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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16541 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 17:20

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-16, 17:06, said:

Silly question perhaps, but if Florida can just remove people with debts from the voter roll, could they also prevent the POTUS from voting?

Convicted felons in Florida lose their voting rights. Under a new law and some court decisions, once they serve their sentences they must pay court related fines and debts to restore voting rights.

Right now, the Manchurian President is just an unindicted conspirator in the Michael Cohen case, and other felonies aren't indictable until he leaves office because of a DOJ memo. Once he is indicted and convicted, he would lose voting rights in Florida.

I expect him to self-deport to avoid prison.
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#16542 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 19:28

Katie Benner at NYT said:

Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr

WASHINGTON — A 36-year veteran of the Justice Department this week accused Attorney General William P. Barr of abusing his power to sway the election for President Trump and said he was quitting, making him the third sitting prosecutor to issue a rare public rebuke of the attorney general.

“Barr’s resentment toward rule-of-law prosecutors became increasingly difficult to ignore, as did his slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will,” Phillip Halpern, a federal prosecutor in San Diego, said in a letter published Wednesday in The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.”

Mr. Halpern said he chose to retire as well, calling Mr. Barr “a well-trained bureaucrat” without prosecutorial experience and alleging that he scorned honest apolitical prosecutors and selectively meddled in the criminal justice system to help Mr. Trump’s allies.

He said he would have quit earlier but stayed on because he worried that the department under Mr. Barr would have interfered in his prosecution of former Representative Duncan D. Hunter, Republican of California, who pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to steal campaign funds.

The condemnations by Mr. Halpern and the two other prosecutors, one in Seattle and one in Boston, broke with a longstanding practice by Justice Department lawyers not to publicly discuss internal affairs.

“I have never seen sitting prosecutors go on the record with concerns about the attorney general,” said Paul Butler, a professor at Georgetown Law who served as a federal prosecutor during Mr. Barr’s earlier tour as attorney general in the George Bush administration. “This is unprecedented.”

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#16543 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 21:50

Matt Yglesias at Vox said:

The GOP could win elections by:

(a) Dropping its unpopular support for regressive tax cuts

OR

(b) Embracing lunatics and trying to curtail the basic functioning of democracy

And they’ve gone for (b)

Alex Kaplan at Media Matters said:

GOP political strategists acknowledged in interviews with Insider that Republicans view QAnon believers and the movement not as a liability or as a scourge to be extinguished, but as a useful band of fired-up supporters.

How the GOP learned to love QAnon

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#16544 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 22:14

Somehow, someway, a subset - a minority - of the Republican party has found a way to rule the U.S, It is time to root out that group and cast them aside for the good of us all.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16545 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 22:21

Is this story true, Ken? Should Dems be worried despite 538 giving Biden an 8% lead?
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16546 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 22:54

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-16, 22:21, said:

Is this story true, Ken? Should Dems be worried despite 538 giving Biden an 8% lead?


Can't answer for Ken, but this guy obviously did not watch the Biden town hall.

Quote

"Lifelong politicians like Joe Biden are out of touch with the working class, out of touch with what the country needs, and out of touch with those of us here on the Iron Range and in small towns like ours across our nation," they said.


Why should we care about him? He is ignorant and is proud to stay that way.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16547 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-17, 05:17

Wannabe kidnappers and throat slashers stand by.
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#16548 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-17, 06:03

Quote

From Fearing a ‘Blood Bath,’ Republican Senators Begin to Edge Away From Trump

Whit Ayers, Republican pollster and consultant said:

We always knew that there were going to be a number of close Senate races, and we were probably swimming against the tide in places like Arizona, Colorado and Maine. But when you see states that are effectively tied, like Georgia and North Carolina and South Carolina, that tells you something has happened in the broader environment.

It tells you something? Yup, it do.
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#16549 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-17, 06:15

Bernie Sanders said:

I know some of you are thinking of sitting this election out. Let me tell you why that is not an option.

https://twitter.com/...796956413939712

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16550 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-17, 07:20

Claudia Sahm at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....-seventies.html

...In August at the Fed’s annual, exclusive retreat, Fed Chair Powell unveiled the outcomes of the framework review. The supposed big reveal was that the Fed would now try to achieve inflation that averages 2 percent, instead of exactly 2 percent annually. Wall Street and Fed watchers heralded it as a sea change in monetary policy. In reality, it did nothing about the here and now. It only promised it would not overreact to inflation in the future. Yet inflation has rarely reached its modest 2 percent target since 2008. Why should we believe it will be any different after this severe recession?

