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Biden or Trump? A few early voting clues reveal who has the edge

October 31, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

The 2020 presidential election has a historic early voter turnout with more than 80 million Americans casting their ballots before Election Day. With the massive early voter turnout, many are now wondering who the early voters will benefit. Is it Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden or President Donald Trump? A number of clues may indicate which candidate will benefit from early voting.

Here are a few clues:

1. New voters are heading to the polls – A new analysis shows early voting has attracted many new voters for the upcoming election. More than 1 out of 4 of all voters — approximately 27 percent — were either “new or infrequent voters,” according to AP’s analysis. So who are new voters casting their ballot for? According to the data, Democrats are getting the job done. The data indicates that 43 percent of the new or infrequent voters are registered Democrats, whereas only about a quarter of those early voters are registered Republicans.

Tom Bonier, who works for the political data firm TargetSmart, weighed in on Democrats’ efforts to expand their electorate and how the party is benefiting from it.

“Democrats are already expanding their electorate,” said Bonier. “That would certainly appear to be favorable for Biden — to be taken with the caveat we’ve heard a million times before, that we don’t know how many other voters will come out on Election Day.”

2. Democratic early voting lead - In addition to the new or infrequent voter analysis, overall early voting turnout also leans toward Democratic voters. As of Friday, October 30, Democrats lead in early voting making up 47 percent of the turnout. Republicans, on the other hand, only account for 33 percent of early voting turnout. While that does not guarantee an Election Day win, it does position the Democrats with a sizable advantage going into Election Day.

3. Black voter turnout remains steady – Black voter turnout may strongly impact Biden’s ability to swing battleground states. For the 2016 election, Democrats suffered a decline in voter turnout in battleground states which likely contributed to the relatively close losses in multiple key states. According to WFLA, there has been a distinct surge in Black voter turnout in multiple key states that could greatly impact the outcome of the election.

There’s been a surge in the older African-American vote. Black voters 65 and older are already …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump's 'Sharpiegate' grudge may have led to NOAA’s acting chief scientist losing his job

October 31, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

President Donald Trump has a long history of undermining the work of scientists and the variance surrounding Hurricane Dorian is reportedly still a point of conflict within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Like Trump’s stance on the coronavirus outbreak, he refused to admit that he was completely wrong about the catastrophic Category 5′s path and according to The New York Times, the ordeal spiraled into a full scandal behind closed doors. In fact, the “Sharpiegate” ordeal reared its ugly head yet again this week when NOAA’s acting chief scientist, Craig McLean, lost his job.

The publication reports that McLean was removed from his position earlier this month when he raised questions about whether or not a new political appointee was aware of the agency’s guidelines scientific integrity. The guidelines strictly prohibit manipulating scientific research for the purpose of political gain. In a nutshell, politicization of any kind is not allowed.

Apparently, the new appointee, identified as Erik Noble, also a former White House adviser, was not pleased with McLean’s request. Here is an excerpt from the NY Times report:

The request prompted a sharp response from Dr. Noble. “Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?” he wrote, according to a person who received a copy of the exchange after it was circulated within NOAA.

Mr. McLean answered that his role as acting chief scientist made him responsible for ensuring that the agency’s rules on scientific integrity were followed.

The following morning, Dr. Noble responded. “You no longer serve as the acting chief scientist for NOAA,” he informed Mr. McLean, adding that a new chief scientist had already been appointed. “Thank you for your service.”

While McLean is still employed with the agency, he appears to have been demoted. Now, Ryan Maue, a former research meteorologist at the Cato Institute, has taken over the chief scientist position. The latest NOAA debacle follows Trump’s “Sharpiegate” scandal when he attempted to undermine NOAA scientists as he claimed Alabama was within the cone for the hurricane’s projected path. The president had also been photographed with an NOAA image that included an altered look at the hurricane’s projected path. The altered image actually included Alabama.

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Biden appears stable with voters under 30 — but there is just one issue

October 31, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

With only three days left until the 2020 election, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a significant edge over President Donald Trump where voters aged 18-24 are concerned, according to a new poll.

According to Forbes, young voters inclined to embrace more revolutionary and progressive policies have opted to support the Biden campaign on the road to the White House. The poll has revealed eight out of 10 younger voters (86%) are taking the election very seriously and see it as a decision that could ultimately impact their futures.

The publication also included multiple graphs to provide a visual highlighting the top concerns young voters have. One of the graphs suggests younger voters are highly concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, the subsequent impacts it has had on the economy, the future of health care, and the country’s ongoing problems stemming from systemic racism.

Although Trump has long boasted about his administration’s handling of the pandemic while disregarding the importance of public health and the existence of systemic racism, the poll shows that younger voters “say they are not happy with the status quo, with 60% reporting the U.S. is on the ‘wrong track.’”

