Nel's New Day

September 15, 2021

Judicial Partisan Hacks, Gavin Newsom’s Win, ‘Peril’

Yesterday, I finished my blog post with a column from Eugene Robinson about the claim from Justice Amy Coney Barrett that the Supreme Court justices are not “partisan hacks.” (Note that she appeared with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) at the White House as soon as she was confirmed.) Former conservative Republican Jennifer Rubin has more to say about Barrett’s protests. As Rubin wrote: 

“The declaration [that ‘this court is not composed of a bunch of partisan hacks’] might be a tad more credible if she had not chosen to appear in an overtly political setting. University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck tells me: ‘I’m hard-pressed to imagine a worse place to give a speech about the court not being partisan than . . . at an event in which she was introduced by Senator [Mitch] McConnell. It’s either remarkably tone-deaf or it’s deliberate. Neither is encouraging.’”

Rubin explains Barrett was selected by “a president who pledged to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and was picked from a list of judges vetted by antiabortion advocates.” She gave evidence of Barrett’s “extreme antiabortion advocacy” during confirmation hearings, and her defense of “judicial philosophies” doesn’t hold water if it is consistently favorable to the extremists in a specific political party. In defending the far-right decisions of her court in the dark of night, Barrett ‘fails to grapple with the fact that the court’s decision-making has skewed sharply to the right based solely on a change in personnel, as evidenced by the profoundly flawed decision issued last term gutting a key provision of the Voting Rights Act,’ according to constitutional scholar Joshua Matz.

As Rubin points out, conservative justices “tutored in Federalist Society buzzwords such as ‘judicial restraint’ (except for example, when rewriting the Voting Rights Act) … have latched onto a brand of jurisprudence in which the only ‘legitimate’ method of interpretation is time-traveling to the 18th century, often neatly bypassing the post-Civil War amendments that federalized rights.” They have elevated rights such as religions freedom and gun ownership while “diminishing others (e.g., those guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.” Rubin compares the accordion-like expansion of executive power for GOP presidents and contractions for Democratic presidents. I think that fits the description of “partisan hacks.”

Approval for the Supreme Court has dropped to an all-time low at 37 percent, dropping from 52 percent a year ago before she joined the court. Fifty percent expressed disapproval, up from 37 percent a year ago.

While recently confirmed justices move the U.S. to the far-right, California confirmed its state’s democracy in yesterday’s recall election for Gov. Gavin Newsom that cost taxpayers over $300 million. With 74 percent of the vote counted, Newsom beat the recall by almost 64 percent—two percent higher than when he won his position in 2018. QAnon conspiracy theorist and major opponent Larry Elder, the Trumpiest of 46 candidates, would have removed mask and vaccine mandates, minimum wage, and abortion access, according to his campaigning which was also marked by racism and sexism.

With polling highly favorable for Newsom before Election Day, Republicans, Elder, and DDT began their evidence-free hue and cry about a rigged election. Reality had no part in their claims: in California, the GOP has 24 percent of registered voters, about half the 46.5 percent of registered Democrats. And the question is how many Republicans would have turned out on Election Day if they believe the system is rigged.   

Transgender candidate Caitlyn Jenner added to the lack of reality among Republicans. With one percent of the total, about 56,000 votes, she snarked, “You kind of get the government you deserve.” In California, that’s right. During her campaign, Jenner complained about seeing homeless people on her way to her private airplane hangar, lied about not voting last year, insulted other trans people and opposed trans rights, didn’t show up to some media appearances, and flew to Australia to appear in a reality show.

Senior editor at the LA Times, David Lauter, ran his piece with the title “Trump Still Wins Elections—for Democrats.” Other governor candidates are using the same anti-DDT techniques as Newsom, Terry McAuliffe opposing wealthy private-equity executive Glenn Youngkin in Virginia and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy opposing businessman and former state lawmaker Jack Ciatarelli. Although 63 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents want DDT to lead the party, only 49 percent think he should be a presidential candidate in 2024. Supporting DDT means losing centrist voters, and criticizing DDT means losing his base.

