Towards an issues-based 2020 election (84)

===2020 Big Picture===
…”a national survey of American attitudes toward rights and freedoms in the United States finds surprising bipartisan support by substantial majorities of Americans for rights that are now frequently under political attack.”

A normal response…
Last week:
CNN: Would you commit tonight to accepting the results of the election?
Biden: Sure. The full results that count every vote.

Compare / Contrast…
Donald Trump: “We’re Going to Have to See What Happens”
An Atlantic article rings the fire bell.

Donald Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transition of power after Election Day

Donald Trump Questions Election Again
After White House Walked Back His Earlier Remarks

“There is nothing in our constitution or in our laws that give Donald Trump the privilege of deciding whether or not he will step aside if he loses.” — @BernieSanders  today on the threat the president poses to American democracy

“Lastly, and most importantly, the American people, no matter what their political
persuasion, must make it clear that American democracy will not be destroyed.”
— @BernieSanders


Senator @BernieSanders has a 5-point plan to defeat Trump’s assault on American
democracy: “First, it is absolutely imperative that we have, by far, the largest voter
turnout in American history and that people vote as early as possible…”


Note: Fwiw… I disagree with the 3rd point. The running total would be difficult to keep secret. If early counts were leaked the party with the most money could use those totals to their advantage.

Refusing to peacefully transition power to a leader elected by the people. Urging states to “get rid of” ballots and silence voters. These are the tactics of a fascist.
Democracy as we know it is on the line.
My 92 y.o. mother just waited two hours in her car to vote curbside in Virginia Beach and said that when she pulled away the line of cars behind her was massive.

“Unless we start to fight and defeat the enemies in our own country, poverty and racism, and make our talk of equality and opportunity ring true, we are exposed in the eyes of the world as hypocrites when we talk about making people free.” – Shirley Chisholm

Florida folks, are you planning to vote by mail this fall?  Avoid making these common mistakes:

Early voting has begun!
But what should you do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive? To provide user-friendly answers, my @GeorgetownICAP colleagues & I just launched a new state-by-state set of fact sheets:

Maine Supreme Court decision allows use of ranked choice voting for 1st time in presidential race after failed GOP bid.

Note: Independents can run without splitting a party’s vote…

Ranked Choice Voting 101

Section 1 of the 24th Amendment…
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.”

Repeated for context…
Federal Court Reinstates “Pay-to-Vote” Scheme for Formerly Incarcerated People in Florida

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

“Conservative” judicial decisions keep boosting GOP voter suppression

Mike Bloomberg and his team have raised more than $16 million to pay the court fines
and fees of nearly 32,000 Black and Hispanic Florida voters with felony convictions…

Another problem that needs fixing…
The state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania… last week ordered officials to throw out “naked ballots” – mail ballots that arrive without inner “secrecy envelopes.”

See picture…
Voting by mail or drop-off in Pennsylvannia …
This diagram from Phillymag explains the three pieces of that ballot. Please share this
two-tweet thread with all your Pennsylvania friends, family and acquaintances.

See picture…
Now … after you vote you should keep track of that ballot –
Here’s the link ->

It might be a good idea for all TV stations in Philadelphia and across the state to assign
one day for repeated demonstrations on how to properly mail ballots. Security envelopes
are crucial. Naked ballots will not be counted. Perhaps Pa. TV can save thousands
of ballots

Not just a Pennsylvania issue…
Big Swing State Hurdle: Returning Your Absentee Ballot

Michelle Obama: “Voting is easy. It is something that we can do. Don’t listen to people who will say that somehow voting is rigged and your vote will get lost and it won’t be counted. That is not true.”

People Have the Power – Vote 2020 (video)

Great idea: SOS @FrankLaRose says OH will be upgrading the SOS website so the large # of outstanding absentee ballots will be clearly visible on election night.
This will make it “abundantly clear” if more counting is needed to determine winners.

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns
The malware attack, which sent fake email replies to voters and businesses, spotlights an overlooked vulnerability in counties that don’t follow best practices for computer security.
Remarkable RBG anecdote:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Conversation with Bill Moyers

The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America

Hartmann: The Hidden History of the Supreme Court & The Betrayal of America!

The Supreme Court was never meant to be the only arbiter of the meaning of the Constitution

Schumer on the Senate floor: “Sadly again, sadly, Leader McConnell has defiled the Senate like no one in this generation. And Leader McConnell may very well destroy it.”

Elizabeth Warren to @maddow: “By stealing a second seat on the United States Supreme
Court, what Donald Trump and the Republicans are planning to do is to have that Court
impose a will on the American people that is not who we are and not the America we want
to be.”

Note: This would be the 3rd illegitimate justice. Republicans wouldn’t release Kavanaugh’s papers. Misconduct complaints were never processed. Unprofessional behavior during the hearing. etc.

