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Reading: Republican leaders ask Michigan election board to delay certification of results, in latest GOP effort to cast doubt on the vote – The Washington Post

From Republican leaders ask Michigan election board to delay certification of results, in latest GOP effort to cast doubt on the vote – The Washington Post

Michigan election audit doesn’t seem to be possible until after certification. Audits aren’t designed to smoke out fraud.

“Not sure who needs to hear this, but under state law (MCL 168.31a) audits can only be conducted after the State Canvassers certify the election,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wrote. “This is [because] election officials do not have legal access to the documents needed to complete audits until the certification.”

In more detail:

“Throughout my tenure as Michigan Secretary of State, and indeed long before, I have spoken repeatedly on the importance of post-election audits to ensure Michiganders can trust the outcome of our elections as an accurate reflection of the will of the people,” she said in the statement. “Notably, audits are neither designed to address nor performed in response to false or mythical allegations of ‘irregularities’ that have no basis in fact.”

According to Michigan election law, the secretary of state “authorize the release of all ballots, ballot boxes, voting machines, and equipment after 30 days following certification of an election by the board of state canvassers” in the event that a recount petition has been filed or a court has issued an order “restraining interference” with these materials.

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Reading: Donald Trump’s failure to work with Joe Biden is becoming more urgent as Covid spreads – CNNPolitics

From Donald Trump’s failure to work with Joe Biden is becoming more urgent as Covid spreads – CNNPolitics

It’s all occuring on trump’s watch – both vaccine and continuing crisis.

The increasingly urgent pleas are coming from inside his administration, the President-elect’s team and independent public health experts as Covid-19 cases rage out of control countrywide, claiming more than 1,000 US lives a day. More than 246,000 Americans have now died from the disease, and a bitter winter lies ahead even amid encouraging news such as Monday’s announcement that a vaccine developed by Moderna is demonstrating a high success rate in early clinical trials, the second such positive vaccine news in about a week.

But instead of listening or mobilizing to tackle what some medical experts warn is becoming a “humanitarian” crisis, Trump spent the weekend during which the US passed 11 million infections amplifying lies and misinformation about his election loss. At one point, he appeared to acknowledge Sunday in a tweet that Biden won, before backtracking with a stream of defiance on Twitter.

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Reading: Health officials rated celebrities on Trump loyalty while planning ad campaign

From Health officials rated celebrities on Trump loyalty while planning ad campaign

It’s a sad day for the despot when he can’t get B-list celebs to sponsor his propeganda.

Despite the hefty funding, the campaign has been stymied by internal disorganization and indifference from celebrities. Of the ten deemed worthy of the PSAs, only three sat down for interviews. As of October 1, all three had withdrawn their consent to use the footage and refused to participate further. The campaign’s future was further imperiled by Caputo’s decision last month to take a leave of absence from the department.

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Reading: gdp report factcheck

From gdp report factcheck

> It’s true that third-quarter growth was the fastest on record in data going back to 1947. (See the full data set here.) But celebrating that number is like telling only half the story.
It’s impossible to ignore what happened immediately leading up to those gains: The US economy declined at a 31.4% annual rate — the deepest downturn on record.

A big reason the US posted record GDP this quarter is because there was a record decline in the prior quarter.

When you step back and look at that broader context, the US economy is still operating well below its pre-pandemic peak. Gross domestic product is still $670 billion lower than where it was at the end of 2019. The chart below tells that story more clearly than any words can. (See the full data here.)

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Reading: The WHO considers the WH’s decision not to control Covid-19

From The WHO considers the WH’s decision not to control Covid-19

As a counter-point to the WH’s false claim that it has ended the pandemic, sits the WHO’s latest consideration of the circumstances of the pandemic.

Ars, quoting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, reports that the WH has given up:

“I mean, when we look at this, we’re going to defeat the virus. We’re not going to control it. We will try to contain it as best we can,” he told reporters outside the White House yesterday. He again emphasized the need for therapeutics and vaccines.

But here is WHO’s consideration of the implications of trump’s non-action:

[WHO Executive Director Michael Ryan] also offered a grim caution of what can happen when countries and governments do not try to control the virus. He noted that in April and March many places in the world, including some in the US, used “mitigation”—he used air quotes for this word—as their strategy and “emergency rooms were overwhelmed and we were rolling freezer trucks up to the back of hospitals,” he said. “That’s the reality of mitigating a disease in the face of a tsunami of cases. You run out of capacity to cope and that is the fear right now.”

These are not two different perspectives clashing; the WHO is drawing out implications that the WH refuses to consider.

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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: 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: COVID-hit Trump back in hospital after drive to greet supporters | US & Canada | Al Jazeera

From COVID-hit Trump back in hospital after drive to greet supporters | US & Canada | Al Jazeera

Political theatre that shows trump still doesn’t get it.

Dr James Phillips, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, was among those criticising the drive-by, which he called “political theater”.

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential drive-by has to be quarantined for 14 days,” Phillips wrote on Twitter. “They might get sick. They may die.”

People with COVID-19 are generally required to quarantine for 14 days to avoid infecting others and the virus spreads more easily in indoor, confined environments.

“Beyond the ethical, clinical, epidemiological and health implications of this drive by, it shows a dire obsession with showing the public he’s still in control, creating a false sense of normalcy and trying to normalize a highly transmissible virus,” Dr Syra Madad, senior director of Special Pathogens at NYC Health + Hospitals, wrote on Twitter.

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Reading: tax avoidance as an exploit | www.theguardian.com

From tax avoidance as an exploit | www.theguardian.com

> The billionaires don’t just exploit the loopholes. They also make them through pushing for ever-expanding exemptions from the tax burden they would otherwise pay. In Trump’s case, it is true in the most literal sense that he made the rules he benefits from. Trump’s major legislative initiative was a whole new tax cut tilted toward giving wealthy people like himself even more favorable treatment. It’s one thing to pay only your legal minimum but understand that the system is unfair. It’s quite another to be actively trying to make that system more grotesquely unequal.

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Reading: Trump was cued to his audience last Saturday

From Trump was cued to his audience last Saturday

CNN noticed that Trump was cued to the local audience last Saturday

“You have good genes, you know that, right?” Trump said at a recent campaign rally. “You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”

The President was speaking to a nearly all-White crowd in Bemidji, Minnesota, a city that’s about 80% White in a state that’s even more White.

It’s a small observation but an important one: One we’ve seen before.

The tack of playing racial politics by taking refuge in abstraction has a long history in Republican circles.

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N****r, n****r, n****r.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘n****r’ — that hurts you, backfires,” the Republican political operative Lee Atwater said in 1981. “So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now (that) you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is (that) Blacks get hurt worse than Whites.”

Trump and his defenders might say that the President was merely talking about genes. But depending on who was listening, he was talking about much, much more.