – everything from directing the postal service to not deliver certain ballots to stopping local officials from counting them

Louis DeJoy, Trump donor, now Postmaster General:
– slowed mail delivery
– decided mail-in ballots will require first-class 55-cent postage
rather than the normal 20-cent bulk rate
– owns between $30M and $75M of assets in competitors to the USPS
Suspicious? – See


Postmaster General DeJoy appears to be at risk of violating the primary criminal conflict
of interest statute after failing to divest significant financial interests in two companies
directly affected by the work of the USPS, according to CREW.

The Iowa Postal Workers Union president on the Trump-donor-turned Postmaster General:
“His policies, although they’ve only been in place for a few weeks, are now affecting the way
that we do business and not allowing us to deliver every piece every day.”


Treasury’s Role in the Postal Sabotage

To summarize: Steve Mnuchin used financial leverage over the Postal Service to engage in a
hostile takeover of the agency. And DeJoy’s appointment came out of nowhere, not from the
search firm dedicated to the task. …



The Trump appointee who chairs the postal service governing board is also the chairman
of Mitch McConnell’s super PAC. I’d like you to think about the implications of that.

Welcome to exactly the problem with the Lincoln Project. Looking to destroy the Postal Service
as a service and convert it into a private business is a long time Republican Project.

Dodgers, LeBron James team up to make Dodger Stadium a polling site

Let’s talk aboutt how amazing stadiums are for voting in a pandemic: They have ventilation.
They are gigantic. Multiple polling stations can be set up. Hundreds of people can vote
at once with no lines. There is parking for busses. There is cleaning staff.

How to Counter Donald Trump’s Attempt to Manipulate the Election and the Census


How to Foil Donald Trump’s Election Night Strategy

How we stop Donald Trump from stealing 11/3 by mail

If you want to guarantee obtaining your ballot and getting it back in time,
here’s where to start. (video)

1) Prime time hearings, now.
2) Subpoenas to Trump WH and camp officials. This is a RICO case
3) Visit local post offices with cameras – show people what is happening.
4) Events with those getting Rx late
5) Involve governors
6) No rest, no vacation. … (i.e. tell them to get back to DC and do their job)

Oprah is making Election Day a holiday at her company.

In June, @RepJoeNeguse @RepCicilline @RepValDemings @RepDean @RepRaskin & I
introduced bill to allow House to execute our Inherent Contempt power against Administration
officials. This bill doesn’t require Senate or @POTUS approval. We should pass it ASAP.


In my new podcast, I interview @thelisagraves, an expert on how special interest groups work to distort our political system. If you’ve been monitoring Republican efforts to hobble the @USPS in recent weeks, you’ll want to listen to this.

Apparently Republicans don’t have anything to run on!…

Does WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows think we’re stupid?


I’ve done lots of interviews about my book, The Fight for the Democratic Party (Verso). This interview with 2 young thinkers on economic issues was especially insightful – and fun. I commend it to folks who are interested in learning more about the long fight for economic justice.


Barbara Lee thinks 2020 Democrats could learn a lot from Shirley Chisholm.

…Not sure why House leadership has been hesitant to reverse the damage Newt Gingrich and the GOP did to independent expertise in the House, but reviving the Office of Technology Assessment should be at the top of the 2021 list

Majority of Public Favors Giving Civilians the Power to Sue Police Officers for Misconduct
Little public support for cuts in spending on local policing

Note: I suspect they didn’t ask… Do you support the militarization of police?

Cuts to public services that might mitigate poverty and promote social mobility
have become a perpetual excuse for more policing

…the Washington Post’s reporting … upholds the status quo.

===2020 Issues===
The Democratic National Committee this week quietly dropped language calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks from its party platform

.@JoeBiden continues to be committed to ending U.S. fossil fuel subsidies & then rallying the
rest of the world to do the same – as was outlined in his climate plan last year. Here at home,
he’ll use those dollars to instead invest in a clean energy future and create union jobs.


A Novel Way to Fund a Green Economy

Compare / Contrast

The World Has Reached Decision Time on the Climate Crisis
In 2020, biology, history, and physics are making the choice between transformation or disintegration clearer than ever.

How Can We Plan for the Future in California?
The state’s heat waves, blackouts, and fires – amid a pandemic – offer a warning of our fossil-fuel future

The wildfires now burning in California are the 2nd and 3rd largest in recorded state history

Stop adding (fossil) fuels to fires

US West Faces Reckoning Over Water but Avoids Cuts for Now
Projections for water levels in two massive lakes in the U.S. West are expected to remain
high enough to avert severe cuts in states that rely on the Colorado River.

