Tuesday News: No-plan Dan


FOREST REFUSES TO ANSWER WRAL'S CAMPAIGN QUESTIONNAIRE: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest refused this week to answer questions for a routine WRAL News online voters guide, with his gubernatorial campaign saying the questions "don't reflect reality." Among the questions: "If elected, what are your top 3 priorities?" Other questions dealt with the state's coronavirus response, school funding, Medicaid expansion and systemic racism. WRAL publishes a voters guide most election seasons, and the question-and-answer portion of this year's guide is set to go live Thursday. Forest's campaign got the same questions as Gov. Roy Cooper's, and those questions also went out to candidates for lieutenant governor and to candidates in General Assembly races. Similar questions went out to candidates in other Council of State races. Forest's campaign was the only one to complain about the questions.

IN NC VISIT, KAMALA HARRIS TAKES THE GLOVES OFF ON TRUMPISM: “We will not give in. We will not let the infection that President Trump has injected into the presidency and into Congress, that has paralyzed our politics and pitted Americans against each other, spread to the United States Supreme Court,” Harris said. Harris said Barrett on the Supreme Court could mean that the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act are threatened. She said that Trump ignored Ginsburg’s final wish to hold off on her replacement until after the election, which Harris called “a wish, by the way, shared by the American people.” “We’re not even debating whether the Senate should hold off,” Harris said, on confirming Barrett. “We are in the middle of an election. An ongoing election.” “He knows he can’t win if the people vote. Donald Trump is weak, so he is throwing up every roadblock he can to suppress the vote,” Harris said. Harris said the election between presidential candidates Trump and Joe Biden is about “who we are, what we stand for and who we want to be.”

RACISTS HACK INTO GREENSBORO BLACK CHURCH'S ZOOM SERVICES: It was a Sunday like no other when a church's virtual Zoom service was hijacked with sexual and racist content. WCNC Charlotte reports sexual photos and racial slurs appeared on the screens of about 400 Sharpe Road Church of Christ members logged in for a live service. “There was a picture that was posted of a woman in a compromised position with an animal behind her," said Dr. Nicholas Glenn, a minister at the Greensboro church. Members said other posts in the chat called members a racial slur, said their lives don't matter and told them to go pick cotton. Glenn said the messages came in back-to-back for a few minutes from several usernames before he was able to remove them from the chat. “Only thing we could do was apologize for what happened,” Glenn said. “It was just sad that people would take the opportunity to disrupt that sacred time with the Lord and our church family.” A report has been filed with both Zoom and the local sheriff's department.

FORMER INTEL OFFICERS WORRY TRUMP IS VULNERABLE TO FOREIGN MANIPULATION: The records show that Trump has continued to make money off foreign investments and projects while in office; that foreign officials have spent lavishly at his Washington hotel and other properties; and that despite this revenue he is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt with massive payments coming due. “From a national security perspective, that’s just an outrageous vulnerability,” said Larry Pfeiffer, who previously served as chief of staff at the CIA. Pfeiffer, who now serves as director of the Hayden Center for Intelligence at George Mason University, said that if he had faced even a fraction of Trump’s financial burden, “there is no question my clearances would be pulled.” The disclosures show that Trump’s position is more precarious than he has led the public to believe, and he faces the need for a substantial infusion of cash in the coming years to avert potential financial crisis. As a result, officials and experts said that Trump has made himself vulnerable to manipulation by foreign governments aware of his predicament, and put himself in a position in which his financial interests and the nation’s priorities could be in conflict. The list includes Russia, Turkey and the Philippines, where Trump has sought to erect office towers bearing his name or made millions of dollars from licensing deals and other ventures. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Trump of putting the country’s security in jeopardy. “This president appears to have over $400 million debt,” Pelosi said in an NBC television interview. “To whom? Different countries? What is the leverage they have?” “For me,” she said, “this is a national security question.”

TRUMP ADMIN PRESSURED CDC TO DOWNPLAY RISK OF CHILDREN GOING BACK TO SCHOOL: While families across the United States this summer were on edge about the coming school year, top White House officials were pressuring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to play down the risk of sending children back to school, according to documents and interviews with current and former government officials. The effort included an attempt to find alternate data showing that the coronavirus pandemic was weakening and posed little danger to children — a strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic. A member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff said she was repeatedly asked by Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, to get the C.D.C. to produce more reports and charts showing a decline in coronavirus cases among young people. Mr. Short dispatched junior members of the vice president’s staff to circumvent the C.D.C. in search of data he thought may better support the White House’s position, said Olivia Troye, the aide, who has since resigned. In another instance, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, pushed the C.D.C. to incorporate a document from a mental health agency inside the Department of Health and Human Services that warned school closures would have a long-term effect on the mental health of children and that asymptomatic children were unlikely to spread the virus. Scientists at the C.D.C. pointed out numerous errors in the document and raised concerns that it appeared to minimize the risk of the coronavirus to school-age children, according to an edited version of the document obtained by The New York Times.