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Letter From An American by Heather Cox Richardson

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Comments

  • Sounds just like some posters who used to post quite frequently about “individual liberties,” and veiled it with libertarianism but haven’t been seen in quite awhile. Dems really need to re-take the senate and shove it up Moscow Mitchy and repubs’ asses. Maybe that’ll learn ‘em? Doubt it.
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

    Brilliantati©
  • tbergstbergs Posts: 8,185
    Sounds just like some posters who used to post quite frequently about “individual liberties,” and veiled it with libertarianism but haven’t been seen in quite awhile. Dems really need to re-take the senate and shove it up Moscow Mitchy and repubs’ asses. Maybe that’ll learn ‘em? Doubt it.
    Speaking of Mitch, he doesn't seem to healthy lately. Something happened they kept quiet.
    It's a hopeless situation...
  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 25,085
    Sounds just like some posters who used to post quite frequently about “individual liberties,” and veiled it with libertarianism but haven’t been seen in quite awhile. Dems really need to re-take the senate and shove it up Moscow Mitchy and repubs’ asses. Maybe that’ll learn ‘em? Doubt it.
    Stack the f’n courts screw them all!
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • tbergs said:
    Sounds just like some posters who used to post quite frequently about “individual liberties,” and veiled it with libertarianism but haven’t been seen in quite awhile. Dems really need to re-take the senate and shove it up Moscow Mitchy and repubs’ asses. Maybe that’ll learn ‘em? Doubt it.
    Speaking of Mitch, he doesn't seem to healthy lately. Something happened they kept quiet.
    My guess is a face plant. I think he’s 79 or 80?
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

    Brilliantati©
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    tbergs said:
    Sounds just like some posters who used to post quite frequently about “individual liberties,” and veiled it with libertarianism but haven’t been seen in quite awhile. Dems really need to re-take the senate and shove it up Moscow Mitchy and repubs’ asses. Maybe that’ll learn ‘em? Doubt it.
    Speaking of Mitch, he doesn't seem to healthy lately. Something happened they kept quiet.
    My guess is a face plant. I think he’s 79 or 80?

    hands are super bruised almost necrotic looking
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
      October 24, 2020 (Saturday)

    Too many late nights this week. I have to check out early tonight.

    The next two weeks are going to be stressful, so take a breath while you can.

    This, too, shall pass... and we'll get through it together.
     
    [Photo by Buddy Poland]

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyrat said:
    tbergs said:
    Sounds just like some posters who used to post quite frequently about “individual liberties,” and veiled it with libertarianism but haven’t been seen in quite awhile. Dems really need to re-take the senate and shove it up Moscow Mitchy and repubs’ asses. Maybe that’ll learn ‘em? Doubt it.
    Speaking of Mitch, he doesn't seem to healthy lately. Something happened they kept quiet.
    My guess is a face plant. I think he’s 79 or 80?

    hands are super bruised almost necrotic looking
    Weekend Update said it was a result of walking away from a fight with death. I laughed.
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

    Brilliantati©
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
     October 25, 2020 (Sunday)

    Recognizing that he is losing the demographics he needs to win reelection, Trump has clearly decided that his best bet is to spur his base to turn out in vast numbers and vote. To that end, he has given up any pretense of appealing to any but his base. At the same time, he and members of his administration are pretending the coronavirus pandemic is ending.

    Last night in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Trump held a rally not in front of an American flag, but in front of a thin blue line flag. This flag reflects the old saying that law enforcement officers constitute the boundary-- the thin blue line-- between chaos and order. It is a black and white American flag, with a blue stripe running across its middle. The creator of the new flag, Andrew Jacob, insists “the flag has no association with racism, hatred, bigotry…. It’s a flag to show support for law enforcement—no politics involved.” But white supremacists waved it at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and it has come to symbolize opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement. Its adherents talk about “socialism” and “law & order” and “illegals.” According to Jacob, “The black above represents citizens… and the black below represents criminals.”

    Flags matter. They are the tangible symbol of a people united for a cause. That Trump replaced the American flag with the Thin Blue Line flag as the centerpiece of his rally is a rejection of the nation itself in favor of his role as the leader of the alt-right. And it was not inadvertent: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called attention to the prominence of the flag, tweeting: “The Thin Blue Line flag is flying HIGH at President [Trump’s] rally in Wisconsin!”

    The Trump administration is playing to his religious base, as well. Last Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made the United States a co-sponsor of an international declaration opposing abortion. While United Nations human rights bodies, as well as most of our former allies, seek to protect access to reproductive rights including abortion, we have now signed onto the Geneva Consensus Declaration declaring that “there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.” The declaration also reaffirms that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State,” a sentiment that appears to undermine same-sex couples.

    The declaration claims that the goal of the signers is to “Ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and equal opportunity for women at all levels of political, economic, and public life; [and to] Improve and secure access to health and development gains for women, including sexual and reproductive health, which must always promote optimal health, the highest attainable standard of health, without including abortion.” But women’s rights and health are hardly a priority for the other sponsors, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and especially Uganda, where women die in high numbers from complications related to pregnancy and where gay sex is punishable by death. Saudi Arabia, where men can sue their daughters or wives for “disobedience,” also signed the declaration.

    The administration is also talking about identifying Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Oxfam—all groups that protect human rights—as anti-Semitic because they have criticized Israel’s policies toward Palestinians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an evangelical who has used US support for Israel as a way to fire up evangelical support for the president, is backing the proposal, but career officials at the State Department and lawmakers from both parties are alarmed. Such a declaration would give authoritarian governments a way to ban the work of these human rights organizations.

    And then, of course, there is the confirmation of Trump’s appointee to the Supreme Court to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Nominee Amy Coney Barrett is an originalist who excites evangelicals because of her expressed opposition to abortion rights and excites corporate leaders by her views on the limits of federal power, including her likely opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rushing her confirmation through. In a rare Sunday session this afternoon, after the Senate voted to limit debate on the nomination, McConnell noted: “A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.” Tomorrow, the Senate is expected to confirm Barrett’s elevation to the Supreme Court.

    While the administration is working to fire up Trump’s base, it is also working to downplay the coronavirus, even as infections continue to rip across the nation. Daily infection numbers are the highest they have ever been during this crisis, with 78,702 new cases reported on Saturday and more than 20 states at record levels of infection. We have had more than 8.5 million infections in the country and have lost almost 225,000 Americans in the official count to Covid-19. Wisconsin has opened a field hospital; Utah is so overwhelmed it is preparing to ration care.

    We learned last night that at least five people on the staff of Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for the coronavirus, including Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short. Nonetheless, the vice president is not going to quarantine; he is going to continue to campaign. According to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Pence can travel because he is working and he is “essential personnel.” According to other officials, Meadows was hoping to keep the outbreak out of the news.

    Today, Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the administration was “not going to control the pandemic.” Instead, "What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this."

    Other countries have managed to bring their numbers of infection and death downward, but the White House plan seems to be simply to let the disease take its course. South Korea, with 55 million people, got the disease at the same time we did. It has had fewer than 500 deaths. With our population of about six times theirs-- 331 million— we have almost 225,000.

    But Trump is trying to demonstrate that all is well by rejecting mask use, holding rallies, and telling people, “It is going away.” He has held nearly three dozen rallies since August, usually at airport hangars, appearing to revel in speaking before crowds. In an investigation, USA Today discovered that, in at least five counties, Covid-19 cases rose after Trump’s rallies. “We are coming around, we’re rounding the turn, we have the vaccines, we have everything,” Trump said in New Hampshire on Sunday. “Even without the vaccines, we’re rounding the turn. It’s going to be over.”

    The staunchly conservative New Hampshire Union Leader, from Manchester, New Hampshire, isn’t buying it. Objecting to the president’s dramatic expansion of the national debt by more than “7 TRILLION dollars” (their capital letters), as well as his weaponizing of social media, the editors note that “We may be turning a corner with this virus, but the corner we turned is down a dark alley of record infections and deaths.”

    The Union Leader is backing Joe Biden. “We have found Mr. Biden to be a caring, compassionate and professional public servant. He has repeatedly expressed his desire to be a president for all of America, and we take him at his word. Joe Biden may not be the president we want, but in 2020 he is the president we desperately need. He will be a president to bring people together and right the ship of state.”

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
     October 26, 2020 (Monday)

    Tonight, the Senate confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States to take the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The vote was 52 to 48, with no Democrats voting to confirm Barrett. One Republican, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, voted against the confirmation, saying it is too close to an election to fill the seat. Collins is in a tight reelection race against Democrat Sara Gideon, and since Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not need Collins’s vote, she could vote no on procedural grounds and hope to push fewer voters to Gideon.

    Barrett is an originalist, and will cement a 6-3 majority of justices eager to unwind the judicial decisions of the past seventy years that protect civil rights, business regulation, and a social safety net. Today is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s birthday, and as soon as the vote went through, the Twitter account for the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee tweeted: “Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed. Happy Birthday, [Hillary Clinton]!”

    McConnell promptly adjourned the Senate until November 9 without taking up a coronavirus relief bill.

    An hour later, Trump held a public ceremony for Barrett at the White House, in an echo of the coronavirus super spreader event on September 26 at which he announced her nomination. The ceremony seemed designed to demonstrate that he rejects scientific recommendations about the virus. Barrett took the constitutional oath, administered by Justice Clarence Thomas, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the second oath she must take, the judicial oath, on Tuesday in a private ceremony at the court.) Trump congratulated her in a short speech.

    Shortly after the ceremony, Trump released a video of the event with Barrett walking alongside him through the doors of the White House onto a balcony where the two stood for the crowd. It was a triumphant demonstration of Trump’s power, and undermined the illusion that Barrett will be a nonpartisan judge. Traditionally in America, Supreme Court justices keep a distance from political leaders, yet she has just appeared in a campaign commercial for the president.  

    The significance of Barrett’s elevation to the court showed just minutes before the Senate confirmed her, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 for Wisconsin Republicans who want to block the counting of votes postmarked before Election Day but received up to six days after it. Democrats and civil rights groups wanted the extension because of the pandemic. For this year’s primary in Wisconsin, 80,000 ballots postmarked in time arrived after the election were counted; for the election, such late ballots will be rejected. The court’s decision follows originalist ideology: it says states get to run elections however its legislators wish. That principle trumps the right to vote.

    That seemingly principled stand in favor of local democracy hides the reality of one-party rule. Wisconsin has been so thoroughly gerrymandered that although Democrats actually won a majority in state elections in 2018, Republicans hold 63 of the 99 seats in the legislature. It is virtually impossible for Democrats to win control of the state and thus the Republican legislature will get to decide who votes. We have seen such political dominance before… just ask any Black or Brown American.

