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US Monthly Headline News October 2020 Page 2

If you are a person of color or call yourself an American, supporting the Republican Party is doing so against your own self-interest and against the best interest of our country.
A. B. Man III

As a person of color, why would you support a party that is actively using alternative facts, voter suppression, voter intimidation, gerrymandering, hate, fear and racism against of people of color? As a person of color, why would you support a party of racist and white supremacist, some of which want to kill you? Racist and white supremacist want to kill people of color, law enforcement offers and those who disagree with them, as an American why would you support that. Black people have died for the right to vote, supporting a party that is using voter suppression, voter intimidation, hate, fear and racism against black people and people of color is disrespecting all the people of color who gave up their lives so you could vote. As a person of color, why would you support a party that uses people of color as the boogieman to scare white people into voting for them? As an American why would support that?

Make no mistake about it this not the age of Lincoln it is the age of Trump and in the age of Trump the Republican Party has become the party of corruption, alternative facts, voter suppression, voter intimidation, gerrymandering, hypocrites, hate, fear, racism and white supremacist. The Democratic Party is no longer the Party of racist and white supremacist, the Republican Party is. The Democratic Party is not using alternative facts, voter suppression and voter intimidation, hate, fear, racism against of people of color, the Republican Party is. The programs that democrats try to protect and enhance are programs that help people of color, the middle class and the poor while the Republicans are actively trying to destroy any programs that help people of color, the middle class and the poor. The system crashes from time to and we all need help when it does if Republicans have their way there will be no help for people of color, the middle class and the poor the next time the system crashes. more...


Washington (CNN) Republican Sen. Ben Sasse criticized President Donald Trump earlier this week during a phone call with constituents, saying a number of unflattering things about the President, including that he's "flirted with White supremacists" and "kisses dictators' butts," his office confirmed to CNN. "The way he kisses dictators' butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uyghurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers," Sasse said in response to a constituent's question about his relationship with Trump and his past criticisms of the President. video...

*** Didn’t Trump say Mexico would pay for the wall? They have not and will not. Now he says China will pay for the Trump Flu how stupid does Donald J. Trump think we are, and why would China pay for Trump’s failures and stupidity for not addressing the Trump Flu like other countries who have a better handle on it than us. ***

By Jacob Jarvis

President Donald Trump has suggested China will somehow cover the costs of the next coronavirus relief package in the United States. Amid a stalemate in talks, he has said he would go higher in terms of spending on a stimulus bill—and that China would foot the bill. "I would [go higher] because this was not caused by our workers and our people, this was caused by China and China will pay us back in one form or another," he said, in an interview with Fox Business. "We're gonna take it from China. I tell you now, it's coming out of China. They're the ones that caused this problem." Asked how this would work, in terms of getting money from the nation, he said: "There's a lot of ways and I'll figure everyone of them out. I already have them figured out." more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Washington (CNN) Senate Judiciary Democrats attempted Thursday to indefinitely delay the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, arguing that they've had "inadequate" time to review her nomination after CNN's KFile found additional talks Barrett gave were not listed on her Senate paperwork. "I believe that this rush sham process is a disservice to our committee. She has been rushed in a way that is historically unprecedented," Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said Thursday. Blumenthal pointed to the new reporting surfaced by CNN's KFile on Wednesday that public calendars from the University of Notre Dame's law school, where Barrett was a law professor, show at least seven additional talks from 2004 to 2013, including one with the law school's anti-abortion group, were not listed on her paperwork submitted to the committee. CNN's KFile could not independently confirm Barrett's participation in the events, only that they were listed on Notre Dame's public calendars. "The consequence of this rushed process is that we have given inadequate scrutiny to this nominee. I move to delay these proceedings so that we can do our job and ask, again, for all the documents," Blumenthal said Thursday. more...

Joseph Zeballos-Roig

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in Kentucky on Thursday he wouldn't put a coronavirus relief bill negotiated between the White House and Democrats up for a vote on the Senate floor, effectively torpedoing a deal. During a campaign appearance, McConnell was asked whether he believed a compromise was possible in the realm between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion, the price tags under consideration.

"I don't think so… That's where the administration's willing to go," he said.  "My members think what we laid out, a half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go. So that's what I'm gonna put on the floor. " McConnell referred to the ongoing negotiations between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a stimulus package. "That's not what I'm gonna put on the floor," he said. more...

Joe Guillen, Jennifer Dixon, Eric D. Lawrence, John Wisely - Detroit Free Press

Federal authorities say six men helped orchestrate a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home before the Nov. 3 election. The six were arrested and placed in custody, charged with multiple felonies that could result in life in prison for some if convicted.  State officials also charged seven different men in connection to related activities of the Wolverine Watchmen, a militia group accused of attempting to commit several crimes, including kidnapping public officials.

All 13 defendants or their attorneys could not be reached immediately for comment. State law enforcement authorities wrote in court documents that "the Wolverine Watchmen have called on members to identify law enforcement officers' home addresses in order to target the officers, have made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse, and have engaged in planning and training for an operation to attack the Capitol of Michigan, and kidnap Government officials including the Governor of Michigan."Here's what we know about each of the men charged by authorities:

Who is facing federal charges:
Adam Fox
Fox was born in 1983 and is a resident of Grand Rapids who apparently owned or operated a business in the western Michigan city, according to federal authorities and court documents. Federal authorities did not release his birth date. more...

Jacob Pramuk, Dan Mangan

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will keep traveling the campaign trail, but his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris will postpone travel for several days after three people who made trips on campaign planes tested positive for the coronavirus, Biden’s team said Thursday. Earlier Thursday, the Biden campaign said that two people had tested positive after flying on a plane with Harris, and that she would be suspending her trips until the end of this weekend. On Thursday afternoon, the campaign said that as a result of contact tracing with one of those people, a crew member, it had learned that an administrative member of the aviation company which charters Biden’s plane had also tested positive for Covid-19. But the campaign said that Biden, who has tested negative for the virus, would not be going into quarantine because the former vice president had not been in close proximity to the third person. That person was on Biden’s plane for a trip to Ohio on Monday and the next day for a trip to Florida. more...

As the U.S. Supreme Court allows the census to end early, the president-elect of the American Statistical Association says he expects a drastic undercount.
By Kriston Capps

Every ten years, as the U.S. Census Bureau completes its constitutionally mandated count of the population of the U.S., it faces new obstacles. But the 2020 census has weathered some extraordinary blows, from challenges rolling out new technology to political machinations over the questionnaire itself.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the Census Bureau to extend the window for going door-to-door to count households that had not yet responded. Instead of wrapping up operations in July, the Census Bureau — with the support of the White House — set a deadline of Oct. 31. The agency also asked Congress to move the date for submitting the final count from December to April 2021.

Then the ground shifted. In July, the White House decided it wanted the data sooner, announcing that the final count was due in December after all, and that nonresponse follow-ups should wrap up early to give the agency time to finalize the data — five months earlier than the Census Bureau requested. “It was a bombshell. The White House determined that they wanted the count before the end of the year,” says Robert Santos, vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute and the president-elect of the American Statistical Association. more...

By Brian Stelter, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business)C-SPAN said Thursday that Steve Scully, the network's senior executive producer and political editor, has been placed on "administrative leave" for lying about being hacked earlier this month. Scully admitted to "errors in judgement" and apologized in a statement.
And President Trump took a victory lap, proclaiming on Twitter, "I was right again!" Scully had been selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates to moderate the town hall-style debate that was supposed to take place on Thursday night. It would have been a pinnacle moment for his career. Last week, however, the debate was scrapped after Trump objected to the virtual format imposed by the commission.

While the debate was up in the air, and Trump was criticizing Scully publicly, the C-SPAN veteran sent a tweet to Trump friend-turned-foe Anthony Scaramucci. "@Scaramucci should I respond to trump," Scully wrote on the evening of October 8, shortly after Trump labeled Scully a "Never Trumper." When the strange tweet to Scaramucci went viral the following morning, Scully claimed he was hacked. The commission and C-SPAN both vouched for him. "Steve Scully did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked," C-SPAN said in a statement. Conservative media outlets expressed skepticism about that claim and pointed out that he had used the hacking excuse in the past. Fox News devoted multiple segments to the subject. Nearly a week later, on Wednesday night, Scully admitted to C-SPAN and the commission that he did send the tweet. "For several weeks, I was subjected to relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets regarding my role as moderator for the second presidential debate, including attacks aimed directly at my family," Scully said Thursday in a statement. more...

By Brian Dakss

Wells Fargo says it's fired workers who bilked a federal coronavirus relief program. A source tells CBS News 100 to 125 workers were shown the door. David Galloreese, head of the bank's Human Resources department, said in an internal memo provided to CBS News that the workers "defrauded" the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. It was designed to aid companies hurt by the coronavirus shutdown. The program offered grants of up to $10,000 for businesses impacted by the coronavirus. But Well Fargo says it discovered that some of its employees got loans from the program and put the funds into their personal accounts.

The Galloreese memo read in part, "Unfortunately, we have identified employees who we believe – outside of their work responsibilities – defrauded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by making false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is administered directly through the SBA. "We have terminated the employment of those individuals and will cooperate fully with law enforcement. These wrongful actions were personal actions, and do not involve our customers. more...

The court will soon weigh cases that could shrink Medicaid or undermine Obamacare's marketplaces if the health care law survives.

Across four days of hearings, senators reviewing Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court sparred extensively over Obamacare’s future. Left largely unmentioned, though, is the many ways the court’s buttressed 6-3 conservative majority could quickly steer America’s health care system to the right even if Obamacare survives its looming legal showdown. On tap for the justices to consider are rules to require people on Medicaid to work or lose their benefits, skimpier insurance alternatives for Obamacare that the Trump administration has championed, and cuts to federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics.

Barrett appears on track to join the Supreme Court by its Nov. 10 hearing on the Affordable Care Act and before it weighs whether to take up a raft of health care cases that advance conservatives’ goals of paring the health care safety net. While the court’s ideological wings don't always vote as monolithic blocs, Barrett would represent another reliably conservative vote for the court – and it takes just four justices to agree to hear a case. “Regardless of where you think the chief justice and Brett Kavanaugh are on these issues, the realignment means that there are four justices potentially to the right of them,” said liberal Yale law professor Abbe Gluck. more...

by: Los Angeles Times

When the hard-foam police projectile struck 22-year-old William Gonzalez in the right eye as he celebrated the Lakers’ NBA title in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday night, it shattered his eye socket, ripped apart his tear duct and “exploded” the eyeball itself, doctors said. The Kobe Bryant jersey that his brother Michael used to stanch the bleeding was immediately soaked as Michael dragged Gonzalez through the streets, trying to find a way out of the chaos. more...

More evidence that supreme court nominee has advocated against abortion rights and publicly supported reversal of Roe v Wade
Stephanie Kirchgaessner

Amy Coney Barrett, the supreme court nominee, was a member of a “right to life” organization in 2016 that promoted a local South Bend, Indiana, crisis pregnancy center, a clinic that has been criticised for misleading vulnerable women who were seeking abortions and pressuring them to keep their pregnancies.

Barrett, whose confirmation hearing before the Senate judiciary committee is set to begin on Monday, was a member of the University Faculty for Life at Notre Dame from 2010 to 2016. Online records show that the group began promoting South Bend’s Women’s Care Center in 2016 on its website, adding a link to the group under a section called “Pro-Life Links”.

The revelation adds to a growing body of evidence that Barrett, who has served as an appellate court judge since 2017, has advocated against abortion, abortion rights, and publicly supported the reversal of Roe v Wade in the years before she joined the federal bench. The Guardian has reported that she signed a letter in a newspaper in 2006 that called for the landmark abortion law to be reversed and called the legacy of Roe “barbaric”.

The Women’s Care Center (WCC) in South Bend has, according to local activists and local media reports, been at the centre of the city’s contentious fights over women’s reproductive rights for years. more...

Her technical legal theories are too narrow to see 100 million people’s health coverage.
By Jeremy Stahl

From the beginning of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court hearings, the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been focused on the message that Barrett represents a threat to the survival of the Affordable Care Act: A case that could overturn the entire act, California v. Texas, is due to be heard by the court on Nov. 10, one week after the election. In speech after speech, they brought up the names and pictures of constituents who would face medical or financial disaster if they were to lose the ACA’s guarantee of coverage for people with preexisting medical conditions.

On Tuesday, as expected, the Democrats put the matter directly to the nominee. Barrett has expressed disagreement with the court’s reasoning in the 2012 case that upheld the Affordable Care Act, but when asked now, she emphasized that California v. Texas involves a completely different question than the previous decision did. Specifically, she said, the new case is about “severability”—that is, whether, with the act’s insurance mandate now cut down to zero, the rest of the statute can survive on its own or must also be abandoned.

By Barrett’s account, this is a narrow legal question. If the question is decided a certain way, 20 million Americans will lose their health coverage and 100 million people will lose their protections for preexisting conditions. Nevertheless, Barrett told the committee that the upcoming case “doesn’t present the issue” of preexisting condition protections. more...

The archaic expression is an anti-gay dog whistle to the religious right.
By Mark Joseph Stern

Update, Oct. 13, 2020, at 6:27 p.m.: During further questioning, the judge apologized for using the term “sexual preference,” and said she “did not mean to imply that it was not an immutable characteristic or that it’s solely a matter of preference.” She continued, “I honestly did not mean any offense or to make any statement by that.”

During Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked the nominee whether she shared her mentor Justice Antonin Scalia’s hostility toward gay rights. If confirmed, Feinstein asked, would Barrett, like Scalia, “be a consistent vote to roll back hard-fought freedoms and protections for the LGBT community”? Barrett responded that she had “no agenda,” a line Scalia also used during his own confirmation hearing. She then elaborated: “I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.” more...