People needing to convince hidebound trustees about divestment will find much to crib from in this analysis by hardworking students at @alleghenycol

Here is why we are taking the Australian government to the UN over its inaction on climate change

The US has handed-out over $72.36 billion to fossil fuel companies through stimulus / relief packages while millions across the US lost jobs. With trillions on the move through government stimulus packages, we demand resources go to those who need it most: (video)
It’s Thursday so you should know that if the minimum wage had grown with productivity since 1960, it would be $22.50 today.  Instead, it’s just $7.25.

A critical reason labor unions matter is they are often the only mechanism that enforces laws like workplace safety, overtime and other employment laws.  See here for an example on unions and OSHA enforcment historically.

CBPP: People Who Seek Disability Benefits Face Health, Economic Challenges

Must opt in by August 31st…
CBPP: School Districts, Governors Can Use Free Meals to Mitigate Hardship

Click infographic to see x-axis…
Despite what the defense contractors say, spending billions upon billions every year on endless wars isn’t efficient for creating jobs.
Let’s cut our excessive military spending and invest in solar, wind, retrofits, and a clean energy future


Ady Barkan: “[W]e do not guarantee this most basic human right. Everyone living in America
should get the health care they need … Even during this terrible crisis, Donald Trump and
Republican politicians are trying to take away millions of people’s health insurance.”

The Man Determined to Deliver Trump’s Alaskan Oil Promise
A political appointee at the Department of Interior has played a key, and sometimes controversial, role in opening a pristine wildlife refuge to drilling.

According to interviews with more than a dozen current and former DOI employees, including three who previously held the position of senior adviser, Wackowski has frequently involved himself in scientific matters typically left to career employees and has often favored corporate interests.

  The Donald Trump Takeover of EPA: Throwing Environmental Protection In Reverse

We can reshore manufacturing jobs, but Trump hasn’t done itTrade rebalancing, infrastructure, and climate investments could create 17 million good jobs and rebuild the American economy

CBPP: Virginia, Other States Advance Immigrant-Inclusive Policies

See infographic…
The practice of refusing to take cash as payment has become more widespread amid the coronavirus pandemic. But @TheRevAl says this practice is hurting minority households. Read Sharpton’s full op-ed for U.S. News here:

The Simple Fix For Corporate Income Tax – Tax Stock Returns

This reform would also stabilize share prices by introducing negative feedback:
price up => big tax bill looming => sell => price down.


To my mind it is unfortunate how much time the left has spent pushing various measures that will almost certainly be subverted the day after they are passed, if they are ever passed. We need measures, like Seattle Democracy Vouchers, that get the non-rich into the game

A Day One Agenda for Private Equity
A new administration would have numerous opportunities to weaken the power of these financial titans.


Rep Ro Khanna: Why I Am Voting No on the Democratic Party Platform
History teaches us that the Democratic Party has sometimes faced an issue so great that it alone should be the yardstick for measuring the wisdom of voting for or against the platform. This is one of those times. And Medicare for All is that issue.

Pete D’Alessandro agrees…


Wendell Potter: The health care scare
I sold Americans a lie about Canadian medicine. Now we’re paying the price.

Join us, with @FP4America, @natsecaction, @jstreetdotorg, @TrumanProject, and @OxfamAmerica for a virtual discussion “Building Back Better: A Post-Trump Foreign Policy,” featuring @ChrisMurphyCT on 8/18, during the Democratic Convention. RSVP here:

What the Palestinians Think of the Israel-UAE ‘Deal’
The State of Palestine Negotiation Affairs Department has laid out Palestine’s position regarding the deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and how it affects Palestinians.

The Israel-UAE deal is a triumph for authoritarianism

Rashid Khalidi: Israel & UAE Deal to Normalize Relations
Is New Chapter in 100-Year War on Palestine


Thoughts on UAE/Israel announcement: (1) Decision to “suspend” annexation unequivocally
a good thing – but note it’s “suspension” not abandonment of a terrible and illegal idea.
Also can’t ignore that de facto, creeping annexation continues and needs to be stopped as well.

Any move to establish warmer ties between Israel and its neighbors is a good thing
but comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace can’t leave Palestinians on the outside looking in.
Real conflict resolution can only happen when rights, needs of both Palestinians,
Israelis are addressed 2/2

Joe Biden…
My Statement on the Agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates

Sixty-seven years ago last Wednesday, the CIA and MI6 overthrew the democratically-elected government of Iran. Few Americans know this. Every Iranian does. Read or listen to this fascinating story of what happen and why we did it. (Hint: Oil)

Iran Deal…
“The JCPOA demonstrates that an agreement between the United States and Iran on nuclear issues is reachable,” @ilangoldenberg, @elisacatalano44, and @kaleighsthomas argue, “and paints a clear picture of the elements up for negotiation.” Read more:

US sees embarrassing UN defeat over Iran arms embargo proposal. Just one country joins US
in vote, highlighting Washington’s isolation as it seeks more drastic action against Iran

Next step in the US effort to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal: the “Security Council in
Wonderland”, per @RichardGowan1, as the Trump administration claims it remains a
participant in a deal from which it loudly withdrew.

