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In This Edition

Sharon Zhang returns with, "DeJoy Will Have To Testify In Court After USPS's Failed Mail-In Ballot 'Sweep.'"

Greg Palast returns with, "Election Day Mayhem Began Two Years Ago With Massive Voter Purges."

Glen Ford explains why, "Corporate Democrats Want To Run Against Trump-like Republicans Forever."

Jim Hightower sees, "A Wealth Of Riches, A Poverty Of Morals."

William Rivers Pitt says, "Trumpism Is Alive And Well - And It Won't Go Away Even If Trump Does."

John Nichols says, "Dont Just Dump Trump, Ditch Mitch."

James Donahue sees, "Experienced Journalists Hanging Heads In Shame."

David Swanson concludes, "In 1940, The United States Decided To Rule The World."

David Suzuki concludes, "Decolonization Requires Action And New Ways Of Seeing."

Charles P. Pierce says, "Those Rats Won't F*ck Themselves, But One Republican Judge Has Refused To Do It."

Jake Johnson returns with, "'This Is A Tsunami... Pay Attention': With All Eyes On Election Results, Experts Horrified As Covid-19 Hits New Record."

Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich gives, "FAQs About What's Ahead."

Thom Hartmann says, "Democrats Have to Get Smart About Media and Messaging."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Onion reports, "Amy Coney Barrett Promises Catholic Faith Won't Interfere With Court's Crushing Of The Poor, Downtrodden," but first Uncle Ernie sez, "So Far, So Good!"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Jen Sorenson, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Tom Williams, Brendan Smialowski, Jon Cherry, David McNew, Mark Ralston, Jason Hargrove, Go Nakamura, Robert Reich, Jim Hightower, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

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The Vidkun Quisling Award-
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To End On A Happy Note-
Have You Seen This-
Parting Shots-

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So Far, So Good!
Chances are if Lying Donald steals this election you will never get another chance to vote
By Ernest Stewart

"Reminds me of that fella back home who fell off a ten-story building. As he was falling, people on each floor kept hearing him say, "So far, so good. Heh, so far, so good." ~~~ Vin ~ The Magnificent Seven

"Climate change is the greatest threat to our existence in our short history on this planet. Nobody's going to buy their way out of its effects." ~~~ Mark Ruffalo

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
Help ~~~ The Beatles

As I write this Wall Street Joe has a lead over Lying Donald of three million votes. Last night before the polls had even closed Lying Donald was claiming victory but if Lying Donald has taught us anything, is that his talk is cheap! As it stands now Biden is ahead in Nevada if he wins their 6 electoral votes then he'll have the 270 electoral votes that he needs to win the presidency. Even if Joe wins the votes Lying Donald and his goons in various Rethuglican controlled states legislatures may change their votes and award it to Lying Donald so we're not out of the woods just yet. To be assured Joe needed to win by an overwhelming lead which he doesn't have, he's about where Hillary was, with just over 3,000,000 vote lead.

Lying Donald is currently ahead in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia, which if he wins he will have only 264 votes which is 6 votes shy of the number needed. Of course, of the remaining four states they all could go either way so hang in there, America, it's gong to be a nail bitter! After all the crimes that Lying Donald has done to America he currently has 5,000,000 more votes than he had in 2016, he should have been trailing by 10,000,000. Without a doubt, the American people are the dumbest people in the world! It boggles the mind why anyone would vote for Lying Donald knowing what we know 4 years down the line!

On a happy note, the recreational use of cannabis is now legal in 15 states as Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota have joined (Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington), the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. And is now legal for medical use in Mississippi! It was on five state ballots, and all five ballots passed. Hopefully this will send a message to "foggy bottom' to make it legal everywhere. All we need do is show the congressional critters how they can make a buck off of full legalisation and I'm sure they'll all come around!

In Other News

I see where a fleet of robotic probes will monitor global warming's impact on microscopic ocean life.

Did you know that a single drop of seawater holds millions of phytoplankton, a mix of algae, bacteria, and protocellular creatures? Across the world's oceans these photosynthesising microbes pump out more than half of the planet's oxygen, while slowing climate change by capturing an estimated 25% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released from humanity's burning of fossil fuels. But the scale of this vital chemistry is mostly a guess, and there's little sense of how it will change as temperatures rise. "What's happening out there? We have no idea really," says Susan Wijffels, a physical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Soon, 500 drifting ocean floats studded with biogeochemical sensors will deliver answers. Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced it will spend $53 million to fund the new floats, marking the first major expansion of the Argo array, a set of 4000 floats that for 15 years has tracked rising ocean temperatures. "This is going to be revolutionary," says Wijffels, a leader of the original Argo program.

The biogeochemical (BGC) Argo floats, in development for nearly as long as Argo itself, will operate much like their forerunners. After being tossed off a ship, each of the skinny, 1-meter-tall floats drifts with deep ocean currents 1000 meters down. Every 10 days or so, it uses an oil-filled bladder to change its density, dropping to 2000 meters and then slowly rising to the surface, where it beams the resulting profile home. Although instruments lowered from ships can make deeper and more precise measurements, ship campaigns are expensive, and often limited to common ocean trade routes, says Ken Johnson, a chemical oceanographer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and a leader of the new program. The floats, he says, are "not as good as a ship, but they're there all the time."

In addition to standard Argo measurements of temperature and salinity, the new floats will have sensors measuring oxygen, sunlight, particles, chlorophyll (a gauge of phytoplankton abundance), nitrate (a key nutrient), and pH (acidity). Researchers will be watching that last reading closely, because acidity reflects both the ocean's uptake of CO2 and its pernicious effect. When the gas dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid that eventually splits into bicarbonate and hydrogen ions, the latter increasing the water's acidity. Ecologists are concerned that acidification, already 30% worse in surface waters than preindustrial times, will make it more difficult for some phytoplankton, corals, bivalves, and many other species to assemble their shells of calcium carbonate.

Meanwhile, out west this season over 7,800 square miles of California have burnt to the ground. The most on record. Over in Colorado they've lost an other 1100 square miles of forrest making it their worst fire season on record. While in Alaska they had a relatively mild season with just 312 square miles burnt, well, mild when compared to last year when some 4,000 square miles went up in smoke, all of which just blocks more sunlight from reflecting harmlessly back into space and keeps global warming going full tilt!

And Finally

Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue has threatened to send armed federal agents into vote counting facilities to disrupt their counting of legal ballots, heightening fears of possible intimidation efforts by the Trump administration. When Lying Donald saw that he was beginning to lose states that were taking their time to count all legal ballots and weren't stopping the count like he ordered, he ordered the Department of "Justice" to put a stop to it, even though it was illegal to do so. When has something being illegal ever stopped Lying Donald before?

To which, Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General said: "State officials have authority over anyone trying to enter locations where ballots are being counted. Anything else is a radical reinterpretation of the law. States can handle elections, and we will ensure the people decide the outcome."

So far Richard hasn't sent in any federal troops but for threatening to do so, Richard wins this week's Vidkun Quisling Award!

Keepin' On

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Thanks for the laughs!