Nevertheless, we cannot give up on the Fed, especially now, as it has consistently been the most effective, stable force in the Covid-19 crisis. And because it appears to be the last bastion for hope of further remedies. The Fed must combine the urgency of its response in March with the creativity of its world-saving actions in the Great Recession.

What more can the Fed do? First, it must get its Main Street and Municipal Lending facilities truly working for medium-sized businesses and state and local governments: Lowering the interest rates on the loans, which are currently above market rates, and extending the repayment time to five or more years.

The Fed must also be willing to make loans to businesses and communities that might not be able to repay in full. Generous loan forgiveness would effectively turn the loans into grants — a helping hand that the Fed has been willing to lend to struggling large firms in the recent past.

Second, the Fed must think big. As trouble was brewing in financial markets in 2007, Ben Bernanke, then Chair of the Fed, sent an email to senior staff with the subject line “Blue Sky.” They needed new thinking — new ways to calm markets and support the overall economy. They used obscure emergency powers in 2008 and later purchased over one trillion dollars in mortgage-back securities after the housing bubble imploded. Tools that were new and untested in the United States at the time.

The same goes for 2020. We need blue sky ideas, and they exist. One example, a proposal by former Fed economists Julia Coronado and Simon Potter, is that the Fed could get money directly to people, using digital currency not unlike a direct deposit. To avoid politics, this emergency support would be tied to macroeconomic conditions, like the unemployment rate. Such policies would blur the line between fiscal and monetary policy, but if done well, the independence of the Fed from Congress could be preserved.

Finally, the Fed must get serious about exorcising its hawkish demons. It must commit — not simply promise — to meet its dual mandate. They must define maximum employment with numbers not good intentions. They must explain, in detail, what hitting their new average inflation target will look like. Then they need a plan to get it done.

Yes, to take some of the boldest measures under consideration — like sending money directly to people — the central bankers would need more authority from Congress. But Congress has been more than happy of late to delegate economic policy to Fed officials. So they should ask for it.

Much like the Constitution, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which created the central bank, is a living document that Congress can change. Even without more explicit guidance from Congress, there is much that the Fed can and needs to do for Americans. The U.S. economy will eventually recover from this crisis. Getting the country back on track within months, not years, and doing so equitably, is the Fed’s mission.

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#16551 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-17, 12:51

View Posty66, on 2020-October-17, 05:17, said:


This succinctly explains my problem with the libertarian viewpoint. From the article:


Quote

In July, Whipple proposed and shepherded a city ordinance that requires protective face coverings to be worn in most public settings in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic.

That ordinance is extremely unpopular with a segment of Wichita society who showed up in force Sept. 8. At that council meeting, 120 people spoke for about seven hours in opposition to the mask mandate.

Many of the speakers said their resistance is rooted in their belief that the mask mandate violates their constitutional rights or religious beliefs.


my emphasis

These types of libertarians should watch more Star Trek:

Quote

"Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few." - Mr. Spock

Quote

"Or the one." - Captain Kirk

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16552 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-17, 13:27

Federal Appeals Courts Emerge as Crucial for Trump in Voting Cases by Jim Rutenberg and Rebecca R. Ruiz at NYT

Quote

This month, a federal judge struck down a decree from Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas limiting each county in the state to a single drop box to handle the surge in absentee ballots this election season, rejecting Mr. Abbott’s argument that the limit was necessary to combat fraud.

Days later, an appellate panel of three judges appointed by President Trump froze the lower court order, keeping Mr. Abbott’s new policy in place — meaning Harris County, with more than two million voters, and Wheeler County, with well under 4,000, would both be allowed only one drop box for voters who want to hand-deliver their absentee ballots and avoid reliance on the Postal Service.

The Texas case is one of at least eight major election disputes around the country in which Federal District Court judges sided with civil rights groups and Democrats in voting cases only to be stayed by the federal appeals courts, whose ranks Mr. Trump has done more to populate than any president in more than 40 years.

The rulings highlight how Mr. Trump’s drive to fill empty judgeships is yielding benefits to his re-election campaign even before any major dispute about the outcome may make it to the Supreme Court. He made clear the political advantages he derives from his power to appoint judges when he explained last month that he was moving fast to name a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so the Supreme Court would have a full contingent to handle any election challenges, which he has indicated he might bring in the event of a loss.