Vaccination may be the prime issue this coming year: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is lying about vaccines changing human RNA, and DDT himself was booed for suggesting people getting vaccinated, important to keep GOP voters alive. The number of daily deaths is dropping to a daily average of 1,000 in the U.S., but the vast majority of deaths are in the unvaccinated, a majority of them Republicans.

A new book from Robert Costa and Bob Woodward, Peril,  may be part of disillusioning more unaffiliated voters about DDT. One huge story from the two authors is about Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Mark Milley, who was so concerned about DDT’s stability after the loss of the presidential election that Milley called his counterpart in China Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, to tell him the US. would not strike and worked to protect the military from DDT’s unpredictable actions. Questions about that report may appear during Milley’s hearing before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on September 28.

Philip Bump described the problem about DDT’s exerting every power he could find to fight the terror of being viewed as a loser. Part of DDT’s self-perceived power was trying to convince VP Mike Pence that he could stop the electoral vote counting to overturn the voters’ will. DDT told Pence if he didn’t follow this request, “I don’t want to be your friend anymore.” Pence even called former VP Dan Quayle to find out how he could follow DDT’s orders, but Quayle told him he couldn’t do it. To think that Quayle, often known as a joke, saved democracy!

Failing to bully Pence, DDT became “all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies,” according to the book’s account. Milley told senior military officials not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved. 

Based on over 200 interviews with participants and witnesses for DDT’s last days in the White House, Peril includes a transcript of a telephone call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Milley about the possible danger of nuclear war because DDT controlled the weapons. About DDT, Pelosi said, “He’s been crazy for a long time.” Milley told Pelosi he agreed with her “on everything.” That’s when Milley told his top service chiefs to watch everything “all the time.” Addressing the problem of Milley possibly overstepping his authority, the authors wrote:

“Milley was overseeing the mobilization of America’s national security state without the knowledge of the American people or the rest of the world … and believed his actions were ‘a good faith precaution to ensure there was no historic rupture in the international order, no accidental war with China or others, and no use of nuclear weapons.’”

Milley had good reason for his fear. Immediately after the 2020 election, DDT secretly drew up a memo drafted by two of his loyalists to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by January 15, 2021, while he was still in the White House. No one on the national security team knew about the memo, and it was nullified. Yet Milley had no idea what else DDT would do in secret. The book I Alone Can Fix It (Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig) reported that Gina Haspel, CIA director when DDT refused to concede the election, worried he would attack Iran in a right-wing coup because he was “acting out like a six-year-old with a tantrum.”

Although DDT was ready to concede the election on November 4, phone calls to loyalists such as Rudy Giuliani convinced him he could follow through with the conspiracy theory of election fraud, ignoring its lies and damages to democracy. Former adviser Steve Bannon persuaded DDT to return to the White House for January 6 and “fucking bury [Biden].”

Tucker Carlson may have gone over the edge with his conspiracy theories on Fox network. Anti-vaxxer and hip-hop star Nicki Minaj claimed the testicles of her cousin’s friend became swollen after being vaccinated; Carlson said on his show that he wants to see the man’s balls. In response, author Kurt Eichenwald explained that the two primary causes of this condition, called hydrocele, “are injury or STD (chlamydia or gonorrhea)… He needs an MD, stat.” Carlson started out by thinking the cousin’s testicles were swollen, and his show ran this chyron: “NICKI MINAJ: COUSIN’S TESTICLES BECAME SWOLLEN.” Despite looking like a fool, Carlson is still pursuing the case, asking the man to tell Carlson his story.

At least Carlson admitted he lies on his show when he “feels cornered or something”—which seems most of the time. He made his confession during an interview with conservative media host Dave Rubin after Rubin asked how CNN employees such as Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter “live with themselves” after they constantly tell lies that the internet exposes. Yet Carlson tried to distinguish between his lies and those from the CNN anchors, saying he lies “to protect the system because I really believe in the system.”

