The photos prompted an outpouring of horror around the world: Tons of plastic waste piled high on the beaches of Indonesia's otherwise paradise island of Bali. And that's despite the fact that tourists have all but disappeared in the pandemic. This tide of litter arrives on Bali's beaches every year, the result of monsoon-influenced ocean currents, growing pollution of the oceans, mass consumption and a broken global waste disposal system. And the waste doesn't just ruin the beaches. Plastic is also strewn around Bali's forests, riverbanks, temple grounds and roadsides. But there are efforts t...
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On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that election officials are facing new challenges as poll workers who believe former President Donald Trump's election lies resort to sabotage or illegal breaches to try to prove votes are being stolen — or else, to implement their own ideas of "security".
"The frontline election workers do everything from checking people in at voting locations to helping process mail ballots — in other words, they are the face of American elections for most voters," reported Zach Montellaro. "And now, some prominent incidents involving poll workers have worried election officials that a bigger wave of trouble could be on the horizon."
In Michigan alone, multiple recent incidents have put officials on edge. Last month, Michigan GOP staffers were caught urging poll workers to break election rules, including prohibitions on carrying cell phones or outside writing equipment into polling places. And last week in Kent County, a Republican poll worker was arrested and charged with tampering after he was caught inserting a USB drive into an electronic poll book containing confidential voter registration data.
"The dangers to the election system posed by a bad actor serving as a poll worker — or even a small group of them — are likely much smaller than one who becomes a secretary of state or even a local county clerk, where there is a much greater ability to affect campaigns by changing voting policies or through disrupting the election certification process," noted the report. "But some local election officials are still concerned that poll workers could present a security risk to voting equipment itself, like in Kent County, or that they could frustrate the processes at polling locations and centralized ballot tabulation centers."
"Poll workers are typically employees of the government who interact with voters and handle ballots," the report continued. "And while some states require a partisan split of workers, they are generally expected to avoid any sort of activity that can be construed as political. Current and former officials expressed concerns about there being an organized effort by partisan groups to recruit and push people into those positions, because their responsibility should be to report to professional election staff."
All of this comes as states struggle to recruit poll workers amid the suspicion and anger, and as counties have seen resignations of election officials after threats. It also comes amid the high-profile case of pro-Trump Mesa County Recorder Tina Peters, who faces charges for tampering with voting equipment as part of her quest to prove the 2020 election was stolen.
What is déjà vu? Psychologists are exploring this creepy feeling of having already lived through an experience before
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman's new book "Confidence Man" was officially published on Tuesday. Haberman, a long-time confidant of Trump's played the role of a kind of psychiatrist while he was talking to her throughout the years. Haberman claimed that she wasn't unique, in fact many people were treated that way, but still "almost no one really knows him."
At the close of her book, Haberman described a confused president who knew that he'd lost the 2020 election. He probed aides with questions about how it happened. Meanwhile, his campaign blasted out emails begging for money claiming "voter fraud."
Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s most influential confidantes and a longtime loyalist, believed he should concede he lost.
"Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner encouraged a group of aides to go to the White House to brief the president. When asked why he was making no move to join them himself, Kushner likened it to a deathbed scene," the book described.
"The priest comes later,” Haberman quoted Kushner.
In the book "Peril" by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, the reporters noted that "Kushner did not want to be the point person for an intervention. He told others to respect Trump and give him space."
"Kushner, thin and with a soft voice, who served as the president’s confidant, spoke up," the previous book recalled.
“There is a time for a doctor and a time for a priest,” Kushner said.
"He looked at several senior campaign aides. Perhaps they could be the doctor and give the president the tough diagnosis. Last political rites, if they ever came, would be left to the family, Kushner indicated," wrote Woodward and Costa.
Kushner, who was previously described by a biographer as having a non-existent self-awareness, refused to ever deliver bad news to his father-in-law, according to previous accounts. When it came to the polling for Donald Trump in 2020, Kushner simply said that they should add five points to any poll because MAGA people were never included in polling.
In her book, "I'll Take Your Questions Now," Stephanie Grisham shared in the sentiment of Kushner's tendency to stay out of anything that might make him look bad.
"But by now I had figured out that Jared Kushner at your door was sort of like a visit by the Grim Reaper—he always brought trouble and escaped without a scratch," she said, describing him as someone always pretending to be on your side and trying to help.
"And it wasn’t clear that he’d actually learned anything—except how to avoid blame and find new suckers to carry his tune until he was done with them," Grisham wrote of him.