    In a footnote, Justice Kavanaugh went further to argue that states need to avoid “the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of the election. And those States also want to be able to definitely announce the results of the election on election night, or as soon as possible thereafter.” This is the argument Trump has been making to delegitimize mail-in ballots, and it is political, not judicial. Absentee ballots do not “flip” an election; they are a legitimate part of an election that cannot be decided until they are counted. And the idea of calling an election on the night it is held is a tic of the media. In fact, no state certifies its election results the day of the election. Some take weeks.

    So what we have tonight is the Republican Party under Trump ramming through a third Supreme Court justice who is far out of sync with the vast majority of the American people, an authoritarian ceremony for an election ad, and a sign that partisans are working to steal the upcoming election.

    This is not a sign of strength—it is a sign of weakness. Trump’s Republicans have gotten a reliable majority on the Supreme Court—for now—but they have delegitimized the Senate and the Supreme Court. It is the desperate act of a party that is so far out of favor with the American people it has given up winning elections fairly and is resorting to the tactics of strongmen. That McConnell pushed this confirmation through right before the election, rather than holding the seat open to fire up evangelicals as he did in 2016, suggests he thinks that even evangelicals cannot save the White House this time around.

    The administration is sinking in bad news. It has given up on combatting the coronavirus, which infected 74,323 more Americans today and killed at least 534. Reflecting that the rising infection numbers mean a slower economic recovery, the stock market today had its biggest drop in a month. Financiers are so tired of Trump’s volatility, including his tweets, that they are pouring five times more money behind Biden. Meanwhile, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who admitted the coronavirus policy on Sunday, is so hated that 18 administration officials talked to Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post about him; one White House advisor said “It’s hard to count the ways Meadows has failed as a chief of staff…. It’s been an unmitigated disaster.”

    A Trump appointee who chaired the Federal Salary Council overseeing federal pay resigned today in protest over Trump’s recent Executive Order enabling him to fire key federal workers. “[T]he Executive Order is nothing more than a smokescreen for what is clearly an attempt to require the political loyalty of those who advise the President, or failing that, to enable their removal with little if any due process,” Ron Sanders wrote, “As a matter of conscience, I can no longer serve him or his administration.”

    And staffers at the Department of Health and Human Services are openly looking for other jobs. Three of them told Politico’s Dan Diamond that they are voting for Joe Biden. "I've never voted for a Democrat for president, but Biden hit the sweet spot. I know he's not too far left and he understands how to make government work," one said. "And I know he'll never make fun of [Anthony] Fauci in public.”

    Biden’s campaign, run quietly and steadily, has picked up steam until he is ahead in the polls by about 9 or 10 points nationally, and there is no sign that Trump is closing that gap. Clearly, the president had hoped the malarkey about the Hunter Biden laptop story—which we learned today White House lawyers tried to pitch to the Wall Street Journal before Rudy Giuliani took it to the New York Post-- would create the same stampede from Biden that the email laptop story caused from Clinton in 2016, but that stampede has not materialized.

    On Sunday, nine days before the election, about 58.6 million Americans had already voted early, more than the total number who voted early or by mail in 2016. Registered Democrats have made up 51% of those votes, while registered Republicans have made up 31%, leading Trump officials to attack the legitimacy of mail-in ballots and to insist that “the huge majority of President Trump’s supporters” were planning to vote on Election Day. But Black Americans, the heart of the Democratic Party, are turning out in huge numbers. “This election is for saving the U.S.” business consultant Dave Richards told CNN’s Faith Karimi.

    People like Biden. They think he’s a decent man, who cares about someone other than himself. He has plenty of that old word, fallen into disuse in the last four years: character. He has principles, honor, a work ethic, and he treats people with respect—attributes we should demand in our officials. He has provided detailed plans about how he would address the country’s problems: systemic racism, economic inequality, and coronavirus, among others. At the same time, he offers a positive vision of America, a welcome contrast to Trump’s dark vision of American carnage. Biden constantly repeats that there is nothing Americans can’t do if we do it together.

    And that, right there, is why the Republicans needed to pack the Supreme Court.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Nail on the f’n head right here:

    “This is not a sign of strength—it is a sign of weakness. Trump’s Republicans have gotten a reliable majority on the Supreme Court—for now—but they have delegitimized the Senate and the Supreme Court. It is the desperate act of a party that is so far out of favor with the American people it has given up winning elections fairly and is resorting to the tactics of strongmen.”
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
     October 27, 2020 (Tuesday)

    During her interview with the vice-presidential candidate on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, journalist Norah O’Donnell asked Senator Kamala Harris if she would bring a “socialist or progressive perspective” to the White House. Harris burst out laughing before she said “no.”

    Harris’s response has been viewed more than a million times on social media. One person responded “she doesn’t even know she’s into Marxism = socialism = communism.”

    Trump and his campaign surrogates, as well as Republican lawmakers, continue to refer to Democrats as “socialists.” In Florida on Friday, Trump said: "We're not supposed to have a socialist—look we're not going to be a socialist nation. We're not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president, we're not gonna have it, we're not gonna put up with it."

    Today, in Lansing, Michigan, Trump warned about the elevation of Harris to the presidency, saying that “Joe’s shot; Kamala, you ready?... She makes Bernie Sanders look like a serious conservative.” Trump seems to be using the term “shot” as the old slang word for “worn out,” but there is no doubt he understands the dual meaning in that word, and is warning that Harris, should she be required to succeed Biden, will be a left-wing radical.

    The American obsession with socialism has virtually nothing to do with actual international socialism, which developed in the early twentieth century. International socialism is based on the ideas of political theorist Karl Marx, who believed that, as the working class was crushed under the wealthy during late stage capitalism, it would rise up to take control of the factories, farms, utilities, and so on, taking over the means of production.

    That theory has never been popular in America. While we have had a few socialist mayors, the best a socialist candidate has ever done in an election was when Eugene V. Debs won about 6% of the popular vote in 1912. Even then, while Debs called himself a socialist, it is not clear he was advocating the national takeover of industry so much as calling for the government to work for ordinary Americans, rather than the very wealthy, in a time that looked much like our own.

    American “socialism” is a very different thing than what Marx was describing in his theoretical works. Fear of it erupted in the 1870s, long before the rise of international socialism, and it grew out of the peculiar American context of the years after the Civil War. During the war,  Republicans had both invented national taxation—including the income tax—and welcomed African American men to the ballot box. This meant that, after the Civil War, for the first time in American history, voting had a direct impact on people’s pocketbooks.

    After the war, southern Democrats organized as the Ku Klux Klan to try to stop Black Americans from taking their rightful place in society. They assaulted, raped, and murdered their Black neighbors to keep them from voting. But President Ulysses S. Grant met domestic terrorism with federal authority, established the Department of Justice, and arrested Klan members, driving their movement underground.

    So reactionary whites took a different tack. The same people who had bitterly and publicly complained about Black Americans participating in society as equal to whites began to argue that their problem with Black voting was not about race, but rather about class. They said that they objected to poor voters being able to elect leaders who promised to deliver services or public improvements, like schools and roads, that could be paid for only by taxes, levied on property holders.

    In the South of the post-Civil War years, almost all property holders were white. They argued that Black voting amounted to a redistribution of wealth from hardworking white men to poor Black people. It was, they insisted, “socialism,” or, after workers in Paris created a Commune in 1871, “communism.”

    This is the origin of the American obsession with “socialism,” more than 40 years before Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution.

    Since that time, Americans have cried “socialism” whenever ordinary Americans try to use the government to level the economic playing field by calling for business regulation—which will cost tax dollars by requiring bureaucrats—or for schools and roads, or by asking for a basic social safety net. But the public funding of roads and education and health care is not the same thing as government taking over the means of production. Rather, it is an attempt to prevent a small oligarchy from using the government to gather power to themselves, cutting off the access of ordinary Americans to resources, a chance to rise, and, ultimately, to equality before the law.

    It is striking that O’Donnell felt it appropriate to ask Harris if she is a socialist—and lots of people apparently think that’s a legitimate question—while no one seems to be asking Trump, who is currently in power, if he’s a fascist.

    Fascism is a far-right political ideology born in the early twentieth century. At its heart is the idea of a strong nation, whose people are welded into a unit by militarism abroad and the suppression of opposition at home. While socialism starts from the premise that all members of society are equal, fascists believe that that some people are better than others, and those elites should direct all aspects of society. To promote efficiency, fascists believe, business and government should work together to direct production and labor. To make people loyal to the state, fascists promote the idea of a domestic enemy that threatens the country and which therefore must be vanquished to make the nation great. The idea of a hierarchy of men leads to the defense of a dictatorial leader who comes to embody the nation.

    Trump has certainly rallied far-right thugs to his side. At his first debate with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, he told the far-right Proud Boys to “stand by,” and last week a study warned that five U.S. states are at risk for election-related armed violence by right-wing terrorists who have already threatened elected officials.

    Today, Trump repeatedly attacked Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer at his rally in Lansing. Whitmer was a target of right-wing extremists who plotted to kidnap her and put her on trial for “treason,” and she has asked him repeatedly to stop riling up his followers against her. He has also weaponized government police for his own ends, sending them into the streets to bash peaceful protesters in a campaign he insists, in an echo of fascist leaders, will produce “law and order.”
     
    He has certainly behaved as if some Americans are better than others, telling us that we simply must accept more than 225,000 deaths from coronavirus even as we know that those deaths disproportionately hit the elderly and Black and Brown Americans. Over the past week, the U.S has reported more than 500,000 new cases—a record—while Trump claimed credit today for “ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.” He uses images of himself as a strongman, insists he has handled his job perfectly, and increasingly uses our public property as props for dramatic videos and photoshoots.

    He is purging the public service of career officials and replacing them with loyalists. Recently, he issued an Executive Order stripping public servants of their civil service protections so he can fire those who are insufficiently loyal and fill their posts with cronies. Last night, his hand-picked head of Voice of America, Michael Pack, scrapped a federal regulation giving editorial freedom to the U.S. media outlets under the VOA umbrella. Pack wants editorial control, to turn the public outlet into a mouthpiece for Trump. Former VOA director Amanda Bennett told NPR she was “stunned” at his actions, which remove “the one thing that makes Voice of America distinct from broadcasters of repressive regimes.”    

    He has set up Muslims and immigrants as scapegoats, and has increasingly threatened Democrats, saying they should not be allowed to win the upcoming election, an election he has threatened to ignore unless he wins.

    It’s a frightening list, no?

    But for all that, Trump is an aspiring oligarch, rather than a fascist. He has no driving ideology except money and sees the country as a piggy bank rather than as a juggernaut for national greatness. Still, that his drive for power comes from a different place than fascism makes it no less dangerous to our democracy.