The nominee embraces originalism and claims it’s a neutral reading of the law. Here’s what that misses.
By Dahlia Lithwick

On Day Two of her confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett laid down a few markers about her judicial approach: She would not say that Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Obergefell v. Hodges, and Heller are “super”-precedents, because each is subject to challenges. She did claim that Brown v. Board of Education and Marbury v. Madison are settled law. She testified that judicial recusal rules for her participation in any case in which Donald Trump has pledged her vote is with him would turn not on the mere appearance of impropriety, but on whether she had personally discussed those cases with White House staff. Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein whether there was any basis in federal law from which a president could delay an election (there is not), she demurred, stating that she was not a “pundit.” And asked by Sen. Dick Durbin why she had written to expand gun rights to nonviolent felons while denying voting rights to former felons, she claimed that the former were individual rights, but the latter were “collective.” more...

By Dianne Gallagher, Pamela Kirkland and Denise Royal, CNN

(CNN) Almost 1,000 absentee ballots are sitting in a locked bin somewhere in the Guilford County Board of Elections waiting to be processed. At least two voters in Greensboro, North Carolina, part of Guilford County, had no idea their ballots were sitting in that pile. Vincent Gager, a 48-year-old Black man, and his 83-year-old father Nathaniel mailed in their ballots on September 4. They wanted to vote by mail to avoid exposure to Covid-19. Over a month later, neither man had any idea their ballot had been listed as "pending cure" -- which meant there was something wrong with them that would prevent them being accepted.

The issue was with their witness information, one aspect of North Carolina's voting rules that's been thrown into confusion amid efforts to ease voting amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "I've been doing it the same way for years," Gager said of his father's ballot. "I sign his. I'm his son. I'm his witness. And no one ever said his ballot wouldn't count." A mismatched signature or missing envelope can lead to mail-in ballots getting thrown out. But ballot "curing" is the process where voters can correct these mistakes, to make sure their votes are counted. States have different "curing" mechanisms -- some automatically notify voters about problems, while other states force voters to proactively follow-up with election officials. A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the North Carolina State Board of Elections from allowing voters to "cure" or fix a missing witness signature with a signed affidavit but determined that other types of deficient witness information, like a missing or incomplete address, can be cured without casting a new ballot. more...

By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor

(CNN) Parker Neff was scrolling through conservative posts on Facebook when he saw an unfamiliar hashtag: #WWG1WGA. Recently retired after serving as a Southern Baptist pastor for more than 20 years, his time was free and curiosity piqued. "I started looking into it online," Neff said. "Doing some research." And with that, the 66-year-old retiree, and soon his wife, Sharon, fell down one of the internet's most dangerous rabbit holes. It didn't take long for Neff to find the hashtag's meaning. "Where We Go One We Go All" is one of several mottoes of QAnon, a collective of online conspiracists. The pastor and his wife, who live in Arcola, Mississippi, began watching the vast collection of QAnon videos posted online by "researchers" who decipher the cryptic messages of "Q," an anonymous online persona who claims to have access to classified military and intelligence operations. Since its inception in 2017 QAnon has quickly metastasized, infiltrating American politics, internet culture and now -- religion. more...

By Darragh Roche

Senator Lindsey Graham has been accused of illegally soliciting donations to his campaign after a statement to the press following Tuesday's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The South Carolina senator, who is a Republican and staunch ally of President Donald Trump, made a fresh plea for donations at the Capitol as he fights a close race with Democrat Jaime Harrison. His critics were quick to point out that soliciting campaign donations on federal property is illegal. Graham has called for supporters to give to his re-election effort during previous media appearances.

"I think people in South Carolina are excited about Judge Barrett," Graham told reporters. I don't know how much it affected fundraising today, but if you want to help me close the gap [...] I think the contest in South Carolina has taken on sort of a national profile." Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell took to Twitter on Tuesday to accuse Graham of committing a crime. more...

*** Trump is right the election will be rigged; he is using voter suppression to rig (steal) the election. ***

The president’s lawyers are finding traction with their efforts to quash voting by mail.

President Donald Trump is increasingly finding success in his strategy to restrict voting by mail — using lawsuits to stop late-arriving ballots from being counted in swing states. After failing to stop any states from automatically mailing ballots to all registered voters, Republican attorneys have starting to make inroads on a different issue — limiting when any ballots can be counted.

In Wisconsin, federal judges halted a plan to count ballots received up to six days after Election Day. In New Hampshire, a lawsuit calling on the state to tally ballots arriving up to five days late was rejected. And in Georgia, an appeals court dropped a three-day deadline extension for ballots. These legal fights are shaping up to be one of the most important factors in determining whether Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden is inaugurated as president in January.

Democrats, backed by some election officials, are pushing to have state deadlines extended due to fears the beleaguered United States Postal Service will struggle to deliver the millions of extra expected ballots on time. Republicans argue, with minimal evidence, that prolonging the counting period will lead to fraud and unnecessarily extend the presidential election.

It’s a fight that could continue in the days, or even weeks, following the Nov. 3 election. The margin of victory in a handful of states is expected to be so razor-thin that late ballots could determine who wins. Even following the election, Democrats will likely push for states to wait for outstanding ballots while Republicans will ask for them to be excluded, arguing, in part, that there’s no way to prove all of the late-arriving ballots were mailed prior to the election because of the lack of a postmark. more...

*** That sounds like insider Trading ***

As Trump downplayed the virus publicly, memo based on private briefings sparked stock sell-offs: NYT
By Zack Budryk

A memo based on information from senior White House officials in early 2020 conveyed to investors that the coronavirus pandemic was likely to be far more dire than President Trump’s public predictions, leading to stock sell-offs, The New York Times reported. On Feb. 24, the same day the president tweeted the virus was “very much under control,” White House economic staff met with board members of the conservative Hoover Institution, many of them GOP donors, and said the White House could not yet predict the virus’s effect on the economy, the Times reported. The following day, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also briefed board members, telling them the virus was “contained in the U.S. to date, but now we just don’t know.” The same day, he had said on CNBC that the government’s control of the virus was “pretty close to airtight,” according to the Times. more...

By Sarah Moon and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

(CNN) The California Republican Party said Wednesday it will not comply with the state's cease-and-desist order over unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least four counties, escalating a brewing political showdown ahead of the November election. The unauthorized ballot boxes, which state officials have called illegal, have been found in at least four counties across the state: Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and Fresno. "Ballot harvesting program will continue," California Republican Party spokesman Hector Barajas said in a statement to CNN.

The fight over the unofficial drop boxes comes as the coronavirus pandemic has led to historic interest in mail-in voting, even as President Donald Trump and the GOP have spent months attacking the integrity of mail ballots and fighting in court against drop boxes. Trump has repeatedly made unfounded claims that the election tally will be fraudulent because of the proliferation of mail-in voting and drop box usage and has warned that he may not agree to a peaceful transfer of power due to those misleading beliefs.

The party made their intentions clear in a letter to the California Secretary of State on Wednesday. In the letter, attorneys for the state GOP say all of the ballot boxes deployed by the party are indoors, staffed by volunteers or party officials, secure and not labeled "official." While images of the ballot boxes have shown the boxes labeled as "official," the state GOP said it did not authorize the use of that term and had it removed. more...

By Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck, CNN

(CNN) Public calendars from the University of Notre Dame's law school show at least seven additional talks not listed on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate paperwork, including one with the law school's anti-abortion group, according to a CNN KFile review. Barrett, whose Supreme Court confirmation hearing to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is underway, is listed as participating in the newly discovered talks from 2004 to 2013. The calendars list her as participating in a panel on religion in the public square, a speech to a student religious society, a talk with the law school's anti-abortion group, a roundtable on the Constitution, a faculty colloquium, a student scholarship symposium and an event sponsored by Notre Dame's Women's Legal Forum. All of Barrett's events were listed on public calendars from Notre Dame, which CNN's KFile accessed on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine and on Notre Dame's website. Barrett is required to disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee all public talks she has given in her professional career, according to a committee staffer. Similar types of events were disclosed on the paperwork she submitted. more...

By Katelyn Polantz, Evan Perez and Jeremy Herb, CNN

Washington (CNN) For more than three years, federal prosecutors investigated whether money flowing through an Egyptian state-owned bank could have backed millions of dollars Donald Trump donated to his own campaign days before he won the 2016 election, multiple sources familiar with the investigation told CNN. The investigation, which both predated and outlasted special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, examined whether there was an illegal foreign campaign contribution. It represents one of the most prolonged efforts by federal investigators to understand the President's foreign financial ties, and became a significant but hidden part of the special counsel's pursuits.

The investigation was kept so secret that at one point investigators locked down an entire floor of a federal courthouse in Washington, DC, so Mueller's team could fight for the Egyptian bank's records in closed-door court proceedings following a grand jury subpoena. The probe, which closed this summer with no charges filed, has never before been described publicly. Prosecutors suspected there could be a link between the Egyptian bank and Trump's campaign contribution, according to several of the sources, but they could never prove a connection. It's not clear that investigators ever had concrete evidence of a relevant bank transfer from the Egyptian bank. But multiple sources said there was sufficient information to justify the subpoena and keep the criminal campaign finance investigation open after the Mueller probe ended.

CNN learned of the Egypt investigation from more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort, as well as through hints in public records, including newly released court documents and Mueller witness interview summaries, called 302s, that CNN and Buzzfeed obtained through lawsuits. In a court filing last month, the Justice Department confirmed that when the special counsel's office shut down in 2019, Mueller transferred an ongoing foreign campaign contribution investigation to prosecutors in Washington. Some of CNN's sources have confirmed that the case, which Mueller cryptically called a "foreign campaign contribution" probe, was in fact the Egypt investigation. more...

Republicans have run the place into the ground. Yet voters keep electing them to state and national office. Why?
Adam Weinstein

BESIDE A TRUMP-FLAGGED BOAT AT A DOCK IN FORT LAUDERDALE—It looms ever closer, like a poorly conceived sequel to a decades-old movie even most of its fans would like to forget. There’s a mostly new cast, many of them as old as the original players; a ton of money being invested in the production; and a lot of media effects that couldn’t be dreamed of when the first one came out. It’s a slow-moving catastrophe. It’s entirely predictable. It’s Bush v. Gore 2: The Actual Boogaloo. It’s going to suck. And of course, it’s set in Florida again.

Two decades after the 2000 election, which history may remember as the real beginning of the end of American election legitimacy, the fate of billions of sentient beings on earth may again turn on what happens here. The stakes are familiar: Florida’s considerable bucket of electoral votes has gone to the winner of every election since 1996. The two Republican presidents on that list didn’t get the most votes nationwide, mind you, but they got Florida and hence official White House portraits. Winning Florida is so crucial that even Donald Trump probably understands the state’s importance. (The owner of Mar-a-Lago is one of the purest types of Florida Men: a transplanted New Yorker who endlessly bitches about New York.) more...

Bill Leong

You reported in “Republicans Paint Dark Picture,” (Aug. 25), that Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, on opening night of the GOP national convention, warned the faithful of the consequences of a democratic victory: “They’ll disarm you,” he declaimed, “empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite the MS-13 to live next door.” Is it possible that GOP politicians think so little of the intelligence of the average Republican voter that they feel they need no more than this level of political discourse? more...

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace didn't hold back after President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, imploring viewers to "wear the damn mask" and "follow the scientists." Source: CNN video...

By  The Associated Press

The United States depicted at the Republican National Convention is a scary place. It is wrenched by economic uncertainty, social upheaval, political dysfunction, runaway immigration, violent streets and existential threats from abroad. Republicans want voters to see the need for drastic change. The nation’s only choice, they say, is Donald Trump. Why Republicans would paint such a bleak portrait and whether things really are as they say: more...

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) Senator Elizabeth Warren slammed Disney over decisions she says prioritized shareholders and CEO pay packages over the well-being of its workers. Disney, which is laying off 28,000 employees in the United States, made "short-sighted" business decisions that depleted the storied company's capital cushion, Warren said in a letter released Wednesday. In particular, Warren called out Disney (DIS) for "showering its top executives with over-the-top compensation packages and salaries" as well as blowing through a staggering $47.9 billion on share buybacks between 2009 and 2018. Share buybacks are a common, yet controversial, way for companies to reward shareholders by returning excess cash. "It appears that — prior to, and during the pandemic — Disney took good care of its top executives and shareholders — and is now hanging its front-line workers out to dry," Warren wrote in the letter. more...

Sam Shead

Twitter has suspended a group of fake accounts pretending to be owned by Black supporters of President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign. The micro-blogging platform said Tuesday the accounts breached its policies on spam and platform manipulation. The news was first reported by The Washington Post. Multiple fake accounts posted the same bogus language including the phrase: “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!” Darren Linvill, an associate professor studying social media disinformation at Clemson University, worked with journalists at The Post on the story. He wrote on Twitter that trolls “are out there trying to influence our conversations before November.” Offending accounts appeared to use stolen photos of real people including military veterans and members of law enforcement in their profile pictures. Collectively, the accounts had 265,000 retweets or Twitter mentions. Some of them had amassed over 10,000 followers. Linvill told Reuters that most of the accounts were set up in 2017 and that they had become more active in the last couple of months. more...

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) The US attorney tasked by Attorney General William Barr to review instances of "unmasking" done around the 2016 election has completed the probe without bringing any charges, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. While Republicans for months have hyped the Obama-era unmasking requests as an enormous scandal, John Bash found no evidence of substantive wrongdoing in his investigation, which has concluded without a public report, the Post said. Bash left his role with the Justice Department last week. The term "unmasking" refers to the process of releasing the names of American citizens who are caught up in National Security Agency foreign intelligence reports. The names of American citizens in NSA foreign intelligence documents are always redacted, but certain government officials have the authority to request to have the names unredacted, or unmasked.

CNN has reached out to the Justice Department for comment. The quiet end to the probe caps a months-long effort that added the weight of a senior federal prosecutor behind an issue that President Donald Trump had seized on to underpin unfounded allegations about former President Barack Obama. The investigation was announced in May after then-acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified a list of names of former Obama administration officials who allegedly had requested the "unmasking" of the identify of Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Senate Republicans later released the list, which named Obama administration officials who "may have received" Flynn's identity in NSA intelligence reports after requests to unmask Americans. At the time, Trump hyped the list as "a massive thing" to reporters and Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, even told Fox News it amounted to the "biggest thing since Watergate." The Trump campaign also quickly issued a statement attacking former Vice President Joe Biden for being listed in the memo, though Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said that the declassified documents "simply indicate the breadth and depth of concern" about Flynn's conduct. more...

