Donald Trump

Trump and his followers are "Fake News" champions

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When you can't find the smoking gun you're looking for, just make shit up:

"We have breaking news of how the mob, reportedly at this point, has helped Joe Biden get thousands and thousands and thousands of fraudulent votes," he said during a Facebook Live video. "You cannot make this stuff up, ladies and gentlemen." Actually, you can — the claim is baseless.

Herrell’s video was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. It has more than 176,000 views.

We've been seeing a lot of these in the last week or so. Apparently broad yet entirely baseless claims are not having the desired effect, so it's time for some Pizzagate nonsense. Naming specific individuals creates the perfect conspiracy theory loop; denials and evidence refuting the theory merely means the conspiracy is "farther reaching" than they thought it was. And this jackass is leading the charge:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Lame Duck continues to attack climate science

Trump replaces top scientist on Climate Assessment Team:

Michael Kuperberg, executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which produces the climate assessment, was told Friday that he would no longer lead that organization, people with knowledge of the situation said.

According to two people close to the administration, he is expected to be replaced by David Legates, a deputy assistant secretary at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who previously worked closely with climate change denial groups.

Trump is not just dumping kitty litter on the living room carpet on the way out, he's stacking the deck with things Joe Biden will have to fix when he takes office. Forgive the strained metaphors, but that's the best way to assess the behavior of toddlers. He can no longer set a policy agenda, but he can make it harder for his successor:

Trump's legal challenges crash into an impenetrable wall of evidence

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Our legal system has many flaws, but fantasy isn't one of them:

During a Pennsylvania court hearing this week on one of the many election lawsuits brought by President Donald Trump, a judge asked a campaign lawyer whether he had found any signs of fraud from among the 592 ballots challenged. The answer was no.

Trump has not been so cautious, insisting without evidence that the election was stolen from him even when election officials nationwide from both parties say there has been no conspiracy.

One of the most ironic aspects of this is how many Republicans, who won their elections, are backing up Trump's baseless election fraud claims. Truth be told, most of them know it's bullshit. But they're still afraid of him. They're still afraid of his crazy Q followers. So they're playing along, and making the problem much worse by doing so. It's the height of irresponsibility, but they don't really care about any ill effects it may cause:

Along with Trump, Louis DeJoy needs to go to jail

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Make no mistake, this is election fraud, and a violation of the Constitution:

More than 150,000 ballots were caught in U.S. Postal Service processing facilities and not delivered by Election Day, agency data shows, including more than 12,000 in five of the states that have yet to be called for either President Trump or Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

Despite assurances from Postal Service leaders that agency officials were conducting daily sweeps for misplaced ballots, the mail service acknowledged in a court filing Thursday that thousands of ballots had not been processed in time, and that more ballots were processed Wednesday than on Election Day.

Get that? Trump is ranting about late votes, and Tweeting, "STOP COUNTING!" while DeJoy was (is) holding ballots hostage until after Election day. When a judge first ordered the Postal Service to begin sweeps of postal facilities 7 days ago, they (DeJoy) ignored the order. They barely lifted a finger on Monday, and even Tuesday (Election Day). Then they started sweeping (in earnest) on Wednesday. That demonstrates (clearly) the intent to delay and obstruct the votes of tens of thousands of citizens, regardless of lame rationalizations:

T'was the night before Election, and all through the (U.S.) House...

Gerry Mander is not as strong as he was:

The GOP’s current 10-3 advantage relied on concentrating Democratic voters into some districts and splitting Democratic strongholds in others, a strategy known as “cracking and packing.” North Carolina’s new districts, now much more unpacked and uncracked than the previous iteration, all but assures a two-seat Democratic gain in districts centered in the Triangle and Triad, making the partisan split at least 8-5.

Whether the outcome this year stays 8-5 or results in further gains for Democrats hinges on a presidential race in a state with shifting demographics and a history of bouncing between parties on top of the ticket races.

Picking up (at least) two more seats in our Congressional Delegation is something positive to chew on these days. But I get an even bigger warm fuzzy knowing that North Carolina is actively defending or even growing the Democratic majority in the U.S. House. We are moving progress forward, not just helplessly watching from the fringe. That two seat gain is a victory we shouldn't take for granted, even if we fall short on these (three) other seats:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Trump puts climate deniers in charge at NOAA

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Because real science is a pain in the ass, or something:

Mr. McLean had sent some of the new political appointees a message that asked them to acknowledge the agency’s scientific integrity policy, which prohibits manipulating research or presenting ideologically driven findings. The request prompted a sharp response from Dr. Noble. “Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?” he wrote, according to a person who received a copy of the exchange after it was circulated within NOAA.

Replacing Mr. McLean, who remains at the agency, was Ryan Maue, a former researcher for the libertarian Cato Institute who has criticized climate scientists for what he has called unnecessarily dire predictions.

Just so you know how bad this is, Maue worked with an even crazier dude at Cato, who believes more atmospheric carbon is a good thing:

Trump will go down in history as the anti-environment President

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Endangering the health of citizens and ecosystems alike:

The bulk of the rollbacks identified by the Times have been carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has weakened Obama-era limits on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and from cars and trucks; removed protections from more than half the nation's wetlands; and withdrawn the legal justification for restricting mercury emissions from power plants.

At the same time, the Interior Department has worked to open up more land for oil and gas leasing by limiting wildlife protections and weakening environmental requirements for projects.

Before we get into the details of Trump's transgressions against the environment, here's another angle to consider: NC's Republican Legislative leaders pushed hard to restrict DENR (now DEQ) from enacting rules that were tougher that EPA guidelines, arguing the Federal rules were "more than enough" to protect our air and water. But have you seen those Republicans taking any steps to counter all these Trump rollbacks? That's a rhetorical question, because of course not. They simply don't care about the environment, clean water, breathable air, etc. Not on their radar, period. Back to Trump:

Trump and BergerMoore whine to Supreme Court about ballot extension

They're just throwing shit against the wall to see what will stick:

President Donald Trump’s campaign and North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to return the state to a shorter deadline for accepting late-arriving absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day.

The legislative leaders argue in their appeal that the longer deadline, which was extended after early voting had begun, will result in unequal treatment of voters and dilute the value of ballots cast before the rule was changed.

What? Seriously, what? Even if those later ballots somehow did "dilute" the value of earlier votes cast, refusing to count the later ballots makes their value absolutely zero. But of course there is no dilution, this is just another "divide and conquer" tactic by Republicans. Trying to pit voters who mailed their ballots in early against those who didn't. Create a conflict where one doesn't exist, and then ask the court to settle that conflict. It's a variation of a strawman logical fallacy, but in this case, the strawman is the victim, not the antagonist. I agree with Josh Stein 100%:

E-mails threatening Dem voters came from Estonia

Putin is worried he's about to lose his Puppet:


“We are in possession of all your information You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know this because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure. You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you.”

Authorities are classifying this as a "Scam," but it's a hell of a lot more sinister than some identity theft effort. Not only does it seek to intimidate voters into choosing Trump, it also seeks to undermine faith and trust in our entire voting system. It doesn't matter how clumsy the effort is, and it should not be downplayed:

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