    Over the next few years, we are going to have to have hard conversations about the role of government in society. Those conversations will not be possible if any Democratic policy to regulate runaway capitalism is met with howls of "socialism" while Republican policies that increasingly concentrate power in a small group of Americans are not challenged for the dangerous ideologies they mimic.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Such great points... it's absurd the Biden Harris team has to field questions about 'socialism'. It's pathetic how the media continues to let Trump play them & set their agenda.


  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
      October 28, 2020 (Wednesday)

    Today marks the beginning of the last week of the 2020 campaign. The candidates are making their closing arguments to voters.

    The Biden campaign has announced that it will dispatch vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris to campaign in Texas on Friday, suggesting that it thinks Texas is in play. Since the 2016 election, Texas has gained at least 2 million emigrants from other states, many of them Democrats. About 800,000 Latinx Americans have turned 18. More than 3 million Texans have registered to vote for the first time. Democrats are pouring money into the state, money the strapped Trump campaign can’t match.

    If the Biden campaign looks strong, news looks less cheery on the Republican side.

    First the good news for Trump: today 80-year-old golfer Jack Nicklaus endorsed him—as he did in 2016— warning that “if we want to continue to have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, and not evolve into a socialist America and have the government run your life,” voters should back Trump. Nicklaus and Trump golf together, and Trump has steered $20 million in federal money to Nicklaus’s mobile children’s hospital program. Nicklaus is from Ohio and still popular there. Trump is slightly ahead in the state, and Nicklaus’s endorsement could help him hold it.

    That was the day’s high point for Trump. To launch the final week of the campaign, last night the president held a rally at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska, in near-freezing temperatures. The campaign bussed attendees to the site from parking lots about three miles away, but when the rally was over and Trump had headed off on Air Force One, the buses could not navigate the crowded road and rally-goers were stranded. By the time the last people were finally rescued, 30 people needed medical attention.

    Critics said this negligence showed how little Trump values his supporters but, rather than contradict that impression, the campaign’s national press secretary Hogan Gidley made it worse. This morning, CNN host Alisyn Camerota asked him about the vice president’s campaign events during the pandemic. She asked, “[A]re you at all concerned given that there has been an outbreak in the vice president’s orbit of people around him and that there is currently an outbreak -- I mean, hospitals in Wisconsin are near capacity…. [D]oes that give you any pause or the vice president any pause about going there and holding a big rally?” Gidley responded “No, it doesn't. The vice president has the best doctors in the world around him, they've obviously contact-traced and have come to the conclusion it’s fine for him to be out on the campaign trail.”

    Ouch.

    Today coronavirus continued to spike around the country as we approach 9 million coronavirus cases. More than 20 states have record levels of infection. Today the nation reported 81,181 new cases and 1,016 deaths.

    The rising numbers of infections, and how that will delay an economic recovery, drove the stock market down sharply today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 943.24 points, or 3.4%, its worst drop since June.

    Since March, attorneys have filed more than 300 election cases in state and federal courts. Most of the lawsuits have to do with mail-in voting, made imperative this year by the pandemic. Republicans are trying to depress voting by making it harder to vote; Democrats are trying to increase voting by making it easier. Today a factual error in a Supreme Court opinion upholding the Republican effort embarrassed one of Trump’s Supreme Court justices, Brett Kavanaugh.

    On Monday, five Supreme Court justices—all appointed by Republicans—backed a request from Wisconsin Republicans to throw out ballots postmarked by November 3 but received up to six days later. In his explanation of why he was siding with the Republicans, Kavanaugh said that state legislatures should be the ones to decide on voting rules. He specifically noted Vermont as a state that has “decided not to make changes to their ordinary election rules, including to the election-day deadline for receipt of absentee ballots.” In fact, Vermont did change its rules, making two major changes, and today Vermont’s Secretary of State Jim Condos formally requested that Kavanaugh’s opinion be corrected.

    Meanwhile, with no verification and dubious origins, the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop is dying, and likely will have little of the impact for which Trump was clearly hoping. The president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is still trying to push the story, but with little luck. He blew up when a host on the Fox Business Network suggested the Hunter Biden laptop story was unverified. Tucker Carlson tonight claimed that he had “real, authentic and damning” new Hunter Biden documents, but a producer shipped them to Carlson’s home—apparently without making copies of them-- and they mysteriously disappeared.

    News services today reported that Russians are secretly developing illegal chemical weapons. If true, this puts pressure on Trump to respond. So far, he has resisted pushing back on Putin’s treaty violations, including the recent poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, although Britain and the European Union acted.

    Today, Miles Taylor, former chief of staff in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, revealed that he was the person who published critiques of Trump under the pen name “Anonymous.” In 2018, Taylor wrote an op-ed in the New York Times claiming that a number of people inside the administration were working hard to keep Trump from destroying the country. In 2019, he wrote a book he called “a character study,” warning that many of the officials at the highest levels of the government were alarmed by Trump’s instability.

    In a piece published today on Medium, Taylor noted that an unprecedented number of former officials of the Trump administration are speaking out against the president, and he urged ordinary Americans to join the chorus. Taylor warned that, if he is reelected, “Trump unbound will mean a nation undone — a continued downward slide into social acrimony, with the United States fading into the background of a world stage it once commanded, to say nothing of the damage to our democratic institutions.”

    The candidates have six more days to make their final pitch.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • That Brett Kavanaugh sure is a brilliant legal mind in all its brilliant brilliance of brilliancy. Spike the damn football.
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

    Brilliantati©
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
       October 29, 2020 (Thursday)

    Four years ago, headlines across the country announced that FBI Director James Comey had sent a letter to Congress on October 28 saying that the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was Secretary of State. That announcement, made despite the Justice Department’s policy of taking care not to do anything that could affect an election, swung the election toward Donald Trump, who won.

    Four years later, Trump’s attempt to seed another “investigation” into his rival through the “discovery” of a compromising laptop has fizzled. Today, NBC News noted that a document purporting to show Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden in a corrupt relationship with Communist leaders in China was actually ghost written by an academic and published under a fake identity.

    Meanwhile, a record number of 80 million early ballots have already been cast, and we are all parsing the polls for clues about who will emerge as the winner of the 2020 election.

    What is clear is that, as we approach the end of the campaigns, each is reflecting its presidential candidate.

    This morning, the New York Times revealed that Trump and Attorney General William Barr worked together to try to stop a criminal investigation into a bank owned by the Turkish state. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, was preparing a case against Halkbank, which the government suspected was laundering money and sending billions of dollars to Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions. Investigators believed Iran was using the money to pay for its nuclear weapons program. The case involved President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and members of his family and his political party. In June 2019, Berman was shocked when Barr asked him to end the investigations and let Halkbank get away with paying a fine and admitting some wrongdoing.

    The story shows Trump undermining American policy to advance his own interests. From the beginning of Trump’s presidency, Turkey worked to gain influence with the new administration, hiring Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn, for example, as a lobbyist. Erdogan had personally lobbied Trump hard to get rid of the Halkbank investigation. Senior officials worried that the president was chatting with an authoritarian leader about a criminal case, in a country where Trump does business. Erdogan had tried unsuccessfully to get the Obama administration to drop the case, but now appeared to be having better luck. Erdogan told reporters that Trump had assured him he would take care of the matter. It was not until Trump and Erdogan clashed over Syria last October that the U.S. charged the bank, but the charges did not include any individuals. Barr fired Berman this summer.

    Similarly, Trump’s willingness to defend his own interests at others’ expense is showing in the final days of his campaign. It is showing generally, with his willingness to expose his supporters to coronavirus infections at his rallies. It is showing more specifically with Trump’s refusal to support endangered Republican Senators who have stood by him and lost support because of it. At Trump’s recent visit to Maine, he did not mention Senator Susan Collins, who is in a tight race with her Democratic challenger, Sara Gideon.

    In Arizona, Trump mocked vulnerable senator Martha McSally. "Martha, just come up fast. Fast. Fast. Come on. Quick. You got one minute!" Trump said, as the senator rushed to the stage for some airtime with the president. "One minute, Martha! They don't want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let's go. Quick, quick, quick. Come on. Let's go.” Trump gave McSally just 60 seconds to speak, before turning the microphone over to other national figures.  

    A recent endorsement of the president was damning. The publisher of the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, urged people to vote for Trump only because he claimed Biden’s policies would “strike at the economic well-being of the country.” As for Trump himself, the editorial acknowledged, he “is a bully and a bigot…. He panders to racists and prevents sensible immigration reform in a nation built on immigrant labor and intellect. He tweets conspiracy theories. He’s cavalier about Covid-19 and has led poorly through the pandemic. He seeks to dismantle the Affordable Care Act without proposing a replacement. He denies climate change.”

    Even such a half-hearted endorsement drew rebuttals from an editor and a columnist at the paper.

    The campaign continues to downplay the coronavirus. Tonight, campaign spokesperson Donald Trump, Jr., told Fox News Channel personality Laura Ingraham that the number of deaths from Covid-19 is now “almost nothing, because we’ve gotten control of this.” But today alone, at least 951 Americans died of the coronavirus, and more than 91,000 new cases were reported. Our overall official death total is approaching 230,000. “If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s gonna be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday night.

    Trump has begun to muse about losing the election, and said he would like simply to drive away, or fly away, from the burden of the presidency. Yesterday, retired Brigadier General Peter B. Zwack wrote that, with his immense financial debts and pending legal issues, “Trump appears to be a classic flight risk.”

    Still, though, the president continues to fire up his base with accusations that Democrats are engaging in voter fraud, and that counting ballots after November 3 will mean a stolen election. His rhetoric is so worrisome that business owners in Washington, D.C., are boarding up their windows and Walmart is pulling guns and ammunition from its shelves (although it will continue to sell them on request).

    Tonight, both candidates are in Florida, and while Trump could have focused on today’s economic report showing 7% GDP growth in the third quarter, he went all-in with attacks on Hunter Biden and mused about losing.

    In contrast to Trump’s erratic personality-driven campaign, Biden’s campaign is smooth and professional. Unlike the Trump campaign, it has plenty of money, and is running fun, moving, and professional ads on social media emphasizing unity and healing for the country.

    In addition to the many other groups breaking in Biden’s favor, early data suggests that young Americans are turning out to vote in record numbers. About 63% of voters from ages 18 to 29 say they support Biden, while only about 25% support Trump.

    While the polls are suggesting there is little movement in the race, there has been a shift toward Biden in Georgia in the past few days. That shift will likely get a boost from an astonishing moment in a hard-hitting debate last night between embattled incumbent Senator David Perdue, a Republican, and his challenger, Democrat Jon Ossoff.

