Towards an issues-based 2020 election (86)

===2020 Big Picture===
This new initiative encourages and represents whistleblowers who come forward with information related to interference in the upcoming election. Pass it on!

Thread: Possible reasons for rejecting mail-in ballots

2020’s Federal Court Voting Rights Roller Coaster and How to Make it Stop: ‘BradCast’ 10/16/2020
Guest: Univ. of KY election law Prof. Joshua A. Douglas

Voter Protection National Hotline
Check out these ways to get involved

Fair Fight 2020 is building voter protection teams with Democratic state parties or local allies across the country to protect the right to vote – and we’re starting now.

Michigan is prohibiting the open carry of guns within 100 feet of polling places amid fears of voter intimidation during the election.

When, Where and How to Vote – Interactive Map

Note: Voting registration details appear as you hover your mouse over a state. Click that state and the page scrolls to that state’s info.

2020 Ad Watch: ”Inspiration’ might not be the right word. I feel *compelled* to vote for Biden’ – Young people who supported Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren make the case for voting for Joe Biden (video)

Michelle Obama, LeBron James team up to boost early voting

Recommendations for Media Covering the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Your Misinformation Guide

As the world has learned in the last few years, the need for quality information about politics is vital. In our new report, @anyaSIPA explores several necessary regulations to improve transparency for online political advertising.

In the final stretch, political journalists should flood the zone with the truth


Protect the Results
We are building a coalition of voters ready to mobilize if Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Note: On election night of 2000 – GW Bush’s cousin prematurely called Florida for Bush . Roger Stone and GOP congressional staffers disrupted the FL recount in what has become known as the Brooks Brothers Riot Then a Republican Supreme Court claimed – in a self-described, never-to-be-repeated decision – that GW Bush would be irreparably harmed if the recount were to continue and, therefore, interfered with Florida’s recount and declared Bush the winner.

In a haunting interview with then Air America broadcaster, All Franken, Dahlia Lithwick described the pall that settled over the Supreme Court. And later, after recounting all the votes, journalists found that Gore had won – not Bush

Donald Trump has signaled that he will take advantage of a covid-related, delayed vote count to prematurely declare himself the winner and call on the McConnell-stacked, Republican Supreme Court to pull another GW Bush. Republicans would likely try to legitimize such a coup with suspicion- and resentment-inducing theater. And if history is prologue, our inept media would likely uncritically amplify their message.

This strategy can only work if the election is close – so the best counter is to vote in overwhelming numbers. We can inoculate people now with the truth and – if Republicans play that card – find ways to keep people informed and to send a clear, strong and *peaceful* message to our Republican-stacked Supreme Court – that we’re watching. Presumably that’s Protect the Results’ focus.

More than 26.2 million Americans have already voted,
according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Night has fallen, but voting lines continue in Marietta, Georgia. The @WCKitchen team just finished serving dinner. They met someone walking out who arrived at 8am – he waited 12 hours to vote today. We must do better! Until then, #ChefsForThePolls will try to keep everyone fed.

The line of voters at George Pierce Park in Suwanee (GA) – video

More than 128,000 Georgians went to the polls Monday, a record for the first day of
early voting in the state. By Tuesday morning, about 1.6 million people had requested
absentee ballots. Of those, nearly 474,000 had been returned and accepted.

Really seems like turning the (GA) Hawks arena into an early voting site
has genuinely been great for all involved.


More Than 10-hour Wait and Long Lines as Early Voting Starts in Georgia

Voter check-in system to blame for slow-moving lines in Georgia
Some early voting sites reported checking in just 10 voters per hour at each computer.

Later in the day, (Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s) office said the state’s elections software vendor, New Orleans-based Civix, had increased bandwidth, resulting in immediate improvements reported by many counties. Wait times fell from over three hours to about one hour Wednesday afternoon at several early voting sites in metro Atlanta.

Checking in voters should take about a minute, not four or five minutes, Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron said.


…Georgia must now navigate at least 4 different computer systems (programmed by private companies) to cast their one vote…

  Repeat: Judge Finds ‘Serious Security Vulnerabilities’ in GA’s New Vote Systems,
Allows Them Anyway: ‘BradCast’ 10/12/2020

Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours?
Their Numbers Have Soared, and Their Polling Places Have Dwindled.

It takes more time and costs more to vote in Texas than any other state.

Federal Court Upholds NJ Right to Begin Canvass of Mail-In Ballots 10 Days Before Election Day
Also upholds legislative presumption that mail-in ballots received by 11/5, two days after Election Day, were timely mailed, even without a postmark…

‘Kindness’ is Key: New Survey Identifies Trump Achilles Heel for Evangelical, Catholic Voters: ‘BradCast’ 10/7/2020. Guest: Vote Common Good’s Doug Pagitt

Hartford Courant Presidential Endorsement: You probably think you can vote for Donald Trump but not support racism; here’s why you’re wrong


Albany TImes-Union endorses Biden: “this nation – and quite possibly the great experiment
in democracy and liberty that is America – cannot withstand another four years
of Mr. Trump’s incompetence, divisiveness, corruption and cruelty.”