The Supreme Court struggle is about democracy

Senate Republicans appear to have the votes to give life tenure on the Supreme Court
to a nominee who hasn’t even been named by the president. The system is broken
beyond repair. Here’s my talk with @russfeingold about the need for fundamental change.

The president is saying clearly that part of why he wants to have his allies in the Senate
rush confirmation for his choice for the Supreme Court is so that the new justice would
potentially be able to turn around and help give him a second term

Senate Republicans are showing us why they should lose their majority


After Ginsburg Dems Must Choose Radicalism or Failure

This is a must-read piece from @AJentleson laying out how Democrats can gum up the works for McConnell, create political pain for Republicans, and save our democracy come January.

I’ll keep arguing that there are narrow but real openings for Ds (and a few Rs) to prevent
Trump and McConnell from stealing another court seat. But I am seeing those openings
close. Ds don’t seem to have a plan, and Rs are coalescing.
To quote Dylan, “the hour is getting late.”

Democrats step up hardball tactics as Supreme Court fight heats up

Patriotic Millionaires’ proposal…

Correction: Apparently McConnell (R-KY) was the first hypocrite. Graham was the second…
Mitch McConnell op-ed in 2016: “Let the people have a voice.”
(i.e. don’t give Obama’s nominee a hearing)

Donald Trump disses Ginsberg…
– Snopes:

Romney chanted black lives matter but will vote for Trump justice
who will assuredly roll back every major civil rights law


Every Republican “speaking up” for democracy this morning, @JohnJHarwood, has said
they will vote in favor of Trump’s pick for the supreme court, even if it comes during a lame
duck session in which he has lost and hopes to use the court to overturn the results of the

A backgrounder on how the Supreme Court is helping billionaires and ruining everyone else’s lives

How a New Supreme Court Could Forever Change America

If Democrats don’t reform the filibuster, even with a three to four-seat majority in the Senate, they will find their legislative agenda utterly blocked.

The following article documents recent changes to the filibuster rule…

Sen. Feinstein’s protection of the filibuster is unjust & unacceptable.
The filibuster wasn’t made with purpose. It’s the result of an accident in rulebook revision
& bloomed as a cherished tool of segregationists. Now it empowers minority rule.
That’s not “special,” it’s unjust.

House Democrats unveil post-Trump reforms

Adam Schiff: Why my colleagues and I
are introducing the first major democracy reforms since Watergate

Fox News host Chris Wallace revealed topics for the first presidential debate. The climate was not included. What questions do you think Wallace and other moderators should ask? #ClimateWeek2020 #ClimatePolitics2020

It’s Been 12 Years Since a Moderator Asked a Climate Question
During a Presidential Debate

First question for Trump in presidential debate:
You have refused to say whether you will commit to a peaceful transfer of power if you lose the election. How does this square with your oath to defend a Constitution that outlines a process for the peaceful transfer of power?

How to debate (a liar)

Note: People who repeatedly tell lies are liars, NYT.


===2020 Issues===
Sir David Attenborough explains what he thinks needs to happen to save the planet
The legendary wildlife filmmaker tells Anderson Cooper why urgent action on climate change is crucial and why we need to save nature in order to save ourselves.

Vote as if the Climate and the Future of Humanity Depend on It – Because They Do

Wall Street is set to start trading in a new commodity: Water
Almost two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to face water shortages by 2025, according to the CME

Join me and my friends @KHayhoe and @AndreasKarelas to discuss Andreas’ new book #ClimateCourage on Tuesday 9/29. Learn about how we can come together to create a more sustainable, just, clean-energy powered economy that works for everyone. RSVP here:

There is now guidance for business on what to do about climate change and how to do it

The THRIVE Resolution Puts Forth a Bold and Just Economic and Climate agenda

Cosponsors …

Over $200 billion dollars. That’s how much the four largest U.S. banks use every year to finance the fossil fuel industry. It’s up to us to divest our money and stop them from destroying the planet on our dime.

Invest in your community by banking at a reputable locally owned bank or credit union…
Hartmann with Ellen Brown

A 2021 Vision for a Stronger Office of Science and Technology Policy

A UCS Guide to Involving the Public in Rulemaking

Corruption at the Core: Bill Moyers talks with Sarah Chayes
Chayes has a new book “On Corruption In America: And What Is At Stake”

The American people are tired of corporate control of government, insider deals, and
favoritism. They’re tired of the revolving door.  So I’m asking my colleagues,
and the American people, to join me in stopping it. #EndCorporateGovernment

Cost Of Racism: U.S. Economy Lost $16 Trillion Because Of Discrimination, Bank Says

A victory for Joe Biden, a Democratic takeover of the Senate and a defense of the party’s House majority in the November elections would be the best outcome for the U.S. economy, according to an analysis by Moody’s Analytics.