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So how do you like Trump so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2020 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy talks with Rep. Mark Walker before a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

DeJoy Will Have To Testify In Court After USPS's Failed Mail-In Ballot "Sweep"
By Sharon Zhang

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., said on Wednesday that the United States Postal Service's (USPS) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must testify in court or be deposed to account for a failure to "sweep" facilities for ballots, as the judge ordered on Tuesday.

"In no uncertain terms, I'm not pleased about this 11th-hour development last night," Judge Emmet Sullivan said, scolding USPS's lawyers. "You can tell your clients that - and someone might have a price to pay." The failure to follow the sweep order, Sullivan said, started "at the top of the food chain" - meaning DeJoy.

The lawyers representing the USPS admitted that the agency did not follow Sullivan's orders from election day, saying that "this was not operationally possible to implement in the limited time available." Sullivan ordered on Tuesday morning that the sweep be conducted at multiple key locations across the country by 3 p.m, but had instructed managers to speed ballots in swing states on Sunday.

According to postal officials, workers only found 13 ballots in the election day sweep. During the hearing, the attorney for the plaintiff, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, received an election protection hotline report that there may be a box of 3,000 ballots in Greensboro, North Carolina, sitting at a processing facility. It is possible that these ballots were not postmarked on time. The USPS has said that they will investigate those ballots.

There were reports of an undelivered 300,000 ballots on Tuesday, but, because the USPS was delivering ballots directly to election officials and not scanning each one at processing facilities, these claims were debunked.

At the hearing Wednesday, Sullivan also ordered an additional sweep in Texas in particular, as the deadline for mail-in ballot delivery was 5 p.m. Wednesday.

It's unclear now how many ballots were not delivered because of the extensive delays in service that began earlier this year under DeJoy. However, as The Hill legal reporter John Kruzel writes on Twitter, "Bottom line: As election law experts have said, every election sees some portion of voters disenfranchised because their ballots arrive late, but it is safe to assume the problem has been exacerbated by USPS delays."

Sharon Zhang is a development fellow at Truthout.

President Trump leaves after speaking at a rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, Georgia, on October 16, 2020.

Election Day Mayhem Began Two Years Ago With Massive Voter Purges
By Greg Palast

You didn't hear this in the cable TV chatter: In the two years leading up to this election, Georgia's GOP secretary of state quietly wiped away the voter registrations of 198,351 voters - based on false information.

Call it "The Great Purge" - overwhelmingly wiping away the voting rights of young voters and voters of color. In other words, voters who might be more likely to vote blue.

I'm not guessing the number of wrongly purged voters. I directed a team of experts that identified each victim voter for a report issued by the ACLU of Georgia, titled, "Georgia Voter Roll Purge Errors." (Rather than read this technical report, you can just watch the movie, The Purged: The Vanished Voters of Trump's America, a 14-minute flick hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio.) Our expert team, working with Black Voters Matter, a 501(c)4 group dedicated to expanding Black voter engagement, discovered the same game had been played with the voter rolls of Michigan, North Carolina and threatened voters in Wisconsin.

It's no coincidence that these are the states with "surprisingly" lower totals than expected for Joe Biden.

The Purge Game

Here's how the purge game got started. Two years ago, the Supreme Court's right-wing five authorised a new method of "cleaning" voter rolls. The Court agreed with GOP voting officials, beginning with Ohio and Georgia, to purge voter rolls of those who "moved."

The idea sounds fair in theory: If you don't live in Atlanta, you shouldn't vote there, and to do so is a felony crime. But in practice, reality does not line up with officials' claims. At an Atlanta poll, I met Christine Jordan, a 94-year-old who had just been tossed out of the poll. Records said she'd moved, but I went to her home where she showed me photos of her cousin, Martin Luther King, Jr., having dinner with her in that home half a century ago.

In Wisconsin, I met Sequanna Taylor, accused of moving from Milwaukee. Unlikely: Taylor is a Milwaukee County Supervisor! But Jordan, Taylor, and the hundreds of purged voters we filmed and called almost all had one thing in common: They were guilty of voting while Black, or voting while Latinx, Asian American or a student.

Though Michigan has now been called for Biden, we saw the same game there. The rolls were "cleansed" of 313,000 voters, many victims of an older purge scheme called "Interstate Crosscheck." For Democracy Now!, I confronted the Republican Secretary of State's spokesman with his secret purge sheet showing that the state had removed thousands of voters with names like Garcia and Brown on grounds they were registered in other states.

The GOP purge operation claimed that Michael Kelly Brown of Georgia is the same voter as Michael Wayne Brown of Michigan. Yet, most of the Michael Browns and Jose Garcias lost their votes.

Biden has taken Wisconsin. And that's thanks to new Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who made this ugly vote suppression tactic an issue - and so far, blocked The Purge in that state.

Michigan? Despite warnings from the Black Voters Matter Fund and others, the new Democratic leadership of the state simply looked at its shoes and whistled. The purged remained purged, putting Michigan into the potential steal zone.

Mail-In Mayhem

President Trump has said he's going to court because, "We want all voting to stop."

We think he meant "stop the count." This is an attempt to prevent counting mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, which were postmarked by Election Day but received during this week.

I've been warning about the dangers of going postal for 12 years. No, the problem is not, as Trump bleats, "fraudulent" ballots mailed in from Venezuela. Rather, according to a study by MIT, as many as 22 percent of absentee ballots are never counted. It's absurdly easy to lose your mail-in ballot to postage due (100,000 tossed in 2016), scotch tape on the envelope, a "naked" ballot (you must cover one envelope with another) or a challenge to your signature, or simply, late because of a post office delay. The Coronavirus sent the number of mail-in ballots through the roof, heavily tilting Democratic, as Trump voters appear to be unconcerned about getting infected.

And now, the nightmare has lawyers. Given that Wisconsin, a smaller state, had 80,000 ballots coming in after Election Day in the midterms, we can expect well more than that arriving after Election Day in Pennsylvania -enough to possibly determine the presidency.

How will it all shake out? I don't know, I don't have a crystal ball. But this much is clear: Jim Crow is stalking this election.

Joe Biden, in the first debate said, "He [Trump] cannot stop you [the voters] from being able to determine the outcome of this election."

Yes, Joe, it won't be up to Trump to stop the count. According to Article II of the Constitution, that's up to Pennsylvania's legislature and the interpretation of Article II by Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Good night and good luck.

(c) 2020 Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures' Picnic, named Book of the Year 2012 on BBC Newsnight Review.

Corporate Democrats Want To Run Against Trump-like Republicans Forever
By Glen Ford

Whoever wins the Electoral College, race-based politics will continue to allow the corporate rulers to ignore public demands for relief from the Race to the Bottom and endless war.

Publishing deadlines refuse to adjust to the speed of vote counting, but some truths were evident even as the presidential race was still in play. In his second national contest Donald Trump has maintained -- and among some demographic subsections increased -- his hold on a majority of white voters. The 2020 election thus confirms the tentative verdict of 2016: that majorities of whites will vote their race - side with the White Man's Party -- when the electoral contest is waged mainly on racial terms. The Electoral College system, which was baked into the U.S. Constitution to protect the interests of slave states, continues to give white "race" voters an oversized punch in national contests. Trump bet that he could replicate his 2016 Electoral College win over Hillary Clinton even if he still trailed by nearly three million in the popular vote, as he did the first time. Win or lose, Trump's racial calculation was well-grounded and rational - as proven by the tightness of the 2020 race.

