As if an impending presidential election and escalating pandemic weren’t enough to test America’s fragile nerves this month, the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett began on Monday.
As my colleague Tom McCarthy explains, it is hard to overstate how important her appointment would be: to give Conservatives a bulletproof majority of six justices in the nine-member court and to extend Conservative reach to every corner of American life.
Republicans have portrayed opposition to Barrett, a Conservative Christian, as motivated by anti-Catholic bigotry, and it was remarkable how the Democrats completely avoided discussing their religion on the first day of the hearings.
Instead, Senators argued that their Donald Trump appointment would be hastened ahead of a possible legal challenge to the election result and would jeopardize so-called Obamacare and the health care of millions of Americans. You can read our full report here.
Meanwhile, Trump returned to campaigning and told a crowd in Florida that he was feeling powerful and wanted to climb down and kiss them all. Huge yikes, to say the least.
It was not the usual business, however – amazingly, major news outlets like the NYT and WSJ did not send reporters on trips with the president 22 days before the election, citing concerns about the lack of health records.
The big stories
Joe Biden campaigned in Ohio on Monday highlighting how he and Obama saved the auto industry at a drive-in rally by auto workers during the GFC. On a decidedly populist note, he praised the unions and argued that he represented working class values.
Trumpf held its first rally in Florida, addressing a fully occupied, largely maskless crowd in an outdoor location. It came when Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said large rallies “ask for trouble”.
People said they waited more than 10 hours to cast their ballots when an early voting opened in the state of Georgiaand highlights the difficulty of voting in many parts of the US. The state has a Republican governor, but polls currently show a statistical association.
In California, a criminal investigation opened after the Republican Party placed unauthorized ballot boxes in several counties. The state has sent cease and desist orders to the GOP, admitting they own the boxes.
A record number of black and colored women are running for office in the United States this year. The Guardian met candidates and activists in Florida and called for “a seat at the table.”
quote of the Day
I will not speak through a mask.
Despite the huge coronavirus cluster in the White House, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows
on Monday after someone insisted he hold off his mask at a press conference.
Video of Capitol Hill reporters insisting WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wear a mask while talking with them and Meadows deciding he won’t talk to reporters if he has to wear a mask. pic.twitter.com/kDX10BLDnk— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 12, 2020
“What I doubt is [Amy Coney Barrett’s] Ability to separate the “rightness” of their beliefs from decisions about the future of health care, reproductive freedom, and civil rights for millions of Americans. ” writes her former classmate Lisa M O’Neill, who describes her own journey based on her Catholic faith.
While Joe Biden would be less bellicose than Donald Trump, there is still reason to fear a new Cold War with China if the Democrats win in Novemberwrites Alex Doherty. “Unless the Democrats are hampered by Donald Trump’s capricious personality and unilateralist” America First “ideology, they will be more able, and perhaps more ready, to build an international alliance against China.”
Video of the day
“I’m going to kiss the boys and the beautiful women and everyone,” Trump said when he returned to campaign on Monday.
On the Internet
With abortion still a major political issue, a Democratic Senator from Michigan became the first senator to tell a personal story to defend a woman’s right to vote. Gary Peters spoke with you Magazine about the difficult decision he and his wife made to end an unprofitable, much sought-after pregnancy.
Noam Chomsky, who looks like a left Gandalf,
with former Bernie Sanders press secretary to explain why leftists should hold their noses up and vote for Biden (tldr: The future of the planet depends on a president who cares about climate change). It kind of broke the internet.
‼️NEW EPISODE @BadFaithPod‼️— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) October 12, 2020
We debate Noam Chomsky about the limits of "vote blue no matter who," whether he'd vote for Bloomberg, Biden's attacks on the left, & how Black ppl & other historically marginalized groups are hurt by lesser of two evilism. https://t.co/R6AhyCbZyq pic.twitter.com/gcrIYZIciB
">October 12, 2020 shows how the virus devastates red states. The numbers are a bit of a slap in the face.
This, from Dan Goodspeed, is remarkable. https://t.co/SP7MZaFBRh— Barry Malone (@malonebarry)
This, from Dan Goodspeed, is remarkable. https://t.co/SP7MZaFBRh— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) October 12, 2020
What the numbers say: 2
The general poll received in North Carolina by Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham after this Details of an extramarital affair have been revealed. Its numbers were even higher for men (+13), but lower for women (-7).
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