As a young woman compares herself to Nazi resistance fighter Sophie Scholl at a 'Querdenker' (Covid-denier) rally in Hannover, the disgusted security guard quits on the spot. pic.twitter.com/k7QoTJw41d— Mike Stuchbery 💀🍷 (@MikeStuchbery_) November 22, 2020
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Here's an excerpt from last night's court decision in Pennsylvania, where the Trump campaign filed to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results, alleging "that Republicans had been illegally disadvantaged because some counties allowed voters to fix errors on their mail ballots" [WaPo]. The federal judge didn't hold back in ruling against them, citing no evidence:
"Dismissed 'with prejudice' means that the case is dismissed permanently, it cannot be brought back to court, and the charges cannot be refiled. A case that is 'dismissed with prejudice' is completely and permanently over."
Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said they would appeal and expect the case to reach the Supreme Court. There's no guarantee SCOTUS would agree to hear the case. Maybe Hugo Chávez will show up in support of the plaintiffs.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico will be decommissioned (that is, repairs will no longer be attempted), due to overwhelming damage from, among other issues, cable problems that meant the repairs could not be done safely.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
This is both incredibly sad and disturbing at the same time -- this nurse from South Dakota says some of her COVID-19 patients, even as they are dying, refuse to believe the coronavirus is the reason. What/who has instilled in them such a distrust of institutions, governments and science that they actually believe the virus is not real even to the end? I don't understand it at all. She also has a Twitter thread on this topic here.
A South Dakota ER nurse @JodiDoering says her Covid-19 patients often “don’t want to believe that Covid is real.”— New Day (@NewDay) November 16, 2020
“Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’ And when they should be... Facetiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred.” pic.twitter.com/tgUgP6znAT
Monday, November 16, 2020
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday that he has come under increasing pressure in recent days from fellow Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), who he said questioned the validity of legally cast absentee ballots, in an effort to reverse President Trump’s narrow loss in the state.
"In a wide-ranging interview about the election, Raffensperger expressed exasperation over a string of baseless allegations coming from Trump and his allies about the integrity of the Georgia results, including claims that Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based manufacturer of Georgia’s voting machines, is a “leftist” company with ties to Venezuela that engineered thousands of Trump votes to be left out of the count.
"The atmosphere has grown so contentious, Raffensperger said, that he and his wife, Tricia, have received death threats in recent days, including a text to him that read: “You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it.”
“Other than getting you angry, it’s also very disillusioning,” Raffensperger said of the threats, “particularly when it comes from people on my side of the aisle. Everyone that is working on this needs to elevate their speech. We need to be thoughtful and careful about what we say.” He said he reported the threats to state authorities.
"The pressure on Raffensperger, who has bucked his party in defending the state’s voting process, comes as Georgia is in the midst of a laborious hand recount of about 5 million ballots. President-elect Joe Biden has a 14,000-vote lead in the initial count.
"The normally mild-mannered Raffensperger saved his harshest language for Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.), who is leading the president’s efforts in Georgia and whom Raffensperger called a “liar” and a “charlatan.”
"Collins has questioned Raffensperger’s handling of the vote and accused him of capitulating to Democrats by not backing allegations of voter fraud more strongly.
"Raffensperger has said that every accusation of fraud will be thoroughly investigated, but that there is currently no credible evidence that fraud occurred on a broad enough scale to affect the outcome of the election...."
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Friday, November 13, 2020
At this point, those doubting the election are anti-democratic, at the least. It's pretty clear that they are interested in something other than the results of a free and fair election. What exactly they're after isn't clear. I'm not even sure they know.
Here, DHS=Department of Homeland Security
New statement on election security from DHS: “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. ... There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) November 12, 2020
Next, CISA=Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
NEW: Using bold letters, CISA (which is part of DHS), says, "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) November 12, 2020
A full throated response to unverifiable allegations raised by the President and his allies about votes.
"There are only three statewide contests in the past half-century in which recounts changed the outcome."— Paul Graham (@paulg) November 12, 2020
These races were separated by 355, 261, and 215 votes.
Biden leads in PA by 54,029 votes and in WI by 20,546.https://t.co/cs9pxZQbV1
Biden's leads are now Pennsylvania: 63,056 and Wisconsin: 20,540
Thursday, November 12, 2020
David A Graham of The Atlantic recalls the last time Trump cried massive fraud, after the 2016 election, when his infantile ego couldn't handle the fact that he'd lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 2.9 million votes. He convened a commission that found...nothing:
Despite having won the 2016 election, Trump insisted that he had been denied a victory in the popular vote by 3 million to 5 million unauthorized-immigrant voters. He did not provide any evidence for the claim, because there is none. As voting experts have noted for as long as the fraud claims have circulated, it is impossible to execute fraud on this scale....