    After Perdue attacked Ossoff for taking money from out-of-state donors who support a “radical socialist agenda,” Ossoff countered with a devastating takedown: “Perhaps Senator Perdue would have been able to respond properly to the Covid-19 pandemic if you hadn’t been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading,” he said. “It’s not just that you’re a crook, Senator, it’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent.” Perdue seemed frozen. The clip has gone viral, and today Perdue pulled out of the final debate scheduled between him and Ossoff. Instead he will join Trump for a rally that night.

    Biden and Harris are reaching out to Hispanic voters, whose support will matter a lot in southern states. In Florida tonight, at a drive-in event, Biden hammered on Trump’s approach to the pandemic, called for racial justice, and promised that he will not be too hard on Cuba or too soft on Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president. Biden got a boost today from an op-ed in the Miami Herald by Hispanic business and economic leaders who endorsed Biden as the candidate who would build “a stronger, more dynamic economy that works for everyone.” With Hispanic voters extra-concerned about charges of “socialism,” the op-ed’s authors emphasized that Biden is the candidate of “free enterprise.”  

    Today, Biden wrapped together his pitch to Hispanic voters, an appeal to morality and a better future, and an illustration of how a Biden presidency will be different than its predecessor. He promised that, if he is elected president, he will immediately create a task force to reunite the families of the 545 immigrant children still separated from their parents.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    October 30, 2020 (Friday)

    And so it is Friday. We are in the final countdown to the 2020 election.

    The polls at the popular political website FiveThirtyEight favor Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, but Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are not out of the running. Every poll shows Biden far ahead of Trump in the popular vote, but because of our Electoral College system, the president could still win reelection. Virtually no one is suggesting that Trump could win the popular vote, and his campaign’s plan is simply to get enough Democratic votes thrown out in swing states that he can win those electoral votes and clinch the election. Never before in our history has a candidate openly planned to win an election by gaming the system, but here we are.   

    It feels today like a bunch of stories from the past are coming home to roost.

    For all of the attention on the election, the top story remains the coronavirus, which is infecting Americans and killing us at an alarming rate. Today we broke a terrifying record: the U.S. had more than 100,000 new infections. In all but a handful of states, the virus is spreading unchecked. A scathing new report from a congressional panel chaired by Jim Clyburn (D-SC) calls the administration’s response to the pandemic “among the worst failures of leadership in American history.”

    The coronavirus story is also the story of the election, as Trump and his supporters insist those eager to combat the pandemic are simply trying to hurt the president. Trump complains bitterly of the attention media is giving to “covid, covid, covid,” and today told people attending his rally in Michigan that doctors are exaggerating the threat of coronavirus because they get paid more if a cause of death is listed as Covid-19. The American Medical Association released a statement saying “The suggestion is a… malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided charge.” It pointed out that doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers are risking their lives daily to try to defeat the virus.

    The administration’s changes to the reporting system for coronavirus have hampered our ability to combat it. In July, the administration shifted the way hospital data is collected, taking the project away from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and giving it to a private contractor. CDC experts no longer check and analyze the data. Information on hospitalizations is no longer publicly available, so states cannot see what is happening elsewhere. This hides the picture of what is happening nationally, making it impossible for public health officials to plan for spikes.

    Meanwhile, Twitter users today reminded us that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told the nation in mid-September that the White House was planning to have 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine ready by the end of October. A White House aide said today that that deadline was “kind of… arbitrary,” although Trump told a rally in Arizona this week that we would have a vaccine “momentarily.” No companies have applied for approval yet.

    The Trump campaign mirrors the past practices of the Trump administration. The Government Accountability Office says Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and his deputy Ken Cuccinelli are in their jobs illegally, but Trump has kept them where they can do his bidding. He has recently dispatched the two men, along with top leaders from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to hold press conferences in swing states boasting of Trump’s immigration policies. In an unprecedented politicization of their offices, they are making the case for Trump’s reelection, warning, for example, that there will be an “unimaginable public health crisis” at the southern border if Biden is elected. They are also putting up official billboards that support Trump’s reelection.

    Dave Lapan, a retired Marine Corps colonel who served as DHS spokesman during the Trump Administration when John Kelly was the secretary, told TIME magazine, “The rhetoric that’s come out of Wolf and Cuccinelli is appearing to be a propaganda arm of the White House.” The agency looks like “an extension of the president’s re-election campaign.”

    The attempts of the Trump administration to manipulate the election through government appointments showed up in another way today, too, when a video surfaced of piles of mail at the Miami-Dade Post Office. The person who took the video said the mail, which included ballots, had sat unsorted for more than a week, precisely what people feared would happen when Trump’s Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, implemented new rules for mail delivery this summer. Several Florida officials said they were launching an investigation, but U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan isn’t waiting around. He ordered the United States Postal Service to implement emergency measures to speed up delivery of ballots.

    Republicans have more than 300 lawsuits underway in 44 states to try to stop the counting of mail-in ballots in general. In Texas, for example, they want courts to invalidate more than 100,000 votes in and around Houston because voters cast them at drive-through voting centers. In Pennsylvania and Minnesota, election officials are setting aside mail-in ballots postmarked on or before November 3 but arriving afterward, anticipating court challenges.

    But judges are inclined to defend voting rights. So Republicans are now turning their focus to individual ballots. In Nevada, for example, they hope to examine the signatures on every single ballot to challenge the ones they don’t believe match.

    Trump has hinted to his supporters that they should intimidate voters, either keeping them from voting or making them turn away at the polls. Voter intimidation—disrupting the voting process in any way-- is a crime under both federal and state law. States and the federal government take it very seriously indeed, setting up trained poll workers at every venue, and providing voter protection hotlines in each state and at the federal level as well. Earlier this month, right-wing activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were charged on four counts of intimidating voters in at least five states through robocalls. If convicted, the men could face up to 12 years in prison.

    For his part, Trump continues to preach to the converted at his rallies, but social media trackers say his shocking performances are no longer attracting positive attention on those sites. Followers find him boring, and much prefer Biden’s calm, solid messages.

    So a better bet for Trump’s reelection is his pitch to call the election on November 3. He says that a longer time period would be new and unfair, but this is just wrong: the election is not over until a state certifies the results, and no state does that on Election Day. More to the point was Trump’s statement in March, when he objected to a Democratic proposal to encourage voting, saying “They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

    Some stories from the past are continuing despite the election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today he would not take up a coronavirus relief bill until January. He also told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he had every intention of continuing to confirm judges, despite the Senate’s traditional practice of stopping judicial confirmations at some point during an election year. “We’re going to run through the tape. We go through the end of the year, and so does the President,” he said. “We’re going to fill the 7th Circuit. And I’m hoping we have time to fill the 1st Circuit as well.” “We’re going to clean the plate, clean all the district judges off as well,” he told Hewitt.

    One more returning story from the past: today one of the Louisville police officers who stormed Breonna Taylor’s apartment has sued her boyfriend for emotional distress, assault, and battery. Taylor’s friend, Kenneth Walker, a licensed gun owner, allegedly shot the officer, Jonathan Mattingly, in the leg as the law enforcement officers broke into the apartment on March 13. Walker thought they were intruders and fired his gun. The police opened fire and killed Breonna Taylor. They arrested Walker for attempted murder, but the charges were later dropped. He has filed a civil lawsuit against the city and the police department. And now Officer Mattingly is suing him.

    “Walker's conduct in shooting Mattingly is outrageous, intolerable, and offends all accepted standards of decency and morality,” Mattingly’s lawsuit said. For his part, Walker’s lawyer noted that his client was protected by Kentucky’s laws about self-defense in one’s home, and added, “One would think that breaking into the apartment, executing his girlfriend and framing him for a crime in an effort to cover up her murder would be enough for them….” He called the lawsuit a “baseless attempt to further victimize and harass Kenny.”

    And after all these stories from the past, a story from the future: today Madame Tussauds waxwork museum in Berlin threw its statue of Trump into a dumpster in preparation for a new president.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    October 31, 2020 (Saturday)

    The next three days will bring the culmination of the 2020 election season, as those of us who have not already cast our ballots will show up on Tuesday to vote in our local, state, and national elections around the country.

    Lots of us are exhausted and discouraged, and after the chaos of the past four years, it seems entirely fair to be exhausted. As civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer said, we’re “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

    But on this night of calm before the storm, I am the opposite of discouraged.

    I am excited about our democracy and our future.

    Our nation faces headwinds, for sure. We simply must get the coronavirus pandemic under control, and then address the extremes of wealth and poverty in this country. Fixing healthcare, systemic racism and sexism, climate change, and education all must be on the table as we move firmly into the twenty-first century. It sounds like a daunting list, but after years of apathy while a few wealthy Americans tightened their grip on the nation, Americans have woken up to the fact that democracy is not a spectator sport.

    We are taking back our country, and once we have done so, we will find that no problem is insurmountable.

    Democracy is rising. It might not win on Tuesday—no jinxing here!—but if not then, the week after that, or the month after, or the year after. After more than thirty years studying our country's history, I have come to believe in American democracy with an almost religious faith.

    And then, with our country free again, the future looks wildly exciting, full of different voices, races, religions, foods, gender identities, books, ideas, inventions, music, clothing, political identities, perspectives. In the past, when we have come through a period in which a small group of Americans has taken control of our society and ordinary Americans have taken it back, industry, art, science, and civil rights have blossomed. For my part, I don’t expect to like everything that happens in such a fertile world, but I do expect to learn, and grow, and feel privileged to watch the construction of a world that reflects our people at their best.

    I know it’s frightening to hear the stories of Republican leaders trying to get ballots thrown out, and right-wing thugs intimidating Biden voters, and so on. But that Republicans feel the need to engage in such tactics despite their ongoing voter suppression and gerrymandering is a tell-tale sign that they know their party has lost any hope of winning a majority of voters, and that the only way they can win an election is to cheat.

    That strategy is not sustainable.

    In the past year, the people who have come to these Letters to read and chat and argue and bolster each other have built a community of more than a million strong. We are artists, nurses, scholars, potters, welders, moms, dads, photographers, lawyers, writers, politicians, teachers, landscapers, boatbuilders, bankers, and doctors, people from every imaginable background, brought together by our love for this country and what it has the potential to be. So tonight, as I fall into bed, I urge you all to keep the faith.

    Because, I promise, you have enabled me to keep mine.

    [Photo by Peter Ralston]

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 25,085
    mickeyrat said:
    October 31, 2020 (Saturday)

    The next three days will bring the culmination of the 2020 election season, as those of us who have not already cast our ballots will show up on Tuesday to vote in our local, state, and national elections around the country.