The remedies in the resolution are available to “participant” countries. In pulling out of the
agreement the WH literally titled its statement “Ending US Participation in the JCPOA.”
It would have been wise to stick with an agreement that was working and has teeth.

Referencing the same person…
Reading through this …  thread on the JCPOA is… something. The arrogance
notwithstanding, the logical dissonance of thinking the US gets to leverage
the technical provisions of a deal it stopped honoring two years ago…


Secretary Pompeo’s attempt to divert blame & lay responsibility at the feet of the Security
Council is hardly surprising. The Trump administration created this mess by rejecting the
effective #IranDeal & Resolution 2231, & disregarding the interests of US allies.

A week later…
US Heads to UN to Demand ‘Snapback’ of Sanctions Against Iran
Without European support, it is not clear how the United States alone would enforce U.N. sanctions…

Beginning of a thread
E3 have just circulated letter to UNSC presidency
and issued statement rejecting US SnapBack move.

Maximum pressure was meant to achieve “better” nuclear deal & isolate Iran. Instead Iran’s
nuclear breakout time is cut & US has isolated itself more than predicted — a reflection of
weakness of US argument & almost certainly growing sense Trump might lose
& JCPOA can be saved


Scientists say the evidence is overwhelming. New nuclear tests are dangerous, unnecessary and will accelerate a new arms race. New from @FLIxrisk and Max Tegmark. (video)

You have got to listen to this 2-minute trailer for @ArmsControlWonk’s new podcast. Just brilliant. Everyone should promote this limited series. I just subscribed.

Thread about a different but related podcast…

Cannibalizing existing forces and capabilities to make more and bigger bets on speculative technologies seems dicey. It’s worth asking who would profit.

A new study shows that a *majority of both Democrats and Republicans* want to phase out nuclear ICBMs. This is huge, because it runs contrary to the Pentagon’s current plan to replace the entire ICBM fleet for $100 *billion*. See my latest for @Forbes

Striking poll from @ChicagoCouncil: two-thirds of Americans (66%) believe that no country should be allowed to have nuclear weapons, including majorities of Republicans (54%), Democrats (78%), and Independents (64%).

The Politics of Pentagon Spending: Can the U.S. Military Budget Be Cut?
Is Congress ready for real defense cuts?


===2020 Watch List===
Trump campaign sues key Iowa counties over absentee mailings

Judge orders Trump campaign to produce evidence of voter fraud in Pennsylvania

Also Pennsylvania. Presumably a different case…
In new court filing, Pennsylvania *agrees* to enjoin its received-by deadline and count
any ballot postmarked by Election Day and received by the third day following the election.
@prioritiesUSA @ActiveRetirees

Rhode Island…
Supreme Court blocks GOP bid to restore Rhode Island ballot rules waived because of virus
Three conservative justices dissented, as the court declined to disturb the state’s agreement
to set aside witness requirements for absentee ballots.


A Minnesota court blocked a Republican effort to deny ballot collection and voter assistance
in the state, saying their effort to stop the process was motivated by politics.

Trump’s campaign just filed a lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s plan for mail-in voting in November

The RNC and Trump campaign advisers are now mapping out their post-election strategy
to challenge the results, including how to challenge mail ballots without postmarks,
as they anticipate weeks-long legal fights in an array of states.


Facebook Braces Itself for Trump to Cast Doubt on Election Results

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Sherrilyn Ilfill thread corrects Brian Kilmeade’s comments on the 1960 Civil Rights movement…

2018 Context: Court Recognizes Threat Kobach Poses to Election Integrity

Context: Donald Trump Comes Up Empty When Pressed for Evidence of Election Fraud in Court
The Trump campaign’s 524-page response to a discovery demand turned up precisely zero instances of mail-in vote fraud.

To pad out 1088 “proven instances of voter fraud,” Heritage reaches back to 1948.
They consider election rigging, registration fraud, vote-buying, ballot-stuffing, and
ballot petition fraud all “voter fraud.” 6 perps from PA absentee-related. That’s it.

So the idea that “Bernie blocked appointees and now Trump’s board is ruining USPS” neglects that Trump would have always been able to appoint a majority to the board no matter what Bernie did. Elections have consequences.

Gunnels counters Moulitsas…
The postal nominees Bernie blocked 5 years ago were white Republican men picked by
Mitch McConnell who wanted to gut the Postal Service, privatize it & slash jobs, pensions
& healthcare benefits. The only one who benefits from these slanderous and baseless attacks
is Donald Trump.


Note: Sanders’ was following through with a reasonable request from his base. And you’re calling that act purist, Marcos? Do all “centrists” think that doing what your base wants is purist? Apparently the NYT thinks so.


