Saturday Report 10/14/23 - Red state conservatives are dying thanks to the people they vote for...
The Best of the Rest of the News
— What threat does ‘Day of Jihad’ pose to American cities? As US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was giving a press conference yesterday in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, right down the street at the international headquarters of Hamas (yes, Qatar hosts them and nobody has arrested them) that terrorist organization’s leader was calling for yesterday to be a “Day of Jihad”: a call for Muslims across the world to attack Jews and anybody or any nation perceived as Israel’s ally. New York City mobilized its entire police force and there were a few incidents of people being knifed around the world, but it seems to have been a bust. With their attack on Israel, Hamas has clearly overreached (much like Al Qaeda did with 9/11), and the challenge now will be for Israel not to make the same mistakes Bush did by overreacting in response. If there ever was a time that needed diplomacy along with police/military action to respond to terrorism, this is it. That said, I have a lot of faith in Anthony Blinken.
— Voting rights had a bad day in the Supreme Court. The decision won’t come down for months, but the questioning around the South Carolina gerrymandering case suggests the Republicans on the Supreme Court are going to go along with the GOP in drawing districts that cement in Republican rule even when the majority of state voters cast ballots for Democrats (much like right now in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Wisconsin). Meanwhile, in Virginia, which is currently in the midst of an election for every member of that state’s legislature, Republican Governor Glen Youngkin is fielding criticism for removing thousands of Democrats from the voting rolls and a GOP-aligned group, Virginia “Fair” Elections, is reportedly fielding over 10,000 “poll watchers” who will challenge people of color and other voters in largely Democratic districts. In some places, these kinds of challenges force voters to go home and get birth certificates, marriage licenses and change-of-name/marriage certificates (this hits women particularly hard), etc., if they want their votes counted. They’re planning to take this “Virginia model” of vote suppression national for the 2024 election, although it’s just an extension of William Rehnquist’s old “Operation Eagle Eye” from the 1960s when the man who leveraged his activism into becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court used to stand outside polling places in his native Arizona and loudly (and effectively) challenge/intimidate Hispanic and Native American voters. The Republican effort that I documented in my book The Hidden History of the War on Voting rolls along (and is picking up steam). Based on everything I’m seeing them doing publicly, without even considering what they are probably planning privately for the last minute, I’m guessing they will successfully suppress several millions of votes in 2024. We are already saw some of the fruits of this: when Ron DeSantis started parading Black people in shackles for the cameras because they had voted after getting off parole in a state where a referendum had legalized that, Black voter participation dropped.
— There’s a double standard for Democrats versus Republicans saying stupid things: when Democrats do it, it fills the news cycle for a week; when Republicans do it, we get silence. Donald Trump declared in writing in court this week that, as president, he didn’t have to “support” the Constitution of the US because the word “support” doesn’t appear in the Constitution or his oath of office. This is part of his effort to remain on the 2024 ballot in Colorado, where Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) has sued to keep him off. There are lawsuit is based on the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 that forbids people from holding or running for office when they have engaged in insurrection or given aid and comfort to insurrectionists. Not a single Republican has spoken out about this outrage, and it’s conspicuously absent from our media. If Biden had made such an assertion it would be news from coast-to-coast for a week, but nary a peep from the mainstream media on this one. The double standard at work once again.
— Has Trump succeeded at getting his espionage trial pushed back until after the election? Trump-appointed federal judge Aileen Cannon appears set to once again take Trump’s side and help him push his espionage trial (incorrectly called the “documents trial” in the media: the criminal charges against him are based in various aspects of the Espionage Act) back until after the 2024 election, in the expectation that he will win and then simply fire Jack Smith and end the prosecution altogether. As Liz Dye writes over at the Public Notice Substack newsletter, “Donald Trump has just one goal in his two federal criminal cases: push them off until after November 2024, so that he can either pardon himself or instruct the Justice Department to drop the charges on January 20, 2025. That’s all you need to know about his legal strategy. The rest is noise.” Amen.
— The Trump family is doubling down on Nazi. Imagine how the press would treat the story if Hunter Biden was hosting a Holocaust-denying antisemitic speaker who claimed the “good guys lost” WWII at an event on property owned by his father. Every news network in the country would be there and the story would run nonstop. This guy even managed to kill a person while driving drunk and got off, and Eric Trump is hosting him at an event at Trump’s Miami Doral bedbug palace. He is, by the way, the fourth Holocaust-denying Nazi-loving speaker to have taken the stage at these events. But is the mainstream press covering it at all? Not that I can find. Media Matters has the whole story here: hopefully some real reporters will show up and blow this story wide open, although I’m not holding my breath. There are very, very different standards for Democrats and Republicans in today’s media, in large part because billionaires have thrown so much money into rightwing radio, TV, Internet, social media, message boards, and cable media that they can take any small thing and turn it into a weeks’ worth of outrage that often changes behavior than networks. There is nothing comparable on the left. Other than, I suppose, this newsletter and a few others like it here on Substack and in other media: we’re about as close as you will get, which is a tragedy for American democracy.
— Red state conservatives are dying thanks to the people they vote for: Republicans aren’t just at war with each other in the U.S. House of Representatives; they’ve been quietly at war with their own constituents for decades. People in Red states are dying at much higher rates than in Blue states from a whole variety of preventable things ranging from gun violence to Covid to chronic disease. In nearly every case, these unnecessary deaths track back to GOP policies imposed on Red state citizens. The Washington Post does a deep dive into the phenomena in an article titled: “HOW RED-STATE POLITICS ARE SHAVING YEARS OFF AMERICAN LIVES.” Again, this is a story that should be top-of-mind for every American but is almost completely ignored (the Post is the brave exception) by the rest of our media.
— DOJ is suing Ebay in a crackdown on “rolling coal” devices. Consider how bizarre a person would have to be mentally and socially to think it’s “fun” to blow cancer-causing exhaust clouds of diesel fumes in the faces of people driving electric cars. It turns out there are a lot more of these bizarre people out there than most of us thought possible:
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