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"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech," said Benjamin Franklin. Everyone has an opinion and the right to speak that opinion our forefathers granted us that right it is called the First Amendment. Read it then discuss it in the Forums.

Welcome to GOP Watch keeping an eye on Republicans for you page 1

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Republicans claim to be patriots but they are not. Real patriots put country first not party; Republicans put party first not country, Republicans are not real patriots. The Republican Party is doing some very unpatriotic things and is willing to destroy our democracy using lies, hate, fear, alterative facts, whataboutism and Russian talking points to stay in power and protect a comprised and corrupt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party and Putin.

Republicans will tell you anything depending on the day of the week or the way the wind blows. Republicans use lies and alternative facts (more lies) to support there fabricated stories. Many of same Republicans who wanted to impeach Clinton are now protecting Trump from obstruction charges and are not protecting Americans from Trump or Russian election interference. There was a time (before Trump) Republicans did not support or trust Russia now that Trump is in office Republicans love Russian talking points and Putin more than they do America. Once again, Republicans put party above country. We need to keep an eye on them before they destroy America, as we know it. #Trump, #GOP, #Republican, #VoterSuppression, #VoterIntimidation, #Gerrymandering, #Corruption, #RightWing, #Racism, #Hate, #Russian Welcome to GOP Watch keeping an eye on Republicans for you. The Republican Party is using lies, hate, fear, alterative facts and whataboutism to stay in power and protect a comprised and corrupt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party and Putin. The GOP is a danger to America and Americans.

Republicans vs Republicans what Republicans said vs what Republicans said.

The Russians have infiltrated the Republican Party, the NRA, white evangelicals and white nationalist in attempt to sow division in America.

How republicans use voter suppression and voter intimidation to steal you vote and gerrymandering to stay in power. In the old days, bad people used threats, sticks, knives and guns to prevent people from voting. Now Republicans remove you from the voter rolls or use voter ID laws to make it harder for some to vote so they can steal the elections and stay in power.

Is a threat to free press, free speech, free trade, the rule of law, human rights, human decency, our democracy and the American way of life. Find out more about the real Donald J. Trump (Don The Con).

Dedicated to Donald J. Trump's (aka Don the Con) time in the White House. We are dedicated to exposing the real Donald J. Trump and shining a light on the threat he is to Democracy and America.

Donald J. Trump drained the swap and filled it with toxic septic tank water. Washington in worse off now than it was before Trump became president. Donald J. Trump and the Trump administration will go down as the worse, most corrupt, comprised and dishonest administration in American history. This page is dedicated to tracking that corruption.

Many other republicans are making asses of themselves and their party to protect and appease Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump has made a mockery of Republican Party. Donald J. Trump has made the Republican Party his flunkies, minions and some his bitches. When he says do something they do it even when they know it is wrong or illegal. They do not care that the oath of office is to America and the constitution not to Donald J. Trump. Republicans put Donald J. Trump before America, the constitution and their oath of office. They are willing to violate their oath of office to protect Donald J. Trump.

Tracking the Mueller Investigation into how the Russians infiltrated the Trump campaign and the Republican Party to help get Donald J. Trump elected president of the United States of America.

Jerry Falwell Jr. is pushing greed, racism, sexism and homophobia instead of the word of the god. God warns us of false prophets.

From a hard nose prosecutor, to America’s mayor, to a right wing conspiracy nut and now a criminal suspect the rise and fall of Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani along with Trump are using Russian talking points to promote Russia’s version of interference in the 2016 election. You have to question were their allegiance are to America or to Russia, more and more it looks like their allegiance is to Russia and not to America.

Mitch McConnell (aka Moscow Mitch) is a Trump enabler who has done more to protect and enable Trump and help Russia than he has done to help America and protect the constitution.

