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

WATCH Jen Psaki Slam A Home Run Off Fox Reporter's Bogus Pitch

Even with Donald Trump out of office, his fervent lies and hysterias about voting fraud (and especially, mail-in voting fraud) live on. As Daily Kos has covered, the latest voter suppression effort propped up by these lies about voter fraud comes to us out of Georgia. As has now gone viral, a Black legislator, state Rep. Park Cannon, was arrested while trying to expose white Republicans celebrating the sweeping and extreme voter suppression law.

The optics of the voter suppression bill signing are actually worse than you might have imagined. Georgia has faced blowback in the form of calls for boycotts already, and big corporations based in the state, like Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola, have issued clarifying statements on where they stand on this legislation. The GOP has recently stepped up to battle Major League Baseball. And now? MLB has moved its 2021 All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado.

All of this background sets the stage for a question from Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy at Tuesday's White House press briefing. Doocy asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki: "Is the White House concerned that Major League Baseball is moving their All-Star Game to Colorado, where voting regulations are very similar to Georgia?" A misleading, inaccurate question at best, for reasons Psaki delves into in her response. Her swift correction is really a must-watch.

Here's what Psaki has to say in the clip below:

Well, let me just refute the first point you made. First, let me say on Colorado. Colorado allows you to register on Election Day. Colorado has voting-by-mail where they send to 100 percent of people in the state who are eligible applications to vote-by-mail. Ninety-four percent of people in Colorado voted by mail in the 2020 election. And they also allow for a range of materials to provide, even if they vote on Election Day, for the limited number of people who vote on Election Day.

Psaki continued:

I think it's important to remember the context here. The Georgia legislation is built on a lie. There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Georgia's top Republican election officials have acknowledged that repeatedly in interviews. What there was, however, was record-setting turnout especially by voters of color.

So, instead, what we're seeing here is for politicians who didn't like the outcome… They're not changing their policies to win more votes, they're changing the rules to exclude more voters. And we certainly see the circumstances as different. But ultimately, it's up to Major League Baseball to decide where they're holding their All-Star game.

On Fox News, Fauci Urges Trump To Back Vaccination Drive

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, appeared on Fox News Sunday to speak with host Chris Wallace about COVID-19 vaccine rollout, supply versus demand concerns, where the nation might be in terms of the virus come to the Fourth of July, and of course, Donald Trump.

Based on recent polling from PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist Poll that suggests nearly half of Republican men don't plan to receive the coronavirus vaccine, many are already worried that even when we have enough vaccine supply, we might run out of demand. Fauci broke down what he believes Trump, who unlike some of his recent predecessors has taken a notable backseat in promoting the vaccine, can do to help matters along. Because, after all, public health matters affect both the individual person and, in the big, big picture, the whole country.

First, Fauci and Wallace discuss whether Fauci thinks President Joe Biden's tentative time outline for vaccine availability and distribution might be reasonable. Biden has suggested that by May 1, states open vaccine eligibility to all adults and that by July Fourth, he believes it's possible people will be able to have small, outdoor gatherings, like a barbeque, with family.

Fauci said he does believe this timeline is entirely possible, but warned against states reopening too early, as that could cause another surge in cases. He noted that while a fresh surge would not necessarily affect vaccine availability, it would still negatively impact our overall public health situation. He also pointed out that our nation has previously experienced dips in cases only to have numbers surge back up. Basically: States need to slow way down. Now is not the time to get confident and toss out masks and regulations.

Wallace played a short clip wherein a number of past presidents, including Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, promoted getting the coronavirus vaccine. Trump, notably, was absent. Wallace pointed out that, according to recent polling, nearly 50 percent of Republican men do not plan to get the vaccine.

Wallace's question: How much of a difference does Fauci think it would make if Trump "leads a campaign" for the people who are "most devoted to him" to actually get the vaccine?

"I think it would make all the difference in the world," Fauci stated. He went on to say that he is "surprised" at the high percentage of Republicans who say they don't want to get vaccinated, stressing that it's not a political issue, but a public health issue. "I just don't get it, Chris, why they don't want to get vaccinated," he added.

