Tuesday, October 27, 2020

-Barack Obama, seasoned parent of small children

On Monday night, Donald Trump and the conservative hacks of the Supreme Court announced exactly how they would like to steal this election. But like any good cartoon villain, they’ve done so while we still have time to thwart them.

  • Senate Republicans voted to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, 38 days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Before Americans had a chance to finish dry heaving, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then adjourned the Senate until November 9, without passing coronavirus relief—seven months after the last stimulus bill was signed into law. (Hi, Mitch.) While the vote was underway, the Supreme Court dropped a bomb of its own: A 5-3 decision blocking Wisconsin from counting absentee ballots that arrive after November 3.
  • The crayon-scrawled justifications for that decision have far-reaching, deeply alarming implications for voting rights. In one concurring opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch took aim at the basic idea that state supreme courts have the final say on matters of state law, making clear he believes the newly 6-3, far-right Supreme Court can intervene in election-related cases. Got a problem with the voter suppression measures your GOP-controlled legislature keeps passing in violation of the state constitution? Oops, your only recourse is to overcome decades of GOP gerrymandering and flip it blue! :) 
  • In a second, somehow worse concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh had one too many beers and selectively quoted a law review article to support his ludicrous suggestion that only absentee ballots received by Election Day are valid: “Those States want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of an election.” How convenient, then, that GOP legislatures in key states (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania) have blocked election officials from starting to process ballots before November 3, and that the Postal Service has been borked. As Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent, “there are no results to ‘flip’ until all valid votes are counted.”

Tellingly, Kavanaugh’s opinion was an unmistakable echo of Trump’s own rhetoric. 

  • “Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA,” the president wrote on Twitter, triggering a warning label that the tweet contained misleading information. “Must have final total on November 3rd.” Buoyed by the Court’s Wisconsin decision, Trump kept that drumbeat going on Tuesday. Republicans are counting on huge GOP-voter turnout on Election Day itself, which could create a “red mirage”: the illusion that Trump is winning, before all absentee votes have been counted. The new median Supreme Court justice has obligingly helped Trump lay the groundwork for demanding an end to vote counting if and when partial tallies in swing states show him in the lead.
  • Wisconsin voters aren’t the only ones at risk. Republicans have asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling upholding Pennsylvania’s extended absentee ballot deadline. In Alabama, a recent court ruling invalidated voter instructions sent out by election officials, and could mean that thousands of absentee ballots in the state’s most populous county get thrown out. We should consider all late-arriving ballots to be in danger of getting boofed by Brett Kavanaugh, and with just one week left, we should consider the vote-by-mail window closed. Make sure everyone in your life knows to drop off their ballots in person, and if you’ve requested an absentee ballot but want to vote in-person instead, here’s how to do that in every state

Half the goal of these GOP tactics is to discourage you, to make you believe the theft is a done deal, to depress Democratic turnout far enough to bring the election within cheating distance. Our much simpler job is to recognize this as pathetic, and respond by electing Democrats in a landslide. Seven days

Youtube star Dan Pfeiffer has a fresh new episode of Campaign Experts React out now! Head to Crooked’s Youtube channel to catch that fantastic ep with Cornell Belcher, Alyssa Mastromonaco’s series Let’s Break It Down, and so much more. While you’re there, make Dan’s dreams come true and smash that subscribe button →

Trump-appointee Michael Pack has dismantled the firewall intended to protect Voice of America journalists from political interference. Pack’s been sidling in this direction for months: He installed new management soon after his arrival, declined to renew the work visas of foreign staffers, and recently directed two senior aides to investigate VOA’s White House correspondent for anti-Trump bias. That investigation was in violation of the regulations that Pack just struck down, in the middle of the night. VOA and its affiliated networks were founded to combat foreign propaganda and deliver balanced news coverage to people living under repressive regimes. Trump’s flunkey has now wiped out the last guardrail preventing VOA from becoming a state-sponsored propaganda arm itself.

The CDC’s eviction moratorium contained loopholes that have allowed thousands of evictions to proceed. The order doesn’t erase any of the rent or late fees that tenants owe, or provide financial relief to landlords, and unlike jurisdiction-wide moratoriums, its protection isn’t automatic: Tenants must sign a declaration (under penalty of perjury) and bring it to their landlords, or to eviction court. That declaration’s wording is confusingly ambiguous, and state supreme courts have issued different instructions to local judges on how to interpret the order. Messiest of all, the order contains the clause, “You may be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent,” providing landlords a way around the moratorium altogether.

Since the CDC order took effect in early September, landlords have carried out 20,523 evictions in 22 cities monitored by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. Real stability for renters can only come from large-scale federal relief, and Senate Republicans just took that off the table until after the election. (Hi again, Mitch.)

Today, as cities contemplate reopening and rebuilding their local economies, Lyft has expanded its Jobs Access Program to provide access to rides and additional job search support through Goodwill® and United Way in 20 major cities. A ride — whether it's on a Lyft bike, scooter, or rideshare — can go a long way towards supporting an individual’s economic mobility and recovery. In the first year of the Jobs Access Program, Lyft provided nearly 20,000 rides through its partners.

The program focuses on three key interventions in the employment pipeline that are critical to individual success, and where transportation can play a major role:

  • Rides to/from job training programs
  • Rides to/from job interviews
  • Rides to/from the first three weeks of employment, until individuals receive their first paycheck and begin to pay for their own transportation

Whether you’re in need of a ride or you want to donate and support others, the Jobs Access Hub makes it easy to take action. Qualifying individuals can use the Hub to see if a ride is available, and if so, Goodwill® or United Way will distribute the ride credits.

LyftUp is Lyft’s comprehensive effort to expand transportation access to those who need it most. Through LyftUp, Lyft partners with leading nonprofits to help provide access to free and discounted rides to individuals and families who lack affordable, reliable transportation.

Twenty former U.S. attorneys, all Republicans, have publicly called Donald Trump “a threat to the rule of law in our country” and endorsed Joe Biden for president.

Democrats are eyeing a nice little add-on for the House. Maybe a sunroom in Nebraska? A wraparound porch in Texas? Here’s how to help

Michael Bloomberg will spend around $15 million on a last minute advertising blitz for Joe Biden in Texas and Ohio. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has pulled its advertising out of Florida to focus on Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Joe Biden gave the world Fall Out Boy, and now, Fall Out Boy will give the world Joe Biden.

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