Towards an issues-based 2020 election (82)

===2020 Big Picture===
Join us Monday 9/14 for a special primetime Voting Is Power Unleashed: #MoralMonday Mass Assembly (7pm ET/4pm PT)!
This will be an evening of information & inspiration w/tools for voter participation & protection from @NAACP_LDF & @Forward_Justice.
RSVP: (video)

Review: A woke week in 1968 remembered in ‘The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show’

11th Circuit Court of Appeals supports poll taxes.

July: LeBron James’ voting rights group donating $100,000
to pay fines and fees so ex-felons can vote in Florida

Note: Floridians voted to give felons the right to vote. The state legislature (which is controlled by Republicans) essentially nullified the will of the people by making felons pay fees before voting. Now a circuit court has jumped the shark.  Who nominated these judges?…

The decision…

W Pryor: GW Bush  Rosenbaum – Obama     Grant – Trump
Wilson – Clinton       A Pryor – Obama  Luck – Trump
Martin – Obama        Newsom – Trump    Lagoa – Trump
Jordan – Obama      Branch – Trump      Brasher – Trump

Note: If I’m interpreting the first page correctly: 1) Brasher didn’t hear the case leaving 11 votes. 2) The 5 remaining Trump votes joined Wm Pryor for this decision.

Keep in mind, Republicans control the Senate and they rarely oppose a Trump nominee.

“Conservative” judicial decisions keep boosting GOP voter suppression


Wisconsin backed Ds for president in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012.
After Scott Walker and his judicial allies suppressed voting, Trump took the state in 2016.
Now, Walker’s right-wing Supreme Court has blocked mailing of absentee ballots.

Facebook will give workers paid time off to work polls

Old Navy, Tory Burch, Warby Parker and Target have all announced that they will pay store employees who serve as poll workers for eight hours of work.

Note: Saw a piece complaining about Biden being pushed to the left. Earth to whoever that was. Biden’s base is left of Congressional Republicans yet tends to agree with the majority of Americans on the issues. Why wouldn’t he support his base?

===2020 Issues===
UN report: Increased warming closing in on agreed upon limit

California’s dark, orange sky is the most unnerving sight I’ve ever woken up to
What is happening now is astonishingly worse than any previous fire season. We are in a new kind of era


“It’s as if the sun never rose over San Francisco today.”

My friend @RevJSS sent this graph of solar output from his Bay Area home.
The sky is so filled with smoke today that the sun barely registers (see chart)

See headline…


“The decisions we make collectively over the next few years will be consequential on geologic
timescales. Global heating could last hundreds of years, and biodiversity loss could last millions
… We must radically transform how we live on this planet”

Federal Report Warns of Financial Havoc From Climate Change

How Big Oil is Using Toxic Chemicals as a Lifeline – and How We Can Stop It
Petrochemicals are an environmental and public health disaster. Here’s what you need to know

Congress needs new tools to declassify information that is improperly classified, and even sometimes information that is “properly classified”

Is Repealing Section 230 the Way to Fix Facebook? Exchange with Siva Vaidhyanathan

The Section 230 Fight Ended Six Months Ago
Lawmakers demanding an end to the liability shield for Big Tech
should have thought about that when they enshrined it in the new version of NAFTA.

CBPP: Previewing Next Week’s Census Bureau Data on Poverty, Income, and Health Insurance

Democrats unveil new agenda for economic recovery and climate action

The outcome of the November elections could make the difference between THRIVE remaining a political wishlist or it garnering enough political power to create real laws that affect peoples’ lives. But the agenda’s supporters say they won’t back down regardless of who’s in the White House next year. “The fact is a lot of these crises are going to exist no matter what our government is composed of,” says Ashley Thomson, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace USA, another organization backing the agenda. “[The THRIVE agenda] asks us to move forward to a new vision of the future.”

Industrial Revolutionaries
To understand how to revitalize our economy, you only have to look back to the founders


Ag and Rural Issues Raised
Presidential Candidates Respond to Questions From Farm Bureau

Doesn’t Feel Like a Recession? You Should Be Paying More in Taxes.
It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s good economics.


Rep Kim counters Gov Cuomo…
Hey, here’s an idea. Instead of borrowing from Wall Street, let’s just tax Wall Street!
And if you want to borrow, do so from our central bank (Federal Reserve). Just look to MTA for guidance!

More on borrowing from the Municipal Liquidity Facility:

Blue States are Not Wrong to Want to Restore the Deduction for State and Local Taxes

… I think direct aid to states would be far more cost-effective and could be better targeted.
That might not be politically feasible, in which case SALT deduction might be a distinctly
second-best optimum. But it is regressive.

