With 18 days to Election Day 2020, here’s the news that you’ll want to know:
President Trump has campaign rallies in Georgia and Florida, and VP Pence has a campaign rally in North Carolina.
Joe Biden has two events in Michigan. Kamala Harris’ travel was canceled yesterday through the weekend after two staff — her communications director and a flight crew member — tested positive for COVID-19. Our prayers are with them, and all those affected by COVID-19, for a rapid, full recovery.
Twitter starts to backpedal on how it handled Hunter Biden story as Sen. Cruz says Twitter CEO will receive subpoena next week.
“[Twitter CEO Jack] Dorsey later commented on Gadde’s tweets, writing: ‘Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix. Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that.'” (Daily Wire)
This rapidly developing story continues. Here are the key elements and updates:
— Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee said they plan to vote Tuesday on a subpoena for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify before the committee next Friday — and the subpoena vote is expected to pass.
“-Why he is interfering in this election.
-Why he is censoring the press.
-Why he is trying to protect Joe Biden from scrutiny or allegations of corruption.”
— Twitter also announced it would change its policy (again) after criticism — and Senate scrutiny. Among the changes, from a Twitter staff statement: “We will label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter.”
— The New York Post alleged that it reviewed a copy of the hard drive of Hunter Biden’s computer, and says that it found a “smoking-gun email.” (For an overview: National Review has a thorough review of the allegations and alleged email content.)
— National Review explains what happened next in a sharp editorial worth your time: “Instead of simply asking pertinent questions, or debunking the [New York] Post’s reporting, a media blackout was initiated. A number of well-known journalists warned colleagues and their sizable social-media audiences not to share the story.”
— Facebook said it would be “reducing [the story’s] distribution on our platform,” with the implication that may be changed if the story is verified by one of the social media site’s third-party fact-checkers.
— Twitter went further: it blocked sharing of the link to the New York Post story and suspended some accounts that shared it. That ended up including:
Second scheduled debate moderator admits he lied about Twitter hack, blames conservative media in his apology statement, and is suspended from C-SPAN.
“‘In a statement, [Steve] Scully called his tweet and lie ‘error in judgment’ after blaming his response on the ‘relentless criticism’ he received from ‘conservative news outlets’ and President Donald Trump. The news of Scully’s suspension comes almost a week after he tagged anti-Trumper Anthony Scaramucci on Twitter asking for advice on whether to ‘respond to Trump.'” (The Federalist)
- What’s happening: There’s a lot happening in this story; here are the key points:
— Steve Scully of C-SPAN was supposed to be the moderator of the second presidential debate, which the debate commission canceled.
— Last week, a seemingly anti-Trump tweet to Anthony Scaramucci, former White House Communications Director, was sent from Scully’s Twitter account … and in response, he claimed that his Twitter account had been hacked.
— Both C-SPAN, where Scully works, and the co-chairman of the presidential debate commission defended Scully and his story of the Twitter account hack in the past week.
— Yesterday, Scully admitted that he had lied about he hack. C-SPAN announced it would suspend him indefinitely as a result.
— But, in a surprising twist, Scully’s apology statement began in a way that suggested the blame was with conservative media: “For several weeks, I was subjected to relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets regarding my role as moderator for the second presidential debate, including attacks aimed directly at my family. This culminated on Thursday, October 8th when I heard President Trump go on national television twice and falsely attack me by name. Out of frustration, I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci.”
- What’s at stake: The second debate was canceled, so there’s no direct effect on the 2020 election.
But this is another challenge for the presidential debate commission, which received criticism for unilaterally canceling the second debate. It also bolsters what President Trump and his campaign have said about unfairness in the debates this year.
Either way: it’s not good for the debate process or the American people.
Joe Biden says he’ll probably explain where he stands on court packing soon.
“Asked if voters have the right to know where he stands on the topic ahead of Election Day, Biden said, “They do have a right to know where I stand and they’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote.” He then clarified saying he would unveil his position ‘depending on how they handle this.’” (National Review)
- What’s happening: Joe Biden has refused to clarify where he stands on court packing, i.e. increasing the number of Supreme Court Justices beyond the current nine. At one point, he even suggested voters “don’t deserve” to know his position.
In last night’s townhall event, he seemed to change that position. At minimum, he agreed that voters “do have a right to know” his thoughts … but he made any update from him contingent on how the Senate Republicans handle Judge Barrett’s confirmation vote.
- What’s at stake: First, to us this is an indicator of the media’s favoritism for Joe Biden that he hasn’t been pressed further to explain his position. It’s clear that he has one, but he just won’t share it with the American people — why?
Second, this also shows how much Biden will cater to the progressive left.
Left-wing groups have already sharply criticized Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and seem to want her to step down from her leadership role.
As The Federalist explains: “It is Feinstein’s potential for heresy against the new liberal orthodoxy that is causing some in her party to threaten to take away her status as a ranking member or to serve as a chair if the Democrats are in the majority in January, not her age. After all, if Biden wins in November, Democrats are counting on a president they can control and are wanting a senator they can crush.”