New Day

CNN's John Avlon examine Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's history of obstructing judicial nominees. Source: CNN. video...

By Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow

The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to revive an attempt by Democratic members of Congress to sue President Trump over his private businesses accepting payments from foreign governments. Without comment, the justices let stand a decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to dismiss the lawsuit filed by 215 members of Congress. Their novel lawsuit sought to enforce the Constitution’s anti-corruption emoluments provision.

A unanimous panel of the appeals court said the individual members did not have legal standing to take the president to court. “The Members can, and likely will, continue to use their weighty voices to make their case to the American people, their colleagues in the Congress and the President himself, all of whom are free to engage that argument as they see fit. But we will not — indeed we cannot — participate in this debate,” read the unsigned order. more...

The FBI used confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged kidnapping conspiracy.

Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing in Michigan. Special Agent Richard Trask also revealed more detail about investigators’ use of confidential informants, undercover agents and encrypted communication to arrest and charge six men last week with plotting to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Tuesday’s court hearing was to review investigators’ evidence against Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta and whether they should be detained before trial. The men are all Michigan residents.

A sixth man, Barry Croft, was being held in Delaware. The June meeting was part of the FBI’s investigation of various anti-government groups, leading to the months-long case in Michigan relying on confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Some defendants conducted coordinated surveillance of the Democratic governor’s vacation home in northern Michigan in August and September, according to a criminal complaint. It was not immediately clear whether talk of targeting Virginia's Democratic governor went beyond the June meeting of anti-government groups in Dublin, Ohio. Trask said members of anti-government groups from “four or five” states attended that meeting. more...

Barbara Sprunt

After weeks of deflecting on whether he would seek to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court if elected president, Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Monday went the furthest he's gone on the issue as of late, saying he's "not a fan." "I've already spoken: I'm not a fan of court packing, but I don't want to get off on that whole issue. I want to keep focused," the former vice president told WKRC-TV after a campaign event in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Biden, who polls show is leading the presidential race with just three weeks to go, largely pitched an economic message in Ohio. "The president would love nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would in fact pack the court or not pack the court," he added. The issue of whether Biden would consider increasing the number of justices gained traction after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Republicans' subsequent plans to quickly move ahead with the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. more...

By Ewan Palmer

Cards describing a "social visit" from the Ku Klux Klan were left at the homes of Joe Biden supporters in Tennessee, intimidating local residents. Breana Green, of Shelbyville, described how she noticed that a sign showing support for Biden in her neighbor's yard had been disturbed. Speaking to WSMV, Green said the yard was littered with a number of "business cards" reportedly belonging to the KKK.

Green believed the cards were left in response to the Biden-Harris yard sign, which also had tire marks indicating it had been run over. "It's scary knowing that just supporting a presidential candidate can incite this kind of vandalism," Green said. "There is some anxiety that people could be targeted in my family," she added. "People in the community could be targeted as well. I just don't think this should be something that we're dealing with in 2020." Speaking to WPLB, Green described that the cards said how the KKK had paid "a social visit," with a warning that the next time will be "a business call." more...

By Ewan Palmer

A video has emerged of a Proud Boys supporter warning that there will be a "civil war" if Donald Trump does not get re-elected in November and advises people to stock up on guns. The clip featuring the self-proclaimed supporter of the far-right group was posted online by actor and blogger Walter Masterson and took place during a Trump rally in Staten Island, New York. The Proud Boys supporter, who is not identified, describes how the group are "not brawlers" despite being known for their violent rallies and altercations with left-wing groups and movements such as antifa. "But we're there. We're like the Marines, we're the first to come in," he adds.

When asked by Masterson how the Proud Boys reacted to Trump's "stand back and stand by" comments he made during the televised presidential debate, the man said the group took that to mean the president is telling them to "wait for my orders." "And that's exactly what we're waiting for," the supporter adds. The clip then shows Masterson suggesting that Proud Boys are "not violent" before jumping to the supporter giving a warning as to what will happen if he does not win the election. "If Trump doesn't get re-elected, there's going to be a riot. If he doesn't get elected, this is when you're going to see a civil war," he adds. more...

NBC News

N.J. Sen. Cory Booker focused on healthcare and Covid-19 during the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. NBC News’ Ari Melber reports on stand out moments from the hearing. video...

Letters to the Editor: Now Republicans are running away from Trump? They can sink with him
Los Angeles Times Opinion

To the editor: I find it laughable that suddenly the Republicans in Congress are developing a conscience, after more than three years of enabling President Trump running ripshod over our democracy. Any fair-minded observer can easily see how they have been willing accomplices. ("As Trump's fortunes sink, Republicans start to distance themselves in bid to save Senate," Oct. 9) The statement by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that his party needs to remain in power as a "firewall to stop the Democrats" is a brazen expression of his own hypocrisy, after refusing to pass hundreds of bills sent by the House and gloating about it. more...

Unfold Times

Liberal activist Shaun King tweeted a picture of the scene: “It’s OUTRAGEOUS. Persons are passing out. The ambulance simply got here. Persons are hungry and thirsty. Persons are leaving for work. That is voter suppression.” Cobb County Elections and Registration Director Janine Eveler informed Fox Information that voters ought to check wait times.

“Discover that different places have a lot shorter strains and voters can vote at any location. We can be open at 9 places for 3 weeks, including two extra beginning subsequent Monday. This isn’t the one day to vote early. Voters can nonetheless apply for an absentee poll by mail as properly, if they don’t wish to wait to vote in-person. We had one voter who had a again subject and was feeling dangerous, so medical providers have been referred to as.”

Keen voters endured waits of six hours or extra in Cobb County, which was as soon as solidly Republican however has voted for Democrats in current elections, and joined strains that wrapped round polling locations in solidly Democratic DeKalb County. In addition they turned out in huge numbers in north Georgia’s Floyd County, the place help for President Trump is robust. more...

Amy McGrath says Senate majority leader focused on supreme court nominee rather than ‘helping America through crisis’
Martin Pengelly in New York

Criticised by challenger Amy McGrath in a debate Monday night for blocking a new coronavirus relief bill, Mitch McConnell laughed. “Trying to figure out what he is laughing about,” tweeted Claire McCaskill, a former Democratic senator from Missouri who now works for NBC News. Nearly 7.8m coronavirus cases and almost 215,000 deaths have been recorded in the US. Amid devastating economic fallout, Congress has not passed a relief package since May, when the Democratic-held House passed a $3tn bill the Republican Senate did not take up. Donald Trump recently dynamited negotiations, which he then tried to restart.

McGrath and McConnell met to debate in Lexington during a rise in cases in Kentucky. The Democrat has raised impressive sums and stayed in touch in the polls – though victory remains unlikely. “The House passed a bill in May and this Senate went on vacation,” McGrath said. As McConnell chuckled, she continued: “I mean, you just don’t do that. You negotiate. Senator, it is a national crisis, you knew that the coronavirus wasn’t gonna end at the end of July. We knew that.”

As McConnell tried to interrupt, still chuckling, McGrath said: “If you want to call yourself a leader … you got to get things done and those of us who served in the Marines, we don’t just point fingers at the other side. We get the job done.” McConnell blamed the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, saying: “Look, I know how to make deals. I made three major deals with Joe Biden during the Obama era. What the problem is here is the unwillingness of the speaker to make a deal.” more...

Karen Weintraub USA TODAY

An otherwise healthy 25-year-old Nevada man is the first American confirmed to have caught COVID-19 twice, with the second infection worse than the first. He has recovered, but his case raises questions about how long people are protected after being infected with the coronavirus that causes the disease, and potentially how protective a vaccine might be. "It's a yellow caution light," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in the research.

Respiratory infections like COVID-19 don't provide lifelong immunity like a measles infection. So, Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said he's not at all surprised people could get infected twice with the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. It's too soon to know whether the man from Washoe County, Nevada, who had no known health problems other than his double infection, was highly unusual or if many people could easily get infected more than once with SARS-CoV-2, Schaffner said. "There's hardly an infectious disease doctor in the country who hasn't encountered a patient who thinks they've had a second infection," he said. "Whether that's true or not, we don't know. There are lots of respiratory infections out there." more...


CNN's Van Jones reacted to President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani falsely claiming people don't die of coronavirus anymore. video

Robert Snell, George Hunter The Detroit News

Grand Rapids — Members of an alleged conspiracy to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also talked about "taking out" a second politician, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, an FBI agent testified Tuesday. FBI Special Agent Richard Trask identified the Virginia governor, a Democrat, during a hearing in federal court in Grand Rapids during which a magistrate judge is expected to decide whether to release three members of the alleged conspiracy on bond pending trial.

“They discussed possible targets, taking out a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governors of Michigan and Virginia,” due to lockdown orders instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Trask testified. The hearing provided a peek at the multimedia trove of evidence gathered during the investigation, including secret audio and video recordings and encrypted chatsand suggested the plot targeted additional politicians and sought to topple governments in as many as five states. more...

By Jennifer Henderson and Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) The Michigan Supreme Court on Monday denied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's request to delay the effect of an opinion that ruled her executive orders on the coronavirus pandemic are unconstitutional. Ten days ago, the court ruled Whitmer, a Democrat who is a former prosecutor and a first-term governor, had no authority to issue or renew executive orders relating to Covid-19 beyond April 30. Whitmer filed a motion last Monday, saying more time was needed to "allow for an orderly transition during which some responsive measures can be placed under alternative executive authority and the Governor and Legislature can work to address many other pandemic-related matters that currently fall under executive orders." In its order Monday, the court wrote that "our decision today ... leaves open many avenues for our Governor and Legislature to work together in a cooperative spirit and constitutional manner to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic." more...

By Sarah Moon, Stella Chan and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN)The California Secretary of State and Department of Justice have sent a cease and desist order to the California Republican Party to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least three counties, officials announced in a news conference on Monday. "These unauthorized drop boxes are a disservice to state and local election administrators who have spent months working on the placement and deployment of official ballot drop boxes," California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said.

Images of the unofficial boxes showed that some had been labeled as "official," Padilla explained, adding that his office received reports of the unofficial boxes being deployed by the state Republican Party in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties. California state law does not allow for the use of unauthorized vote-by-mail ballot drop boxes. Only county election officials have the authority to oversee drop boxes and ensure that they're in compliance with the law. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, however, said Monday that his office received "disturbing reports" that some Republican Party officials are not willing to remove the "unofficial" boxes. more...

President addresses mostly maskless crowd in key swing state of Florida: ‘I feel so powerful’
Maanvi Singh

Keen to appear lively and well after his recent hospitalization for Covid-19, Donald Trump held his first rally since being diagnosed, addressing a packed, largely maskless crowd in Florida – a state he desperately needs to win. “I feel so powerful,” he boasted to his cheering supporters, 11 days after announcing his infection. “I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women – everybody,” he added, his voice still a bit hoarse.

With just weeks to go before election day, and early voting under way, Trump has been eager to return to a full schedule of in-person rallies as he scrambles to hold on to supporters. Polls have his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, ahead by an average of 10.4 points as of Friday. Trump is also losing support from seniors, who are the most vulnerable in a pandemic that has already killed more than 214,000 Americans.

In a frenetic push to solidify support, Trump and his campaign have sought to downplay the threat of coronavirus. The president’s own demonstrations of reckless, maskless bravado appear to be key to that strategy, as Trump characterizes his opponent as frail and confined to his basement. more...

Andrew Romano West Coast Correspondent ,Yahoo News

As the Senate begins confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, two-thirds of voters say Congress should focus instead on passing more COVID-19 relief for struggling workers and businesses, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

The survey, which was conducted from Oct. 9 to 11, found that large majorities of the public think Congress has its priorities backward. Not only do more than three-quarters (77 percent) of registered voters want legislators to approve another major pandemic relief package; 66 percent want the Senate to vote on it before voting on Barrett’s nomination. A full third of Republicans (33 percent) agree.

In contrast, negotiations over a new round of stimulus funds remain at a partisan impasse while the Republican-controlled Senate plows ahead with its plan to install Barrett on the court before the Nov. 3 election — even though at least two GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Utah’s Mike Lee and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days. more...

By Alaa Elassar, CNN

(CNN) Danielle Morgan, a Black assistant professor at Santa Clara University, was dancing in her room on Saturday morning when she said she was interrupted by a knock on her door. Outside stood her brother, Carlos Fuentes, who was visiting her on campus after eight months of being apart due to the pandemic. Beside him stood a campus police officer who followed him back to his sister's home. "I'm so sorry about this," Morgan said Fuentes told her. "They're demanding you come out and vouch for me." "I asked what the issue was and he said my brother was 'in the bushes' and it was 'suspicious' and they thought he may have been homeless," Morgan wrote in a Twitter thread detailing the ordeal. She confirmed the details of the incident, which she shared on social media, in an interview with CNN.

"I asked why I needed to show ID at my own home. He said 'Well, it's not your home. The University owns it'" According to Morgan, her 32-year-old brother had been on the Northern California campus spending the morning reading his books and working on his computer when he was approached by security in the middle of a work meeting. After he was asked to leave, four squad cars followed him as he walked away. The officer who trailed Fuentes home demanded Morgan show him her campus ID and prove that the house she was standing in -- one of the university's faculty housing -- was actually hers. more...

The Oregonian

A group of protesters toppled statues of former presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and shattered the entrance to the Oregon Historical Society in Portland’s South Park Blocks late Sunday before moving into other areas of downtown, smashing storefronts and engaging in other acts of destruction. video...

By Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) The first day of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett featured plenty of fiery speeches -- many of them aimed at next month's presidential election rather than the nominee herself. Democrats focused more on the Affordable Care Act, and Trump's backing of a lawsuit that would invalidate the law -- a hearing scheduled for November 10. Republicans defended the decision to confirm Barrett so close to the election and sought to preempt any questions about her Catholic faith, mainly by criticizing Democratic comments from 2017. In fact, viewers might be forgiven if they forgot at times that this was a Supreme Court confirmation rather than a political convention. Here are five takeaways from day one of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings:

It's all over but the politicking
Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham acknowledged the elephant in the room at the outset of a four-day confirmation hearing process: Nobody's mind on the committee is going to be changed by what transpires in the Senate hearing room. "This is probably not about persuading each other, unless something really dramatic happens," Graham said. "All Republicans will vote yes, and all Democrats will vote no." more...