Fox News (Fake News) is the Republican Party's propaganda wing. Fake News (Fox News) uses fake news, lies, propaganda, alternative facts and conspiracy theories to protect Republicans, attack Democrats. Fox News (fake news) is the place where the Republicans runs to for cover story and protection when they get caught doing wrong. Fake News (Fox News), Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party are destroying our country with lies, alternative facts and conspiracy theories. Fake News (Fox News) does not talk about the fact the Russia attacked America in an unprovoked and unprecedented cyber-attack during the 2016 election to help Donald J. Trump get elected, instead they distract us with lies, alternative facts and conspiracy theories to protect Trump. Russia is still attacking our democracy but you would not know that if you only watch Fake News (Fox News). Americans deserve better than third world tactics of fake news, lies, propaganda, alternative facts and conspiracy theories.

Trump enablers in the Republican Party have violated their oath of office to protect Donald J. protect Trump. They say bad men can do bad things if good men do nothing. Trump can do bad things because his Republican enablers will not do anything to stop him they actively help and support him.

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...

Election officials in US battleground states are still fighting to limit their usage with only days left until 3 November
Jess Hardin - guardian.org

On the East Side of Youngstown, Ohio, a steady stream of early voters drop off completed absentee ballots into the new drop box outside the Mahoning County Board of Elections. Gloria Phifer is one of them. The 68-year-old retired mail carrier drove about 15 minutes to the former hospital-turned-county office center. She doesn’t mind walking, so she found a parking spot outside, walked up to the entrance and dropped her ballot into the red drop box – the only one in the county.

“My fellow mail carriers, god bless them and everything, but I thought it would easier just bring it down here,” Phifer said. “This is an important election and I wanted to just make sure [there were] no problems.” In response to safety concerns spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and worries about potential mail delays, drop boxes are popping up all over the country – in many places for the first time. The largely secure voting method has long been available to voters in states like Colorado and Washington. But amid the partisan battles over access to the polls, election officials in battleground states are still fighting to limit their usage with only days left until 3 November.

Directives from Ohio secretary of state Frank LaRose and Texas governor Greg Abbott – both Republicans – limit drop boxes to one per county. In Harris county, Texas, home to Houston, that’s one box for 4.7 million people. For the 228,000 residents in more sparse Mahoning county, a single drop box could result in a lengthy trip to the Board of Elections. In stark contrast, for the 2.3 million residents of King county in greater Seattle, there are 73 24-hour drop boxes within easy reach of voters. more...

By Nicholas GoldbergColumnist

So now it is official: The same Republican senators who in 2016 refused to consider Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court because, with eight months to go, it was supposedly too close to the presidential election, have now confirmed Amy Coney Barrett with just eight days left before the election. This is so unprincipled, so inconsistent and so cynical that it defies the imagination. It is the flip-flop of the century, undertaken by the Republicans for one reason: Barrett’s confirmation ensures a conservative majority on the high court for the foreseeable future.

But here is one good thing that could come of this shameful episode. With millions of people still casting their votes before Nov. 3, perhaps the Barrett confirmation will open Americans’ eyes, once and for all, and show them who they’re dealing with. Perhaps it will persuade them to reject the radical and hypocritical Senate Republicans at the polls.

Barrett’s confirmation, after all, is only one of many irresponsible moves by the Senate majority, led by the craven Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who long ago threw his lot in with President Trump. In recent years, he and his caucus have grown not just more extreme in their ideology but more unscrupulous in their tactics.

Not only did they refuse a hearing to Garland (giving that seat instead to Trump appointee Neil M. Gorsuch), but not long after, McConnell and his colleagues rammed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination through without a comprehensive investigation of the sexual assault allegations against him. The Senate majority also slow-walked the confirmation of lower court judges during the final years of the Obama administration — and then sped them up when Trump came into office. The Senate majority ignored evidence, disregarded facts and refused to hear additional witnesses before acquitting Trump in a half-baked impeachment trial in February, thereby giving the imprimatur of the upper house to the president’s high crimes and misdemeanors. more...

Swedish university finds ‘dramatic shift’ in GOP under Trump, shunning democratic norms and encouraging violence
Julian Borger in Washington

The Republican party has become dramatically more illiberal in the past two decades and now more closely resembles ruling parties in autocratic societies than its former centre-right equivalents in Europe, according to a new international study. In a significant shift since 2000, the GOP has taken to demonising and encouraging violence against its opponents, adopting attitudes and tactics comparable to ruling nationalist parties in Hungary, India, Poland and Turkey. The shift has both led to and been driven by the rise of Donald Trump.

