HomeUncategorized10-22 News Roundup & Open Thread
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Don midwest
Don midwest

Amy Coney Barrett and Opus Dei

I flipped out that this might be an event changing aspect of her confirmation

No response for many emails sent out.

talked with my historian friend who said that the Catholic church has had this kind of thing in various forms for hundreds of years. So no big deal.

One of the people who I sent it out to was a journalist at The Guardian

She published a story yesterday

Revealed: ex-members of Amy Coney Barrett faith group tell of trauma and sexual abuse

so, she is on the case. But this is not Opus Dei. Maybe she will follow up on Opus Dei


Don midwest
Don midwest


Well since in the three tipping point states from 2016 Biden is leading by 8.1 in Michigan, 6.6 in Wisconsin, and 6.3 in Pennsylvania (538 Average), Biden would still win. Also any polling errors are just as likely to be in Biden’s favor as in Trump’s

Biden would also eke out victories in Florida (+3.8), Arizona (+3.5), and North Carolina (+3.1)

Don midwest
Don midwest

this should deliver the vote in WI to democrats

promise of electronics factory and billions of dollars and Trump and Gov Walker

click on the link to see the first couple of graphics and short associated text


HOPES WERE HIGH among the employees who joined Foxconn’s Wisconsin project in the summer of 2018. In June, President Donald Trump had broken ground on an LCD factory he called “the eighth wonder of the world.” The scale of the promise was indeed enormous: a $10 billion investment from the Taiwanese electronics giant, a 20 million-square-foot manufacturing complex, and, most importantly, 13,000 jobs.

Which is why new recruits arriving at the 1960s office building Foxconn had purchased in downtown Milwaukee were surprised to discover they had to provide their own office supplies. “One of the largest companies in the world, and you have to bring your own pencil,” an employee recalls wondering. Maybe Foxconn was just moving too fast to be bothered with such details, they thought, as they brought their laptops from home and scavenged pencils left behind by the building’s previous tenants. They listened to the cries of co-workers trapped in the elevators that often broke, noted the water that occasionally leaked from the ceiling, and wondered when the building would be transformed into the gleaming North American headquarters an executive had promised.

The renovations never arrived. Neither did the factory, the tech campus, nor the thousands of jobs. Interviews with 19 employees and dozens of others involved with the project, as well as thousands of pages of public documents, reveal a project that has defaulted on almost every promise. The building Foxconn calls an LCD factory — about 1/20th the size of the original plan — is little more than an empty shell. In September, Foxconn received a permit to change its intended use from manufacturing to storage.

Don midwest
Don midwest

and the Republicans are great at public relations

now both Russia and Iran are hacking our elections

have to stop the vote count so the supreme court can deliver Trump a victory

PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Damage Russiagate Has Done
October 19, 2020
Authoritarian liberals have unleashed a censorious syndrome peculiar to our national character, dating to 17th century Quaker hangings in Boston.

someone tweeted a list of other players who we know for sure made a difference in elections


but the cold war rhetoric was supposed to save the dems


T and R, LD!!😊☮️👍



US immigration officers allegedly tortured Cameroonian asylum seekers to force them to sign their own deportation orders, in what lawyers and activists describe as a brutal scramble to fly African migrants out of the country in the run-up to the elections.

Many of the Cameroonian migrants in a Mississippi detention centre refused to sign, fearing death at the hands of Cameroonian government forces responsible for widespread civilian killings, and because they had asylum hearings pending.

According to multiple accounts, detainees were threatened, choked, beaten, pepper-sprayed and threatened with more violence to make them sign. Several were put in handcuffs by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) officers, and their fingerprints were taken forcibly in place of a signature on documents called stipulated orders of removal, by which the asylum seekers waive their rights to further immigration hearings and accept deportation.

Lawyers and human rights advocates said there had been a significant acceleration of deportations in recent weeks, a trend they see as linked to the looming elections and the possibility that Ice could soon be under new management.

“The abuse we are witnessing, especially right now against black immigrants, isn’t new, but it is escalating,” said Christina Fialho, executive director of an advocacy group, Freedom for Immigrants (FFI). “In late September, early October of this year, we began to receive calls on our hotline from Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants detained in Ice prisons across the country. And they were being subjected to threats of deportation, often accompanied by physical abuse.”

“The reality is that Ice operates in the shadows. They thrive in secrecy,” Fialho added. “We know that the US government is deporting key witnesses in an effort to silence survivors and absolve Ice of legal liability.”



Joe Biden told CBS’ “60 Minutes” this week that if elected, he would put together a bipartisan commission to study the federal court system and make recommendations for reform.

Why it matters: Biden has come under pressure to clarify his position on court packing after some Democrats suggested expanding the court if Senate Republicans confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

What he’s saying: “If elected, what I will do is I’ll put together a national commission of — bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberal, conservative,” Biden told “60 Minutes” in an interview conducted on Monday.

“I will ask them to over 180 days come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack — the way in which it’s being handled and it’s not about court packing.”

“There’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make.”

“There’s a number of alternatives that are — go well beyond packing, … The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want. Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations.”


Color me very skeptical but it sounds like a bunch of hot air.


Actually it probably is. It’s really just a punt until after the election to make Joe look very bipartisan although recognizing there is a problem. In any case, the filibuster would have to go before any action on the Courts. My first action would be to make DC (and possibly Puerto Rico) into states.


why not? Star trek had an episode say the US would have 52 states between 2033 and 2079 so why not be a little early.


I’m still a believer in the actual robust use of the filibuster.


more than that



As the coronavirus pandemic upended the U.S. economy, the head of the oil and gas sector’s leading trade association declared that fossil fuel companies weren’t looking for government handouts to stay afloat.

