Friday, October 30, 2020

-CNN, reducing Kirstie Alley to rubble

Donald Trump and his Large Adult Surrogates have four days left to convince voters that the virus sending their neighbors to the hospital doesn’t exist, and by golly, they’re gonna try. 

  • On Thursday night Donald Trump, Jr., did absolutely no cocaine and told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that the number of daily new coronavirus deaths amount to “almost nothing.” (“Look at my Instagram,” he sputtered, cocaine-lessly.) Here’s what else happened on Thursday: More than 1,000 Americans died from coronavirus. The U.S. broke its single-day record with more than 90,000 new reported cases, as the national case total surpassed nine million. There have been a record-breaking 500,000 new cases in the past week, a surge driven not by a few hot spots, but by half of all counties.
  • In other words: a perfect weekend to hold 17 rallies! President Trump kicked off his Campaign of Death Farewell Tour with a stop in Michigan, where he ran through a litany of his favorite coronavirus lies, including the baseless conspiracy theory that doctors are fraudulently inflating the number of COVID deaths for cash. Meanwhile Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) is now in quarantine after appearing alongside COVID-positive Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) at a rally that violated Georgia state limits on public gatherings, and will have to do the rest of his voter suppression over Zoom.
  • After all, if coronavirus denial doesn’t pan out, there’s always pretending the voters don’t exist. On Thursday a federal appeals court panel (stacked with Trump-allied judges) ruled that Minnesota mail-in ballots received after Election Day (even if postmarked by then) must be segregated, in anticipation that the same judges will declare those ballots invalid. That insane decision contradicts the instructions that Minnesota voters received with their ballots, five days before November 3. Facebook’s ban on new political ads this week has made it harder for the secretary of state to alert voters to the change, so if you’ve got contacts in Minnesota, make sure they know to drop off their ballot or vote in person, and spread the word. (For the Minnesotans who’ve already mailed their ballots and are nervous they won’t arrive in time, here’s what to do.)

In a fitting end to this election cycle, Trump’s closing strategy is best summed up by a 3 a.m. tweet.

  • There are no quiet parts to say out loud anymore, but Trump said the loud part louder with a direct appeal to conservative Supreme Court justices to hand him the election: “If Sleepy Joe Biden is actually elected President, the 4 Justices (plus1) that helped make such a ridiculous win possible would be relegated to sitting on not only a heavily PACKED COURT, but probably a REVOLVING COURT as well.” In other words, nice illegitimate power you’ve got there. Would be a shame if something were to...happen to it. Anyway, time for any Trump-appointed justices who’d like to retain a shred of credibility to recuse themselves from election cases!
  • A few hours later, Trump was railing at the Supreme Court for not invalidating North Carolina’s extended deadline: “The Election should END on November 3rd.” Fun fact: not a single state certifies a winner on election night. Other fun fact: Trump’s demands to stop counting ballots on November 3 would specifically disenfranchise losers and suckers military voters. Not at all fun fact: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy seems to have held up his end of the scheme. Postal Service data shows that mail-in ballots are taking longer to be delivered in key swing states than in the rest of the country, and mail delays in Pennsylvania have gotten worse over the last two weeks. Not great. As we prepare for an election night that might not yield a final result, this is a handy breakdown of when polls close, when certain votes are counted, and when we can expect results in each state.

Only 800 years after 2016, we’ve made it to the final weekend. If you haven’t volunteered yet, now is the time. If you’ve been volunteering, now is the time to go sicko mode. We have four days left to affect how this thing ends, and in these last few days we need to focus on turning out voters in Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina. Pick a state, grab your shifts, and LFG.

You've already voted. Great! You've made sure three other people have a plan to vote. Terrific! We're gonna ask you to do a little more. It's the homestretch of the homestretch, and we need to reach every possible voter in these final days. Find all of your options to get involved and wake up on November 4 with no regrets →

Did you need one last burst of incandescent rage to fuel your weekend phone banking? We, unfortunately, gotchu. Border authorities have been expelling migrant children from other countries into Mexico, in violation of U.S. policy and basic human decency. Those expulsions (which seem to number more than 200 over the last few months) have taken place under the Trump administration’s pandemic-exploiting border closure policy. But sending unaccompanied children from Guatemala or Honduras into a country where they have no connections is not only stunningly dangerous and cruel, it violates both child-welfare and immigrations laws, as well as an agreement with the Mexican government. Here’s what you can do about it.

One of the first Supreme Court cases Amy Coney Barrett will hear next week may determine whether religious conservatives have a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBTQ people. On Wednesday the justices will hear oral arguments in Fulton v. Philadelphia, in which a government contractor claims the right to still receive a government contract while denying government services to same-sex couples. The religious right was likely to walk away victorious even before Barrett was confirmed, and now it’s essentially a sure thing. The case represents an impending blow to LGBTQ equality, but it could also mean an unprecedented expansion of religious objectors’ rights to blow off other laws they don’t care for.

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.

More than nine million Texans have already voted, surpassing the state’s total voter turnout in 2016. With four days left to go. Holy moly. 

LGBTQ representation in the House could more than double in this election. 

Keke Palmer is coming for Mandy Patinkin’s GOTV crown.

America can be good, still

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