Out d’Coup | Vote ASAP; Voter Suppression; COVID-19 Spikes; Rep. Scott Perry Campaign Steals Sean’s Photo; Philly Police Kill Walter Wallace Jr.; Galactic Capitalism; Moon H2O; Free Will Releases
You are out of time to mail in your ballot. The Trump administration’s efforts to slow down the mail are having an impact, especially in key Democratic areas in swing states. On Tuesday, David Becker, the executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research, told the Washington Post, “If you haven’t requested a mail ballot yet, it’s too late.” Ari Berman, the senior writer at Mother Jones, and author of Give Us the Ballot, went even further, telling Democracy Now, “my message to voters in these states and other states is to drop your ballot off. It’s too late to mail your ballots back in states like Wisconsin that have Election Day deadlines, and 30 states have a deadline of Election Day for when your ballot has to be received. But even if you live in a state like Pennsylvania and North Carolina, don’t leave it to chance that your vote can be thrown out.”
Berman's advice is critical as more than 42 million out of the 92 million mail-in ballots have not been returned as of Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. 11 million are Democratic; 8 million Republican; and, 10 million unaffiliated.
Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion in this week’s Supreme Court decision regarding the counting of mail-in ballots in Wisconsin seems to be setting the stage for a repeat of the Supreme Court’s intervention in Bush v. Gore.
This week saw an unprecedented number of legal actions by Republicans in states across the country to suppress voting. From Wisconsin to Iowa to North Carolina and, yes, to right here in PA, the GOP is looking to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.
Meanwhile, Republicans are narrowing the early voting gap in several key states, including Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, and Nevada according to CNN.
According to a story on NPR this week, polling places in Iowa and some other states have been closed due to COVID-19, at least that’s the official explanation. In Iowa, about 30% of the state’s registered voters are affected by the closures - about 670,000 voters. The CDC has recommended keeping or increasing the existing number of polling locations because of the pandemic. Seems like election officials are doing the opposite in some states.
According to Politico, hackers stole about $2.3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party account devoted to re-electing Trump.
Another round of tapes are released by Bob Woodward, this time featuring Jared Kushner praising Trump’s move to take the coronavirus response away from the doctors and being a cheerleader for opening up. Jared also cites as one of Trump’s greatest achievements as getting rid of the “over-confident idiots” and replacing them with “people who kind of know their place.”
And let’s not forget the latest warning from the White House coronavirus task force this week. Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC this week, “If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s going to be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths.”
Rep. Scott Perry rips off Sean Kitchen’s photo to use in an attack ad against Eugene DePasquale in the 10th congressional district. The theft of intellectual property is one hell of a way to close out the campaign.
Rep. Jordan Harris remains in the hot seat as Philly Power Research releases an infographic showing the tidal wave of cash - $600,000 - that Harris took from Jeffrey Yass, the libertarian billionaire who funds school privatization efforts. And this, year, Yass and his major charter school PAC, Students First, is looking to take out Democrats in close races across the state. The infographic re-presents Stephen Caruso’s reporting in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star about Harris’s cozy relationship with charter schools.
More uprisings break out in Philadelphia after Philadelphia police murder Walter Wallace Jr during a mental health crisis. In response to the uprisings, fascist US Attorney General Bill McSwain charged a prominent Black Lives Matter activist - who is now sitting in Allenwood Federal Penitentiary - with federal arson charges. And, yes, Gov. Wolf called out the National Guard.
On Thursday a movement of Republican-controlled counties announced that they will not begin to canvas or count votes until Wednesday, November 4th. With multiple supreme court justices thinking that vote counting should stop on election night, who knows what is going to happen.
Nikil Saval had an awesome article published in the New Republic this week: “The Future of the Democratic Party is in Pennsylvania” “Why a new liberal-left coalition could be the key to unlocking America’s rural conservative vote.
The Hubble telescope has given researchers exceptional images of the asteroid 16 Psyche, which will be the destination of an unmanned NASA spacecraft to launch in 2022. The asteroid is of special interest because it seems to largely made of metal, suggesting it could be a former planetary core. While the scientific mission seeks to uncover more knowledge of planetary formation, I am sure our Galactic Capitalists are more interested in the metals - their estimated worth is in the range of $10,000 quadrillion. That’s a 1 followed by 19 zeros.
New studies show that water is more common on the Moon than was previously thought. Turns out, it’s not just confined to the shadows of craters in the southern polar region. Researchers have now detected water at one of the largest craters in the sunlit region of the Moon.
Outro music: Jonathan Mann, “There are no people in the future.” @songadaymann.