Austin American-Statesman endorsement: A democracy under siege needs Joe Biden

===2020 Issues===
@rortybomb makes 8 recommendations for the @federalreserve to successfully address #COVID19, long-standing structural racism, and the effects of the #climatecrisis.

Biden’s Treasury Could Fight Climate Change, But Would Lael Brainard’s?
Biden’s choice for Treasury Secretary is arguably among his most important
climate policy decisions.

Big scoop from @zcolman “After battling the potential housing crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic-induced recession…the regulator will now turn its attention to natural disasters.” FHFA knows a climate crash is next.

Check out my @GDI_policy paper “Soaked” for a policy agenda laying out
how we can prepare for a climate-triggered housing crash.

How California Will Prepare Its Infrastructure for More Climate Catastrophes

California Will Keep Burning. But Housing Policy Is Making It Worse.
There are ways to keep people and homes safer from wildfires.
Then, there’s what California does.

ELCC Explained: the Critical Renewable Energy Concept You’ve Never Heard Of

The Most Important Global Forecast That You’ve Never Heard Of

In places like “Michigan’s most polluted zip code” – the 48217 – companies like Marathon Oil refine Tar Sands next to playgrounds & trap communities in what Theresa Landrum calls “Sacrifice Zones.” Fossil fuel executives shouldn’t decide this election. We should. (video)

…Climate change is a winning issue for Democrats. We need to stop saying things like “we’re not against fracking.”


After winning an underdog Democratic campaign for the state legislature, my partner @EmilyForCO authored first-in-the-nation legislation that lets legislators & the public see the climate impacts of proposed laws. Now, @RepJoeNeguse is taking her legislation to Congress.

The Good Governance Papers: a series of concise essays exploring legislative and administrative proposals to restore and promote non-partisan principles of good government, public integrity, and the rule of law

To Save Democracy We Must Remake the Courts
The Right’s latest attempt to ram through a Supreme Court justice is part of a larger strategy to entrench minority rule. For democracy to survive, we need to reboot and reimagine the judiciary.

CBPP: California Criminal Fee Repeal a Big Step for Racial Justice, Equitable Policy

The government’s early fiscal relief plan kept poverty from rising during the early days of the covid crisis. But that money dried up and the government got covid fatigue, and poverty is now rising sharply.

CBPP: States Should Follow New Jersey: Repeal Racist “Family Cap”

An Economic Survival Package, Not a Stimulus Package

This is a huge tell. A GOP strategist tells Bloomberg that Senate Republicans
don’t want a big stimulus bill now because they want to pivot hard to austerity
under a Biden presidency, which could cripple it. No wonder McConnell is laughing.
New piece:

  We’ve seen this play before…
  Robert Draper Book: GOP’s Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night Of Inauguration

  GOP blocked a needed jobs bill…
  2010: GOP poised to kill tax-extenders bill

  Ran on jobs and took back the Senate…
  2010: “Where are the jobs?” The GOP’s Rhetoric(al) question

  Remember how long it took to get out of the Great Recession?…
  Why is recovery taking so long – and who’s to blame?

Note: So they’re going to play that game again. And if past is prologue, Republicans will do what they’re told,  many will needlessly suffer and die, our economy will lag, and two years from now Republicans will run on jobs and take back control. Don’t let that happen.

McConnell shoots down $1.8 trillion coronavirus deal, breaking with Trump

EconCon Presents: Building an Economy That Works for All of Us – Mon Oct 9th

McGhee: The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Panel: Privilege and the policies we need for greater equity (video)

From the email: “We can talk about public options; we can talk about public options for broadband, we can talk about public options for banking, we can talk about public options for universities. And this isn’t just some fantasy idea from the progressive left,” said Wong. “These are actually things that we have done in American society in the past that have made huge differences in real people’s lives.”

@jacobsgoldin and I have a new working paper that looks at which children benefit from the Child Tax Credit and which do not. Ungated version here:


Striking: “None of the children who receive the full Child Tax Credit live below
the poverty line, while three-quarters of the completely ineligible children do so.”

See text graphic…
Biden’s fully refundable Child Tax Credit proposal

Excellent thread on the racism embedded in our Unemployment Insurance system and how it hurts all workers today. @WSpriggs did a brilliant workshop on this for @unemployedact members. Can share recording & slides with anyone who wants to educate their membership on this crucial issue.

This is why we need a special one-time tax of 10 pp on incomes over $500k Also, an extra 10 pp tax on corporations, based on their stock returns

A Supreme Court decision to strike down the ACA would create chaos in the health care system

Surprise medical bills increase costs for everyone


The Fight for Reproductive Justice in a Post-Ginsburg World

Los Alamos … to Host Virtual Public Information Session on Controversial Tritium Release – Tues Oct 20th

Biden “will inherit a country diminished by [Trump’s] search for ‘greatness’ in all the wrong places,” says @madeleine. He must “reassure allies; reassert leadership on climate change; forge coalitions and re-establish the US as a champion of democracy.”

Trump Thought He Had a Nuclear Deal With Putin. Not So Fast, Russia Said.