August 4, 2021

DDT’s Mounting Troubles


Problems keep invading the world of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). His personal social network GETTR, launched a month ago, faces an inundation of terrorist propaganda by Islamic State supporters, including videos of beheadings, promotion of violence against the West, and memes of the execution of DDT wearing an orange suit like Guantanamo Bay prisoners. DDT had intended his new social media to be his alternative to Twitter like his earlier little-read blog, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” now removed from the internet after ridicule. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter work with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism for removal of extremist material, but GETTR hasn’t signed up with the organization.

After the release of notes chronicling DDT’s private calls begging the DOJ to declare the 2020 corrupt between December 27, 2020, and January 6, 2021, he failed in one respect. He never denied that he pushed the acting AG Jeffrey Rosen and deputy AG Richard Donogue to lie. DDT’s statement after his falsehoods and unconstitutional behavior were made public:

“The documents were meant to uphold the integrity and honesty of elections and the sanctity of our vote. The American People want, and demand, that the President of the United States, its chief law enforcement officer in the country, stand with them to fight for Election Integrity and to investigate attempts to undermine our nation.”

DDT continued with lies about how the election was “incredibly corrupt” and later claimed he would have evidence “coming out in the very near future.” He also still pretends to be president. Former White House chief of staff told Newsmax he was meeting with DDT and “Cabinet members” and refers to DDT as “the president” at his Bedminster (NJ) golf club where he is “fully engaged.”

In the DOJ, Jeffrey Clark was amenable to DDT’s pressure about illegally regaining votes. On December 28, 2020, Clark, acting head of the DOJ civil division, drafted a letter to Georgia officials, telling them the DOJ was investigating “irregularities in the presidential election and asked for a special session of state legislators “pertaining to the appointment of presidential electors.” He explained that an appointment of their own slate of electors who backed DDT for president could be accepted as legitimate although Georgia’s popular vote favored Joe Biden. Fortunately, DOJ’s acting AG Jeffrey Rosen and acting deputy AG Richard Donoghue rejected Clark’s draft.

Earlier, the media reported about a plan to oust Rosen as AG so that the DOJ could force Georgia to overturn the presidential election results because Rosen would not comply with DDT’s demands. The plan was scuttled because the DOJ senior leadership team threatened to resign if DDT effected the plan. This was not the first time that Rosen pressured Rosen. In mid-December, DDT told Rosen he wanted the DOJ to file legal briefs overturning the presidential election to help DDT’s allies and then pressed Rosen and Donoghue to maintain the election was corrupt.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained how the current administration now treats the DOJ as an independent agency according to the law. The question was about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo allegedly sexually harassing a number of women, including those working for him. President Joe Biden already said Cuomo should resign if these allegations are proved, but Fox’s Peter Doocy wanted to know more. He asked, “Does the administration want the Justice Department to initiate a civil rights investigation into these harassment allegations revealed today?”

Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded, “We do something new here that feels foreign from the last four years and allow the Justice Department to act independently on investigations.”

The DOJ refused to defend Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in a lawsuit accusing him of contributing to violence at the January 6 insurrection, but Brooks came up with justification. He told the judge he should have immunity because he was “cooperating” with the “White House.” Brooks added that his inspiring the attack on the Capitol was “to protect and promote the direct and indirect jobs tied to federal activities in Alabama’s 5th Congressional District.” Part of his speech was telling “American patriots [to] start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Two Colorado lawyers lost their $160 billion lawsuit against Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and must pay expenses for all 18 individuals and companies they sued. They used DDT’s fact-free tweet that Dominion Voting Systems had “deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide” to support their claim the election was stolen from 160 million U.S. voters. A federal judge found the case “frivolous,” “not warranted by existing law,” and filed “in bad faith.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), well-known for lying and leaking classified congressional information, is suing MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for her March 18 story about his receiving a package from Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach. She reported Derkach was sanctioned by the U.S. for trying to influence the 2020 presidential election and the Treasury Department called him “an active Russian agent.” Nunes is accusing her of obstruction and treason in his tenth lawsuit since 2019. 

