What Now?! – 10/25/2020

President Trump privately told donors this past week that it will be “very tough” for Republicans to keep control of the Senate in the upcoming election because some of the party’s senators are candidates he cannot support, the Washington Post reports.

Said Trump: “I think the Senate is tough actually. The Senate is very tough. There are a couple senators I can’t really get involved in. I just can’t do it. You lose your soul if you do. I can’t help some of them. I don’t want to help some of them.”

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner sent a cease-and-desist letter to The Lincoln Project demanding that the anti-Trump group take down billboards in Times Square criticizing the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple threatened to sue for “enormous compensatory and punitive damages.”

President Trump, who declared “I don’t make money from China” in Thursday night’s presidential debate, has in fact collected millions of dollars from government-owned entities in China since he took office, Forbes reports.

Forbes estimates that at least $5.4 million has flowed into the president’s business from a lease agreement involving a state-owned bank in Trump Tower.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that if “people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it.” Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who opposed confirming a new Supreme Court justice before the election, will nonetheless vote to approve Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, The Hill reports.

Said Murkowski: “I believe that the only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged, on the merits of her qualifications. And so when we do that, when that final question comes before us … I will be a yes.”

She added: “While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility. I will vote no on the procedural votes ahead of us, but yes to confirm Judge Barrett when the question before us is her qualification to be an associate justice.”

USA Today: “As President Trump jetted across the country holding campaign rallies during the past two months, he didn’t just defy state orders and federal health guidelines. He left a trail of coronavirus outbreaks in his wake.”

“The president has participated in nearly three dozen rallies since mid-August, all but two at airport hangars. A USA Today analysis shows COVID-19 cases grew at a faster rate than before after at least five of those rallies in the following counties: Blue Earth, Minnesota; Lackawanna, Pennsylvania; Marathon, Wisconsin; Dauphin, Pennsylvania; and Beltrami, Minnesota.”

Former Senate leader Harry Reid says if Democrats win the presidency and the Senate, Joe Biden should take “no more than three weeks” to test bipartisanship before ending the filibuster so Democrats can overcome what they call Republican obstruction and pass bills, the AP reports.

Said Reid: “Biden — who wants always to get along with people — I understand that. We should give the Republicans a little bit of time, to see if they’re going to work with him. But the time’s going to come when he’s going to have to move in and get rid of the filibuster.”

“Pennsylvania Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court again late Friday to overturn a mail ballot deadline extension ordered by the state’s high court, quickly returning to an issue on which the Supreme Court had only just deadlocked and raising the prospect of a different outcome after a new justice is installed next week,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“In a 4-4 split Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court did not grant that previous emergency request to step in and block the deadline extension. Friday night’s filing differs in that it is asking the court to take up the case itself and decide whether the state court ruled properly. And Monday’s all-but-certain confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court could tip the balance in deciding the new request.”

“The GOP on Friday night also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to fast-track the case, given that Election Day is just over a week away.”

“Throughout the long corridors of the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is widely seen as a dead man walking,” the New York Times reports.

Washington Post: “In the days leading up to the Sept. 30 event in Duluth, Minn., local officials had privately pressed the campaign to abide by state public health guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, documents show. In response, the campaign signed an agreement pledging to follow those rules, limiting attendance to 250 people.”

“On the day of the rally, however, Trump supporters flooded onto the tarmac at Duluth International Airport. They stood shoulder to shoulder, many without masks.”

The airport emailed the campaign: “We have been notified that the 250 person limit has been exceeded. This email serves as our notice of a contract violation and we are requesting you remedy the situation.”

“The warning went unheeded — and unanswered.”

Pennsylvania election officials announced Friday that at least half of the mail-in ballots requested for the Nov. 3 elections have already been cast, WPVI reports.

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, Axios reports.

“In the final days before the election, Joe Biden holds significant advantages in polling and fundraising over President Trump along with myriad options for a party desperate not to repeat the mistakes of 2016 but also tantalized by a potential blue wave,” the Wall Street Journalreports.

“Mr. Biden’s campaign believes he is in a position to reclaim traditionally Democratic ground and expand the map, potentially running up the Electoral College score in purple and even red-leaning states.”

“But four-year-old ghosts linger: Hillary Clinton’s campaign, facing a similar set of choices, spent time and money targeting a range of states and ended up losing Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan to Mr. Trump by fewer than 80,000 votes combined.”

Axios: “This is one of the bigger signs of trouble for President Trump that we’ve seen in a poll: Of the final debate’s seven topics, Joe Biden won or tied on all seven when viewers in a massive Axios-SurveyMonkey sample were asked who they trusted more to handle the issue.”

“President Trump and his campaign are leaning into attacks on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s family and business dealings in the closing days before the election, believing it reinforces their message of Trump being an outsider and Biden a lifelong Washington politician,” The Hill reports.

“It’s a strategy that could backfire and some Republicans believe it’s the wrong move, as polls find voters are far more concerned about jobs, the economy, health care and the coronavirus pandemic.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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