Based on this @stphnfwlr analysis of the GA elections law, here's my list of which parts are good, bad, fine, or overhyped, based on my biases that 1) easier voting is good, 2) partisan control is bad, and 3) ID is a reasonable and manageable concern... /1
Bad stuff:
- shorter window to request absentee ballot
- later mailing of absentee ballots
- limiting drop boxes (The stated concern is security, but this is already addressed by moving them inside voting sites)
- shorter runoffs, which could limit the window for early voting /2
Good stuff:
- requires at least one drop box per county
- expands days/hours available for early in-person voting
- requires polls with long waits to add staff or another precinct (for next election)
- online option for ballot applications (already begun, but now formalized) /3
- Only poll workers can give water to voters in line, and nobody can do it within 150 feet of polling place. The idea is to limit influence. Excessive IMO, but there are loopholes: poll workers, 150 feet, and "third-party groups [can] have food and water available." /4
Also overhyped:
- Election board now chaired by legislative appointee instead of secretary of state. Status quo was arguably worse: SOS is an elected officer (currently GOP). Also, the appointee can't have participated in a party organization or donated recently to a campaign. /5
- Government can no longer send unsolicited absentee ballot applications. IMO, the stated concern, risk of fraud, is solved by voter ID.
- Drop boxes now accessible only during early voting hours. I think this is just because they now have to be inside voting sites. /6
- "Requesting and returning a ballot" will require a "driver's license number, state ID number or ... a copy of acceptable voter ID." I view this as sensible standardization, an upgrade from signature matching. But for equity, the state has to facilitate ID acquisition. /END

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More from @saletan

19 Mar
The new US intel report on the 2020 election — written by people who worked under Trump — destroys his lies about election fraud and Chinese interference. And it exposes him, in effect, as a Russian asset.

Here's a short thread with the key findings ...
The main conclusion mirrors 2016: "Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party [and] supporting former President Trump."

But there's more to the story.
The report says Russian agents used Trump's buddies to "launder" their fake stories about Biden. Giuliani, Don Jr., Nunes and Jordan played along. Trump kept spreading the planted stories even after he was told Giuliani had been "worked by Russian assets."
Read 7 tweets
14 Feb
Chris Wallace: "Does Donald Trump bear any responsibility for the attack on the Capitol?"

@LindseyGrahamSC: "No. In terms of the law, no... The speech on Jan. 6 was not an incitement ... I don't think he caused the riot ... Did he incite this riot by his speech? Absolutely not."
Graham on the case against Trump: "The trial record was a complete joke, hearsay upon hearsay."

On @HerreraBeutler's story that Trump, during the riot, said the attackers cared more about the election than McCarthy did: "It doesn’t tell me a whole lot, because it’s all hearsay."
Graham says Harris is as guilty as Trump: “If you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House. Because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open.”
Read 4 tweets
7 Feb
On Fox, @Liz_Cheney says even if senators don't convict Trump, the "criminal investigation" of Jan. 6 will examine, e.g., "whether the tweet that he sent out calling Vice President Pence a coward while the attack was underway ... was a premeditated effort to provoke violence." /1
Cheney unloads: "The extent to which the president, President Trump, for months leading up to Jan. 6, spread the notion that the election had been stolen, or that the election was rigged, was a lie. ... We need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth." /2
Cheney continues: "President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen, and then apparently set about to do everything he could to steal it himself."

On Jan. 6: "We’ve never seen that kind of an assault by a president ... on another branch of government." /3
Read 5 tweets
6 Feb
Does NYT apply consistent standards when evaluating alleged racial or sexual misconduct? Or does it switch standards based on internal pressure?

Regardless of what the right standard is, these cases suggest pressure, not principle, is driving outcomes. /1
McNeil says he used a slur only in the context of attributing it to someone else, and only when that incident was raised by another person.

I don't know how accurate that account (below) is. But after hearing it and other evidence, @deanbaquet decided he shouldn't be fired. /2 Image
On Jan. 28, Baquet wrote: “it did not appear to me that his intentions were hateful or malicious. ... in such cases people should be told they were wrong and given another chance.”

On Feb. 5, Baquet wrote that McNeil's resignation was “the right next step.”

What changed? /3
Read 7 tweets
24 Jan
Birx confirms on FTN that the White House censored her on COVID: "I was not able to do national press."

@margbrennan: "Do you think the administration was suppressing vital information to win the election?"

Birx: "I don’t know what their motivation was."
Birx says she and her HHS aide were the "only two people who regularly wore a mask in the White House."

She says she knew the US was repeating a mistake from the HIV epidemic: "If you’re only looking for sick people, you miss a lot of what is really happening under the surface."
.@margbrennan notes that after a CDC official in late February warned of community spread, Fauci said on TV that "the risk to Americans remains low."

Birx describes her reaction: "I’m in South Africa. We’re yelling at the... television, saying, 'This is going to be a pandemic!'"
Read 4 tweets
31 Dec 20
Highlights from NYT's big COVID story:

1) After Atlas arrived in August and said COVID deaths were overstated, Trump "often [told] aides that the real number of dead was no more than 10,000."

He dismissed about 95% of attributed deaths as fake news. /1
2) Azar, Kushner, Hicks, and pollster Tony Fabrizio lobbied Trump to wear and promote masks. They showed him evidence that masks worked and that Republicans supported mask mandates.

Who talked Trump out of it? Meadows and Stephen Miller. They told him, "The base will revolt." /2 Image
3) In multiple meetings, Trump explicitly opposed testing on the grounds that it exposed infections, thereby making him look bad and hurting his reelection chances. In debate prep, He told Kushner, "I’m going to lose. And it’s going to be your fault, because of the testing." /3
Read 6 tweets

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