Putin proposes Russia, U.S. extend New START arms control treaty for one year

Trump administration rejects Putin’s offer on nuclear arms deal extension


If you want to understand why New START is about to lapse, just remember it’s the
same reason North Korea still has nuclear weapons & Mexico hasn’t paid for the wall.
You don’t get things by making extreme demands & offering nothing in return.
It’s that simple.


New START is already an historic deal, good for the U.S., Russia, and the world.
It would be immensely dangerous — and stupid — for the U.S. to walk away
from the 5-year extension.

Three big take aways from @PaulSonne’s excellent article:
1  Nuclear threats increasing
2 Trump has made them worse
3 Don’t panic. We can reverse these trends
Policy matters. Trump abandoned policies that worked. Biden can build them back better.

Is Change Coming? Smartly Reshaping and Strengthening America’s Nuclear Deterrent

Excellent analysis from @WilliamHartung. “The reality is that ICBMs are not needed to deter Russia or any other nation from attacking the United States with nuclear weapons.”


This short, data-driven simulation by @neilhalloran of the catastrophic effects of one nuclear bomb on one city is visually compelling and worth a few minutes of your time. (video)

See referenced comment…
Without authorization from the UN Security Council, a blockade is an act of war. In other words, this FDD analyst is calling for the US to start a war with Iran.

Danger in the South China Sea
In 2020, The Trump administration has dramatically increased the number of show-of-force missions, Ann Wright reports.

===2020 ACA (i.e. Obamacare)===

July Context: GOP senators in close races mislead on preexisting conditions
  Fortenberry-Bolz debate centers on health care
Fortenberry said he has always supported health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and will continue to do so while favoring “new delivery of care models to drive down costs.”

Note: “After the July 27, 2017 vote on the Health Care Freedom Act, Newsweek ‘found at least 70 Republican-led attempts to repeal, modify or otherwise curb the Affordable Care Act since its inception as law on March 23, 2010.'”

The best idea we have of the Republicans’ replacement bill comes from their Health Care “Freedom” Act that was passed by House (with support from Fortenberry, Bacon and Smith).

The bill would have defunded a considerable portion of Obamacare at the expense of millions of Americans’s health. What Republicans added to compensate gives us an idea about what their replacement bill might look like. Hint: It’s not kind to people with pre-existing conditions.

Here’s a Commonwealth Fund report on that final House bill…

House Narrowly Passes ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bill That Would Leave Millions Uninsured

Note: I would characterize Fortenberry’s debate comment as mostly false. And Fortenberry isn’t the only Republican who’s misrepresenting their position on pre-existing conditions…

July: GOP senators in close races mislead on preexisting conditions
See referenced comment…
Lindsey has been in congress since 1995, receiving the best state-sponsored healthcare.
When would he have been on Obamacare?
Another clunker: John Cornyn’s ad on preexisting conditions
Despite what the senator from Texas claims, Cornyn’s proposal
would expose sick patients to higher insurance costs, experts told us
   “Clunker” is a generous term. The Republicans under Trump have been doing everything
    they can to end protections for pre-existing conditions, but now, at election time, they
    are lying their a–es off.
See referenced Donald Trump comment…
[R]epublicans have been promising “loudly and clearly” that they would provide
better healthcare at a lower cost for 10 years. Still no plan. …

Note: Search CBPP’s document (below) for the phrase, pre-existing conditions, and discover why Donald Trump’s comment is particularly egregious…

  CBPP’s Sabotage Watch: Tracking Efforts to Undermine the ACA
  President Trump has said that, politically, the best thing to do would be to let the Affordable
  Care Act (ACA) “explode.” This timeline tracks Administration actions that would sabotage
  the ACA by destabilizing private insurance markets or reversing the law’s historic gains
   in health coverage.

Note: If Republicans’ thought their position was mainline, why did they request that the Supreme Court move their lawsuit date (to kill Obamacare) until *after* the election? From the above CBPP report…

January 10, 2020
The Department of Justice (DOJ) urges the Supreme Court to delay consideration of the lawsuit in which the Administration and 18 states are asking the courts to strike down the entire ACA. The states defending the law, led by California, asked the Court to hear the case on an expedited basis to resolve the uncertainty the lower courts have created for the 20 million people who would become uninsured, and the millions more who would lose protections against pre-existing condition exclusions and other benefits, if the law is ultimately overturned. Delaying, as DOJ urges, would prolong that uncertainty, potentially for years.

Note: If the McConnell-stacked Republican Supreme Court throws out Obamacare, there is no replacement currently available. That’s not a conservative politics

There’s no single incident that perfectly captures the nature of modern conservative politics, but the lengthy, bad-faith Republican effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act comes close. 

===2020 Judge Barrett===
2005 hearing…
Roberts: ‘My job is to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat’
Chief justice nominee tells Senate panel ‘I have no agenda’

Money Unlimited
How Chief Justice John Roberts orchestrated the Citizens United decision.