Young voters also weighed in with their take on the “American Dream.”

When asked whether they think the American Dream is “alive and well,” “presently in a coma,” or “dead and not coming back,” 47% say the American Dream is “presently in a coma” and 20% say it’s “dead and not coming back.” Just 26% of young people say the American Dream is “alive and well.”

Over the last three months, Biden has also gained momentum among young White, Hispanic, and Black voters. While Biden still maintains a significant lead among white voters, the only issue is that the Democratic presidential hopeful’s support among those voters has slightly slipped.

See the graph below:


Forbes

Biden is also maintaining the support among Gen-Z voters. However, his support among Millennial voters is slightly lower. Despite the variation, the poll still shows Biden significantly ahead of Trump.

As of Saturday October 31, more than 75 million Americans have already cast their vote for the upcoming election.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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A wave of reports expose Trumpworld corruption as the president's allies point fingers

October 31, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

It’s been a long, difficult week in Trumpworld with all of the incriminating reports of corruption surrounding President Donald Trump and his administration. With Election Day less than five days away, Trump is likely feeling the pressure as the opposing forces work over time to state their case and prove that he is unfit for the office of the presidency.

Many of the stories raise more questions about Trump’s leadership and the hidden agendas of his White House officials and other members of his administration.

Here’s a breakdown of the stories circulating this week:

1. Trump, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Turkish Bank A new report by the New York Times has uncovered details about Trump and U.S. Attorney Bill Barr questionable handling of possible violations of U.S. sanctions involving billions of dollars worth of gold and cash that was funneled to Iran.

When Geoffrey S. Berman, a top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, traveled to the White House to speak with Barr and some of his top administrative officials about the criminal investigation into the state-owned Turkish bank, Halkbank, Barr suggested that the bank be allowed to avoid indictment by paying only a fine and admitting that some wrong was done. Barr’s sentiments also echoed Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s words as he had reportedly asked Trump repeatedly to stop the investigation. Trump’s presumed eagerness to please Erdogan has also raised questions about where the president truly stands. For Berman, Barr’s request raised red flags and questions about whether or not Barr was colluding with foreign operatives.

“This is completely wrong,” Berman later told lawyers in the U.S. Department of Justice, according to people who received intel about the proposal and Barr’s reaction. “You don’t grant immunity to individuals unless you are getting something from them — and we wouldn’t be here.”

This report is yet another cloud over Trump and his administration regarding where their loyalty lies.

2. Pompeo Family Email Scandal U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was caught in the middle of an email scandal when it was revealed that he and his wife, Susan Pompeo had conducted official White House business using personal email addresses. Now, the couple is being investigated by both Congress and the State Department’s inspector generals for “potential misuse of government resources.” On multiple occasions, Susan Pompeo is said to have regularly utilized her personal …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Donald Trump's Hunger Games: More power. More money. More golf. More women.

October 31, 2020 in Blogs

By Lucian K. Truscott IV

Remember this number: $3.

That’s how much Trump charged the federal government for a glass of water in April of 2018 when he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. According to the Washington Post, Trump’s company also charged the government “$13,700 for guest rooms, $16,500 for food and wine and $6,000 for the roses and other floral arrangements,” over the two days he held meetings with Abe at the resort. But one day, Trump was scheduled to meet with Abe without aides and advisers, with no meal service or cocktails or any other celebratory nonsense. Just the two leaders, alone in a room, talking. According to the Post, the bill for that day contained a line item reading, “Bilateral meeting. Water. $3.00 each.”

Donald Trump has been paid “at least $2.5 million by the U.S. government,” since taking office, according to official documents obtained by the Post. Trump has made more than 280 visits to his own hotels and golf clubs over the last four years, and the payments covered costs for “hotel rooms, ballrooms, cottages, rental houses, golf carts, votive candles, floating candles, candelabras, furniture moving, resort fees, decorative palm trees, strip steak, chocolate cake, breakfast buffets, $88 bottles of wine and $1,000 worth of liquor for White House aides.” according to the Post.

And water. A total of six bucks for water, no charge being too small to make it onto a bill to the government for a payment going straight into the pocket of the man who owns the Trump Organization and everything it comprises, including his resort in Palm Beach.

It’s apparently a good part of what the Trump base likes about him — his appetites, his pure, unadulterated, money-grubbing-right-down-to-$3-for-water greed. Trump has wanted more his entire life. He wants more money, of course. He has spent a lifetime in pursuit of more money, and then some more, and more and more. He borrowed so much money in pursuit of even more money that it drove him into bankruptcy, several bankruptcies in fact. Today, as president, he is said to be in debt for nearly $1 billion to banks and other lenders, a debt that will come due within the next few years, according to the New York Times and other reports.