The Democrats, on the other hand, were clearly shocked out of their minds when Trump's race strategy prevailed in 2016. White corporate elites had convinced themselves that the "deplorables" of their race were a diminishing breed who would be trounced in a toe-to-toe national slugfest. The Democrats welcomed Trump's flagrant, "red meat" racist challenge to the Republican establishment, whose dog whistles on race suddenly seemed weak to Amerikkaner ears by comparison. As Wikileaks revealed, Hillary Clinton's operatives encouraged Democrat-friendly media to boost Trump's candidacy, believing he was a straw man that she could easily knock down. As a result, the White Man's Champion got an estimated $5 billion in free airtime - and ultimately won the Electoral College, setting off a civil war within the ruling class that has raged for four years, and will likely not end if Trump is evicted from the White House this time around.

The Democrats wanted to run on race as much as Trump did, because only a race-based campaign allows them to avoid any commitment to bread and butter issues - universal free healthcare, job and income security, free public higher education - that threaten the bi-partisan austerity regime (the Race to the Bottom). Bernie Sanders, not Donald Trump, was seen as the near-existential threat to corporate governance. Therefore, the Democrats and their corporate media partners twice ruthlessly eliminated Sanders from the equation so that they could run against Trump on race, and virtually nothing else - even though, the second time around, the Democrats knew that the outcome would be a cliffhanger. If, when the dust clears, the Democrats have won the presidency, they have only "saved" the public from a Frankenstein of their own, meticulous making. And, they will need Trump, or someone like Trump, again if they are to continue defending the austerity policies that are immiserating majorities of the American people. Race-based campaigns serve both corporate parties.

It is remarkable that Trump's white voter base remained essentially irreducible through four years of relentless assault by most of the ruling class and their media. Trump was actually correct in comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln in the sense that no other president has been so relentlessly vilified by such powerful sectors. Beyond denunciation of his race-bating -- which Trump welcomed, because it is the main source of his political potency among the white masses - he was daily accused of acting on behalf of a foreign power, a first for any American president. Yet his "deplorables" did not budge, even as the Covid economy melted around them.

What the Democrats dare not risk, is a contest in which U.S. voters are given the choice of saving their families from destitution and disease or voting their race. The duopoly is designed to preclude such choices. It is a trap, a great two-sided filter that allows the corporate ruling class to shut every political outlet for advocates of people's programs, environmental sanity, peace and real racial justice.

Trump's white base is intact and will remain the core of the Republican (White Man's) Party, with or without Trump at the helm - which is fine for the oligarchs of both parties. Only a race-based duopoly can contain public demands for relief from the Race to the Bottom and endless war.

The election data show that Trump's supporters now include surprisingly large numbers of non-Cuban Hispanics, an indication that the politically white (supremacist) base has new sources to tap and will not be shrinking any time soon. Given such data, the rulers will feel confident in serving up race-based duopoly electoral showdowns every four years, in hopes of putting off a reckoning on economic justice, saving the planet, and peace, forever. It is already quite clear that, in such situations, Black voters will demand nothing but protection from the white hordes, and will create no problems for their corporate "friends."

Of course, none of this is written in stone. There is another politics: a people's politics of the street - the only kind that can defeat corporate power. Black people are good at this kind of politics, once they become disentangled from the Black Misleadership Class - who are right now claiming to have "won" a great victory for the Black masses.

With more substance-less victories like this, Black America is doomed to irrelevance and impotence. A growing cohort of young Black folks understand this and will refuse to go along with the corporate script.

Dump the duopoly. Make a new, people's politics from the street up.

(c) 2020 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

A Wealth Of Riches, A Poverty Of Morals
By Jim Hightower

Let's say you're a millionaire. That's a lot of money, right? Now let's say you're a billionaire. That's a lot more money! But how much more?

Think of all those dollars as seconds on a clock. A million seconds would total 11 days - but a billion seconds equals nearly 32 years! Rich is nice, but billionaire-rich is over the moon - and the wealth of billionaires is now zooming out of this world. There are only 2,200 of these uberrich dudes in the world, but the wealth stashed away by these elites hit a new record this summer, averaging more than $4 billion each. They've even pocketed an extra half-billion bucks on average in the midst of the COVID-19 economic crash.

Bear in mind that these fortunate few did nothing to earn this haul. They didn't work harder, didn't get one-digit smarter, didn't create some new breakthrough product to benefit humankind - they could just crank back in their gold-plated La-Z-Boys and let their money make money for them.

Then there are multimillionaire corporate chieftains who are cashing in on their own failure. Having closed stores throughout America, fired thousands of workers, stiffed suppliers and creditors, taken bailout money from taxpayers, and even led their corporations into bankruptcy, the CEOs of such collapsing giants as Hertz, J.C. Penney, and Toys "R" Us have grabbed millions of dollars in - believe it or not - bonus payments! The typical employee at J.C. Penney for example, is held to part-time work, making under $12,000 a year. Thousands of them are now losing even that miserly income as the once-mighty retailer is shutting 154 stores. Yet, the CEO was paid a $4.5 million cash bonus before the company filed for bankruptcy this year.

And still, the corporate establishment wonders why the people consider it a club of heartless, greedy bastards.

(c) 2020 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates,"is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. Jim writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America's ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

Donald Trump supporters rally on Halloween during the last weekend before
the presidential election day in Beverly Hills, California, on October 31, 2020.

Trumpism Is Alive And Well - And It Won't Go Away Even If Trump Does
By William Rivers Pitt

The final results of the 2020 presidential and congressional elections remain unresolved this morning. Even absent an outcome, there are many in the U.S. and around the world who will call Tuesday's closer-than-expected election a disaster, an abject national humiliation, and a punch in the throat to every medical professional who waded into Donald Trump's pandemic wearing trash bags and masks dipped in Lysol so they could help save lives.

How very quickly we forget.

No, this is not 2016, when half the country voted "couch" instead of heading out to their polling places. In fact, one of the bright spots of the night is that turnout was the highest it has been in 120 years. Just under 67 percent, the country outperformed its turnout mark for the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon election. You can't, and won't, do much better than that these days.

And right there comes the nasty little turn. Many devoutly believed Trump needed to be thoroughly and unquestionably routed last night, and not just to avoid a protracted and messy legal battle that could wind up before a badly compromised Supreme Court. More than that, the hope for a full Trump routing last night was also a hope that the entire grotesquerie that is Trumpism itself might be torn down, burned and buried under salted earth before the watching eyes of the whole wide world.

Well, after a huge turnout, that did not happen. Instead, an election that many expected to be a Democratic "Blue Wave" has become a nip and tuck affair that has seen Democrats actually lose seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats still hold the majority in that chamber, but it is a slimmer one today, and the GOP minority will surely be emboldened after outstripping expectations. Dreams of a Democratic Senate majority are slowly but surely falling to dust.

Ah, yes. Expectations, otherwise known as "polls," form an entire industry that has once again proven itself unequal to the task it claims expertise in. I'm not one to casually quote neoconservative fiends like John Podhoretz, but in this specific instance, he cuts it right down to the bone.