    Lots of us are exhausted and discouraged, and after the chaos of the past four years, it seems entirely fair to be exhausted. As civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer said, we’re “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

    But on this night of calm before the storm, I am the opposite of discouraged.

    I am excited about our democracy and our future.

    Our nation faces headwinds, for sure. We simply must get the coronavirus pandemic under control, and then address the extremes of wealth and poverty in this country. Fixing healthcare, systemic racism and sexism, climate change, and education all must be on the table as we move firmly into the twenty-first century. It sounds like a daunting list, but after years of apathy while a few wealthy Americans tightened their grip on the nation, Americans have woken up to the fact that democracy is not a spectator sport.

    We are taking back our country, and once we have done so, we will find that no problem is insurmountable.

    Democracy is rising. It might not win on Tuesday—no jinxing here!—but if not then, the week after that, or the month after, or the year after. After more than thirty years studying our country's history, I have come to believe in American democracy with an almost religious faith.

    And then, with our country free again, the future looks wildly exciting, full of different voices, races, religions, foods, gender identities, books, ideas, inventions, music, clothing, political identities, perspectives. In the past, when we have come through a period in which a small group of Americans has taken control of our society and ordinary Americans have taken it back, industry, art, science, and civil rights have blossomed. For my part, I don’t expect to like everything that happens in such a fertile world, but I do expect to learn, and grow, and feel privileged to watch the construction of a world that reflects our people at their best.

    I know it’s frightening to hear the stories of Republican leaders trying to get ballots thrown out, and right-wing thugs intimidating Biden voters, and so on. But that Republicans feel the need to engage in such tactics despite their ongoing voter suppression and gerrymandering is a tell-tale sign that they know their party has lost any hope of winning a majority of voters, and that the only way they can win an election is to cheat.

    That strategy is not sustainable.

    In the past year, the people who have come to these Letters to read and chat and argue and bolster each other have built a community of more than a million strong. We are artists, nurses, scholars, potters, welders, moms, dads, photographers, lawyers, writers, politicians, teachers, landscapers, boatbuilders, bankers, and doctors, people from every imaginable background, brought together by our love for this country and what it has the potential to be. So tonight, as I fall into bed, I urge you all to keep the faith.

    Because, I promise, you have enabled me to keep mine.

    [Photo by Peter Ralston]

    I wish I could be as optimistic as her I’ve already lost faith I’m praying to Mother Nature that after Tuesday I can regain it!
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    November 1, 2020 (Sunday)

    There are two big stories this weekend: voter intimidation and the Trump campaign’s attempt to game the election by convincing people that the president should declare victory on Tuesday night.

    There have been flashes of voter intimidation all along, with pro-Trump supporters blocking a poll entrance in Fairfax, Virginia, in September, for example. But that intimidation escalated on Friday when a caravan of trucks and cars sporting Trump flags surrounded a Biden-Harris bus in Texas, forcing it first to slow to 20 miles an hour and then forcing the campaign to cancel the rest of the day’s campaign events out of safety concerns. One of the trucks sideswiped a car as the two drove down the highway.

    After the encounter, Trump cheered on the perpetrators, retweeting a video of the vehicles swarming the bus with the words “I LOVE TEXAS!” Last night, he retold the incident to his rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, suggesting it showed how popular he really is.

    Also yesterday, Alamance County sheriff’s deputies and city police officers in Graham, North Carolina, abruptly pepper-sprayed about 200 people who were marching peacefully to the polls. The crowd included children and disabled people and, in what will likely turn out to be a problem for the officers in court, political pundit David Frum’s children, who filmed the encounter. The sheriff’s office said it attacked the march out of “concerns for the safety of all,” but Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson has such a record of racism and intimidation that the Department of Justice sent election monitors to the county in 2004, 2008, and 2012.

    This afternoon, the FBI confirmed in a short, nonspecific statement that it is investigating the incident. After all, voter intimidation is a federal as well as a state crime.

    Tonight, Trump tweeted: “In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!”

    Today, Trump supporters are building on yesterday’s disruption, but with little obvious purpose. They shut down the northbound side of the Garden State Parkway and the Mario Cuomo bridge over the Hudson River. Tonight, another Trump group appears to be disrupting traffic at Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Writer Rebecca Solnit noted, “Reminder: They’re doing crazy s**t because they can’t win by the rules.”

    Indeed, Americans continue to turn out to vote in record numbers. As of early this afternoon, voters had cast 93 million early ballots, almost twice as many as were cast in 2016. That’s about 68% of the total votes counted in 2016. Hawaii and Texas have already seen more votes cast than were cast in total in 2016. People newly engaged in the political process are turning out to vote, including young people, who are voting in record numbers. In Georgia, the voter rights organization Fair Fight, started by Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018, has registered more than 800,000 new voters. If those people show up to vote, University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock told NBC News, “it would be game over.”

    As the tide appears to be running strong against Trump, he and his surrogates are trying to lay the groundwork to claim a victory before the actual votes are counted. Repeatedly, Trump and his people have insisted that the election should be called on Tuesday night, and that if it is not, as Trump adviser Jason Miller said on ABC this morning, the Democrats are “going to try to steal it back after the election.”

    But you can't win an election before all the votes are counted. As the New York Times put it tonight, counting all the votes by the evening of November 3 is “not possible and never has been. No state ever reports final results on election night, and no state is legally expected to.” It is the states that certify the final votes, and none of them does so on Election Day. They have to take time to count all the ballots, and always there are late arrivals, such as those from deployed military personnel.

    Ohio’s Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the swing state’s top election official, is already warning people that it is unlikely Ohio can call its election results on November 3. “That's not the way elections work. It's just simply not, it's not the way elections work in Ohio or most any other state election night is a snapshot in time,” he told CNN. “Every legally cast [ballot] deserves to be counted and will be counted by our boards collections and reported as part of our final certified result at the end of the month.”

    Presidential historian Michael Beschloss pointed out today that we did not have a certain presidential winner on the night of the election in 1960, 1968, 1976, 2000, 2004, and 2016. It would not be unusual at all not to have one this year, either.

    The way it works is this: Each state has its own procedures for counting ballots. Some count early ballots when they come in, others alongside the ones cast on Election Day, and still others put them off until after in-person ballots are counted. Because early voting this year has skewed to Democrats, people watching this election expect that the in-person voting will be heavily Republican. So in Arizona, for example, where officials count ballots when they come in, it is likely that the first reports on November 3 will lean Democratic. Then the in-person ballots will be counted, shifting the state into the Republican column, then the late arriving ballots might well shift the state back to the Democrats.

    Trump is hoping to call the election at the end of the evening, after the in-person ballots have been counted—meaning a shift to the Republicans-- but before the mail-in ballots which will likely favor Democrats have all been tabulated. He and his campaign are especially interested in getting things settled before results come in from Pennsylvania, a key swing state where Biden is leading, and which doesn’t count its mail-in ballots until Election Day. Picking a moment at the end of Tuesday night would let him capitalize on the high water mark for his campaign, but it would mean ignoring legally cast ballots. It is rather as if a soccer team captain got to choose to call a game at the precise moment her team was ahead.

    Three sources close to Trump told Jonathan Swan of Axios that Trump indeed plans to declare victory if he appears to be ahead. Tonight the president told reporters: “I think it's a terrible thing when ballots can be collected after an election. I think it's a terrible thing when states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the election is over." He added: “I think it’s terrible that we can’t know the results of an election the night of the election. ... We're going to go in the night of, as soon as that election’s over, we’re going in with our lawyers.”

    His campaign appears to be hoping to convince followers that Democrats have stolen the election if the results change after Election Day. At the same time, his lawyers will throw around lawsuits in key states. If the vote is close, these two things could create enough confusion that the election drags out until it ends up either in the House of Representatives or before the Supreme Court. This is highly unlikely, but it might be a way to game the system for a victory, and Trump's campaign needs scenarios that do not depend on winning the election fair and square.

    Tonight NBC News White House correspondent Geoff Bennett reported news from a federal law enforcement source: Starting tomorrow, “crews will build a ‘non-scalable’ fence to secure the WH complex, Ellipse and Lafayette Square. 250 National Guardsmen have been put on standby, reporting to Metro Police officials.”

    One astute reader commented: “You might be forgiven for thinking he’s planning on doing something that will be bringing mass protests to Washington & the White House.”

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    November 2, 2020 (Monday)

    Today, in the last hours before Election Day, Trump careened from one wild tweet to another, threatening, lying, promising, and cajoling. He flew to rallies in a number of states, making up for his campaign’s lack of money by hitting states in person and counting on local media to do the advertising he cannot afford to.

    Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign—still flush with cash-- released slick videos and tweets promising that Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris will bring America together again; govern for the whole country, not just partisans; and address the nation’s problems, beginning with the coronavirus.

    But the big story tonight is us.

    Americans are voting in record numbers. About 98 million people have already voted. This number is about 71% of the total vote count of 139 million ballots cast in 2016. In 9 states, the early voting is already 90% of the total 2016 vote. In Texas and Hawaii, early voting has made up more votes than all the ballots cast in 2016.

    Trump is the first president since Gallup polling began who has never broken 50% in its polling of job approval. Trump knew that it would be difficult to attract enough voters to win in a free and fair election, so his plan for reelection has always been to energize his base to show up at the polls while suppressing the votes of those who oppose him. (Note I did not say "Democrats": there are unusually high numbers of Republicans crossing the aisle to get rid of Trump.)

    This summer, as coronavirus ripped across the country, Republicans tried to make it hard to vote by mail. They hoped to depress turnout, since high turnout usually helps Democrats. Trump’s big donor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy changed rules at the United States Postal Service, slowing mail delivery significantly just as the country would need to rely on the USPS to deliver ballots. And now, cheered on by the president, “Trump trains” – caravans of trucks and cars flying Trump flags, often with their license plates covered—are intimidating voters, while this weekend law enforcement officers in Graham, North Carolina, pepper sprayed a group of about 200 voters and their families walking to the polls.

    And yet, Americans are voting in record numbers.

    For his part, Biden has run a solid, drama-free campaign. For all that he has been known for his gaffes in the past, there were none on display in the past several months. He has stayed calm and relatively quiet, letting Trump take the headlines, while he demonstrated competence. Many Americans have not bothered to learn Biden’s policies, though: it is enough that he is not Trump. He is a man of character and an institutionalist, prepared to honor the national principles and rebuild the government that Trump has gutted.

    The polling numbers in the presidential race have stayed remarkably steady, so Trump’s team is trying to win the election through lawsuits to throw out votes presumed to be Democratic. The president has hammered on the idea that mail-in ballots will flood polling places with fraudulent ballots—this is false—and that votes must be tallied and a winner declared on Election Day itself or Democrats will “flip” the election. This, too, is false. No state certifies the results of the election the day it occurs, and there is no outcome to flip until all the ballots are counted.

