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Reading: Brett Kavanaugh foreshadows how Supreme Court could disrupt vote counting – CNNPolitics

From Brett Kavanaugh foreshadows how Supreme Court could disrupt vote counting – CNNPolitics

It’s a puzzle that the other justices are going along with Kavanaugh’s facile and faulty line of reasoning.

Kavanaugh’s language overall mirrors President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about calling a winner on election night.

States that require mail-in ballots to be returned by the Election Day, Kavanaugh wrote in his concurring opinion, “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.”

But those announcements are in no way official: They are projections made by national broadcast networks and wire services, based on how partial results compare to historical outcomes — not by the states themselves, which typically take weeks before certifying elections.

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Reading: Minnesota reports three Covid-19 outbreaks related to Trump campaign events in September – CNNPolitics

From Minnesota reports three Covid-19 outbreaks related to Trump campaign events in September – CNNPolitics

This is why we can’t shop at local businesses:

At least 21 cases have been traced to outbreaks occurring at rally events in Bemidji on September 18, a speech held by Vice President Mike Pence on September 24 in Minneapolis, and another rally held by President Donald Trump on September 30 in Duluth, the department said in an email to CNN.

Minnesota defines an outbreak as “two or more cases of illness related by time and place in which an epidemiologic investigation suggests either person-to-person transmission occurred” or some other vehicle, such as contaminated water, is implicated. Public health experts say it is difficult to pinpoint any one event to overall changes in trends in light of the fact that there is overall increased community transmission. But experts also agree that holding such events in this climate is not a best practice for public health.

Trump’s Bemidji rally took place in an airport hanger. According to a CNN producer who attended the event, at least 2,000 people were in attendance. Based on contact tracing by the state Department of Health, at least 16 cases, including two hospitalizations, were identified among attendees.

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Reading: ‘Sue if you must’: Lincoln Project rejects threat over Kushner and Ivanka billboards

From ‘Sue if you must’: Lincoln Project rejects threat over Kushner and Ivanka billboards

Let’s see what happens when a group stands up to bullying.

On Friday, Marc Kasowitz, an attorney who has represented the president against allegations of fraud and sexual assault, wrote to the Lincoln Project, demanding the “false, malicious and defamatory” ads be removed, or “we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages”.

The Lincoln Project responded that they would not remove the billboards, citing first amendment rights of free speech and the “reckless mismanagement of Covid-19” by the Trump White House.

In a legal response on Saturday night, attorney Matthew Sanderson told Kasowitz: “Please peddle your scare tactics elsewhere. The Lincoln Project will not be intimidated by such empty bluster … your clients are no longer Upper East Side socialites, able to sue at the slightest offense to their personal sensitivities.”

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Reading: Opinion | That’s the Last We Need to Hear From Trump – The New York Times

From Opinion | That’s the Last We Need to Hear From Trump – The New York Times

> He pursued an odd strategy, built on pure delusion and dependent on voters’ complete amnesia.

And his own amnesia: I got the sense that trump forget he was the incumbant.

He painted Biden, not himself, as an ethical abomination whose career in government was devoted to personal enrichment. He portrayed the Biden family, not his own, as a clan of grifters. He essentially cast Biden as the incumbent, speaking as if Biden had exited the vice presidency all of 60 seconds ago, and clung to the claim that he, the leader of the world’s richest and most powerful country for nearly four years now, was the ultimate outsider.

“It’s all talk, no action, with these politicians,” Trump said at one point.

These politicians? Mr. President, let me introduce you to the profession that you now inhabit. You’re awful at it, and there’s a death toll of more than 220,000 Americans that speaks to that. But it is your occupation, God save the rest of us.

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Reading: Community outbreaks of Covid-19 often emerge after Trump’s campaign rallies – STAT

From Community outbreaks of Covid-19 often emerge after Trump’s campaign rallies – STAT

from Zach Nayer, in StatNews

What we found was sobering yet not surprising. Spikes in Covid-19 cases occurred in seven of the 14 cities and townships where these rallies were held: Tulsa; Phoenix; Old Forge, Penn.; Bemidji, Minn.; Mankato, Minn.; Oshkosh, Wis.; and Weston, Wis.

Chart in the article shows that Bemidji spiked twice, 6 days after the rally, and again at 9 days.