Wallace, for the second time in the segment, credited Trump for vaccines being widely available (in reference to Operation Warp Speed) and asked Fauci why he thinks Trump didn't participate in the PSA promoting the vaccine. Fauci, delicately, said this was "puzzling" to him.

"I wish he would," Fauci stated. "He has such an incredible influence over the people of the Republican party, it would be a game-changer if he did."

Fauci explains what he thinks Trump can do to encourage his supporters to get the COVID-19 vaccine www.youtube.com

Finally Birx Tells The Terrible Truth About Trump’s Pandemic Botch

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

If you followed along with Dr. Deborah Birx, former White House coronavirus task force coordinator, you might have experienced some frustration at what the White House was (or more accurately, wasn't) doing in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Some viewers began to wonder why Birx appeared to be tiptoeing around being direct, especially in terms of her sometimes too optimistic-seeming virus projections, and her considerably lenient sidestepping over Trump's continued failures. On the other hand, at least one clip of Birx seemingly reacting to former President Donald Trump's babbling went viral, suggesting that Birx was no happier with the Trump administration than the rest of us.

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Sen. Rubio Complains That Impeachment Trial Is ‘Stupid’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Appearing on Fox News Sunday to chat with host Chris Wallace, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) delved into his feelings on former President Donald Trump. What about Trump, specifically? Oh, just the articles of impeachment against him. In a word, Rubio said he finds the trial "stupid."

In a very slightly more eloquent attempt to express himself, Rubio added, "We already have a flaming fire in this country," and that a trial would amount to "a bunch of gasoline." Just another way of arguing that a trial would rupture unity efforts, even though as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued last week, ignoring all that's gone is actually what is more likely to sow division in the country. Why? Because we need accountability.

As of Sunday morning, at least one Republican sees the impeachment trial differently than Rubio, however. We can check out more of what Rubio said below, as well as what one of his peers in the Senate argued.

Rubio said he does think Trump "bears responsibility for some of what happened" and that it was "certainly a foreseeable consequence of everything that was going on." It would be fascinating to hear what Rubio qualifies as "some" of what happened when a group of pro-Trump rioters surged into the U.S. Capitol and effectively terrorized elected officials. Rubio, instead, stressed he thinks that is "separate" from the idea of revisiting it and "stirring" it up.

Here's that clip.

Wallace also asked Rubio how he feels about whispers that Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, may run for a senate seat in Florida. Given that Rubio is up for reelection in 2022, a primary challenge is considerably important. Rubio, however, dodged the meat of the question by declaring that he doesn't "really get into the parlor games of Washington."

He did say that if he wants to be "back in the U.S Senate, I have to earn that every six years" and that he doesn't own his seat. Which is true, but would ring as a touch more meaningful if Florida didn't have rampant voter suppression issues.

Wallace also spoke to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) about the impeachment trial, posing the same question to both Republicans. Did they agree with fellow Republicans who argued that the trial should be thrown out under the alleged basis that it's unconstitutional to convict a former president? Rubio said yes, he'd definitely vote to nix the trial, but Romney thinks the proceedings are constitutionally solid. (Which, of course, they are.)

"if you look at the preponderance of the legal opinion by scholars over the years," Romney explained, "the preponderance of opinion is that yes, an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office." Romney, voted to convict in the first trial, however, did not say how he would vote a second time, noting they have yet to actually hear arguments and evidence from both sides.

Nashville Bomber’s Girlfriend Warned Police He Was Building Bombs

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Pamela Perry, a girlfriend of Anthony Q. Warner, the 63-year-old man who set off the explosion in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, early in the morning on Christmas Day, apparently told police last year that Warner was making bombs in his RV, as reported by The Tennessean. And it reportedly wasn't only Perry, but also an attorney who once represented Warner himself, who raised a major red flag 16 months ago.