“This is an industry that believes in the free market, it believes in supply and demand as the best arbiter of price,” Mike Sommers, CEO and president of the American Petroleum Institute, told Yahoo Finance in an April 23 interview. “So we’re not asking for any extra help from the federal government. We’re not interested in any bailouts.”

But API had already sent a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former fossil fuel lobbyist, a month earlier, outlining two dozen temporary actions it wanted the Interior Department to take to help the industry through the pandemic. These included waiving “non-essential compliance obligations,” conducting remote site inspections and delaying penalties for failing to meet enforcement deadlines.

News reports and other publicly available information indicate the Interior Department implemented some of API’s requests, postponing certain onsite inspections and approving applications for lease suspensions, which stops the clock on set lease terms if circumstances affect a company’s production. It’s unclear whether other wish list items have been fulfilled.

Critics say the Interior Department has not been transparent about actions it has taken to assist domestic producers amid the ongoing pandemic. The department did not respond to specific questions about the API list. Instead, Interior Department spokesperson Conner Swanson accused HuffPost of attempting “to manufacture correlations and controversy where there is none.”



In 2016, Donald J. Trump confounded the polls in part by generating an unanticipated level of enthusiasm and turnout from a group that had grown increasingly apathetic about elections: white voters without college degrees.

But in 2020, Mr. Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. face a drastically changed electorate. The cohort of non-college-educated white voters — who gave Mr. Trump just enough of a margin to win the election in 2016 — has been in a long-term decline, while both minority voters and white college-educated voters have steadily increased.

The decline, a demographic glacier driven largely by aging, has continued since 2016. The number of voting-age white Americans without college degrees has dropped by more than five million in the past four years, while the number of minority voters and college-educated white voters has collectively increased by more than 13 million in the same period. In key swing states, the changes far outstrip Mr. Trump’s narrow 2016 margins.

If Mr. Trump is to be successful turning out new voters, there are plenty in swing states, which remain bastions of the non-college-educated white vote. But most of these states have also been undergoing the same changes in the electorate as the country as a whole.

And compared with Mr. Trump’s tiny 2016 margins in some of these states, the demographic changes since then are a tsunami, especially in critical states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Recent pandemic-related difficulties in reaching survey respondents by the Census may overstate the current white population, according to Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Research Center. “So you may be understating the change,” he said, especially for Hispanics and other people of color.


Non-military Americans Abroad voters will be overwhelmingly Dem.


For U.S. citizens residing abroad, voting in the U.S. elections can feel far removed from their daily life. Approximately three million American citizens overseas are eligible to vote, but participation is typically low: Only seven percent of eligible overseas voters returned their ballots in the 2016 election, and four percent in 2012. But that’s on track to change this year.

For the 2020 election, U.S. citizens abroad are expected to vote in record numbers, and many are first-time voters like Biggar. Thanks to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, American citizens have the right to vote in federal elections regardless of their country of residence, and 39 states allow citizens overseas to vote absentee even if they have never resided in the United States. VICE News reached out to all 50 states regarding turnout from American voters abroad, and found that activity this year has substantially increased in nearly every state that tracks this data compared to previous elections.

While not every state records overseas ballot requests or submissions, almost all of the ones that do have noted a significant increase in voter interest. Maine, which has a closely followed Senate race, received 5,666 absentee ballot requests as of October 12. In 2016, the state received just 443 requests, marking a 1200 percent increase this year. In Florida, a key swing state, ballot requests increased by 40 percent compared with 2016. As of October 12, Florida had sent out 103,818 ballots to citizens overseas and military personnel. In 2016, the state only mailed 73,670 ballots, and 65,174 in 2012. Not every one of these requested ballots will be returned with a vote cast, but in the last presidential election, Florida also recorded the highest number of returned overseas ballots of any state.



A sizable share of Americans eschewed the major-party dichotomy and voted for third-party candidates in 2016, helping deliver the White House to President Donald Trump.

But four years later, almost all of the likely voters who opted against both the Republican and Democratic nominees last time around aren’t planning to do so again, Morning Consult Political Intelligence tracking shows — and a slim majority are siding with former Vice President Joe Biden.

Daily tracking of likely voters conducted Oct. 16-18 found 53 percent of likely voters who opted for someone other than a major-party nominee in 2016 said they’re backing Biden in this year’s election, while 21 percent said they’re supporting Trump. Another 14 percent said they would vote for a third-party candidate again, while 12 percent are still undecided. The data is based on surveys with 359 likely voters who backed someone other than Trump or Clinton in 2016, with a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

Four years ago, 6 percent of voters pulled the lever for a third-party candidate, backing Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, an assortment of write-in candidates or 29 other options across the country, according to a Federal Election Commission tally. The share of third-party votes was enough for Democrats to call Stein and Johnson Electoral College spoilers: Their combined vote share was larger than Trump’s narrow margins of victory in Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

This time around, very few voters in key battleground states are indicating their interest in voting third party, with Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins lacking the prominence of their 2016 predecessors, and Kanye West — the well-known musician whose candidacy has been pushed by Republican operatives — on the ballot in a handful of states and just two competitive battlegrounds (Iowa and Minnesota).

In Michigan, home to 2016’s closest contest, 1 percent of voters said they’ll vote for someone other than Biden or Trump in November, compared to 5 percent who voted for a third party four years ago. In Minnesota, a state Clinton won by less than 2 points after 9 percent of voters went third party, 2 percent said they’d back someone else, according to the Oct. 11-20 surveys.

Nationwide, just 2 percent of voters said they would vote for someone other than Trump or Biden this year, a 4-point drop from 2016’s final tally.