Towards an issues-based 2020 election (85)

Skipped last week so the following includes 2 weeks’ of information. ..

===2020 Big Picture===
“History doesn’t always repeat itself, but it often rhymes”–Mark Twain (?)
To see how the original Gilded Age prefigured today’s Gilded Age, read my new book “Iron Empires,” just out from @HMHbooks …

537 Votes
Documentary about the 2000 presidential election

Note: Trump appears to be running a play from GW Bush’s playbook.

In the style of GHW Bush… It’s the media, stupid…
Why Does the FCC Allow Sinclair Broadcasting to Violate Station Ownership Rules in Baltimore?
An investigation of FCC, SEC documents in a citizen-filed ‘Petition to Deny’ licensing for three stations controlled by the media behemoth may finally help put an end to the ‘sham’ control of our public airwaves…

Republican Attorney Charges FCC Letting Sinclair Violate Ownership Rules
with Sham Companies: ‘BradCast’ 9/25/2020

Sinclair Broadcast Group: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

The Mudoch’s own Fox…
Former Prime Minister of Australia launches a petition to pressure Parliament into establishing a Royal Commission that would investigate what can be done to keep the Murdoch empire from further damaging the country’s public sphere.

On a related note…
Editorial: Instead of thinking about whether to vote Democratic or Republican in the upcoming U.S. election, think about voting to protect science instead of destroying it.

While retweeting the above tweet…
I never engage in party politics. But the upcoming US elections is above and beyond
all that. From a climate perspective it’s very far from enough and many of you of course
supported other candidates. But, I mean…you know…da-n!
Just get organized and get everyone to vote #Biden
Click graphic…
This slide from @DavidShor hits the nail on the head of why direct messaging against Trump (@ProjectLincoln ads, etc.) is ineffective in swing states.
Dem messages that actually move votes: talking about education & majoritarian economic policies.

Note: We’ve shifted too far to the right and people want change. Let go of the pendulum.

On the off-chance Dems were worried about voter complacency, the President and VP refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power should be a good motivator.

Next day…
Trump concludes his interview with Hannity by claiming that Mike Pence refusing to
commit to a peaceful transition of power during the VP debate was his “best answer”
of the night (video)

Baker responds to Lee’s (R-UT) statement that “democracy isn’t the objective”…
So Senator, should we take this to mean that you will support a coup… (page up)

Note: Sen Lee says “liberty, peace and prosperity” are the objective. If that’s the case, why does he support legislation that impoverishes so many? Hint: Sen Lee is a libertarian & and several other Republicans are neoliberals For example:

We have a representative government that makes decisions about the goals stated in the Constitution’s Preamble (and repeated in the Constitution). Unfortunately, too many of our Representatives aren’t voting in our interests.

102-year-old Beatrice Lumpkin, who has never missed a vote, cast her mail-in ballot in full PPE – wearing a hazmat suit so that she could vote safely this year. “It’s the most important election of my lifetime. The very future of democracy is on the line.”

The Atlanta Hawks are gearing up for the general elections. The Hawks announced that State Farm Arena has tripled the number of voting machines onsite and will double the number of available staff to ensure a smooth process for the early election period.

Problem with your mail-in ballot? Long lines? Purged voter rolls? Voter intimidation? There are several ways to let our @electionland team know:
– Questionnaire here:
– Text the word VOTE to 81380
– WhatsApp: Send the word VOTE to 1-850-909-8683

Sealed Absentee Ballot Return Envelopes Spark Concern From Leon County Voters

The creative strategies that voter-registration organizations have come up with in the midst of the pandemic are bright lights in a dark season, @suehalpernVT  writes.

Snapchat has helped 1 million users register to vote, a possible boon to Democrats.
Of the newly registered, more than half are first-time voters, and more than 80% are
younger than 30.

Universal Voter Registration; Eliminating One of the Biggest Barriers to Voting

Voting Rights
Learn more about how to exercise your voting rights, resist voter intimidation efforts, and access disability-related accommodations and language assistance at the polls. For help at the polls, call the non-partisan Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

43 states have absentee ballot applications that are not fully accessible to millions of
visually impaired voters and those with other disabilities, according to a new audit.

Madison’s Democracy in the Park, a terrific project that let’s people get information on voting and drop off absentee ballots in all the city’s 206 parks, is on again this weekend. Thousands of ballots have been safely and securely collected by Madisonians in every neighborhood.

Celebs including @SarahKSilverman, @TiffanyHaddish, and @chrisrock are stripping down to bring attention to naked ballots and encourage voters to follow vote-by-mail instructions (video)

Ahead of the November election, our video team produced explainers on how to vote – in 14 different languages – to reflect the diversity of L.A. County.
Here’s a look at all of them below (video)

Rep. @AOC and @RepRaskin are laying out 20 ways to secure a full and fair election – with help from @RepKatiePorter, @RepJayapal, @ericswalwell, @tedlieu, @RashidaTlaib, and more (video)

The image is embedded in the tweet…
A woman asked me if she could put this cartoon on a billboard prior to the election. I said sure. she just emailed me it’s up on 19 billboards across Atlanta!

Voting, Ballot Rejection, and Electoral Integrity in the 2020 Election

Stopping Voter Suppression
If you agree that every eligible voter deserves to have their voice count, you can take action from home or in person by serving as a nonpartisan Election Protection volunteer. Will you sign up to be one of them?

Georgetown law school has created a fact sheet for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals show up near a polling place or voter registration drive.

What antifa? Sounds like potential voter intimidation. See tweet…


Young people have the power to (defeat) Trump, and he knows it. That’s why he’s trying to steal the election, but we’re going to be there to stop him. Once he’s out, and we’re still in the streets, our movement can set the tone for the next four years, just like movements past. (video)

This is an incredibly compelling – and important – report on voter suppression in Milwaukee. Wisconsin State @SenTaylor’s response is spot on. (video)

Pelosi Prepares Democrats For Rare Possibility The House May Decide The Election

Beware the debate coverage
Sports-style debate coverage fundamentally equates the two candidates. It suggests that they are playing the same game – when they are playing entirely different games.

The story of this race is not: Biden and Trump are both running for president, you pick.
It’s: America is on a precipice.

Also, per @creynoldsnc: “when one participant debates policy on the merits and answers
questions honestly, and the other seeks only to mislead, the distinction has to be clear
to news consumers, or the media will have failed”

Also, from @EricBoehlert: “downplaying the endless lies and misinformation that Donald
Trump packs into each debate, portraying him as the savvy aggressor, and suggesting
Both Sides are to blame when Trump turns the debates into circus-like events”

On listening devices

The President had impulse control issues…
The moderator needs to be able to turn off microphones.

I’ve experienced great pain watching political TV in my life, but nothing like this.
Shame on Donald Trump and Chris Wallace.

If you see a reporter both-sidesing this freak show,
find a new reporter to get your news from.
One of three Republican Senators who contracted the coronavirus…
.@SenMikeLee was all over the Hill & WH this week:
– Saturday @ WH SCOTUS event shaking hands, hugging
– Tuesday @ Hill meeting w/ Judge ACB
– Tuesday @ Hill w/ reporters
– Wednesday @ lunch w/ GOP Senators
– Thursday @ Sen Judiciary Markup
Mask-less in many cases.