    No matter what Trump says about the election, Americans are voting in record numbers.

    Tomorrow is the final day of polling for the 2020 contest, one which many Americans—including me—believe will determine whether we will keep, or lose, our democracy. On the ballot are fairness, equality before the law, and the future of our country. While Biden has promised to be the president for all of us, and has called for us to put aside our differences to work together to defeat the coronavirus and move our country forward, Trump is letting the coronavirus rage across the nation, is riling up anger and hatred, and has barricaded himself behind an unscalable wall at the White House. Out of concerns that violence might erupt, workers have boarded up storefronts nearby. In other cities, other storeowners have taken the same precautions.

    And yet, Americans are voting in record numbers.

    They are able to do so thanks to the election officials, who began preparing for this election a year ago; their neighbors, who are working at the polling stations; their friends, who are helping each other to get to the polls; and law enforcement officers, who are keeping the domestic terrorists at bay. These teams are working together to make sure that what is not simply a presidential election, but also a patchwork of our state and local elections, can be held safely and efficiently. They are trying to guarantee that the most fundamental principle of our government is honored: that we all have a say in our local, state, and national governments.

    It is in our hands, not the hands of our leaders, to decide the nation’s future.

    We are voting in record numbers.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    November 3, 2020 (Tuesday)

    Tonight, we wait, as returns from this year’s election are about what we expected. In-person ballots cast today are weighted toward Trump, while the uncounted mail-in and early ballots are expected to favor Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

    Tonight, few states except the rock-solid Democratic or Republican states have yet been called by the Associated Press.

    This is the scenario we all foresaw. Tonight, the election returns look relatively good for Trump, which is why he talked about claiming a victory at the end of election night. This is the so-called “red mirage.” But as the mail-in ballots get counted, everyone expects the Democratic numbers to climb fast and far.

    As they do, the Trump team will fight every single ballot. They will try to claim that counting the mail-in ballots is “fraud,” or that Democrats are “stealing” the election when, in fact, election officials are simply counting all the ballots.

    Remember that no one is arguing that Trump will win the popular vote. He wants to win in the Electoral College.

    What we are seeing in this election is the result of voter suppression across the southern states, along with an Electoral College that has been corrupted from its original intent and is now artificially skewed toward rural states.

    In 2018, for example, people in Florida voted overwhelmingly to restore voting rights to felons. This would have added about 1.5 million people back to the rolls, many of them African Americans. But the Republican legislature passed a law saying the former felons could not vote unless they had paid all their court fines and fees. A federal judge said that law was essentially an unconstitutional poll tax, but an appeals court overturned that decision. Five of the six judges who upheld the law were appointed by Trump.

    Today, as well, there are problems with ballots. This summer, the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, a major fundraiser for the Republican Party and a key ally of Trump, changed the rules for mail delivery, slowing it significantly. It turns out that more than 300,000 ballots were checked into the USPS mail system but not checked out of it. U.S. District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan ordered the USPS to sweep 27 processing centers for the missing ballots, but USPS officials refused, saying they already had a system in place and that changing it would be disruptive. Sullivan has called the parties in tomorrow morning to discuss the issue.

    The problem of voter suppression is compounded by the misuse of the Electoral College. The Framers originally designed delegates to the Electoral College to vote according to districts within states, so that states would split their electoral votes, making them roughly proportional to a candidate’s support. That system changed in 1800, after Thomas Jefferson recognized that he would have a better chance of winning the presidency if the delegates of his own home state, Virginia, voted as a bloc rather than by district. He convinced them to do it. Quickly, other state officials recognized that the “winner-take-all” system meant they must do the same or their own preferred candidate would never win. Thus, our non-proportional system was born, and it so horrified James Madison and Alexander Hamilton that both wanted constitutional amendments to switch the system back.  

    Democracy took another hit from that system in 1929. The 1920 census showed that the weight of the nation’s demographics was moving to cities, which were controlled by Democrats, so the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives refused to reapportion representation after that census. Reapportioning the House would have cost many of them their seats. Rather than permitting the number of representatives to grow along with population, Congress then capped the size of the House at 435. Since then, the average size of a congressional district has tripled. This gives smaller states a huge advantage in the Electoral College, in which each state gets a number of votes equal to the number of its senators and representatives.

    These injuries to our system have saddled us with an Electoral College that permits a minority to tyrannize over the majority. That systemic advantage is unsustainable in a democracy. One or the other will have to give.

    We should know the results of this election by Thursday night, I would guess.

    Biden is still projected to win.
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 35,000
    mickeyrat said:
    November 3, 2020 (Tuesday)

    Tonight, we wait, as returns from this year’s election are about what we expected. In-person ballots cast today are weighted toward Trump, while the uncounted mail-in and early ballots are expected to favor Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

    Tonight, few states except the rock-solid Democratic or Republican states have yet been called by the Associated Press.

    This is the scenario we all foresaw. Tonight, the election returns look relatively good for Trump, which is why he talked about claiming a victory at the end of election night. This is the so-called “red mirage.” But as the mail-in ballots get counted, everyone expects the Democratic numbers to climb fast and far.

    As they do, the Trump team will fight every single ballot. They will try to claim that counting the mail-in ballots is “fraud,” or that Democrats are “stealing” the election when, in fact, election officials are simply counting all the ballots.

    Remember that no one is arguing that Trump will win the popular vote. He wants to win in the Electoral College.

    What we are seeing in this election is the result of voter suppression across the southern states, along with an Electoral College that has been corrupted from its original intent and is now artificially skewed toward rural states.

    In 2018, for example, people in Florida voted overwhelmingly to restore voting rights to felons. This would have added about 1.5 million people back to the rolls, many of them African Americans. But the Republican legislature passed a law saying the former felons could not vote unless they had paid all their court fines and fees. A federal judge said that law was essentially an unconstitutional poll tax, but an appeals court overturned that decision. Five of the six judges who upheld the law were appointed by Trump.

    Today, as well, there are problems with ballots. This summer, the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, a major fundraiser for the Republican Party and a key ally of Trump, changed the rules for mail delivery, slowing it significantly. It turns out that more than 300,000 ballots were checked into the USPS mail system but not checked out of it. U.S. District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan ordered the USPS to sweep 27 processing centers for the missing ballots, but USPS officials refused, saying they already had a system in place and that changing it would be disruptive. Sullivan has called the parties in tomorrow morning to discuss the issue.

    The problem of voter suppression is compounded by the misuse of the Electoral College. The Framers originally designed delegates to the Electoral College to vote according to districts within states, so that states would split their electoral votes, making them roughly proportional to a candidate’s support. That system changed in 1800, after Thomas Jefferson recognized that he would have a better chance of winning the presidency if the delegates of his own home state, Virginia, voted as a bloc rather than by district. He convinced them to do it. Quickly, other state officials recognized that the “winner-take-all” system meant they must do the same or their own preferred candidate would never win. Thus, our non-proportional system was born, and it so horrified James Madison and Alexander Hamilton that both wanted constitutional amendments to switch the system back.  

    Democracy took another hit from that system in 1929. The 1920 census showed that the weight of the nation’s demographics was moving to cities, which were controlled by Democrats, so the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives refused to reapportion representation after that census. Reapportioning the House would have cost many of them their seats. Rather than permitting the number of representatives to grow along with population, Congress then capped the size of the House at 435. Since then, the average size of a congressional district has tripled. This gives smaller states a huge advantage in the Electoral College, in which each state gets a number of votes equal to the number of its senators and representatives.

    These injuries to our system have saddled us with an Electoral College that permits a minority to tyrannize over the majority. That systemic advantage is unsustainable in a democracy. One or the other will have to give.

    We should know the results of this election by Thursday night, I would guess.

    Biden is still projected to win.

    I thought maybe she had written this hours ago, but reading it on Facebook, it looks like this was written at about 40 minutes ago.  She still see's Biden as projected to win.  Can it be? 
    "I believe in the mystery, and I don't want to take it any further than that. Maybe what I mean by that is love."
    -John Densmore











  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    November 4, 2020 (Wednesday)

    Counting continues in the 2020 presidential race. There is a lot I’d like to say about what this election looks like, but I will wait until we have a final count. Remember: the fact that polling officials are taking time to count the ballots is a good thing, not a bad one. And there is no reason to think election officials are being anything but careful.

    Apart from the vote tallies, there have been some important indicators in the past two days about our political system.

    First of all, much of Trump’s power during his term has come from his ability to dominate the public narrative through threats or rumors. From his insistence that he had hired detectives to investigate President Obama’s birth certificate, through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails and Hunter Biden’s laptop, he has gathered power by warning that something untoward was looming just over the horizon. But yesterday, after all the hype about expected violence at the polls, there was remarkably little trouble.

    Trump's attempt to control politics by controlling the narrative continued early this morning, as the Department of Justice sent an email to federal prosecutors telling them that, while the law prohibits sending armed federal officers to polling places, it did authorize them to monitor “voting fraud” by sending armed federal officers to the places where election officials were counting ballots. About a half hour later, Trump called a press conference in which he declared victory and claimed that the ongoing counting of legally cast ballots must be stopped. Counting the ballots, he said, was the Democrats’ attempt to “steal the election.”

    But Trump’s power is wavering, and he can no longer control the narrative. As he spoke, NBC News and MSNBC cut in to note that he was lying. After he finished, other media outlets also pushed back. On ABC News, Terry Moran said: “This isn’t law, this isn’t politics, this is theater,” Moran said. “And let’s be blunt: it’s the theater of authoritarianism.” Throughout the day, Trump tweeted angrily about the on-going counting of ballots; Twitter hid many of the tweets behind warnings that they were spreading disinformation.

    Republican leaders have been surprisingly quick to turn on the president. Last night, the Fox News Channel was the first to call the state of Arizona for Democratic candidate Joe Biden which, according to Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair, led Trump to call Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Fox News Channel, to demand a retraction. Murdoch, who has said for months that Trump would lose the election, refused.

    Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.” Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who caught the coronavirus when he helped to prepare Trump for the first presidential debate, told ABC News, “There’s just no basis to make that argument…. There just isn’t. All these votes have to be counted that are in now.” Among others, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Republicans all, echoed McConnell and Christie.

    Still, last night Trump’s campaign sent out an estimated 9 million texts to his followers claiming the election had been stolen and asking for money for lawsuits to fight the apparent outcome. Today, Trump and his supporters flooded Twitter and Facebook attacking election results, prompting critics to urge the social media outlets either to take down the posts or to shut down the accounts spreading the disinformation.