[A] retired officer of Darden, no longer working at all, will “earn” as much money in a *week* as about half the workers of  @OliveGarden and @LongHornSteaks earn in a YEAR. Anyone else think there’s something wrong with this picture?

CBPP: States Should Tax Wealth to Respond to COVID-19

What You Need to Know about New Jersey’s Millionaire’s Tax

Do higher taxes for the rich slow economic growth? Not at all.
Over the last decade, the 9 states with the highest top income tax rates saw their
economies grow faster, on average, than the 9 states without income taxes.


Amazon made a record ~$5,200,000,000 in #pandemic profit last quarter.
And they paid $0.00 in taxes.

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

.@DemPolicy, the political group founded by @andrewperezdc and others, made a video promoting Medicare for All in the style of a health care industry commercial. They’re crowdfunding to put it on TV.
M4A “or a public option would lower your health care costs.” (video)

Here’s the crowdfunding page for the ad:

The RPM Act – How a Multi-billion Dollar Industry is Trying to Ruin Our Air

The most obvious reason we know SEMA is not just trying to protect the racing industry is that less than 5 percent of the past motor vehicle enforcement which would have been limited under the RPM Act is for cars. By far, the biggest category of vehicle affected by the passage of the RPM Act would be diesel-powered trucks, which I’m pretty sure are not the “dedicated racecars” SEMA claims to be defending. …


(Military) highlights in the newly released House Continuing Resolution:
– Allows Navy to buy two new Columbia class subs at once and incrementally fund them
– Extends reimbursement authority for contractor paid leave (Sec. 3610 of CARES Act) through Dec. 11th

As if to demonstrate the corrupt power the defense industry hold over Congress, the
Democrats role out a CR that makes an exemption so we can buy *two* new nuclear
subs, not one. Contractors want to stuff in the pork before a new president can stop them.
Congressional Dems oblige.

Note: “Centrists” control the House

Do you wish someone would explain *in a really clear way* how a nuclear bomb works? Why the #IranDeal was good for the US? How long it takes to to acquire the material to make nuclear weapons and make them usable? In 2018, Joe @Cirincione did just that.

America’s global nosedive continues under Trump and Pompeo. Even our closest allies dismiss his absurd move to unilaterally declare multi-lateral sanctions against Iran. One calls it “a television show.” None will enforce Pompeo’s empty decree.

At a @CFR_org session, @JZarif says, “If others come back into compliance with the
JCPOA, Iran is prepared to come back in compliance.” The path for Biden is clear:
Win election; get inaugurated; re-enter JCPOA; get back in compliance; assure Iran
compliance; begin new talks.

Note: Donald Trump walked away from the agreement and bullied Iran. Iran recently produced more uranium than the treaty allowed (used for medicine / nuclear power). But Donald Trump holds no standing to enforce a treaty that he violated. So… his administration lied…

No, Iran is not near having a Nuke:
Trump source tries Iraq Big Lie Playbook on Reuters, The Independent

Donald Trump’s abysmal failure of diplomacy has ostracized the U.S. – not Iran.
Even US allies repudiate the administration’s latest move on Iran

How Joe Biden can solve the Iran crisis

If Donald Trump wins, he needs a new approach to Iran

There Isn’t A Military Solution to North Korea (And The American Public Agrees)

Today, support in Congress for missile defense is so strong that only a wave of intense public pressure could alter the situation. But the time is ripe for just such a wave.”

GAO finds NNSA’s pit production plan is insufficient to support new W87-1 ICBM warhead, and that the W87-1 could become be the most expensive warhead program since Cold War.
Congress should kill W87-1 and do simple W78 LEP or use only W87-0 on ICBMs.

Why the new ICBM contract is a bad deal

===2020 Political Theater Watch===
Step 1: Make up a justification to break Congressional norms
McConnell’s fabricated history to justify a 2020 Supreme Court vote

Step 2: Refuse to commit to a peaceful transfer of power
The White House press secretary just claimed that Donald Trump “will accept the results of a free and fair elections.” To be clear: That is NOT confirmation that he will accept the results. Trump will decide what is ‘free and fair’ on his own terms. Her statement is meaningless.

The White House press secretary would not say that Trump will commit to a
peaceful transfer of power.


Donald Trump Questions Election Again
After White House Walked Back His Earlier Remarks

Donald Trump Keeps Saying He Won’t Accept the Election Result. Are People Finally Starting to Listen?