I’ve stayed home since mid-March to protect @SenSherrodBrown, & he’s doing all he
can to keep me safe, and his staff. But I can’t do a da-n thing to protect him from his
reckless Republican colleagues willing to endanger others. I’m so angry right now.
I need to #breathe

Republican recalcitrance about the virus persists even as GOP faces growing turmoil
Republican behavior is under increasing scrutiny as several in the party frequently flout
federal health guidelines for the disease that has killed nearly 210,000

Four years ago today (video)

Three Republican Senators are in quarantine. Two are on the Judiciary Committee…
I Note the Absence of a Quorum


Obviously, Amy Barrett and all the senators need to quarantine for at least 14 days, and the confirmation hearings cannot proceed.


…Democrats can stop Senate from having quorum. They should push forward the argument that given health emergency, it’s irresponsible to go forward with nomination at this moment.

A plausible suggestion about what McConnell would do if the situation was reversed…


This is a GOP strategist making clear something that a lot of liberals don’t seem to
appreciate. The GOP sees winning the Barrett nomination as equally if not more
important than winning the election – because they know that Barrett would permanently
change the court.

Schumer: “If it’s too dangerous to have the Senate in session it is also too dangerous for committee hearings to continue. Leader McConnell and Chmn Graham’s monomaniacal drive to confirm Judge Barrett at all costs needlessly threatens the health and safety of Senators, staff.”

All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are calling on the panel’s Republican chairman, Lindsey Graham, to hold off on the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Here’s Schumer today on the even-for-McConnell-this-is-brazen plan floated to put Covid-stricken Senators in the Senate gallery to vote.


This is Mitch McConnell’s press guy McConnell’s office is so
determined to install Barrett on the court, they now are attacking @SenSchumer
for saying there should be basic health & safety protocols in place in the U.S. Senate
amid a COVID outbreak tearing through the Capitol.

Too many people have already been exposed to COVID-19 from the GOP outbreak. Every senator who tested positive must follow CDC isolation guidelines. And they should publicly show 2 negative tests before getting on a plane, returning to the Capitol, & putting more people at risk.

There are now 123 front-line workers in the Capitol complex who have have tested positive – or are presumed positive – for COVID-19, according to House Admin GOP Spokesperson Ashley Phelps.

Shut down the Supreme Court confirmation. Right now.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett … was diagnosed with coronavirus late this summer but has recovered, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Question: Why would someone who survived a positive coronavirus test know better than to subject themselves to an unmasked, indoor reception without social distancing?

The idea that right wing judges in the Scalia mold just call balls and strikes is belied anytime you read their major rulings. For example, the Citizens United decision is a deranged defense of corruption just completely divorced from any legal text or notion of originalism.

What does her religion have to do with her nomination, JCN?

Here is McConnell desperately trying to manufacture a religious war in order to distract
from Barrett’s record helping the GOP’s corporate donors crush workers.
Here is Barrett’s record:

Interfaith Alliance: “For the First Time,
We’re Opposing a Nominee to the Supreme Court”

Interfaith Alliance has examined Judge Coney Barrett’s public statements, activities, and record as a federal judge with an eye toward the future of religious freedom. What we found raises grave concerns about her commitment to protecting freedom of belief for all Americans.

We therefore take the unprecedented step of opposing Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

We do so not to question Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s personal beliefs or experience, but out of profound concern for her commitment to protecting true religious freedom. Her judicial philosophy, evidenced by her record, endangers the decades of progress our nation has made toward the abiding promise that every person is equal under the law. Learn more about why we’re taking this step and read the full report on Judge Coney Barrett’s record

Questions for Amy Coney Barrett

Sirota counters Barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett failed to disclose two talks she gave in 2013 hosted by two anti-abortion student groups on paperwork provided to the Senate ahead of her confirmation hearing.

Amy Coney Barrett did not disclose on forms a notable case in which she was one of two lead    attorneys: defending a steel magnate accused of helping drive a major Pennsylvania Hospital System into bankruptcy. …

2008: Ten years ago today: Allegheny Health goes bankrupt

He Sought Asylum After MS-13 Tried to Kill Him. Amy Coney Barrett Sent Him Back Into Danger.
Barrett has a thin record on immigration but could play a key role in this hyperpartisan area of law on the Supreme Court.

Note: As you likely know, the Trump Administration and several Republican Attorneys General will be arguing for the end of ACA (i.e. Obamacare) before the Supreme Court November 10th. That would end protections for people with pre-existing conditions among other things.

Judge Barrett is on record opposing Obamacare.

And NE AG Peterson signed onto the suit – along with other Republican AGs


Berman: Trump Wants a Repeat of Bush v. Gore. Amy Coney Barrett Might Make It Happen.
In 2000, when the GOP liked mail-in ballots, she defended them.
Now she could strike them down.

Neoliberal concerns…
Dark money groups are bankrolling a TV ad campaign to promote Amy Barrett’s SCOTUS
nomination – here’s the reason moneyed interests are so desperate to get her confirmed
before the election.

Millions of dollars of completely anonymous money succeeded in getting two Trump
nominees on the Supreme Court. Now the same dark money group has just launched
a massive TV ad campaign for Barrett — all of the money is anonymous.

Procedural concerns:
Lithwick: The GOP Will Still Seat Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Because Entrenching Minority Rule Is More Important Than Human Life

Amy Coney Barrett Has No Business Ruling on This Election

===2020 Issues===
Today I’m launching a new Substack called *The Phoenix*, because the world is on fire and we’ve got to build a new one from the ashes. This is a publication for climate revolutionaries. I’m so ready. Subscribe here:


If (the debate sponsors) won’t talk about climate tonight, we will
Social media graphics…

This isn’t news, Kellyanne.
Our differences are exactly why I joined Biden’s Climate Unity Task Force – so we could
set aside our differences & figure out an aggressive climate plan to address the planetary
crisis at our feet. Trump doesn’t even believe climate change is real.

See text graphic…
My New Yorker newsletter is usually verbose. Not this week.

5 of California’s 6 Largest Fires on Record Are Burning Now: The Astonishing 2020 Wildfire Season in Context

What if the disasters of 2020 were a turning point to build a better world? #MessageFromTheFuture With: @GaelGarciaB, @opalayo, @NnimmoB. Artwork: @mollycrabapple. (video)

In the midst of climate chaos, COVID-19, and voter suppression, we refuse to be silenced
in this election. It’s time to get out the vote like our lives depend on it. (video)

Really great new video aimed at getting young Alaskans involved in the campaign
that might decide the Senate majority (video)

Biden bars fossil fuel execs, board members from his administration. This could help further break the stranglehold of the natural gas industry on Dem politics

Big Oil knew. Big Oil lied. We need a President who will make them pay.
Watch and share this campaign ad.
Citing 25th Amendment, Pelosi, Raskin move to create panel that could rule on president’s fitness for office


It’s Time to Put Some Muscle Behind the 25th Amendment

Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has now been blocking legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act for 300 days.

Two Republican governors expanded their state Supreme courts in 2016. Nathan Deal’s expansion shifted the balance of power on the GA Supreme Court. Reporters should ask why it’s a dog-bites-man story for the GOP to do do this stuff but somehow outrageous when it’s the Dems.

The other was Ducey in Arizona. He gamed a commission that recommends nominees
for the governor to choose from, so it was extra sleazy.

If the founders wanted only 9 justices, they would of written that into the constitution.
They didn’t, which suggests they wanted to give future generations the flexibility to adjust
the court’s size to make sure it didn’t become a star chamber wholly divorced from public

Abraham Lincoln *packed* the United States Supreme Court, with the ardent support
of his own party’s Radical Left Republicans. They expanded the court to create a judicial
bulwark against human bondage. The real history of court packing is honorable and good.