By Greg Farrell

Two groups promoting ethics in government called for the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General William Barr, accusing him of violating laws and undermining public confidence in the Justice Department. Barr has used the department to further President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, a bipartisan group of lawyers from the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington wrote in a report released Monday, three weeks ahead of U.S. elections.

The authors warned that Barr’s appointment of U.S. Attorney John Durham to review the origins of the Russia investigation, and Barr’s willingness to discuss the investigation in news interviews, point to efforts to create a politically orchestrated “October surprise.” Such actions could violate the Hatch Act, which forbids government officials from using their offices to support a particular candidate in an election, they wrote.

The authors, some of whom held top legal and ethics posts in previous Republican and Democratic administrations, are the latest to raise concerns that Barr is pursuing an agenda of partisan politics and selective law enforcement. Earlier this month, 1,600 former Justice Department officials signed an open letter criticizing what they called Barr’s willingness to use the department to support Trump’s re-election effort. Although the Justice Department has traditionally kept live investigations under wraps, it recently advised prosecutors they could publicize investigations into election issues, including alleged ballot fraud. more...

Don’t let him answer another call.
Conor Friedersdorf

A memorable campaign ad from 2008 urged voters to ask themselves which candidate would perform better in an unexpected emergency: “It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep, but there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing ... Your vote will decide who answers that call.” Franklin D. Roosevelt answered Pearl Harbor. John F. Kennedy answered the deployment of Soviet missiles to Cuba. How would this year’s candidates respond when confronted with an emergency?

Joe Biden has never held the top job, so voters can only speculate. But a pandemic began on Donald Trump’s watch, so no speculation is needed. Trump showed us how he did perform in a crisis: He failed. Trump is obviously not responsible for all of the COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. But the U.S. has fared much worse than the median developed country. And among wealthy nations, its per capita deaths rank in the top five. Trump can’t avoid blame for America’s subpar performance, because voters can identify specific actions he took that contributed to the country’s failures. Especially damning is that Trump couldn’t even protect himself from the disease. more...

Robert Reich

"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," Trump boasted in 2016. Trump's 5th Avenue principle is being severely tested. Some 40% of voters have stuck by him even though more than 214,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, one of the world's highest death rates -- due in part to Trump initially downplaying its dangers, then refusing responsibility for it, promoting quack remedies for it, muzzling government experts on it, pushing states to reopen despite it, and discouraging people from wearing masks.

They've stuck by him even after he turned the White House into a hotspot for the virus, even after he caught it himself, and even after asserting just days ago that it's less lethal than the flu. A recent nonpartisan study concluded that Trump's blatant disinformation has been the largest driver of COVID misinformation in the world. They've stuck by him even as more than 11 million Americans have lost their jobs, 40 million risk eviction from their homes, 14 million have lost health insurance, and almost one out of five Americans with kids at home cannot afford to adequately feed their children.

They've stuck by him even though more Americans have sought unemployment benefits this year than voted for him in 2016, even after Trump cut off talks on economic relief, even as he's pushing the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act, causing 20 million more to lose health insurance. Trump is in effect standing in the middle of 5th Avenue; if not personally killing Americans, then letting them die in numbers that dwarf any other mass-casualty event in the nation's postwar history, from 9/11 back to Korea and Vietnam. Yet here we are, just a few weeks before the election, and his supporters haven't budged. The latest polls show him with 40% to 43% of voters, while Joe Biden has a bare majority. more...

The senator, who died in 2018, said in 2008 that his “father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone.”

PHOENIX — Roberta Wright McCain, the mother of Sen. John McCain who used her feisty spirit to help convince voters during his 2008 presidential campaign, has died. She was 108. A spokesperson for daughter-in-law Cindy McCain says Roberta McCain died Monday. A cause of death was not immediately released. At 96, Roberta McCain became the Republican senator’s secret weapon at campaign stops as evidence that voters need not worry about her son’s age — past 70 — as he sought the presidency.

She remained energetic and active into her 90s, traveling often with her identical twin sister Rowena, who died at age 99. She attended the 2008 Republican National Convention, where her son credited “her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldn’t be here tonight but for the strength of her character.” more...

The Manchester mayor died Monday morning “after a valiant fight against COVID-19,” the mayor’s office said.
By Wilson Wong

The mayor of a small town in Tennessee that hosts the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival died Monday of Covid-19, officials said. Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman was hospitalized earlier this month before dying “after a valiant fight against COVID-19,” the city said in a Facebook post Monday. In August, Norman was elected to his third term as mayor of Manchester, a town with a population of nearly 10,000 people in Coffee County, according to WPLN.

Manchester is home to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which typically brings in more than 80,000 concertgoers annually. The music fest was initially postponed this year before ultimately being cancelled altogether due to the pandemic. "The incredible, Mayor Lonnie Norman, of our hometown Manchester, TN has been hospitalized due to COVID-19," the festival wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "The Bonnaroo family sends him all the love and hopes for a quick and speedy recovery." more...

*** Why is the GOP fighting mask mandates, are they trying to kill America citizens? ***

Molly Beck, Patrick Marley Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - A Wisconsin judge on Monday blocked an effort by Republicans to end Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate at a time when coronavirus cases are surging. The conservative group that brought the lawsuit promised to immediately appeal, and Republicans who control the Legislature took an initial step Monday to eliminate a separate COVID-19 order from Evers that limits business occupancy.

St. Croix County Circuit Judge R. Michael Waterman denied a request by those who sued to suspend the mask requirement and ruled the governor has the power to issue multiple health emergency orders in response to the same pandemic. Republican lawmakers hired private attorneys to go to court to support the effort to eliminate the mask requirement instead of taking a vote just weeks before an election to end the order. more...

Julia Naftulin

Antiabortion groups told Insider they took no issue with the fact that one of President Donald Trump's COVID-19 treatments — which he is now vowing to make available to all Americans — was tested using cells that originally came from an abortion. It is a research practice Trump has severely restricted during his presidency and one pro-life groups have vehemently opposed. To treat Trump, doctors gave him supplemental oxygen and treatments including a steroid typically used in severe COVID-19 cases and an experimental antibody cocktail created by the US biotech company Regeneron. To test the antibody cocktail's effectiveness, Regeneron used an "immortalized epithelial cell line," or cells that were altered in a lab so they could last forever when they otherwise would not. These cells, now called HEK 293T cells, were derived from the kidneys of a fetus that was aborted in 1972 in the Netherlands. more...

By Travis M. Andrews


There was a time not long ago when the letter held no special meaning for Jacob, a 24-year-old in Croatia. The 17th letter of the alphabet, usually followed by “u” in English words. What else was there to know? He certainly never expected it to end the tightknit relationship he shared with his mother. But Jacob, who grew up in the United States, told The Washington Post that he has cut all contact with his mother now that she’s become an ardent believer of the QAnon conspiracy theories. Though they long held different political beliefs, they had “a really, really strong relationship,” he said. “We were inseparable.” He had no reason to think anything had changed. But during the holidays in 2019, “our relationship just completely tanked.”

QAnon can be traced back to a series of 2017 posts on 4chan, the online message board known for its mixture of trolls and alt-right followers. The poster was someone named “Q,” who claimed to be a government insider with Q security clearance, the highest level in the Department of Energy. QAnon’s origin matters less than what it’s become, an umbrella term for a loose set of conspiracy theories ranging from the false claim that vaccines cause illness and are a method of controlling the masses to the bogus assertion that many pop stars and Democratic leaders are pedophiles. more...

Sean Feucht took his roadshow to the Music City—and immediately earned local ire.
Olivia Messer

He’s at it again. Nashville city officials are investigating a massive gathering of thousands of maskless worshippers who tightly packed onto a local courthouse’s steps Sunday night. It was the latest stop of a “Let Us Worship” tour by a controversial musician and religious activist who has drawn ire from leaders across the country for his take on pandemic-era faith.

“We have worked very hard to slow the spread of COVID by taking a measured approach to protect the community,” Brian Todd, a spokesman for the Metro Public Health Department for the City of Nashville, told The Daily Beast in a statement on Monday. “The Health Department is very concerned by the actions that took place at the event and we are investigating and will pursue appropriate penalties against the organizer.”

Todd also said that the event organizer and controversial worship leader Sean Feucht, who led the event, “did not submit an application to the Health Department or permit application to any [city] department” in advance of the gathering.

“Music City showed up to enthrone KING JESUS last night on the steps of the courthouse downtown!” Feucht tweeted on Monday morning, adding that a police officer estimated 9,000 attendees at the event. (City officials would not confirm a specific number of attendees to The Daily Beast on Monday.) “Incredible to witness how God moved last night! These are incredible days!” more...

Republicans sought to normalise her rushed nomination while Democrats maintained a laser-like focus on the future of Obamacare
David Smith in Washington

That was rich. Senate Republicans, otherwise known as Donald Trump’s Praetorian Guard, lined up on Monday to pay pious homage to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the separation of powers and the halcyon days of political bipartisanship. A visitor from outer space might have thought that they were the upholders of civics and civility at the start of Amy Coney Barrett’s supreme court hearing on Capitol Hill. No matter that Trump has played divider-in-chief or that Republicans blocked Barack Obama’s nominee to the court in 2016. It was a morning of hypocrisy and healthcare.

Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee and the Trump appreciation society, reminded everyone that both Ginsburg and her ideological opposite, Justice Antonin Scalia, were confirmed almost unanimously. “I don’t know what happened between then and now,” he said, wistfully. “We can all take some blame but I just want to remind everybody there was a time in this country where someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seen by almost everybody as qualified for the position of being on the supreme court, understanding that she would have a different philosophy than many of the Republicans who voted for her.”

No justice has been confirmed so close to a presidential election. Graham, who promised not to confirm a justice in an election year (saying “Use my words against me”, which plenty of Democrats are), acknowledged one point everyone could agree on: “This is going to be a long, contentious week.” As senator after senator drew their battle lines, 48-year-old Barrett, sitting silently in a big black face mask, resembled a prisoner in the dock. more...

Shannon Bond

Facebook is banning all content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust," in a policy reversal that comes after increased pressure from critics. Just two years ago, founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview that even though he finds such posts "deeply offensive," he did not believe Facebook should take them down. Zuckerberg has said on numerous occasions that Facebook shouldn't be forced to be the arbiter of truth on its platform, but rather allow a wide range of speech.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Zuckerberg said his thinking has "evolved" because of data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence. The company said it was also in response to an "alarming" level of ignorance among young people. "I've struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust," he wrote. "Drawing the right lines between what is and isn't acceptable speech isn't straightforward, but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance." more...

Thomas Daffron's consulting firm reaped huge contracts thanks to bills Collins authored at key Senate committee
Roger Sollenberger

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who finds herself trailing Democratic challenger Sara Gideon in a hotly contested election battle with national implications, wrote contracting reforms as a member of the Senate Government Affairs Committee that appear to have directly benefited her future husband's lobbying and consulting firm.

While that firm had some contracts that coincided with Collins' tenure on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, it also landed a major $49 million contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2013 — the year after Collins stepped away from that committee. more...

“Do I think it’s safe to have this rally? No I don’t,” one business owner told The Daily Beast.
Hunter Woodall

If it was up to Patrick Austin, President Donald Trump would hold off from heading to Sanford, Florida, on Monday for his first major campaign rally since being hospitalized with COVID-19. But the local city commissioner had no illusions that not much could be done to stop the president once he’s made a decision like this, for what the president bragged on Twitter would be “a very BIG RALLY!” “He has the right to do it,” Austin said early Sunday afternoon. “I just don’t think it’s the right time.”

When Trump speaks at Orlando Sanford International Airport Monday night, it will be one week since he left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after announcing in the early hours of Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Rallies in Pennsylvania and Iowa later this week will follow the Florida trip. Late Saturday, the White House released a carefully worded letter from the president’s physician saying the president “is no longer considered a transmission risk to others.” But the letter did not specifically say the president had tested negative for COVID-19.

While Austin said he didn’t think the event was “a huge health scare for our community” when it comes to the crowd, citing a mask order in place in the county, he wasn’t without concerns about the timing of Trump’s appearance. In a text message Sunday morning, he said, “I’m still skeptical and wish he’d be more conservative. A few extra days just to be safe would be nice, no matter any tests or press releases.” more...

Claudia Grisales

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, who tested positive for the coronavirus following a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, returned to the Capitol on Monday. Lee, a member of the Judiciary Committee holding Barrett's nomination hearing, also addressed the panel for several minutes without wearing a mask. In a statement, and a letter from the Capitol's attending physician, Lee said no additional testing was required.

Lee said late on the morning of Friday, Oct. 2, that he had taken a test a day earlier that came back positive. He said he would quarantine for 10 days. "I feel great!" Lee shouted to pool reporters before Monday's hearing began. The CDC says a quarantine period can be shortened from 14 days to ten in cases where advised by a physician, and the individual can also seek testing to confirm a negative result. more...

Peter Weber, The Week

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office has received complains about what appear to be unauthorized ballot drop boxes in Los Angeles, Orange, and Fresno counties, and it appears from social media posts that California Republicans have set them up to collect ballots, The Orange County Register reported Sunday night. The metal boxes, which purport to be "official," have been reported at local political party offices, churches, and headquarters for GOP candidates.

"Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it's a violation of state law," Padilla said, and a felony conviction would land perpetrators in prison for two to four years. County elections officials and registrars are solely empowered to set up and maintain drop boxes in accordance with strict state security rules.

The California Republican Party did not respond to the Register's requests for comments, nor did individual GOP operatives who have implicated themselves on social media. But the state GOP has "been defending the practice in replies on Twitter, alleging the process was made legal under a 2016 law that allows California voters to designate a person to return their ballot for them," the Register reports. "The GOP calls the practice 'ballot harvesting' and blames it for losses to the Democrats in OC and other places in 2018." State officials say unauthorized drop boxes would violate that law since there's no designated person to sign for the ballot, as required. more...