Trump wants more fame, a drive that started off with mentions in gossip …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Voting wars: Inside the Republican Party's most overt voter suppression effort in years

October 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Independent Media Institute

Two countervailing forces are competing to determine the outcome of the 2020 elections’ highest-stakes contests before the close of voting on November 3.

President Trump and his Republican allies are pursuing a full-court press where their success hinges less on winning popular vote majorities and more on disqualifying volumes of absentee ballots via lawsuits to be filed after Election Day—if preliminary results in a few key states are close. The Democratic Party and their allies, meanwhile, have been pushing their party’s more highly motivated voter base to continue their turnout lead seen in early and absentee voting, so Republicans cannot gain traction when they turn to the courts to disqualify late-arriving absentee ballots, or cite other technicalities to disqualify votes.

“We are targeting 8.8 million students, faculty and staff in universities in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. We have state-specific ads for every one of our campaigns,” said Andrea Miller, executive director of People Demanding Action, which has been turning out voters in communities of color. “And then we are also advertising our election protection tool, ‘See Something, Say Something‘… We have done outreach to nearly 20 million people and the election isn’t over.”

More than 85 million people have already voted as of Friday, October 30, according to the U.S. Elections Project early voting tracking website. So far, more than 55 million absentee ballots have been received by local election officials, 30 million people have voted in person, and another 35.5 million absentee ballots have yet to be returned. According to those voters’ party registrations, Democrats and Republicans have split the in-person voting, but Democrats lead in absentee ballots—where sizable numbers of voters registering as independents have cast ballots.

Whether or not the apparent enthusiasm gap continues through Election Day—or shifts via what the Republicans hope will be a large in-person turnout on November 3—is an open question. However, the Trump campaign and its allies are not counting on popular vote victories to secure a winning margin among state Electoral College delegations. Their litigation strategy arguably has been the Republican Party’s most overt voter suppression effort in years—building on Trump’s ongoing and baseless attacks on the legitimacy of absentee balloting.

The voting wars are legal fights over technicalities in processes that can end up disqualifying—or empowering—blocs of voters to tilt close-margin contests. The 2020 …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump is on a final crime spree of negligent homicide

October 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Neil Baron

Germany and France just imposed nationwide lockdowns in response to a new wave of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Donald Trump mocked them and refused to follow suit, even though the U.S. has more deaths per 100,000 people and record daily cases continuing to surge in 44 states. Trump exposing Americans to death from Covid-19 is not only a reason to vote him out of office; it also fits the definition of criminal negligent homicide.

That crime occurs when a person who is aware of the risk causes the death of another by a careless or reckless act, or by failure to perform a duty. The crime does not require an intent to cause death. It is punishable by imprisonment for six months to ten years, depending on the state.

Trump was well aware of the risk of death from his brazen actions, omissions, and failure to fulfill his acknowledged duty to keep Americans safe. The upward trajectory of Covid cases and deaths, now at 8.93 million and 228,000 respectively, has been a siren alerting everyone to the risk that many people would die. Even 70% of Republicans were alarmed. Indeed, Trump admitted on February 7 that he knew Covid was a deadly threat.

Today it’s estimated that another 250,000 to 300,00 Americans will die from the virus in the coming months. Not even President Trump, with his penchant for dismissing inconvenient facts and fake news and conspiracy theories, can claim he was or is unaware of Covid’s risk of death.

In fact, he was aware of our vulnerability to deadly pandemics even before he took office. President Obama presented a simulation of a global pandemic to Trump’s transition team and warned that the U.S. could face shortages of ventilators, anti-viral drugs, and other medical essentials. Trump was told we would need to mount a unified national pandemic response. Trump was also told that unless he invested more in biodefense now, we’d pay much more in “human and economic costs” later.

Trump ignored those warnings and never prepared for a pandemic. He fired Homeland …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Horrifying video shows Philadelphia cops assaulted a family in a car — then tried to use it as propaganda

October 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Common Dreams

The conduct of Philadelphia police officers and the nation’s largest law enforcement association this week amounted to what one journalist called “an extraordinary mix of police violence and disinformation,” after it was revealed Friday that officers beat a young mother who had accidentally driven into a protest and then snatched her toddler from the car and later used his image in pro-police propaganda.

Along with several posts urging voters to support President Donald Trump, the Fraternal Order of Police on Thursday night posted a photo of a toddler who the union falsely claimed had been found by Philadelphia police “wandering around barefoot” amid the “lawlessness” of the fourth night of demonstrations over the killing of Walter Wallace, Jr.

But the union soon deleted the post after being confronted by the Philadelphia Inquirer and lawyers for the two-year-old boy’s mother, Rickia Young, said the officers forcibly removed the toddler from his mother’s vehicle after smashing the car’s windows and violently arresting Young after she accidentally drove into an area where protesters were being confronted by lines of riot police.

