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Foxconn Factory Trump Touted In Wisconsin Is Now ‘Empty Promises And Empty Buildings’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump and his supporters were hoping that a deal with the Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn would create 13,000 new manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin, guaranteeing that he would win the state this election year and convince voters that he made good on his promise to bring new jobs to the Rust Belt. But the Foxconn deal, journalist Josh Dzieza emphasizes in an article for The Verge, has been a flop — and the LCD plant that was promised never materialized. Instead of a manufacturing renaissance, all Wisconsin got were "empty promises and empty buildings," according to The Verge.

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Trump Tweets Petty Attack On Fauci Over '60 Minutes' Interview

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On Monday, President Donald Trump fired off tweets attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci — who has sounded increasingly critical of the president. Fauci has earned widespread trust from the public as one of the top government officials in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, while Trump is seen as an unreliable source of information on the crisis. But Trump decided to attack Fauci — in the last weeks before an election, no less — not simply about policy disagreements but on a petty and personal level.

During an interview for CBS News' 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night, Fauci candidly said that he wasn't surprised that Trump was recently infected with COVID-19 and that he wishes the president had been more careful. Trump, Fauci emphasized, could be doing a lot more to promote the use of protective face masks. Fauci has also said, as news outlets have reported, that he's been prevented from appearing before the media on numerous occasions.

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'Vulnerable To Prosecution": What Trump Will Face If He Loses This Election

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The number of allies or former allies of President Donald Trump who have faced criminal prosecutions is staggering: it's a list that ranges from Trump's 2016 campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to veteran GOP operative Roger Stone to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. If he loses to former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, November 3, Trump himself could become the target of both federal and state prosecutors — and journalist Jon Schwarz examines some of Trump's possible legal exposure in an in-depth piece published by The Intercept on October 18.

Schwarz opens his article by acknowledging that even if Biden wins, it's "hard to imagine" that Trump will "ever be convicted of any crime, much less serve time in prison."

"No former U.S. president has ever seen the inside of a cell — and not because all presidents have faithfully followed the law," Schwarz explains. "Presidents accumulate huge favors owed, favors that they cash in, figuratively and literally, when they become former presidents."

Nonetheless, Schwarz goes on to say that "Trump is more vulnerable to prosecution than other presidents because he's engaged in so many potential nontraditional presidential crimes." And he describes some things that Trump, possibly, could be investigated for if he loses the election — from "tax fraud" to "bank and insurance fraud" to "campaign finance violations" to "bribery" and "negligent homicide."

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr., Schwarz notes, has been investigating Trump for what his office has described as "possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.""Beyond Trump's taxes, Vance appears to be probing whether Trump provided insurers and banks with false statements about his financial position in order to receive lower premiums and interest rates on loans," Schwarz observes. "In certain circumstances, this would be illegal."

Another possibly area of concern for Trump, according to Schwarz, is "obstruction of justice." Former special counsel Robert Mueller, following the Russia investigation, noted that the U.S. Department of Justice has a policy against indicting a sitting president but stressed that a president "does not have immunity after he leaves office."

Of all the possible prosecutions that Schwarz describes — many of them for tax and financial matters — the most hotly debated in legal circles might be one for "negligent homicide." Schwarz notes that Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor, has argued that Trump could be prosecuted for negligent homicide because of his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. But other legal experts have disagreed with Kirschner, saying that a negligent homicide case against Trump — if it came about in the first place — would be very difficult to prove.

"This would be controversial, to say the least," Schwarz explains. "But Kirschner is a serious person who served in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia for 24 years, eventually becoming chief of the homicide section."

Election Expert Says Florida County Could Be Early Indicator On Election Night

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

With the election less than three weeks away, thousands of Americans have taken advantage of early voting in states ranging from Georgia to Texas to North Carolina. David Wasserman, house editor for the Cook Political Report, discussed this abundance of early voting with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell on Friday — and Wasserman pointed to Sumter County, Florida as a possible way to gauge how the election will ultimately turn out.