GOP promoted fake "official" drop-off sites at churches and gun stores. Officials say they're illegal
Igor Derysh

The California Republican Party is operating unofficial ballot drop boxes that Secretary of State Alex Padilla said on Sunday were in "violation of state law." Jordan Tygh, a regional field director for the California Republican Party, promoted an "official ballot drop off box" on Twitter and urged followers to message him for "convenient locations" to drop their ballots last week, The Orange County Register first reported. One voter reported an "Official Ballot Drop Box" that was "approved and bought by the GOP" outside of a Los Angeles area church before it was removed after county officials warned on social media that it was "not an official vote by mail drop box and does not comply with [state] regulations for drop boxes," according to KCAL.

The boxes were set up across Southern California in front of churches, gyms, and gun stores by the California GOP, according to The Washington Post. And at least one chapter of the state Republican Party in northern California has also rolled out its own drop-off sites, echoing President Donald Trump's baseless allegations over the "security" of mail voting even though it has been repeatedly shown to be safe and secure.

"CONSERVATIVE VOTER ALERT!," the Fresno GOP said while announcing a list of unofficial locations to drop off ballots. "President Trump is very concerned about the lack of security with mail in ballots. Don't take a chance that your vote will not be counted. Once your ballot arrives in the mail, mark your ballot completely and then walk it in, as soon as possible, to one of the secure locations listed below. Make sure your vote counts!" Padilla, a Democrat, said on Sunday that it was illegal to operate unofficial ballot drop boxes. more...

Jacob Jarvis

The California Republican Party has faced questions over unofficial drop-off boxes set up to collect mail-in ballots across the state. Reports of such boxes, which claim to be official, have been shared with the California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla—who has suggested they could be illegal. "Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes—especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes—is not just misleading to voters, it's a violation of state law," he said, in comments reported by The Orange County Register.

Following a drop-off box being flagged with him, Orange County Registrar Neal Kelley said: "We are looking into this and the CA Secretary of State has also issued guidance confirming unofficial ballot drop boxes are not in compliance with state law. Third party ballot collections are allowed, but a voter must designate someone to return their ballot on their behalf." more...

Phoebe Wall Howard Detroit Free Press

Michigan law enforcement is on high alert after the FBI revealed an alleged plot by extremist groups to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also involved a "plan to target and kill police." "We're cautious. We're absolutely more careful," said First Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. "This is one of the tactics these anti-government, domestic terrorism groups use. Law enforcement is the face of the government. if you're mad at the government, you're mad at the police."

The alleged plot was unveiled last Thursday when the U.S. Department of Justice charged six men with conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer, which authorities said they wanted to carry out before Election Day. On the same day, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel brought charges against seven other men that included supporting terrorism, gang membership, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Officials said the suspects were attempting to trigger "civil war" with a detailed plan to abduct the governor and attack other elected officials at the Statehouse. Part of the plot included plans to target police. FBI Special Agent Richard J. Trask II cited the risk to law enforcement officers in a criminal complaint filed last Tuesday in U.S. District Court:

"The militia group had already been brought to the attention of the FBI by a local police department in March 2020 when members of the militia group were attempting to obtain the addresses of local law enforcement officers," the filing says. "At the time, the FBI interviewed a member of the militia group who was concerned about the group's plan to target and kill police officers and that person agreed to become a CHS (confidential human source)." more...

By Alec Snyder, Kristina Sgueglia, Brynn Gingras and Susannah Cullinane, CNN

(CNN) Outspoken protester Harold "Heshy" Tischler was taken into custody Sunday evening in connection with an alleged assault during protests against new anti-coronavirus restrictions in an Orthodox Jewish area of Brooklyn, New York police say. Some members of the Orthodox Jewish community protested in the Borough Park neighborhood for multiple nights last week in response to the measures, which limit gatherings in houses of worship in areas identified as Covid-19 clusters.

Jewish Insider reporter Jacob Kornbluh claimed on a verified Twitter account that during protests Wednesday night he was brutally assaulted after Tischler "recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street." Confirming Tischler's detention Sunday, a New York City Police Department spokesman said that charges of inciting a riot and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the incident surrounding Kornbluh are pending. more...

A. B. Man III

Trump likes to brag about what a good job he has done about the coronavirus he likes to tell us how he stopped it from coming in from China with his travel ban but somehow manages to forget to tell you about the 40,000 who came from China during his travel ban. He also forgets to tell you about the cases that came in from Europe that infected New York and the east coast or how deadly the coronavirus is. Trump knew early on how deadly the coronavirus but has said he wanted to downplay it; you do not down play something that can kill people doing so puts people’s lives at risk. People cannot and will not take the appropriate safety precaution if they do not how deadly the coronavirus is.

The ideal that Trump wanted to down play the coronavirus because he did not want to start panic is almost laughable if it was not so said, when you consider daily he scares people with his talk about the protesters and how Antifa and the protesters are coming for you. Other counties around the world were honest with their people and it did not cause a panic in those counties. Trump could have saved a lot of lives if had told the America people the truth this is a bad one you need to wear mask and social distance from each other. How many people would be alive today if he had been honest with the American people?

Currently 7,990,457 Americans have the coronavirus and 219,693 have died in six months from the coronavirus, because of Trump’s inaction, maybe in America we should call the Trump Flu. Most of the Americans who have died may have lived if not for Trump’s inaction. We do not know how many more Americas will die from the Trump Flu but most of them would have lived if not for Trump’s inaction. Trump knew the dangers of the Trump Flu his inactions caused the needles deaths of most of the 219,693. We do not know full total number of people who have died from the Trump Flu or how many more Americans will die because of Trumps inaction.

Instead of being honest with the American people, he continues to be dishonest about how deadly it is by telling the American people that it is no deadly that the flu and that is not true. The flu killed 37,000 people in 2019; the Trump Flu has killed 219,693 in six months, nearly six times as many people died in half the time, that is nowhere like the flu.

Trump should be charged with homicide because he knew how deadly the Trump Flu was and did not tell the America people and to this day, he has not come out and told the truth to the America people. In addition, Trump and his campaign went around the country infecting people including themselves at his campaign events, Herman Cain died shortly after attending a Trump event. We do not know how many people have gotten the Trump Flu or died from it by attending a Trump event, but it was reckless for Trump to put people at risk without telling them how high deadly the Trump Flu and not taking the appropriate precaution such as mask and social distancing to protect the people at his events.

Maybe we were expecting too much of Trump to think he could or would protect us from the Trump Flu, Trump could not protect himself, his staff or the White House from the Trump Flu obviously he is not up to the job. The America people need to fire Donald J. Trump, we need to vote him out of office before he kills more Americans.

Son identifies Lee Keltner as shooting victim; suspect Matthew Dolloff was working as private security for 9News
By Elise Schmelzer

Lee Keltner became at least the fourth person shot during protests in Colorado so far this year when he was killed Saturday after a conflict with a private security guard in downtown Denver. Family members identified Keltner, 49, as the man fatally shot during dueling protests Saturday in downtown Denver. Police on Sunday identified a 30-year-old man as the suspect and confirmed he was working as a private security guard at the time and not participating in the protest. But city officials don’t believe shooting suspect Matthew Robert Dolloff was licensed to work as an armed private security guard in Denver. Dolloff remained in jail Sunday without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder in the shooting, jail records show. more...

By Justine Coleman

A New York Times analysis of tax records showed that more than 200 companies, special-interest groups and foreign governments have funneled millions of dollars to President Trump’s properties while reaping benefits from the president and his administration.  Nearly a nearly a quarter of the entities have not been previously reported. Sixty patrons who promoted specific interests to the Trump administration spent almost $12 million on expenses associated with the Trump Organization during the first two years of Trump’s presidency. The Times reported nearly all of these customers saw their interests move forward.

In interviews with almost 250 business executives, club members, lobbyists, Trump property employees and current administration officials, sources detailed to the Times how Trump conducted business and interacted with customers who were seeking help from the administration. The newspaper also used Trump’s tax return data, lobbying disclosures, Freedom of Information Act requests and other public records to construct a database of groups, companies and governments that had business before the administration and spent money at Trump properties.

The Trump Organization’s customers included foreign politicians, Florida barons, a Chinese billionaire, a Serbian prince, clean-energy advocates, petroleum industry leaders, small-government advocates and contractors. The newspaper noted that some of the president’s customers did not see their interests fully fulfilled but noted “whether they won or lost, Mr. Trump benefited financially.” more...

The report is the fourth in a Times series.
By Allison Pecorin, Benjamin Siegel, and Will Steakin

The New York Times has released a report, the fourth in its series, based on President Donald Trump's federal tax returns, illustrating how the paper says the president turned "his own hotels and resorts into the Beltway's new back rooms, where public and private business mix and special interests reign." Trump attended 34 political fundraisers at his hotels and resorts that brought in $3 million in revenue, the Times reported.

The New York Times has released a report, the fourth in its series, based on President Donald Trump's federal tax returns, illustrating how the paper says the president turned "his own hotels and resorts into the Beltway's new back rooms, where public and private business mix and special interests reign." Trump attended 34 political fundraisers at his hotels and resorts that brought in $3 million in revenue, the Times reported. more...

By Joseph Choi

A North Dakota farmer has gone viral for his hard-to-miss message supporting Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris's (D-Calif.). Local station KFYR reported that cattle rancher and grain farmer Peter Larson plowed huge messages into his soybean fields, one supporting the Biden-Harris campaign and another supporting Democrats Shelley Lenz for governor and Ben Vig for lieutenant governor.

Peter Larson's daughter and wife, Sandra Larson and Patti Larson, had no idea what he had done until several days later when the weather allowed for them to view it during a flyover. Sandra Larson later tweeted photos of what her father had done, and the images were shared by thousands of accounts, racking up more than 130,000 retweets in two days. more...

By Kaitlan Collins, CNN

(CNN) Dr. Anthony Fauci did not consent to being featured in a new advertisement from the Trump campaign touting President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the nation's leading infectious disease expert told CNN his words were taken out of context. "In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials," Fauci said in a statement provided exclusively to CNN when asked if he agreed to be featured in the ad.

The Trump campaign released the new ad last week after the President was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following treatment for Covid-19. The 30-second ad, which is airing in Michigan, touts Trump's personal experience with the virus and uses a quote from Fauci in an attempt to make it appear as if he is praising Trump's response. "President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America," the ad's narrator says. "Together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, sparing no expense." more...

By Ryan Boldrey | rboldrey@mlive.com

BARRY COUNTY, MI — Calls for the resignation of a Michigan sheriff who recently shared a stage with members of the Michigan Liberty Militia are growing louder. Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, who told MLive he knows a couple of the men who were arrested last week in an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, spoke out against the governor at a May 18 rally alongside one of those men, William “Bill” Null.

Now a protest seeking Leaf’s resignation is planned for 8 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 on South Broadway Street, near the Barry Community Foundation building in Hastings. The building, located at 231 S. Broadway St., is the site of a regularly scheduled bi-monthly commission meeting, slated to begin at 9 a.m. more...

Matthew Brown USA TODAY

During his 2016 campaign and throughout his time in office, President Donald Trump has repeatedly made promises to "drain the swamp." The phrase signaled to many a desire to change Washington's widely maligned political culture. In office, however, Trump has reportedly done just the opposite, according to a recent New York Times investigation into the federal taxes across the Trump organization.

Here are some of the most notable revelations from the investigation, which found over 200 companies, lobbying groups and foreign governments did business with, and benefitted from, work with Trump's businesses. Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, told the Times in response to their reporting that Trump remained out of the loop on the Trump Organization's daily operations. Eric and Don. Jr remained in charge of the family business, he said. more...

People are getting defrauded as they turn to Square’s Cash App and PayPal’s Venmo to do more online banking in the pandemic.
By Nathaniel Popper

Charee Mobley, who teaches middle school in Fort Worth, Texas, had just $166 to get herself and her 17-year-old daughter through the last two weeks of August. But that money disappeared when Ms. Mobley, 37, ran into an issue with Square’s Cash App, an instant payments app that she was using in the coronavirus pandemic to pay her bills and do her banking. After seeing an errant online shopping charge on her Cash App, Ms. Mobley called what she thought was a help line for it. But the line had been set up by someone who asked her to download some software, which then took control of the app and drained her account. “I didn’t have gas money and I couldn’t pay my daughter’s senior dues,” Ms. Mobley said. “We basically just had to stick it out until I got paid the following week.” more...

By Jason Lemon

A majority of voters do not believe President Donald Trump has paid his "fair share" of federal income taxes as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden continues to lead by double digits. The new polling released Sunday by ABC News and The Washington Post shows 57 percent of likely voters believe—and 51 percent strongly believe—that Trump has not paid his fair share in federal income taxes Notably, there is a strong partisan divide, with 93 percent of Democrats saying Trump hasn't paid enough in federal income taxes while just 16 percent of Republicans say the same. A majority of independents (57 percent) think the president has underpaid in federal income taxes. more...

By Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck, CNN

(CNN) Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Department of Justice on Sunday inquiring about materials that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett left off paperwork initially filed with the Senate. On Friday evening, Barrett submitted supplemental paperwork to the committee listing two talks she gave to anti-abortion students groups in 2013 in her capacity as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. Both talks -- first reported by CNN's KFile -- were only disclosed following CNN's report, which Senate Democrats called "troubling" in their letter Sunday on the eve of Barrett's hearings starting Monday.

Barrett also disclosed on Friday night a paid advertisement she signed in 2013 as a member of University Faculty for Life that criticized Roe v. Wade and reaffirmed support for Notre Dame's "commitment to the right to life." The advertisement was only disclosed after CNN asked the White House about it earlier Friday. more...

By Lucy Harley-McKeown

A majority of voters believe President Donald Trump's business interests have affected his choices while in office, according to a Morning Consult poll. Polling undertaken by the company at the end of 2016 found that voters were almost unanimous in thinking that Trump's business interests would affect decision-making in office. Nearly four years on, Morning Consult found that 80 percent of voters believe Trump's business interests and positions have had at least some impact on his decision-making as president. more...

