Tuesday News: Outclassed

COOPER SPANKS FOREST OVER VOUCHERS IN ONLINE EDUCATION FORUM: “I think Lt. Gov. Forest really has one goal for our public schools: starve them for funding and then use those tax dollars to help rich people send their kids to private schools using vouchers,” Cooper said. He was referring to Forest’s support for the Republican-led legislature’s opportunity scholarships program, which provides families with vouchers for private school. “School vouchers are wrong. They hurt our public schools. I think he’s satisfied with teacher pay and per pupil funding and he’ll rubber stamp anything that the legislative leadership tells him to do or say,” Cooper said. Cooper also brought up one of the policies he is known for pushing — Medicaid expansion — which, along with the amount of teacher raises, was at the center of the 2019 state budget fight.

ELON PROFESSOR RECORDED "WHITE POWER" TRUMP CARAVAN, AMID OBSCENE INSULTS: "My husband told me that a Trump convoy was coming through town," Squire said. "I'm pretty sure folks weren't aware of that, and I wanted to make sure someone was at least protesting the convoy." Squire was the sole counterprotester at her location. "There wasn't anyone around me until we were pretty far into it," Squire said. "A couple college girls came up and asked what was going on, but they weren't part of anything. I was just by myself." The university has since condemned the caravan in a statement from Vice President of Student Life Jon Dooley, and added that the school is exploring "no trespass" orders against those caught on camera yelling obscenities. Squire said she was surprised by how aggressive many of the participants were. "I was just holding a Black Lives Matter sign, but they just lost their minds, it was like they couldn't handle it," Squire said. "I wasn't even saying anything, I was literally just standing there. … Two people said 'F black lives, they don't matter to me,' which was really hurtful. I couldn't believe people would say that [and] just keep driving."

TILLIS SAYS OFFSHORE DRILLING MORATORIUM WILL INCLUDE NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina will be included in the 10-year moratorium on offshore drilling that President Donald Trump originally extended only from Florida to South Carolina, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said in a news release and video announcement Monday. News of the moratorium came as welcome news to environmentalists who had criticized Trump for not including North Carolina in his original executive order prohibiting offshore drilling leases between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2032. “If it is true that Sen. Tillis convinced the White House, that is fantastic news,” said Erin Carey, director of coastal programs for the North Carolina Sierra Club. Tillis said in a video that he spoken to Trump on Monday morning about extending the moratorium to North Carolina. “I’m pleased to announce that the President will be doing just that,” Tillis said. “Our coastal communities and our tourism are vital to our state’s economy, and I’m thankful to President Trump.” The White House declined to comment to The News & Observer on Monday.

MANHATTAN DA HINTS AT CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST DONALD TRUMP: The Manhattan District Attorney's Office made a more pointed case for the legality of its grand jury subpoena for eight years of President Trump's tax returns and related records, saying in a brief to an appeals court Monday that news reports of misconduct alone justify such a wide-ranging review of business dealings. The filing marks the first time the prosecutor has publicly suggested specific criminal charges — including falsifying business records and tax fraud — that could hypothetically apply, should the grand jury find evidence to support them. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s investigation includes alleged hush-money payments in 2016 to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, as well as a “variety of business transactions,” according to a filing by the office’s general counsel, Carey Dunne. The investigation “is based on information derived from public sources, confidential informants, and the grand jury process,” according to the filing. Dunne wrote that “in particular,” any false statements made to business partners, would-be lenders, insurers or tax authorities about Trump business properties — no matter where the properties were located — would be fair game for New York prosecutors if the statements were made from Trump Tower or the Trump Organization’s headquarters in Manhattan. False statements, Dunne wrote, could lead to criminal charges, including scheme to defraud, falsification of business records, insurance fraud and criminal tax fraud.

TILLIS/CUNNINGHAM RACE IS NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT SENATE CONTEST: North Carolina, where the changing demography reflects America as much as the urban-rural divisions mirror its polarization, was already a crucial bellwether. The state is critical to President Trump’s re-election, particularly as he has slipped in the industrial Midwest and come under more pressure to retain the rest of his 2016 map. With competitive races for president, Senate and governor and control of the State Legislature up for grabs, voters are being deluged by advertisements: More money has been spent on television commercials here than in any other state. And now, Justice Ginsburg’s death has made North Carolina even more important this year. If Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans try to hastily push through a new justice before or immediately after the election, it could doom three senators in states where they were already trailing, and where Joseph R. Biden Jr. appears well-positioned: Maine, Colorado and Arizona. “No one believes we can keep a Senate majority unless we win North Carolina,” Mr. Tillis said on Saturday (those are the rantings of a desperate man) at a rally with Mr. Trump in Fayetteville, N.C., shortly before the president took the podium and announced his plans to pick a female justice as early as this week. Both Mr. Graham and Mr. Tillis vowed after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016 not to support a Supreme Court nomination in the midst of a presidential campaign, even if there was a Republican in the White House. Now both are reneging on their promise in order to align themselves more closely with Mr. Trump.



I'm beginning to think

this Supreme Court thing will backfire on Republicans. It's not the left or right that matters in state-wide and nation-wide elections, it's that middle. Unaffiliated voters already (for the most part) don't trust party politics, and it doesn't get much worse than the hypocrisy of blocking Merrick Garland and then full-fledged support of whoever Donald Trump wants.

Yeah, I'm trying to make lemonade here. But I guarantee you several Republican Senators are worried about that exact thing. Film on 11/3.

The SCOTUS pick is more about post-election lawsuits

It would seem counter-intuitive for McConnell and Trump to ram through a SCOTUS pick so close to the election. Wouldn't it make more sense to use that a motivator to get out votes for Trump and the GOP?

This tells me that they know they're going to lose and they're planning on tying up the results in court for weeks or even months. And I don't think we're just going to see challenges around the Presidential race - the GOP is lawyering up for protecting Senate and House seats.

This Atlantic piece gives you an idea of the kinds of things they're planning and why they might need another SCOTUS pick on their side to pull it off. Here's on example:

We are accustomed to choosing electors by popular vote, but nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way. Article II provides that each state shall appoint electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Since the late 19th century, every state has ceded the decision to its voters. Even so, the Supreme Court affirmed in Bush v. Gore that a state “can take back the power to appoint electors.” How and when a state might do so has not been tested for well over a century.

Trump may test this. According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.

The strategy here with SCOTUS isn't to win an election, but try to seize power by any means necessary and to use Trump-appointed lackeys on the Federal bench to lock in a white minority-rule government for decades.

James Carville says 'swing voter's are a myth...

...And I agree. If there are, they're numbers are insignificant. Everyone has a leaning. Some just don't express it out loud. There's usually one special issue that matters to people and all others are way down the list. Mine is health care. If it wasn't for the Democratic Party, Pelosi and Prez Obama, the ACA wouldn't exist and my wife and I would still be without any insurance. It's far from perfect but it may keep us from dying before 70.