Towards an issues-based 2020 election (80)

===2020 Big Picture===
International Body Says Voting Problems ‘Could Harm Integrity’ of US Election
OSCE recommended member states send 100 long-term and 400 short-term observers to monitor the poll which it said “will be the most challenging in recent decades”.

The Obamas’ Terrifying Joint Message: Voting Is Broken and the Only Way Out

We’ve learned a lot since 2016. We’re still not prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

Help staff your local polling place
America is facing a record shortage of poll workers this year due to the coronavirus. Our democracy depends on ordinary people who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone’s vote is counted. You can make sure we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all.



Everyone’s focused on slow mail. But there’s another potential disenfranchisement issue: nursing homes. Usually, relatives and volunteers help the elderly and disabled vote. Not this year. And two states ban staff from helping. Read this worrisome article:

Intel officials contradict Donald Trump on voting by mail

Black voters are being targeted in disinformation campaigns, echoing the 2016 Russian playbook.

Officials have launched an investigation into what they said was an erroneous, racist robocall
aimed at discouraging voters in battleground states from casting mail ballots. It’s not known
how many were targeted in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.


Fwiw… Misleading phone calls that trash a white Dem who’s running against Rep Neal (D-MA01)…


Walmart says it will give its 1.5 million U.S. workers up to three hours paid time off to vote. Apple is giving workers four hours off. Coca-Cola, Twitter, Cisco and Uber are giving employees the day off.

Starbucks said it will ensure that its baristas won’t have to choose between working and voting
as part of a nonpartisan push to raise voter turnout during the pandemic.

Right to Vote: The Case for Expanding the Right to Vote in the U.S. Constitution
If we truly want to build an inclusive democracy, we must articulate an affirmative vision of voting rights in the Constitution itself.

Democrats Are Winning Their Fight for the States

Memo to Democratic National Convention planners: It doesn’t look like giving John Kasich all that time did any good at all.


Compare / Contrast…

Note: As long as this election is treated like a horse race – as opposed to focusing on the issues – it’ll be a toss up. Focus on widely supported issues and give short shrift to neoliberal or neoconservative aspirations.


Exactly 12 years ago, I wrote a book whose basic premise was that the public is really mad; the anger is going to be channeled into a progressive movement & a fascist movement; and the future of our country would be defined by a power struggle between the two.
Now here we are.  – See

Trevor Noah and crew get creative… (click image)

Christian Nationalism at the RNC

===2020 Issues===
Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in less than 30 years
‘Stunned’ scientists say there is little doubt global heating is to blame for the loss

Today, 1% of the world is a barely livable hot zone. By 2070, that portion could go up to 19%. Billions of people call this land home. Where will they go? Read this incredible data journalism by grantees @AbrahmL @MeridithKohut for @NYTmag & @propublica

For anyone looking to understand the movement for a #GreenNewDeal & join the fight for a livable future, there’s no resource as clear & practical as Winning the Green New Deal

Q&A: Author Andy Horowitz On His New Book, ‘Katrina: A History, 1915-2015’

Katrina – A History, 1915-2015


On Climate Change, We’ve Run out of Presidential Terms to Waste

The Biden campaign is committed to ending fossil fuel subsidies. But we must go further.
Join the @sunrisemvmt call for a public pledge from Biden and Harris to keep fossil fuel
executives and lobbyists out of the administration:


Related 2:
Worried for Government Science? So Are We.

A Roadmap to Restore Science in Government Decisions

Science in the Election Cycle with the Science Voter Guide

Understandings of Science Advocacy can Strengthen it

.@CFR_WFP ranked 193 countries on their progress toward gender parity in political participation. On #WomensEqualityDay, take a look at where women hold power.

“Countries that have this deep inequality like we do are much more prone to financial crises, in no small part because high wealth inequality leads to more debt, which just makes your economy more fragile.”