By Brendan Cole

In a candidate forum with the South Carolina Senate race contenders, Senator Lindsey Graham has said he did not believe there was systemic racism in his state, insisting young black people would be safe, "as long as they're conservative." Graham made the comment during what was initially going to be another head-to-head debate on Friday with Democratic contender, Jaime Harrison. The format for the televised event was changed after Graham had refused a request by Harrison to take a coronavirus test beforehand. Instead, both candidates were questioned for 30 minutes each on a range of issues, laying out their pitches for the state's voters.

After being asked about what legislation he proposed to end police brutality, he said he believed in law enforcement reform and that while the people behind the killing of George Floyd "was wrong and people should pay the price," he went on to say that "what is happening in America... is a war on the police itself." "Do I believe that our cops are systemically racist? No. Do I believe that South Carolina is a racist state? No.," he said. "To young people of color, to young immigrants, this is a great state. more...

The police ride-along show damaged the lives of the people caught in the glare of its cameras and distorted policing in Williamson County.
By Hannah Rappleye

AUSTIN, Texas — In the early morning hours of March 28, 2019, a detective with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in central Texas stood outside a hospital room where the body of a 40-year-old Black man lay waiting to be transported to the coroner’s office. The detective, Jason Waldon, had feared a day like this would come. The body belonged to a father of two named Javier Ambler. He had died in a confrontation with police after being pursued by a sheriff’s deputy for failing to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic.

Williamson County deputies weren’t the only ones pursuing Ambler that night. They were joined by a camera crew with "Live PD," the reality TV show. One of the deputies, James “J.J.” Johnson, narrated the 22-minute chase for the cameras as it happened. After Ambler crashed and exited his vehicle with his hands up, Johnson and another deputy restrained, struck and tased him at least three times, police records show. One of the last things Ambler said before he died was, “Please save me.” more...

Owens rails against identity politics despite the fact that her Blackness is the only reason she’s become such an elevated figure within the GOP.
Kali Holloway

Candace Owens’ BLEXIT Foundation—founded to give people the false impression that Black voters are abandoning the Democratic party en masse for Republicanism—reportedly put together Saturday's campaign event thinly disguised as an official government function, where Donald Trump spoke to a pro-police Black and Latinx audience from the Truman Balcony during what was in effect his first in-person rally since his trip to Walter Reed. Two thousand people were reportedly invited to hear his “Remarks to Peaceful Protesters for Law & Order,” but many of the few hundred who showed up had their travel and lodging costs paid by Owens’ group, which described the official White House event as a “HUGE outdoor rally,” ABC reported Saturday morning.

The problem is, every time they align with Candace Owens, white Republicans prove just how uninterested they truly are in making inroads with Black folks. It’s tempting to chalk up their use of Owens—a conservative Black woman who carries no water with the vast majority of Black voters—as a consequence of white conservatives’ ignorance about Black folks’ most pressing concerns. But that’s far too generous an assessment of a ploy that’s as tired as it is sinister. Owens isn’t actually there to be white conservatives’ emissary to the Black community. Rather, she’s a tool of racist propaganda and deflection—a Black mouthpiece who propagates and validates anti-Black talking points, while exploiting her own race to shield white racists, like Trump, from charges of racism. more...

*** Trump is the swap. ***

A businessman-president transplanted favor-seeking in Washington to his family’s hotels and resorts — and earned millions as a gatekeeper to his own administration.
By Nicholas Confessore, Karen Yourish, Steve Eder, Ben Protess, Maggie Haberman, Grace Ashford, Michael LaForgia, Kenneth P. Vogel, Michael Rothfeld and Larry Buchanan

It was springtime at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, and the favor-seekers were swarming. In a gold-adorned ballroom filled with Republican donors, an Indian-born industrialist from Illinois pressed Mr. Trump to tweet about easing immigration rules for highly skilled workers and their children. “He gave a million dollars,” the president told his guests approvingly, according to a recording of the April 2018 event.

Later that month, in the club’s dining room, the president wandered over to one of its newer members, an Australian cardboard magnate who had brought along a reporter to flaunt his access. Mr. Trump thanked him for taking out a newspaper ad hailing his role in the construction of an Ohio paper mill and box factory, whose grand opening the president would attend.

And in early March, a Tennessee real estate developer who had donated lavishly to the inauguration, and wanted billions in loans from the new administration, met the president at the club and asked him for help. Mr. Trump waved over his personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. “Get it done,” the president said, describing the developer as “a very important guy,” Mr. Cohen recalled in an interview. Campaigning for president as a Washington outsider, Mr. Trump electrified rallies with his vows to “drain the swamp.” more...

Associated Press

The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed Saturday that two men charged in plots against Michigan's government  spent time in the military. Officials are "aware of the circumstances surrounding" Daniel Harris and Joseph Morrison and will assist in any way in the investigation, the Marine Corps said in an emailed statement. Harris is one of six men charged federally with conspiring to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer before the Nov. 3 elections. Morrison, 26, is one of seven men charged under the state's anti-terrorism law for allegedly seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol and ignite a "civil war." Authorities say he was a founding member of the "anti-government, anti-law enforcement" Wolverine Watchmen. more...

The coronavirus outbreak at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is just one facet of a much deeper presidential malaise.

Nearly everyone remembers the old cliché: If you can’t trust someone to get the little things right, how can you ever count on them to do the big things?President Donald Trump had better hope that bromide, invoked everywhere from youth sports teams to sales-force training sessions, doesn’t apply to him.  As his presidency lurches toward a climactic judgment on Nov. 3, the little things lately have rarely gone more pervasively or embarrassingly wrong — at a time when public confidence in Trump’s handling of the big things is hardly robust.

The initial reaction might be, So what’s new here? But recent days, in the wake of Trump being stricken with coronavirus, have highlighted just how the lurching improvisation that is a familiar phenomenon around Trump has entered a different phase. The professionals around the president aren’t merely laboring to contain and channel the disruptive politician they work for. Very often they are amplifying the chaos.

That’s in part because, as his first term comes to a close, the professionals around Trump are not all that professional. It is now the exception in key staff and Cabinet posts to have people whose experience would be commensurate with that of people who have typically held those jobs in previous administrations of both parties. This major weakness has been revealing itself in a barrage of minor errors that summon Casey Stengel’s incredulous question about the 1962 New York Mets: Can’t anybody here play this game? more...

*** Candace Owens is a sellout. Why would any black person or person of color support a racist president and a party of racist who suppresses the vote of people of color and use people of color as a boogieman to get white people to vote? ***

Attendees were told they "must" wear a BLEXIT shirt, according to emails.
ByRachel Scott andWill Steakin

Some guests for Saturday's White House event on the South Lawn, which will be President Donald Trump's first since testing positive for the coronavirus, had their travel and lodging paid for by controversial conservative activist Candace Owens' group BLEXIT, according to emails obtained by ABC News. Supporters, who are also scheduled to attend a separate BLEXIT event earlier in the day, were invited to attend a "HUGE outdoor rally" by the group and asked to fill out a form that notified them that BLEXIT, a campaign urging Black Americans to leave the Democratic Party, will be covering travel costs.

Guests were later informed they would be receiving an invitation from the White House to attend an event with Trump. In an email from Owens, obtained by ABC News, attendees were told "EVERYONE MUST BRING A MASK TO BE ALLOWED ENTRY ONTO THE WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS." and that "absolutely no exceptions" will be made. Still, wearing a face mask will not be required. Attendees will have to submit to a COVID-19 screening the morning of the event, which will consist of a temperature check and a brief questionnaire.

Guests will first attend a "BLEXIT Back the Blue event" on the Ellipse between the White House and the Washington Monument before heading over to the South Lawn for the president's remarks, according to a schedule obtained by ABC News. When reached for comment, Owens told ABC News, "We are not interested in participating in your obvious media angle here to slander/attack the President regarding Covid-19." She added that Saturday's event "is about supporting law enforcement in minority communities." It is not immediately clear how many of those set to attend the event had their travel costs covered. more...

The president curtailed use of fetal tissue in federally funded medical research, but the moral objection apparently vanishes when it’s Trump who’s in need.
By Mary Papenfuss

The COVID-19 treatment President Donald Trump has referred to as a miracle was developed using cells derived from an aborted fetus — a process he has severely curtailed in government-funded medical research to woo the evangelical vote. Trump last week referred to new COVID-19 treatments, including those he had received, as “miracles coming down from God.”  Among the treatments Trump received was Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ experimental cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, which is not yet approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In a video Wednesday, Trump called the Regeneron treatment “the key” to his bounce back from a COVID-19 infection. He called it “like unbelievable.”

“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught [COVID-19]. I think it was a blessing in disguise,” Trump said in the video. “I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said, ‘Let me take it’ … and it was incredible the way it worked.” Yet the development of the drug is directly at odds with Trump’s stance against using fetal tissue cells in medical research. That stance has been a key to his support from the evangelical community, which opposes abortion.

A second antiviral drug Trump was given, Remdesivir, was also developed using cells originally derived from the tissue of an aborted fetus. In addition, three coronavirus vaccines under development are also using cell lines developed from fetal tissue in research, according to The New York Times. All have received federal funding. The Regeneron treatment’s efficacy was tested in a lab using HEK 293T cells. That cell line was originally derived from the kidney tissue of a fetus aborted in the Netherlands in the 1970s, according to the company. more...

I saw it all serving 42 years in the federal government, and here's my message to undecided voters: America is damaged and needs change at the top.
Russ Travers

Millions of you living in small towns and cities across this country are on the fence about your presidential vote. You want to make an informed decision. You are frustrated with Washington. The “elite,” from both political parties, has failed large segments of our population — perhaps including you — and candidate Trump tapped into that frustration.

Many of you voted for him as a “disrupter,” believing that things needed to change.  Understandable. But the time has come for a reckoning. And that’s a challenge. So much of what you hear and read is inside Washington baseball, competing political narratives dressed up by high-priced PR firms. Sadly, much is simply not true, and the first presidential debate certainly didn’t help restore your faith in the quality of political discourse. As you consider your vote, you’re having difficulty correlating the noise you hear, to life in middle America. more...

Many of you voted for him as a “disrupter,” believing that things needed to change.  Understandable. But the time has come for a reckoning. And that’s a challenge. So much of what you hear and read is inside Washington baseball, competing political narratives dressed up by high-priced PR firms. Sadly, much is simply not true, and the first presidential debate certainly didn’t help restore your faith in the quality of political discourse. As you consider your vote, you’re having difficulty correlating the noise you hear, to life in middle America.

Let me offer some thoughts. I am admittedly a creature of Washington. But I would like to think I represent what you expect and deserve from a federal government employee. I'm someone you’ve never heard of, but who spent 42 years attempting to do “good government,” serving seven presidents of both political parties.

America is on the wrong track
Most recently I was the Acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, trying to protect you and your families. Earlier in this administration, I received an award from the president for "sustained extraordinary achievement," an honor reserved for the top 1% of Senior Executives. The following year I was fired. And if you care, I’m an independent. I voted for neither this president nor for Hillary Clinton. I wrote in former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.  more...

Extremist violence isn’t a one-off problem. And it’s been around for decades.
By Kathleen Belew

FBI agents have disrupted and stopped what they say was a conspiracy by militia movement members to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). They discussed arson of her vacation home and other targets and kidnapping her for “trial.” This isn’t just a one-off event or the work of a few mad actors — it’s part of a rising tide of white power activity, one that poses an imminent danger to American democracy. The Department of Homeland Security’s threat assessment report, released earlier this week after a long wait, made that clear: White power movement violence and affiliated extremism is, by far, the greatest terrorist threat to our nation.

Not only does this kind of extremist violence outstrip any violence carried out by what President Trump has referred to as “antifa and the left,” but white power violence now also exceeds the threat of radical Islamist terror. The DHS assessment makes clear that “2019 was the most lethal year for extremism in the United States since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.”

That bombing, the largest deliberate mass casualty on mainland American soil between Pearl Harbor and 9/11, is still not well understood by Americans. People still think of it as the work of lone wolves or a few bad apples. But the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people — including 19 young children — was the work of the white power movement, a coordinated social network that brought together Klansmen, neo-Nazis, skinheads, militiamen, radical tax resisters, separatists and others in outright war on the federal government. The evidence of the bombing as part of this movement is extensive and irrefutable.

And it presaged the problem we face now. Twenty-five years later, the threat of white power domestic terrorism is inescapable. Experts agree. Watchdogs agree. Whistleblowers agree. Deradicalizers agree. Scholars agree. Everyone, it seems, but the upper echelons of the Trump administration, and the most unreachable corners of his base, agree: White power violence has been unleashed. more...

These groups have no constitutional right to exist.
By Mary B. McCord

In the swirls of disinformation that now pollute our political discourse, one is particularly dangerous: that private militias are constitutionally protected. Although these vigilante groups often cite the Second Amendment’s mention of a “well regulated militia” for their authority, history and Supreme Court precedent make clear that the phrase was not intended to — and does not — authorize private militias outside of government control.

Indeed, these armed groups have no authority to call themselves forth into militia service; the Second Amendment does not protect such activity; and all 50 states prohibit it. The danger of these groups was brought home on Thursday with the announcement that the F.B.I. had thwarted a plot by people associated with an extremist group in Michigan to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the government. Court documents say that the group discussed trying the governor for treason and murdering “tyrants.” Six men now face federal kidnapping conspiracy charges, but unauthorized militia activity continues in Michigan and elsewhere.

The unnamed militia involved in the kidnapping plot is part of a growing number of private paramilitary groups mobilizing across the country, wholly outside of lawful authority or governmental accountability. These organizations — some of which openly refer to themselves as “militias,” while others reject the term — often train together in the use of firearms and other paramilitary techniques and “deploy,” heavily armed and sometimes in full military gear, when they deem it necessary. more...


New details emerge about the men accused in in an alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, including a history of anti-government views and calls for violence and bloodshed. CNN's Sara Sidner has the details. video...

Julia Naftulin

Antiabortion groups told Insider they took no issue with the fact that one of President Donald Trump's COVID-19 treatments — which he is now vowing to make available to all Americans — was tested using cells that originally came from an abortion. It is a research practice Trump has severely restricted during his presidency and one pro-life groups have vehemently opposed.