The reality of what the photo shows, tweeted HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly, offers “a tremendously valuable lesson in why you always need to treat initial police narratives with intense skepticism.

According to attorneys Riley H. Ross III and Kevin Mincey, Young attempted to turn around immediately after she turned down a street where police were clashing with protesters Thursday night, while her son and teenage nephew were in the car with her.

While she was trying to make a three-point turn as directed by officers, the police suddenly surrounded her SUV, smashing Young’s windows while the toddler sat in the back seat. The police violently dragged Young out of the car, beat her with batons, and then threw her to the ground.

A nearby resident, Aapril Rice caught the police violence on video:

While Young …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's how Barack Obama is brilliantly getting under Trump's skin on the campaign trail

October 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

Former President Barack Obama is having fun and getting under Donald Trump’s skin. Obama is campaigning for his former vice president, Joe Biden, and saying some of the things we’ve all known he thought about Trump, but had to keep under wraps for the sake of the decorum and norms Trump shatters every day.

“What’s his closing argument? That people are too focused on COVID?” Obama said on Tuesday in Orlando. “He said this at one of his rallies. ‘Covid, Covid, Covid,’ he’s complained. He’s jealous of COVID’s media coverage.” Obama’s speech at that event stung Trump into a tweet whining about Fox News covering it, so, yeah, Obama knows how to hit Trump where it hurts.

At another Florida rally, on Saturday, Obama listed some of Trump’s greatest hits, like suggesting bleach injections to cure coronavirus. “Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff!” Obama said. “Why do we accept it from the president of the United States?”

And yeah, Trump immediately tweeted about that speech, too.

Obama is a high-profile surrogate who draws media coverage in a way few others would. He is a great speaker. And he has another advantage: One traditional role of a vice presidential nominee is to serve as an attack dog, dealing out the hard hits a presidential candidate can’t. Sen. Kamala Harris, though, would face outsized backlash if she did that on a regular basis, since she’s a woman—a Black woman. Obama is taking over that role while Harris meshes her tone more with Biden’s unity-focused theme.

And Obama is using some of the political capital he accumulated through more than a decade now of preternatural control of the anger he has to have felt at the racism he’s faced throughout his career and at Trump’s systematic efforts to dismantle his legacy, and allowing himself to show some of that anger, in carefully controlled doses. For years, Obama had to work to deny anyone the chance to stick “angry Black man” stereotypes on him, and he did that work. We know who he is by now, we know how much it takes to get him to show anything but cool, calm control, and a little bit of anger showing through the sardonic mockery and the disbelieving tone at Trump’s failures is now going to work for him, not against him.

And boy does it enrage Trump.

<Img align="left" …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's why the most determined tracker of Trump's lies finally had to give up

October 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

At CNN, President Donald Trump has had a very aggressive and tireless fact-checker in Daniel Dale — who, time and time again, has called out the president’s lies and distortions. The Canadian reporter discussed his fact-checking of Trump during a Q&A interview with the Los Angeles Times, noting that Trump lies so much that keeping up with all the lies has been a never-ending task.

Friday on Twitter, Dale tweeted the Times’ article and posted, “So…in September, I had to abandon my 3.75-year count of every Trump false claim. Because he’s talking so much and telling so many important lies that I don’t have the time to research all the little ones. It was fun while it lasted. (No it wasn’t.)”

The Times’ Meredith Blake notes that Dale’s fact-checking of Trump started in 2016, when he was a Washington, D.C. correspondent for the Toronto Star. On September 21, 2016, progressive activist and filmmaker Michael Moore praised Dale for fact-checking Trump so thoroughly, writing, “This Canadian journalist, every single day in the Toronto Star, lists all the lies that Donald Trump spoke that day. Shames the US media.”

Blake asked Dale, “What’s the tally of Trump’s false claims as of right now?” — to which he responded, “I don’t know because I’ve fallen behind during the campaign. I had to make a decision to stop updating over the last month and just focus on the big stuff. Because the president is talking so much — just the sheer volume of words right now is very large, and so many of them are false that if I tried to keep up comprehensively as I have for the past four years, I wouldn’t have found time to write the most important stories about the most egregious stuff he’s saying. So, I’ve had to make an executive decision to put it on hold for now. My tally for his presidency is over 9,000 false claims.”

Blake asked Dale if there was a “most egregious” lie from Trump that stood out the most, and he replied, “Some of the claims of the pandemic I would put on the most egregious list. The claim that it’s disappearing, which he’s made 40-plus times since February. This is a national crisis where millions of people respond to the president’s words, and he’s constantly reassuring …read more

Source: ALTERNET