"Political polling is a fraud," Podhoretz correctly declares. "It claims to measure something that, it is now unmistakably clear, cannot be accurately measured. Polling's seductive promise is that it will take the guesswork out of understanding a complex and changing set of circumstances and replace that uncertainly with something that looks like science. But it's less like the physics that helps us shoot rockets into space and more like the set of the spaceship on ‘Star Trek.' It's shiny. It has a lot of dials and lights. Things beep. But if you put it on the Cape Canaveral launchpad and lit it on fire, you would just burn to death." I pledge to you upon this day, November 4, 2020, that I will never again stain this page with numbers from a poll, and I apologize abjectly for having done so in the past. Polls are the Wonder Bread of political journalism; they help fatten articles and hit deadlines, but as far as valuable information goes, they have the caloric equivalent of gravel. Never again, you have my word.

The race at present is down to a white-knuckle clutch of seven states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona. The last of those, Arizona, was called late last night by Fox News in favor of Joe Biden, which motivated Trump to erupt in a frenzy of fraud accusations and authoritarian victory declarations that, impossibly but surely, stained this elaborate debacle even more deeply. "We'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court," he railed. "We want all voting to stop."

The outstanding districts in those states are almost all urban centers that contain millions of uncounted votes. Tallying those ballots is what Trump wants stopped, and what will likely motivate him to bring this election to court if Biden eventually prevails. At the end of that path lies the Supreme Court, clearly what Trump is hoping for.

To be sure, there were a great many joyful victories recorded last night. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez obliterated their opponents to secure a second term for themselves, and Jamaal Bowman won the seat for New York's 16th district. Sarah McBride won her race for Delaware state senate, making her the highest-ranking transgender official in government.

All small-time drug possession in Oregon has been decriminalized. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota legalized marijuana. Mississippi approved the removal of the Confederate banner from its state flag. Florida passed a $15 minimum wage. Nebraska and Utah passed measures closing the loophole that allowed slavery to continue for those convicted of a crime.

But Lindsey Graham still has a job, as does Mitch McConnell, and probably as majority leader to boot. The "Blue Wave" was transmogrified into lost ground in both the House and Senate, and if Biden wins this thing, it will be by a whisper-thin margin that can fully expect to spend the next couple of months in court. In any event, the counting goes on and it will probably be days before a final result is reached.

We will be spending a long time picking apart the details that led to last night, the missed clues and overstated chances. Was Joe Biden the best choice as a nominee, or just another in a seemingly endless line of doomed DNC Dembots straight out of central casting? Certainly, Biden has not lost yet, and may well prevail… but the moment begs a question: Would we be here if Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren were standing in Biden's place? We will never know, and now we wait.

Two facts stand out: First, the urban/rural voter split is more pronounced than ever, and the urban voters are surprisingly evenly matched in numbers with their rural brethren. There is no blaming turnout this time, not after matching a 120-year-old high mark. We appear to be as evenly divided a nation as we've been hearing we are, and this newest nose count underscores the grim truth of it.

Second, and more importantly: Despite the horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic and his ridiculous handling of the crisis, despite the shattered economy, the ceaseless bombast, the overt racism, all of it, Donald Trump remains popular enough to make a razor-thin contest out of what many (hand raised) expected would be a blowout. More people voted in this election than ever before in all our history, and at least half of them think Trump is worthy of a second term. Maybe more, if the deal goes down his way.

As election officials steadily process the ballots before them, I am processing the meaning of last night's results. I gravely misunderstood the nature of my country coming into this contest, something I felt I've had a handle on for years. Nearly 66 million people surveyed the roiling, hateful, plague-raddled disaster zone the nation has become under Trump's administration and decided he should have another four years to do more of the same.

It's not over yet, but no matter the final outcome, this feels very much like a resounding setback, if not a defeat in its own right. Even if Biden wins, he would need a Democratic majority in the Senate in order to effectively govern. The ground was ripe for the Democrats to do much better last night, with the surrounding circumstances altogether vehement in their pressing relevance... and then, this.

It is going to be a very long week, again. Stout hearts.

(c) 2020 William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co_written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, from Kentucky.

Dont Just Dump Trump, Ditch Mitch
Ending Donald Trump's presidency isn't enough. To govern decisively, Democrats must take the Senate.
By John Nichols

This is the day that should mark the beginning of the end of the torturous presidency of Donald John Trump. But replacing Trump with Joe Biden is an entirely insufficient goal for a moment in history so perilous as the one in which the United States' 59th quadrennial presidential election is being conducted. This is also the day when Mitch McConnell's vice grip on the United States Senate can be broken.

Ending Trumpism is vital for the country's future. But so is ending McConnellism. How? If Democrats depose Trump but McConnell remains Senate majority leader, Biden will begin his presidency as a lame duck. The former vice president will have the position he's been seeking since the mid-1980s, but he will lack the power to govern in the decisive manner that is required at a critical juncture when the country is wrestling with a resurgent coronavirus pandemic and the mass unemployment that extends from it, when the demand for an end to police violence and systemic racism must finally be addressed, and when the climate crisis grows more severe with each passing hour.

Former President Barack Obama summed it all up while he was campaigning Monday in Georgia-the only state that will decide two Senate races today-when he declared:

If [Joe Biden and Kamala Harris] are going to deliver the change that we need-getting this pandemic under control, restarting our economy, protecting our health care, protecting our planet, reforming our criminal justice system, giving every young person an equal chance-then they're also going to need a Senate that actually cares about those things. So, Georgia, not only can you put Joe and Kamala over the top, you can be the state that gives us all a better chance because you've sent [Democrats] Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.
> Obama, who knows a thing or two about the extent to which a Republican Senate can obstruct a Democratic president, was reminding voters of a reality that is too frequently neglected in a media calculus that places too much emphasis on the Executive Branch and too little on the Legislative.

The fundamental political truism of this divisive moment is that anyone who imagines a Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell would give a President Joe Biden an inch is delusional. It's not just that McConnell is a wild-eyed obstructionist. Even if the Kentuckian were inclined to negotiate with his former Senate colleague, he leads a Republican Caucus that is now so packed with right-wing extremists that any sign of cooperation would spark an ideological revolt.

So on this Election Day and in the days that follow, I'll be watching the presidential contest that has, necessarily, taken center stage-and that will not be settled until Trump and his supporters stand back. But I will be keeping just as close an eye on the Senate races that will define the scope and character of a Biden or Trump presidency. Should Biden prevail, the Senate races could also determine the makeup of the new administration, as the names of a number of Democratic senators have been floated as potential nominees for cabinet posts: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as labor secretary, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as Treasury secretary, Delaware Senator Chris Coons or Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy as secretary of state.

Both Sanders and Warren come from states with Republican governors who could appoint interim successors before a special election. If the Senate is closely divided, their chances of joining the cabinet sink to roughly zero.

For Biden to start thinking about plucking cabinet members from the Senate, McConnell must be well and truly disempowered.

There are many routes, however, to that disempowerment.

Of course, I'll watch tonight to see if, in the upset of upsets, Democrat Amy McGrath might actually convince a sufficient number of Kentuckians to toss McConnell out of the Senate. But that's not the only way that McConnell could be derailed this year.