2018 Sanders: Allow every post office to offer basic and affordable banking services
and end lending discrimination

Context: If you were confused, no worries!
Convention rules require roll call & nominations for every candidate that passes the delegate threshold.
I was asked to 2nd the nom for Sen. Sanders for roll call.
I extend my deepest congratulations to @JoeBiden – let’s go win in November.

AOC on NBC News…
You waited several hours to correct your obvious and blatantly misleading tweet.
It sparked an enormous amount of hatred and vitriol, & now the misinfo you created is circulating
on other networks. All to generate hate-clicks from a pre-recorded, routine procedural motion.


If you’re seeing information about voting or vote-by-mail on Facebook, there’s a ***very*** good chance it’s incorrect.  Many of the examples in this piece are still out there, being shared and “liked” by people all over the country.

Facebook had a big PR push around its voter registration drive – but it got off to a slow and halting start amid complaints by the Trump campaign
Emails obtained by TTP show that FB walked back its initiative promises, frustrating some state officials

To make more money, Facebook helps egg on religious hatred in India. Great reporting from @WSJ

Zuckerberg’s controversial addition to Facebook’s oversight board

Have a friend, almost overnight, become certain masks are for slaves, pedoph-les run the world, and Donald Trump is saving it? You’re not alone.
Here’s how QAnon and Facebook created the viral anti-mask tirade – and radicalized your friends.


Facebook has banned about 900 pages and groups and 1,500 ads tied to the … QAnon
conspiracy, part of a sweeping action that also restricted the reach of over 10,000 Instagram
pages and almost 2,000 Facebook groups pushing the lies.


And yet…

8/14: Donald Trump refuses to answer a question about whether he embraces the lunatic QAnon conspiracy theory

8/19: Donald Trump tacitly endorses baseless QAnon conspiracy theory linked to violence


8/23: Trump’s chief of staff (Meadows): Donald Trump doesn’t know much about QAnon

Marjorie Taylor Greene…
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA23) said recently that he has “a good and productive relationship” with antisemite Marjorie Greene, who’s poised to win a seat in Congress & join the GOP caucus. …

Related: (page up)

Marjorie Taylor Greene…
Congressional Republicans came a step closer to welcoming into their ranks a promoter of the
QAnon conspiracy theory, whose adherents believe Donald Trump is battling a cabal of deep-
state saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for s-x.


See list…
As of tonight, at least 32 congressional or state legislative candidates who have expressed
some level of support for QAnon — a conspiracy theory the FBI has labeled as a potential
domestic terror threat — have secured a spot on the ballot in November.


NYT: A video of a Bible burning in Portland that was amplified by conservatives originated with a Kremlin-backed video news agency. The video now appear to be one of the first viral Russian disinformation hits of the 2020 presidential campaign.

YouTube has permanently banned the channel of the far-right wing anti-immigration website VDARE for violating its hate speech policies.

Twitter Says It Bans State-Media Ads, But Gets Paid to Spread US Government Messaging
Twitter says it bans ads from state-affiliated media but the U.S. government’s Voice of America’s VOA Farsi pays Twitter corporation huge sums to spread disinformation against Iran & other foreign adversaries, reports Ben Norton.

I am fascinated by the idea that tweets regarding the records of politicians who wield immense power are somehow more harmful than the policies enacted by said politicians that materially harm thousands if not millions of people

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th (Suspended her campaign)
Elizabeth Warren is Prepared to Prosecute Donald Trump
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th (Suspended his campaign)
Trevor Noah’s Bernie Sanders’ interview

TDS: Acceptable Under the Circumstances


The Bernie Sanders Doctrine on Foreign Policy
Joe Biden… April 25th
How Biden could Turn it all around in Two weeks if he Wins

Must Read from @benrhodes: “A Biden victory in November would offer the temptation of seeking to restore the United States’ post-Cold War image of itself as a virtuous hegemon. But that would badly underestimate the country’s current predicament.”

Biden’s Promise of a Deportation Moratorium Is Nowhere in His Platform
The danger for Biden isn’t that Latinos swing for Trump, but that they won’t turn out to vote in battleground states.

Farmers Reject Biden’s Pro-Corporate Rural Advisers
Heidi Heitkamp and Tom Vilsack are promoting a failed strategy for rural America. Biden would win support if he broke from that and took on Big Ag.

Biden Campaign Attacks Palestinian American Activist Linda Sarsour over Israel Boycott

Linda Sarsour says Biden campaign’s ‘unprovoked’ attack hurts Democrats
Biden campaign says it is committed to engaging with Muslims, but non-apology
has done little to quell anger from Sarsour’s supporters

Jewish Leaders Statement Against Attacks on Linda Sarsour:
“We are members of the Jewish community from a range of backgrounds, experiences, and
political perspectives who are committed to a country and world rooted in justice and dignity
for all…”

Note: If you have issues with the boycott, then call out the reason for the boycott, Israeli apartheid If you can’t do that either, you’re part of the problem. &

How this year’s primary season demonstrated the waning influence of pro-Israel hawks

Note: The phrase “pro-Israel” confuses the issue. Pro-apartheid is more accurate.

