Trump escalates, breaks voting laws, and encourages others to as well; North Carolina officials outraged

North Carolina officials condemned President Trump for encouraging North Carolinians to try to vote twice, an attempt to “sow chaos” in the state’s election, according to the state attorney general.

On Wednesday, Trump told supporters in the state they should try to vote twice, once by mail and once in person, as a test of the security of the election process — and incidentally a way to have their vote counted twice if election officials mistakenly allow it.

Voting twice is illegal — as is encouraging others to do so.

“So let them [mail] it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote,” Trump said when asked about the mail-in system in the swing state, adding, “So that’s the way it is. And that’s what they should do.”

Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, issued a statement Thursday reminding residents that voting twice is a Class I felony.

“Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law,” said Bell. “There are numerous checks in place in North Carolina that prevent people from double voting. Electronic pollbooks with information about who has already voted are used at every early voting site. If a voter tries to check in who has already voted, they will be prevented from voting a regular ballot.”

Trump’s comments Wednesday generated enough confusion that the N.C. Board of Elections issued a statement saying that it is a Class 1 felony to intentionally vote twice. The board also noted that it is illegal to solicit someone to vote twice.

In a statement, Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the board, also discouraged voters from coming to the polls on Election Day to verify that their mail-in ballots had been counted.

“The State Board office strongly discourages people from showing up at the polls on Election Day to check whether their absentee ballot was counted,” Bell said. “This is not necessary, and it would lead to longer lines and the possibility of spreading COVID-19.”

Separately, Facebook announced that it would delete a video of Trump’s original comments.

“This video violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud and we will remove it unless it is shared to correct the record,” the company said in a statement.

Lincoln misquotes at the Republican National Convention

The Republican Convention needs non-stop fact checking. Of course there were incorrect statements at the Democratic Convention as well, but the GOP out-and-out made up statements, distortions, and lies are drowning the coverage. Fact checkers can’t keep up. They seem to just make things up as they go along.

Just a couple, about Lincoln.

Lara Trump:

“Abraham Lincoln once famously said ‘America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.’ While those words were spoken over 150 years ago, never have they been more relevant.”

Lincoln never said this. Historians agree it is an apocryphal quote. Snopes and PolitiFact have traced it to a Facebook meme that went viral last year.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron:

“Lincoln said that ‘any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure,’” Cameron continued. “Sadly, there are some who don’t believe in this wisdom or in the better angels of our shared American history, as they tear down the statues of people like Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass and even Mr. Lincoln himself.”

Lincoln did not say that. The earliest occurrence is actually from a speech given about Lincoln in 1911 by Hugh Gordon Miller.

In secretly recorded audio, President Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him’

This is what Trump’s own sister, a federal judge, has to say about him.

“Maryanne Trump Barry was serving as a federal judge when she heard her brother, President Trump, suggest on Fox News, “maybe I’ll have to put her at the border” amid a wave of refugees entering the United States. At the time, children were being separated from their parents and put in cramped quarters while court hearings dragged on.

“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary L. Trump. “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”

Barry, 83, was aghast at how her 74-year-old brother operated as president. “His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”

Lamenting “what they’re doing with kids at the border,” she guessed her brother “hasn’t read my immigration opinions” in court cases. In one case, she berated a judge for failing
to treat an asylum applicant respectfully.

“What has he read?” Mary Trump asked her aunt.

“No. He doesn’t read,” Barry responded.

At one point Barry said to her niece, “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”

Listen in:

Trump attempts voter suppression by blocking Postal Service funding

Trump said Thursday that he does not want to fund the U.S. Postal Service because Democrats are seeking to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, making explicit the reason he has declined to approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the agency.

Trump has railed against mail-in balloting for months, and at a White House briefing Wednesday, he argued without any evidence that the Postal Service’s enlarged role in the November election would perpetuate “one of the greatest frauds in history.”

In remarks Thursday morning, Trump even went so far as to blame Democrats for their efforts to make it easier for Americans to vote amid the pandemic. It is already well known that Trump fears that the more people who vote the less likely it is he will win.

Joe Biden criticized Trump’s statement, saying Trump was “sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon.”

