MEDIA WATCH-The old saying about judging people by the company they keep applies equally to ballot measures.

So let’s take a look at who’s spending the most to fight Proposition 15 on next month’s ballot.

That’s the measure that would close a loophole allowing many commercial and industrial property owners to dodge reassessments under Proposition 13 for some four decades.

According to the most recent disclosures filed with state campaign finance authorities, the big spenders on the “No on 15" side include land developers, agricultural interests and golf and country clubs.

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DEBATE REVIEW--As soon as Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate ended, like clockwork, cable news pundits and focus groups assessed Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ performance using sexist and racist undertones.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz said his focus group of undecided voters deemed Harris, the first Black and Asian American woman on a major-party presidential ticket, “condescending” and “abrasive.”

Fox News host Bret Baier asked Karl Rove if the California senator was “likeable.”

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MEDIA WATCH-resident Donald Trump’s diagnosis with Covid-19 just a month before the presidential election has been the latest shock to the United States in what was already a year marked by uncertainty and instability.

Although modern presidents have had significant health challenges in the recent past — Dwight Eisenhower suffered a major heart attack in 1955, and Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt in 1981 — none has occurred so near an election.

While many people with the coronavirus don’t get seriously ill, Trump has a number of major risk factors as an overweight male septuagenarian. If his conditions worsen beyond the mild symptoms already reported, it creates the potential for legal and constitutional crises.

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MEDIA WATCH-My daughter, a librarian in Tucson, paid more taxes in 2017 than Donald Trump. So did my neighbor Rita, a teacher, and her son Tony, who stocks grocery shelves in Leland, Michigan

I also pay more in taxes than the president of the United States. And, probably, so do you.

We now understand why Trump was the first presidential candidate since the 1970s not to divulge his tax returns.

In 2016 and 2017, the billionaire paid just $750 each year in taxes to the U.S. Treasury. In 10 out of 15 years between 2001 and 2017, Trump paid zero taxes.

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MEDIA WATCH--While President Donald Trump's long-running effort to game the U.S. tax code for his own financial benefit was the central focus of explosive new reporting on the billionaire's tax returns by the New York Times, progressive observers and lawmakers were quick to note that the behaviors revealed by the documents are commonplace among America's wealthy elite—a fact they said is cause for widespread outrage and a renewed push in Congress for transformational change to a system that is fundamentally rotten.

"Donald Trump is a liar, a cheater, and a crooked businessman, yes. But he's also taking advantage of a broken, corrupt, and unequal system that's built for people like him to do what he did."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren

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CORONA WATCH--Front-line care workers have been called heroes throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Many of them don’t feel like it.

Instead, they feel besieged and traumatized not only by the suffering and death they’ve witnessed, but by a health care system they believe is showing it doesn’t value them, a disjointed and ineffective governmental response, and members of the public who deny the reality of all that suffering and death.

Tragedy is part of the job for medical providers, but the relentlessness of the coronavirus outbreak is more than most have ever seen, said Nina Wells, a nurse practitioner and the president of the Service Employees International Union Local 121RN in Pasadena, California.

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CORONA WATCH--Michael Caputo, the politically appointed assistant secretary of public affairs for the nation’s health department, has reportedly apologized to the health secretary and his staff after accusing government scientists fighting the coronavirus pandemic of having a “resistance unit” and plotting to undermine President Donald Trump.

Caputo’s apology to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday, as reported by several media outlets citing sources familiar with the situation, followed him spewing disturbing conspiracy theories in a live Facebook video on Sunday about the upcoming presidential election and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s efforts to fight COVID-19.

“There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until Joe Biden is president,” he said, without providing any supporting evidence, according to copies of the video shared by various news outlets. 

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CORONA WATCH-A public health expert at George Washington University rebuked President Donald Trump's campaign after it argued that Trump had a right to host an estimated 25,000 people at an indoor campaign rally Sunday evening in Nevada because hundreds of thousands of Americans have taken part in racial justice protests in recent months. (Photo above: People cheer as U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for an indoor campaign rally at Xtreme Manufacturing in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 13, 2020. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

After receiving harsh criticism for holding its first indoor rally since June in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, the campaign responded by saying, "If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets...or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the president of the United States."

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CORONA WATCH--Donald Trump loves parades. In 2018, for no particular reason other than to gratify himself, he organized a military parade in his honor. But as plans for the parade developed, Trump insisted on excluding wounded veterans because “nobody wants to see” amputees, according to an explosive new piece in The Atlantic. In general, Jeffrey Goldberg writes, “Several observers told me that Trump is deeply anxious about dying or being disfigured, and this worry manifests itself as disgust for those who have suffered.” (Photo above: President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images).

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CORONAWATCH--Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many people — including my parents — said they’d rather die than end up in a nursing home. So when my mother suffered a brain aneurysm and became severely disabled at the age of 57, my father and I cared for her at home.

I had two young children and a full-time job, so I would help after work and on the weekends. But when my father also fell ill, we needed more help than I could give.

Like many families with few long-term care options, we were forced to turn to the nursing home system.

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CORONA WATCH--I’ve been interviewing experts and health care professionals almost every night on Instagram Live. A recent interviewee: Kelsey, a nurse at a major hospital in New York City. (We’re not sharing its name.) Kelsey just celebrated her first year working as a nurse. Now, she’s on the front-line of the coronavirus pandemic, working on her hospital’s infectious disease floor — now completely full of Covid-19 positive patients. Here, some of the most powerful things Kelsey told me during our interview.

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CORONA WATCH-As horrible as the COVID-19 crisis is, it has brought out the best in the American people — the selflessness of front-line nurses and doctors, for example, as well as the generous community spirit of local food businesses.

But it has also amplified one of the worst flaws in our society, namely the “me-first” greed of corporate chieftains.

Last year, we were told that a new, more democratic corporate ethic was emerging. The CEOs of 181 big-name giants signed a public pledge to run their corporations not solely to maximize shareholder profits, but also to benefit workers, communities, and other economic “stakeholders.”

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