The Story of Citizens United v. FEC

How Citizens United altered America’s political landscape


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

Inside John Roberts’ Decades-Long Crusade Against the Voting Rights Act

In 2013 the supreme court gutted voting rights – how has it changed the US?
The supreme court struck down a formula at the heart of Voting Rights Act –
now voters who are discriminated against bear the burden of proving
they are disenfranchised

Dahlia Lithwick: Amy Coney Barrett May Claim Neutrality, But Her Record Is “Extremely Conservative”

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

Before a nominee was announced…
Republican Senators Line Up to Back Trump on Court Fight
Dianne Feinstein is leading all 10 Senate Judiciary Democrats in calling on the Justice Dept to provide missing materials from Amy Coney Barrett’s questionnaire. “Please immediately provide an explanation for the omission of these materials.”

Under questioning from Sen. Harris, Judge Barrett says that COVID is infectious, smoking causes cancer, but climate change is a “very contentious” matter and she will not express a view on it.

Climate Ad Project: Amy Coney Barrett thinks climate change is up for debate. It’s not.

Related: (page up)

Amy Barrett insisted she doesn’t have firm views on climate change. Her dad was a
longtime Shell Oil lawyer, and Shell now has a major case before the Supreme Court
that Barrett may be serving on.

For some reason, we’ve heard more about Amy Barrett’s kids than about her familial
ties to the fossil fuel corporation that right now has a landmark climate case before
the Supreme Court.

Climate Denial Is Disqualifying

The planet can’t afford a risky choice for the Supreme Court


American Bar Assoc…
Ronald Reagan: The ABA’s “exclusive concern is the starting point for any free society, a concern that is at the heart of civilized life: the law – our courts and legal system – justice itself.”
Ted Cruz: “… the American Bar Association, which typically leans hard left…”

Barrett SCOTUS Packing Hearings Conclude in Senate Judiciary Comm: ‘BradCast’ 10/15/2020
Guest: Slate legal reporter Mark Joseph Stern…

Stop Calling It Court Packing

Barrett’s Hypocritical, Media-Aided, Scalia-Fueled ‘Originalist’ Hoax: ‘BradCast’ 10/13/2020

The Heartlessness of Amy Coney Barrett’s Originalism

Under questioning from Sen. Leahy, Justice Barrett says that “no one is above the law.” But when asked a follow-up on whether a president has an absolute right to pardon himself, Barrett refuses to answer. Leahy calls her responses “somewhat incompatible.”

Questions Amy Coney Barrett refused to answer today:
– if Trump should commit to peaceful transfer of power (he must)
– if Trump can unilaterally delay election (he can’t)
– if voter intimidation is illegal (it is)
– if she’d recuse from post-election dispute (she should)

Amy Coney Barrett won’t say if presidents should commit to a peaceful transfer of power
and if they can pardon themselves


Amazing that Amy Barrett just refused to answer whether she believes a president
has a constitutional right to delay a presidential election

Hoping someone asks her if she needs to uphold the Constitution,
which is a different way of asking her the same questions below,
and *also* something that will come before her as Justice.

I look forward to Missouri Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), who has just spoken so eloquently of his revulsion at religious tests for those who hold public office, speaking with equal eloquence when he condemns Donald Trump the next time the president attacks @IlhanMN or @RashidaTlaib.

Let’s be clear. Questions about #AmyComeyBarrett’s position on important issues aren’t
an attack on #Catholics or on #ReligiousLiberty. Denying a person’s humanity or right to
healthcare is an insult to religion & Liberty. I’m a Catholic. I can’t support her

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

“We shouldn’t be holding a hearing three weeks before an election, when millions of people have already voted.”
– Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving member of the United States Senate

CNN’s @JeffreyToobin…
“This is a hearing being held in the middle of a pandemic in the middle of a hotspot.”
“The idea that they are doing this … is so surreal and so dangerous.” (video)

Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) Desperation Is Getting Deadly
Graham is risking his Senate seat and public health by refusing to take a Covid test
before SCOTUS hearings. His GOP colleagues could stop him, but they won’t

Sen. Whitehouse calls on Barrett to recuse herself from election cases.
“Trump gave away the game. His comments acknowledging that he’s appointing Barrett to decide whatever election dispute he can manufacture make it untenable for her to hear his case.”

Sen. Leahy asks whether Justice Barrett would recuse herself if disputes arise out of
the election, noting that Trump has said his SCOTUS pick could decide the outcome.
Barrett will not commit: “I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting
that entire process.”

Asked by Sen. Klobuchar if it is illegal to intimidate voters at the polls, Justice Barrett
refused to answer. She said cannot characterize the facts in a hypothetical situation.
In response, Klobuchar cites U.S. law barring voter intimidation.

Under questioning from Sen. Harris, Judge Barrett refuses to reveal whether she agrees
with Chief Justice Roberts’ remark in Shelby County v. Holder that voting discrimination
still exists.

Kristen Clarke on How Rush to Confirm Barrett Endangers Voting & Civil Rights

Feinstein asks Barrett if she agrees with Scalia’s criticism of the same-sex marriage ruling. Barrett says she won’t express her views. She then notes she would not discriminate based on “sexual preference,” an offensive term that suggests sexuality is a choice, which it is not.


Under questioning from Sen. Booker, Judge Barrett refuses to answer whether separating children from their parents at the border is wrong. She says it’s a matter of “hot political debate.”

