Tuesday News: Superspreader, unleashed


TILLIS OUT OF QUARANTINE, READY TO PACK THE SUPREME COURT: U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, has been cleared to resume in-person activities, according to his doctor. The senator will also take part in an antibody study to help experts learn more about COVID-19 and how it is spreading. Hours after President Donald Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Oct. 2, Tillis announced his own positive test. Tillis shared that he tested positive for COVID-19 but was experiencing few symptoms other than loss of taste and smell. After his COVID-19 diagnosis, Tillis said he regretted removing his face mask while attending an event in the White House. Tillis said he plans to return to Washington to participate in the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett.

MARK ROBINSON IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY NASTY INDIVIDUAL: He says that people “who support this mass delusion called transgenderism” are trying “to turn God’s creation backwards, and make it into a sickening image of rebellion to glorify Satan.” The LGBT advocacy group Equality NC condemned the statement, saying that “words like these fuel gender-based oppression and have led to an epidemic of violence against transgender women of color in this country. Transgender, and all LGBTQ North Carolinians, deserve elected officials who lead with compassion and who do not attack their constituents.” He says the popular movie “Black Panther” was “created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by (a) satanic marxist,” and “was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets,” using a Yiddish slur for Black. Muslims, he says, “refuse to assimilate to our ways while demanding respect they have not earned.” He argues that they “are not ‘immigrants,’ they are INVADERS.” He criticizes Black voters for supporting the Democratic Party given its past racist stances. He says they’re “voting for the very people who have abused them throughout our history. That’s what happens when negroes don’t read.” He refers to Michelle Obama as a man, Barack Obama as “a worthless, anti-American atheist who wanted to bring this nation to it knees,” TV talk show host Joy Behar as a “she beast,” and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters as “Ol’ Maxie Pad” Waters.

CHAR-MECK SCHOOLS SET TO RENAME ZEBULON VANCE HIGH SCHOOL: Leaders of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools want rid a high school of a Confederate general's name and replace it with the name of a pioneering civil rights attorney. The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that the school is Zebulon B. Vance High School. School officials told the Observer that Superintendent Earnest Winston will recommend to the school board that the school be renamed in honor of attorney Julius Chambers. Chambers is best known as the lawyer who argued a landmark school desegregation case. It had mandated countywide busing to integrate the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. He was also a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality in the 1960s and beyond. The renaming could be approved by the board at its planned meeting Tuesday night. District officials said it would be the first time a CMS school has gone through such a renaming process.

DEMS PUSH FOR BARRETT TO RECUSE HERSELF IF ELECTION IS CHALLENGED: As the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett proceed this week, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pushing the Supreme Court nominee to answer whether she would recuse herself from considering cases related to this fall’s presidential election. Pointing to President Trump’s comments linking her confirmation with the need for nine justices in case of a contested White House race, Senate Democrats said his remarks raise serious concern about public perception of her impartiality. “Your participation . . . in any case involving Donald Trump’s election would immediately do explosive enduring harm to the court’s legitimacy and to your own credibility,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in his opening statement Monday at Barrett’s confirmation hearing. “You must recuse yourself.” Trump has urged the Senate to quickly confirm his nominee, saying a ninth justice may be necessary if a case involving his reelection goes to the high court. “I think this will end up in the Supreme Court,” the president said at the White House two days before naming Barrett as his choice. “And I think it’s very important that we have nine justices. It’s better if you go before the election, because I think this scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court. And I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation.” When asked at last month’s presidential debate by moderator Chris Wallace if he was counting on the Supreme Court, including a potential Justice Barrett, to settle an election dispute, Trump responded: “Yeah. I think I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely.” “In light of Trump’s public statements, it will reasonably appear to the public that Trump offered her the job with the implicit understanding that just weeks later she would help him keep his,” said Stephen Gillers, an expert on judicial ethics at New York University Law School.

CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS DEPLOY ILLEGAL ABSENTEE BALLOT DROP BOXES: The dark gray metal boxes have been popping up over the past two weeks near churches, gun shops and Republican Party offices, mostly in conservative areas of a deep-blue state, affixed with a white paper label identifying them as either an “Official Ballot Drop off Box” or a “Ballot Drop Box.” To the average voter, they are virtually indistinguishable from drop-off sites sanctioned by the state, which are governed by strict regulations intended to prevent the partisan manipulation of ballots. On Monday, California’s secretary of state, Alex Padilla, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a cease-and-desist order to the state- and county-level Republican parties, ordering them to remove the boxes. They also urged voters who might have unknowingly dropped off their ballots in the receptacles to sign up with the state’s voter tracking website to ensure their vote is counted. “Misleading voters is wrong regardless of who is doing it,” Mr. Padilla said in a conference call with reporters, adding that the boxes “are not permitted by state law.” Mr. Becerra called the boxes “fake,” adding that it was “illegal to tamper with a citizen’s vote.” He warned that anyone “engaging in this activity” could be subject to criminal prosecution or civil action. Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the California Republican Party, said the party would continue to distribute the boxes, without adding any label identifying them explicitly as Republican ballot drops.