By contrast the Democratic party has changed little in its attachment to democratic norms, and in that regard has remained similar to centre-right and centre-left parties in western Europe. Their principal difference is the approach to the economy. The new study, the largest ever of its kind, was carried out by the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, using newly developed methods to measure and quantify the health of the world’s democracies at a time when authoritarianism is on the rise. Anna Lührmann, V-Dem’s deputy director, said the Republican transformation had been “certainly the most dramatic shift in an established democracy”. more...

Madison Cawthorn says the remark, which has been removed, was meant to "condemn left-wing identity politics" that are "dangerous and divisive."
By Dareh Gregorian

A House candidate considered a rising star in the GOP launched a campaign attack website accusing a critic of going "to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office." The language on Madison Cawthorn's "Moe Taxes" website was changed Thursday night after it was first reported by the website The Bulwark. Cawthorn blamed poor "syntax" for the racist message, which he said didn't "convey my intended meaning."

“The syntax of our language was unclear and unfairly implied I was criticizing (New Jersey senator) Cory Booker,” he said in a statement he posted on Twitter. "My intended meaning was, and is, to condemn left-wing identity politics that is dangerous and divisive. I have condemned racism and identity politics throughout my campaign." The intended target of the attack was Tom Fiedler, a political journalist turned university dean who now works for a local news organization in North Carolina. Cawthorn argued Fiedler "advocates" for Moe Davis, the Democratic candidate in North Carolina's 11th congressional district. more...

How the Trump campaign used big data to deter Miami-Dade’s Black communities from voting
By Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, C. Isaiah Smalls II, Christina Saint Louis, Ana Claudia Chacin, David Smiley, Shirsho Dasgupta, and
Yadira Lopez

Donald Trump’s team knew they couldn’t win the 2016 election simply by persuading people to vote for Trump. They also had to make sure Hillary Clinton supporters didn’t come out to the polls. So the campaign and its allies used big data to target Black communities along Miami-Dade County’s historically disenfranchised Interstate 95 corridor. There, residents became some of the 12.3 million unwitting subjects of a groundbreaking nationwide experiment: A computer algorithm that analyzed huge sums of potential voters’ personal data — things they’d said and done on Facebook, credit card purchases, charities they supported, and even personality traits — decided they could be manipulated into not voting. They probably wouldn’t even know it was happening.

Internally, Trump’s staff described this part of their operation with a term that went beyond the usual strategy of negative campaigning. They called it “deterrence.” The campaign blasted these voters selected for deterrence — usually wavering Hillary Clinton supporters — with advertisements, disinformation and misleading messaging designed to convince them to lose faith in Clinton and not show up to the polls, according to an investigation by the Miami Herald and the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, which exclusively obtained a massive cache of internal Trump campaign data from 2016.

What exactly went into the selection algorithm isn’t known — the Trump campaign’s machine-learning model remains a black box. But however sophisticated the model, it produced clear results: In Miami-Dade, more than 116,000 Black people identified by the campaign as potential voters were selected for deterrence, roughly half of all Black voters in the county.

That was almost twice the rate of deterrence for non-Black voters, a Herald analysis shows. Not only were Blacks far more likely to be selected for deterrence, but even non-Black voters were more likely to be on the deterrence list if they lived in Black communities like those along Interstate 95 heading north to Broward County. “The laser-like focus on suppressing Black turnout is clear,” said Dan Smith, a political scientist at the University of Florida who reviewed the Herald’s analysis of the campaign data. “It’s very striking.” more...

*** Republicans quest to pack the court system continues. ***

Tucker Higgins

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court over a boycott from the committee’s Democrats. The vote paves the way for the full Senate to confirm Barrett to the high court on Monday, ahead of the Nov. 3 election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump has repeatedly pressed for Barrett to be placed on the high court in time to resolve any election-related litigation, a request that Democrats see as a plain call for the court’s conservative majority to declare him the winner if the outcome is contested. The swift action by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R, S-C., to meet Trump’s deadline will make Barrett the first justice in history to be confirmed so close to Election Day.