“This is an assault on our democracy and economy by a desperate man who’s terrified that the American people will force him to confront what he’s done everything in his power to escape for months — responsibility for his own actions,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday rebuffed the Republican Party and allowed a consent decree to go forward so that Rhode Island voters could cast mail-in ballots without in-person witness verification during the coronavirus pandemic

Biden-Harris 2020 and interesting facts about Kamala Harris you may not know

Joe Biden’s pick for running mate, Kamala Harris, Senator from California, has a fascinating family and political background. Many people have just heard a few surface things, and may not be aware of many of her interesting, progressive, and principled accomplishments on important issues.

First some basics about her background.

She was born in Oakland, California, to Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer scientist who immigrated from India, and Donald Harris, a professor of economics who immigrated from Jamaica. A realization of the American dream in so many ways.

Harris attended Howard University as an undergraduate. This makes her nomination the first for a graduate of a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to run on a major party’s presidential ticket. 

Harris is a lawyer, getting her law degree from the University of California-Hastings College of Law. She went on to serve as a prosecutor nearby in Alameda County, where her career in criminal justice reform began. 

We are all aware of certain controversies regarding her anti-truancy policies. But how aware are we of her truly progressive work in the criminal justice system?

After Alameda, Harris became the first female district attorney in San Francisco’s history, and was reelected four years later. 

In 2010, Harris became California’s first female attorney general and was reelected by a wide margin in 2014.

Harris instituted a number of progressive reforms as district attorney. They included “Back on Track,” a program intended to reduce recidivism by allowing first-time drug offenders to graduate high school and get jobs instead of facing prison time.

Harris also required that under California’s controversial “three strikes” law that the San Francisco district attorney’s office could only charge for a third strike if the felony was “serious or violent.”

As attorney general, Harris also introduced training on racial bias and procedural justice and made California’s Department of Justice the first statewide agency to require body cameras and launched a program tracking police killings for the public to use. 

In the Senate, she serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on the Judiciary. 

Harris’ popularity began to rise 2018 during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, often going viral for her questioning of Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct by California professor Christine Blasey Ford.

Harris was close to his Biden’s departed son Beau, from the days when Harris and the younger Biden were state attorneys general. Besides a couple of flare-ups during the Democratic debates, they have always been close.

Biden, unlike Trump, prides himself on not bearing grudges, and nothing proved that more than picking Harris. Biden also knows that a vice-presidential nominee must be a fearless and ferocious prosecutor of the case against the other party and its nominee. He has that in Harris.

Harris endorsed Biden in March, saying that “he has served our country with dignity and we need him now more than ever. I will do everything in my power to help elect him the next President of the United States.” 

“Don’t worry, Mr. President, I’ll see you at your trial,” Harris said in a Twitter exchange with Trump after she ended her presidential campaign. She was talking about the impeachment trial then, but now the jury is the entire American electorate.

Vote by mail = absentee ballots

For all those “vote by mail” haters – but who say absentee ballots are ok – there is no difference!

Trump and all his cronies have voted by mail.

Attorney General Barr (who has voted by mail) testified before Congress that there is no evidence of widespread fraud in absentee balloting, which is a process that has taken place for years.

I vote by absentee ballot – mailing it in from Japan.

The ONLY reason Trump is against vote by mail is because it means more people will vote. The more people who vote, the less chance Republicans have of winning an election. Trump even admitted that.

That’s why Republicans promote voter suppression in general (less polling places, shorter polling hours, less early voting…). They want less voters.

Perhaps all the Trump supporters who agree with him should not vote by mail. That would work out just fine.

Trump tries to delay election, Republicans and Democrats universally say no way

Trump is attempting to seed doubt on the democratic process itself because of his huge drop in the polls, increasingly unlikely chance at re-election, downturn in the economy, racist appeals which are backfiring, and severe mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

On Thursday, Trump raised the prospect of delaying the November election because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though the president lacks the legal authority to delay elections on his own. He tweeted a complaint about potential problems with mail-in voting, a concern he has floated without citing specific evidence for months, and which Attorney General William Barr himself dismissed as baseless before Congress on Tuesday.

The U.S. Constitution requires congressional elections every two years. To hold congressional and presidential elections together, a delayed presidential election would still need to take place in 2020.

Delaying a presidential election would be unprecedented – the nation did not do so even during the Civil War and World War II.