On Friday, an explosion outside an AT&T transmission facility injured at least eight people, in addition to damaging at least 40 nearby buildings. The explosion also affected telecommunications for police and hospitals in the Southeast region. Warner's motive is still unknown, and investigators are still working through debris to gather evidence from the crime scene. As reported by CNN, Warner's remains were found at the scene. He was identified based on comparing DNA from the scene to that found on a hat and gloves found in a vehicle he owned. Red flags about Warner went up more than one year before the explosion.

Attorney Raymond Throckmorton, who at one point represented Warner and Perry, said he called police to Perry's home on Aug. 21, 2019, after he says he received "suicidal threats" from Perry on the phone. As reported by CBS News, Perry was transported for psychological evaluation. While police were at her residence, however, Throckmorton was present, and he told authorities Warner "frequently talks about the military and bomb-making." According to the report, he also told authorities he "believes that the suspect knows what he is doing and is capable of making a bomb."

According to a police report, Perry told authorities Warner was "building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence." From there, the police went to Warner's home—where he did not open the door, and they, apparently, did not investigate further. Why? There was no evidence of a crime. According to the report, officers did see the RV parked outside of Warner's residence at the time, but could not see inside of it or access it. The report noted that security cameras and wires were attached to the door of the RV.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department then sent the report on to the FBI.

Warner's girlfriend's report is particularly important because, as Slate points out, state authorities initially said they didn't have a file on Warner. From their end, they had no clue he might be a danger. In fact, according to CBS, Warner's only arrest ever was for a marijuana-related charge in the late '70s. But, according to that local police report, at least two people spoke up with very specific concerns more than one year ago.

WATCH: Dr. Fauci Says Vaccines Will Work But Warns To Keep Distancing, Masks

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

As the nation continues to face the novel coronavirus pandemic, we have lost 250,000 Americans. Among survivors, some live with long-term effects of the virus that we're only beginning to understand. While no one is immune to the virus, we know that some subsets of the population—including people with compromised immune systems and older folks—are particularly vulnerable. We've seen instances of the virus spreading quickly among group settings from schools, to churches, to an enormous motorcycle rally (no, it wasn't canceled). And yet some people still believe that instead of wearing masks or trying to mitigate the spread of the virus, we should just wait until the nation achieves herd immunity.

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Watch: AOC Urges Democrats To Push Back Against 'Republican Narratives'

On Saturday, The New York Times published a thorough, exciting interview with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the subject of running for reelection, progressives being seen as the enemy, and President-elect Joe Biden's big win. On Sunday morning, Ocasio-Cortez appeared on CNN's State of the Union to speak with host Jake Tapper about more of the same. The pair talked about division within the House caucus, the importance of rejecting Republican narratives about the progressive movement, and what it means to Ocasio-Cortez to see Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the White House. Let's check out the clips below.

As we know, all four members of the Squad were reelected this November, as well as Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush, a progressive activist. Bush will be Missouri's first Black congresswoman. We also saw a rainbow wave across state and local elections, and a groundbreaking number of Muslim Americans elected to office. Certainly, all of those wins are victories to be celebrated.

That said, Democrats carry a majority in the House, but a smaller one than before. And people from all sides of the aisle have thoughts on what might have cost people votes or seats—blatant support for movements like defunding the police, Black Lives Matter, Medicare for All, and such among them. On a private call, for example, Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger from Virginia suggested to colleagues that "no one should say 'defund the police' ever again."

On Sunday morning, Ocasio-Cortez talked to Tapper about butting heads within the House and her message to her peers.

"If you look at some of these some of the arguments that are being advanced," Ocasio-Cortez told Tapper, "that 'defund the police hurt' or that arguments about socialism hurt, not a single member of Congress, that I'm aware, of campaigned on socialism or defunding the police in this general election." What's a possible solution other than dropping progressive values from the campaign trail? Ocasio-Cortez suggested digital campaigning as an area where centralized democratic operations can improve, and become more resilient to Republican attacks.

"I believe that we need to really come together and not allow Republican narratives to tear us apart," Ocasio-Cortez said on divisions within the House caucus. Noting that the House holds a narrower majority than before, the New Yorker stressed that it's "going to be more important than ever for us to work together and not fight each other."