In appointing dozens of reliable conservatives to the appellate bench, Mr. Trump has made it more likely that appeals come before judges with legal philosophies sympathetic to Republicans on issues including voting rights. The trend has left Democrats and civil rights lawyers increasingly concerned that they face another major impediment to their efforts to assure that as many people as possible can vote in the middle of a pandemic — and in the face of a campaign by Republicans to limit voting.

“There has been a very significant number of federal voting rights victories across the country and those have in the last week or two — many if not most — been stayed by appellate courts,” said Wendy R. Weiser, the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, which has been involved in several voting rights lawsuits this year. “We’re seeing the brakes being put on the voting rights expansion at the appellate level in these jurisdictions, in many cases in ways that won’t be remediable before the election.”

In potentially pivotal states like Wisconsin and Ohio, the outcomes appear to be serving the president’s effort to limit voting while in some cases creating widespread confusion about the rules only three weeks before Election Day.

Reps were packing before packing was cool.
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#16553 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-18, 00:04

NYT Editorial Board said:

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.

Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.

The editorial board does not lightly indict a duly elected president. During Mr. Trump’s term, we have called out his racism and his xenophobia. We have critiqued his vandalism of the postwar consensus, a system of alliances and relationships around the globe that cost a great many lives to establish and maintain. We have, again and again, deplored his divisive rhetoric and his malicious attacks on fellow Americans. Yet when the Senate refused to convict the president for obvious abuses of power and obstruction, we counseled his political opponents to focus their outrage on defeating him at the ballot box.

Nov. 3 can be a turning point. This is an election about the country’s future, and what path its citizens wish to choose.

The resilience of American democracy has been sorely tested by Mr. Trump’s first term. Four more years would be worse.

But even as Americans wait to vote in lines that stretch for blocks through their towns and cities, Mr. Trump is engaged in a full-throated assault on the integrity of that essential democratic process. Breaking with all of his modern predecessors, he has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, suggesting that his victory is the only legitimate outcome, and that if he does not win, he is ready to contest the judgment of the American people in the courts or even on the streets.

The enormity and variety of Mr.Trump’s misdeeds can feel overwhelming. Repetition has dulled the sense of outrage, and the accumulation of new outrages leaves little time to dwell on the particulars. This is the moment when Americans must recover that sense of outrage.

It is the purpose of this special section of the Sunday Review to remind readers why Mr. Trump is unfit to lead the nation. It includes a series of essays focused on the Trump administration’s rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health and incompetent statecraft. A selection of iconic images highlights the president’s record on issues like climate, immigration, women’s rights and race.

The urgency of these essays speaks for itself. The repudiation of Mr. Trump is the first step in repairing the damage he has done. But even as we write these words, Mr. Trump is salting the field — and even if he loses, reconstruction will require many years and tears.

Mr. Trump stands without any real rivals as the worst American president in modern history. In 2016, his bitter account of the nation’s ailments struck a chord with many voters. But the lesson of the last four years is that he cannot solve the nation’s pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem.

He is a racist demagogue presiding over an increasingly diverse country; an isolationist in an interconnected world; a showman forever boasting about things he has never done, and promising to do things he never will.

He has shown no aptitude for building, but he has managed to do a great deal of damage. He is just the man for knocking things down.

As the world runs out of time to confront climate change, Mr. Trump has denied the need for action, abandoned international cooperation and attacked efforts to limit emissions.

He has mounted a cruel crackdown on both legal and illegal immigration without proposing a sensible policy for determining who should be allowed to come to the United States.

Obsessed with reversing the achievements of his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, he has sought to persuade both Congress and the courts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act without proposing any substitute policy to provide Americans with access to affordable health care. During the first three years of his administration, the number of Americans without health insurance increased by 2.3 million — a number that has surely grown again as millions of Americans have lost their jobs this year.

He campaigned as a champion of ordinary workers, but he has governed on behalf of the wealthy. He promised an increase in the federal minimum wage and fresh investment in infrastructure; he delivered a round of tax cuts that mostly benefited rich people. He has indiscriminately erased regulations, and answered the prayers of corporations by suspending enforcement of rules he could not easily erase. Under his leadership, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stopped trying to protect consumers and the Environmental Protection Agency has stopped trying to protect the environment.