If Democrats win the presidency and finish the long count with a net gain of three seats, that will produce a 50-50 split in the chamber. Then Vice President Kamala Harris, as the new president of the Senate, will tip the balance to the Democrats. But this, too, would be an insufficient result for those of us who want a swift change of direction-or anything akin to a new New Deal. The next Senate will be organized on January 3, and Harris will not be sworn in until January 20. In addition, the California Senate seat that Harris now holds will need to be filled with an interim appointment by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.

So Democrats are really looking for a net gain of four seats and a clear 51-49 majority-or, because some Senate Democrats are more reliably progressive than others, the wider margin that could give a new majority leader, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the flexibility he would need to lead on vital issues such as labor law reform.

Can they get it? Let's start with some numbers. The current Senate Republican Caucus has 53 members, while the Democratic Caucus has 47 (45 Democrats and two independents, Sanders of Vermont and Senator Angus King of Maine). Twenty-three Republicans seats are up for grabs today, while 12 Democratic seats are at stake.

One Democratic senator, Alabama's Doug Jones, is broadly seen as being vulnerable to defeat. Two others, Michigan's Gary Peters and Minnesota's Tina Smith, face serious challenges but look to be ahead.

If Jones gets beat, Democrats will need to win at least four seats. There are two races that analysts generally point to as likely pickups for the Democrats: the Arizona contest where challenger Mark Kelly has long led appointed incumbent Martha McSally, and the Colorado contest where former presidential candidate John Hickenlooper is ahead of incumbent Cory Gardner.

An additional six toss-up races are possibles for Democrats. The most likely pickups seem to be in Maine, where instant runoff voting should give challenger Sara Gideon the advantage over Republican incumbent Susan Collins, whose "moderate" act hasn't been playing well since she cast the critical vote to seat Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. But Democrats could also gain seats in Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and in those two Georgia contests. The twist is that the Georgia contests could both end up in runoff elections held on January 5, 2020-two days after the new Senate is supposed to be seated. What this means is that the makeup of the next Senate might not be decided until the last stages of the transition process. That's not good for Biden, or for the country.

On the other hand, if Georgia were to elect Ossoff and Warnock today, a President-elect Biden would in all likelihood be able to forge his administration from a place of strength. That's why former president Obama was in Atlanta on Monday saying, "Georgia could be the state. Georgia could be the place."

He's right that Georgia could be the place. But so, too, could North Carolina or South Carolina, Montana or Iowa. Or even Kansas or Alaska. For Democrats tonight, it is less a matter of where Senate seats shift than that a sufficient number of seats are flipped to oust McConnell as majority leader-because ending Donald Trump's presidency isn't enough. They also have to ditch Mitch.

(c) 2020 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

Experienced Journalists Hanging Heads In Shame
By James Donahue

The first sign that something was out of whack with the "reliable" mainstream media was the day NBC Anchor Brian Williams was caught fabricating a story about taking fire while riding in a military helicopter in Afghanistan. He apologized on air the next day but appeared to have lost his job over the incident anyway.

As a long-time journalist now retired, I could not imagine what got into Williams' head that made him make up such a story. As much as I admired his work over the years, I could not argue with the decision to let him go over such an act of misconduct. False news stories were something journalists always tried to avoid at all costs. When we made even the slightest error in reporting a story, a correction was published the following day. Explaining to the editor was always the worst of it. But the old adage: "Everybody makes mistakes" always prevailed.

But was what Williams said a mistake, or was it done intentionally . . . perhaps to beef up the nightly news by adding a personal flare about war reporting? Even if Williams did have a bullet whiz over his head such an experience didn't hold a candle to the real war correspondents in the Middle East wars, Vietnam, Korea or World War II. A lot of guys like Ernie Pyle, James Hunter, Larry Burrows and Joseph Morton are among the many to have given their lives trying to get the story while on the front lines with the fighting soldiers.

After the Brian Williams incident, it seemed as if the media everywhere was suddenly ripe with manufactured sensational news. For examples: There was the story about the chickenpox epidemic allegedly started by an infected person pushing through the crowds at California's Disneyland. The stories sparked a widespread campaign to get everybody vaccinated against chickenpox. Something seemed wrong about that story from the get-go. Older news veterans like myself remember the days when every kid in the neighborhood had both chicken pox and the mumps. Our parents seemed to urge us to get exposed, so we fought off these bugs as children, when immune systems were strong, and we enjoyed life-long built-in resistance after that.

The scare stories about a so-called "epidemic" of chicken pox and the need for everybody to rush off and get vaccinated appears to have been manufactured on behalf of Big Pharma which had an over-abundance of chickenpox vaccine stockpiled. There was something like 70 cases of chickenpox recorded in all. And it was discovered that a lot of the victims were people who had received the chickenpox vaccine. It seems that the vaccine gave patients a mild case of the disease. In some cases, the vaccine proved to be totally ineffective. Did the media purposefully dupe us with this story?

We also read about arsenic being found in wines produced in California. After a day or two of dealing with such an unthinkable story we learned that it was all a hoax. It was a manufactured sensational story that spread like wildfire. The California grape growers who turn out some of the finest wines were struggling enough at the time because of climate change and the ongoing drought. This year as we all know, the massive forest fires sweeping northern California has almost wiped out the state's great wine industry. They never needed to be hit with that kind of publicity, especially when it was all a lie.

Rolling Stone Magazine, long one of the most trusted publications involving real investigative journalism in the U.S., was caught publishing a manufactured story about women being commonly raped at fraternity parties on American college campuses. After the story broke, the fraternities collectively did research in their own defense. It was learned that the story was not only untrue, but the reporter who wrote the story failed to professionally research the facts. Rolling Stone retracted the story. The damage to Rolling Stone and the American media in general has been difficult to measure.

It is commonly known that Fox News has been doing this kind of wild sensational editorializing for years and getting away with it. Instead of rejecting Fox as a false source of balance news, that network has only gained in popularity. It is hard for we in the field of journalism to understand this. It seems that Americans are either too dumb to recognize that they are being fed political garbage, or they are addicted to the taste of it.

Is the success enjoyed by Fox the cause of the irresponsible reporting that is popping up in other competitive publications and networks? All of this has been caught up in the Trump declarations that all critical stories about him were "fake news." The very concept of fake news has been dealing havoc against the news industry.

With this going on, who can Americans trust to get straight and honest news reports? There is great danger in all of this. When big corporations control both the media and the government, the public can be persuaded to believe or question just about anything news outlets tell us.

For example, 9-11 should not have led the nation to war in the Middle East without first having an in-depth investigation by impartial researchers . . . preferably responsible news reporters . . . to get the facts as to what really happened and who was behind the attack. As it was, the Bush Administration raced off to battle first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. The response perhaps did more damage in the long run than anybody expected. We appear to now be engaged in perpetual warfare in the Middle East, much to the delight of the military industrial complex. A lot of people are getting rich building and selling the machines of war these days at the cost of thousands if not millions of lives.

As contemporary news reporters allegedly were falling down on the job, the "whistle-blowers" began stepping forward, attempting to inform the public as to what has really been going on.

Instead of receiving praise, people like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning were hunted down like criminals because they dared to reveal what is now classified as "state secrets." They reported things that people in high places did not want us to know.

(c) 2020 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles.