Agree completely on this. It would be much better to either have higher national standards
for Medicaid, child care assistance, etc. or alternatively to directly subsidize state spending,
but for the moment, neither is a political option

Flashback: When Obama Was Pushed to Support Single-Payer
A story from 11 years ago reminds us that Democrats are going to need to have the guts to push their party’s next president to do the right thing.

Disruptive? What we have now is disruptive…

Excellent new must-read from @Robert_t_Orr explains, in gruesome detail, the deliberate engineering of US physicians shortages.

Hundreds of Children Are Stuck in Psychiatric Hospitals Each Year Despite the State’s Promises to Find Them Homes. The Illinois Dept of Children and Family Services promised to rescue children languishing in psychiatric hospitals for weeks and sometimes months beyond medical necessity. But the state hasn’t delivered and the problem has only gotten worse.

Rhodes counters Pompeo…
Rarely has an agenda been as fully pursued and failed as spectaculary  and predictably as the anti-Iran Deal fanatics.

The JCPOA prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Donald Trump and … Mike Pompeo
walked away from it, ignoring our allies and the obvious risk. Now Iran has more uranium and
the world is more divided. You are a failure @SecPompeo

“An interim deal that pauses Iran’s nuclear progress until a more comprehensive agreement can be reached might be attainable. Getting there would be a whole lot easier with the world on America’s side.” @bopinion


Perry and Collina Statement on Air Force Contract Award for New Nuclear ICBM
The US nuclear modernization effort is driven more by political inertia than strategic necessity.


It’s only Episode 1, and I’m hooked. @ArmsControlWonk is at his best, giving us new information and new insights into the how we forged the toughest nuclear deal in history, how we lost it and how we could get it back. Highly entertaining. Really!

Why Donald Trump’s secret weapon isn’t so secret and not much of a weapon


9/11 Thread

Millions displaced by US combat since 9/11
Most Americans are likely unaware that the US combat operations have taken place not only in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but also in 21 other nations.

Part of a larger thread…
Donald Trump’s own CENTCOM commander recently acknowledged that since the Soleimani strike … we’ve had to focus on protecting ourselves rather than fighting ISIS. This appears to be driving a reduction in forces.

That’s a bad sign. It shows there was no thought as to what might follow the Soleimani strike.
It shows we’re reducing under duress, a signal read from Moscow to Tehran. And it may leave
those there more vulnerable – with no clear mission from Donald Trump.

Aug: A United Nations report has found that the killing of a top Iranian general
by a US drone in January violated international law.

When many of us were ringing the alarm bells in January…, it was precisely because of the
second and third order effects that we are now witnessing (and will be witnessing for months
and perhaps even years to come).

===2020 Watch List===
Cambridge Analytica 2.0 – @suehalpernVT reports that the Trump campaign has found lots of new ways to suck up personal data


===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Trade Groups Must Be Challenged for Their Harmful Climate Deception

Social Security in the Crosshairs
SSA’s chief actuary warns Trump could kill the program.

Last week.
Not funny…
Post Fact-Checker Buys Donald Trump’s “Just Joking” Defense on Eliminating Social Security

This week…
Donald Trump has specifically said he wants to end the payroll tax, unilaterally. That’s his plan.
He claims the revenue will be made up from the general fund, but has no plan for that.
So I call this “fact check” a Big Fat Lie:


MSM “fact-checkers” have long defended GOP against accusations that they want to kill
social programs as long as they don’t say “I want to kill this social program.” Remember
when they called  “Republicans voted to kill Medicare” the “lie of the year”?


The Trump campaign’s ads and online videos are just so dishonest, way worse than your standard political spin. My own video this week looks at how they’ve used deceptively clipped quotes and deceptively edited or labeled images to attack Biden: (video)

Context: QAnon cult shows America should fear the enemy within

Pence to attend event hosted by QAnon backers


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Joe Biden… April 25th
On Monday, September 14, Joe Biden will deliver remarks on the ongoing wildfires in the west. Biden will discuss the threat that extreme weather events pose to Americans everywhere, how they are both caused by and underscore the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis.

Biden: “Jill and I were devastated to learn of the cold-blooded shooting of two Los Angeles County deputies yesterday, as well as the horrific death of Deputy Ryan Hendrix … These attacks are absolutely unconscionable – they bring only greater violence, injustice, and grief.”