To treat Trump, doctors gave him supplemental oxygen and treatments including a steroid typically used in severe COVID-19 cases and an experimental antibody cocktail created by the US biotech company Regeneron. To test the antibody cocktail's effectiveness, Regeneron used an "immortalized epithelial cell line," or cells that were altered in a lab so they could last forever when they otherwise would not. These cells, now called HEK 293T cells, were derived from the kidneys of a fetus that was aborted in 1972 in the Netherlands. more...

Abbott sought to limit counties to one drop-off location for absentee ballots heading into the Nov. 3 election. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman said the governor's order confused voters and restricted voter access.
by Jolie McCullough and Cassandra Pollock

A federal judge ruled Friday that Texas counties can have multiple drop-off locations for absentee ballots heading into the Nov. 3 general election, blocking the enforcement of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent order that sought to limit counties to just one such location.

Saying Abbott's order confused voters and restricted voter access, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman granted an injunction late Friday barring its enforcement. With an unprecedented number of Texas voters requesting mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic, and concerns about the reliability of the U.S. Postal Service, some large, Democratic counties had set up numerous locations to accept the ballots before Abbott's order.

“By limiting ballot return centers to one per county,” Pitman wrote, “older and disabled voters living in Texas's largest and most populous counties must travel further distances to more crowded ballot return centers where they would be at an increased risk of being infected by the coronavirus in order to exercise their right to vote and have it counted.” A spokesperson for Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Friday.

To qualify to vote by mail, voters must be 65 or older, be confined in jail but otherwise eligible, be out of the county for the election period, or cite a disability or illness. The Texas Supreme Court has said that lack of immunity to the coronavirus does not itself constitute a disability, but voters may consider that alongside their medical histories to decide whether they qualify. Texas remains one of only a handful of states that don’t allow for universal mail-in voting during the pandemic, and Republican officials have pushed back on other efforts to expand access to voting. more...

The president's grip on the party is loosening amid a coronavirus backlash and fears of an electoral bloodbath.

For Republicans, fearful of a possible electoral disaster just weeks away, it has become safe at last to dis Donald Trump — or at least to distance themselves from him in unmistakably purposeful ways. A barrage of barbed comments in recent days shows how markedly the calculus of fear has shifted in the GOP. For much of the past four years, Republican politicians were scared above all about incurring the wrath of the president and his supporters with any stray gesture or remark that he might regard as not sufficiently deferential. Now, several of them are evidently more scared of not being viewed by voters as sufficiently independent.

This is far from an insurrection. Republicans in the main aren’t outright repudiating Trump. But they are effectively rolling their eyes in exasperation with him, and especially his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Among the most vivid recent examples:

* Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas acknowledging in a Friday interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that he’s “worried” about the election, which he warned could be a “bloodbath of Watergate proportions” for his party, depending on how voters view the pandemic and economy on Election Day.

* Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telling reporters Thursday he has not been to the White House in more than two months, since Aug. 6, because he doesn’t have confidence that Trump and his team are practicing good coronavirus hygiene. McConnell said, “my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different than mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing.” more...

The takedown of the plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was just the tip of the iceberg.
Kelly Weill - the daily beast

A Madison Heights, Michigan, man killed by FBI agents during a still-murky standoff over a weapons warrant. Thirteen other Michigan and Delaware men arrested in state and federal busts over alleged plots to take over the state government. A Maryland man busted on federal weapons charges. A Virginia man arrested for allegedly violating a local open-carry law.

At least four state and federal busts—and, in one case, a local arrest—have targeted the so-called “Boogaloo” movement over the past week. A loosely affiliated but broadly right-wing and libertarian collective, Boogaloos have been on federal radar over the past year, a period during which adherents have been involved in multiple alleged violent plots and murders.

But this week’s crackdown on Boogaloo types suggests a new law enforcement focus, even as it raises questions about a possible surge in far-right organizing. “It could be that law enforcement are paying more attention to these groups,” Mike German, a former FBI agent who specialized in extremist groups, told The Daily Beast. “But it could also be an indicator of increasing activity,” on the part of Boogaloo believers, he added. more...

Twin brothers Michael and William Null had a public history of showing their distaste for Whitmer before their bombshell arrest Thursday.
Pilar Melendez - the daily beast

According to prosecutors, twins Michael and William Null are a part of a militia group who conspired to overthrow the government, kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and put her on trial for “treason.” But according to a Michigan sheriff, who once shared the stage with one of the twins at an anti-Whitmer rally, they might have only wanted to perform a citizen’s arrest on the Democratic governor, calling the bombshell allegations “just a charge.”

“It’s just a charge, and they say a ‘plot to kidnap’ and you got to remember that. Are they trying to kidnap? Because a lot of people are angry with the governor, and they want her arrested. So are they trying to arrest or was it a kidnap attempt? Because you can still, in Michigan, if it’s a felony, make a felony arrest,” Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf told Fox 17.

The Nulls are among seven men linked to the militia group Wolverine Watchmen who were hit on Thursday with several charges, including terrorism crimes, after allegedly planning to attack the state Capitol building and attempt to “instigate a Civil war.” In addition to the twins, Paul Bellar, 21, Shawn Fix, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Pete Musico, 42, and 42-year-old Joseph Morrison were also charged. more...

Reese Oxner

In what the company calls a "firm stance against racism," the review site Yelp will warn consumers when a business has been reported for racist behavior. The company said it would only add this alert to a business page "when there's resounding evidence of egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee." This will include behavior such as "using overtly racist slurs or symbols."

"As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we've seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions," the San Francisco-based company said in a Thursday statement.

On social media, the announcement prompted some praise, but also skepticism from users who questioned how the initiative would be enforced. The company said the alert will require a news article from a "credible media outlet." A link to the article will accompany the notice, and it will appear over the reviews until dismissed. "Incidents that warrant this escalated alert are extremely rare," a Yelp spokesperson told NPR. more...

COVID treatment Trump touted as a "cure" was developed using cells derived from aborted fetal tissue
By Kate Smith

The antibody cocktail that President Trump received for his COVID-19 infection and touted on Wednesday evening as a "cure" for the deadly virus was developed using cells derived from aborted fetal tissue, a practice the White House and anti-abortion rights groups oppose. Last week, Mr. Trump received Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, an experimental therapeutic for coronavirus that is still undergoing testing and is not FDA approved. In a nearly five-minute video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the president lauded its effects, calling it "the key." "I think this was a blessing from God that I caught [the virus], I think it was a blessing in disguise," Mr. Trump said in the video. "I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said, 'Let me take it' … and it was incredible the way it worked." more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) Over the summer, as racial justice demonstrations swept through American cities, President Donald Trump warned he would wield the powers of government to suppress violence. Embracing a "law and order" mantle, Trump himself announced from the East Room a surge of federal agents and castigated groups such as Black Lives Matter as cultivating "hate." "My first duty as President is to protect the American people, and today I'm taking action to fulfill that sacred obligation," he declared. A few months later, Trump's only acknowledgment of his government taking down an alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap the Democratic governor of Michigan was to wonder why he hadn't been thanked.

How Trump chooses to promote his administration's efforts to enforce "law and order" follow a clear pattern of political calculation; in instances when the Justice Department finds cases that bolster his claims of fraudulent voting, rampant urban crime or deep state corruption, Trump is eager to participate. He's likely to reinforce the message about quelling violence on Saturday when he delivers remarks on "law and order" from a White House balcony to a crowd on the South Lawn. more...


CNN's Brianna Keilar shares a clip from MSNBC in which White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern, when asked six times, won't reveal the last time President Donald Trump tested negative for Covid-19. Dr. Chris Pernell, who lost her father to coronavirus, reacts. Source: CNN. video...

Trace William Cowen

Dar Leaf, the purported sheriff of Barry County in Michigan, is a dolt with a penchant for boldness when it comes to said doltiness. As a testament to this, Leaf was recently interviewed by a regional Fox outlet about the fact that he was once seen sharing the stage with one of the men who were announced this week as having been charged in connection with the planned kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.

"Well, I haven't read everything up on it," Leaf said of Michael and William Null, who were among the suspects charged earlier this week. William, notably, was recently seen onstage with Leaf during a demonstration against Whitmer’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order. "I've got other duties to do," Leaf added. "It wasn't our investigation. So I was shocked. I did not see this coming with those guys. But still we can't convict 'em in the news media here. They have a right to a fair trial." more...

“The virus was a hoax here until Trump got it,” one resident said.
Francisco Alvarado, Kelly Weill

MIAMI—Fresh off a vice presidential debate where he sported a reddish, sickly-looking eye, Vice President Mike Pence appears to be charging ahead with a plan to visit America’s largest retirement community in the critical swing state of Florida. But with the White House battling a spiraling COVID-19 outbreak, not everyone in the traditionally Trumpy stronghold of The Villages will be happy to see him. On Saturday, Pence is slated to stop by the 55-and-older community in Sumter County as part of a campaign bus tour through the Sunshine State. The VP would arrive in The Villages as President Donald Trump’s support with senior citizens has shown signs of a drop-off in recent months—and with the president dealing with his own case of the novel coronavirus.

Unlike Trump, who is already making noise about returning to the campaign trail, Pence has not announced a positive test result for COVID-19. But the vice president’s proximity to the growing number of White House staffers who have contracted the virus after a now notorious Rose Garden event has some Villagers—and infectious disease experts—running scared. “The virus was a hoax here until Trump got it,” Chris Stanley, president of The Villages Democratic Club, said of the MAGA crowd’s attitude. “The other night they did a prayer vigil and for the first time, they posted in a big font, ‘You must wear a mask.’ I looked on the webcam and didn’t see many wearing masks, but they now seem to be accepting this is not a Democrat hoax at all.” more...

Documents show police believed they had evidence that Kenneth Walker may have sold drugs. Walker's attorney says police have a conflict of interest.
By Laura Strickler and Lisa Riordan Seville

WASHINGTON — Newly released documents from the internal investigation by Louisville, Kentucky, police of the shooting death of Breonna Taylor show that even after protests erupted nationwide and the case had been turned over to a special prosecutor, the police department was actively gathering negative information about Taylor's boyfriend. The Louisville Metro Police Department was pursuing the information about the man, Kenneth Walker, while it was also investigating its own officers for shooting and killing Taylor.

The documents, part of thousands of pages and hundreds of hours of audio and video released to the public Wednesday, also show that an officer involved in the raid continued to search for a justification for it after Taylor's death. Taylor, 26, an emergency room technician, was killed after midnight on March 13 when officers used a battering ram to raid her apartment seeking evidence in a narcotics investigation. The target of the investigation, an ex-boyfriend of Taylor's named Jamarcus Glover, did not live at that address. more...

William Cummings USA TODAY

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday that the men charged with plotting to kidnap her and storm the state Capitol should be referred to as domestic terrorists, not members of any militia. "They’re not 'militias.' They’re domestic terrorists endangering and intimidating their fellow Americans. Words matter," the governor said in a tweet.

On Thursday, federal and state prosecutors charged 13 members of an armed group with planning to kidnap the governor and other violent, anti-government acts as part of an effort to ignite a wider civil war. The group's organizers face felony domestic terrorism charges. Multiple news organizations referred to the extremists as "Michigan militia" members. In the 1990s, several anti-government groups in the state united under the name Michigan Militia, but in recent years, the term has been used for all similar organizations there, Amy Cooter, a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University who has studied such groups, told the Detroit Free Press, which is part of the USA TODAY Network. more...

With about 240,000 ballots mailed, that meant one in five voters received a wrong ballot.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nearly 50,000 voters received incorrect absentee ballots in the county that is home to Ohio’s capital, elections officials said Friday as they promised corrected ballots would be mailed within 72 hours. With about 240,000 ballots mailed, that meant one in five voters received a wrong ballot. The error happened Saturday afternoon when someone changed a setting on a machine that places absentee ballots into mailing envelopes, Franklin County elections officials said Thursday. Some ballots had an incorrect congressional race, while others had the correct information but were sent to voters in a different precinct. The Franklin County Elections Board said 49,669 voters received incorrect ballots out of 237,498 that were mailed.

The process to print, stuff the replacement ballots in envelopes and mail them was underway Friday, the Franklin County Elections Board announced. The board also said it will mail postcards to all affected voters detailing the situation and highlighting voters’ options moving forward. Those options include voting in-person at the board’s offices on the city’s north side. The elections board said multiple checks are in place to ensure only one voter can cast a ballot, including rejecting any replacement ballots if someone went ahead and voted in person. The news of the incorrect ballots brought renewed focus on an election seeing an unprecedented number of absentee ballot requests, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about in-person voting. more...

Being in the same room is not mandatory to have a meaningful discussion of the issues.
Dan Evon

U.S. presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon participated in a virtual debate in 1960. On Oct. 8, 2020, shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump and more than two dozen White House officials and staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that the second presidential debate between Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden would be moved to a virtual forum. The decision, the CPD said, was made “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.”

Trump called into Fox Business after the CPD’s announcement and told host Maria Bartiromo, “I’m not going to waste my time doing a virtual debate.” The Trump campaign’s refusal to participate in a virtual debate prompted some social media users to post messages about the validity of remote debates. Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson, for instance, claimed, “There has NEVER been a VIRTUAL presidential Debate in American history.” Others posted messages claiming that presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon participated in a virtual debate in 1960. more...

By Phil Mattingly and Ted Barrett, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump has signed off on a roughly $1.8 trillion stimulus offer to be presented to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to two people with knowledge of the decision, marking the highest topline dollar figure the administration has put on the table to this point. The direct involvement of Trump himself and his willingness to put down an offer far above the preferences of congressional Republicans adds a dynamic new element to long-stalled negotiations. Trump, to this point, mostly relied on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to handle the details of the talks with Pelosi.

The $1.8 trillion figure is up from a $1.6 trillion offer from earlier this week, though it remains below the $2.2 trillion in the bill passed last week by House Democrats -- and Pelosi has been unwilling to go below $2 trillion in negotiations up to this point, people familiar with the matter say. The details in the offer remain as important, if not more so, than the topline dollar figure. The specifics are not currently known, though they are expected to be presented to Pelosi later Friday.