Speaking with @WSJ, a top Biden aide says of spending plans: “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare.” Economist @StephanieKelton says, “Let’s be clear. The pantry is bare for millions of families. Not for Congress. Not now. Not ever.”

The Burden of the Debt: Lessons for Biden Adviser Ted Kaufman


Click text graphic…
Andrew Bates, Biden campaign rapid response director, gave me the following statement
regarding Ted Kaufman’s comments…

I agree…

Note: But I’d add… This is about “centrists” not wanting to support their Democratic base.

After Biden’s acceptance speech…
1: control the virus
2: recovery: UI, state/loc support; anti-eviction; small biz support; carefully implement/execute
3: build back better: clean energy, infrastructure, child care, racial equity, manufacturing, Buy American, roll back Trump cuts. Let’s go!!!
Just like Hillary Clinton, Biden picks another “centrist” as a running mate

TDS Jayapal interview:


Big-dollar donors, including Donald Trump, fueled Kamala Harris’ political rise in California

Use our tool to explore Sen. Kamala Harris’ voting record.

Kamala Harris Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the Vice Presidential Candidate
Harris has spent decades in elected office, moving from prosecutor to the presidential trail.
If you are just catching up, here are some of the highlights of her journey.

At least this review mentions Mnuchin (the foreclosure king)…
What you need to know about Kamala Harris
A trailblazing prosecutor-turned-politician sits on the cusp of history.


Harris proposes to “convene major emitters in 2021 to negotiate an international phaseout of fossil fuel subsidies and a managed decline of production.”
This goes beyond Biden’s pledge to quickly rejoin the Paris Agreement.

@KamalaHarris’s views on foreign policy can help the Democrats break the decades-long militarization of national security. She offers a more comprehensive vision. My analysis now up @RStatecraft

See referenced comment…
Keep this man out of DC at all costs. (I agree)
Brutal but important reality check from @dylanmatt – based on interviews with top advisors, Biden appears to be committed to a form of procedural moderation and bipartisan deal making that could wreck his presidency from day one.


Gonna say it again: if Dems win the election and 2021 is a 2009 redux of capitulation and
surrender to corporate power, then we should expect 2024 to be a redux of 2016
ending in some disaster like President Cotton.


On the eve of the DNC, Dem congressional aides told a D.C. newspaper that the party will abandon the public option immediately after the election. This happened hours after a health care lobby group
run by a former Hillary Clinton aide launched attack ads

Note: Some of the sources could be from people trying to push Biden to the right – as opposed to being from the Biden camp. So it’s important to get Biden on the record every time one of these reports comes up. And no matter what Biden does, we need to recruit excellent candidates to run in the 2022 elections.

A few examples of people trying to push Biden to the right…

NYT doesn’t think Biden should listen to his base? To whom should he be listening, NYT?

WaPo says “centrists” are too far left, which negates more of the Dem base than the NYT did
Donald Trump…
Robert Trump: brother of president Donald Trump dies aged 71
President confirms his younger brother has died after being taken to hospital in New York
Four in 10 People Remain Uncounted… But the Administration Just Tightened the Census Deadline

The 2020 Census is shorthanded by about 80,000 of the field workers who knock on the doors of
households that have not responded to the survey, according to the Commerce Dept inspector
general – See

The watchdog said the issue “require[s] immediate attention,” particularly because the Trump
administration has directed the field work to conclude by the end of September –
earlier than career Census officials said they are prepared to do.

Trump campaign fails to show evidence of vote-by-mail fraud, filing reveals


The Trump Administration Is Giving Political Appointees Power Over Apportioning Federal Funds
Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought transferred the authority to make apportionment decisions from career staff to political appointees.

2019 Context: Create a Public Option for Simple Banking
Under current authority, the post office can expand its financial services options. A major postal workers union even has it in their bargaining contract.

See text graphic…
The Trump administration is looking to partner with JPMorgan Chase to kill postal banking:

Donald Trump Appoints Voting Rights Act Critic and Voter Suppression Advocate to U.S. Civil Rights Commission

In rule change, Postal Service forbids employees from signing absentee ballots as witnesses

USPS has started reducing post office operating hours across several states and removing letter collection boxes, according to union officials. Officials say that in the last week the USPS removed collection boxes in New York, Oregon, Montana and Indiana.

[T]he USPS is removing more than 500 letter sorting machines nationwide, about 15 percent
of its inventory. This is clearly a “reduction” in capacity, not a reallocation of machinery,
as USPS has publicly stated. The plan predates Louis DeJoy.

“Multiple sources within the postal service told Motherboard they have personally witnessed
the machines, which cost millions of dollars, being destroyed or thrown in the dumpster.”

