Texas has 254 counties. Some of those counties, like Harris County, which includes the city of Houston, have 12 ballot drop off boxes for its 4.7 million residents. Some smaller counties have a handful, like four.
As of Friday every county in Texas will have just one ballot drop off box. One. Not 12, not four.
That’s a massive reduction in the number of boxes, and in the age of the coronavirus, in a time when many Americans don’t have money for gas, much less time or money to drive all over town to find a drop off box, exponentially reducing the number of drop off boxes is being seen by experts as voter suppression.
The timing is interesting – just as Democrats are rising in the polls and the average polling margin in Texas between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is now between two and 3.2 percentage points.
Calling them “enhanced security protocols” Abbott claims his goal is to “maintain the integrity of our elections.”
The Washington Post just released its analysis of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to dramatically reduce the ballot drop off boxes. As it turns out, the decision targets Democratic and non-white voters the most.
“It’s hard to imagine that this is an accident,” writes the Post’s Philip Bump.
“Regular Post readers will understand both that such ‘enhancements’ are unnecessary, given both the rarity of voter fraud and the breadth of measures already in place aimed at eliminating illegal voting. Regular readers will also assume that Abbott’s move is the latest in a long-standing pattern of citing alleged and unproven concerns about fraud as a rationale for limiting the ability to vote in a way that disproportionately affects Democratic voters.”
Voting rights expert Ari Berman calls it voter suppression:
How GOP voter suppression works in Texas
-you can vote with gun permit but not student ID
-no online voter registration
-must be deputized to register voters
-voters under 65 can’t use fear of covid to vote by mail
-only 1 place to drop ballots off in huge Dem counties
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) October 1, 2020
Former Obama senior advisor David Plouffe says it’s voter suppression:
Even the voter suppression is bigger in Texas. https://t.co/MXH4csMMFx
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) October 1, 2020
The Director of the Univ. of Virginia Center for Politics and political analyst Larry Sabato calls it voter suppression:
THIS IS DISGRACEFUL VOTER SUPPRESSION: Texas Gov. Abbott restricts absentee ballot drop-off locations (one per county) https://t.co/YzbdJ1mhs5
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) October 1, 2020
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Right Wing Social Media Platform Parler Announces Kanye West Will No Longer Buy It in ‘Interest of Both Parties’
After Kanye West‘s antisemitic and racist remarks last month, which led to him being deplatformed by Twitter and Instagram, the extremist artist and rapper announced he was purchasing the right wing “free speech” social media platform Parler, which performs little content moderation.
On Thursday, hours after West went on far right extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show and praised Adolf Hitler, Parler issued a statement saying by mutual agreement West would not be purchasing the platform.
But the Parler statement, which came from its parent company, also claimed the decision had been made weeks ago.
“In response to numerous media inquiries, Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” Parler said on Twitter. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.”
On Thursday, stunning many, West told Alex Jones, “I see good things about Hitler,” as Consequence reported. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
When West had agreed to purchase Parler, he stated, “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”
CNBC reported last month that “Parler, which initially launched in 2018, was swept up in controversy last year over the role it played in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol building. That led a slew of tech companies, including Google and Amazon, to blacklist the service, rendering its app and website inaccessible.”
Owens, promoting nationalism, told young supporters in London, “Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler.”
“But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalise. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism.”
Hitler was responsible for the slaughter of up to 17 million people.
Image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock
‘I Thought He Was Going to Beat Me’: Yet Another Herschel Walker Accuser Steps Forward
Yet another woman has come forward to detail disturbing allegations of abuse at the hands of Trump-backed Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, longtime Walker girlfriend Cheryl Parsa detailed an incident in which Walker grew violent after she caught him with another woman back in 2005.
According to Parsa, Walker became enraged after she walked in on him with another woman and began swinging his fist at her.
“I thought he was going to beat me,” said Parsa, who says she subsequently fled the room in fear before Walker could get the chance.
In addition to that violent incident, Parsa also claims that Walker would use his diagnosed mental illness as a justification for his poor behavior.
“He’s a pathological liar. Absolutely. But it’s more than that,” she told the publication. “He knows how to manipulate his disease, in order to manipulate people, while at times being simultaneously completely out of control.”
Walker has faced allegations of abuse from multiple woman and family members, although during his Senate campaign he has deflected from them by acknowledging his past mental illness and claiming that he has received treatment for it so that it is no longer an issue.
Parsa told The Daily Beast that she’s come forward because she thinks it would be dangerous to give someone like Walker the power of being a United States Senator.
“He is not well,” she said. “And I say that as someone who knows exactly what this looks like, because I have lived through it and seen what it does to him and to other people. He cannot be a senator. He cannot have control over a state when he has little to no control of his mind.”
In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info
House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in an angry letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned the Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that his role will end on January 3 and it is “imperative that all information collected be preserved.” The California Republican congressman had a dramatically different position on Donald Trump‘s unlawful retention of well over ten thousand items from the White House, including at least 300 documents with classified markings, including some classified at the highest levels.
McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker of the House but is facing strong opposition from some of the GOP caucus, nevertheless is acting as if he will wield the gavel.
His letter, angry and accusatory in tone, also strongly suggests Republicans will hold their own hearings on the January 6 attack on the Capitol and on democracy, but with a vastly different focus.
“The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress,” McCarthy’s letter begins. “On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end,” McCarthy told Thompson in his letter, which was reported on by CBS News.
“For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.”
Some have suggested that Thompson could transfer some or all of the Committee’s work product – all transcripts and other evidence – to the Senate.
McCarthy continued with his angry attack.
“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation.”
House Republicans, including McCarthy, spent millions of dollars on six Benghazi investigations, the last one of which McCarthy admitted was designed to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy bragged in 2015.
Unlike his defense of ex-president Donald Trump unlawfully removing and retaining at Mar-a-Lago approximately 13,000 items belonging to the National Archives from the White House, McCarthy warned Thompson the Committee’s work does not belong to the Chairman.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”
That’s actually false.
The Committee has undoubtedly uncovered government secrets, including national security information, classified information, and information, for example, the Secret Service needs to keep secret to allow it to continue to secure its protectees. It also has entered into agreements with witnesses that prevent it from releasing those documents, transcripts, and other evidence to the public.
Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney says, “Kevin McCarthy’s letter demanding that the Jan. 6 committee preserve its records is mostly nonsense because the committee is planning to release all but a few of its transcripts.”
McCarthy continued, warning: “Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so.”
He then served up what some might say is a threat.
“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.”
18 U.S. Code § 1001 is the federal statute that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements.
McCarthy had a very different take when the U.S. Dept. of Justice executed a legal search warrant of Donald Trump’s Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago, to retrieve government-owned materials, including classified documents.
“Joe Biden and the politicized Dept. of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Sept. 1. “That is an assault on democracy.”
“Joe Biden and the politicized Department of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump. That is an assault on democracy.”
— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, before Biden gives remarks in Philadelphia, attacks the lawful Mar-a-Lago search pic.twitter.com/qDwPSzrYs8
— The Recount (@therecount) September 1, 2022
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