"It's true that we're both seeing historic early voting, and it's a drop in the bucket because we're headed for likely 150 million to 160 million votes cast this year — which would be record-shattering," Wasserman told Mitchell.

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Carville Predicts Broad Patriotic Front Will Bring Trump’s ‘Catastrophic Defeat’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

James Carville is not known for his contributions to right-wing websites. But politics make strange bedfellows, and the veteran Democratic strategist finds some common ground with Never Trump Republicans in an October 15 article for the conservative website The Bulwark — arguing, in essence, that conservatives, liberals and centrists all have a mutual interest in removing President Donald Trump from office on Tuesday, November 3.

"Donald Trump's authoritarian presence behind the Resolute Desk is amongst the gravest threats America has ever faced from within," the 75-year-old Carville stresses. "And Americans have risen to meet this threat."

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Will Pennsylvania Voters Decide 2020 Presidential Election?

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, is traveling to Johnstown, Pennsylvania for a MAGA rally — an event that comes only three days after former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign event in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Between now and election day, Pennsylvania is a state that both campaigns are expected to pay very close attention to. And the Philadelphia Inquirer, in an article published this week, stresses that Pennsylvania, more and more, is looking like the state that could decide the election.

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At Hearing, Sen. Whitehouse Blasts Barrett Nomination As Dark-Money Maneuver To Rig Courts

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

During her Senate confirmation hearings this week, Judge Amy Coney Barrett — President Donald Trump's far-right nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court — has been questioned by Democratic senators who include Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Whitehouse, during his questioning, focused heavily on some of the conservative groups and judicial activists that are pushing aggressively for Barrett's confirmation — and Whitehouse laid out, in detail, the right-wing scheme to "rig" the federal courts.

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Why The Sunbelt Is Turning Away From Trump’s Republicans

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

During the 1980s and 1990s, political pundits used the term "Solid South" to refer to the seemingly impenetrable red wall that Republicans had achieved in southern states — which was a big departure from the years in which that term referred to all the southern states that allied themselves with the Democratic Party. Now, the Republican Party finds itself losing ground in the Sun Belt, and that shift is the focus of a New York Times article by reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.

The piece not only describes the ground that Republicans have been losing in parts of the Deep South, but also, in southwestern states like Arizona — which has evolved into a swing state after being heavily Republican for generations.

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Bill Barr’s Vote Suppression Follows An Old Script

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

With one national poll after another showing President Donald Trump losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in November, the president and Attorney General William Barr continue to obsess over "voter fraud." They baselessly claim the crime is promoted by mail-in voting, despite its history as a reliable practice. Journalist Pema Levy pointed out that Barr's actions are part of a long a seedy history in an article published in Mother Jones, describing them as thinly veiled attempts at voter suppression.

"A pattern has emerged in recent years that's easy to spot," Levy explains. "Right before an election, Republican officials in battleground states announce voter fraud investigations. The goal is obvious: suppressing turnout. But what's new this year is that this underhanded tactic is being employed by the president and the Justice Department."

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'Shameless Stunt': Trump Demands Drug-Discount Cards To Spur Failing Senior Support

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

If President Donald Trump loses to former Vice President Joe Biden in this year's presidential election, two of the main reasons are likely to be his response to his COVID-19 pandemic and his health care policy — specifically, Trump's push to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with preexisting conditions. One desperate move that Trump is making in the hope of saving his campaign is promising senior citizens drug discount cards, and Politico's Dan Diamond reports that Trump wants them to be available before November 3.

Diamond reports:

Caught by surprise by President Donald Trump's promise to deliver drug-discount cards to seniors, health officials are scrambling to get the nearly $8 billion plan done by Election Day, according to five officials and draft documents obtained by Politico. The taxpayer-funded plan, which was only announced two weeks ago and is being justified inside the White House and the Health Department as a test of the Medicare program, is being driven by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the officials said.

The $200 cards, Diamond notes, "would resemble credit cards" and "would need to be used at pharmacies" — and they "would be paid for by tapping Medicare's trust fund."

Politico obtained a copy of a draft proposal for the plan that has been circulated in the White House, and according to the proposal, "The goal is to begin the test by distributing cards starting in October 2020."

Trump's idea for drug discount cards for seniors comes at a time when many polls are showing his support among seniors falling. And Rep. Frank Pallone, the Democrat who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, isn't the least bit impressed by the proposal. Pallone told Politico, "It's a shameless stunt that steals billions from Medicare in order to fund a legally dubious scheme that's clearly intended to benefit President Trump's campaign right before Election Day."

An official for the Department of Health and Human Services, quoted anonymously, told Politico, "It's turning into this last-minute, thrown-together thing." And another HHS official interviewed by Politico said, "This is a solution in search of a problem and a bald play for votes in the form of money in pockets."

Twitter has had plenty of reactions to Diamond's article and Trump's drug card proposal. Juliette Cubanski, deputy director of the Program on Medicare Policy, tweeted, "A lot of people with Medicare might appreciate receiving a $200 drug discount card, but this doesn't do anything to address the persistent problem of rising drug prices. And for those taking expensive drugs who struggle to pay their monthly copays, $200 won't go very far."

Twitter user @ColorFiend wrote, "Trump is bribing seniors to vote for him, while Therese Walsh (editorial director of Writer Unboxed), posted, "Too bad he kneecapped usps, huh?" — a reference to problems in the United States Postal Service that have occurred under Trump's postmaster general, Louis DeJoy. And another Twitter user, Gordon G. Forbes, wrote, "Any voter that can be bought for $200 is a cheap date, or an easy mark. But Trump knows his base."Stacie Dusetzina, a professor at Vanderbilt University who has studied Medicare's drug program, went over the draft proposal — and Dusetzina told Politico, "There are a lot of things that seem problematic. It's an incredibly large amount of money to be spending, (and) it's not really solving any systemic problem."

Polling Experts Say Democrats Will Keep House Majority -- And May Expand It

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump, during one of his MAGA events in September, predicted that Republicans will retake the U.S. House of Representatives this year. But according to a new analysis by polling expert Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, that possibility is most unlikely. Released on October 7, "FiveThirtyEight's 2020 House of Representatives Election Forecast" says that Democrats have a 92-97 percewnt chance of maintaining their House majority in November — and it is possible that they will even expand it slightly.

FiveThirtyEight's Nathaniel Rakich explains, "While Democrats are slight favorites to flip the Senate and Joe Biden is a solid-but-not-overwhelming frontrunner for the presidency, Democrats have between a 92 and 97 percent chance of keeping control of the House."

Rakich goes on to say that there are "three versions" of FiveThirtyEight's House model: a "lite version," a "classic version" and a "deluxe version." The "lite version," according to Rakich, "relies primarily on polling" and "gives Democrats a 97 in 100 chance of" keeping their House majority — while the "classic version…. blends polls with fundamentals like partisanship, incumbency advantages and candidates' fundraising" and "gives Democrats a 93 in 100 chance" of doing that. And the "deluxe version," Rakich adds, "incorporates polls, fundamentals and expert ratings from the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections and Sabato's Crystal Ball" and "gives Democrats a 93 in 100 chance of" maintaining control of the House.

"All three versions more or less agree, though, that Democrats will essentially stand pat in the House or pick up a few extra seats," Rakich explains. "That's an impressive achievement considering the heights they reached in the 2018 midterms, when they scored a 235-199 majority despite a congressional map that favored the GOP."

Rakich doesn't use the word "gerrymandering" in his FiveThirtyEight article, but it's a word that is certainly applicable when it comes to the House. Democrats enjoyed a major blue wave when they retook the House in 2018 and enjoyed a net gain of 40 seats, but many pundits have argued that the blue wave would have been even bigger had the GOP not gerrymandered so many House districts.

Fox Host Compares White House Medical Briefings To North Korean 'Propaganda'

Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery compared President Donald Trump's doctor and the Trump White House to North Korean "propaganda."

Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, has been released from Walter Reed Medical Center and is back at the White House. Kennedy, during an appearance on the Fox News program Outnumbered on Monday was highly critical of the Trump White House and Trump's doctor, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, for being evasive about the president's condition.

The 48-year-old Montgomery, a former MTV veejay turned libertarian/conservative pundit who uses the moniker "Kennedy," told the Outnumbered panel, "I think we just had a sense that things were worse than they were letting on. If there's one thing I don't like, it is a lack of transparency. And everyone has been touched by the virus — either personally, or they know someone who's contracted it and God forbid, has succumbed to it."

On Outnumbered, she argued that the Trump White House is doing Americans a disservice by not being up-front about the president's condition.


Montgomery stressed, "We know how quickly the virus can turn. And I think it's really important to be straight-forward with the American people, because we're not living in North Korea — and we don't have to be fed propaganda about the dear leader's condition. So, if he is deteriorating — if he is requiring oxygen — I think it's OK to tell people that."

House Condemns QAnon As ‘Psychotic Cult' -- But Many Republicans Disagree

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

If far-right GOP congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene is elected in November — which is likely given how overwhelmingly Republican her district in Georgia is — a full-fledged supporter of the QAnon cult will be sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January. But QAnon has many opponents in the House, which has passed a resolution, 371-18, condemning the cult.

House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, described QAnon as a "collective delusion," saying, "We all must call it what it is: a sick cult."

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Polls: Biden Suddenly Pulls Even With Trump In South Carolina

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

While North Carolina is a swing state that has a Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, and went for President Barack Obama in 2008, South Carolina has been a deep red state. Pundits have consistently described North Carolina as being in play for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, but they haven't been saying that about South Carolina — until now. A Quinnipiac poll finds President Donald Trump ahead of Biden by only one percent in South Carolina. And this comes at a time when South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is facing the toughest reelection fight of his career.

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West Virginia Official Debunks Trump’s Tale Of Postal Worker ’Selling Ballots'

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump has claimed that a postal worker in West Virginia was "selling" voting ballots. But West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, a Republican, has refuted the president's claim — and a postal worker who did plead guilty to attempted election fraud in that state, according to the Associated Press, wasn't selling them.

During the raucous, chaotic presidential debate on Tuesday night, Trump referred to the case of Thomas Cooper — a postal worker who, AP notes, "pleaded guilty, in July, to attempted election fraud and injury to the mail after changing five ballot requests from Democrat to Republican. He also altered three other ballot applications by circling the word 'Republican' in a different color ink than what was used on the forms, Secretary of State Mac Warner said in a written statement."

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House Adopts Resolution Urging Peaceful Transition — But Five Republicans Vote No

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Claiming that Democrats are trying to use mail-in voting to promote voter fraud, President Donald Trump has refused to say that he will accept the election results if former Vice President Joe Biden wins in November. The House of Representatives, in response, adopted a resolution on Tuesday calling for a peaceful transfer of power in the presidential election — and it passed 379-5. Most House Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, but five didn't: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana.

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Why Cognitive Dissonance Makes Trumpsters Flee To Their ‘Bizarro World’

Reprinted with permission Alternet

One of the most jarring aspects of watching Fox News or One America News Network is the mental gymnastics President Donald Trump's supporters must perform in his defense. Being a Trump supporter often means defending the indefensible. Journalist Anne Applebaum describes those extremes in an article published in The Atlantic, stressing that their defenses of the president require a total defiance of logic and reason.

Applebaum cites Trump loyalist William B. Crews as one of the wildest examples. Crews, Applebaum notes, was an employee of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is headed by expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci. Crews, the Daily Beast's Lachlan Markey recently reported, was angry because Fauci's messages on the coronavirus pandemic sometimes conflicted with what Trump had to say — and Crews responded by attacking Fauci on the Red State website using the pen name "Streiff."

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