Seattle’s High-End Wage Tax and Taxing Stock Returns

If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity it would be $24 an hour today, a big part of the reason it hasn’t is that CEOs are paid $20 million when they are only worth (to their employers) $2 million

Conservative economists go nuts over the possibility minimum wage workers get $1 more than
the market wage, why don’t progressives care about CEOs get $10 million more than the market


Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy
Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer

Big Tech Goes For the Kill at the World Trade Organization

“Whether countries, workers & consumers everywhere will benefit from new technology or
whether benefits will only accrue to a teeny tiny minority will be determined by the rules
which set the playing field for how digitalization will evolve…” #bigtech

The American Diabetes Association is creating an initiative to fight unnecessary amputations, which a ProPublica investigation found disproportionately affect Black diabetics. Congress, doctors and the public are finally taking notice, too.

CBPP: State and Federal Policymakers Should Extend Postpartum Medicaid Coverage

Health insurance and the COVID-19 shock
What we know so far about health insurance losses and what it means for policy

Planning a Sustainable Future for Earth’s Oceans
Ocean experts are engaged in a long-term effort to envision, develop, and implement best practices for meeting today’s needs while preserving ocean resources for future generations.

Great to see that the IAEA & Iran reached an agreement to resolve the agency’s safeguards investigation. Iran will provide access to the two locations in question.


Unfortunately, neocons don’t give up.
Araud counters Duowitz…

Listen to @Cirincione talk about our options in Iran in Episode 6 of At The Brink podcast – Blocking a Persian Bomb: (video)

Aug 28th, 2007 at Minot AFB, ND…

US nuclear policy and posture: bending toward Asia?

While there appear to be no easy wins with respect to nuclear threat reduction in Asia, there are concrete steps that should be taken to shape the strategic terrain in ways that would moderate or even mitigate a Cold War nuclear revival between the U.S. and China in Asia.

A Vacuous Pompeo Speech for an Empty Trump Foreign Policy


Over 10,000 Islamic State fighters active in Iraq, Syria as attacks ‘significantly’ increase: UN

Cirincione counters the Scowcroft Center…

===2020 Watch List===
Trump campaign produces no evidence of fraud via mail-in voting or drop boxes in PA 2020 primary

Click text graphic…
Federal judge halts Trump/RNC lawsuit seeking to block drop boxes in Pennsylvania.
Puts case on hold pending resolution in Pennsylvania state court.

Judge Permanently Halts Indiana’s Illegal Voter Purge Method


A judge has ordered an Iowa county to invalidate 50,000 requests for absentee ballots, agreeing with Trump’s campaign that its elections commissioner overstepped his authority by pre-filling them with voters’ personal information.

Note: Presumably there’s a line asking the applicant to affirm that the form is filled out correctly. If so… are they arguing for a right to find a mistake? This decision needs to be appealed.

A Texas federal judge has ruled that state Republicans are violating the federal ‘motor voter’ law by refusing to allow residents to simultaneously register to vote online when they apply for a driver’s license, file a change-of-address or renew online.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Stoked Washington’s Fears About TikTok
Social-media tycoon emphasized threat from Chinese internet companies as he worked to fend off U.S. regulation of Facebook

2019: Elizabeth Warren Proposes Breaking Up Tech Giants Like Amazon and Facebook

TikTok sues Trump administration over U.S. ban, calls it an election ploy

The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office says county auditors cannot set up drop boxes to accept absentee ballots this fall – something several auditors say they did during this year’s primary election.

I kind of love how saying that Trump and Republicans should respect the election results gets you called a communist on Twitter

Again, not being subtle. Across the party, (Republicans) are laying the groundwork
to contest the election & keep Trump in power.

The Death Tax Is Hog Wash

Spending on prescription drugs has actually increased somewhat more rapidly under Trump than Obama-Biden, rising at a 6.3 percent annual rate under Trump compared to a 5.5 percent rate under Obama-Biden

Corporate Dems like @RahmEmanuel are making divisive ideological demands that threaten to depress Dem voter turnout. Progressives shouldnt shut up in the name of “unity” while corporatists scream a message that threatens to throw the election to Trump.

Note: They’re trying to push Biden away from his base. Don’t let them.

It’s dawned on me recently that the corollary of the MSM’s obsession with Trump voters is that
the voices of a majority of voters, and the very substantial majority of Americans who strongly
oppose this president, have been almost completely removed from the discussion.

Note: Or they’ve been subjected to both-sideist coverage like this Or biased coverage like this

Why does the media pressure Biden to speak out against violent protests
but doesn’t pressure trump to speak out against police misconduct?