Gov. @SteveBullockMT becomes the first Dem Senate candidate to coherently &
constructively frame the debate over court expansion. Rather than accepting a …
debate over process, he casts it as directly related to health care – an issue that people
actually care about.


The American people do not realize the freight train coming toward them with a 6-3
(“conservative”) Supreme Court.  Here’s my @nymag piece on what that will mean
just for voting and elections

Chief Justice Roberts: America’s Chief Guardian of Corporate Power

That Time Hillary Clinton Warned Us We Had to Get Serious About the Supreme Court
Now we know why Pope Francis refused to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the other day. @Pontifex was busy putting the finishing touches on his encyclical letter denouncing neoliberalism and explaining the abject failure of market capitalism.

National Catholic Reporter says the encyclical “at times articulates viewpoints
that might well align with a democratic socialist manifesto.”

Wolff: Why the Neoliberal Agenda Is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg understood that unequal power is a workplace reality

Rev. William Barber: Millions Are Struggling. So Why Do the Debates Ignore Poverty?

Will resetting the #poverty line in a reasonable fashion mean that more Americans
will be counted as poor? Yes But we can’t address a problem we’re unwilling to see.
Read @ShawnFremstad on the need for a poverty measure that reflects today’s reality.

CNBC thinks $400,000 a year of income is only middle class.
I don’t care what city you live in, $400,000 a year *is not middle class*.

Short thread


Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. Now They’re Coming for More.
After a pause for the pandemic, debt buyers are back in the courts, suing debtors by the thousands.

FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the billions spent on affordable housing, and why so few get the help they need.


Video: A TX woman explains why she doesn’t want affordable housing in her neighborhood.

She doesn’t “mean it in a bad way.”

Last year, I started going to DC eviction court and was shocked by how many tenants lost their cases simply because they didn’t show up. I started trying to understand why, and the answer was much stranger & more disturbing than I imagined.

Minnesota has figured out a way to help stressed farmers. Can it be replicated?

CBPP: Jobs Report: Improvements Slowing, Jobs Hole Remains Deep

New #JobsReport analysis: Unemployment Falls to 7.9% but the large jump in long-term
unemployment & people leaving the labor force are ominous signs for the future, says
@DeanBaker13. Full #JobsDay report here:

Local government education loses 231,000 jobs

Thou shalt not bear false witness, Stephen Moore…

Meet the Customer Service Reps for Disney and Airbnb Who Have to Pay to Talk to You
Arise Virtual Solutions, part of the secretive world of work-at-home customer service, helps large corporations shed costs at the expense of workers. Now the pandemic is creating a boom in the industry.


NYT: A Progressive Way to End Corporate Taxes


Good to see the idea of a vacant property tax catching on
…tax the items you want less of

New #USPS Report: @maxbsawicky challenges misconceptions & unrealistic expectations for the postal service’s fundamental function as a public service. Proposes clear alternative to privatization or running the postal service “as a business.”

Why We Need a Bank at the Post Office
It really is possible to do two good things at once: address the abuse of the working poor
by payday-loan and check-cashing outfits while expanding the range of services
provided by the USPS. – (not Wall Street)

Beginning of a short thread…
This new IMF piece has me thinking aboutt what a great moment we’re in for ramping up public investment in clean energy, education, transportation, child & health care, digital infrastructure. I firmly believe, as this evidence shows, it would crowd in private investment

Bold new anti-monopoly report by House Dems calls to break up Big Tech! But proposal to help the news biz is weak: giving publishers and
broadcasters “a narrowly tailored and temporary safe harbor to collectively negotiate with
dominant online platforms”

Don’t some of you love return on investment? Invest in the IRS. Just collecting what top 1% already owe would give us enough money to wipe out student debt for most people in the US @NatashaRSarin


The 1 Percent’s Quarter-Trillion Dollar Tax Cheat

2019: IRS: Sorry, but It’s Just Easier and Cheaper to Audit the Poor

Links to NYT’s 3-part series on Trump’s taxes

The average middle-class American household paid approximately three times as much
in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 as Trump.

Two Huge Questions About Trump’s Tax Returns
Did he personally enrich himself with his own tax legislation? And are we prepared to fix
a corrupt tax code that helps rich people avoid paying $266 billion of taxes every year?

Our Tax Code Is Designed To Create Donald Trump


CBPP: New Tax Law Is Fundamentally Flawed and Will Require Basic Restructuring

Speaking of avoiding taxes, here’s what a few corporations paid in federal income tax
in 2018: Amazon, Chevron, Delta, Deere, Eli Lilly, GM, Goodyear, Haliburton, IBM,
Jet Blue, Molson Coors and Netflix all paid $0 in federal income tax

Crazy story: former patent litigator gets appointed to become a judge, literally goes around the country advertising to patent lawyers to send cases his way, creates rules that favor patent trolls. Guess what happens next?

The UK is calling for a trade agreement with the US before U.S. Trade Promotion Authority expires in the middle of next year.  As Grandma always said, haste makes a potentially-corporate-rigged-FTA-that-puts-profits-ahead-of-people (waste)!

COVID-19 and Trade

The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose (ISDS)

In a recent study, @taraldla and @taylor__stjohn found a strong correlation
between receiving World Bank technical assistance and governments consenting
to ISDS in their national laws
AG Peterson (and other Republican AGs) can do better…
State attorneys general should take note of the Michigan AG’s commitment to prosecuting voter suppression as the crime that it is.

I can assure you @NicholsUprising, @DemocraticAGs are committed.
Republican AGs on the other hand…silent on:
– USPS attack
– Trump’s vote twice comment
– Trump’s attacks on vote-by-mail
– Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power
– Trump’s voter intimidation comment

For example…
NE AG Peterson signed onto the suit along with other Republican AGs
Context: Trump Administration, Republican Attorneys General Ask Supreme Court to Repeal ACA

Note: Judge Barrett, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, is on record opposing Obamacare.

CBPP: ACA Suit Threatens Disruption, Loss of Protections
for Tens of Millions of Medicaid, Medicare Beneficiaries

CBPP: Rounding Up the Risks of the ACA Repeal Lawsuit
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are scheduled for November 10th.

Potential Impact of California v. Texas Decision on Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

Pre-existing Conditions: What Are They and How Many People Have Them?

A return to the bad old days before Obamacare…
How Much Will Trumpcare Insurance Cost People with Health Issues?

Wendell Potter thread

The Republican position on preexisting conditions is unbelievably unpopular
Many voters simply don’t believe a politician could hold toxic policy stances on health care.

Donald Trump’s COVID Program for Uninsured People: It Exists, but Falls Short


About 45 million Americans have insured themselves in the ACA marketplace since its 2014 launch


Physician on administrative issues with the current system

An alternative…

Medicare for All Continues to Win for Health Reform: Study
But, support also remains for making no changes to the U.S. health insurance system

Note: As I understand it… we can’t have real universal insurance coverage without changing the health insurance system. However, we could design a M4A system that allows regulated for profit insurance companies, but the execs – who now pocket an extraordinary amount of our health care dollars – likely wouldn’t be interested in running such a company. Others might. Such businesses exist in at least one European country.

Where Biden and Trump Stand on 11 Key Healthcare Issues
From COVID-19 to the state of the Affordable Care Act, the presidential candidates offer contrasting visions for the future of healthcare in the United States.

If Trump wins, 20 million people could lose health insurance.
If Biden wins, 25 million could gain it.
The enormous stakes for Americans’ health insurance in the 2020 election, explained.