Ocasio-Cortez reminded viewers of what many on the left already realize, saying that progressives have "assets to offer the party that the party has not yet fully leaned into." She added that the conversation is deeper than simply "saying anything progressive is toxic and a losing message."

Here are those clips.

Here is former Ohio Governor John Kasich pressing the narrative that Biden needs to listen to Republicans, as opposed to the "hard left" or "far-left," when it comes to policy and getting things done.



And here is Ocasio-Cortez responding to that assertion.

Here is Ocasio-Cortez responding to Kasich.



And in a heartwarming side, Ocasio-Cortez also talked to Tapper about what it meant to her as a woman of color to see a Black woman elected to the White House.

"It's really incredible," she said. "For so many of us, especially women, we have grown up… And I know, my entire childhood, we are told we are too emotional, and that this country would never elect, first, a Black president. And luckily, that happened, with the election of Barack Obama, but now, a woman of color, and no less, a Black woman, to the second-highest seat in the land. I mean, it's really remarkable. You can't be what you can't see. That's very often said. It's so amazing that so many little girls are growing up with this being a norm for them."

Huge Mural Honoring RBG Goes Up Just Blocks From White House

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

It feels like public mourning flooded the nation when we learned that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday. People flocked to social media to share their thanks for her decades of relentless work; though she's undoubtedly a feminist icon and pioneer for women's rights and equality, Ginsburg's work did not only benefit women, but everyone. And of course, people were eager to make sure her "fervent" wish was communicated to the masses: That she "not be replaced until a new president is installed."

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Pelosi Will Fire ‘Every Arrow In Our Quiver’ To Stop GOP Court Grab

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Appearing on ABC's This Week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi honored the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by aptly describing her as a "brilliant brain" on the Supreme Court, reminded people that it's absolutely imperative to get out and vote this November, and the ongoing importance of battling the novel coronavirus pandemic. On the subject of the vacant Supreme Court seat, the Democrat from California didn't rule out launching an impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump (for the second time) or Attorney General Bill Barr, which would delay the Senate's ability to confirm a Supreme Court nominee of Trump's, either.

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Twitter Flags Trump Tweet Smearing Election Drop Boxes With Fraud And Virus

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

On Sunday morning, Donald Trump unleashed yet another unfounded claim about voting. This time, he suggested without evidence, that "Mail Drop Boxes" actually "make it possible for a person to vote multiple times." His tweet also says mail drop boxes are not "Covid sanitized." As with his usual refrain on voting, he rounded out the tweet with: "A big fraud!"

Twitter has labeled the tweet but is letting it stay visible. The label reads: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible." A Twitter spokesperson told The Verge that people will be able to Retweet with Comment, but not like, Reply, or Retweet it, which is the norm for tweets that receive this label.

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Meadows Insists That Lack Of Proof Actually Confirms Voter Fraud

On CNN's State of the Union, host Jake Tapper talked with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the Trump administration's latest favorite talking point: voter fraud. Specifically, voter fraud via voting by mail. In this case, Meadows came out swinging against the notion that states should send ballots to all registered voters. In perhaps the most mind-blowing exchange, Tapper (accurately) pointed out that there is no proof of "widespread voter fraud," and Meadows said, "there's no evidence that there's not, either." Then, Meadows added: "That's the definition of fraud, Jake."

How did we get there? Let's check out the now-viral Sunday morning clip below.

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Pelosi: Trump Donning Mask Is ‘Admission’ It Can Stop Virus Spread

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Appearing on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talked about Donald Trump's recent public appearance in a face mask. Trump's non-mask moments have made headlines, and for good reason. As the nation battles against the novel coronavirus pandemic, experts point to a few ways we can work to slow the spread of the virus; wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, avoid large crowds, oh, and wear a mask or face covering. Trump, famously, has not worn a mask when visiting a PPE factory in Pennsylvania, or recently, when arriving in Miami, in spite of the county's mask mandate. Vice President Mike Pence has also famously foregone a mask at events; for example, while visiting the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

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