The movement from the Trump administration underscores the colossal stakes at play regarding relief in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. The coronavirus, which is still surging in parts of the country, has killed more than 213,000 people in the US, and shutdowns in response to Covid have had broad economic consequences. A wide-ranging package would attempt to address the twin economic and public health crises that continue to play out -- and top economic officials including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have warned inaction could have dire consequences. more...

By Lauren M. Johnson and Stella Chan, CNN

(CNN) Police officials in Long Beach, California, said they removed an "unauthorized" "Make America Great Again" flag supporting President Donald Trump after it was seen flying outside of their station this weekend. "Police Department employees obtained bolt cutters to cut the rope and remove the flag," Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) said in a statement. "A crime report has been taken and an investigation is underway to determine who is responsible for this incident." Normally, three flags fly outside of the main entrance of the Long Beach Police Department Public Safety Building. Access to the area near the flags is presently limited to construction employees due to parking lot construction.

After the flags were switched, the Trump flag was padlocked "in order to restrict the flag's removal," according to a press release from LBPD. LBPD, which describes itself as "an apolitical organization," said "flags or images depicting political activity are not authorized or endorsed." The police department released surveillance footage of the suspect in a tweet. more...

Several of the men charged with a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan's governor have histories of anti-government organizing, according to their online profiles.
By Ben Collins, Brandy Zadrozny, Tom Winter and Corky Siemaszko

Several of the six men charged in federal court Thursday with a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have histories of anti-government organizing, as well as interest in countering what they saw as an "uprising" against President Donald Trump, according to their online profiles and comments. In addition, several of the seven men facing separate state terrorism charges for their activity with a group called the Wolverine Watchmen also posted pro-Trump and anti-government content. The men have not yet appeared in court or entered pleas.

A senior federal law enforcement official said federal agents found that the group of seven tied to the Wolverine Watchmen believes in the "boogaloo" movement, which is largely dedicated to eradicating the government and killing law enforcement officers. Their social media profiles showed connections to a wide variety of known anti-government groups. Around the country, self-described members of the boogaloo movement have committed acts of violence and killed police officers in recent months, often in attempts to ignite what they believe will be a second civil war. Authorities said a California man accused of killing a police officer and a federal agent in June scrawled the word "Boog" in blood on the hood of a car during a standoff with police. Federal agents arrested two other members of the boogaloo movement whom they accused of offering to work with the terrorist group Hamas last month. more...

By Ben Wieder

Last October, federal prosecutors brought campaign finance charges against two associates of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who had worked with him to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine to benefit President Donald Trump. Those Ukraine efforts contributed to the impeachment charges brought against President Trump in January and put Parnas and Fruman’s messy business history on display.

The two men were accused of using money provided by a then-unnamed Russian businessman for political donations to help their efforts to obtain marijuana licenses. They are scheduled to go to trial next year, along with two co-conspirators. On a pretrial call Thursday, the Russian businessman was identified as Andrei Muraviev by a lawyer for one of Parnas and Fruman’s two alleged co-conspirators, Andrey Kukushkin.

McClatchy was the first to report Muraviev as the likely foreign national last October, days after the charges against Parnas, Fruman and their alleged co-conspirators were unveiled on Oct. 10, 2019. And the Sacramento Bee reported soon after that Kukushkin and Muraviev were partners in multiple Sacramento cannabis businesses with local pot king Garib Karapetyan. more...

Watchdog group, along with Marjorie Taylor Greene's former GOP opponent, call on her to give the money back
Igor Derysh

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon conspiracy theorist and Republican candidate who is expected to win her House race in Georgia next month, donated $450,000 to her own campaign after receiving a six-figure Paycheck Protection Program loan from the government for her construction company.

Greene, who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory and posted videos attacking Black people, Muslims and Jews, won the Republican primary in Georgia's 14th congressional district in August despite opposition from Republican leaders. She is almost certain to take over the seat now held by retiring Republican Rep. Tom Graves, especially after her Democratic opponent dropped out of the race last month in a district President Trump carried by 50 points. Trump has since praised Greene as a "future Republican star." more...

Frank Witsil Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — The Wolverine Watchmen, the Michigan group accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others, is one of an estimated two to three dozen armed Michigan groups that some fear could pose a growing threat. Michigan has had a long history of groups of armed men and women, which are active in every state, according to Amy Cooter, a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University, who has studied them for more than a dozen years. Modern armed groups, she said, date to the early 1990s as a response to perceived fears of tyrannical government.

The state "has always been a hotbed for militia activity," with a strong presence ever since the early 1990s, Cooter said. "The militias in Michigan have always been the kind to which other states' militias look up to." Thursday, law enforcement arrested 13 people, including seven members of the Wolverine Watchmen, which sparked a national conversation about domestic terrorism and the purpose of these private, loosely organized and armed organizations. The extensive investigation, court documents showed, relied on confidential informants, undercover agents, recorded conversations, text messages and social media. Federal agents detailed a plan to violently overthrow the government, which included a conspiracy to kidnap the Democratic governor, take her to Wisconsin and put her on trial for "treason." more...

Whitmer addressed kidnapping plot, blames Trump for ‘fomenting anger’
click on detroit

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday night criticizing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hours after Whitmer addressed the FBI uncovering a plot by a group of Michigan residents to kidnap her.

“Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan," Trump said on Twitter.

“My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced... today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities... I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!”

13 people charged in scheme
click on detroit

Here is a deep dive into the intricate details of a scheme to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home, including quotes from undercover audio recordings, code words used while plotting and a secret trap door hidden under the rug of a Grand Rapids business. Five Michigan residents -- Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta -- and Barry Croft, of Delaware, have been charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer. Attorney General Dana Nessel issued charges against seven others.

June 6
On June 6, Croft, Fox and around 13 others from multiple states gathered in Dublin, Ohio, to discuss creating a society that followed the Bill of Rights and allowed them to be self sufficient, officials said. A confidential informant for the FBI was at the meeting, according to court records. They talked about different ways to achieve their goals, from peaceful to violent actions, feds said. “Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” the criminal complaint says. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.” more...

Alana Wise

Democrats on Thursday made it clear they felt President Trump was at least in part to blame for a thwarted scheme to kidnap the governor of Michigan, citing the president's divisive rhetoric that has often found support among white supremacists and other hate groups. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had foiled a plot by militia members to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, and take her to a secure location in Wisconsin for "trial." Six men have been arrested and are facing federal charges. In a coordinated move, seven more people with ties to a far-right militia group are facing state charges in Michigan pursuant to the state's anti-terrorism act.

In a Thursday press conference, Whitmer thanked law enforcement for their efforts to bring "these sick and depraved men to justice." She also pointed to language by the president, particularly Trump's recent refusals to openly condemn white supremacists, as inciting this sort of political violence. "Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, like these two Michigan militia groups. 'Stand back and stand by,' he told them. 'Stand back and stand by.' Hate groups heard the president's words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action," she said. Whitmer was referring to one of Trump's responses in the last presidential debate, in which he declined to condemn white supremacy. After days of criticism, he did condemn white supremacist groups in a TV interview. more...


Tory Lanez has been charged in connection with the shooting involving Megan Thee Stallion ... just weeks after the singer released an album claiming his innocence. The L.A. County D.A.'s Office hit him with one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and one count of carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. The D.A. also alleges Tory inflicted great bodily injury. If convicted, the rapper/singer faces up to 22 years and 8 months in prison.

As we reported ... the prosecutors had said they were mulling over a charge of felony assault with a firearm against Tory after Megan said she was shot back in July. Remember, Tory had been arrested but only charged with possession of a firearm. Prosecutors are now explicitly pointing the finger at Tory as the man who pulled the trigger ... leaving Meg with a gruesome foot injury. more...

By Raja Razek and Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) A police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Jonathan Price in Wolfe City, Texas, was fired on Thursday, city officials said.
Wolfe City officer Shaun Lucas was "terminated for his egregious violation of the City's and police department's policies," a statement from Wolfe City said. Lucas was charged with murder earlier this week in connection with Price's death. A preliminary investigation determined his actions were unreasonable, authorities said. The officer was responding to a report of a disturbance and a possible fight in progress Saturday at a convenience store in Wolfe City when he shot Price four times in the torso, the probable cause affidavit released by the Hunt County District Clerk said. more...

Bill Chappell

The Trump administration has "taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy" in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The New England Journal of Medicine says in a scathing editorial that essentially calls on American voters to throw the president out of office. It is the first time the prestigious medical journal has taken a stance on a U.S. presidential election since it was founded in 1812.

"When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent," reads the editorial signed by nearly three dozen of the journal's editors. "We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs."

The editors accuse Trump's government of a massive public health failure — and of worsening the pandemic's effects by prioritizing politics over sound medical guidance. The piece, titled "Dying in a Leadership Vacuum" and published Wednesday, does not mention President Trump or his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, by name. But it refers to the Trump administration repeatedly, and its footnotes cite news articles about Trump insisting that coronavirus risks are overblown, pressuring federal scientists, and politicizing the search for treatments. more...


Americans should absolutely be concerned the man with our nuclear codes is on steroids, because the reality is President Trump's judgment could be impaired ... according to Dr. Robert Wachter. Dr. Wachter, considered the father of the hospitalist field, joined us on "TMZ Live" Wednesday and told us older COVID patients sick enough to be hospitalized have a decent chance of experiencing cognitive problems. He added ... coupling that with steroids increases the odds POTUS might not be thinking straight. more...


Kanye West isn't a top choice on the Presidential ticket in Cali -- but the reason he's been tapped to be VP to someone else is all about an attempt to screw Joe Biden. You mighta heard Kanye will be a Vice Presidential candidate in the Golden State, the running mate alongside a guy named Rocky De La Fuente ... who's running for Prez from the American Independent Party. The AIP admits choosing Ye as Veep was an anti-Dems strategy. Markham Robinson -- Vice Chairman of the AIP -- tells TMZ party leaders nominated Kanye to be on the ticket with De La Fuente at their state convention in late August ... and no, they did NOT run it by KW or RDLF for that matter. That's just how the AIP does it. more...


Kellyanne Conway confronted her daughter over her recent viral posts about COVID in their family (and at the White House), and based on this video ... we're thinking the teenager's in timeout. Claudia Conway captured a loud face-off she had with her mom on TikTok, which was briefly posted to her account. It shows Claudia facing the camera, when Kellyanne enters the room off-camera and scolds her for spreading what she calls lies about their COVID diagnoses.

Kellyanne drops an F-bomb while Claudia tries explaining she was just sharing her interpretation. Nice try, Claudia ... but ma ain't buying it, and seems pretty furious here. Especially once she realizes Claudia is recording the whole thing! A written statement was posted to Claudia's account -- saying she was sorry for the "uproar" her TikTok posts have caused in recent days ... going on to explain it wasn't her intent to mislead and clarifying she had no special insight into Trump's health. more...

*** Trump is once again using your tax dollars for his reelection campaign. ***

As officials debate how to get Trump’s name on the cards, health officials warn of a taxpayer-funded boondoggle to bolster president’s flagging poll numbers.

Caught by surprise by President Donald Trump’s promise to deliver drug-discount cards to seniors, health officials are scrambling to get the nearly $8 billion plan done by Election Day, according to five officials and draft documents obtained by POLITICO.

The taxpayer-funded plan, which was only announced two weeks ago and is being justified inside the White House and the health department as a test of the Medicare program, is being driven by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the officials said. The administration is seeking to finalize the plan as soon as Friday and send letters to 39 million Medicare beneficiaries next week, informing seniors of Trump's new effort to lower their drug costs, although many seniors would not receive the actual cards until after the election.

The $200 cards — which would resemble credit cards, would need to be used at pharmacies and could be branded with a reference to Trump himself — would be paid for by tapping Medicare's trust fund. “The goal is to begin the test by distributing cards starting in October 2020,” according to a draft proposal circulated within the White House last week and obtained by POLITICO. Career civil servants have raised concerns about the hasty plan and whether it is politically motivated, particularly after Verma pushed Medicare officials to finalize the plan before the Nov. 3 election, said two officials. more...

Robert Snell The Detroit News

The FBI says it thwarted what it described as a plot to violently overthrow the government and kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and federal prosecutors are expected to discuss the alleged conspiracy later Thursday. The alleged plot involved reaching out to members of a Michigan militia, according to a federal affidavit filed Thursday. The court filing also alleges the conspirators twice conducted surveillance at Whitmer's personal vacation home and discussed kidnapping her to a "secure location" in Wisconsin to stand "trial" for treason prior to the Nov. 3 election.

"Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor," an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. "The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message." The affidavit was filed hours after a team of FBI agents raided a Hartland Township home Wednesday and comes amid an ongoing investigation into the death of a Metro Detroit man killed during a shootout with FBI agents. More than 12 people were arrested late Wednesday on state and federal charges. more...

By John Bowden

Federal election inspectors will be allowed to take steps to investigate potential election-related criminal offenses even if the public reaction to their investigations could impact the election itself, according to a new memo. In the directive emailed by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section on Friday and first reported by ProPublica, officials state that an exception now exists to the rule dictating that federal investigators avoid taking action — such as making arrests or conducting searches — that would cause a public reaction and therefore have potential to influence election results.

Investigators will now be able to take such action if "the integrity of any component of the federal government is implicated by election offenses within the scope of the policy including but not limited to misconduct by federal officials or employees administering an aspect of the voting process through the United States Postal Service, the Department of Defense or any other federal department or agency," according to ProPublica. more...

By Jordan Williams

Six additional executives of chicken producers were indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver for conspiring to fix prices, the Department of Justices announced Wednesday. The charges are the latest in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into price fixing in the industry. Four executives were charged in June for their role in the alleged scheme.  The indictment alleges that all 10 executives conspired to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products from 2012 to early 2019.

Among the defendants in the new indictment were William Lovette, former CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride, as well Pilgrim’s Pride executives William Kantola and Jimmie Little. Little faces one additional charge for making false statements to federal law enforcement and one count of obstruction of justice.  Other executives charged include former industry executives Timothy Mulrenin, Gary Roberts and Rickie Blake.  more...

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