He has strained longstanding alliances while embracing dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whom Mr. Trump treats with a degree of warmth and deference that defies explanation. He walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a strategic agreement among China’s neighbors intended to pressure China to conform to international standards. In its place, Mr. Trump has conducted a tit-for-tat trade war, imposing billions of dollars in tariffs — taxes that are actually paid by Americans — without extracting significant concessions from China.

Mr. Trump’s inadequacies as a leader have been on particularly painful display during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of working to save lives, Mr. Trump has treated the pandemic as a public relations problem. He lied about the danger, challenged the expertise of public health officials and resisted the implementation of necessary precautions; he is still trying to force the resumption of economic activity without bringing the virus under control.

As the economy pancaked, he signed an initial round of aid for Americans who lost their jobs. Then the stock market rebounded and, even though millions remained out of work, Mr. Trump lost interest in their plight.

In September, he declared that the virus “affects virtually nobody” the day before the death toll from the disease in the United States topped 200,000.

Nine days later, Mr. Trump fell ill.

The foundations of American civil society were crumbling before Mr. Trump rode down the escalator of Trump Tower in June 2015 to announce his presidential campaign. But he has intensified the worst tendencies in American politics: Under his leadership, the nation has grown more polarized, more paranoid and meaner.

He has pitted Americans against each other, mastering new broadcast media like Twitter and Facebook to rally his supporters around a virtual bonfire of grievances and to flood the public square with lies, disinformation and propaganda. He is relentless in his denigration of opponents and reluctant to condemn violence by those he regards as allies. At the first presidential debate in September, Mr. Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists. He responded by instructing one violent gang, the Proud Boys, to “stand back and stand by.”

He has undermined faith in government as a vehicle for mediating differences and arriving at compromises. He demands absolute loyalty from government officials, without regard to the public interest. He is openly contemptuous of expertise.

And he has mounted an assault on the rule of law, wielding his authority as an instrument to secure his own power and to punish political opponents. In June, his administration tear-gassed and cleared peaceful protesters from a street in front of the White House so Mr. Trump could pose with a book he does not read in front of a church he does not attend.

The full scope of his misconduct may take decades to come to light. But what is already known is sufficiently shocking:

He has resisted lawful oversight by the other branches of the federal government. The administration routinely defies court orders, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly directed administration officials not to testify before Congress or to provide documents, notably including Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

With the help of Attorney General William Barr, he has shielded loyal aides from justice. In May, the Justice Department said it would drop the prosecution of Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn even though Mr. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. In July, Mr. Trump commuted the sentence of another former aide, Roger Stone, who was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation of Mr. Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, rightly condemned the commutation as an act of “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

Last year, Mr. Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation of his main political rival, Joe Biden, and then directed administration officials to obstruct a congressional inquiry of his actions. In December 2019, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Mr. Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors. But Senate Republicans, excepting Mr. Romney, voted to acquit the president, ignoring Mr. Trump’s corruption to press ahead with the project of filling the benches of the federal judiciary with young, conservative lawyers as a firewall against majority rule.

Now, with other Republican leaders, Mr. Trump is mounting an aggressive campaign to reduce the number of Americans who vote and the number of ballots that are counted.

The president, who has long spread baseless charges of widespread voter fraud, has intensified his rhetorical attacks in recent months, especially on ballots submitted by mail. “The Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED,” he tweeted. The president himself has voted by mail, and there is no evidence to support his claims. But the disinformation campaign serves as a rationale for purging voter rolls, closing polling places, tossing absentee ballots and otherwise impeding Americans from exercising the right to vote.

It is an intolerable assault on the very foundations of the American experiment in government by the people.

Other modern presidents have behaved illegally or made catastrophic decisions. Richard Nixon used the power of the state against his political opponents. Ronald Reagan ignored the spread of AIDS. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying and obstruction of justice. George W. Bush took the nation to war under false pretenses.

Mr. Trump has outstripped decades of presidential wrongdoing in a single term.

Frederick Douglass lamented during another of the nation’s dark hours, the presidency of Andrew Johnson, “We ought to have our government so shaped that even when in the hands of a bad man, we shall be safe.” But that is not the nature of our democracy. The implicit optimism of American democracy is that the health of the Republic rests on the judgment of the electorate and the integrity of those voters choose.