DDT’s business affairs are also not going well after he lost the 2020 election. Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump Organization CFO, was removed from corporate filings after the 15-count indictment against him, and his name was removed from DDT’s Scottish Aberdeen golf club. As of July 20, he and Donald Trump Jr are persons “with significant control” over the parent company of DDT’s Turnberry resort, the biggest revenue generator of DDT’s properties during his term in the White House.  DDT’s Scottish businesses, however, are some of biggest money losers. Scotland’s supreme civil court heard arguments about investigating discrepancies in DDT’s financial reporting and the two golf club purchases regarding an “unexplained wealth” order regarding money laundering and other criminal financial activities related to “dirty money” from international criminals.

In Arizona, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ordered the release of all documents tied to a private company’s audit activities to a watchdog group, including records about who is financing the process. The judge declared these are all public records because Senate President Karen Fann claimed the audit is a legislative function by the Senate according to the state constitution. Judge Michael Kemp also rejected arguments by the Senate that it is immune to being sued over the records. Senate President Karen Fann said she couldn’t produce the ones that private contractor Cyber Ninjas has, but the judge wrote:

“Defenders claim that they have not even seen the documents of Cyber Ninjas Inc. and its subvendors does nothing to advance their position. Willful blindness does not relieve Senate defendants from their duties and obligations under the public records law.’’

Things got worse for the GOP and Ninjas on Wednesday when the House Oversight Committee requested all released materials. “Partisan audits funded by dark money groups undermine Americans’ confidence in elections,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) stated.

As the Arizona “fraudit” drones on, Republicans are losing their faith in the process.  Both Dominion Voting Systems and Maricopa County supervisors refused to comply with the subpoena from Fann and Judiciary Committee Chair Warren Peterson for more information: documents, passwords, security information, changes of voter registration records, signed ballot envelopes or images, documents related to any breaches of the election system, information about changes in voting records, county routers and IP addresses, and computer logs from two months before and three months after the election.  The county said it had already provided everything but routers which could not be released because of security reasons. 

As the GOP-majority board of supervisors noted, the lawmakers’ request “was not authorized by a vote of the Senate” and argued “it is an abuse of process or designed merely to harass.” Their letter, signed by Chair Jack Sellers, is a classic:

“If you haven’t figured out the election in Maricopa County was free, fair and accurate yet, I’m sure you never will. The reason you haven’t finished your ‘audit’ is because you hired people who have no experience and little understanding of how professional elections are run.”

“The Board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land. Please finish whatever it is that you are doing and release whatever it is you are going to release… There was no fraud, there wasn’t an injection of ballots from Asia nor was there a satellite that beamed votes into our election equipment. It’s time for all elected officials to tell the truth and stop encouraging conspiracies.

“Release your report and be prepared to defend any accusations of misdeeds in court. It’s time to move on.”

The Senate could hold Maricopa County in contempt for refusing the subpoena, but Fann may not have the necessary 16 Senate votes for a contempt citation. Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, chairwoman of the Senate Elections Committee, said a contempt finding “is not an option” because the Senate likely won’t be in session before January 2022. GOP Sen. Paul Boyer praised the supervisors’ response in the letter below, stating, “I couldn’t agree more with Jack Sellers.”

In a touch of irony, Arizona GOP lawmakers are demanding an audit of the votes in Kelli Ward’s narrow January 23 reelection for state GOP chair. She has refused. 

DDT has counted on Arizona’s overturning its popular vote for Biden as a lead-in to overturning the 2020 election. It appears he won’t be successful.

August 1, 2021

Arizona ‘Fraudit,’ More DDT Disasters

Almost 100 days after Cyber Ninjas, controlled by conspiracy theorist Doug Logan, began a huge fiasco to prove Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) won Arizona in the 2020 presidential election by counting the gallots again, the debacle has almost completely fallen apart. Recent developments:

Republicans in the state Senate returned almost 2.1 million ballots, possibly damaged after experimental treatment by novices.

Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett unquit after he resigned his position as liaison between the ballot count and GOP senators; he reported Ninjas hid their results from him and perhaps falsified data through manipulation. Bennett had been banned from the vote-counting facility because he gave information to an outside group of professional election auditors about the discrepancy of the amateur count and the public records.