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Reading: Opinion | Donald Trump: The Worst President in Modern History? – The New York Times

From Opinion | Donald Trump: The Worst President in Modern History? – The New York Times

> It is the purpose of this special section of the Sunday Review to remind readers why Mr. Trump is unfit to lead the nation. It includes a series of essays focused on the Trump administration’s rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health and incompetent statecraft. A selection of iconic images highlights the president’s record on issues like climate, immigration, women’s rights and race. And alongside our judgment of Mr. Trump, we are publishing, in their own words, the damning judgments of men and women who had served in his administration.

The urgency of these essays speaks for itself. The repudiation of Mr. Trump is the first step in repairing the damage he has done. But even as we write these words, Mr. Trump is salting the field — and even if he loses, reconstruction will require many years and tears.

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Reading: 9 COVID-19 cases linked to Minnesota Trump rally last month, with 2 hospitalized – ABC News

From 9 COVID-19 cases linked to Minnesota Trump rally last month, with 2 hospitalized – ABC News

Puts an edge on our local politics.

The Minnesota Department of Health has identified nine coronavirus cases in people who reported attending President Donald Trump’s rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, last month, with one patient currently in the intensive care unit.

While the health department cautioned it is uncertain whether those individuals contracted the virus at the rally or somewhere else, spokesperson Scott Smith told ABC News that “based on case characteristics” in Beltrami County, where Bemidji is located, the Trump rally on Sept. 18, along with a wedding that took place on Sept. 19, appears to be “likely drivers of increases in COVID-19 cases” in the county.

“We cannot definitively say for those cases who did not report either attending a political rally and/or attending a wedding where they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2,” Smith said. “However, these events appear, based on case characteristics, to be likely drivers of increases in COVID-19 cases in Beltrami County.”

[…]

Earlier this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed Bemidji as one of the rapid risers in terms of the coronavirus spread.

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Reading: Kamala Harris grilling prompts doubtful claim from Amy Coney Barrett

From Kamala Harris grilling prompts doubtful claim from Amy Coney Barrett

> Harris also tackled Barrett’s views on abortion, making a carefully laid-out case that despite Barrett’s equivocation and insistence that she is unbiased on the issue of reproductive rights, she is far from it.

Barrett was a member of a “right to life” organization that in 2016 promoted a crisis pregnancy center in South Bend, Indiana, that has been criticized for misleading and misdirecting vulnerable women seeking abortions. She has signed off on a newspaper ad calling Roe v Wade – the landmark 1973 ruling protecting the right to choose – “barbaric”. A Notre Dame Magazine article from 2013 describes a lecture series during which Barrett “spoke … to her own conviction that life begins at conception”.

As a federal judge, she has considered three laws restricting abortion and expressed misgivings about rulings that had struck down the laws. She joined the dissent against a decision to strike down an Indiana abortion rule – signed into law by Mike Pence when the vice-president was Indiana’s governor – that mandated the fetal remains be buried or cremated.

“I would suggest that we not pretend that we don’t know how this nominee views a women’s right to choose or make her own decisions,” Harris said. The senator noted that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Barrett has cited as her model in declining to give any hints on how she would vote on future cases, was, unlike Barrett, much more forthcoming with her own personal views on abortion.

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Reading: New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

From New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

Needs a careful read: the correlation is clearly pervasive but it’s not total.

They found a striking linear relationship between support for Trump and an authoritarian mind-set: The stronger a person supported Trump, the higher he or she scored on the RWA scale. People saying they strongly disapproved of Trump, for instance, had an average RWA score of 54. Those indicating complete support of the president, on the other hand, had an average score of 119, more than twice as authoritarian as Trump opponents.

Many fervent Trump supporters, Altemeyer and Dean write, “are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life’s threats. They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former.”

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Reading: New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

From New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

Needs a careful read: the correlation is clearly pervasive but it’s not total.

They found a striking linear relationship between support for Trump and an authoritarian mind-set: The stronger a person supported Trump, the higher he or she scored on the RWA scale. People saying they strongly disapproved of Trump, for instance, had an average RWA score of 54. Those indicating complete support of the president, on the other hand, had an average score of 119, more than twice as authoritarian as Trump opponents.

Many fervent Trump supporters, Altemeyer and Dean write, “are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life’s threats. They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former.”