Step 3: Create doubts about the election process
Aug: Judge orders Trump campaign to produce evidence of voter fraud in Pennsylvania
A hearing about the evidence is set for late September (9/29)

Trump campaign fails to show evidence of vote-by-mail fraud, filing reveals
– Documents obtained by Guardian shows evidence sorely lacking
– Campaign complained of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania

Note: The hearing is next Tuesday and on Friday AG Barr and Donald Trump gave details on an ongoing Pennsylvania investigation…

Looks like Bill Barr’s DOJ broke state election law to gin up a voter fraud controversy to justify disqualifying ballots

Detailed thread explaing the policy breach.


Theater included a tweet from Matt Wolking, Deputy Dir  of Communications
for the Trump campaign. The allegation is premature at best and later determined
to be unfounded…

…and the following TV appearance…
Dangerous lies and misdirection from Mark Meadows. … (video)

At this point the media should be pointing out that the Justice Dept under Barr is acting as an arm of the Trump campaign. Some readers may not realize this fact.


From the latest DOJ statement, it seems like:
9 military voters sent write-in absentee ballots to Luzerne.
Because these letters weren’t in SC-mandated privacy envelopes, Luzerne officials thought they were *requests* for absentee ballots. They opened them, spoiling them.

Here’s that DOJ update
Pretty clear the problem here wasn’t absentee voting, which is routine for military
personnel, but rather the new (and controversial) ruling that requires ballots to be placed
in privacy envelopes. More on that:

What we know about those discarded Trump ballots in Pennsylvania
We don’t know all the details,
but it seems likely that it isn’t Democrats who are seeking to skew the election

My new @latimes Op-Ed: Don’t fall for claims of voter fraud.  Error is more likely the case, and errors don’t swing elections. Exhibit A: How Trump and Barr treated those 9 ballots in Pennsylvania

Journos: For the next 38 days, we must continue to reassure the electorate that their vote
will count; that our voting process has integrity & that it is safe. There are a lot of problems
that need solving in this country. Widespread voter fraud is not one of them.

Step 4: Declare that you’ll challenge the election (weeks before Nov 3rd)
See text graphic…
“I promise you as a Republican, if the Supreme Court decides that Joe Biden wins, I will accept the reslt,” Mr Graham added. “The court will decide, and if Republicans lose, we’ll accept the result.”

Questions: Why would the Supreme Court have to decide the election, Sen Graham? Back up your response with detailed evidence.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume you have evidence. Why are you breaking Congressional norms to stack the Supreme Court with a nomination from one of the two parties in that challenge?

Step 5: Pad the court where that challenge would take place in favor of Donald Trump
I keep seeing all these tweets denouncing attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s faith but I can’t figure out who is actually attacking Amy Coney Barrett’s faith

Apparently the strategy is just to say any criticism of Barrett is criticizing God.
But the Democratic nominee is also Catholic.
It makes no sense.

If it’s not clear, Republicans want Democrats to talk specifically about Amy Coney Barrett, a specific judge, rather than the fact that they’re trying to ram through a justice just days before the election. If they can get people talking about her religion, they’re even happier

Conservatives will do anything to try to frame this as an attack on Barrett’s religion or her parenting. Because otherwise, the story is that she is an extremist, badly out of step with most Americans, who will demolish the ACA, women’s reproductive rights, and gay families.

She’s also a giant threat to voting rights and to any decent climate legislation, and an
immense hypocrite who didn’t hesitate to speak up four years ago, when it suited her,
about the inappropriateness of flipping SCOTUS ideologically in an election year.

So the right will do what it always does: Patrol the margins for someone who attacks
her kids or her religion and try to turn the sideshow into the main event. …

Note the model for how the right advances its nominees: It’s the Grievance Moment.
Clarence Thomas announcing he’s being lynched. Kavanaugh’s weepy ragefit. It’s all
about that GOP narrative that mean libs are oppressing them. So what I hope is…


…that Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee keep it simple and sober.
That they face her and say, “The minority-view policies you support, and your approach
to the law, will hurt most Americans, and we are going to make you own that.”
That, at least, would be a start.

Last thing for now: No Democratic senator should express the slightest interest in her
personal life; it’s not interesting. Let the GOP pimp her biography all it wants to.
The opposition’s job is to make vivid and real the lives of the people her rulings
are going to hurt.
This is such a farce. GOP blocked Merrick Garland 237 *days* before election but rushing to confirm Barrett 38 days before Nov 3. Entire process is illegitimate. It’s a coup in the making & should be treated as such

Donald Trump calls for a “respectful and dignified” hearing for Amy Coney Barrett
in the 38 days before the 2020 election. Will it be like the respectful and dignified
hearing that Judge Merrick Garland (didn’t get) after President Obama nominated him
237 days before the 2016 election?