Logan has never not provided the promised reports of the Ninjas’ work.

GOP Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Committee Chair Warren Petersen authorized new subpoenas for more data from Maricopa County and administrator-level access to the voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion stated it will not cooperate with companies not authorized by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and Maricopa County already must pay $3.5 million for new voting machines because of the Ninjas’ damage.

Twitter permanently suspended the account @ArizonaAudit as well as seven other pro-audit accounts promoting DDT’s election lies for violating its rules on platform manipulation and spam.

AZ Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita became the third GOP state senator to criticize the ballot count, accusing Fann of a “total lack of competence” in managing the project when she delegated everything to private contractors and hid the process from the public and legislative members.

Cyber Ninjas received $5.7m in donations from DDT’s supporters believing in the lie of the “stolen election,” including $3.25m from Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, who said the 2020 election was “rigged.” Other donations were almost $1 million from QAnon Michael Flynn’s America’s Future, $605,000 from One America News Network Christina Bobb’s Voices and Votes, and $550,000 from DDT’s lawyer Sidney Powell’s Defending the Public. Only $150,000 came from Arizona taxpayers. Byrne also funded a documentary, The Deep Rig, spreading lies about election fraud; Logan had a major part in the movie. Flynn said the election could cause a military coup in the U.S. as it recenty did in Myanmar, and Powell faces possible disbarment for her lies in lawsuits for DDT’s “stolen election” myth.

Apologia Church in Phoenix, which defied any lockdowns last year, provided food for counters.

The GOP Senate removed election responsibilities from the Secretary of State, and a number of people are running for the position in 2022. One of them, state GOP Rep. Mark Finchem, was found to lie about his presence at the January 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C. at the Capitol. He not only posted a photograph of rioters wearing his black hat on social media but also praised the insurrectionists. Finchem’s campaign slogan is “Prove It,” claiming he wants proof of no fraud in the election despite no one can prove any fraud. Apparently, the photos of him “prove it” about the claim that he lied about his whereabouts on January 6.

The DOJ released two documents to guide elections to ensure election records are appropriately kept and maintained in accordance with civil rights law and the audit process is not intended to intimidate voters. The latter came after Arizona intended to call voters to go into homes asking voters how they cast their ballots. Earlier, politicians said they had dropped this activity, but people still followed through this illegal act in a few counties. The DOJ said it “will act” if these audits have the “purpose nor the effect of dissuading qualified citizens from participating in the electoral process.” The second guidance stated that the change back to earlier voting procedures from pandemic voting methods of mail and early in-person voting will not automatically be lawful. At least 18 states have passed or considered new laws to put barriers to voting, primarily for minorities and low-income people.

DDT raised $100 million by saying the money would go to ballot reviews on behalf of the “stolen election” movement. He uses the funds for his travel, legal costs, and staff as well as saving for a possible presidential run in 2024.

While the Arizona ballot count falls apart, DDT faces more problems:

The DOJ permitted six years of his tax returns to be released to the House Ways and Means Committee because federal law gives congressional tax-related committees a “broad right” toi obtain taxpayer information from the Treasury Department. Committees are denied this disclosure “only in exceptional circumstances.” A year ago, the Supreme Court directed DDT’s tax returns and other financial records to be turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“Leave the rest to me,” said DDT when he directed the DOJ to declare the 2020 presidential election corrupt with no evidence of widespread fraud and overturn Joe Biden’s win for president. DDT’s onslaught on the DOJ began with a telephone call on December 27. Congress now has documentation of the telephone call perhaps leading to the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. DDT’s lies led GOP congressional members to follow his lead, especially after he told DOJ he could get his “allies” to back his claims if the DOJ signed off on his mission. Named allies included Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). As Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) pointed out, the notes prove DDT told the DOJ “to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency.” Bipartisan courts, election officials, and investigations have rejected any evidence of fraud, but Republicans, including  at least 147 House Republicans voting against the election certification, still push the conspiracy theory.