Barrett, who was a professor at Notre Dame Law School until Trump nominated her to serve on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals approximately three years ago, will be the sixth Republican-appointee on the nine-judge Supreme Court, and Trump’s third nominee. Trump nominated her to the high court last month after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon who served on the bench for 27 years. Ginsburg expressed a dying wish not to be replaced until after the election.

As Ginsburg’s replacement, Barrett is expected to shift the court’s center of gravity decisively to the right, potentially imperiling the Democratic agenda items on health care, abortion access and the Second Amendment. In focus is a Nov. 10 case the court will hear over the constitutionality of Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. more...

By Katherine Fung

Ahead of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation vote, Republicans for the Rule of Law, an anti-Trump GOP group, blasted five Republican senators for flip-flopping on their 2016 position on confirming Barack Obama nominee Merrick Garland. The ads—targeting Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Rob Portman—highlight the senators' comments from 2016 when they said Supreme Court justices should not be confirmed during an election year.

These remarks come in stark opposition to the current efforts to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's vacancy before November 3. "It would be bad to move forward in the middle of a hotly contested presidential campaign," Grassley says in a clip from 2016 featured in the ad. A senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley has argued that confirming Barrett is different from the case of Garland, Obama's 2016 Supreme Court nominee, because Republicans now control both the White House and the Senate, unlike the divided government of four years ago. more...

QAnon has become a linchpin of far-right media—and the effort to preemptively delegitimize the election.
Renée DiResta

Whether President Donald Trump wins or loses, some version of QAnon is going to survive the election. On the day of the vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, the individual or group known as “Q” sent out a flurry of posts. “ONLY THE ILLUSION OF DEMOCRACY,” began one. “Joe 30330—Arbitrary?—What is 2020 [current year] divided by 30330? Symbolism will be their downfall,” read another, darkly hinting at satanic numerology in Joe Biden’s campaign text-messaging code.

Vague, foreboding messages that could mean anything or nothing—these are the hallmarks of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory, built around Q’s postings on internet message boards, in which Trump is heroically battling a global cabal of devil-worshipping pedophiles. But something noteworthy lurked in Q’s final post of the night: “SHADOW PRESIDENT. SHADOW GOVERNMENT. INFORMATION WARFARE. IRREGULAR WARFARE. COLOR REVOLUTION. INSURGENCY.”

Color revolution. This was the first time Q used the term. Originally a reference to mass protests such as the one in Ukraine in 2004, when citizens wearing orange clothes and carrying orange banners rallied to bring down a government, it became a catchphrase that authoritarian governments use to discredit pro-democracy movements as the handiwork of the CIA. Q was using color revolution in just that way. more...

As tech platforms battle with QAnon conspiracy theorists, some Republicans are opening the door to the fringe group

The QAnon world is no longer simply a social media community trafficking in conspiracy theories. It’s increasingly a new constituency for the GOP — one that’s fired up like the rest of the MAGA movement, warring with tech giants and ready to battle through Election Day on behalf of a struggling president. Just this month, President Donald Trump has retweeted and highlighted several accounts with a history of posting QAnon content. He’s stoked conspiracy theories that originated in the QAnon world, even to the detriment of his own supporters. And along with other Republicans, he’s increasingly allowed into the arms of his MAGA movement a group that had been dismissed as fringe nonsense.

While both groups started from very different places, both MAGA and QAnon supporters share the belief that Trump is fighting conspiracies emanating from inside the Deep State — a notion Trump himself has invoked. “MAGA world kind of sees Trump as this epic hero, and QAnon does the same exact thing,” said Kristen Doerer, managing editor of Right Wing Watch, a nonprofit that tracks far-right groups.

The QAnon movement suffered another blow on Thursday when YouTube became the latest platform to block some content from QAnon believers. Facebook in August announced a ban on QAnon groups with “discussions of potential violence,” expanding it to a blanket ban on QAnon-affiliated groups and pages in early October. Twitter’s approach was narrower, simply banning nearly 7,000 accounts back in July. The Facebook and Twitter moves came in response to reports that QAnon pages had been spreading pandemic-related misinformation, as well as inspiring acts of violence nationwide.

