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Monday, August 31, 2020
BY SARAH LAZARUS & CROOKED MEDIA

-Deceased COVID victim Herman Caine's Twitter account

With President Trump and his most fervent supporters now locked in a steady feedback loop of glorifying and inciting violence, there’s only one reasonable conclusion for voters to draw: This guy Joe Biden sure loves violence.
 

  • A man affiliated with a far-right group was shot and killed in Portland, OR, on Saturday night, after a caravan of hundreds of Trump supporters descended on the city. Authorities don’t yet have a suspect. Before the shooting occurred, Trump supporters in cars and trucks were filmed assaulting protesters with paintball pellets and pepper spray. On Sunday morning Trump condemned violence in all its forms egged on his goons on Twitter, calling the caravan participants “GREAT PATRIOTS!” and protesters “Disgraceful Anarchists,” writing that “the big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected,” and blaming the death on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
     
  • Wheeler wasn’t having it: “It’s you who have created the hate and the division. It's you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people killed by police officers...and it's you who claimed that white supremacists are great people.” (In case Ted needs more talking points, the Trump campaign has also happily accepted thousands of dollars from a neo-Nazi leader.) Speaking from Pittsburgh, PA, today, Joe Biden called out the central lie of Trump’s “law and order” persona: "He may believe mouthing the words 'law and order' makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is.”
     
  • Biden’s forceful rebuke of Trump’s false narrative came as Republicans stooped to new lows to spread misinformation about Biden’s platform. On Sunday Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the House’s number-two Republican, tweeted a manipulated video of Ady Barkan in conversation with Biden, splicing together words in Barkan’s computerized voice to make it appear that Biden is in favor of defunding police departments (he’s not). Scalise finally took the video down on Sunday night (after defending it), but has yet to honor Barkan’s demand for an apology. Meanwhile, White House social media director/possessed wooden doll Dan Scavino tweeted a completely fake Biden video, and this afternoon the Trump campaign tweeted a wildly misleading clip of Biden’s speech, then bragged about how much fun they had lying. 

The shooting in Portland came just days after Trump supporter Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, WI, acts of murder that Trump now defends.
 

  • Asked today if Trump condemned the actions of a teenager who gunned people down in the street, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “the president is not going to weigh in on that.” A few hours later, Trump straight up defended him. One could argue the president also weighed in pretty hard on Sunday, when he liked a tweet that stated, “Kyle Rittenhouse is a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump,” while his daughter-in-law was on Fox News reiterating the Trump campaign belief that more violence means more votes.
     
  • Trump announced that he would move ahead with plans to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, in defiance of local leaders who have begged him to stay the fuck away. In a heartwarming preview of the healing spirit in which he will arrive, the White House made zero effort to contact Jacob Blake’s family, and then lied about it. Should be a productive trip.
     

Joe Biden summed up both the absurdity of Trump’s strategy and the stakes of this election in one simple question: “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?” We’re at the beginning of another dark week. What will you do to make it one of this administration’s last?

The conventions are over and many states have less than one month to finish registering voters ahead of Election Day. Earlier this year, Vote Save America teamed up with PowerPac to launch the Every Last Vote fund. The fund supports aggressive, on-the-ground efforts to mobilize Black, brown, indigenous, and other marginalized communities who are routinely the victims of targeted voter disenfranchisement efforts. They support groups like Souls to the Polls in Wisconsin, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and many more in the battleground states where we need to win. We want to raise $750,000 to help them do what they do—visit votesaveamerica.com/everylastvote to donate and learn more. 

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence will no longer verbally brief the House and Senate intelligence committees on election security. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe notified the committees that they would still receive written briefings, just not, you know, the in-person kind where intelligence officials have to answer follow-up questions, and might commit perjury by, say, downplaying illicit foreign efforts to help Donald Trump win re-election. Consider this another flashing neon sign that Trump has welcomed Russian meddling in 2020 with open arms. House intelligence chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday it was possible the House could subpoena intelligence officials to testify on election threats instead

The Justice Department secretly took steps to narrow the Russia investigation in 2017, to avoid fully examining President Trump’s financial ties to Russia. According to former law-enforcement officials, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein limited Special Counsel Robert Mueller to conducting a criminal investigation only, and not an investigation into threats to national security that the FBI had information about. Rosenstein never told then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe about that decision, and he assumed Mueller would be investigating Trump’s personal and financial connections to Russia as part of the inquiry. McCabe said, “If a decision was made not to investigate those issues, I am surprised and disappointed.” Can’t muster up much surprise, but we are right there with you on the disappointment, Andy!

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Democrats have outpaced Republicans in new voter registrations in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania since the 2016 election. 

A federal judge has extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned in Georgia, ruling that they must be counted if postmarked by November 3 and delivered up to three days afterwards.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer confirmed that the House will vote to decriminalize marijuana and expunge nonviolent federal cannabis convictions.

The Progressive Turnout Project has launched a one-on-one voter contact and education program that aims to place 55 million calls and send 500,000 handwritten letters to voters ahead of the election.

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