Mr. Trump is a man of no integrity. He has repeatedly violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Now, in this moment of peril, it falls to the American people — even those who would prefer a Republican president — to preserve, protect and defend the United States by voting.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16554 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-18, 08:51

What I look forward to most with a Trump loss is the quiet.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16555 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-18, 11:47

Brian Beutler, Chief Editor at Crooked Media said:

“This might be the that last time that you’re on the air, it’s probably the last time we’ll invite you on, are there any apologies you want to issue to anyone?”

A dream final question for a disgraced politician or operative. I hope U.S. anchors see this.

Molly Jong-Fast, Editor at large at The Daily Beast said:


Wow. I wish they all could be New Zealand.
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#16556 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-18, 11:59

View Posty66, on 2020-October-18, 11:47, said:

Wow. I wish they all could be New Zealand.


Trump would have walked out about 14 seconds in. Posted Image
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16557 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-18, 20:52

Sen Chris Murphy on the latest Russian effort to spread disinformation about Biden - aided by the New York Post:


Quote

https://twitter.com/...449896333611009
8:58 AM · Oct 17, 2020

Joe Biden – and all of us – SHOULD be furious that media outlets are spreading what is very likely Russian propaganda.

1/ I've seen the intel. The mainstreaming of misinformation is Russia's 2020 goal. Here's what we know, and why we can't take it lying down.

2/ Russia knew it had to play a different game than 2016. So it built an operation to cull virulently pro-Trump Americans as pseudo-assets, so blind in their allegiance to Trump that they'll willingly launder Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda.

Guiliani was a key target. […]
Whether he knows it or not, Giuliani is effectively a Russian asset now […]

6/ Further, media don't need a Pulitzer to see the whole story as super fishy. […]

7/ Why is it important for media to not simply pick this story up and amplify it? Why should we be offended that the VP is being asked about it?

Because this is Russia's bet – that America, and its media, is so hungry for salacious stories that no one will vet their lies.

8/ And American media do have major credibility, for good reason. They do amazing work, and get most stories 100% right.

Russia wants to use this credibility to their advantage. And that's why we all have to be vigilant. Democracy depends on it.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16558 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-18, 21:15

With Covid-19 Under Control, China’s Economy Surges Ahead by Keith Bradsher at NYT

Quote

BEIJING — As most of the world still struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, China is showing once again that a fast economic rebound is possible when the virus is brought firmly under control.

The Chinese economy surged 4.9 percent in the July-to-September quarter compared with the same months last year, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday. The robust performance brings China almost back up to the roughly 6 percent pace of growth that it was reporting before the pandemic.

Many of the world’s major economies have climbed quickly out of the depths of a contraction last spring, when shutdowns caused output to fall steeply. But China is the first to report growth that significantly surpasses where it was at this time last year. The United States and other nations are expected to report a third-quarter surge too, but they are still behind or just catching up to pre-pandemic levels.

China’s lead could widen further in the months to come. It has almost no local transmission of the virus now, while the United States and Europe face another accelerating wave of cases.

The vigorous expansion of the Chinese economy means that it is set to dominate global growth — accounting for at least 30 percent of the world’s economic growth this year and in the years to come, Justin Lin Yifu, a cabinet adviser and honorary dean of the National School of Development at Peking University, said at a recent government news conference in Beijing.

Chinese companies are making up a greater share of the world’s exports, manufacturing consumer electronics, personal protection equipment and other goods in high demand during the pandemic. At the same time, China is now buying more iron ore from Brazil, more corn and pork from the United States and more palm oil from Malaysia. That has partly reversed a nosedive in commodity prices last spring and softened the impact of the pandemic on some industries.

Still, China’s recovery has done less to help the rest of the world than in the past because its imports have not increased nearly as much as its exports. This pattern has created jobs in China but placed a brake on growth elsewhere.

China’s economic recovery has also been dependent for months on huge investments in highways, high-speed train lines and other infrastructure. And in recent weeks, the country has seen the beginning of a recovery in domestic consumption.

Quote

China’s model for restoring growth may be effective, but may not be appealing to other countries.

Determined to keep local transmission of the virus at or near zero, China has resorted to comprehensive cellphone tracking of its population, weekslong lockdowns of neighborhoods and cities and costly mass testing in response to even the smallest outbreaks.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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Posted 2020-October-18, 21:29

For the new low files

Jonathan Martin at NYT said:

As soon as President Trump was released from the hospital after being treated for the coronavirus, he and his allies began counting down the days until he could return to the campaign trail. By reviving his beloved rallies, they thought, he could both prove to voters that he was healthy enough to be re-elected and zero in on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s vulnerabilities.