Here’s the full memo circulating, which lays out the options available to @SenSchumer
if he decides to try to use every tool at his disposal to stop McConnell from filling RBG’s
seat before the election

I’m here for Justice @KeeangaYamahtta Taylor. #JusticeTaylor

Note: One can respectfully make very sharp points without being offensive. As Justice Ginsberg’s mother told her, “Don’t give into emotions – stay strong! Be independent; prepare for difficulty; stand on your own two feet, like Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Barrett Crushed Gig Workers Weeks Before Likely SCOTUS Nomination
In August, the likely Trump nominee delivered a key ruling blocking many gig workers from suing in court when tech companies deny them overtime pay


(Barrett) worked directly on the case that overturned the 2000 election – if she is confirmed, the court will have *three justices* who worked for the GOP on Bush v. Gore.
Donald Trump says he expects SCOTUS to decide the 2020 election.


Affordable Care Act – will it survive?
Under the cloak of a decades long attempt to repeal Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act is now at risk of extinction.

Today (9/27): Obamacare will be replaced with a *much* better, and *far* cheaper,
alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court. Would be a big *win* for the USA!

2018 CBPP: Latest Republican ACA Repeal Plan
Would Have Similar Harmful Impacts on Coverage and Health as All the Others

Ten weeks after promising he’d sign a “full and complete” health care plan, (Donald
Trump) made clear he’s the president with no plan.


Donald Trump Kept the Quiet Part Quiet About Amy Coney Barrett
The president introduced his Supreme Court pick – but stayed mum about the real reason he needs her.

Step 6: Bully the media into playing along. If they don’t cower. Attack them…
Scholars, Press Watchdogs Call on Corporate Media to Treat Trump Like the Authoritarian Threat He Is
“Our democracy is at stake. Trump is trying to steal an election, and the press should say so, every day until Election Day.”

===2020 Watch List===
So, even putting the Ginsburg developments aside, the last few days we’ve seen a huge push for ‘patriotic education,” 3 cities declared “anarchist,” and now even more blatant interference at CDC. In other words, the pace of fascism is increasing — rapidly. Why now?

Republicans plan to ask the Supreme Court to review a major Pennsylvania state court ruling that extended the due date for mail ballots, teeing up the first test for the Supreme Court since the death of Justice Ginsburg.

… Wisconsin Republicans are trying to shut down a voter registration/ballot witnessing event in Madison tomorrow.

In parks all over Madison, hundreds of voters are already dropping off absentee ballots
as part of the groundbreaking “Democracy in the Park” initiative. Republicans tried to
block this nonpartisan effort to increase voter engagement and turnout. The GOP failed.
Democracy won.

Group sues to stop 5 large cities from using grants to aid election, calls it bribery

The RNC is getting involved in an appeal over absentee ballot deadlines in Georgia, making it the 20th state where the Republican Party is fighting election lawsuits to limit the rights of voters.

Corporatism / neoliberalism…
With Chamber of Commerce Defections, a GOP Mainstay Finds Allies Among (some) Democrats

California Democrats have one of the biggest most diverse majorities in recent history
in the legislature. Yet they killed almost every bill the California Chamber of Commerce,
the largest business lobby in the state, asked them to this year.

Note: If your Senators or Represenative is taking this money – let them know what you think.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Baker counters the Pharma lobby
And think of how much more research would be accelerated if you worked collaboratively with the rest of the world

The Trump campaign is lying.
It’s leaving out important context: Biden is joking in the video. Everyone is in on the joke. It’s a public event. The Trump campaign is lying, on purpose, to mislead voters.

Note: This is a classic case of projection.

End of a short thread…
” I consider it irresponsible to discuss November merely in terms of how many votes (popular vote; electoral votes) each candidate receives without noting that President Trump has made it clear that his goal is retaining power independent of how many votes he receives….”


Froomkin counters Grim…
This is not “running to the left” this is “running a con”.

To justify unfettered political control over @TheJusticeDept, Barr promotes myth of unaccountable career prosecutor.
From Justice Department veteran Edgar Chen:

The Russian trolls have a simpler job today. Quote Donald Trump.

Trump campaign posts another dishonestly snipped Biden quote to make him sound confused

I am liking the directness of the NYT’s “Daily Distortions” feature:
“President Trump routinely passes along false and misleading information that has been circulating online. On Monday, he appeared to be the one starting it.”

Toxic misinformation has continued reaching new heights in 2020.
Racist birtherism misinformation about Sen. Kamala Harris now exceeds that about Pres. Barack Obama at its peak in 2017, according to a new analysis.
Kamala Harris was born in America.

Be warned: Robocalls sent by Trump campaign surrogates Kimberly Guilfoyle and Lara Trump lie a lot about vote-by-mail.

Like father, like son. You @DonaldJtrumpJr are spreading lies to undermine confidence in the election. The postcard clearly states that to be an eligible voter, a person must be a citizen, 18 years old by the election, and reside in CO for 22 days before the election.