Postal Service Warns Mail-In Ballots In 46 States May Not Be Delivered In Time


Donald Trump says the U.S. Postal Service is incapable of facilitating mail-in voting
because it cannot access the emergency funding he is blocking.


Unsanitized today does the math on the election ballot/postal service situation, and shows that
this is not about post offices being inundated with mail, nor is it about making money for USPS.
It’s just about suppression

Trump’s Postal Service Chairman Has Led Senate GOP’s $100 Million Super PAC
Trump just installed a former RNC chair to lead the board that oversees USPS —
now the agency faces allegations that it is being used to rig the 2020 election.


VA problems raise worries about mail slowdown, prescriptions

Ex-USPS Board of Governors Chairman S. David Fineman:
“Quite frankly, if you keep this slowdown happening, people will die.” @MSNBC

~80% of V.A. prescriptions get delivered by USPS to *millions* of veterans across America
who use V.A. care – more now than ever in the age of #COVID-19. Veterans are collateral
damage from the Trump admin’s efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defund the US Postal Service.

Question: Could the Board of Governors and the Postmaster General be sued for wrongful death / pain & suffering?

Meanwhile II…
Attacks on USPS Threaten Rural Communities and the Democratic Process

Compare / Contrast…
Donald Trump and first lady request mail-in ballots despite attacks


Donald Trump encourages North Carolina supporters to vote by mail,
as he attacks voting by mail

Wed 8/12: USPS was warned about “steep declines and increasing delays nationwide over the last two months as a result of his drastic operational and organizational changes.”

See referenced chart…
There has been a significant drop in @USPS service standards across the board since the
beginning of July – including in First-Class, Marketing, Periodicals, and Priority Mail. …

Fri 8/14: We FOIA’d Postmaster General DeJoy’s calendars to investigate the undermining of #USPS. USPS rejected our #FOIA, saying the “calendar maintained on a USPS computer” was for DeJoy’s personal use and the entries “are not agency records subject to the FOIA.” We’re appealing.

Sun 8/16: The House Oversight Committee will hold an emergency hearing on mail delays and concerns about potential White House interference in the U.S. Postal Service, calling on Postmaster General DeJoy and the Postal Service board of governors Chairman to testify August 24

Sun: Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on Sunday evening that the House will be called back from
August recess (to vote on a bill) – likely on Saturday, Axios is told – to act to “save the Postal

House GOP leaders informed Republican lawmakers during a conference call that they plan to
formally whip *against* the Democrats’ USPS package, according to sources on the call.

House GOP leaders informed Republican lawmakers during a conference call that they plan to
formally whip *against* the Democrats’ USPS package, according to sources on the call.

The House has just voted 257-150 to give the U.S. Postal Service $25 billion
and reverse operational changes made during widespread mail delays. …

Fortenberry & Bacon voted for the bill. Smith did not.

Sun: Schumer: “I call on Leader McConnell to bring the Senate back into session to quickly act
on the House’s legislation that will undo the extensive damage Mr. DeJoy has done at the
Postal Service so that people can get their paychecks, medicines,” and to safeguard our elections.

Mon 8/17: Donald Trump tweets…
*Save the Post Office!!

Question: Does that mean he now supports funding the USPS? Or will he keep blocking the funding?

On Aug 22nd he opposed funding the USPS l
Ted Lieu responds to Donald Trump…

Tues 8/18: The Senate Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing Friday with Postmaster General DeJoy on the U.S. Postal Service’s vote-by-mail financial requirements, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Tues: The Postmaster General will suspend USPS changes until after the election.
Louis DeJoy says the agency won’t remove equipment or cut hours amid congressional
scrutiny ahead of an expected surge in mail-in voting.


Tues: Sen. Peters on DeJoy: “The American people deserve to know whether he will be returning
sorting machines he already removed from facilities across the country, the details of any
changes he is leaving in place and any future changes he plans to enact that could continue
to harm.”

Tues: The Republican projection strategy begins (mainstream media)…

Wed 8/19: Speaker Pelosi says she spoke to DeJoy: “The Postmaster General frankly admitted that he had no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for adequate overtime … are not in the works.”

Thurs 8/20: Shortly after DeJoy said he wanted to “avoid even the appearance” that any policies would   slow election mail, USPS instructed all maintenance managers around the country not to reconnect or reinstall any mail sorting machines they had already disconnected.

Fri 8/21: DeJoy Says USPS Won’t Reinstall More Than 600 Removed Mail Sorting Machines
“There’s no intention to do that,” DeJoy testified. “They’re not needed.”

Like Armageddon’: Rotting food, dead animals and chaos at postal facilities amid cutbacks


‘Had no idea’: Postmaster DeJoy claims in Senate testimony he ‘was unaware’
mailboxes and sorting machines were being removed

DeJoy also claimed he had no knowledge of an email sent to post offices directing them to not reconnect any mail sorting machines.