    The Trump team’s tactic appears to have worked, though. Today, Trump supporters gathered outside the TCF Center in Detroit, a city that is 79% Black, to complain that there aren’t enough Republican poll watchers to oversee the ballot counting, which they think is tilting artificially toward Biden. Tonight, supporters gathered outside Arizona's Maricopa County Elections Office, where election officials are counting ballots, yelling “count those votes!”

    The officials are, indeed, counting the votes. And U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C., is following up on the failure of the United States Postal Service to comply with his order to make sure no ballot was left in a USPS plant on Tuesday. Sullivan made the order after civil rights groups learned that 300,000 ballots had been scanned into processing facilities but not out of them. After 5:00 on Tuesday, an attorney for the Justice Department told Sullivan that the USPS had its own system and thus would not comply with the order.

    Today, Sullivan brought USPS officials into a hearing to explain their actions. The official in charge of handling ballot processing, Kevin Bray, told Sullivan that the lack of an outgoing scan on the ballots likely meant they had been removed by hand for faster delivery. He could not tell Sullivan how many ballots are still in the system. Sullivan ordered him to provide that data by 9:00 tomorrow morning. The hearing will resume at 11:00.

    For his part, Biden, along with running mate Senator Kamala Harris, gave a brief statement today celebrating yesterday's demonstration of American democracy and praising the 150 million people who voted in the election despite the pandemic. "Here," he said, "the people rule." He explained that he was not claiming victory- yet- but that he and Harris expected that when the votes were counted, they would win. He called for Americans to lower the temperature and come together as a nation. "We are not enemies," he said, and "the presidency itself is not a partisan institution. It's the one office, in this nation, that represents everyone." He reminded listeners that counting ballots was at the heart of our democracy. "We the people will not be silenced. We the people will not be bullied."

    Another news story dropped quietly yesterday while people were distracted with the election. The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security issued a report challenging Acting Director Chad Wolf’s actions this summer when he sent law enforcement officers from the department to Portland, Oregon. The report challenged the deployments’ legality on a number of fronts, and concluded that the issue is open, unresolved, and urgent. The Department of Homeland Security’s top attorney, Chad Mizelle, an ally of senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, rejects the inspector general’s findings.

    Trump insisted in his campaign rallies that stories about coronavirus were simply attacks on his candidacy, and on November 4 we would no longer hear about the pandemic. Sadly, today brought us not to silence, but to a new record: the U.S. had more than 100,000 new infections today. At slightly before 7 pm EST tonight, the number was 104,004 cases. Infections are spiking, and public health officials expect the rise will continue unless we address it.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    November 5, 2020 (Thursday)

    And still, we wait.

    Ballot counting in the 2020 presidential election continues, although it sure looks like Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris are going to win.

    What has stood out today is the degree to which Trump and his team have governed by creating their own reality. Now that that image is being challenged, they are flailing.

    Knowing he would lose the popular vote, Trump intended to win by arguing that Democrats had “stolen” his victory. Before the election, he talked about the dangers of mail-in ballots, setting up the idea that they would somehow be fraudulent, although there is no evidence of that. He expected—correctly, as it turned out—that mail-in ballots would be heavily Democratic while Republicans would vote in person on Election Day. That set up a scenario in which the election results on November 3 would give an advantage to him, but as the hours wore on and the mail-in ballots got counted, the Democrats would gain ground. So he talked repeatedly of ending the count on the night of November 3, although ballot counting has always taken days.

    He planned to challenge the counting of the mail-in ballots in the courts, all the while telling his supporters that Democrats were stealing his victory. If he could gin up enough chaos, he could buy time to throw the results into doubt and, perhaps, get the Supreme Court to enter the fight. There, he hoped for victory with the help of the three justices who owed him their seats.

    He planned to subvert the election, staying in power thanks to his extraordinary ability to control the narrative, making people believe things that are not true.

    The only thing that could stymie that narrative was overwhelming turnout from Democrats. To make that impossible, Trump’s team arranged to keep voters from the polls in places like Florida, and Texas, and enlisted Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to delay the mails so ballots would not be delivered in time to be counted.

    But, in the end, their plans could not completely suppress those Americans fed up with the Trump administration. As I write tonight, Biden and Harris are winning the popular vote by more than 4 million votes, and the numbers are rising. If it weren’t for our antiquated Electoral College system, this election would already be over, decisively.

    Instead, we are still waiting on the outcomes in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, and Alaska.

    The unraveling of Trump’s plan to claim victory has been mesmerizing.

    Until Tuesday night, everything seemed to be going according to plan. In the evening, Trump won Florida by about 375,000 votes, a victory certainly helped by the disfranchisement of 1.5 million ex-felons, whose voting rights Floridians had voted overwhelmingly in 2018 to restore. Florida’s 29 electoral votes made it look like Trump was on track to win, opening up room for him to declare victory even though many of the states he would need to win for real were still counting. If he could claim victory early on, any later correction would look like the election was being “stolen.”

    But before he could take a victory lap, the Fox News Channel called Arizona for Biden long before anyone else did. Arizona had been a Trump state in 2016, so this meant a flip and undercut Trump’s claim to a commanding lead. Trump was furious. He and his aides worked Twitter and the phones, trying unsuccessfully to get FNC to retract the call and, when that failed, to discredit it.

    As Trump fumed, the Biden campaign was watching its candidate's numbers tick upward—again, as expected—and Biden gave a short statement Tuesday night saying the campaign felt good about where it was, and encouraging patience as election officials counted all ballots.

    Trump then made a statement at 2:30 am Wednesday morning, claiming victory, demanding that officials stop counting mail-in ballots, and promising to take the election to the Supreme Court to decide. “This is a fraud on the American public,” he said. “This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win the election.”

    But key Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, noted that a number of Senate candidates ran more strongly than Trump did, meaning they no longer need him. They have clearly decided that Trump is no longer useful to them, and they went before television cameras in the morning to contradict him. They said that all ballots should be counted.

    Since then, the president has been flailing. His legal team has been filing lawsuits to challenge ballot counting, but the suits are frivolous, and keep getting thrown out. They are designed not to win legal points, but rather to do what Trump has always done politically: create a narrative that makes his supporters believe something that is not true. So, for example, his team has sued to have Republican observers in ballot counting areas, only to have to admit to a judge that they already have observers there. They are not writing a wrong; they are trying to set Trump’s supporters up to believe a lie.

    Remember when, during the impeachment hearings, the Republicans dramatically stormed a hearing to demand they have access… when, in fact, members of the committees already had access and had been attending? Then, as now, it is all about creating a narrative.

    By Thursday, Trump’s surrogates were escalating their attacks on the election process. The usual suspects—the Trump children, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the White House press secretary Kelly McEnany, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and so on—have tried to cast doubt on the election, insisting that election officials should not be counting ballots that were cast on or before November 11… except in Arizona.

    Some were even more explicit about overturning our democratic process. Trump legal adviser Harmeet Dhillon told Lou Dobbs on the Fox News Channel: “We’re waiting for the United States Supreme Court- of which the president has nominated three justices- to step in and do something. And hopefully Amy Coney Barrett will come through.” Former White House chief strategist Steven Bannon went further, calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray to be beheaded “as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.” Twitter banned Bannon permanently.

    Tonight, Trump addressed his sliding fortunes with a statement that will go down in the annals of the American presidency alongside Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” speech trying to regain control of the runaway Watergate story. In front of a wall of flags, speaking a low voice and tripping over his words at times, he rambled through a wild attack on the election, claiming it was being stolen from him. MSNBC cut away from his remarks almost immediately, noting they were lies; ABC News made it about five minutes. Fact-checker Daniel Dale tweeted: “I’ve read or watched all of Trump’s speeches since 2016. This is the most dishonest speech he’s ever given.”

    It felt Shakespearean, like the desperate attempt of a man who has lost control of the narrative to try to claw it back, even as we all know it’s gone beyond all recovery. As CNN’s Anderson Cooper said, it was “sad and truly pathetic…. That is the most powerful person in the world, and we see him like an obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over. But he just hasn’t accepted it, and he wants to take everybody down with him, including this country.”

    In the wake of Trump’s statement, more Republican officials condemned his attack on democracy. Then, tonight, 19 former U.S. Attorneys, all of whom served under Republican presidents, released a statement condemning Trump’s “premature, baseless and reckless” attacks on the election process. “We hereby call upon the president to patiently and respectfully allow the lawful vote-counting process to continue, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, and to avoid any further comments or other actions which can serve only to undermine our democracy,” they wrote. Perhaps more significant is the fact that Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier told his audience that “We have not seen the hard evidence” of the fraud Trump’s campaign claims.

    Tonight, the Secret Service sent reinforcements to Wilmington, Delaware, to surround Biden in a protective bubble, in anticipation of what many expect to be a victory speech some time tomorrow.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyrat said:
    November 5, 2020 (Thursday)

    And still, we wait.

    Ballot counting in the 2020 presidential election continues, although it sure looks like Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris are going to win.

    What has stood out today is the degree to which Trump and his team have governed by creating their own reality. Now that that image is being challenged, they are flailing.

    Knowing he would lose the popular vote, Trump intended to win by arguing that Democrats had “stolen” his victory. Before the election, he talked about the dangers of mail-in ballots, setting up the idea that they would somehow be fraudulent, although there is no evidence of that. He expected—correctly, as it turned out—that mail-in ballots would be heavily Democratic while Republicans would vote in person on Election Day. That set up a scenario in which the election results on November 3 would give an advantage to him, but as the hours wore on and the mail-in ballots got counted, the Democrats would gain ground. So he talked repeatedly of ending the count on the night of November 3, although ballot counting has always taken days.

    He planned to challenge the counting of the mail-in ballots in the courts, all the while telling his supporters that Democrats were stealing his victory. If he could gin up enough chaos, he could buy time to throw the results into doubt and, perhaps, get the Supreme Court to enter the fight. There, he hoped for victory with the help of the three justices who owed him their seats.

    He planned to subvert the election, staying in power thanks to his extraordinary ability to control the narrative, making people believe things that are not true.

    The only thing that could stymie that narrative was overwhelming turnout from Democrats. To make that impossible, Trump’s team arranged to keep voters from the polls in places like Florida, and Texas, and enlisted Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to delay the mails so ballots would not be delivered in time to be counted.

    But, in the end, their plans could not completely suppress those Americans fed up with the Trump administration. As I write tonight, Biden and Harris are winning the popular vote by more than 4 million votes, and the numbers are rising. If it weren’t for our antiquated Electoral College system, this election would already be over, decisively.

    Instead, we are still waiting on the outcomes in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, and Alaska.

    The unraveling of Trump’s plan to claim victory has been mesmerizing.