In 1940, The United States Decided To Rule The World
By David Swanson

Stephen Wertheim's Tomorrow, The World examines a shift in elite U.S. foreign-policy thinking that took place in mid-1940. Why in that moment, a year and a half before the Japanese attacks on the Philippines, Hawaii, and other outposts, did it become popular in foreign-policy circles to advocate for U.S. military domination of the globe?

In school text book mythology, the United States was full of revoltingly backward creatures called isolationists at the time of World War I and right up through December 1941, after which the rational adult internationalists took command (or we'd all be speaking German and suffering through the rigged elections of fascistic yahoos, unlike this evening).

In fact, the term "isolationist" wasn't cooked up until the mid-1930s and then only as a misleading insult to be applied to people who wished for the U.S. government to engage with the world in any number of ways from treaties to trade that didn't include militarism. Anti-isolationism was and is a means of ridiculously pretending that "doing something" means waging war, supporting NATO, and promoting the "responsibility to protect," while anything else means "doing nothing."

There were distinctions in the 1920s between those who favored the League of Nations and World Court and those who didn't. But neither group favored coating the planet with U.S. military bases, or extending even the most vicious conception of the Monroe Doctrine to the other hemisphere, or replacing the League of Nations with an institution that would falsely appear to establish global governance while actually facilitating U.S. domination. Pre-1940 internationalists were, in fact, imperfect U.S. nationalists. They, as Wertheim writes, "had the capacity to see the United States as a potential aggressor requiring restraint." Some, indeed, didn't need the word "potential" there.

What changed? There was the rise of fascism and communism. There was the notion that the League of Nations had failed. There was the serious failure of disarmament efforts. There was the belief that whatever came out of WWII would be dramatically different. In September 1939, the Council on Foreign Relations began making plans to shape the post-war (yet permawar) world. The Roosevelt White House into 1940 was planning for a post-war world that held a balance of power with the Nazis. Ideas of disarmament, at least for others, were still very much a part of the thinking. "Weapons dealer to the world" was not a title that it was ever suggested that the United States strive for.

Wertheim sees a turning point in the German conquest of France. Change came swiftly in May-June, 1940. Congress funded the creation of the world's biggest navy and instituted a draft. Contrary to popular mythology, and propaganda pushed by President Roosevelt, nobody feared a Nazi invasion of the Americas. Nor was the United States dragged kicking and screaming into its moral responsibility to wage global permawar by the atrocious domestic policies of the Nazis or any mission to rescue potential victims from Nazi genocide. Rather, U.S. foreign policy elites feared the impact on global trade and relations of a world containing a Nazi power. Roosevelt began talking about a world in which the United States dominated only one hemisphere as imprisonment.

The United States needed to dominate the globe in order to exist in the sort of global order it wanted. And the only global order it wanted was one it dominated. Did U.S. planners become aware of this need as they watched events in Europe? Or did they become aware of its possibility as they watched the U.S. government build weapons and the U.S. president acquire new imperial bases? Probably some of each. Wertheim is right to call our attention to the fact that U.S. officials didn't talk about militarily dominating the whole globe prior to 1940, but was there ever a time they talked about dominating anything less than what they had the weapons and troops to handle? Certainly the voices had not all been monolithic, and there was always an anti-imperialist tradition, but did it ever give much back to those it had dispossessed until after WWII when airplanes and radios developed a new sort of empire (and some colonies were made states but others more or less liberated)?

The U.S. government and its advisers didn't just discover that they could rule the world and that they needed to rule the world, but also that - in the words of General George V. Strong, chief of the Army's War Plans Division - Germany had demonstrated the "tremendous advantage of the offense over the defense." The proper defensive war was an aggressive war, and an acceptable goal of that was what Henry Luce called living space and Hitler called Lebensraum. U.S. elites came to believe that only through war could they engage in proper trade and relations. One can treat this as a rational observation based on the growth of fascism, although some of the same people making the observation had fascistic tendencies, the problem with Germany seems to have existed for them only once it had invaded other nations that were not Russia, and there is little doubt that had the United States lived sustainably, locally, egalitarianly, contentedly, and with respect for all humanity, it could not have observed a need for permawar in the world around it - much less gone on observing it for 75 years.

In early 1941, a U.S. political scientist named Harold Vinacke asked, "When the United States has its thousands of airplanes, its mass army, properly mechanized, and its two-ocean navy, what are they to be used for?" Officials have been asking the same right up through Madeline Albright and Donald Trump, with the answer generally being found to be as self-evident as other patriotic "truths." By summertime 1941, Roosevelt and Churchill had announced the future organization of the world in the Atlantic Charter.

If hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to virtue, there remained some virtue in U.S. society and its conception of foreign policy at the time of WWII, because a major focus of post-war planners was how to sell global domination to the U.S. public (and incidentally the world, and perhaps most importantly themselves) as being something other than what it was. The answer, of course, was the United Nations (along with the World Bank, etc.). Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles described the design of the United Nations thus: "what we required was a sop for the smaller states: some organization in which they could be represented and made to feel themselves participants." In Roosevelt's words before the creation of the U.N., all nations but four, in a future global organization, would merely "blow off steam."

Roosevelt also proposed that the existence of such a phony organization would allow it to declare war instead of the U.S. Congress, meaning that a U.S. president would be able to launch wars at will - something like what we've seen for the past 75 years with NATO occasionally having filled in for a malfunctioning United Nations.

Roosevelt believed that the United States signed up for global policeman when it defeated Hitler. Neither Roosevelt nor Wertheim mentions that the Soviet Union did 80% of defeating Hitler, after having done about 0% of creating him.

But surely the job of world cop can be resigned, no matter how one got into it. The question now is how. The financial and bureaucratic and media and campaign-corruption interests all work against dismantling the permawar military, just as does the ideology of anti-"isolationism." But it certainly cannot hurt to be aware of the dishonesty in the ideology and of the fact that it was not always with us.

(c) 2020 David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Land repatriation, in its various potential forms, lies at the heart of decolonization.

Decolonization Requires Action And New Ways Of Seeing
By David Suzuki

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have been living in a landscape defined by unknowns. This lack of certainty about how the world around us can change at any moment shows no sign of abating in the foreseeable future.

Dealing with the unknown is not something our modern society is used to or comfortable with. Over the centuries, we've whittled away at the things that once surprised us. We can now check the weather multiple times before we go out so we don't get caught in the rain, vet movies before watching them, research which hotel to stay in or restaurant to dine at, learn which potential mate likes what we do, and so on.

This can be seen as a continuum of the world view held by Western European settlers who colonized what we now call Canada. When they arrived, the enveloping wilderness frightened them. In response, their main ways of knowing it were mowing it down, shooting it if it moved, taming it and simplifying it in their minds.

Settlers who came here hundreds of years ago colonized nature by clearing forests, creating agricultural lands, rerouting rivers, introducing new species and, ultimately, building settlements. We still, in the main, uphold the dominion-over-nature story that they (and many of our religions) passed on to us.

The settlers also colonized Indigenous Peoples. Among other means, they parcelled land into packages to be owned and gave it to fellow settlers. They created laws prohibiting Indigenous cultural and governance practices. They forcibly moved migratory nations to ever-diminishing land reserves. They removed children from their families and placed them in residential schools and foster homes where, to assimilate them into settler culture, they were forbidden to speak their languages and often abused.

