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Citing Election

Citing Election Delay Tweet, Influential Trump Ally Now Demands His Re-Impeachment – NPR

President Donald Trump chats with reporters Friday as he heads to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House. The day before, he floated the idea of delaying the election, prompting criticism from the Federalist Society’s co-founder.

Alex Brandon/AP


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Alex Brandon/AP

President Donald Trump chats with reporters Friday as he heads to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House. The day before, he floated the idea of delaying the election, prompting criticism from the Federalist Society’s co-founder.

Alex Brandon/AP

After voting for President Trump in 2016 and staunchly defending him in conservative publications, a Federalist Society leader appears to be having some very public buyer’s remorse.

Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the powerful conservative legal organization, is now calling on the House of Representatives to do again what it has already done once this year: impeach Trump.

In a scathing opinion piece in The New York Times published online Thursday, the Northwestern University law professor points to what ignited his newfound ire with the president: a tweet Trump sent out shortly after news broke Thursday morning that the U.S. economy had suffered its biggest recorded contraction ever last quarter.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” the president intoned on Twitter. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020

Calabresi declared himself “appalled” by the tweet, which he characterized as “seeking to postpone the November election.”

“Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist,” the conservative legal scholar wrote. “But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.”

It was a remarkable turnaround for a man who as recently as November had accused House Democrats of conducting an “unconstitutional” and “Kafkaesque ‘trial’ ” in their Trump impeachment proceedings.

Calabresi also had some stern advice for Republican lawmakers, many of whom have routinely approved conservative judicial nominees endorsed and promoted by the Federalist Society.

“President Trump needs to be told by every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election. Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional and without precedent in American history,” Calabresi warned. “Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.”

Calabresi’s public distancing from the 45th president was applauded by other conservatives critical of Trump.

“Steve Calabresi, welcome to the Resistance,” tweeted Washington attorney George Conway, the famously Trump-bashing husband of senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Former national security adviser John Bolton, whose scorching tell-all account of his time in the Trump White House was published last month over the objections of Trump’s lawyers, tweeted that Calabresi’s op-ed was “a must-read.”

Trump, for his part, did not directly respond to his one-time ally’s demand that he be re-impeached. Instead, the president sought to portray his provocative suggestion that the election be delayed as stirring a needed public debate.

“Glad I was able to get the very dishonest LameStream Media,” Trump tweeted later on Thursday, “to finally start talking about the RISKS to our Democracy from dangerous Universal Mail-In-Voting (not Absentee Voting, which I totally support!).”

Many news organizations — including NPR — have noted that, contrary to Trump’s assertions, there is no universal mail-in voting for the November presidential election, just as there is essentially no difference between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots.

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Citing ‘vein of toxicity’ and firing of whistleblowers, Amazon VP resigns in disgust – GOOD Magazine

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams. You can read it here.

Amazon vice president Tim Bray won praise from labor rights advocates on Monday after resigning from the company over its treatment of whistleblowers during the Covid-19 pandemic, publishing a “scathing” letter on his personal blog explaining the decision.

After more than five years as a vice president at the company, Bray wrote that he was quitting “in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19.”

In the letter, Bray defended Amazon workers including Staten Island warehouse employee Chris Smalls and Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) organizers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, all of whom were fired after leading petitions and protests over unsafe conditions in the retailer’s warehouses as the pandemic continues to spread across the United States.

“Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets,” wrote Bray, who was a “distinguished engineer” and is now the highest-ranking Amazon employee to speak out about the company’s conduct during the pandemic. “It is evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.”

Smalls, Costa, and Cunningham were among those who thanked Bray for speaking out.

Other advocates noted the significance of Bray’s stand against the powerful company.

“This is a really big deal,” wrote author Naomi Klein. “This kind of courage is what we need right now, in every workplace and walk of life.”

Bray said he brought his concerns to company executives in April after Cunningham and Costa were fired after starting a petition on behalf of the warehouse workers. He formally resigned and published the open letter after his complaints went unheeded.

Amazon’s actions in recent weeks—including its attempted smear campaign against Smalls, who organized a walkout over a lack of social distancing protocols and transparency at the Staten Island facility—were “designed to create a climate of fear,” wrote Bray, who also slammed his former employer as “chickenshit.”

Bray acknowledged in his post that Amazon says it is taking precautions to protect workers in its warehouses, but wrote, “The big problem isn’t the specifics of Covid-19 response. It’s that Amazon treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential. Only that’s not just Amazon, it’s how 21st-century capitalism is done.”

The former company executive pointed out that the e-commerce giant, while a formidable power in the U.S., has been reined in elsewhere. In France, where Amazon workers are represented by unions, a court last month ruled that the company must only complete deliveries of essential products while its warehouses’ safety measures are being investigated.

“If we don’t like certain things Amazon is doing, we need to put legal guardrails in place to stop those things,” Bray wrote. “We don’t need to invent anything new; a combination of antitrust and living-wage and worker-empowerment legislation, rigorously enforced, offers a clear path forward. Don’t say it can’t be done, because France is doing it.”

Bray’s letter comes three days after employees at Amazon were joined by workers at Trader Joe’s, FedEx, Whole Foods, and Instacart in a May Day strike over wages, public health precautions, and working conditions.

Increasing low-wage workers’ influence over decision-making at huge companies will require sustained pressure campaigns with widespread support, particularly from those in positions of power, suggested Bray.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about power balances,” Bray wrote. “The warehouse workers are weak and getting weaker, what with mass unemployment and (in the U.S.) job-linked health insurance. So they’re gonna get treated like crap, because capitalism. Any plausible solution has to start with increasing their collective strength.”

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