Every man praising Amy Coney Barrett’s motherhood supports a president
who ripped children away from their mothers at the border

‘When You Find Hypocrisy in the Daylight, Look for Power in the Shadows’: ‘BradCast’ 10/14/2020
Guest: Dark money researcher Lisa Graves on Sen. Whitehouse’s Judiciary Committee revelations on the GOP’s decades-long, $250 million Supreme Court-packing coup…

Lisa Graves on the Story Behind Amy Coney Barrett

Dark Money & Barrett Nomination:
The Link Between Big Polluters & the War on ACA, Roe & LGBT Rights

“Instead of doing anything for people who are struggling right now, we are here,”
says Cory Booker.

Kamala Harris: “Republicans have made it crystal clear that rushing a Supreme Court
nomination is more important than helping & supporting the American people who are
suffering from a deadly pandemic and economic crisis. Their priorities are not the
American people’s priorities.”

Judge Barrett’s Record: Siding With Businesses Over Workers

“Barrett is no moderate on economics… As a circuit court judge, she ‘faced at least 55 cases in which citizens took on corporate entities in front of her court and 76% of the time she sided with the corporations’.”

The Surpreme Court will hear arguments on the Obamacare case on Nov 10th…
“It’s beyond ironic that this administration, which has failed to respond to this pandemic, is rushing through a judge who they believe will vote to strip away health care protections.” – @ChrisCoons


Pres. Trump has been clear – he picked Judge Barrett to achieve his goals: eliminate
the ACA, overturn Roe v. Wade, & help him win an election he plans to dispute.
And Republicans broke Judiciary Committee rules to rush the nomination ahead.
My closing statement at the hearings: (video)

How Amy Coney Barrett Could Affect the Future of the Affordable Care Act

We Know Exactly How Amy Coney Barrett Will Unravel Roe

Sen. Feinstein asks Justice Barrett about Roe v. Wade. Barrett refuses to express her
views. Feinstein notes that Ginsburg expressed her belief about the constitutionality
of abortion rights during her confirmation hearing.


Under questioning from Sen. Klobuchar, Judge Barrett says that Roe v. Wade is not a
“super-precedent” that would never be overturned. For reference: Earlier, Barrett said
that Brown v. Board of Education is super-precedent.

Under questioning from Sen. Blumenthal, Judge Barrett refuses to answer unequivocally
whether Griswold was correctly decided. Griswold gave Americans the right to use
contraception. This came right after Barrett said Brown v. the Board of Education
was correctly decided.

When politicians use faith as an excuse to pass and uphold laws that seize control of
people’s bodies but not guarantee them healthcare, feed the poor, shelter the homeless,
or welcome the stranger, you have to wonder if it’s really about faith at all.

West Virginia Mom Tells Abortion Story in Heartfelt Speech Against Amy Coney Barrett

Been waiting for Schumer to use some of the available procedures to stop Mitch’s Amy-Coney-Barrett steamroller confirmation. Is that going to happen? Is that what Biden is waiting for before he answers questions about restructuring the Court? Or are the Dems going to roll over?

===2020 Watch List===
New York WFP Organizes to Thwart Existential Threat to Its Ballot Line
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his allies are trying to weaken the New York WFP, which is facing the possible elimination of its ballot line.

Blue Dogs aka Neoliberals, Conservadems &
Seasonal (with respect to controlling party) Deficit Hawks…
If Dems take control of Congress, Blue Dogs will try to gut every decent bill. Noteworthy that their affiliate is running paid ads for the pharmaceutical lobby at the moment.

Federal judge finds enough evidence to move toward trial of 5 Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap governor.

Hear Trump announce his plan to steal the vote count in PA 10 seconds into this video…

After Trump bowed out Biden rescheduled a town hall on the cancelled debate night…
After dropping out of an official Commission on Presidential Debates sanctioned town hall – the first President ever to do so – Trump gets 90 minutes of free air time without his opponent (on the same night)

Ex executive…
Management at @NBCNews needs to explain ASAP how agreeing at last minute to add
a town hall with President Trump opposite an @abcnews Joe Biden Town Hall is in the
public interest. Even doing it at 10 ET just after Biden would have been a better decision.

Why NBC News scheduling a Trump town hall against Biden is bad TV & worse journalism


This explanation from NBC’s chairman is not…credible.


Dueling town halls finally lead some reporters
to address the extreme disequilibrium between Trump and Biden

See text graphic…
A federal appeals court judge angrily accuses her colleagues and other judges across the country of sanctioning “a systematic effort to suppress voter turnout and undermine the right to vote.”


A study of 175 election-related decisions and found a partisan pattern:
Republican appointees interpreted the law in a way that impeded ballot access 80%
of the time, versus 37% for Democratic ones.

Judge extends Virginia voter registrations for 48 hours, cites “tremendous harm” when cut cable knocked site offline.

Videos show closed-door sessions of leading conservative activists: ‘Be not afraid of the accusations that you’re a voter suppressor’


Ohio may pursue men already charged in Michigan over voter intimidation in minority areas

Several Ohio counties that expected absentee ballots printed from Midwest Direct are now scrambling for alternatives. In Pennsylvania, 30,000 ballots from Midwest Direct went to wrong addresses.
This summer, Midwest Direct began flying a Trump 2020 flag.