The Iron Law of American Politics
Only Democrats have agency or can be held responsible for what they do or say


Facebook Fired An Employee Who Collected Evidence Of Right-Wing Pages Getting Preferential Treatment

Remember Pizzagate?…
‘Pizzagate’ Gunman Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison

Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Apologizes For Promoting ‘Pizzagate’

Now there’s QAnongate…

Speaker Pulled From Republican Convention After Tweeting Anti-Semitic QAnon Conspiracy Theory


So, a Q Anon supporter just called into C-SPAN and the host asked him to explain what it was. The guy trailed off and hung up. (video)

Feb 20, 1939…
When Nazis Took Manhattan

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th (Suspended his campaign)
TDS snippet…
Joe Biden… April 25th
Ending endless war & progressive foreign policy: What Democrats want
Donald Trump…
Results used until the next census a decade from now…
Worried about #2020Census, Katherine Wallman, former chief statistician of US, hasn’t found “an objective reason for rushing through, ending up with crummy data & destroying the trust in a system that depends almost entirely on the voluntary cooperation of the American public.”

Entire thread

The ripple effect of a #Census2020 undercount includes “benchmarking of the Current
Population Survey, which is the basis for employment data, income and poverty data, and
health insurance coverage, along with many other statistics,” says @DeanBaker13

‘Not to Have an Accurate Count  Is Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’

Office of the Director of National Intelligence
DNI has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that they’ll no longer be briefing on election security issues, a senior administration official told CNN. It’ll provide written updates the official said. @jaketapper

The Office of the DNI (and the DNI itself) were created by Congress; their duties are defined –
and they’re funded – by statute. The mentality that congressional oversight is a convenience
to be brushed aside, rather than an essential condition of their existence, is indefensible.

Will the FBI Director, CIA Director, NSA Director, and DIA Director all uphold the DNI’s ban
on live briefings on election interference to the Congress?  Are they loyal to Donald Trump
or to the Constitution?  Congress should compel them to speak and find out.

Hearing: Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots



How Congress Manufactured a Postal Crisis – And How to Fix It

Rep. Gerry Connolly has asked Postmaster General DeJoy to turn over his recent communications
with anyone associated with the Trump campaign. Connolly tells DeJoy there are “grave concerns
about the veracity of your [recent] testimony.”

CREW Files Criminal Complaint Against (Postmaster General) Louis DeJoy

Federal Court Rules Donald Trump Can’t Block Citizenship Path for Military Service Members

Thank you @ACLU for fighting for our veterans! While the court ruling was a victory, there is
still more work to be done. We must continue fighting to ensure that veterans and their family
members who were deported are brought home to the country they fought for!

The above tweet was written by the Dem who’s opposing this incumbent…
This US Congressman is chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.
He is wearing a “kill ’em all” T-shirt at a public event.

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.

Note: Republicans have yet to offer an adequate survival bill.

Why a Historic Eviction Wave Is Bearing Down on the US

See chart…
Donald Trump today: “We just broke a record on jobs, an all-time record.” True. No president has ever presided over 22 million jobs lost in two months. Sure, some bounceback in May-July but less than 1/2 damage repaired. And now, epic fail on virus control slowing further gains.


1990 – 2020 Labor Market Charts

…Donald Trump did not bring back manufacturing jobs from China or anywhere else

I was once a trustee of the Social Security Trust Fund. Trump’s plan to “terminate” payroll taxes would terminate Social Security by 2023.

The current chief actuary of the Trust Fund agrees. He said today that the federal government’s
ability to pay Social Security benefits could stop by mid-2023 if Donald Trump were to permanently
terminate the payroll tax and not offer another revenue source.

Yet suspending the payroll tax was praised at the Republican convention last night
as an example of Trump helping the middle class.

This is a special reminder that people in the United States, not China, paid the tariffs

Baker: If we put a 25 percent tariff on goods from China, then we would be paying 25 percent more, minus the fall in the price of the imports. Since the price of imports from China barely fell, we are paying almost the whole thing

Detailed thread on US-China phase one trade agreement analysis ends with…
Through July, China has made only 28% of the purchases needed to meet the 2020 targets.
To fulfill Donald Trump’s trade deal, China must do 72% of the annual buying for 2020
over 5 short months. …

FDA fires brand new spokesperson after Donald Trump exaggerates plasma as coronavirus ‘breakthrough’ at RNC
Miller didn’t have any scientific or medical experience when Donald Trump appointed her…

No, Donald Trump did not save HBCUs. He signed a bipartisan bill introduced by a Black woman. The bill gave $255 million in STEM funding to minority-facing colleges with $85 million going to HBCUs. And no, HBCU’s wouldn’t have “gone away” without it.