Carter counters The Atlantic…
I cannot stress enough that we don’t want (Biden) to be cool, we want him to help us.
We don’t want another round of Pokemon Go To The Polls, we want a massive shift in the structure of our economy that guarantees people don’t starve and the planet doesn’t boil.

If the Biden campaign continues to shed Latino votes in its obsessive courting of suburbia, this could prove particularly damaging in some swing states. And for the future of the party, it bodes even worse.


Update your web page… (thread)

Listen to your base…


And don’t make stuff up. You supported NAFTA…

Question: Did you strengthen your health plan? If not… you don’t support universal coverage.

Donald Trump
Longtime Climate Science Denier Hired At NOAA

The president has, again on Twitter, urged North Carolinians to commit a felony.

Within minutes, Attorney General of North Carolina corrects Trump’s false info about voting
and Trump’s encouraging supporters to commit felony by voting twice.


Colorado’s top election official has filed a lawsuit and restraining order against the U.S. Postal Service over informational postcards that she says constitutes election misinformation.

See also…
New whistleblower complaint from former senior DHS official alleges that he was ordered to
“cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the US,
and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran.”

Sue Gordon, former principal deputy director of national intelligence, says that Trump’s message that the electoral system can’t be trusted “is exactly what the Russians particularly hope to achieve.

‘A Brush with Catastrophe’: Inside the 2020 Census Meltdown
How the pandemic and Donald Trump took a fun-house mirror to America’s once-in-a-decade look at itself.

An investigation is underway after surveillance video captured bags of mail being dumped in the parking lot of a Glendale spa, CBS LA reports. The video shows a box truck backed into the lot. Moments later, bag after bag could be seen being tossed.

Campaign finance experts say there are three federal laws the allegations against DeJoy seem to break, all serious:
1. Covering up the source of donations
2. Using corporate money to cover up these donations
3. Potentially coercing employees to give


Sens. Warren, Hassan, and Reed are urging Donald Trump to reverse the relocation of the POW/MIA Flag from atop the White House to an area not visible to the public. This decision by the White House appears inconsistent with the law the lawmakers passed last year.

With VP Pence going to NYC to hail first responders on 9/11 tomorrow, we reveal that the Treasury Dept has secretly withheld nearly $4 million from the FDNY’s 9/11 treatment program, and has refused to give it back, or explain.

Reauthorization bill…
2015: Jon Stewart Returns to The Daily Show,
Shames Mitch McConnell for Abandoning 9/11 First Responders

HUD Guts Civil Rights Rule Used to Address Systemic Discrimination in the Housing Market on the Dawn of an Eviction and Foreclosure Crisis


Donald Trump’s job losses are the worst of any American president on record

Thread on the Trump Admin’s elimination of retirement savers protections

Just one of the problems…
[A] judge struck down the Trump DOL’s joint employer rule!  (This rule would have been really
bad for working people, we estimate it would have cost workers more than $1 billion annually.)

Consumer & Civil Rights Advocates to OCC: Your Proposed “True Lender” Rule Would Help Fraudulent, Predatory Lenders Evade State Interest Rate Laws that Protect Families

Proxy proposal angers institutions
Shareholders believe DOL awarding ‘big fat giveaway’ to business

The Fed Enabled a Record Expansion. Donald Trump is Taking Credit.


Donald Trump promised a health care plan before the end of August. It never came.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, which has been on the front lines of the battle with the coronavirus, is about to shut down the task force it set up to tackle the still-ongoing pandemic.

Trump’s TikTok ban isn’t actually about TikTok
Commentary: The White House is right to fret about TikTok’s data collection, but spiraling relations with China are the bigger worry. “With a presidential election looming, Trump’s claim to be tough on China looks to be a key part of his campaign.”

Note: A Republican-controlled Congress passed the 2000 China PNTR (Permanent Normal Trade Relations) bill. Republicans supported NAFTA-style trade agreements and blocked Pelosi’s bill that would have reversed offshoring incentives. Bottom line… Dem neoliberals joined Republicans – who are neoliberals – to make China the economic powerhouse that it is today.

Then Donald Trump – instead of using diplomacy to bring down our over-valued dollar (and reduce the trade deficit) – started a trade war that increased our trade deficit, increased our costs and undermined diplomacy

Republicans’ outrage wreaks of politics and hypocrisy.

The U.S., China, and the New Cold Warriors

Donald Trump’s big oppo dump is hitting Biden for saying hopeful things about China in 2000

A key claim in this new whistleblower complaint is that Chad Wolf pushed to shift focus from
Russian interference to China/Iran at the direction of Robert O’Brien. WSJ has previously cited
admin officials disputing O’Brien’s claims on Chinese interference.