A look ahead: What the 2020 election could mean for health care
Let’s explore two remaining presidential candidates’ positions on and visions for health care reform.

Donald Trump’s proposed fixes for Medicare range from ineffective to costly

Your reminder that pharma company Gilead is charging $3,000 for a COVID drug that was developed with $70,000,000 of taxpayer dollars and costs them less than $10 to produce.

Unsustainable Drug Prices: Testimony from the CEOs – Parts 1 & 2


Committee Begins Releasing Staff Reports on Skyrocketing Drug Prices
As Six CEOs Testify This Week

Committee Releases Additional Staff Reports on Skyrocketing Drug Prices
for Day 2 of Landmark Hearings with CEOs

Surge in Drug Prices Tied to Revenue, Million-Dollar Bonuses

Two posts on patent monopolies

Donald Trump says he’s made insulin ‘so cheap it’s like water.’ That’s not true.

COVID-19 & Achieving Health Equity:
Congressional Action Is Necessary To Address Racism And Inequality In The US

Transitory Cognitive Impairment…
TCI Health Study Shows Benefits (from “modest changes in air quality”),
But More Needed to Address Inequitable Air Pollution

Why Environmental Justice Needs to Be on the Docket in the Presidential Debates

Why is the Transition to Clean Cars by 2035 Critical?
To Avoid Worsening Impacts of Climate Change and Air Pollution
Seafood study finds plastic in all samples
A study of five different seafoods has found traces of plastic in every sample tested.

Where’s Airborne Plastic? Everywhere, Scientists Find.

Feb: Udall, Lowenthal, Merkley, Clark
Unveil Landmark Legislation to Break Free From Plastic Pollution
Bill tackles the most common forms of plastic pollution, saves taxpayers billions
and holds large corporations accountable for waste

Two years ago today, (WaPo journalist) Jamal Khashoggi was lured to Saudi consulate in Istanbul and to his death at hands of the MBS controlled Government of Saudi Arabia. Two years on there’s still no accounting/accountability and lack of any interest by Trump Administration in demanding one.

Episode 17: We speak to @Cirincione about the Iran Deal from a nuclear perspective and as part of the global nonproliferation regime, why it was a good deal for both Iran and the US, and how a potential Biden administration can revive this agreement.

Punishing Iran wasn’t all it was cracked up to be
If there’s one word that best summarizes the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Tehran, it’s “failure.”


Note: Yet this administration refuses to learn from their mistakes…

US imposes sweeping new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector


In short, a foreign government and an extremist lobby group is deciding #US policy


A solid majority of US Jews oppose Trump’s disastrous Iran policies, so it’s troubling
to see a group that claims to represent our community applaud Trump’s moves that
experts & allies warn will deny medical supplies & other humanitarian goods to ordinary
Iranians amid the pandemic

It is past time for Congress to redirect Pentagon spending to the security threats of the 21st century

The national security implications of the White House coronavirus outbreak
Will Washington finally realize that more bombs won’t make us more secure?

When former @SecDef19 declared nuclear weapons a greater threat today than ever before, his granddaughter @LisaAtTheBrink set out to discover why. At The Brink tells the untold stories behind the world’s most dangerous weapon: (video)

Maybe Nebraskans wouldn’t be so eager to host nuclear bases if they understood that the entire purpose of the 150 ICBMs in their state was to serve as a target to absorb incoming nuclear warheads – a “nuclear sponge” in nuke planner jargon.

2019: Why Are We Rebuilding the ‘Nuclear Sponge’?

The cost of this pointless, dangerous, unnecessary weapon (ICBM) keep climbing.
This is going to cost us upwards of $125 Billion. Here is the latest estimate. Cancel it now. #nuclearweapons #madness

Former Secretary of Defense William Perry Talks Nuclear Football and Trump on Reddit

Why America Should Bring Home Its Nuclear Weapons

The 2020 Election’s October Surprise Could Be a Crisis in the Taiwan Strait

===2020 VP Debate===
See picture…
*Mike Pence needs to quarantine.*
Pence (purple) is surrounded by people who have so far tested #COVID19 positive in the last 24 hours (red). Yet Pence is skipping quarantine for some da-n nonsense reason.

His home state paper…
Mike Pence’s lack of quarantining concerns experts after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis

Why is the Pence team mocking Kamala Harris for wanting extra COVID protections?
Why is the Pence team against keeping people safe? Why is the leader of the
coronavirus task force not taking COVID precautions more seriously?

The first thing you need to know about the debate is that Pence shouldn’t even be there


Pence’s response to what he would do if Trump refused to leave office is… an insane
conspiracy theory. I would say that doesn’t bode well for a peaceful transfer of power.

I fact-checked Mike Pence’s 10 biggest whoppers tonight for @peacockTV’s live VP
debate coverage – lies and half-truths on everything from coronavirus to China to climate
change. Watch it here in just two minutes: (video)

AP Fact Check: Debate week’s twisted tales on virus, climate

Pandemic focused fact check

Kudos to @SenKamalaHarris for nailing the key implications of Trump’s tax records:
he owes a he–uva lot of money to someone, & who it might be represents a major
national security vulnerability.

Gotta fact check Harris on that last bit. She’s right by violating the Iran anti-nuclear deal
Trump made us less safe. But Iran’s not “building up what may be a significant nuclear
arsenal.” Iran is enriching more uranium than the deal allowed. But that’s not weapons.

Mike Pence changed the subject nearly every time he was asked a tough question.

Harris, no. Pence, yes…
Kamala Harris and Mike Pence disagree
on whether ‘justice was served’ in Breonna Taylor case

Harris Did Not Need to Defend Fracking
Polls show PA voters back fracking restrictions – and yet Dems’ VP nominee touted
Biden’s support for fracking as Beltway reporters keep falsely portraying it as a necessity
to win the Keystone State.


The Biden campaign continues pushing natural gas as a “bridge fuel” to a safe, renewable
future. But new research shows methane leaks and the cumulative emissions of new gas-
fired power plants may completely negate the climate benefits of coal closures.

===2020 Political Theater Watch List===
Note: The following is courtesy of Sen Graham (R-SC) who requested (and released) the declassification from the Director of National Intelligence…

I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that DNI just publicly released what it acknowledges in untested 2016 Russian intelligence chatter to raise derogatory questions about Hillary Clinton – which of course was Russia’s goal when it was doing the chattering.

News from @AndrewDesiderio: Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intel Committee
had previously rejected the information just declassified by DNI Ratcliffe, characterizing
it as Russian disinformation.

Wait? The DNI won’t release the US Intelligence Community’s global threat assessment
to the American people (for the first time ever) but he’ll release *Russian* intel that US
analysts say may be fabricated?

As for the timing…
Right before the first debate!

Here’s an example of how this letter is reverberating in conservative media – skipping how
U.S. intelligence “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the
Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

…@DonaldJTrumpJr should reread the letter as it does not say what he thinks it says

Update from last week…
9 discarded ballots were a mistake, not fraud…

Update from last week…
Schatz responds to Cruz’s comment…

Baker counters McConnell

Not normal: Dozens of White House staffers taken away from their desks and lined up behind a rope to cheer and wave flags as the president departs.

In what appears to be a coordinated effort, the Trump campaign, Fox News, and conservative media outlets are amplifying lies about Joe Biden before the debate.

QAnon Amplified (an unfounded) Republican Attack On This Congressman. Now He’s Facing Death Threats

===2020 Watch List===
Regarding Russia and the election…
[W]e now have the transcript of @robertcobrien’s remarkable statement @FaceTheNation this morning.