Nature and people weren't the only ones to be colonized; relationships between people and nature were colonized, too. As Anishinaabe scholar Deborah McGregor notes, "Water, in the dominant Western Euro-Canadian context, is conceptualized as a resource, a commodity to be bought and sold. Federal and provincial governments therefore make decisions about water based on a worldview, philosophy and set of values which stands in direct contrast to the views of First Nations people." There's no question that the significant gains realized by settler society have been built on Indigenous Peoples' losses under colonization over the past several hundred years and continuing to this day.

These injustices are now widely acknowledged, with a growing desire by many to redress them, advanced as reconciliation. In the words of scholar Lorenzo Veracini, "Colonization was a false promise then; it is an exploded promise now." Veracini, a professor of settler colonialism, says the challenge now is how to become "a better human being and a worse settler." This is a challenge many of us share.

One step we can take is to stop perpetuating the settler story of nature as property or resource. We can create and share stories rooted in relationships that honour nature's complexity rather than diminish it. We can learn from Indigenous stories about seeing nature as kin, rather than object, and meaningfully include Indigenous Peoples in land-use decision-making processes.

Thinking about decolonization is new for many of us. But thinking about it is not the end game. Scholars Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, authors of the article "Decolonization is not a metaphor," worry that "decolonizing the mind, or the cultivation of critical consciousness, as if it were the sole activity of decolonization" could undermine "the more uncomfortable task of relinquishing stolen land." Land repatriation, in its various potential forms, lies at the heart of decolonization. In Canada, we have a number of avenues to "unsettle" the land: work to advance Indigenous sovereignty, support Indigenous land-use practices, shift land governance and change policies that, in the words of scholar Kyle Whyte, "undermine trust, diplomacy, and consent." We must also create new tools.

Our world isn't static; it's ever changing. We must not just learn to live with its new iterations; we must invest energy into shaping them in ways that right past wrongs. Exploring and implementing different forms of land distribution and governance are key to the task at hand.

(c) 2020 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Those Rats Won't F*ck Themselves, But One Republican Judge Has Refused To Do It
In Texas, the votes cast at drive-through polling locations will stand-for no
By Charles P. Pierce

Well, I'll be hornswoggled. From the Austin American-Statesman:

In dismissing the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen also said the Republicans lacked the standing to sue because their complaint - that Harris County was breaking the law - alleged a general harm that did not particularly affect them. After a four-hour hearing in a Houston federal courtroom, Hanen made his ruling from the bench, adding that even if the plaintiffs had standing to sue, he would not have issued the requested injunction to throw out drive-thru votes cast during the early voting period. He said he disagreed with the Republicans' claim that drive-thru voting made cars an illegal voting booth.

"I ain't buying that," the judge said, adding that voters are subject to the same terms and conditions whether they cast a ballot from their vehicle or from a booth in a polling place. However, the judge said he would have blocked drive-thru voting from being offered on Election Day, saying he also didn't buy Harris County's argument that voting in a tent met the state law requirement that a polling places must be buildings.

Judge Hanen ain't buyin' that, pilgrim.

You will note, however, that, had this issue come before him in what he believed was a timely manner, Hanan would've found a different bogus technical reason to shut down drive-through voting before it got rolling. In addition, Hanan made a point of reminding everyone that an appeal of his decision is inevitable and that a ruling that upholds his decision is not a sure thing, because the appeal will go to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a gathering of ideological conservative mummers that's already shown itself to be hostile to attempts to extend the franchise.

And, noting the almost inevitable appeal to come, Hanen ordered Harris County to keep all records and voting computer cards be kept separate "just in case" the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees with his ruling.

When this case got handed to Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee, the lawyers defending the program flinched. Hanen is a notoriously partisan judge who, among his other career achievements, once tried to order the doxxing of 100,000 undocumented immigrants. So, whatever his reasons, Hanen managed to save for the moment over 100,000 votes that already had been cast in and around Houston and the rest of Harris County. There's no telling what will come next. As we remind ourselves every morning, them rats aren't going to f*ck themselves.

(c) 2020 Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.