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

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.


China announces new export rules that could prevent sale of TikTok

China plans new data policy in response to Trump admin’s “bullying”

TikTok will partner with Oracle in the United States after Microsoft loses bid

Donald Trump’s WeChat ban endangers US businesses in China
Mobile payments made up 83% of all purchases in China in 2018

The Trump administration shipped immigrant detainees to VA this summer as an excuse to fly  Homeland Security tactical teams here so they could attack anti-Trump protesters; dozens of the new arrivals tested positive for COVID, fueling an outbreak

The Trump admin’s top Medicaid official (Verma) spent more than $3.5 million on GOP-connected consultants who polished her public profile, wrote her speeches and Twitter posts – and even billed taxpayers for connecting Verma with fellow Republicans in Congress.


Context: The truth about coronavirus, air pollution and our health

President Trump is muddying up claims about clean air. He says his administration is the
reason the U.S. now has the cleanest air in the last 40 years. But he’s not responsible for
all the progress – far from it.

2018: President Trump’s Retreat on the Environment is Affecting Communities
In just two years, Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback
with little parallel in the past half-century

2018: 78 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump

July: The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List

Rick Perry’s Ukrainian Dream
When the then-energy secretary accidentally helped lead the president into impeachment, he was simultaneously trying to help his friends cash in on a big gas deal.

Court-appointed adviser blasts ‘corrupt’ DOJ move to drop Flynn case. It’s not clear whether the brief by retired jurist John Gleeson will sway the District Court judge deciding Flynn’s fate.


Nora Dannehy – top aide to John Durham – quits Trump/Russia investigation over political pressure from AG William Barr. @EdMahony has the story in the @hartfordcourant

“Nora Dannehy is apolitical, incorruptible and among the best prosecutors to ever represent
the United States,” said Christopher Mattei, the former chief of the financial fraud and public
corruption unit at the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut.


Prosecutor Quits Donald Trump’s Law Enforcement Commission, Saying the Fix Is In
John Choi is worried the group is intent on “providing cover” for a predetermined law-and-order agenda that “will only widen the divisions in our nation.”

Vietor counters Pompeo…
The JCPOA prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Donald Trump and … Mike Pompeo walked away from it, ignoring our allies and the obvious risk. Now Iran has more uranium and the world is more divided. You are a failure @SecPompeo

The Costs of Sec of State Mike Pompeo’s Partisan RNC Speech

Mike Pompeo assigned official government work to one of his top advisers through his wife, Susan, who used a private email account to relay his requests

Something I never thought I’d see: the inimitable @John_Fogerty, of Creedence Clearwater, explaining why the song he wrote *50 years ago* referred explicitly to the likes of Trump (who is now using it at rallies)

Trump Administration Officials Committed Four More Hatch Act Violations Last Week

Toll booths at the Mexican border?

NYTimes correspondent and veteran writer on Michigan politics, just kicked out of the Donald Trump rally here:


Eric Boehlert counters Donald Trump…

Donald Trump is emerging as an inspiration for Germany’s far right.
Among German conspiracy theorists, ultranationalists and neo-Nazis, Donald Trump is surfacing as a rallying cry, or even as a potential “liberator.”


America has just caught up with Italy in per capita deaths and will now zoom past it. At the end of the day, USA will have worst policy response of any wealthy country (although some poorer ones will have more deaths per capita).


Part of a detailed thread…
Look at the shape of these curves. New York and Madrid had similar epidemics until they spectacularly diverged. In March, both cities were caught by surprise and shut down because of #COVID19. In September, the situation is under control in NY and alarming in Madrid.

Speed of Reopening: Let’s focus on indoor dining, a vital economic activity in both #NewYork and #Madrid, and arguably one of the main sources of transmission of the #coronavirus.

Indoor dining in New York is *closed*. It’ll open on September 30 at 25% capacity (50% on November 1) with
– NO bar service.
– Strict protocols
– Phone number to report violations
– Deployment of hundreds of enforcement personnel to ensure compliance

Indoor dining in Madrid was OPEN at 60% capacity in June. Bar service opened too. Protocols weren’t aggressively enforced. Since June it has been easy to find crowded bars and tables. The contrast with NY was striking as anyone spending time in both places can tell you

Contact tracing, testing, and speed of reopening differed dramatically between #NewYork and #Madrid. New York opened the economy without overwhelming the hospitals and confirmed its credentials as a serious place to do business. By simply doing what experts say since March.

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral:

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