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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 63,825

Journal Archives

LINCOLN PROJECT campaign ad: "Goodness"

How to track your ballot like a UPS package

Washington Post

Want to make sure your ballot counts? Track it online like a UPS delivery.

That’s now possible across much of America, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic.

I don’t often get emails from my state government, so I was curious about one recently asking me to check out California’s new election website, Where’s My Ballot. There, I typed in my name, birthday and Zip code — and a minute later, I had signed up for personalized voting updates. Now I’ll get a text when my ballot is in the mail, as it’s on its way back to election officials and, eventually, counted.
Help Desk: Ask our tech columnist a question

I did a double take: For once, there’s a new use for technology that might build confidence in our democracy, rather than tear it down.

Turns out, California isn’t alone. Gearing up for the largest vote-by-mail election in American history, a patchwork of local officials in all but about seven states have invested in some form of ballot-tracking tech. It will be available in the District of Columbia, most of Virginia, Maryland, Colorado and North Carolina and parts of Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and South Carolina, just to name a few. To find out if you’ve got access where you vote, check out The Washington Post’s handy interactive guide to voting in 2020.

Every Place Has Its Own Climate Risk. What Is It Where You Live?

New York Times

For most of us, climate change can feel like an amorphous threat — with the greatest dangers lingering ominously in the future and the solutions frustratingly out of reach.

So perhaps focusing on today’s real harms could help us figure out how to start dealing with climate change. Here’s one way to do that: by looking at the most significant climate threat unfolding in your own backyard.

Thinking this way transforms the West Coast’s raging wildfires into “climate fires.” The Gulf Coast wouldn’t live under the annual threat of floods but of “climate floods.” Those are caused by ever more severe “climate hurricanes.” The Midwest suffers its own “climate droughts,” which threaten water supplies and endanger crops.

This picture of climate threats uses data from Four Twenty Seven, a company that assesses climate risk for financial markets. The index measures future risks based on climate models and historical data. We selected the highest risk for each county to build our map and combined it with separate data from Four Twenty Seven on wildfire risks.

National Urban League, BET launch National Black Voter Day

Source: The Hill

BET and the National Urban League on Friday rolled out National Black Voter Day, an initiative focused on getting Black Americans registered to vote ahead of November.

The undertaking has over 40 partners, including the NAACP, former first lady Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote organization and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight Action.

National Black Voter Day is part of BET’s larger nonpartisan #ReclaimYourVote campaign, which was launched earlier this year.

“In the current climate of uncertainty and unrest, it’s important to make a plan for voting — particularly for Black voters. Efforts to suppress the Black vote are coming from all sides, whether it’s restrictive state voting laws or foreign-based misinformation campaigns. National Black Voter Day is an opportunity to rise above the confusion and plot out a clear path to the ballot box,” National Urban League president and CEO Marc H. Morial said in a statement. “Whether by mask, in person, or by mail, it’s important to make a plan now, and execute that plan as early as possible according to the laws in each state. We’re leaving no voter behind in 2020.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/517057-national-black-voter-day-launched-by-bet-and-national-urban-league

'More dire than we think': Health officials brace for Trump diatribes

Source: Politico

Trump’s rebuke of his own Centers for Disease Control director and insistence on delivering a vaccine faster than the agency believes possible has alarmed officials throughout the government’s public health bureaucracy. And it’s swiftly erased any notion that with Caputo sidelined, the intense political pressure on the department’s Covid-19 efforts would evaporate as well.

Instead, health officials are now bracing for the worst, as the White House hits the home stretch of a re-election push that rests heavily on convincing the public that a viable vaccine is just around the corner.

“I really believe that things are going to be more dire than we think,” one HHS official said of the weeks to come. “It’s frightening.”

Trump’s sharp break on Wednesday with CDC chief Robert Redfield – who he insisted was “confused” and “incorrect” about the merits of mask wearing and a vaccine distribution timeline likely to stretch into next year – snapped a brief moment of calm for a health department that spent the last week embroiled in successive controversies over Caputo’s behavior.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/17/trump-caputo-hhs-cdc-417460

Trump's bluster and millions haven't stopped universal mail-in voting plans


President Donald Trump has spent $20 million of his political war chest to stop it. He riffs about it at rallies. He tweets relentlessly about it.

Yet six months into a crusade to stop universal mail-in voting, Trump hasn’t yet prevented a single state from sending voters the unsolicited ballots he claims, with minimal evidence, are ripe for fraud.

His attempts in Nevada, New Jersey and Montana are tied up in court. His legal challenge in California was circumvented by the state legislature. And he hasn’t challenged the mailing of ballots in the six other states that plan to mail them, including Vermont, the last state that switched to full remote voting this year following the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Time is running out. Ballots are already being sent across the country. Some counties in New Jersey began mailing them last week. Both Vermont and Nevada, a battleground state the president campaigned in last weekend, expect to mail ballots within days.

A busy week for Tropical Storms

Hurricane Teddy is a Major Hurricane targeting Bermuda on Sunday and Nova Scotia on Tuesday

Tropical Storm Wilfred is headed towards the Eastern Caribbean (may dissipate)

TD 22 expected to grow to Hurricane strength; expected to land in Texas Tuesday-Wednesday

Three potential storm development areas

LINCOLN PROJECT campaign ad: "Plan"

Republican who promoted QAnon wins Delaware Senate primary despite opposition from GOP

Yahoo News

Lauren Witzke, a conservative activist who has promoted the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, won the Delaware Republican Senate primary on Tuesday despite opposition from the state party.

Witzke defeated Marine veteran Jim Demartino, an attorney who was endorsed by the Delaware GOP, 57-43, carrying each of the state's three counties.

The Daily Beast's Will Sommer noted that Witzke has promoted a QAnon hashtag. She also went to an event wearing a QAnon shirt, "making her the second QAnon supporter to win a Republican Senate nomination this cycle" alongside Oregon's Jo Rae Perkins.

Witzke, who worked as an Iowa campaign operative for President Donald Trump, tried to distance herself from the inane conspiracy theory during the campaign.

Despite the efforts of the Democratic Socialists of America, we'll have Chris Coons to run her into the ground.

"Right now, our model thinks Joe Biden is very likely to beat Donald Trump in the electoral college"

The Economist

Chance of winning the electoral college:
Joe Biden: around 6 in 7 or 86%
Donald Trump: around 1 in 7 or 13%

Estimated Electoral College Votes:
Joe Biden: 335
Donald Trump: 203

Modelled popular vote:
Joe Biden: 53%
Donald Trump: 47%
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