DOJ Calls Ballot Box Surveillance Illegal - The Wednesday AM Quickie 11/2/22

Voted yet? I'm gonna keep bugging you about it until Tuesday, Nov. 8. My mail-in ballot still hasn't shown up but I'm lucky to be able to vote in a state that offers an option for electronic submission. – Corey

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Midterms Madness: DOJ Weighs in on GOP Voter Intimidation

There's already a deluge of news about the upcoming U.S. elections, so here's my best effort to pare it down to the most notable headlines.

  • Justice Department: Arizona Ballot Box Thugs Are Breaking the Law Supporting a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters, a new DOJ court filing says ballot box surveillance as encouraged by Donald Trump likely violates the federal Voting Rights Act. via the Washington Post.
  • Texas Vigilante Poll Watchers Demand Voters' Cellphones With early voting underway, Republicans are deploying "monitors," some in an official capacity, to majority-Democrat polling sites in cities like Houston. via the Post.
  • Wisconsin Republican Vows to Institute One-Party Rule "Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I'm elected governor," construction executive Tim Michels, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, told supporters. via the Washington Post.
  • Pennsylvania Democrat Assaulted at Home State House candidate Richard Ringer was knocked unconscious by an intruder; his home has been vandalized twice in the past two weeks. via the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News.
  • Election Watchdogs Warn About Risk of Rogue Officials "Isolated incidents" in New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania involving local officials who refused to certify primary results as required by law, including one who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 coup attempt, are causing concern. via Bloomberg News and HuffPost.
  • Michigan Secretary of State Candidate Promotes Craziest QAnon Theories Trump-backed Republican Christian nationalist Kristina Karamo said in a 2020 podcast interview that abortion was a "religious ritual" for elite blood-drinkers and a source of black market "baby body parts." via Vice News.
  • Over Half of Fortune 500 Companies Have Donated to GOP Election Deniers Top corporations over the past two years donated $13 million to 147 congressional Republicans who refused to certify the 2020 results, after promising to withhold funds from such wannabe autocrats. via ProPublica.

Roberts Saves Trump from Scrutiny; Graham Not So Lucky

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts came to Donald Trump's rescue yesterday, issuing a temporary hold order that will keep Trump's tax returns out of the hands of Congressional Democrats for a while longer. Roberts' order followed response to Trump's emergency request filed the night before, which Jack told you about yesterday. If Republicans take control of the House next year, committee investigators may lose their chance to shine a light on Trump's finances. In other Supreme Court news, justices rejected a request from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to spare him from testifying before the Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigating Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 election. No dissents were noted in that decision, the Washington Post reports.

Bolsonaro Accepts Transition to Lula Without Conceding

Following two days of sad-sack isolation and ominous public silence, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro yesterday appeared before news cameras and gave a very short and characteristically petty speech about Sunday's elections, which saw voters turn out to restore former president and leftist icon Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to power. Bolsonaro did not concede his loss at the polls, saying only that he would "follow all the commandments of our constitution." His chief of staff then confirmed that he'd been authorized "to start the transition process." The outgoing fascist also called on his supporters to protest peacefully following a supreme court ruling that requires federal police to clear hundreds of illegal highway blockades set up across the country by Bolsonaristas; the protesters organized on Telegram, and some in their number had been calling for a military coup.


  • Paul Pelosi Faces 'Long Recovery,' Nancy Says Meanwhile, Donald Trump joined other far-right figures in spreading conspiracy theories about the targeted act of political violence. via the Los Angeles Times and Politico.
  • Food Price Hikes Power Double-Digit Boost to Corporate Profits An expert explains "corporations have used inflation, the pandemic and supply chain challenges as an excuse to exaggerate their own costs and then nickel and dime consumers." via the New York Times.
  • Israel Exit Polls: Benjamin Netanyahu Wins Potential Majority The right-wing former prime minister could return to power with a far-right coalition "advocating for the expulsion of 'disloyal' Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel." via the Washington Post.
  • Tulsa Race Massacre Investigation Finds 17 More Unmarked Graves No white rioters and killers were ever prosecuted in the 1921 massacre that left 300 Black Oklahomans dead. via NBC News.
  • Senate Democrat Calls for National Security Review of Twitter Ownership In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy flags Saudi and Qatari financing of Elon Musk's Twitter takeover as a cause for concern. via HuffPost.



That's how many pounds of microplastics baleen whales can ingest in a four-month feeding season, according to a new study based on data collected off the coast of California. Researchers call it a conservative estimate and note that the plastics pollution also winds up in the human food supply.


11/2: Sam hosts Tim Drea, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO, to discuss the Workers Rights Amendment that is on the state ballot next Tuesday. Then he is joined by Lee Harris, reporter at The American Prospect, to discuss her recent piece "Industrial Policy Without Industrial Unions."


Republican Blames Pelosi Attack on George Floyd Protests

Condemning a kidnapping and assassination attempt is too much to expect from today's GOP, apparently.

Obama SHREDS Republican During Wisconsin Speech

Haven't seen the former president this fired up in a long time, and it's welcome.


"Allen Weisselberg is a man who has fallen to his greed! Greed made him cheat on his taxes, hide his deeds from his employer, and betray a trust built over nearly 50 years! ... He still gets some pay."

-- Trump Organization lawyer Michael Van Der Veen, throwing the company's $1 million-per-year accountant under the bus before the jury in the ongoing criminal tax fraud case in New York, per Vice News. Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felonies in August and is obliged to cooperate with prosecutors; he won't be sentenced until after the trial.

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