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Sept 29, 2020: Trump Used Facebook to Quash Black Votes in 2016

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A new report shows that Donald Trump used Facebook for a massive voter deterrence operation in 2016, targeting up to 3.5 million black voters in swing states with negative ads about Hillary Clinton in an attempt to quote “cultivate hopelessness,” and suppress their votes.

Meanwhile, the Joe Biden campaign adds Cindy McCain, widow of late Republican John McCain, to its advisory board. Says about all you need to know about who they’re trying to persuade, doesn’t it?

And lastly, new evacuations were ordered on Monday in California’s wine country as two new wildfires set the northern part of the state ablaze.


Trump Used Facebook to Quash Black Votes in 2016

A report by Britain’s Channel Four News alleges that Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign used specifically targeted Facebook advertisements to dissuade up to 3.5 million black people in swing states from voting.

The report, which is based on a massive data leak of Trump campaign advertising data, shows that the campaign compiled files on 198 million American voters and then used an algorithm to sort them into categories based on their economic and domestic statuses and other data.

One of these categories was called “deterrence,” which effectively meant voters who could be persuaded to stay at home if hit with the right ads. 3.5 million of those voters were black, and many of them lived in swing states like Florida.

The Trump campaign then aggressively targeted those voters with negative ads about Hillary Clinton, relentlessly pointing to her admittedly terrible record on race and criminal justice in an effort to, in the words of Dr. Cornell West, quote “cultivate hopelessness” among black voters.

What’s more, then-campaign manager Brad Parscale testified under oath that the campaign did not target based specifically on race in its persuasion efforts.

The story here is not so much that the Trump campaign did something racist and disenfranchising to black people, as that has been part of the GOP playbook for years. It’s that Facebook gave them the very specific and powerful tools to do so, and they took full advantage of it while denying it to the public.

We know already that they’re going to try something similar in 2020, this time perhaps by leaning in to myths about voter fraud and conspiracies about vote by mail in order to cultivate that same hopelessness and confusion among people who just want to make a change.

Joe Biden Announces New Advisor

The Biden campaign added Cindy McCain, the widow of late Senator and presidential candidate John McCain to its advisory board on Monday, sending an extremely clear signal to the centrists and moderate Republicans that they are welcome in Biden’s Democratic party.

McCain had previously endorsed Biden, even going so far as to speak at the Democratic convention. Her husband, for the record, voted with Trump 83 percent of the time while in the Senate.

Just listen to what the campaign’s saying about it. Transition co-chair and former Sen. Ted Kaufman said that the campaign was drawn to quote “Mrs. McCain’s experience as a business woman, philanthropist, and longtime advocate for issues impacting women and children,” endquote. Great, we got a businesswoman and philanthropist on board. Never had one of those in the Democratic party before.

Look, the move isn’t exactly a surprise. Biden has made it clear for months that he thinks his best chance at winning and preserving the power of his wing of the party is to lean hard into the notion that center-independents and some Republicans will switch sides and vote for him.

What that means in practice, however, is that the left is going to have a doubly hard job at convincing the Biden administration to make any real progress while in office. Voting for him will stop some of the acute injustices that Trump has pushed for, but it’s not going to do very much to change the systemic issues that gave rise to the Donald.

Wildfires Break Out in CA Again

Two new wildfires have ignited northern California’s wine country, forcing new evacuations in a state that has already seen a devastating start to the long fire season.

The Zogg Fire in Shasta County and the Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma Counties have already burned more than 26,000 acres according to the New York Times, and forced new evacuation orders for thousands of people who already suffered a devastating fire in the region three years ago.

The state overall has barely begun to recover from the fallout earlier this month, when the majority of the state was blanketed by smoke from dozens of massive fires. Thus far, the fire season across the west coast has left more than 25 people dead, 7,000 structures burned and scorched more than five million acres across three states.

It’s important to recognize exactly what’s making these disasters so bad: decades of corporate predation and runaway climate change.

And often it’s the most vulnerable who suffer: the latest fires consumed a small community of tiny homes built for formerly homeless people and those suffering from substance abuse disorders, while a nearby senior assisted living center was also forced to evacuate.


The first presidential debate is tonight! At 9 pm Eastern, Trump and Biden will face off for the first time on stage, with the specter of Trump’s new tax scandal possibly giving Biden more ammunition to work with. Who are we kidding, he’s just going to yell that the whole thing is fake and hurl insults. Should be a real good time.

CDC Director Robert Redfield got caught blowing off some steam while on a flight from Atlanta to D.C. on Friday, and letting a colleague know what he really thinks of Trump’s taskforce member Dr. Scott Atlas. Redfield said quote "Everything he says is false,” endquote, which would make sense as Atlas is a neuroradiologist with no expertise in infectious diseases or epidemiology, but lots of experience going on Fox News.

Global coronavirus deaths passed one million, and so much of it is our government’s fault. Here’s Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: Quote: “This is a very serious global event, and a lot of people were going to get sick and many of them were going to die, but it did not need to be nearly this bad.”

A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change showing that human-caused global heating is making the world's oceans more "stable” -- which largely means that temperatures toward the surface stay warmer, creating fertile grounds for more mega storms that gain power over warm water.

That’s all for the majority report’s AM quickie today! Stay tuned for the show with Sam later and all our debate coverage.

Sept 29, 2020 - AM Quickie

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Jack Crosbie

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw