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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


Trump Says His Lawyers Will Seek To Throw Out Ballots

In Nevada Wednesday, Donald Trump said he hopes that states won't be permitted to count ballots after Election Day.

"I think on Tuesday we're gonna over-perform, and we'll see what happens at the end of the day," Trump said. "Hopefully, it won't go longer that. Hopefully, the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after Nov. 3 to count ballots — that won't be allowed by the various courts, because as you know, we're in courts on that."

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He added that Republicans had just seen "a big victory" in Wisconsin on the subject, referring to a Supreme Court decision that refused to reinstate a lower court's ruling to extend Wisconsin mail-in voting deadlines.

It's not the first time Trump has suggested that not all ballots should be counted. He suggested on Tuesday that it would be "improper" to count ballots after Election Day.

"It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3rd, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don't believe that that's by our laws," Trump said.

Last month, a White House reporter asked Trump if "win, lose, or draw," he would commit to "a peaceful transferral of power after the election."

Trump responded, "We'll have to see what happens, you know that. I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster."

Pressed again to answer, Trump announced that there "won't be a transfer," but rather, "a continuation."

"We want to have — get rid of the ballots," he said, suggesting that that would be the only way to obtain a peaceful election outcome.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was also widely criticized for remarks in his opinion in the Wisconsin case suggesting absentee and mail-in ballots shouldn't be counted after Nov. 3.

He wrote that "states want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of an election."

Kavanaugh also added that "states also want to be able to definitively announce the results of the election on election night, or as soon as possible thereafter."

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke out to debunk this in a public statement.

"In America, we count the votes to determine who wins an election," the statement said. "Despite the incorrect assertions from President Trump and Justice Kavanaugh, election officials across the country accept ballots well after Election Day every year, and results are not certified until the votes are counted and a canvas to confirm the results is conducted. Absentee ballots counted after election day do not 'flip the results of an election,' as Justice Kavanaugh claimed. They are the results of the election."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

With Texas In Play, Trump Is Freaking Out

On Monday, Donald Trump blasted "suppression polls" for suggesting he could lose the state of Texas on Election Day.

At a rally in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, Trump said that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had personally called him up to assure him that presidential election polls showing Trump with only a narrow lead over former Vice President Joe Biden were wrong.

"So he goes — And then they say, 'President Trump is four points up in Texas.' And the governor calls me from Texas. Great guy, Greg. He said, 'Sir, that's not true. You're up a lot,'" Trump ranted. "But they don't say that. But think of it, you're against oil, we're in Texas, you're against oil, you're against God, you're against guns, in Texas, guns in Texas.'"

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Pompeo Under Probe Again For Unlawful Conduct

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech to the Republican National Convention in August has come under scrutiny by the Office of Special Counsel.

On Monday, Democratic lawmakers announced that the office has launched a probe into Pompeo's remarks, which were recorded while Pompeo was on an official State Department trip to Israel.

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Senate Candidate Known For Anti-Semitic Outbursts Compares ‘Leftists' To Nazis

Jason Lewis, the Republican contender for Tina Smith's (D-MN) Senate seat who has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks, has stooped to a new low with a campaign ad comparing "leftists" to Nazis.

In the ad, a leather-jacket-clad Lewis — wielding a handgun — intones that "first the radical left came for the Republicans like me."

His spouse, a retired St. Paul, Minnesota, police officer, chimes in.

"Then the radical left came after police officers like me," Leigh Lewis said.

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Rebutting Accusations, Biden Asks Why Trump Is ‘Hiding’ Tax Returns

In Thursday night's debate, Donald Trump repeatedly leveled accusations of financial corruption at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, among them unverified claims of Biden's son Hunter receiving $3.5 million from the Russian government.

Biden categorically denied Trump's vague and unspecific claims that he has taken money from foreign entities.

"I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life," he said.

Biden immediately pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump's attacks, given Trump's ever-growing laundry list of financial scandals.

He noted the recent revelation that Trump paid more taxes to China than to the U.S. government in recent years — $188,561 between 2013 and 2015 in total.

Biden also noted that he himself has released 22 years of his tax returns and slammed Trump for his refusal to release his.

"What's going on here?" Biden demanded. "Why not release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption?"

JOE BIDEN: I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life. We learned this president paid 50 times the tax in China as a secret bank account with China, does business in China, and in fact is talking about me taking money. I've not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever, ever, number one.
Number two, this is a president, I have released all of my tax returns, 22 years, go look at them, 22 years of my tax returns. You have not released a single, solitary year of your tax returns. What are you hiding? Why are you unwilling?
The foreign countries are paying you a lot. Russia's paying you a lot. China's paying you a lot. And your hotels and all your businesses al around the country, all around the world, and China's building a new road ... to a golf course you have overseas. So what's going on here? Why not release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption?

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Violent Threats By Trump Supporters Are Multiplying Nationwide

A Maryland man was arrested last week on federal charges for making violent threats toward Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, according to local prosecutors, the latest in a line of threatening incidents against the candidates and their supporters.

James Dale Reed was caught leaving a graphic and violent letter on a doorstep Oct. 4, the incident captured by a doorbell camera installed on the homeowners' porch.

"Warning!" it read in big, bold letters.The letter informed the homeowners that if they were Biden/Harris supports, they "will be targeted."

"We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs," the letter claimed. "We are the ones with those scary guns."

Reed then threatened to capture Biden and "severely" beat him to "the point of death." He also threatened to sexually assault Harris.

"Then for the Grand end (they) both will be executed on National Television," Reed wrote. "I would prefer CNN."

After initial denials, Reed admitted to writing the letter and said he left it at the first house he saw with a Biden/Harris campaign sign in the lawn.

He has been charged with the federal offense of threatening a major candidate, carrying with it a prison sentence of up to five years.

Reed was also charged with threatening mass violence and voter intimidation, both violations of Maryland state law.

This isn't the first threat Biden and his supporters have faced this election season.

In a viral video in October, a self-proclaimed "Trump supporter" threatened to start a war if Biden were elected.

In it, Zachary Poole of Williamsburg, Ohio claimed that if Trump won the election, Black Lives Matter and Antifa would protest and cause problems. So, he said, he and other Trump-supporting friends were ready to secure a Trump victory.

"We comin' ... and we comin' strong," he said.

Local police suspected he might be affiliated the Proud Boys, the white supremacist group that Donald Trump recently told to "stand back and stand by," but they were unable to independently verify that claim.

Poole was not charged, but police continue to monitor his social media accounts and reported the incident to the FBI as a potential hate crime.

Elsewhere in October, in an unidentified location, a woman was caught on a Ring doorbell camera accosting her neighbor, threatening to sue her if she did not remove her Biden lawn sign.

The woman on the porch pointed out neighborhood bylaws regarding no signage on property, and then launched into a verbal attack on her neighbor.

"If you don't take this Harris-Biden shit down, I will sue you," she said to the homeowner.

She proceeded to shout that she was "going to have (the neighbor) sell (her) house," but "that's not going to happen now," and threatened the homeowner's business.

"You're going to lose a lot of business because of this crap," she said. Eventually she departed, shouting, "You get out your neighborhood association bylaws, section 5.20!"

In the clip, Buck also threatened former Texas congressman and Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke.

These threats are, tragically, nothing new for either Biden or Harris.

In 2018, a teen was indicted for making death threats against Harris for her pro-gun control stance.

The teen wrote a message to Harris' Instagram account saying he would make sure "she and her radical lefty friends never get back in power."

"You will never run for president, because you won't make it to see that day."

He was taken into federal custody.

But Trump's inflammatory rhetoric is not doing anything to assuage the recurring threats to Biden and Harris' persons.

Trump continues to call Harris "nasty" and a "monster," while questioning her citizenship. Meanwhile, he's leveled attacks on Biden's supposed dementia and continues to assert his opponent is a criminal and a pedophile.

Eric Trump also referred to Harris in a now-deleted retweet as "whorendous."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

What Judge Barrett Has Been Hiding From The Senate

Senate Democrats are attempting to delay a floor vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation in light of significant disclosures she failed to make to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

CNN reported that Barrett failed to disclose at least seven public talks she gave between 2004 and 2013. These events were listed on the University of Notre Dame's public calendars.

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WATCH: Barrett Refuses To Answer Voting Rights Questions

On the third day of the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, Barrett refused to answer yet another question about voting rights, this time posed to her by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

"[The] 15th Amendment: The right of citizens in the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of race," Durbin said. "For an originalist and a textualist, that is clear text as I see it, but when asked whether the president has any authority to unilaterally deny that right to a vote to a person based on race or even gender — are you saying you can't answer that question?"

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Barrett Won’t Say Whether Medicare Is Constitutional

On the third day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation hearing, ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) asked her some hard questions regarding protections for senior citizens — for which Barrett had no real answer.

"Do you agree with originalists who say that the Medicare program is unconstitutional?" Feinstein asked the Supreme Court nominee.

"Well, let's see," Barrett said, pondering a moment. "So I think I can't answer that question in the abstract."

During the course of proceedings, Feinstein also questioned Barrett about the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which was signed into law in 1967 and prohibits employment discrimination against people 40 years of age and older.

"What do you understand to be the purpose of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?" asked Feinstein.

Barrett responded with a reference to Kleber v. CareFusion Corp., a case that came before her on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which centered on a 58-year-old plaintiff who sued for being overlooked for a job in favor of a less-experienced 29-year-old applicant.

"In Kleber v. CareFusion, I joined a majority," Barrett answered. "... and the question is whether the prohibition on age discrimination covered applicants or only employees, and the statute said employees, and so an applicant isn't an employee, so the majority said that the statute by its terms didn't cover the conduct."

In that case, Barrett joined her peers on the court in ruling against the plaintiff, finding that the age discrimination act does not protect applicants, only employees.

If confirmed, Barrett's long-standing opposition to the Affordable Care Act could jeopardize the health of seniors if she votes to overturn it in California v. Texas, which will come before the court just after Election Day.

The high court's decision on whether to strike down the entirety of the ACA will have a far-reaching effect on seniors who rely on its protections.

And it's not hard to read the handwriting on the wall. In 2012, Barrett signed a public statement alongside other leaders referring to Obamacare's contraception coverage as an "assault on religious liberty."

Five years later, she roundly critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts, saying he used unconstitutional loopholes in order to preserve Obamacare.

Seniors would be disproportionally affected if the health care law is struck down.

Sixty million Americans depend on Medicare, the federal program for Americans over 65 and those with disabilities. If Obamacare is repealed, Medicare beneficiaries will likely see a marked increase in the cost of prescription drugs and preventive care, as well as their health insurance premiums.

A vote against Obamacare would also get rid of a 0.9 percent payroll tax increase for the wealthy, which means Medicare funding for vulnerable groups like seniors and the disabled would be lower than ever.

Senior Vice President of the Kaiser Family Foundation Tricia Neuman said a repeal would be "very disruptive" for seniors and would touch "virtually every part of Medicare."

Moreover, Obama's health care law reformed nursing homes across the nation and improved oversight and protections for residents. It's clear that nursing homes facing an influx of coronavirus during a global pandemic would suffer irreparable harm — such as limited options for long-term care, lessened protections for residents, and decreased quality of care.

Anne Montgomery, a policy adviser to the Senate Special Committee on Aging who helped write Obamacare's nursing home provisions, said if it were repealed it would send to seniors "a very unhelpful message" that "nursing-home transparency, accountability and improvement" are "not so important."

Barrett's positions endangering seniors are par for the GOP course: Donald Trump came under well-deserved fire Tuesday night when he shared a meme scorning Joe Biden and depicting him as elderly and disabled.

And Trump trails Biden among senior voters — which is why he's desperately currying favor with them by launching a last-minute multimillion-dollar ad campaign.

But nominating a Supreme Court Justice who's an existential threat to American seniors isn't going to help his cause.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Barrett Wouldn't Say That Voter Intimidation Is a Federal Crime

On the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Judge Amy Coney Barrett refused to answer Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-MN) questions when asked whether federal law prohibits voter intimidation at the polls.

In recent months, voter intimidation and voter suppression have been hot-button issues, with Donald Trump during the first presidential debate going so far as to openly solicit his supporters to commit voter intimidation.

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At Barrett Hearing, Only Republicans Talk About Religion

Senate Republicans have claimed for weeks that Democratic attacks on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's faith are just around the corner — but the only people at her confirmation hearing talking about Barrett's faith were Republicans.

Monday was the first day of Barrett's controversial confirmation hearing. During opening remarks, exactly seven senators mentioned her Catholic faith: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE).

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WATCH: Lindsey Graham Insists Senators Don't Need Covid Testing Despite Outbreaks

During a break in Monday morning's confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters he feels no need to test senators for coronavirus before the hearing continues.

Many had questions after Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) attended the hearing in person today and delivered his opening statement maskless, despite testing positive for coronavirus 10 days ago.

Graham himself has drawn scrutiny by refusing to take a test prior to a scheduled debate Friday against Jaime Harrison, his Democratic challenger for the South Carolina Senate. The debate was canceled after Graham's refusal.

"All I can say is, I don't know what it's like at CNN, but you can't demand that all of your colleagues be tested before you go to work if there's no reason," Graham told reporters on Monday. "I was tested a week ago Friday. I was negative. I feel fine."

He said the confirmation hearing was being held safely and was CDC-compliant and that he would leave testing up to the discretion of individual members of the Senate. But contrary to CDC guidelines, many senators at the confirmation hearing, including Lee and Graham, removed their masks at various points during the proceedings.

CDC guidelines also indicate that individuals should self-quarantine for up to 14 days after exposure to a COVID-positive person.

While Graham attended the superspreader Rose Garden event to announce Barrett's nomination 16 days ago, it's unclear whether he has been in close contact with other infected individuals in the last 14 days.

But Graham made it clear that the Senate will continue without testing participants.

"We'll move forward," Graham said.

GRAHAM: All I can say is, I don't know what it's like at CNN, but you can't demand that all of your colleagues be tested before you to work if there's no reason. I was tested a week ago Friday, I was negative. I feel fine.
The CDC guidelines do not require quarantine or testing in my case in my case, and I leave it up to every member, but there are millions of Americans going to work today in restaurants, police officers, you name it, who can't demand they won't come to work unless everyone around them is tested, whether they need to or not.
So we're running this hearing safely, it's been set up CDC-compliant, and we'll move forward.

Michigan GOP Senate Candidate Linked With Far-Right Figures

Michigan Democratic incumbent Sen. Gary Peters' Republican challenger John James is running on a platform of unity and nonpartisanship, but behind the scenes, he undercuts his own claims by associating with individuals and groups that promote violence.

On Thursday, after the bombshell revelation that the FBI had uncovered a kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, James was perfectly politic and nonpartisan in his public response.

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How Trump’s Sudden Illness May Shift This Election

Donald Trump's announcement early Friday that he and Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus sent shockwaves across the country.

Experts say the effect of such news could be a game-changer for the election, shaking up an already contentious race.

In recorded remarks played at the Al Smith Dinner on Thursday night, hours before he announced his diagnosis, Trump said America was rounding a corner in the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Like Nixon, Trump Evades Taxes — But The Striking Similarities Only Begin There

Donald Trump's tax returns are the talk of the town, and news outlets and the Twittersphere are humming with comparisons to another White House occupant plagued by tax scandals: Richard Nixon.

"'People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook,' Nixon said," tweeted Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell on Monday. "The comment wasn't about Watergate, but rather funny business in his tax returns."

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Trump Chooses Far-Right Judge Barrett For Ginsburg Seat

Donald Trump will select U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court pick Saturday, multiple news outlets confirmed with White House officials on Friday — and the outlook couldn't be more bleak for reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and the future of health care in the United States.

According to the New York Times, Trump "will try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day."

"The president met with Judge Barrett at the White House this week and came away impressed with a jurist that leading conservatives told him would be a female Antonin Scalia," the Times reported.

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Never Mind! ‘Misplaced’ Ballots Were Result Of Minor Error

Donald Trump's war on mail-in voting this week turned out to be all for naught after election workers in Pennsylvania admitted to an envelope mix-up that Trump had initially claimed was part of a broader fraud scheme.

On Thursday morning, Trump complained about the supposed mail-in voter fraud on Fox News radio, claiming that ballots cast for him had been recently found in the trash.

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