Nonetheless, Trump announced in May 2017 that he’d convene a commission to study voter fraud. (This was the same week that the president fired FBI Director James Comey, welcomed Russia’s foreign minister and its ambassador, disclosed sensitive intelligence to them, and threatened Comey with the release of fictitious tapes. Also, Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel.)
The titular head of the commission was Vice President Mike Pence, a sign of the importance it held for Trump, but its effective leader was Kris Kobach, a Republican who was then the Kansas secretary of state. Kobach has been one of the most relentless voices claiming voter fraud, and was considered for positions in the Trump administration but not chosen. Several of the other members of the commission were similarly zealous boosters of the voter-fraud claim; there were a couple of token Democrats, too.
Almost immediately, the commission ran into trouble. With no credible evidence of fraud in hand to start proving the conclusion that both Trump and Kobach had clearly already reached, it had to turn something up, fast. In June, Kobach sent a letter to states asking for all publicly available voter data, including names, addresses, voting history, party affiliation, felony convictions, and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. (That is the information on which Kobach’s Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, a national database, runs.)
State officials and security experts, including many Republicans, reacted with horror. They said Kobach had offered no secure way to send the information, and in any case, there was no reason to believe that it would prove fraud. Besides, it would cost taxpayer money, could endanger privacy, and in some cases violated state law. “My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from,” Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said of the commission and its requests. Election officials also complained that the commission was intimidating voters into canceling their own valid registrations.
These responses reflected an uncomfortable reality for Kobach: Though many Republican election officials support stricter voting laws, including such things as photo-identification requirements, they also take seriously that their job is to run elections smoothly and prevent fraud, and weren’t pleased about the implication that they were failing.
Without most of the data it had requested, and without any other evidence of fraud, the commission was stalled. In September, it held a meeting in New Hampshire to investigate Trump’s claim of fraud there, but Bill Gardner, New Hampshire’s secretary of state and a commission member, rebutted the claim. By October, two of the group’s Democrats were complaining that they had been shut out of deliberations and meetings. One of them, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, sued to demand access to commission material, and won.
In January, the group was finally put out of its misery, without releasing any findings. The Trump administration said it would not hand materials over to Dunlap, because the commission no longer existed, but a judge disagreed, and in August 2018, Dunlap released the documents he’d obtained. They showed that in its months of work, the commission had uncovered no evidence of fraud.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
But even some of the president’s most publicly pugilistic aides, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and informal adviser Corey Lewandowski, have said privately that they are concerned about the lawsuits’ chances for success unless more evidence surfaces, according to people familiar with their views....In other words, Trump is purposely harming democracy, knowingly and seriously, because his childish ego can't admit he's a loser.
[a whole lot of nothing]
One Trump adviser said most of the legal actions did not amount to much, and he expected it to be over by Saturday or Sunday “unless something really changes and we find real evidence....”
Said one adviser of the president who speaks to him regularly: “He wants to sow discontent in the public that the election was illegitimate, so he can say he didn’t lose.”
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
PHILADELPHIA — Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race, amounting to a forceful rebuke of President Trump’s portrait of a fraudulent election....Some states described small problems common to all elections, which they said they were addressing: a few instances of illegal or double voting, some technical glitches and some minor errors in math. Officials in all states are conducting their own review of the voting — a standard component of the certification process....The office of the state’s [Pennsylvania's] top law enforcement official said that there was no evidence to support Mr. Giuliani’s claims, and that the election in the state was “fair and secure.”“Many of the claims against the commonwealth have already been dismissed, and repeating these false attacks is reckless,” said Jacklin Rhoads, a spokeswoman for Josh Shapiro, a Democrat who is Pennsylvania’s attorney general. “No active lawsuit even alleges, and no evidence presented so far has shown, widespread problems.”
He's lost every case and the fraud just isn't out there. They look like the Keystone
Cops running around, but they're very serious. It's a national embarrassment, as Biden said today. Not one of them care that they are damaging American democracy. That's the second-to-last thing on Trump's mind -- last is COVID, which is rampaging.
If SCOTUS somehow gets involved and somehow, someway calls Trump the winner, the protests and riots of this past summer will look like children playing in a sandbox. I will join in marches myself. We have a fascist in the White House and a lunatic. He hasn't called for the Proud Boys yet; let's see if it comes to that. I feel like a fool for being thankful for such a small favor.