But QAnon has already found other ways to survive. Parts of the GOP are falling into an uneasy relationship with the QAnon conspiracy theory, which alleges in part that a cabal of demon-worshipping, pedophile elites live in Washington and will stop at nothing to maintain their power. 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Avlon: This is an unprecedented power grab
New Day

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

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...

The court found that Abbott's intention was to make it easier for Texans to vote.

What happened: A federal appeals court has reinstated Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order limiting the use of absentee ballot drop boxes to one location per county, regardless of population. Just before midnight Monday Texas time, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a district judge’s preliminary injunction against Abbott’s October 1 directive.

Fifth Circuit Judge Stuart Duncan said the lower court erred by failing to view the governor’s order as part of a broader initiative aimed at making it easier for Texans to vote amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “Critics were clearly clueless about the legality of my action & simply voiced prejudicial political opinions,” Abbott wrote in a celebratory tweet.

The background: Civil rights groups and Democrats complained that the one-dropbox-location-per-county rule that Abbott abruptly imposed two weeks ago unfairly burdens large urban counties and has the potential to deter voters and create health hazards. However, Duncan said the rule would have a “de minimis” impact on voters, at most. 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...

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

Judge denies GOP effort to end Tony Evers' mask mandate, upholding governor's ability to issue health orders
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...

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...

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...

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...

Yelena Dzhanova

For nearly 40 years, the Republican National Committee was barred from engaging in voter intimidation tactics and "ballot security" measures like paying law enforcement to appear at polling sites. But in 2018, a federal judge lifted the restriction, ending the 1982 consent decree. This year will be the first time in nearly four decades that a presidential election is held without this agreement in place — an addition to the heap of challenges already influencing voters amid a global health crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended US elections, bringing on postponed primaries, changes to in-person polling sites, and a battle over expanded vote-by-mail.  "We've never seen a presidential election quite like this one because the dynamics of it are just so different," Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel and senior deputy director for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told Business Insider. more...

Stuart Stevens says he now realizes the hatred and bigotry of Trumpism were always at the heart of the GOP.
David Corn

When Donald Trump decided to back-burner the coronavirus crisis and reboot his reelection campaign with superspreader events in June, he headed to an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to present his case for four more years. In front of an audience of maskless fans standing side by side, Trump performed his usual routine. He threw out buzzwords (“law and order,” “left-wing radicals”). He boasted. (“I have done a phenomenal job” responding to the pandemic.) He denigrated his opponent as “Sleepy Joe.” He obsessed over personal grievances and slights, devoting much time to slamming news outlets that had recently shown video of him walking gingerly down a ramp after delivering a commencement address at West Point. What was mostly missing from Trump’s speech: ideas.

Although he referred to his tax cuts for the wealthy, his appointment of conservative judges, and his “beautiful” wall on the US-Mexico border, Trump had little to say about economic policy, national security, health care, education, housing, the environment, and other subjects. Moreover, he offered no agenda for a second term other than vague promises of making everything swell. Days later, during a friendly Fox News “town hall,” Sean Hannity asked Trump to spell out his plans for a second term. He replied by rambling on about his inauguration and attacking John Bolton. more...

I’ve worked on winning Republican races across the South, and I’ve never seen a racist appeal like Trump's succeed. Why won't his party challenge him?
Stuart Stevens Opinion contributor

About a year ago, I finished writing a book in which I posited that race was the original sin of the modern Republican Party and that the rise of President Donald Trump is based more on white grievance than any other factor. It was a conviction I had come to after over 30 years of working in Republican politics, including five presidential campaigns. To me it seemed an inescapable if depressing reality.  

My first campaign was for a congressional seat in Mississippi among a white Republican (my client), a white Democrat and a Black Independent. I quickly realized anything we could do to increase the profile of the African American would help divert votes from the Democrat to the Independent. It was our best play, since there was little we could do to attract African Americans to our own campaign. more...

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