This call was only one of the almost daily ones from DDT to Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 to deliver his lies about voter fraud and improper vote counts. Notes by Richard Donoghue, former deputy AG, include those for meetings with DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin who pushed “Italygate,” a conspiracy theory that people in Italy remotely tampered with U.S. voting machines with military technology.

The DOJ will not invoke executive privilege for questions about contacts with DDT asking for investigations, support of voting manipulation, and other roadblocks to Biden’s election. In that way, anyone can testify about their communications with DDT. Calls from DDT and Meadows started after former AG Bill Barr left his position and ended after the January 6 insurrection. Without satisfaction from Rosen, DDT considered replacing him with a DOJ senior lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, because he was more supportive of DDT’s voter fraud lies.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a conspiracy theorist, failed to persuade three counties to hand over voting machines and other election materials. They cited no proof of fraud and their unwillingness to pay tens of millions of dollars for voting machine damage. Philadelphia said the cost could be over $35 million and over a year to implement the process. Mastriano threatened to issue subpoenas if counties won’t give him what he wants, but he needs support from other Republicans and isn’t on the committee to have jurisdiction over voting issues.

DDT has lost his first candidate endorsement for far-right supporters after former Rep Ron Wright’s (R-TX) widow lost her run to replace him. Wright died of COVID in February. She was ahead by 17 points in May before DDT’s endorsement but behind by 15 points afterwards. GOP opponent Jake Ellzey beat her with over 53 percent of the vote. DDT’s next endorsement runs on Tuesday in an Ohio primary.

DDT’s friend Tom Barrack, senior adviser for DDT’s 2016 campaign and chair of his inaugural committee, got out of jail by posting a $250 million bail bond after he was arrested for working as an unregistered agent for the United Arab Emirates and advising DDT to benefit the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Lying to the FBI, Barrack has been charged with seven counts heavily documented with thousands of records showing he provided UAE officials with sensitive classified information, including information about the Qatari blockade, and helped Saudi Arabia’s senior leaders.

Barrack followed other DDT’s criminal friends—chair of DDT’s 2016 campaign Paul Manafort for banking and tax fraud; deputy campaign manager Rick Gates for bank fraud, money laundering, etc.; campaign CEO and DDT’s special counsel Steve Bannon for criminal conspiracies to commit wire fraud and money laundering; DDT’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen for tax fraud, bank fraud, campaign finance violations, etc.; DDT’s friend Roger Stone on seven counts of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and lying to Congress; Michael Flynn for twice lying to FBI investigators; and others for various crimes. DDT’s close associates followed the pattern of dozens near President Richard Nixon who were sent to jail and dozens more in President Ronald Reagan’s administration who were indicted and sometimes convicted. In all three administrations, criminal charges largely focused on abuses of power for political ends.

Remember when DDT said he’d pick only the “best people”?

July 17, 2021

Democracy at Risk in Voting Supression

[Updates for COVID: Trying to stop all vaccinations, the state of Tennessee fired the top vaccine official, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, after she included a state law in a public memo last spring: teens in Tennessee have permission to receive medical care without parental consent. A Tennessee Supreme court case made that ruling 34 years ago. Only 38 percent of people in Tennessee are vaccinated, ten percent under the U.S. average. The firing came a week after Fiscus received an anonymous package containing a dog muzzle. 

Unvaccinated people have caused COVID cases in the U.S. to rise almost 70 percent in the past week. Hospitalizations increased 36 percent from two weeks ago, and deaths rose 26 percent for a weekly average. Center for Countering Digital Hate reports that 65 percent of the anti-vax disinformation on social media platforms comes from only a small group of people called the “Disinformation Dozen.” The government can do something about these falsehoods without violating free speech because algorithms can legally be regulated.]

The Cyber Ninjas, starting their fake ballot count on April 23, are still in Arizona to communicate more disinformation about the 2020 election and reinforce QAnon conspiracy theories. Last week, a Maricopa County judge permitted a lawsuit by the watchdog American Oversight to obtain documents related to this thus-far 12-week attempt to find votes for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). The judge also dismissed the GOP attempt to combine the American Oversight lawsuit with one from the Arizona Republic’s request for public records.