The Quotable Quote-

"We'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop."
~~~ Donald P. Trump

A patient is taken from an ambulance to the emergency room of a hospital in the Navajo Nation town of Tuba City in Arizona on May 24, 2020.

'This Is A Tsunami... Pay Attention': With All Eyes On Election Results, Experts Horrified As Covid-19 Hits New Record
"I dreaded this day... Historic and unprecedented abandonment of the American people."
By Jake Johnson

With much of the nation's attention understandably consumed by developments in the high-stakes presidential election, the United States on Wednesday reported a daily record of more than 104,000 new Covid-19 infections, the latest alarming indication that-far from President Donald Trump's repeated insistence that the virus is fading away-the deadly pandemic is only getting worse as the winter months approach.

"The count that worries me? Over 100,000 Covid-19 cases yesterday," Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves tweeted Thursday morning. "Deaths up 21%. There has been silence on this from the White House and the Dems. This is a tsunami. Washing over us. Pay attention."

Coming just 24 hours after millions of Americans showed up at polling places across the nation to cast their ballots in the presidential race and down-ballot contests, Wednesday marked the first time the U.S. recorded at least 100,000 new coronavirus infections in a single day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been warning since June-when the U.S. was reporting around 40,000 cases daily-that the nation could reach 100,000 new infections per day if more aggressive preventative measures were not taken by the federal government in partnership with state and local leaders.

"We're in for a whole lot of hurt. It's not a good situation," Fauci told the Washington Post last week. "All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly."

On top of the surge in cases nationwide, coronavirus hospitalizations are also soaring in more than a dozen states, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project.

The latest record-shattering coronavirus figures came days after Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, warned in an internal report dated November 2 that the U.S. is "entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic" and urged the Trump administration to take "much more aggressive action."

"Cases are rapidly rising in nearly 30 percent of all USA counties, the highest number of county hotspots we have seen with this pandemic," reads Birx's report, which was obtained by the Post. "Half of the United States is in the red or orange zone for cases despite flat or declining testing."

As Birx sounded the alarm behind the scenes and other experts issued similar warnings publicly, Trump continued to hold crowded in-person rallies in the days leading up to Tuesday's election and downplay the severity of the pandemic, which has killed more than 234,000 people in the U.S. alone.

As Common Dreams reported over the weekend, a Stanford University analysis linked 18 of Trump's campaign rallies from June 20 to September 30 to more than 30,000 coronavirus infections and at least 700 deaths.

"That's all I hear about now. Turn on television, 'Covid, Covid, Covid Covid Covid.' A plane goes down, 500 people dead, they don't talk about it. 'Covid Covid Covid Covid,'" Trump told a crowd of his supporters in North Carolina late last month. "By the way, on November 4, you won't hear about it anymore."

Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor Baylor College of Medicine, tweeted Wednesday that he has long worried the U.S. would reach 100,000 Covid cases in a single day, a grim milestone he said further lays bare the Trump administration's failures.

"I dreaded this day, here it is. And the lights are off for the entire Executive Branch of our Federal Government," Hotez said. "Historic and unprecedented abandonment of the American people. I'm horrified."

(c) 2020 Jake Johnson is an author and staff writer for Common Dreams

The Dead Letter Office-

Richard gives the corporate salute

Heil Trump,

Dear Stellvertretender Generalstaatsanwalt Donoghue,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, Sam Bush, Fredo Bush, Kate Bush, Kyle Busch, Anheuser Busch, Vidkun Quisling, and last year's winner Volksjudge Samuel (Sammy the con) Alito.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your threats to send armed federal agents to disrupt legal vote counting, Yemen, Syria, Iran and those many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Rethuglican Whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Trump at a gala celebration at "der Fuhrer Bunker," formally the "White House," on 11-28-2020. We salute you herr Donoghue, seig heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

FAQs About What's Ahead
By Robert Reich

You've been in or around politics for more than 50 years. How are you feeling about Tuesday's election?

I'm more frightened for my country than I've ever been. Another four years of Donald Trump would be devastating. Nonetheless, I suspect Biden will win.

But in 2016, the polls ....

Polling is better now, and Biden's lead is larger than Hillary Clinton's was.

What about the Electoral College?

He's also leading in the so-called "swing" states that gave Trump an Electoral College victory in 2016.

Will Trump contest the election?

Yes. He'll claim fraudulent mail-in ballots in any swing state with a Republican governor or legislature. He'll tell them not to certify Biden electors until fraudulent ballots are weeded out.

What's his goal?

To deny Biden a majority of electors and throw the decision into the House of Representatives, where Republicans are likely to have a majority of state delegations.

Will it work?

No, because technically Biden only needs a majority of electors already appointed. Even if disputed ones are excluded, I expect he'll still get a majority.

What about late ballots? Trump has demanded all ballots be counted by midnight Election Day.

It's not up to him. It's up to individual state legislatures and state courts. Most will count ballots as long they're postmarked no later than Election Day.

Will these issues end up in the Supreme Court?

Some may, but the justices know they have to appear impartial. Last week they turned down a request to extend the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots in Wisconsin but allowed extensions to remain in place in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

But the Supreme Court decided the 2000 election for George W. Bush.

The last thing Chief Justice Roberts wants is another Bush v. Gore. With 6 Republican appointees now on the court, he knows the legitimacy of the court hangs in the balance.

Trump has called for 50,000 partisans to monitor polls while people vote, naming these recruits the "Army for Trump." Do you expect violence or intimidation? Not enough to affect the outcome.

Assume you're right and Biden wins. Will Trump concede?

I doubt it. He can't stand to lose. He'll continue to claim the election was stolen from him.

Will the Democrats retake the Senate?

Too close to call.

If not, can Biden get anything done?

Biden was a senator for 36 years and has worked with many of the current Republicans. He believes he can coax them into working with him.

Is he right?

I fear he's overly optimistic. The GOP isn't what it used to be. It's now answerable to a much more conservative, Trumpian base.

If Republicans keep the Senate, what can we expect from a Biden administration?

Reversals of Trump executive orders and regulations - which will restore environmental and labor protections and strengthen the Affordable Care Act. Biden will also fill the executive branch with competent people, who will make a big difference. And he'll end Trump's isolationist, go-it-alone foreign policy.

And if Democrats retake the Senate?

Keep your expectations low. Both Clinton and Obama had Democratic congresses for their first two years yet spent all their political capital cleaning up economic messes their Republican predecessors left behind. Biden will inherit an even bigger economic mess plus a pandemic. With luck, he'll enact a big stimulus package, reverse the Trump Republican tax cuts for the wealthy, and distribute and administer a Covid vaccine. All important, but nothing earth-shattering.

If Biden wins, he'll be the oldest man to ever be president. Will this be a problem for him in governing?

I don't see why. He's healthy. But I doubt he'll seek a second term, which will affect how he governs.

What do you mean?

He's going to be a transitional rather than a transformational president. He won't change the underlying structure of power in society. He won't lead a movement. He says he'll be a "bridge" to the next generation of leaders, by which I think he means that he'll try to stabilize the country, maybe heal some of the nation's wounds, so that he can turn the keys over to the visionaries and movement builders of the future.

Will Trump just fade into the sunset?

Hardly. He and Fox News will continue to be the most powerful forces in the GOP, at least for the next four years.

And what happens if your whole premise is wrong and Donald Trump wins a second term?

America and the rest of the world are seriously imperiled. I prefer not to think about it.

(c) 2020 Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

Democrats Have to Get Smart About Media and Messaging
By Thom Hartmann

There's a reason this election is this close. The old saying is, "Own the media, own the country," and this election proves it true.

Democrats have been totally stupid when it comes to the information wars. While Republicans built an enormous national "talk to people all day, every day, all year" media infrastructure, Democrats only pour money into advertising once every four years.

In the 1970s and 1980s, conservatives began building out an intellectual infrastructure to seize control of the political narratives in America.

They started think tanks to promote trickle down economics, tax cuts for the rich, and the deregulation of polluting and banking industries.

Those conservative think tanks over the years have produced an unending stream of articles, books, and newspaper columns, and actively work every day to put up websites and edit public-source information sites to their favor.

Their wealthy conservative allies bought and consolidated radio and television networks across the country, which they've expanded in the last decade to Spanish language stations as well.

The Democratic effort to build out media was Air America Radio, which helped deliver a victory to Barack Obama in 2008. Two years later, Democratic funders declared victory and abandoned the network; it died in 2010. Now, only conservative talk radio is heard in more than 90% of America.

They lobbied Facebook and Google to get those two companies to change their algorithms to promote rightwing sites while blocking progressive websites and publications. The effort was so successful it has built multimillion dollar rightwing online media empires, while kneecaping progressive sites like Mother Jones and Alternet.

If Democrats don't get their media and intellectual infrastructure act together, the hard-right narrative being promoted by America's most toxic media will continue to swing elections across the country.

(c) 2020 Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program The Thom Hartmann Show.

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Jen Sorenson~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

Amy Coney Barrett Promises Catholic Faith Won't Interfere With Court's Crushing Of The Poor, Downtrodden.

Amy Coney Barrett Promises Catholic Faith Won't Interfere With Court's Crushing Of The Poor, Downtrodden
By The Onion

WASHINGTON-In an effort to assure critics during her Senate confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett promised Monday that her Catholic faith's tenets of generosity and humanity would not interfere with her duty on the court to crush the nation's poorest and most downtrodden citizens.

"When you become a judge, you take an oath to not let the Christian values of helping the less fortunate affect your decisions," said Barrett, noting that despite her savior Jesus Christ repeatedly lecturing His followers on the importance of catering to the most disadvantaged among them, she believed the country was founded on the separation of church and state for a reason.

"Rest assured, the routine suppression of the meek and the hungry is central to our democracy, and I vow to decide all cases with that in mind-as is precedent. While I deeply believe in the Catholic virtue of mercy in my personal life, compassion has no place in my courtroom, and my long history as a federal judge demonstrates that. As soon as I put on my robes and step into my chambers, the Golden Rule all but ceases to exist."

Barrett added that her time as a clerk for Justice Scalia proved that she was capable of treating the poor as less than human beings in the eyes of the law.

(c) 2020 The Onion

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Issues & Alibis Vol 20 # 44 (c) 11/06/2020

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