No mail-in ballots yet for 3 of 4 in our family. Ordered weeks ago. Ohio’s @Marcia_Brown9
explains how sec’ys of state impede or enable voting. We WILL vote, come hell or high
water (or both – it’s 2020) no matter how many barriers @FrankLaRose throws up.

2004 Flashback…
Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots
or having their votes counted — enough to have put John Kerry in the White House

Note: John Kerry didn’t contest the election and Ken Blackwell was the 2004 Ohio Sec of State

Hours before early voting began, the Texas Republican Party filed a lawsuit challenging Harris County’s efforts to provide more voting options during the pandemic, this time asking a court to limit curbside voting and halt drive-thru voting programs.

A Houston appeals court has dismissed the Texas Republican Party’s lawsuit seeking
to limit curbside and drive-thru voting in Harris County.

Appeals panel upholds Abbott’s order for just one ballot box per Texas county

A Travis County state district judge has ordered a halt to Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive
limiting Texas counties to one drop-off location for hand delivery of absentee ballots.

An appellate court judge in Pennsylvania has turned down an emergency petition from Republicans seeking to block the Philadelphia suburb of Delaware County from operating a three-day, pop-up early voting center in a predominantly Black area.

The California GOP installed unofficial ballot drop-off boxes. State officials say they’re illegal. “Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes – especially those misrepresented as official … is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law.”


A decent number of the faux ballot drop boxes are at gun shops

California Republican Party says it will not comply
with state’s cease and desist order on unauthorized ballot drop boxes

Why hasn’t Trump or Bill Barr complained about the admitted voter fraud
from the California GOP with their misleading and likely illegal ballot boxes?

Fri: In a news release, the California Secretary of State says that the California Republican
Party has committed to a number of “significant concessions” in their ballot collection
activities. Among other things, they will not make available unofficial ballot drop boxes.

…Whatever your state, before you use a drop box, confirm with your
local election office that it’s legitimate


Ballotpedia: Electoral Fraud

Some people here got tired of their (Biden-Harris) signs disappearing, so they launched a GoFundMe and rented a commercial billboard.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
See text graphic…
Thread: Excellent reporting from WSJ’s @dseetharaman and @EmilyGlazer finds that Facebook engineers – with sign-off from Zuckerberg himself – retooled their algorithm to throttle traffic to high-value progressive news orgs, @MotherJones *in particular*


2nd thread

There’s a fast-growing network of nearly 1,300 websites that aim to fill a void left by vanishing local newspapers. The network, now in all 50 states, is built on propaganda ordered up by conservative groups, political operatives, and corporate PR firms.

I’ve Been Suspended by Twitter for 100% Accurate Tweet About Error Discovered in GA’s New Touchscreen Vote Systems [UPDATED x 3] The tweet in question and federal court evidence proving it’s true..
[*Final Update* 10/11/2020: Faced with no good options, I’ve relented and deleted the tweet.]

Donald Trump is running TV ads taking Dr. Fauci out of context and without his permission.
So, here’s a message from the President in his own words. (video)

It’s not just Dr. Fauci: The Trump campaign did not seek approval from Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to use his image in a campaign ad.
“This photo, like many others, was not used with [Milley’s] knowledge or consent.”

See referenced Trump comment
That is not how polling or math works

See bar chart…
“People are engaging more on Facebook today with news outlets that routinely publish misinformation than they did before the 2016 election, according to new research from the German Marshall Fund Digital”

“We have these sites that masquerade as news outlets online. They’re allowed to.
It’s infecting our discourse and it’s affecting the long-term health of the democracy.”
– @KarenKornbluh

Facebook bans Holocaust denial, will direct people who search for information on platform to authoritative sources.

NYT: Last month, United States intelligence analysts contacted several people with knowledge of the Burisma hack for further information after they had picked up chatter that stolen Burisma emails would be leaked in the form of an “October surprise.”

Among their chief concerns, according to people familiar, was that the Burisma material
would be leaked alongside forged materials in an attempt to hurt Biden’s candidacy –
as Russian hackers did when they dumped real emails alongside forgeries ahead of the
2017 French elections.

Biden campaign to Politico: “The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about
the critical elements of this story … Moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official
schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.”

Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon helped make public private materials purported to belong
to Hunter Biden in an attempt to swing support to Trump. WaPo could not verify the
authenticity of the alleged emails and other correspondence NYP published.

“An Eastern European expert in digital forensics who has examined some of the Ukrainian
documents leaked to the New York Post told me he found anomalies – such as
American-style capitalization of the names of ministries – that suggest fakery.”

WaPo: U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Rudy Giuliani
was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former
officials familiar with the matter.

The Trump campaign claims Facebook is “censoring journalism” because Facebook plans
to limit the spread of the NY Post report. That is not censorship. Facebook is under no
obligation to allow a disputed report that appears to contain disinformation to spread on
their platform.