The fake process was to have been completed within two weeks, but the Ninja’s conspiracy theory leader, Doug Logan, has continued to stall. Now he’s demanding the county’s computer network routers and time to send workers door to door, asking voters if they participated in the election. In addition, he wants images of mail-in ballot envelopes, security keys for administrator-level access to voting machines, a diagram of the county’s router network, and a copy of the county’s voter-registration database. 

Releasing the routers and their passwords would cause significant security risks, according to Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, who wrote about risks to “critical evidence,” “private information,” and other “sensitive, confidential data belonging to Maricopa County’s citizens—including social security numbers and protected health information.” GOP supervisors listed problems that would “cripple County operations.”

In early May, the DOJ had told the Arizona Senate their plans to canvass voters by going to their homes could violate federal law. At that time, Fann had put this plan “on hold.” Keeping the ballots in private custody may also violate the law, according to the DOJ although Fann claimed strong security to ensure no ballots or other voting documents were destroyed. Observers have noted serious security problems, and everything the Senate gave the Ninjas has been moved at least four times.

Arizona GOP senators and their president Karen Fann are still insistent on giving Logan what he wants for his “review” of the 3,387,336 ballots already recounted and audited by experienced professionals. At last week’s Judiciary Committee “hearing” about Logan’s requests, only two Republican senators could question Logan and others working on the audit; Democrats could only sit in the audience. Soon after the meeting, the committee GOP vice chair, Wendy Rogers, tweeted, “DECERTIFY THE ELECTION.” Jeremy Stahl gave a complete report on the event in Salon, and Logan and Ben Cotton, head of the data forensics firm CyFIR, presented disinformation throughout the hearing. 

GOP senators want to block the use of Sharpies to mark ballots for the purpose of “election integrity.” People at the fairgrounds a few miles from the capitol are still counting thousands of ballots, but machines for paper counting and stacking paper are giving them trouble as well as not counting as fast as they wanted. 

Logan may want to continue for a variety of reasons: he wants Arizona’s notoriety and money until more states get suckered in, DDT is coming to Arizona on July 24 for a rally and needs a backdrop, and—perhaps most important—the audit appears to have found nothing wrong when it finished its contracted responsibilities three weeks ago. After the Maricopa County supervisors and state Secretary of State Katie Hobbs gave Logan everything he wanted, he resorted to whining about lack of cooperation. With a new set of demands, Logan avows no report until his demands are met. 

After an “examination” of over three million ballots from the 2020 election, workers confused by 182 cases turned them over for review. Four reviews led to charges of voter fraud but none from people trying to vote more than once. Two cases were about Democrats, and the other two about Republicans. Only one potential voter fraud case about a person who might have been registered to vote in another state was found in the 2.1 million votes from Maricopa County, the source of the audit. Several eliminated cases were people stopped from voting more than once. Even if all 182 cases were fraudulent, which they weren’t, and by Democrats, which they weren’t, DDT would still have lost the state by 10,218 votes. Yet DDT claimed that these 182 review cases were “hundreds of thousands of votes or, many times what is necessary for us to have won.”

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans to investigate the Cyber Ninja company with concerns about the “highly unusual effort to undermine faith in the nation’s election system.” Independent election observers allege the pretend “audit” has violated basic audit standards, including breaking basic ballot security protocols and compromising electronic voting machines costing over $2.1 million to replace. The committee will request such documents from the company as past business deals and the current business arrangement with Arizona state Senate Republicans as well as post-election communications with DDT, his administration and campaign officials, and members of his legal teams including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Michael Flynn. Another part of the request is evidence regarding the “fraud” supposedly unearthed or suspected, including bamboo paper ballots and CIA agents involved in any fraud scheme.

Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has asked the state AG Mark Brnovich to investigate election interference by DDT and his allies while ballots were being tallied last fall. Texts and voicemails from the White House, DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and the state GOP chair Kelli Ward attempted to exert political pressure on the Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors’ GOP members to find a majority of votes for DDT in the state. Brnovich supported the state’s new anti-voting bill on the basis of “election integrity,” the purpose of the proposed investigation. Hobbs asked him to refer the investigation to another law enforcement agency if his ethnical duties are in the way of his probing the issue.