PMG DeJoy talking about the need to raise postal revenue. No one seriously thinks that
slowing down the mail will do anything other than drive business away. Actions count more
than words! #SaveThePostOffice

What was their stated rationale that dismantling sorters would improve efficiency?

Chaired the Senate USPS hearing…
Sen Ron Johnson’s ready to wreck the Postal Service

Louis DeJoy flat-out lied to the Senate today about the changes he’s implemented at the
@USPS, refused to cooperate with requests for documents, and rejected the idea of fixing
his damage. Enough is enough: the Board of Governors must remove DeJoy
& reverse his acts of sabotage.

Sat 8/22: USPS Warns Employees Not to Speak to Press

Postmaster General DeJoy has mapped out far more sweeping changes to the USPS than
previously disclosed, considering actions that could lead to slower mail delivery in parts of
the country and higher prices for some mail services.
Did Trump Vow to ‘Terminate’ Social Security? (video)


NY Fed manufacturing index not showing good news

Trump’s Labor Dept. proposed a new rule to stop retirement funds from divestment actions. The gun lobby has joined fossil fuel interests in support of the rule, complaining about “third party pressure to meet political demands from activists.”


The Labor Dept lawyer leading a lawsuit accusing Oracle of pay discrimination has been reassigned after complaining that Secretary Gene Scalia intervened to try to force her to take a low ball settlement offer. @benjaminpenn & @PaigeSmithNews report.

Fact check: Pence makes wildly dishonest claim comparing pandemic job growth to number of jobs added under Obama

Related: (employment 1940 – 2020)

See chart…
Context: The recession is largely over for the rich. The working class remain in deep pain.
– Stocks are near record highs
– Home values at all-time highs
– Jobs are back for affluent
– Jobs less than 1/2 recovered for low-wage workers
– $600 Unemployment Insurance expired

Context: Right now the rich pay a much lower tax rate on their income from wealth than is paid on
income from wages and salaries. 75% of Trump’s proposed capital gains tax cut will go to those
making over $1 million a year. That’s not how to turn our crashed economy around. SMH.

ATF: “Millions of families are struggling. What does Trump do?
Propose another tax cut for Wall Street”


Your periodic reminder that, contrary to Donald Trump’s claims, people in the United States, not China, paid the Trump tariffs. Price of imports from China fell just 0.5 percent over the last year


CBPP: USDA Rolling Back SNAP Flexibility That States Need in Current Crisis
No stimulus deal anytime soon, “partly because White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is out for the week but mostly because the administration feels confident they have the upper hand politically following President Donald Trump’s executive actions”


Compare / Contrast…

CBPP: Trump Payroll Tax Action Won’t Work, Could Endanger Social Security and Budget

CBPP: Trump Executive Actions Won’t Alleviate, and Could Worsen, States’ Budget Woes

CBPP: Trump Executive Order Doesn’t Extend Eviction Ban,
Won’t Help the Millions Struggling to Pay Rent


  Just two weeks after Donald Trump’s executive actions, only one state has said it is paying
new jobless benefits, few evictions have been paused, and leading employers have made clear
that workers will not benefit from the president’s new payroll tax deferral
Pentagon officials have proposed slashing military health care by $2.2 billion, a reduction that some defense officials say could effectively gut the Pentagon’s health care system during a nationwide pandemic.

12 Things Donald Trump Did to Speed the Pandemic


14 members of Texas resident Tony Green’s family got coronavirus after one gathering.
“It seemed like it was being downplayed…to the point where you just think, ‘OK, well, you know,
if the President is not worried, if the White House isn’t worried…let’s go on with life.'” (video)

How Trump’s Expansion of Junk Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Puts Americans at Risk
Is the Water All Right?
Reality-checking President Trump’s remarks on repealed water pollution rule

In Alaska, Donald Trump Doubles Down on Environmental Vandalism

Trump administration finalizes plan to open up Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling

Compare / Contrast…


Donald Trump’s Extreme Nominee to Direct the Bureau of Land Management Withdrawn


A sample of one…

Trump cabinet officials voted in a 2018 White House meeting to separate migrant children, say officials present at the meeting. “If we don’t enforce this, it is the end of our country as we know it,” said Trump adviser Stephen Miller.

ICE Is Making Sure Migrant Kids Don’t Have COVID-19 – Then Expelling Them to “Prevent the Spread” of COVID-19
The administration has used infection risk to justify expelling thousands of children without legal protections. But it’s only expelling kids who’ve tested negative.

ICE Guards “Systematically” S-xually Assault Detainees in an El Paso Detention Center,
Lawyers Say. Allegations include guards attacking victims in camera “blind spots” and telling
them that “no one would believe” them in ICE detention centers, which imprison about 50,000
immigrants each year at a taxpayer expense of $2.7 billion.



See text graphic…
ICE is feeding Muslim detainees pork at its Krome detention center in Miami and its chaplain dismisses this basic, deliberate dignity violation by saying “it is what it is.”

