By Robert A. Vella
In congressional testimony, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the nation that Russia is actively interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get reelected by falsely smearing his Democratic opponent Joe Biden; and, Trump’s former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats is urging Congress and social media companies to conduct oversight of the election to protect against foreign (i.e. Russia) and domestic (i.e. Trump) disinformation campaigns intended to discredit America’s democratic process and the election outcome. Meanwhile, additional public opinion polls released this week show Biden’s lead over Trump is solidifying.
Trump’s quack “herd immunity” (“herd mentality” in Trump-speak) doctor Scott Atlas, who is pushing an irresponsible and dangerous plan to allow COVID-19 to run wild through the U.S. population which would statistically equate to millions more deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, has been rebuked as a fraud by his own alma mater Stanford University. Also, Trump tried to cast doubt on CDC Director Robert Redfield‘s congressional testimony on the effectiveness of face masks and the timetable for a potential vaccine, but was immediately contradicted by him again. New COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are ticking back up again right before the seasonal flu season in a worrying sign that the pandemic is resurging a second time. There are now 6.725 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and 200,000 deaths. Globally, the numbers are 30 million and 943,000 respectively.
Attorney General William Barr is going full-Nazi by unleashing his inner Heinrich Himmler in a desperate attempt to rescue Trump from electoral defeat. Or, is he a covert Russian agent too? Barr went wild yesterday accusing Black Lives Matter protesters and local public officials of sedition, expressing hostility towards his own Justice Department officials for not obeying his dictatorial edicts, and describing social restrictions designed to contain the pandemic as “slavery.”
We’ll also cover more Trump shenanigans and some important international news.
FBI warning on Russia interference
From: Christopher Wray: FBI director says Russia is actively interfering in 2020 election to ‘denigrate’ Biden
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday that Russia has been “very active” in its efforts to influence US elections, with the primary goal being to “denigrate” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, Wray told lawmakers that Russia is primarily interfering through “malign foreign influence in an effort to hurt Biden’s campaign” — echoing the intelligence community’s public assessment on Moscow’s meddling efforts issued last month.
Foreign election interference efforts differ from what was observed in 2016, when there was also an effort to target election infrastructure, Wray said. “We have not seen that second part yet this year or this cycle, but we certainly have seen very active, very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020,” he added.
According to Wray, Russia is using social media, proxies, state media and online journals to sow “divisiveness and discord” and “primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment.”
Dan Coats: Trump’s former spy chief is calling on Congress to create an election oversight commission [against foreign and domestic efforts to discredit democracy]
Former DNI Dan Coats recommends social media execs help oversee election legitimacy
Democrats slam DHS chief [Chad Wolf] for defying subpoena for testimony on worldwide threats [to the U.S.]
Sen. Mitt Romney questions Sen. Ron Johnson’s investigation of Joe Biden, says it has ‘earmarks of a political exercise’
Cook Political Report moves Arizona to ‘lean Democrat’ in Biden-Trump race [after polls show Biden opening-up a 5 point lead]
Poll: Sen. Susan Collins trailing challenger Sarah Gideon by 12 points in closely watched Maine race
Republicans and Democrats in the state agree: Iowa is a ‘purple’ state
Judge rules against allowing Trump campaign to join Navajo voting lawsuit
Judge Rules Against Louisiana Effort to Curb Mail-In Vote Measures
From: Trump appointees torpedo report on threats to minority voting rights during the pandemic
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights spent months analyzing threats to minority voting rights during the coronavirus pandemic, coming up with what one commissioner called a “behemoth” set of recommendations.
But no one will see them. Conservative commissioners recently appointed by President Donald Trump voted to shelve the report, its findings and recommendations, even commissioners’ statements.
The commissioner who led the research provided a glimpse of the report’s contents during an August meeting, noting it covers problems with in-person and mail-in balloting faced by voters of color, people with disabilities, and those with medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus.
Trump’s “herd immunity” doctor
From: Former Stanford colleagues warn Dr. Scott Atlas fosters ‘falsehoods and misrepresentations of science’
A group of 78 researchers and doctors from Stanford Medical School took aim this week at Dr. Scott Atlas, the expert President Donald Trump recently added to the White House pandemic response task force, for embracing and peddling what they described as “falsehoods and misrepresentations of science” in his public musings about the coronavirus.
Atlas, a neuroradiologist by training with no background in treating infectious diseases, joined the president’s medical advisory staff last month. Before doing so, he made frequent appearances on Fox News, where he often cast doubt on the efficacy of wearing masks and pushed for schools to reopen with in-person learning – positions in line with Trump’s own public sentiments.
In a “Dear Colleagues” letter penned Wednesday, the Stanford experts wrote that they have a “moral and ethical responsibility” to push back on Atlas’ controversial claims about mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, which they characterized as “opinions and statements [that] run counter to established science” and “undermine public health authorities and the credible science that guides effective public health policy.”
Trump says CDC Director Robert Redfield ‘confused’ about coronavirus vaccine, mask efficacy. Redfield responded. [and contradicted Trump again]
Daily U.S. Coronavirus Tally Hits Highest Level in More Than One Month
Unemployment claims: Another 860,000 Americans filed for jobless benefits last week
Fraudsters steal millions of dollars from unemployment coffers, adding to pain of those still waiting for benefits
William Barr goes full-Nazi
Attorney General Barr suggests charging protesters with sedition in call to federal prosecutors
Seattle mayor: Barr’s reported suggestion that prosecutors charge her [for sedition] is ‘chilling’
Barr blasts his own DOJ prosecutors, equates them to preschoolers and ‘headhunters’
No, a Texas man was not indicted for filling out 1,700 mail-in ballots, despite what Attorney General William Barr said
Attorney General William Barr brings up slavery when referring to quarantining during the pandemic
More Trump shenanigans
Read the scrapped USPS announcement to send 5 masks to every American household [stopped in April by the Trump administration]
Newly revealed USPS documents show an agency struggling to manage Trump, Amazon and the pandemic
Empty trucks, falsified records, late mail: How Louis DeJoy’s changes at the Postal Service brought chaos
Safety and ethics worries sidelined a ‘heat ray’ for years. The [Trump administration] feds asked about using it on protesters [and migrants].
A Chinese virologist claimed the coronavirus was ‘intentionally’ released. Turns out, she works for a group led by Steve Bannon.
Rep. [Sheila] Jackson Lee stops deportation of woman claiming fallopian tube removed without consent [by ICE gynecologist under investigation for forced sterilizations]
ICE hysterectomy allegations evoke US history of forced sterilizations
New info emerges on poisoning of Putin critic Alexei Navalny
Putin will try to kill Navalny again and the West will do little about it, NATO sources say
Russia announces troop build-up in Far East
Lukashenko should not be recognized as Belarus president after November [when his term expires], EU lawmakers say
Rule of law situation in Poland has deteriorated: European Parliament
[Boris] Johnson Backers Hit Out at [Joe] Biden Over Brexit Trade Deal Threat [if U.K. ruins peace in Ireland]
Pingback: FBI warning on Russian interference, Trump’s “herd immunity” doctor, William Barr goes full-Nazi, + more | sdbast