Don Jr. & co. packed 900 mostly maskless Arizonans into a hotel to peddle QAnon-inspired lies.

Reps. Mucarsel-Powell, Castro call for FBI investigation of disinformation aimed at Latinos
“Even more concerning is the fact that disinformation originating on social media is now shaping and pervading more traditional media outlets in South Florida,” they said in a letter.

Pix or It Didn’t Happen: Facebook vs. the Truth

Anas vs the Giant

Four people are suing Facebook for its alleged role in enabling the violence
that overtook Kenosha in August.


This is not a satirical tweet. This woman saw this … photoshop on Facebook
and is gullible enough to believe it. …

“Facebook is polluting the information landscape by allowing [climate change] misinformation
to proliferate from their platform. And they’re trying to distract from the fact that they’re not
doing anything to prevent it.” My latest with @JuddLegum

Facebook has shut down two Russian disinformation networks operated by Russian
intelligence services and a third by people affiliated with a notorious troll farm that interfered
in the 2016 U.S. election.

Mysterious QAnon Conspiracy Theory Mailings Spook Minneapolis Suburbs
“The level of vitriol and hate that comes through in these images is really, really scary,” one woman who received them said.

How QAnon Conspiracy Theories Spread in My Colorado Hometown

Facing crackdowns from tech companies that limit the reach of their content, leaders in
the QAnon conspiracy theory movement have been urging their followers to drop the
“QAnon” label from their wide-ranging conspiracy theories and simply refer to their fight
against a fictitious cabal of powerful baby-eating politicians without their increasingly
problematic branding.

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Joe Biden
… April 25th
Joe Biden Remarks on President Trump’s Supreme Court Nomination

Joe Biden Addresses U.S. Conference of Mayors

Republican Inquiry Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing by Biden

Ron Johnson (R-WI) & Chuck Grassley (R-IA)…
GOP senators’ anti-Biden report repackages old claims

Would be good for Democrats to do an ad like this, but about Trump

Biden adding Gamble and Margetta to the transition team is the first really good news I’ve heard this month.

“Instead of fearing a backlash, Joe Biden ought to be talking about the need for policing and criminal justice reforms.” John Nichols @NicholsUprising reports from Wisconsin on @thenation podcast

Biden should stop dunking on the Democratic base – polls show he faces an enthusiasm gap & it doesn’t help the campaign to defeat Trump when he does what he did today. The only person it helps is Trump.
He should stop using this rhetoric. Right now.

“Our party should not validate GOP talking points by falsely marginalizing Bernie, his
supporters & his agenda. During this pandemic, we should be promoting the principle
that healthcare is a human right – a  message that has drawn millions.” – @RoKhanna

The good, bad and ugly…
Donald Trump…
See text graphic…
The threat to the election must be blinking red for the FBI and DHS (CISA) to put this out. Exact opposite from Trump’s messaging. Shows huge concern over efforts to discredit the vote and highlights potential for hacking of election websites.


President Declines to Commit to Peaceful Transfer of Power If He Loses the Election

State and local budgets face a pandemic-related meltdown. Why won’t Republicans help?

Donald Trump and Republican Senators are doing far more to defund the police than any
Democrats or Black Lives Matter activists are. Trump & GOP lawmakers are refusing
to help cities & their police departments that face devastating Covid-induced budget crises.

Pandemic recovery, Coal and Washing Machines…
Donald Trump makes false claims about his record on manufacturing and coal jobs

[A]t Donald Trump’s rate of job creation, *Pennsylvania* won’t get back the manufacturing jobs it lost until 2080

Donald Trump features a steel plant that laid off hundreds of workers in a new campaign ad about “the best” economy.

Donald Trump’s trade policy failed the workers he promised to help

2019: Investors left exposed as Trump’s SEC gives America Inc a helping hand

Your Periodic Reminder that CEOs Maximize CEO Pay, Not Shareholder Returns

Corporate groups cheer, investors cry foul as U.S. tightens shareholder rights rules

Supported by the Trump Admin & many Republican Secretaries of State – including Peterson…
What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Could Mean For The Obamacare Hearing Nov. 10
The case remains weak, but the odds of success – and millions losing insurance –
just increased.



Last week…
A Deal on Drug Prices Undone by White House Insistence on ‘Trump Cards’
The White House and the pharmaceutical industry were nearing a major deal to lower drug prices. Then the administration demanded that $100 cash cards be sent to millions of seniors before the election

Trump Cards 2.0: “[T]he Trump administration is effectively pledging to spend $6.6 billion
in savings that do not currently exist.”

– “You will be getting a card to help with your copay,” @MarkMeadows. “1st time
that money has gone from big pharma’s pockets to American seniors’ pockets.”
– Drug companies not aware of plan or any funding.
– Money will be drawn from program Medicare uses.