That is not what has happened.

In the week since he restarted in-person campaigning, Mr. Trump has continued to prove he is his own biggest impediment by drawing more attention to himself each day than to Mr. Biden.

The president is blurting out snippets of his inner monologue by musing about how embarrassing it would be to lose to Mr. Biden — and how he’d never return to whatever state he happens to be in if its voters don’t help re-elect him.

He’s highlighting his difficulties with key constituencies, like women and older voters, by wondering out loud why they’ve forsaken him, rather than offering a message to bring more of them back into his camp.

And perhaps most damaging, to him and other Republicans on the ballot, he is further alienating these voters and others by continuing to minimize the pandemic and attacking women in positions of power.

A new low point came on Saturday, when Mr. Trump held a rally in Muskegon, Mich., where he demanded that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reopen the state and then said “lock them all up” after his supporters chanted “lock her up!”

It was a stunningly reckless comment from a president whose own F.B.I. this month arrested 14 men who it said had been plotting to kidnap Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, and were captured on video with an array of weapons allegedly planning the crime. Mr. Trump has assailed Ms. Whitmer for months, disregarding her solid approval ratings with independent voters and women, two groups he is purportedly trying to court.

Michigan Republicans, already struggling to avoid an electoral debacle in a state that has been returning to its Democratic roots in elections since Mr. Trump’s narrow victory in 2016, were again forced to answer for the president’s penchant for targeting high-profile women there.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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Posted 2020-October-19, 10:24

Shira Ovide at NYT said:

Election Tech That’s Super Simple

Friends, I love technology that is deceptively simple and actually helpful to human beings.

So I present to you: A new election information website for Centre County, Pa., that’s as easy to use as your favorite shopping site.

That’s it. It’s not flying cars, but it is extremely useful in a confusing election year.

This voter site and others like it were built in partnership with U.S. Digital Response, a group that started in the pandemic to match volunteers with technical expertise with local governments seeking help. It’s tech nerds putting their spare time to use.

The work of U.S. Digital Response shows that technology that does good doesn’t have to involve complicated inventions or turning over government functions to Silicon Valley giants. People with tech knowledge sometimes just need to listen to problems and assess how they can help without over complicating everything. (I mentioned U.S. Digital Response, organized in part by the technology executive Raylene Yung, in the spring.)

Michael Pipe, the chair of the board of commissioners for Centre County who oversees elections, said he heard from his peers in other counties about U.S. Digital Response and contacted the group in early September.

Within weeks, about five volunteers helped the county’s staff create the elections website from scratch, plus a database to organize the county’s poll workers and an online form for voters to schedule appointments at a satellite election site.

“It felt like it was too good to be true,” Pipe said when he heard about U.S. Digital Response.

In the past, the roughly 160,000 county residents looking online for information to register to vote, check a sample ballot or find their polling station had to hunt on the county’s main website to find the relevant information. Often, Pipe said, people couldn’t find answers to their questions and called or emailed local election officials. That was usually fine — until this year.

The pandemic, new state laws and extensive lawsuits over Pennsylvania’s election plans have made voting more confusing.

Centre County knew the status quo wasn’t good enough, and Pipe said officials hunted for commercial vendors to create a new website devoted to election information. He was quoted costs of up to $40,000, he said. The county paid nothing for the election services that U.S. Digital Response volunteers helped create.

Now, about 1,000 people a day visit Centre County’s election website, Pipe said. “It’s been about saving personnel time and a better customer service experience for our residents,” he said.

“You can’t do public policy if you can’t make the damn website work,” is how Robin Carnahan, a former Missouri secretary of state who is helping lead U.S. Digital Response’s election projects, put it to me.

Pipe said this is his 18th election as a county commissioner, and it’s a doozy. He said the new website, with clear information and election returns, is also a way for officials to build faith among voters in a year with lots of misinformation and mistrust about the election process.

Pipe is working long hours ahead of the election — the day I spoke with him, he said he returned home from work at 4 a.m. and was back at 9 a.m. — but he said he feels like it’s worth it. “I enjoy this stuff too much,” he said. “It’s like every day is Christmas.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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