Trump doesn’t need Russian trolls to spread disinformation. The mainstream media does it for him.

“I asked @YBenkler what he would do between now and Election Day if he could make
one change. He said he would get those news sources to stop amplifying Trump’s
falsehoods and do more to counter the falsehoods.”

In an internal announcement, the Justice Dept created an exception to a decadeslong policy meant to prevent prosecutors from taking overt investigative steps that might affect the outcome of the vote.

FL’s Amendment 4 was supposed to let thousands of felons vote. Most won’t. What happened?

In Florida, the Gutting of a Landmark Law Leaves Few Felons Likely to Vote
State officials don’t know how many felons are registered or eligible to vote. So we did our
own analysis and found only a very small percentage of them will be able to cast ballots
this election. Some could face prosecution if they do.

FL Republican politicians and…
Inside John Roberts’ Decades-Long Crusade Against the Voting Rights Act

Courts view GOP fraud claims skeptically as (others) score key legal victories over mail voting.
A review by The Washington Post of nearly 90 state and federal voting lawsuits found that judges have been dubious of Republican arguments

With the election only weeks away, Western Pennsylvania voters remain anxious about applying for & receiving mail-in ballots — and ensuring those ballots count. New, from @Electionland partner @post_industry:

To Help Trump, PA GOP Undermines Its Own Vote-By-Mail Reforms

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Trump’s campaign,
dismissing its challenges to the state’s poll-watching law and its efforts to limit how
mail-in ballots can be collected and which of them can be counted.

Trump Campaign Looks to Make Good on Poll-Watching Threat in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to create a committee that would have wide-ranging powers to investigate the vote, including the ability to subpoena election officials and USPS members while the election and vote counting are in progress.

Note: Make observations. IF you see irregularities, contact authorities. Period.

Pennsylvania Republicans have dropped their plan to create an ‘election integrity’ panel
with subpoena power, an effort Democrats feared would represent an attack on voting.

Abbott’s (R-TX) new order limiting mail drop off locations to 1 per county hits counties with large numbers of Democrats & voters of color the hardest

Texas already makes it nearly impossible for people under 65 to vote by mail & now GOP
limiting mail dropoff sites to 1 location per county. Harris Co has 2.4 million registered
voters, Dallas 1.3 million, Travis 775,000

Texas Voter Suppression Tactics Recall the Jim Crow Era

Federal Court *blocks* Gov. Abbott’s order limiting counties to only one mail-in ballot
drop-off location per county. Major voting rights victory for @DemocracyDocket
Action Fund and the voters of Texas!

On the same day that SC began voting
Mon: Supreme Court restores witness signature rule for absentee ballots in South Carolina

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a Trump appointee, said reinstating the restriction is appropriate because it is supported by state election officials and could help avoid disruption that may accompany the lifting of the witness requirement just weeks away from the vote.

“For many years, this Court has repeatedly emphasized that federal courts ordinarily should not alter state election rules in the period close to an election,” Kavanaugh wrote.

The court’s more conservative members – Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch – would have gone further by requiring those who have already cast absentee ballots without a witness signature to vote again.

  This is such an outrage. South Carolina did not require a witness for absentee ballots
during the primaries. How many South Carolina voters won’t even know about this
requirement when casting their votes?


“People are confused by this whole witness requirement,” said Barbara Beckert, an advocate for Disability Rights Wisconsin, which was part of a lawsuit that unsuccessfully challenged the witness mandate. “Voting absentee is complicated. To get it right, you have to follow a lot of very specific rules.”


Welcome to everyone on Twitter now discovering that the “Purcell Principle” and the
“shadow docket” are being used to kill court orders easing voting burdens during the
pandemic. Lots of those voting rights victories you heard about earlier in the season
are being rolled back.

I explained earlier this week @Slate as to where this is heading:

Why is Team Trump Joining PA’s Dem Sec. of State to Defend Unverifiable Touchscreen Voting?: ‘BradCast’ 9/23/2020

GA SoS orders pre-election testing stopped on new, touchscreen voting systems after major errors found affecting all 159 counties

GA Installs New, Uncertified Touch-Screen Vote Software
Days Before Voting Begins: ‘BradCast’ 10/1/2020

Florida governor extends voter registration after site crash

Voters in Arizona will have until October 23 to register to vote, a federal district court judge ruled on Monday night. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee immediately filed an appeal, and the case could go to the Supreme Court.

Thread: Court action continues to move fast and furious around election practices –
three rulings of note since last night alone: …

If you’re not already following @ZoeTillman, she’s tracking all the legal fights
over how the vote will count really closely.

Judges Aren’t Buying Trump’s Claims of Widespread Voter Fraud

One thing to note is that Donald Trump is not the first president to face a serious health issue as he seeks re-election. FDR was clearly ailing in 1944. Dwight Eisenhower suffered a heart attack on the eve of 1956 campaign and considered quitting. Both were popular. Both won.

See text graphic…
Didn’t we fight a revolution against this?

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Why Donald Trump’s Attacks on Voting Have Ramped Up

Remember the ballots found in a river? Didn’t happen.
The military ballots in the trash? Not fraud.
Over and over, Trump and his allies hype allegations to create a cloud of suspicion
and over and over they don’t hold up.


10/1: Two notorious conservative operatives were charged Thursday with felonies in connection with false robocalls that aimed to dissuade residents in Detroit and other U.S. cities from voting by mail, Michigan’s attorney general announced.

Jacob Wohl, 22, and Jack Burkman, 54, each face four felony counts in Detroit, including
conspiring to intimidate voters in violation of election law and using a computer to commit
crimes, Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

10/8: Political provocateurs accused of racist robocalls surrender in Michigan fraud case

Social media companies have flagged or removed Trump’s lie that the seasonal flu is deadlier than the coronavirus. It is not. Trump lied in his tweet. He continues to lie about the coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci says the Trump campaign has taken his words “out of context” and “without my permission” in a new ad.

“I have never publicly endorsed nor do I now endorse any political candidates. The
comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad
were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the
efforts of federal public health officials.”

Responding to a Twitter Communications tweet
So… you mean to tell us you could’ve done this the whole time?

Seriously though, this is messed up. The death threats towards us should have been
taken more seriously by @TwitterComms


Google promised to stop letting skeevy advertisers target people searching for voting-related terms. It didn’t. From @Accountable_Org and @CommonCause


Nightmare scenario: Facebook’s group recommendation function keeps steering people into radical online groups amplifying Trump’s claims of a stolen election. A liberal coalition is now calling on Facebook to turn that algorithm off. @paulwaldman1and me:

“This is a bunch of tinder just waiting for a match… The fear is that the groups are going
to become a place where folks gin each other up and organize for violence.”
Disinformation expert @KarenKornbluh, quoted in this piece:


The Trump campaign is pushing unfounded conspiracies that Joe Biden has worn ear pieces at past debates and will be wearing one tonight. That is a lie. There is no evidence to support that. Campaign officials and conservative reporters who spread this are lying.

See images from Donald Trump’s tweets…
Does photoshopping an earpiece onto an old photo of Joe Biden and making it appear
to be from last night count as misinformation? asking for a multibillion dollar social
media platform

Trump just spread this conspiracy theory. They aren’t poling places.
The offices are run by the city, mostly at schools, thanks to a grant.

…”The Trump campaign has no poll watchers approved to work in Philadelphia at the
moment. There are no actual polling places open in the city right now. And elections
officials are following coronavirus safety regulations.”