Trump Approves Final Plan to Import Drugs From Canada ‘for a Fraction of the Price’

The final plan clears the way for Florida and other states to implement a program bringing medications across the border, despite the strong objections of drugmakers and the Canadian government.

But it does not allow states to import biologic drugs, including insulin.

Florida, the biggest swing state in the presidential election, is one of six states to pass laws seeking federal approval to import drugs. Trump’s announcement came the same day counties in Florida began sending out vote-by-mail ballots.

The administration proposed the regulation in December. The final rule says it takes effect in 60 days.

But individuals will not be allowed to import drugs on their own, Azar said in his letter. Instead, they will have to rely on programs run by states.

About 4 million Americans import medicines for personal use each year, and about 20 million say they or someone in their household has done so because prices are much lower in other countries, according to surveys.

Funded with tax dollars…
‘It’s like every red flag’: Trump-ordered HHS ad blitz raises alarms

The public awareness campaign, which HHS is seeking to start airing before Election Day on Nov. 3, was largely conceived and organized by Michael Caputo, the health department’s top spokesperson who took medical leave last week and announced on Thursday that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Repeated for context…
2018 Context: The US health dept’s new communications chief is a Trump loyalist
and Roger Stone associate who spread conspiracies about Ukraine and Hunter Biden.

Inside Michael Caputo’s time at HHS
Installed by Donald Trump himself, the bombastic spokesman
seized control of Covid-19 messaging, with disastrous results.

NYT: Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary of health for public affairs, told a Facebook
audience without evidence that left-wing hit squads were being trained for insurrection,
and he accused CDC scientists of “sedition.”

The following day…
– Caputo has signaled his desire to take medical leave
– He claimed to staff he had never read a single MMWR, despite efforts to meddle with reports
– He concluded meeting by telling staff to listen to the Grateful Dead

U.S. Forest Service Pushes Ahead to Gut Protections for America’s Climate Forest
Tongass National Forest jeopardized by push to abandon Roadless Rule and allow new logging

2018: Tongass is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest,
with trees more than 1,000 years old. But a pro-logging effort could uproot them

Repeat for context…
Trump administration eyes at least $300 million aid to refiners denied biofuel waivers: sources

White House drops plan to bail out oil refiners denied biofuel waivers: sources

So much for law and order…
DOJ is refusing to send Eric Dreiband, the head of the Civil Rights Division, and the heads of BOP and the US Marshals Service to testify before House Judiciary …

So much for law and order II…
President Trump’s 3,400 conflicts of interest

“It affects virtually nobody,” Trump says of the coronavirus, which has now killed 200,000 Americans and counting (video)

Pentagon used taxpayer money meant for masks and swabs to make jet engine parts and body armor

Dutch officials are demanding answers from Pete Hoekstra, the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, in light of reports that the Trump appointee hosted a private event for a rising right-wing political party and its donors at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague.

The State Dept. IG has found that the Trump admin rescinded an award recognizing the work of a journalist from Finland last year after discovering she had criticized Trump in social media posts, then (they) gave a false explanation for withdrawing the honor.

Pompeo shatters diplomatic norms with political appearances

Trump goes all-in against China at the UN, leading with (surprise!) a lie:

DeVos under investigation for potentially violating Hatch Act because of Fox News interview
The Education Dept’s YouTube channel includes the interview, which was also touted in an official message from the agency.

Beginning of a thread…
Secret White House contemporaneous memos tell backstory of how Jared and Ivanka received security clearances. Here is an excerpt from my book on @NBCNews that quotes from the memos and tells the story.

Important to understand, Donald Trump has made *no* substantive complaint about mail-in ballots. … Obviously if he had evidence of any fraud he would show it. He has not.

The president’s latest tweet promoting vote-by-mail in Florida shows
all of his previous claims about mail-in voting are ludicrous lies. He promotes it when he
thinks it helps him. He yells fraud when he thinks it hurts him.

See image…
(Donald Trump’s) campaign is sending their base info to vote by mail:

Why just “Republican state election officials”?


[A]fter the 2016 election President Trump convened a “voting integrity commission” in
attempt to substantiate his own allegations that 3-5 million ballots were illegally cast.
His own commission found no such evidence.


Kobach Exposed at Trial


Donald Trump: “We’re Going to Have to See What Happens”
An Atlantic article rings the fire bell.

Donald Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transition of power after Election Day


DOJ is threatening 3 American cities, all, coincidentally, led by Democrats, with shutting off unspecified federal funding. Barr is treating peaceful protestors like criminals and demonizing entire cities instead of focusing on the conduct of a very few.