Thread: Our @NewsHour report: a senior former intelligence official tells me President
Trump’s entire national security team warned him that Giuliani’s information coming out
of Ukraine was likely Russian disinformation, and that Trump shrugged the warning off.


New York Post pushed the Hunter Biden piece amid newsroom doubts.


…Media coverage of disinformation inevitably rewards it.

Note: Thou shalt not repeat the lie… especially in the headline!

Educating the Washington Post on Section 230

But isn’t it a bit disingenuous to compare Facebook and the Washington Post like this?
The Washington Post reviews its articles and has a known team of writers.
Facebook is a humongous platform that anyone anywhere can put out content.

Right. Facebook would have to be very different without Section 230 protections.
The rest of us should not have to suffer harm to keep Facebook humongous and Mark
Zuckerberg rich, it should have to face the same liability rules as traditional media outlets

Blatant Hypocrite Ajit Pai Decides To Move Forward With Bogus,
Unconstitutional Rulemaking On Section 230


… this threat to remove Section 230 protections from FCC chair Ajit Pai, is obviously an act of political intimidation directed at Facebook and Twitter. The FCC is supposed to be non-political. This should be the basis for removing him as FCC chair.

QAnon accounts, already purveyors of toxic conspiracies, are now also spreading a massive amount of lies about voter fraud on Twitter.

Twitter has suspended a number of fake accounts purporting to be owned by Black Trump supporters, saying the accounts broke rules on spam and platform manipulation.
Many accounts used identical language…

YouTube will no longer allow content that targets individuals and groups with conspiracy theories, specifically QAnon and its antecedent, “pizzagate.”


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Joe Biden…
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris flew with people who tested positive for Covid-19

“…this individual was over 50 feet from VP Biden at all times, entered and exited the aircraft from a rear entrance, and both the individual and the Vice-President wore masks for the entire flight,” Dillon said.

“Given these facts, we have been advised by the Vice-President’s doctor and the campaign’s medical advisers that there is no need for the Vice-President to quarantine.”

Because Harris and these contacts wore medical-grade N95 face masks during the flight and the infected individuals were not within 6ft for more than 15 minutes, they do not meet the CDC definition of “close contact”.

For that reason, Harris does not meet full quarantine criteria, which would normally require an individual to be in isolation for two weeks.

But “out of an abundance of caution” the campaign canceled her normal schedule of events through Sunday, while promising a “robust and aggressive” round of online campaigning intended to reach far and wide.

  The Biden campaign released an 8-paragraph statement detailing last negative tests,
last contact, social distance and mask protocols after the Harris staffer’s positive test. …

A Georgetown University report finds that Joe Biden’s free public college plan would pay off within 10 years.

The great bursts of progress under Lincoln, FDR, and LBJ, happened not because they were deeply progressive men, but because people’s movements forced those presidents to rise to the moment. This is truly a must read from @cwabobmaster.

Is Seth Harris good Labor Secretary material?…
Prop 22 Is a Dress Rehearsal for This Biden Cabinet Hopeful’s Confirmation Battle
Uber, DoorDash, and Lyft want to neutralize workers’ rights for gig economy workers. They got the idea from Obama’s former acting secretary of labor, Seth Harris.

See referenced thread…
Brainard would be a good pick (for Fed Chair), but reappointing Powell would be a good opportunity for Biden to show that he was not out to get rid of EVERYONE appointed by Trump, just the incompetents and crooks.

I don’t see why, when Biden is asked about expanding Supreme Court, he doesn’t just say “I have no plans.”When asked again he says “I have no plans.”If he is asked for an explanation, he says “I have no plans.”Reporters … will figure it out eventually

.@JoeBiden is talking about infrastructure investment – green tech in particular. Those investments would be good for the economy and the environment, but it would also be good for our national security. #BidenTownHall

I’ve said plenty of times before and I’ll say it again: Hunter (and Biden’s brother) have engaged in unethical influence peddling. It’s bad! And all of it pales in comparison to one day as a Trump son or daughter. Not even close. There you go.

I report on political corruption for a living. This stuff is icky. We also don’t know if Rudy’s
email dump is even real, but we’ve known about Hunter’s influence peddling for years
anyway. Regardless, Trump’s corruption is totally staggering, and unlike anything
I’ve ever seen.

Also there’s no evidence whatsoever that Joe used his official position to help Hunter.
Not to mention Trump’s used his official position to help his business, his family,
his friends, and his large donors…
Donald Trump…
Defense Secretary Mark Esper is declining to rule out sending active-duty military personnel to the polls on Election Day.

Trump’s triple failure: Virus control, stimulus, and the trade deficit


The Trade Deficit: The Biggest Obstacle to Full Employment

After 1987 the deficit began to fall again. The explanation is not a mystery: the Reagan Administration negotiated an agreement known as the Plaza Accord, under which our major trading partners would gradually raise the value of their currencies against the dollar. …

  U.S. Trade Imbalance Hits Crop Exports With Lack of Containers

Robert Lighthizer Blew Up 60 Years of Trade Policy. Nobody Knows What Happens Next.
Trump’s trade representative joined the administration with one mission: Bring factory jobs back from overseas. The results so far? Endless trade wars, alienated allies, and a manufacturing recession.