But Trump’s tweet nevertheless drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans for again sowing doubt about the accuracy of elections.

Ari Fleischer, former spokesman for President George W. Bush, told Trump in a tweet: “Mr. President – please don’t even pretend to mess with this. It’s a harmful idea.”

Both Democrats and Republicans denounced the idea. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted the language of the U.S. Constitution at Trump: “The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

On the Republican side, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cited the Constitution, and said “we’re a country based on a rule of law. No one is going to change anything until we change the law.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the Nov. 3 election should go forward. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the election would be held on November 3 regardless of the situation.

Regardless, the four-year term of a president, in this case Trump, ends at noon on Jan. 20, according to the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if the presidential election were somehow not held, Trump would not continue to hold office. Instead, the new speaker of the House, or Nancy Pelosi if the Democrats maintain control, would be first in line to be acting president.

Trump makes overtly racist appeal to White suburban voters

Trump on Wednesday shocked people across the political spectrum by making one of his most overtly racist appeals to date to White, suburban voters, saying in a tweet that they will no longer be “bothered” by low income housing in their suburbs.

The tweets come as polls show Trump’s reelection effort is failing in the suburbs, fueled by his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic, the ensuing recession, and Trump’s aggressive opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, which polls show most suburban voters support.

Trump’s tweet refers to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, an Obama administration update to the 1968 civil rights legislation, the Fair Housing Act. The rule required local governments receiving federal funds for housing and development to account for biased practices and craft a plan to fix them.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it was replacing the fair housing rule with its own rule, one it dubbed “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.”

Recent research has shown that one of the most successful ways to help low-income families get good educations for their children and integrate into the middle class is by actively interspersing low-income housing throughout middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods.

Wednesday’s tweets mark an escalation in Trump’s ongoing effort to stoke fear in suburban voters that poor urban residents, who are overwhelmingly people of color, will move to their suburbs if low-income housing is permitted to be built in single-family home neighborhoods.

In an election year defined by a pandemic, a financial crisis, and a racial justice movement, Trump’s appeal to White suburban voters are a key part of his campaign strategy.

Trump’s line of attack has been condemned by Democrats and by some Republicans, who say it echoes racist appeals made to White voters during the Civil Rights era.

Not only is this strategy drawing condemnation from across the political spectrum, according to polls, it’s also failing.

A recent Fox News poll showed Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 11 points nationwide among suburban voters. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released July 19 revealed a similar spread, with Trump down 9 points in the suburbs to Biden.

Despite these poll numbers, Trump has so far rejected advice from campaign strategists who have urged him to expand his base of support by appealing to more moderate Republicans, especially women.

Instead, Trump has doubled down on racist and divisive messages, aiming them directly at the very women that surveys show are not receptive to overtly racial appeals.

Barr breaks with Trump: No reason to think 2020 election is rigged

On Tuesday, before the House Judiciary Committee, under questioning by Rep. Mary Scanlon, D-Pa., Attorney General William Barr said he did not have evidence of activities, such as counterfeit mail-in ballots. He conceded to voting by mail himself at least once.

Barr said he knew of no basis for the president to contest an election when the results are clear.

“Not that I’m aware of,” Barr said.

Asked directly whether he believed the 2020 election will be “rigged”– as Trump has repeatedly asserted when discussing the use of mail-in ballots as a concession to the coronavirus pandemic – Barr did not hesitate.

“I have no reason to think it will be,” the attorney general responded to the question posed by Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La.

Donna Brazile: To win presidency and majorities in Congress, Democrats should follow this battle plan

Donna Brazile makes 100% perfect sense in this article. Here’s a snippet, but it’s worth reading the whole thing. Link is at the bottom.

“So how do Vice President Biden and Democratic candidates for the Senate and House convince as many Americans as possible — Democrats, independents and even Republicans — to vote for them?

Yes, I said Republicans.

We need to understand that Donald Trump is not like any other Republican president. His repeated lies, denial of reality, chaotic management style, divisive policies, government by tweet and sheer incompetence have sickened many responsible Republicans and left them concerned about our nation’s future.

While these Republicans wouldn’t normally consider voting Democratic, they are so disgusted by Trump that their votes are in play this year.”