The U.S. Agency for Global Media has hired Frank Wuco, a controversial former talk radio host who once called President Barack Obama … and said Nancy Pelosi was a …, three USAGM officials told me.

Defense Intelligence Agency analyst…
I Resigned from U.S. Government After My Own Leaders Began to Act Like the Autocrats I Analyzed

Chief of Staff to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Miles Taylor…
At Homeland Security, I saw firsthand how dangerous Donald Trump is for America

Donald Trump Told Homeland Security To Take Its Orders From Lou Dobbs, Former Official Says


Asked by @nypost whether he should let @Snowden return to the US from Russia without going to prison, Trump says he’s open to it, polls the room. Doing it just to spite the IC isn’t the best reason, maybe, but I hope he does it!


Barr ‘vehemently opposed’ to pardoning Snowden

Erased From the Trump Administration’s Draft of a Key Foreign Aid Policy: Any Mention of LGBT People

Doug Macgregor is the right person to do the job (next US Amb to Germany)

Robert “Woody” Johnson…
Trump’s ambassador to Britain made inappropriate comments on race, religion or gender to embassy staff and the State Department should investigate whether he violated laws barring discrimination, according to a government watchdog report.

May: While you weren’t looking, Donald Trump lost Hong Kong


A requiem for Donald Trump’s failed Iran envoy
Trump’s policy of ‘maximum pressure’ still isn’t producing results


Beginning of a 10 point thread
The U.S. administration is temporarily shifting from maximum pressure to minimum diplomacy in pursuit of the same goal: to kill off the Iran nuclear deal. Here’s what to watch as the U.S. introduces a UN resolution to extend arms restrictions due to expire in October.


Context: Polish state becoming authoritarian, top judge Gersdorf says

Donald Trump signals US will move troops from Germany to Poland

One theory…

I got the *unredacted* version of the State Dept inspector general’s report into Mike Pompeo and Saudi arms sales. Guess what? The stuff that was redacted was kind of a big deal:

House (members) want a State Dept. official to sit for an interview “after new facts have emerged
suggesting that he offered false testimony regarding Secretary Pompeo’s phony emergency
declaration used last year to push through more than $8 billion in arms sales to Gulf countries.”

Trump Admin Pushes Arms Sale to USE Despite Israeli Worries

MBS (Saudi crown prince) is running international death squads while continuing to obliterate Yemen, which is why the US is preparing to blow up the international system this week to extend an arms embargo on (checks notes)… Iran.

Calling MBS “the crown prince of death squads” is a good way to make sure
he continues to have Elliott Abrams’ full support.

Just to be clear, Amb Marshall Billingslea is the Trump appointee who is supposed to be reducing and limiting the nuclear weapons that can destroy all of humanity in a few hours. Here he is as huckster, promoting a defense contractor’s wares, to the delight of the contractors. Ethics violation?

July: This week from @LockheedMartin…
Mon: Tell the White House you need a bailout because of COVID-19
Tues: Announce profits are up and that you’ve made $3.5 billion so far this year
Wed: Fail to answer Congress’ questions about why you should get taxpayer dollars (video)
Trump Donor’s Firm Got Big Postal Service Payout

Donald Trump says he didn’t discuss hacked emails with Roger Stone. A bipartisan Senate report says he did.

Congress Members Ask FBI to Investigate Trump-Adelson Phone Call
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was the largest supporter for Donald Trump in 2016, which was partially the result of his promise to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and to end the Iran nuclear deal

It’s Illegal for Federal Officials to Campaign on the Job. Trump Staffers Keep Doing It Anyway.

‘Repeat Offender’ ! Trump, Inc. ! WNYC Studios

CREW: Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act yet again. This time, she did so in Fox
interviews on August 12 and August 13, in her official capacity and on White House grounds,
in which she discussed government business but also attacked Biden and Harris.

If President Trump accepts the Republican nomination from federal property, be it the White House or Gettysburg, there may be many law violations. @CREWcrew is asking the Office of Special Counsel to issue guidance to help avoid violations.

Donald Trump adds grandiose promises to campaign pitch

Michael Cohen’s day has arrived…

Hmm (page up for full thread)

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that found the Federal Election Commission’s donor-disclosure regulations regarding groups that spend money on independent expenditures – ads that expressly support or oppose political candidates – were too weak to comply with federal law.

Donations to groups that spend money on politics but don’t disclose their donors, including 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations, have mushroomed to billions of dollars in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, as well as subsequent rulings that legalized multiple-donor efforts to support or oppose federal candidates while remaining nominally independent of their campaigns.
Josh Gerstein in “Appeals court backs greater disclosure of ‘dark money’ donors”

The Story of Citizens United v. FEC:
Washington Postal Workers Defy USPS Orders And Reinstall Mail Sorting Machines:
‘Save the Post Office Saturday’ draws thousands of protesters …:

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