After Formal Request, EPA Gives Experts Limited Time to Apply for Advisory Committees

William Pendley is Still Bad News – and Still Illegally Leading the Bureau of Land Management

Call on William Perry Pendley to Resign


Not the only one…
GAO has concluded that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli were invalidly appointed and are *ineligible* to serve in their current roles.

The GAO has denied the Dept of Homeland Security’s request that the watchdog rescind
its finding that Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli were appointed in a way that makes their
current roles invalid.

Feb: Fact Sheet: Trump Says One Thing and Does Another on Criminal Justice

They tried to get Trump to care about right-wing terrorism. He ignored them.
Officials at the Dept of Homeland Security waged a yearslong internal struggle to get the White House to pay attention to the threat of violent domestic extremists. Frustrated, they gave up on the Trump administration.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services…
USCIS makes it official. They will ignore SCOTUS ruling and, “will reject all initial DACA requests from aliens who have never previously received DACA and return all fees.” Furthermore, renewals will be limited to one year.

Trump administration officials floated using a microwave “heat ray” to deter migrants from crossing the border in the days leading up to the 2018 midterm elections.

Diplomats aghast as Pompeo set to address GOP convention from Jerusalem


The idea that @SecPompeo can speak at #RNC2020 in his “personal capacity” betrays a basic
misunderstanding. Any individual gives up his/her personal capacity to speak on foreign policy
when he/she takes the job. It is public service, not political service.

This speech by Secretary Pompeo is a major mistake.  It politicizes his office, our relationship
with Israel and does what he asked every State Department employee not to do –
engage in partisan political activity in an election year.


Pompeo has done to the office of Secretary of State what Trump has done to the presidency:
debased it, discredited it in the eyes of the world, and used it solely for personal and political

Pompeo’s Jerusalem RNC Speech Shamelessly Uses Israel as a Partisan Prop

“[Michael] Cohen said in his book and said in his testimony, ‘We had a different balance sheet for each day of the week, for each purpose,’ ” a former federal prosecutor said. “And that’s a worthy subject for investigation.”

How did Trump Org. get paid $900K+ by U.S. taxpayers?
We have receipts with new details:
– Charges for rooms at Mar-a-Lago when Trump wasn’t there.
– “Resort fees” for Secret Service agents guarding VP Pence.
– A $1,300 charge to move furniture.

Dean Baker does the math: $900,00 = 560 food stamp years…

Doesn’t sound like an apology to me…

New York attorney general sues Trump Organization over financial dealings
Office is investigating whether Trump Organization improperly inflated the value of assets to secure loans and obtain tax benefits

Story was previously reported by Propublica…
2019: Never-Before-Seen Trump Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies
The president’s businesses made themselves appear more profitable to lenders
and less profitable to tax officials. One expert calls the differing numbers “versions of fraud.”

Jared Kushner’s Private Channel With Putin’s Money Man


Mother Jones obtained a video of a conversation between Donald Trump and his lawyer in a 2015 deposition taken for the Trump University fraud lawsuits. Trump bragged about how his company threatened the Better Business Bureau to change the D rating for Trump University to an A.

~Three years later…
Federal court approves $25 million Trump University settlement

And ~ one year after that…
DeVos revokes Obama-era rule policing for-profit colleges


Hmm II… See:

Worried about #2020Census, Katherine Wallman, former chief statistician of US, hasn’t found “an objective reason for rushing through, ending up with crummy data & destroying the trust in a system that depends almost entirely on the voluntary cooperation of the American public.”
Entire thread:

The ripple effect of a #Census2020 undercount includes “benchmarking of the Current Population Survey, which is the basis for employment data, income and poverty data, and health insurance coverage, along with many other statistics,” says @DeanBaker13

Not to Have an Accurate Count Is Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’

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