Thursday News: Inexcusable

GOVERNOR RESCINDS GOP APPOINTMENT OVER ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP: On Tuesday night, the Raleigh Protection Alliance, which says it provides a safe place for survivors to share their experiences, published McLamb’s accuser’s story on Instagram. She was not identified. “I have wanted to get this off my chest for more than three years now,” she wrote in the Instagram post. In the post, the woman alleges McLamb relentlessly pressured her to have sex by lying on her body or waking her up repeatedly through the night until she gave in. She also alleged that he videotaped a sexual encounter without her consent and in one instance, pinned her against a wall and screamed in her face that he would destroy her career. McLamb was one of six names the North Carolina Republican Party provided the Democratic governor after two previous Republican board members resigned following a vote to settle a lawsuit about how the board handles absentee ballots.

TILLIS SAYS THAT IT'S DEMOCRATS WHO ARE TRYING TO PACK THE COURT? He did wear a mask during the Rose Garden announcement, but he went without one at a reception for Barrett inside the White House. He said he personally doesn't believe that is where he contracted the virus. "That doesn't excuse the fact that, in every case, we should wear a mask because scientists tell us to do it," he said. "In that brief moment when I was there with Judge Barrett and the president in the reception area with a subset of the group from the ceremony, I did something I shouldn't have done." Tillis said the confirmation remains on schedule, despite pushback from Democrats who say the seat shouldn't be filled until after the election. He said he expects the process to be "more nuanced" than the contentious confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh two years ago. "They're going to focus on her because they don't want to focus on their agenda to pack the courts," Tillis said. "She will be confirmed, and she will be on the Supreme Court by the end of October." In addition to Barrett's confirmation, Tillis said he wants Congress to continue working on another pandemic relief package, even though Trump said negotiations should halt until after the election.

DUMB AND DUMBER TO VISIT NORTH CAROLINA THIS WEEK: Eric Trump, President Donald Trump's son, will make two stops in North Carolina on Thursday. The younger Trump will hold two "Make America Great Again!" events at a farm in Monroe, in Union County, and at a machine shop in Whitsett, in Guilford County. The events will be held at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively. Eric Trump, 36, is the president's third child. His mom is Ivana Trump, the president's first wife. Donald Trump Jr., the president's oldest child, will be in Fayetteville this weekend. (This Whitsett thing is about 4 miles from where I live, and Evil Steve has been pushing me to make an appearance, but he wants to carry a sign that says, "Jesus H. Christ, you've had close to four years to Make America Great, but all you've done is make us the laughing stock of developed nations around the world, and turned us into the bastard child of Vladimir Putin!" I tried to explain there's only so much room on a sign that you can carry, and that many words will end up being fine print that you'd have to stand right in front of to read, but I think he wants Trumpers to get within punching range.)

PENCE TRIES TO BULLY LIKE TRUMP, BUT KAMALA AIN'T HAVING IT: Harris came prepared to be interrupted. And Pence did not disappoint. As he settled into the rhythms of the debate, he steamrolled past his time limits by simply declaring that he had something he needed to say. But while Page unsuccessfully tried to silence the vice president with a “please” or a reminder of the agreed upon rules, Harris had a more ample tool kit at her disposal. She alternately threw him forceful “don’t interrupt me” glances and sometimes demanded — with a smile, always with a smile — “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking. I’m. Speaking.” It was a debate full of head-shaking, lip-pursing and eyebrow-raising for dramatic effect. Pence’s eyes looked red, and a fly landed on his hair during the latter half of the debate and settled in for such a long time that the state of its health became a more compelling subject to ponder than the millionth road-to-nowhere conversation about fracking. Harris laughed when she was appalled by Pence, studiously refraining from frowning or giving the impression that she was angry because being simultaneously angry and Black is treading into treacherous water in our culture of inequality. Pence rose up in righteous indignation on the subject of abortion and the Supreme Court and noted that Trump’s most recent nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, is “a brilliant woman and she’ll bring a lifetime of experience and a sizable American family to the Supreme Court of the United States,” as if her seven children would be helping her to write opinions if she’s confirmed. The candidates were seated during the debate and separated by a plexiglass wall. It was a precaution against the coronavirus that has recently taken root at the White House and within the administration. The risks make one wonder why the vice-presidential debate was even held, in person and inside no less. For all the interaction onstage in Salt Lake City, the debate could have been conducted by video conference to no ill effect.

TRUMP DOESN'T WANT "VIRTUAL" DEBATE, CALLS THE IDEA RIDICULOUS: The Commission on Presidential Debates said on Thursday that the next debate between President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. would be held virtually because of health concerns about the coronavirus. But President Trump immediately dismissed the idea, declaring that he would not participate and calling the idea of a remote debate “ridiculous.” The high-stakes standoff between Mr. Trump and the debate organizers emerged on Thursday morning, after the commission, with no warning to campaign representatives, said the Oct. 15 debate would feature candidates debating remotely “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.” But Mr. Trump, who tested positive last week for the coronavirus, immediately objected to the concept in a television interview, saying: “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate, that’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate — it’s ridiculous.” Mr. Biden has said he is deferring to the debate commission and its health adviser, the Cleveland Clinic, to ensure a safe physical environment for the audience and participants. “If he still has Covid, we shouldn’t have a debate,” Mr. Biden told reporters on Tuesday night after a speech in Gettysburg, Pa. “I will be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic and what the docs say is the right thing to do.” His aides have said the onus is on Mr. Trump to demonstrate that he would not be contagious onstage. (Trump spends hours each day dashing off Tweets, knowing he can ignore the responses, but it's an online debate that is "ridiculous." *sigh*)