Another Trump campaign lie…

With that as context…

Imagine, for a moment, what Trump would be saying right now
if Biden contracted COVID-19 and then checked into the hospital

Facebook Just Forced Its Most Powerful Critics Offline. “Nothing says ‘free speech’ quite as much as a multibillion-dollar corporation with a global monopoly getting its critics shut down.”

Facebook removes Trump ads with baseless claims about refugees and Covid-19

Facebook bans accounts linked to Roger Stone and far-right (white supremacist group)

Facebook is banning all QAnon accounts from its platforms.


Facebook, Twitter dismantle global array of disinformation networks

Turning Point USA is led by Charlie Kirk…
Facebook bans marketing firm running ‘troll farm’ for pro-Trump youth group


Judge Orders Twitter To Unmask FBI Impersonator Who Set Off Seth Rich Conspiracy

Twitter, the company, said it will disable the system that suggests posts on the basis of someone’s interests and the activity of accounts they follow. A recognition that algorithmic systems can create misinformation cascades.

We’ll temporarily ask people to add their own commentary before amplifying content by prompting Quote Tweets instead of Retweets. We hope this encourages everyone to consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, and brings more thoughts, reactions & perspectives to the conversation. (video)

Bad framing: Democratic Socialists vs Capitalists…

Democratic Socialism has to do with governance based on the Preamble/Constitution.

Governance created corporations in law then taxed and regulated them

Capitalists invest in / create individual corporations. Co-ops are just another kind of corporation. Neither are socialism.

Laissez-faire capitalism is unregulated capitalism that socializes expenses (i.e. prioritizes profits over people) which results in things like pollution, food contamination, monopolies, routine work place injuries / deaths etc

Free-market capitalism is a type of laissez-faire capitalism called neoliberalism

The Libertarians’ call for “small” government isn’t about efficiency. Think Somalia.

See referenced comment…
It is astounding that redistributing more than $1 trillion a year with government-granted
patent/copyright monopolies passes as “small government.” …

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Joe Biden.
NBC News town hall with Biden (begins @ ~5 mins)

Just say no to Andrew Cuomo
Capping off the Trump corruption spree by making the new Attorney General the guy who hobbled his state’s anticorruption commission…that would be almost too on the nose.

Today @JoeBiden became the *first* presidential nominee to release an ad focused solely on climate change. Climate isn’t just an urgent issue, it’s a winning issue.
The new spot running in the Traverse City-Cadillac market features Michigan cherry farmers. Check it out: (video)

Polls say 69% of all Americans & 88% of Democrats favor some form of single-payer health care. Yet, in the debate, Biden repeatedly distanced himself from #MedicareForAll and its advocates. That’s a poor strategy for building a broad, winning coalition.

FDR showed respect for Socialists & Socialist ideas. He told MIlwaukee’s Socialist
Party mayor, Dan Hoan, that it didn’t matter if Hoan called himself a “Socialist’ because
“you have contributed greatly both to the theory & practice of local government.”

FDR and Socialist Norman Thomas ran against one another in 1932. After FDR won,
he met with Thomas and the two men began an extensive correspondence on domestic
and foreign policy. FDR was not a socialist, but he recognized the value of socialist ideas.

“Socialism is what they called Social Security… Socialism is what they called bank
deposit insurance… Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.”
– Harry Truman on what to say when Republicans complain about “Socialism!”


Joe Biden needs to stop apologizing for being the candidate of a party that includes
democratic socialists with popular ideas. Like FDR, Biden should be working to build
a broad coalition that values supporters who back #MedicareForAll and a #GreenNewDeal.

Fixing this mess is going to take *all* of us, including the left

Short thread

.@JoeBiden has a plan for the economy; Trump does not:
Joe has a plan to defeat Coronavirus; Trump does not:
Joe has a plan to fight climate change; Trump does not:
See a pattern here?

An outstanding episode of @missingamerica by @brhodes with Jake Sullivan. Essential listening for all interested in what a foreign policy under @JoeBiden will look like.

Beginning of a thread…
In new @fes_mena piece, I suggest roadmap for how #Biden can reenter #JCPOA with concrete steps for both #Iran & US
– Phase1: interim nuclear freeze deal by mid-Feb
– Phase2: mutual JCPOA compliance by June 2021
– Phase3: more-for-more talks late 2021-2023

We are engaged once again in a battle for the soul of the nation. It’s a battle we’ve been in before and we can win again. Tune in as I deliver remarks from Gettysburg. (video)

Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland Co. voted 63% for Trump in 2016.
Look at the crowd that greeted Biden’s train stop. (video) This is why the Trump campaign is working so hard to suppress the vote in Pennsylvania. …

Posted here:
Joe Biden’s 2019 tax returns:
Kamala Harris’s 2019 tax returns:

The Biden campaign will resume door-to-door canvassing in battleground states.
Beginning this weekend, the campaign will send out volunteers in Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, with the efforts expanding to 17 battleground states.

…The @BostonGlobe makes an argument for Biden, and then remakes the argument for 12 different kinds of voters.

Michelle Obama’s Closing Argument

Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns from Ann Arbor for Joe Biden. (video)

“I’m the guy who ran against a socialist,” Biden says about @BernieSanders
Biden keeps throwing Bernie under the bus. Meanwhile, Bernie campaigned for him
over the weekend and hosted an event for him today in Michigan.
I must say, it’s a bit odd

Having ignored – or not heard – Nichols…
Progressives to Biden: Stop Dragging Bernie, He’s Saving Your A–
“It’s foolish and arrogant,” a former senior Sanders aide sent in a text message to the
Daily Beast late Moneday night. “And more importantly, absolutely unnecessary.”

A large portion of the Democratic Party establishment likes Republicans far more than it
likes progressive Democrats. This has been true for decades. It is good that this dynamic
is out in the open. It makes it easier to understand the challenges ahead.


The Philadelphia Inquirer lays out a compelling case why four more years of Donald Trump would be an unmitigated disaster for America, and enthusiastically endorses Joe Biden for president

Referring to an Atlantic story…
I guess I missed this story when it came out but I lived this settlement fight and reported on it for 5 years and wrote a book about it, and I haven’t found a single correct fact in here.

Donald Trump…
See headlines…
What a year this week has been

Expose: The Swamp That Trump Built

An investigation by The Times found over 200 companies, special-interest groups and
foreign governments that patronized Trump’s properties while reaping benefits from him
and his administration. Nearly a quarter of those patrons have not been previously reported.

As president-elect, Trump pledged to step back from the Trump Organization and recuse
himself from his private company’s operation. As president, he built a system of direct
presidential influence-peddling unrivaled in modern American politics.

Law and order for thee, but not for me? See chart…
Criminal indictments by administration…

On the whole … the indictments under the three GOP presidents
do dwarf those under the three Democrats.

Tuesday: Farmers Union Rebukes Trump’s Refusal to Consider Pandemic Relief

Dow swings 600 points after Trump rejects stimulus plan

The S&P 500 is plunging on this, but the true economic effect is all the displaced workers
and businesses who are not going to get any more emergency relief until November at the
very, very least, and probably in reality not until February.