    Until Tuesday night, everything seemed to be going according to plan. In the evening, Trump won Florida by about 375,000 votes, a victory certainly helped by the disfranchisement of 1.5 million ex-felons, whose voting rights Floridians had voted overwhelmingly in 2018 to restore. Florida’s 29 electoral votes made it look like Trump was on track to win, opening up room for him to declare victory even though many of the states he would need to win for real were still counting. If he could claim victory early on, any later correction would look like the election was being “stolen.”

    But before he could take a victory lap, the Fox News Channel called Arizona for Biden long before anyone else did. Arizona had been a Trump state in 2016, so this meant a flip and undercut Trump’s claim to a commanding lead. Trump was furious. He and his aides worked Twitter and the phones, trying unsuccessfully to get FNC to retract the call and, when that failed, to discredit it.

    As Trump fumed, the Biden campaign was watching its candidate's numbers tick upward—again, as expected—and Biden gave a short statement Tuesday night saying the campaign felt good about where it was, and encouraging patience as election officials counted all ballots.

    Trump then made a statement at 2:30 am Wednesday morning, claiming victory, demanding that officials stop counting mail-in ballots, and promising to take the election to the Supreme Court to decide. “This is a fraud on the American public,” he said. “This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win the election.”

    But key Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, noted that a number of Senate candidates ran more strongly than Trump did, meaning they no longer need him. They have clearly decided that Trump is no longer useful to them, and they went before television cameras in the morning to contradict him. They said that all ballots should be counted.

    Since then, the president has been flailing. His legal team has been filing lawsuits to challenge ballot counting, but the suits are frivolous, and keep getting thrown out. They are designed not to win legal points, but rather to do what Trump has always done politically: create a narrative that makes his supporters believe something that is not true. So, for example, his team has sued to have Republican observers in ballot counting areas, only to have to admit to a judge that they already have observers there. They are not writing a wrong; they are trying to set Trump’s supporters up to believe a lie.

    Remember when, during the impeachment hearings, the Republicans dramatically stormed a hearing to demand they have access… when, in fact, members of the committees already had access and had been attending? Then, as now, it is all about creating a narrative.

    By Thursday, Trump’s surrogates were escalating their attacks on the election process. The usual suspects—the Trump children, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the White House press secretary Kelly McEnany, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and so on—have tried to cast doubt on the election, insisting that election officials should not be counting ballots that were cast on or before November 11… except in Arizona.

    Some were even more explicit about overturning our democratic process. Trump legal adviser Harmeet Dhillon told Lou Dobbs on the Fox News Channel: “We’re waiting for the United States Supreme Court- of which the president has nominated three justices- to step in and do something. And hopefully Amy Coney Barrett will come through.” Former White House chief strategist Steven Bannon went further, calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray to be beheaded “as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.” Twitter banned Bannon permanently.

    Tonight, Trump addressed his sliding fortunes with a statement that will go down in the annals of the American presidency alongside Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” speech trying to regain control of the runaway Watergate story. In front of a wall of flags, speaking a low voice and tripping over his words at times, he rambled through a wild attack on the election, claiming it was being stolen from him. MSNBC cut away from his remarks almost immediately, noting they were lies; ABC News made it about five minutes. Fact-checker Daniel Dale tweeted: “I’ve read or watched all of Trump’s speeches since 2016. This is the most dishonest speech he’s ever given.”

    It felt Shakespearean, like the desperate attempt of a man who has lost control of the narrative to try to claw it back, even as we all know it’s gone beyond all recovery. As CNN’s Anderson Cooper said, it was “sad and truly pathetic…. That is the most powerful person in the world, and we see him like an obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over. But he just hasn’t accepted it, and he wants to take everybody down with him, including this country.”

    In the wake of Trump’s statement, more Republican officials condemned his attack on democracy. Then, tonight, 19 former U.S. Attorneys, all of whom served under Republican presidents, released a statement condemning Trump’s “premature, baseless and reckless” attacks on the election process. “We hereby call upon the president to patiently and respectfully allow the lawful vote-counting process to continue, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, and to avoid any further comments or other actions which can serve only to undermine our democracy,” they wrote. Perhaps more significant is the fact that Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier told his audience that “We have not seen the hard evidence” of the fraud Trump’s campaign claims.

    Tonight, the Secret Service sent reinforcements to Wilmington, Delaware, to surround Biden in a protective bubble, in anticipation of what many expect to be a victory speech some time tomorrow.

    Damn girl, I feel like Nate Silver and Lerxts, yo! She be way high,like toast, yo!
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    November 6, 2020 (Friday)

    And still, we wait.

    But not really, because the outcome of the 2020 election for the American presidency is clear. The Democratic ticket, headed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, is ahead in the key states of Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Biden does not need the electoral votes of all of them to put him over the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. It appears mathematically impossible for Trump suddenly to retake control of those states.

    Tonight, with Harris beside him, Biden spoke to the nation. He acknowledged it is frustrating not to have a declared winner in the election, but urged people to be patient as election workers count every ballot: a process at the center of our democracy. He promised that he and Harris are already at work, receiving briefings on the coronavirus pandemic and the faltering economy, and that the country had its work cut out for it with those issues, along with climate change and systemic racism, but that we could solve them if we work together. Once again, he called for unity and promised to govern for everyone, not simply for those who had voted for him.

    Biden had intended to make a victory speech, but the media seems oddly reluctant to call the election. That reluctance is odd enough that people are speculating as to why, suggesting that media administrators are afraid of the president’s fury or eager to milk the cliff-hanger situation for viewers. My own guess is that, with the president lashing out at what he insists without evidence is a fraudulent election, they are determined to have all the votes counted before making a final call.

    For Trump is, indeed, lashing out: at his lawyers, his aides, election officials, and his opponents. He is allegedly having a hard time believing he lost.

    He clearly intends to continue reshaping the government while he retains the office of the presidency: in the three days since the election he has gotten rid of the leaders of the three agencies in charge of the U.S. stockpile of nuclear weapons, the regulation of natural gas and electricity, and aid to foreign countries. Administration officials did not give a reason for the ousters, but it seems clear he is purging the administration of officials he considers insufficiently loyal.

    Trump’s supporters are also having a hard time believing he lost. A top campaign official used his own texting company to send out thousands of text messages telling supporters that the Democrats were stealing the election and urging them to rally in Philadelphia to protest. Two heavily armed men drove from Virginia and showed up Wednesday to attack the counting center in the city.

    Supporters have also forced an election worker in Atlanta, Georgia, into hiding after a right-wing YouTuber posted a video of him throwing away a piece of paper and claiming it was a ballot. The video, along with the worker’s personal information, went viral. According to Richard Barron, the elections director for Fulton County, the worker was, in fact, properly discarding an instruction sheet.  

    This election was not particularly close, but pundits warn that the fact that 70 million Americans voted for Trump and 74 million and counting voted for Biden shows that we live in two very different Americas, and that, for all his talk of unity, Biden will have a hard time finding common ground with Trump supporters.

    Pundits suggest that the two different political ideologies in America are about values and principles, but it actually seems that the primary difference between the two camps is between those who are living in a fictional world, created by generations of right-wing media, and those who are living in the real world, the so-called “reality-based community.” According to political historian Rick Perlstein, a scholar of the right, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has been telling listeners that Democrats have stolen the election, and urging his listeners to abandon the Republican establishment, which did not sufficiently back Trump.

    Entertainment personality Alex Jones is more extreme. He showed up to the Maricopa County, Arizona, counting center, where he told the crowd that “The Bidens are Communist Chinese agents” and urged listeners to fight “those scumbag Nazi bastards.” Jones owns a far-right conspiracy theory website aptly named InfoWars. According to an article by Veit Medick in Der Spiegel, about two-thirds of his income comes from the merchandise he sells to combat the conspiracies he talks about.

    The Republicans’ alternative reality is quite literally deadly. Although 82% of Trump voters believe the pandemic is at least somewhat under control, today America had more than 122,000 new infections, and more than 1100 people died. An analysis by the Associated Press shows that 93% of the 376 counties with the highest numbers of coronavirus cases per capita voted for Trump. That deadliness might, in the end, create common ground with the Democrats who urge mask wearing and social distancing. “I think there’s the potential for things to get less charged and divisive,” Dr. Marcus Plescia of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials told the AP.

    On October 25, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the White House was no longer going to try to control the pandemic, but was instead going to focus on finding drugs and a vaccine to treat it. Tonight, it came out that Meadows and four other White House aides have contracted the coronavirus. The people who knew were told to keep it a secret. Meadows has been participating in White House events this week—including a gathering on election night—without a mask.

    Addressing the right-wing media's construction of a false narrative for its supporters seems crucial to restoring sanity to the country’s politics. How that might play out is unclear, in part because Trump’s extremism seems to be driving a wedge into the right-wing ecosystem. Limbaugh and Jones are following Trump, but QAnon, which promised that Trump and the military were in control and that Trump would ride to victory, is suddenly adrift. Believers thought he would bring “The Storm,” which would destroy the pedophile-cannibals in the Democratic Party. But now, Trump is losing and “Q” went silent after the election until tonight, when it simply told followers to stay strong.

    In contrast to Trump’s true believers, Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is turning on the president. The New York Post is dismissing the Trump family’s claims of a fake election, and the Fox News Channel was the first to call Arizona for Biden on Tuesday, undercutting Trump’s ability to claim a premature victory.

    Tonight, looking directly at the camera, Laura Ingraham gave a monologue on her show about how Trump should leave the White House with grace and become a party kingmaker for the future. Ingraham appeared to be talking to Trump supporters, but it was clear she was talking directly to Trump himself.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 35,000
    "Trump’s supporters are also having a hard time believing he lost. A top campaign official used his own texting company to send out thousands of text messages telling supporters that the Democrats were stealing the election and urging them to rally in Philadelphia to protest."
    I witnessed two Trump supporters talking about talking about this very thing.  I had to stifle a smirk and move on.

    " An analysis by the Associated Press shows that 93% of the 376 counties with the highest numbers of coronavirus cases per capita voted for Trump."
    Talk about self-defeating.  Dumb. 
    Ditto for Meadows.








    "I believe in the mystery, and I don't want to take it any further than that. Maybe what I mean by that is love."
    -John Densmore











  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    the last paragraph......
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 35,000
    mickeyrat said:
    the last paragraph......

    "party kingmaker"?  What did she mean by that?  Another 2024 thing?
    "I believe in the mystery, and I don't want to take it any further than that. Maybe what I mean by that is love."
    -John Densmore











  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 22,665
    brianlux said:
    mickeyrat said:
    the last paragraph......

    "party kingmaker"?  What did she mean by that?  Another 2024 thing?
    dynasty...

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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