The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

Video: 10 anti-worker wishes: How the Trump administration implemented corporations’ top 10 wishlist

“We just set a record: 11.4 million jobs,” Trump says, declining to mention that this immediately followed a loss of 22.2 million jobs.

Historically black colleges and universities…
Trump Executive Order Could Make HBCUs Ineligible for Nearly All Federal Funding

Last Dec: Trump signs bill restoring funding for black colleges

Note: Is he still on Dexamethasone?

Great story, White House Chief of Staff refuses to talk to reporters if it means he has to follow public health guidelines. What a guy!

Last week – for context…
Plans to kidnap Whitmer, overthrow government spoiled, officials say

Virginia Governor Was Also a Possible Target of Anti-Government Plot, F.B.I. Says

Trump tweeted “*Liberate Virginia*” on April 17.

A Wichita man has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple over frustrations with city’s mask ordinance

‘All 50 States Bar Private, Unauthorized Paramilitary Activity’

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue … ordered to reimburse the government…

Recent alleged misuse of taxpayer dollars…

The Trump administration has rejected California’s request for a disaster declaration for six destructive wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres across the state.

California wildfires: This is how mind-bogglingly huge they are

Trump approves California’s wildfire aid request, reversing an earlier rejection
State appealed the administration’s decision on a disaster declaration request
that would provide funds after six recent fires

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is calling on Trump to condemn the poison used against him. Navalny says he’s sure Putin is responsible and that Trump needs to come out against those types of attacks.

As Paul Singer Donated Millions to Republican Governors Association, Public Funds Flowed Into His Hedge Funds

2014 The Vulture: Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse

Despite a history of underperforming properties, Kushner Companies received a near-record sum from a government-backed lender. Should it default, taxpayers could be forced to foot much of the bill. The agency says politics played no role.

Move Over, Hunter Biden. Meet Eric Branstad, the China Ambassador’s Son Who Got Rich in Trump’s Swamp.

As his fundraising has slipped, Trump has upped his use of federal resources to compensate.

Note: The main title (not shown) suggests his behavior is just beginning. Not true…

Trump tramples government boundaries as election nears
As his fundraising has slipped, Trump has upped his use of federal resources to compensate

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.

NYT: Vegas connections helped Trump engineer $21M windfall during 2016 race

Facing the prospect that President Trump could lose his re-election bid, his cabinet is scrambling to enact regulatory changes affecting millions of Americans in a blitz so rushed it may leave some changes vulnerable to court challenges

See tweet images…
Trump’s pitch is now that entire large states have ‘gone to he–‘ during his four years as president so that’s why you should vote for him

“New documents from a former Cambridge Analytica insider reveal what an election watchdog group claims was illegal coordination between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and a billionaire-funded pro-Trump super PAC.”

Baker responds to Trump…
You definitely have a point there… The Democratic Party that led the confederacy and then pushed Jim Crow laws in the South no longer exists. We know that you miss that Democratic Party, but most folks don’t.

…in fact, those folks are now Republicans.

Note: Southern Dems left the party (and became Republicans) after Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Hiding behind “originalism” allows Barrett and Senate Republicans to repeat that law is a neutral science, while also conveniently arriving at the host of policy outcomes favored by the Federalist Society, the Koch brothers, and nameless donors. Which is why efforts to present Barrett as the magic constitutional love child of Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at these hearings, and in her rollout, is also rank sophistry.

The ghosts of both justices loom large in the hearing room as symbols of lost bipartisanship and comity, but also because Republicans keep trying to cloak Barrett in the mantle of Ginsburg’s legacy – while quietly banking on her to dismantle that legacy. Over and over we hear that Barrett is the glittering 2.0 version of Ginsburg’s lifework, and yet that claim is deeply distorting. Ginsburg wasn’t a proponent of “originalism” or of “original public meaning,” in her legal advocacy or in her constitutional craftsmanship. That was precisely because she didn’t believe the Framers to be perfect, and she didn’t believe that drafters of statutory language were neutral. Her entire worldview was predicated on the idea that the Constitution and statutory language were necessarily imperfect – and frequently blind to outsiders, to the vulnerable, and to the politically powerless.

If there is a throughline in Ginsburg’s constitutional approach, it was an effort to make invisible people visible to her colleagues at the court and, if that failed, to the country and the world … This isn’t “judicial activism” or “legislating from the bench,” but rather a lifelong effort to broaden the notion of equality to include marginalized, powerless, forgotten, and invisible groups. …

…As Barrett made clear Tuesday, her originalism is neutral, mechanistic, and hypertechnical. It’s what John Roberts lauded as calling “balls and strikes” and what led Neil Gorsuch to rule that a trucker had to stay with his rig because the law said so, even if it meant freezing to death. And it’s what led Barrett to testify on Tuesday that it is not her responsibility to fix society’s problems.

It is certainly not Barrett’s job to fix problems. But if she joins with the majority of the court to strike down the ACA, or to limit Roe, or to hollow out Obergefell, she will be responsible for significant human suffering. …
Dahlia Lithwick in “The Heartlessness of Amy Coney Barrett’s Originalism”

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