Key consequence of stimulus talks falling through:
– Close to 30 million jobless ppl to permanently see an income cut of ~50%
– 40% of restaurants face closure in ~6 months, per surveys
– Tens of thousands of airline workers will be laid off
– No stimulus checks 2.0
– No rental relief money
– No more funding for testing and tracing
– No Medicaid or COBRA money or newly uninsured
– No $100B to help schools reopen safely

Hill-HarrisX poll:
Should the Senate first pass a COVID relief bill or confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett?
Pass a COVID relief bill first 74%
Confirm Amy Coney Barrett first 26%

Biden statement: “Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed,
if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald
Trump decided today that none of that – none of it – matters to him.”

The Fiscal Federal Reserve
Powell signs up to monetize trillions of dollars in more spending.

Pelosi signals no relief for airlines without bigger Covid deal
“There is no standalone bill without a bigger bill,” she says.

Saturday: White House is now completely set on striking a Covid stimulus deal with
@SpeakerPelosi. They expect working all wk next week on getting a deal. No guarantees
it goes anywhere in senate. Trump wants. Badly. …

President Donald Trump’s increasing political desperation is raising concerns about his
judgment following his aggressive Covid-19 treatment and as suspicion mounts that the
White House is not telling the truth about his health.

Reportedly the rejected Mnuchin stimulus proposal
“lacked a broad plan to contain the pandemic.”

How’s that Recovery Going?



Analysis Finds Frontline Workers Disproportionately Lack Health Insurance

A new report from NELP’s @DebbieBerkowitz and @LaborSommelier shows that #OSHA
wildly mismanaged workers’ COVID whistleblower retaliation claims, closing more than half
of workers’ #COVID19 retaliation complaints without investigating

New data show that COVID deaths followed workers’ request for help from federal safety
officials – the COVID deaths happened as Trump reduced enforcement of workplace safety

U.S. Labor Dept Investigating Microsoft Over Its Commitment To Increase Black Representation In Workforce

Channel 4 News obtained data used by Trump’s 2016 campaign on almost 200 million American voters. “It reveals that 3.5 million Black Americans were categorized by Donald Trump’s campaign as ‘Deterrence’ – voters they wanted to stay home on election day.

The families of Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King Jr. are blasting the Trump
campaign for using the civil rights icons pictures in a new campaign ad. “The Trump
campaign is in opposition to all that Jackie Robinson stood for and believed in.”

Donald Trump insists food aid comes with campaign literature, outraging hunger advocates

…”In my 30 years of doing this work, I’ve never seen something this egregious,”
one food bank director said.

Promises unfulfilled: Manufacturing in the Midwest

2018: More Than 1,100 Scientists Oppose Trump Administration Proposal to Reorganize USDA
Experts and Former Agency Heads Urge Congress to Halt Plan, Protect Research Agencies from Political Interference, and Bolster Evidence-Based Policymaking

2019: A Bad Move By USDA

A Year After Move, NIFA and ERS Still Woefully Understaffed

Trump administration move could slash wages for over 200,000 farm workers

Trump Would Double Down on Tax Cuts in Second Term

Steve Schwarzman’s Blackstone (PE)…
While you paid your taxes, the world’s largest private equity firm saw its tax rate go below zero on $3.9 billion in profit, and now its billionaire CEO is funneling $25 million to the GOP to preserve the tax breaks.

The AFL-CIO & SEIU file a complaint with the International Labour Organization accusing the Trump administration of violating global labor standards, leaving millions of workers unable to defend their health while Covid-19 ravages their workplaces.

The San Diego Unified School District is removing Trump letters that his admin placed inside food boxes as part of a COVID relief program. The superintendent said that the letters misled families on how to protect themselves from becoming infected.

New rule on foreign drug importation is likely to result in additional costs, undercutting cost-saving goal
New complexities will cost money to implement, which could hinder potential savings and hurt innovation.

US medical supply chains failed, and COVID deaths followed

The New England Journal of Medicine Editorial…
Dying in a Leadership Vacuum

Joe Biden says he urged some governors who wanted to endorse his presidential campaign
to refrain from doing so because the Trump administration might retaliate by withholding
medical supplies critical to COVID-19 relief.

Related stories

A return to the bad old days before Obamacare?
How Much Will Trumpcare Insurance Cost People with Health Issues?

Trump boasted he made insulin so cheap “it’s like water.”
Americans with diabetes beg to differ.

Repeat for context…
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.

Donald Trump’s War on Veterans


NFU: Final Rule Fails to Address Structural Flaws in Conservation Stewardship Program

Beginning of a thread…
The EPA has stripped Oklahoma’s tribes of regulatory sovereignty over environmental matters and handed it to the state’s governor. This is a huge deal.

*Not* a QAnon conspiracy…
‘We need to take away children,’ no matter how young, Justice Dept. officials said.
The Justice Dept’s top officials were “a driving force” behind Trump’s child separation policy, a draft report said.

Jeff Sessions and top Justice Dept. officials pushed hard for migrant family separations
in 2018, a watchdog found. “We need to take away children,” Sessions told the prose-

Rod Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further, telling prosecutors
that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers
should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were
barely more than infants.

ICE Admits Wrongful Deportation of Guatemalan Man

Immigrants Say They Were Pressured Into Unneeded Surgeries
Immigrants detained at an ICE-contracted center in Georgia said they had invasive gynecology procedures that they later learned might have been unnecessary.

What You Should Know About Liquefied Natural Gas and Rail Cars

Note: A Donald Trump Executive Order to rewrite a rule so as to allow LNG bomb trains. The rule was finalzed in August. From the above link…

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s rule proposes no restrictions on the number or distribution of liquefied natural gas tanker cars in a particular train, nor on the routes these trains may travel.

Under the rule, bomb trains would be subject to a voluntary speed limit of up to 50 mph through densely-populated cities.

Officials at the Federal Railroad Administration have noted that tank cars are unlikely to survive impacts at even 30 mph.

  Trump, Kushner Have Financial Ties to Company that Wants Railroads
to Carry Deadly Liquefied Natural Gas

A lawsuit was filed in August. NE AG Peterson didn’t join the suit.

Emails Show How Pesticide Industry Influenced U.S. Position in Health Talks
The U.S. insisted that new international guidelines on combating drug resistance omit any mention of fungicides – a demand that the industry made but that ran counter to science.

The Trump administration has asked the military to assess how quickly it could pull nuclear weapons out of storage and load them onto bombers and subs if an arms ctrl. treaty w/ Russia expires in Feb., 3 sources told me

Note: He hasn’t shown any regard for expiring arms treaties. What’s this really about?
Repeat for context…
Trump’s Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance

Andrew Weissmann on NBC: “When I look at the NYT reporting and I see there are
hundreds of millions of dollars in loans that are coming due that the president has
personally guaranteed, my question is who does he owe that money to?
Is there leverage that those people have?”

How Trump’s taxes compare to those of other presidents


Federal income taxes paid in 2017 (jointly with spouse):
Joe Biden: $3.7 million
Donald Trump: $750

NBC News from 2019: Joe Biden has released two decades worth of his tax returns.
He released 10 years of his tax returns when he ran for president in 2008 and yearly
while he served as vice president.

NYT Part II: Tax Records Reveal How Fame Gave Trump a $427 Million Lifeline
“The Apprentice” rescued Donald J. Trump, bringing him new sources of cash and a myth that would propel him to the White House.

Trump has huge balances on loans, soon to come due, from Deutsche Bank, including
$160 million on his Washington hotel in the Old Post Office building and $148 million
on the Doral golf resort.  Neither of those businesses is turning a profit.

NYT Part III: Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2017. Here’s the math.

Ethics experts see national security concern in Trump’s debt
Revelations that President Donald Trump is personally liable for more than $400 million in debt are casting a shadow over his presidency that ethics experts say raises national security concerns he could be manipulated to sway U.S. policy by organizations or individuals he’s indebted to.

