Wednesday, October 28, 2020

-Ron Johnson, reading a tweet that hurt his feelings to Jack Dorsey

As the fall coronavirus surge overshadows the final days of the election, President Trump has been campaigning as if the pandemic is over, in the very places now suffering their worst outbreaks since it began. Just in case that closing message was too subtle for anyone, he also went ahead and left his supporters out in the literal cold. 

  • Over 74.7 million Americans had already voted by Wednesday afternoon, more than 54 percent of total voter turnout in 2016. The early vote percentages are even more dramatic in battleground states. With six days left until Election Day, DC Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who you might remember from “not having any of Bill Barr’s bullshit,” is not having any of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s bullshit: On Tuesday night he ordered the Postal Service to reverse guidelines that limited late and extra trips to collect mail—DeJoy’s policy that’s had the biggest impact on mail delays. The USPS has agreed to comply, but if you haven’t mailed your ballot yet, stick with hand-delivery. 
  • When Trump isn’t online whining about trending Twitter topics, he’s spending his final week of the campaign sweeping through the states that made him president in 2016, and getting upstaged by his own coronavirus failures. Trump held a packed rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday, the same day the state reported a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths. Vice President Mike Pence held his own rally there today. When asked if Wisconsin’s nightmarish surge gave him any pause about holding massive rallies there, Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley neatly summed up the broken leadership that got us here:  “No, it doesn’t. The vice president has the best doctors in the world around him.” Mister Mother, the only person that matters.
  • In a development no one could have foreseen, the fall coronavirus surge and the Trump administration’s plan to (paraphrasing) “sit back and watch the world burn, baby” do not seem to be doing wonders for Trump, politically. A new pair of Washington Post-ABC News polls found Joe Biden leading by seven points in Michigan, and, um, 17 points in Wisconsin. While that Wisconsin number looks like a cat jumped on a pollster’s keyboard, this is a reputable poll, and there’s good reason to think Wisconsin’s coronavirus spike has hurt Trump significantly; voters there and in Michigan said they trust Biden more to handle the pandemic, by double digits. (Fine print: By reading these positive poll numbers you have agreed to sign up for a volunteer shift.)

Who knows though, Trump’s fresh new method of killing his supporters could be the thing that turns this all around.

  • Hundreds of Trump rally attendees in Omaha were stranded in the cold for hours after the event ended on Tuesday night, when the buses meant to take them back to their cars failed to materialize. The crowd included many elderly people and children; 30 people needed medical attention at some point in the night, and seven had to be taken to the hospital. Trump 2020: If you liked contracting coronavirus at an airport hangar, you’ll love succumbing to hypothermia in a parking lot!
  • In this final week, Biden has drawn a sharp contrast over how he would better handle the pandemic, today attending another virtual briefing with public-health experts. He doesn’t exactly have his work cut out for him: CNN reported today that Jared Kushner boasted to Bob Woodward back in April about Trump “getting the country back from the doctors,” and said without a shred of irony that “the most dangerous people around the president are overconfident idiots.” Biden 2020: Look, Just, Everything Jared Kushner Said.

It seems outrageous that the president who has both literally and metaphorically abandoned Americans in a freezing cold parking lot still has a path to re-election, but there’s our reality: This race is still close, Donald Trump can still win, and our work isn’t even close to finished. Unclench your jaw, drink some water, and make sure you can wake up on November 4 with no regrets

A big What A Day (newsletter) shout-out to the What A Day (podcast) team, which is celebrating ONE YEAR of this fantastic daily news pod. In these last few days before the election, Akilah & Gideon will be looking at important down ballot races, talking to first-time voters, and priming listeners on what to expect on November 3rd. Make sure to check out What a Day if you haven’t already, and subscribe on Apple Pods, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts → 

Facebook’s ban on new political ads in the week before Election Day has gotten off to a rough start. The Trump campaign ran an ad implying Trump has won the election (featuring, it should be said, Donald Trump as both the sun and a hummingbird), in violation of Facebook’s policies. Having run the ad before the October 27 deadline, the campaign can now theoretically run it again closer to November 3. The Trump campaign also ran a group of ads stating “ELECTION DAY IS TODAY,” another policy violation that Facebook approved before agreeing to take it down following a public outcry. At the same time, Facebook has been refusing to run previously approved ads from both the Biden campaign and progressive organizations, without explanation. But by all means, Republican senators at the Big Tech hearing, tell us more about Mark Zuckerberg’s crusade to censor conservatives. 

The Trump administration has launched one last attack on climate science ahead of the election. The administration recently removed the acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and brought in new political appointees who have questioned basic facts about climate change. Those appointees’ primary goal is reportedly to undercut the National Climate Assessment, a report that the government is required to produce every four years and which serves as the basis for federal regulations to fight global warming. Even as most federal agencies have found themselves under pressure to downplay climate change, NOAA has remained able to independently conduct research and publicly discuss the threat. Unless we elect Joe Biden next week, that’s about to change. Call some voters to save the world?

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 16 million voters who didn’t cast a ballot in 2016 have already voted this year, and more than six million of those voters are ages 18-29.

Travis County, TX, (home of Austin) has surpassed its total 2016 voter turnout.

Desmond Meade, founder of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, exercised his newly restored right to vote today.

Sing out, Jeff Flake

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