Compare / Contrast…
Violence by far right is among US’s most dangerous terrorist threats, study finds

In secret recording, trainer for Unlock Michigan advises on unlawful tactics

Revealed: pro-Trump activists plotted violence ahead of Portland rallies

In leaked chat logs of an Oregon right-wing militia group, members discussed
stockpiling arms and ammunition, strategies for sparking violence at protests,
and even advocated for attacking Democratic politicians. …

Regarding what appears to be an unlawful Louisville militia march…
Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 38.440:
“No persons other than the Kentucky National Guard or Kentucky active militia shall
associate together as an armed company or drill or parade with arms without
permission from the Governor.” Just enforce the … law!

The career official who reviewed John Bolton’s manuscript alleges that White House aides improperly intervened to falsely assert that the manuscript contained classified info in an attempt to prevent its contents from becoming public.

Knight’s credible disclosures about the political corruption in Bolton’s pre-clearance review
raises squarely whether the Executive branch can censor willy-nilly in the name of national
security. The answer under the First Amendment must be “no.”

A federal judge has ordered Louis DeJoy to treat all election-related mail as first-class and restore overtime for U.S. Postal Service employees.

Revealed: evidence shows huge mail slowdowns after Trump ally (Louis DeJoy) took over

DeJoy Tells Judge Mail-Sorting Machines Can’t Be Rassembled

Questions: What about the report of some machines being recovered? Can he be charged with destruction of federal property?

A senior USPS executive delivered a presentation in July that pressed officials across the
organization to make the operational changes that led to mail backups across the country –
seemingly counter to months of official statements about the plans’ origins.

Oct 29, 2020 auction with bad maps…
FCC has money for rural broadband but isn’t sure where to spend it

“When Congress gave the agency [funding to fight the COVID-19 pandemic], we cleared the decks,” Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said. “We had dozens of staff work to get out $200 million dollars in record time for telehealth. We need to treat this mapping task with the same speed and efficiency; we’re just not doing that right now.”

Donald Trump’s Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance
The Times obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.

“Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his
first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all
in 10 of the previous 15 years – largely because he reported losing much more money
than he made.”


Trump’s finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions in debt
coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a battle with
the IRS over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million refund. An adverse ruling could cost him
more than $100 million.

Trump’s IRS reports portray a man who takes in hundreds of millions a year yet racks up
chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. He depends on making
money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict with his job
as president

Donald Trump went 10 years without paying income taxes,
paid just $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017


Back around 1990, Donald Trump was broke… So he tried to trick his father, who was
suffering from dementia, into giving him total control of the Trump estate. Later he lied
about it in court.

Donald Trump, facing financial ruin, sought control of his elderly father’s estate.
The family fight was epic

So, @realDonaldTrump could win his point about ‘fake news’ once and for all simply by
releasing his tax returns himself and showing the NYT was making it up…

Speaker Pelosi: “It is a sign of President Trump’s disdain for America’s working families
that he has spent years abusing the tax code while passing a GOP Tax Scam for the rich
that gives 83 percent of the benefits to the wealthiest 1 percent.”

Ivanka’s Trademark Requests Were Fast-Tracked In China After Trump Was Elected

Ivanka Trump’s business shut down two years ago. So how is it still bringing in money?

A judge has ordered that Eric Trump must comply with a subpoena for his testimony in a New York investigation into his family business before the presidential election. The deadline to comply is October 7.
Campaigning against vote counting…

Baker responds to Donald Trump…

Hate mongering…

Whenever a candidate starts telling his supporters they have “good genes,” historians need to break the glass and sound the alarm.

Donald Trump once again claims that Cory Booker is coming to destroy the suburbs if Biden is elected. The racism is barely concealed. (video)

…Donald Trump just absurdly accused Hillary Clinton of colluding with Russia to run a disinformation campaign against herself (video)

Senate Republicans are trying to place a 3rd illegitimate Justice on the Supreme Court:
1) McConnell and Grassley refused to give Obama’s nominee a hearing which tainted Gorsuch’s nomination.
2) McConnell and Grassley rushed Kavanaugh through without releasing all of Kavanaugh’s papers and while several misconduct complaints were not processed. He also exhibited unprofessional behavior during the hearing
3) Now McConnell and Graham are violating their new precedent:

This is such a farce. GOP blocked Merrick Garland 237 *days* before election but rushing to confirm Barrett 38 days before Nov 3. Entire process is illegitimate. It’s a coup in the making & should be treated as such

Donald Trump calls for a “respectful and dignified” hearing for Amy Coney Barrett in the 38 days before the 2020 election. Will it be like the respectful and dignified hearing that Judge Merrick Garland (didn’t get) after President Obama nominated him 237 days before the 2016 election?

McConnell’s fabricated history to justify a 2020 Supreme Court vote:

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