I had high-level security clearances for almost twenty years in Washington. If I had debts
even a fraction of what Donald Trump is carrying – and to murky foreign entities – there
isn’t a chance in he– that I would have gotten them. The risk of leverage is just too high.

Editorial in @GlobeOpinion: Trump’s debt is a national security risk

NYT: Trump took $70,000 in tax deductions for hair care. Experts say that’s illegal.

NYT: Trump’s Taxes Show He Engineered a Sudden Windfall in 2016

“Unless the payments were for actual business expenses, said [the tax professor], claiming
a tax deduction for them would be illegal. If they were not legitimate and were also used to
fund Mr. Trump’s presidential run, they could be considered illegal campaign contributions”


Lessons from Donald Trump’s tax returns (patreon)


Griffen counters WH Communications Dir Farah…
Reminder: “Federal spending records show that taxpayers have paid Trump’s businesses more than $900,000 since he took office.”
That’s at least two years of presidential salaries right there.

A better counter…
2018: We’ve Found $16.1 Million in Political and Taxpayer Spending at Trump Properties
Most came from political entities such as the Trump campaign, but government agencies
chipped in, too. “I could offer clarity,” one federal employee explained, “but I choose not to.”

Feb 2020: How Much Has the Government Spent at Trump’s Properties? It Won’t Say.
“He’s paying our money to himself,” the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold told
“Trump, Inc.” “There must be so much more we haven’t seen.”

A Trump super PAC received $10 million from Kelcy Warren, CEO of the company that owns the Dakota Access pipeline. Two weeks later, Trump proposed a new program to fast-track pipeline permits in secrecy: report by @SteveAHorn

State Dept Iran envoy Elliott Abrams last week praised the Trump admin’s prisoner swaps w #Iran. @matthew_petti recalls the true story & reports for the first time how Team Trump actually fouled up the whole process and jeopardized future exchanges

Remember Reagan’s Iran-Contra Affair? Abrams was part of it…

Pope Francis has denied a request for an audience from Mike Pompeo, and the Vatican “accused the Secretary of State of trying to drag the Catholic Church into the U.S. presidential election.”

See text graphics…
What Mike Pompeo said. *And*  What actually happened. …

National security endorsement thread
Trump Appointee to VOA Reporters: Criticizing Trump Is a Conflict of Interest
The policy sparked immediate concern that such a broad definition of “conflict of interest” could be used to target Voice of America journalists.

This story about @USAGMgov political appointees “investigating” @VOANews reporter
@W7VOA is shocking. He is an objective & skilled professional. VOA journalists’
independence must be preserved. This is the kind of cr-p they do in Russian & China

Compare / Contrast…
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics: President Trump has 3,400 conflicts of interest

Includes global warming…
Context: What is the Trump administration’s track record on the environment?


Thou shalt not bear false witness, Ag Sec Soinny Perdue

.@realDonaldTrump just said “we are planting a billion trees” – that’s a lie like so much
he says.  But if you really want to plant a billion trees, then come to @Aspiration!
For every tree you plant at this link, I’ll plant a tree to match you!

Wed 10/7/20…
The president’s latest tweet promoting vote-by-mail in Arizona 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.

How Donald Trump’s ‘Voter Fraud’ Lie is Disenfranchising Americans
The president is harnessing the power of the government, from the Dept of Homeland
Security to the Postal Service, to disrupt the election

Big @nytimes story also documents “an extensive effort to gain partisan advantage
by aggressively promoting the false claim that voter fraud is a pervasive problem”

Here’s the reality behind Trump’s claims about mail voting

I’ve joined over 1600 of my former DOJ colleagues in calling out AG Barr for threatening
free and fair elections: 1,600 former Justice Dept lawyers accuse Barr of using DOJ
to help Trump in election

9/28: Commerce Secretary Ross says 2020 census will end Oct. 5 despite court order

The Census Crisis: Commerce Secretary Tightens Grip on a Vital Public Good

9/30: Judge suggests contempt proceedings after Wilbur Ross defies order on Census

10/4: The Census Bureau said that its count will continue through October 31, yielding
after a back-and-forth battle with a federal judge in California.

A third federal judge has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to halt changes that have delayed mail delivery nationwide, handing the latest judicial rebuke to unilateral service cuts that critics allege would suppress mail-in voting.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has become the fourth to issue a nationwide injunction
against the U.S. Postal Service over disruptive operational changes initiated by
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

As States Prepared Mail-in Ballots, Postal Service Failed to Update at Least 1.8 Million Addresses

For three weeks in August, the U.S. Postal Service stopped fully updating a national
change of address system that most states use to keep voter rolls current. At least
1.8 million new changes of address had not been registered in the database.

Trump and McConnell Are Undoing the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Legitimacy.
A rush to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the eve of an election jeopardizes the credibility of the judicial branch.


Another highly questionable call – see both tweets

Donald Trump’s TikTok restrictions ‘likely exceed’ his legal authority, federal judge says

Note: Remember when Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to get Gov Whitmer to open up Michigan’s economy (without meeting the criteria) & and they showed up with guns? & Two of them were recently picked up…

New: Plans to kidnap Whitmer, overthrow government spoiled, officials say

Organizers allegedly met starting in June, including at a Second Amendment rally in Lansing and in a Grand Rapids shop basement accessed through a secret door hidden under a rug.

The plot also included at least seven members of a Michigan militia known as the Wolverine Watchmen accused by state officials on Thursday of targeting police, making threats to “instigate civil war” and helping to plan Whitmer’s kidnapping, according to state and federal officials.

Tuesday’s Debate Made Clear the Gravest Threat to the Election: The President Himself.
President Trump’s unwillingness to say he would abide by the result, and his disinformation campaign about election integrity went beyond anything…


It’s hard to imagine a more disqualifying, terrifying statement from the president of the
United States: “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully
because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.”

Trump’s Encouragement of GOP Ballot Watchers Echoes Old Tactic of Voter Intimidation
The 2020 presidential election will be the first in nearly 40 years conducted without the
protections of a court order sparked by Republican tactics in New Jersey in 1981,
writes Mark Krasovic. – Note:


Click text graphic…
Yesterday … the FBI quietly issued a  warning about the threat of far-right extremists,
per intel report leaked to me. It identifies the period between presidential election and
inauguration as a “flashpoint”

Did the president speak about a single policy position (at the debate)?

Donald Trump condemns ‘all White supremacists’ after refusing to do so at presidential debate

How dangerous are the White Nationalists in the US Military?

The Trump campaign is contacting local election offices, telling them to ignore their states’ election laws –> “The NC Republican Party advises you to not follow the procedures,” Trump campaign operative Heather Ford wrote in an email

The Trump campaign is now attacking Biden for…not contracting coronavirus. “He has experience – now – fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those firsthand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.” (video)

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the meeting where they decided
that this is the winning message.

Donald Trump lost by 2.9 million votes to Hillary Clinton. Maybe that’s why he’s still running against her.


State attorneys general should take note of the Michigan AG’s commitment to prosecuting voter suppression as the crime that it is. – The Nation, retweeted by John Nichols

I can assure you @NicholsUprising, @DemocraticAGs are committed. Republican AGs on the other hand…silent on:
– USPS attack
– Trump’s vote twice comment
– Trump’s attacks on vote-by-mail
– Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power
– Trump’s voter intimidation comment
– Brandon Richards, Democratic AGs Press Sec

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