On two occasions after the election, DDT tried to contact GOP Supervisor Clint Hickman; Giuliani also made attempts to contact Hickman, hoping to “get this thing fixed up.” Ward told supervisors “to stop the counting,” to delay certifying the results, and to look into whether voting software added votes for Democrats. When they didn’t obey, she called them “unAmerican” and stated they were playing for the “WRONG team.”

The Arizona “fraudit” has a new tactic: change state law for 2022. Voters may legally fix early ballots within five days after Election Day, but the assistant AG Drew Ensign asked a federal appeals to refuse ones that voters forgot to sign and didn’t fix by the night of the election for the 2022 election.

DDT’s “big lie” about a “stolen election” is still working its way through Georgia’s Fulton County where plaintiffs are running out of options to examine 147,000 ballots. 

DDT’s ally, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano has contacted “several counties” for his probe into their ballots that he describes a “forensic investigation” with sweeping requests—all ballots cast in the 2020 election with “all ballot production, processing, and tabulation equipment” along with various “forensic images” of computer equipment and logs of databases. He also wants information on grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life—a nonprofit receiving an influx of cash from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to provide money to cash-strapped local elections offices across the country. Letters threatened subpoenas if counties failed to comply. Mastriano is considering being a gubernatorial candidate. Democratic State AG Josh Shapiro, also considering a run for governor, said his office will defend counties that choose not to comply.

According to John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate candidate, all the state’s voter fraud, under ten cases, was by Republicans who had their dead relatives vote for DDT.

In Oklahoma, where Biden received under one-third of the vote, legislators tried for a “forensic audit” of ballots, but the state’s chief elections official refused, indicating state law does not permit this process by an outside group. In 2020, DDT won every one of 77 counties in the state, and no state or federal candidate has asked for a recount.

North Carolina’s State Board of Elections also rejected the request from the state’s House Freedom Caucus to inspect “randomly selected voting systems for security issues. A major concern is decertification of voting machines that states will not reimburse.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of John Lewis. People who want democracy to continue in the United States are fortunate that the brave are causing “good trouble”—nonviolent protest, activism and left-leaning politics—to protect our land from fascism and dictatorships.

June 15, 2021

DDT Pushes to Steal the Election

During the administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), revelations came out via leaks; now a flood is being legally released. He spied on journalists, congressional members and their associates—even his own White House Counsel, Don McGahn. DDT’s official policy of cruelty toward migrants at the southern border included stealing children from their parents instead of deporting the family together. DDT told the Army National Guard to protect his followers on January 6 while they gathered to attack the Capitol. DDT’s Commerce Department spied on employees and others who opposed Census changes to undercount people of color. DDT’s campaign manager Paul Manafort gave information to a known Russian spy, and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tried to intimidate Ukrainian government officials into smearing Joe Biden while he ran for president.

Throughout his term, DDT obviously used the Department of Justice, a supposedly independent agency to protect the nation, for his personal business. Recently released documents show how his chief of staff Mark Meadows pressured the DOJ into changing the election so that DDT could stay in the White House, going so far as to demand an investigation of conspiracy theories about Italy changing votes for DDT to Joe Biden through satellites. Democrats in the House Oversight Committee have now added to the lore of DDT’s work to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

On December 14, 2020, when each state’s electors submitted the official voting results for the Electoral College, his assistant emailed then-Deputy AG Jeffrey Rosen explaining why Michigan’s votes should not be recognized by the Electoral College because of voter fraud. DOJ official Richard Donoghue emailed the document to Michigan’s AGs, and DDT’s personally-chosen AG Bill Barr announced his retirement. DDT replaced him with Rosen, and Donoghue took Rosen’s place.  

As lawsuits to overturn the election continued, DDT’s assistant emailed a draft of a legal brief for the Supreme Court to Rosen, Donoghue, and Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall to redo the presidential election in six states that DDT lost to Biden. The pressure on the DOJ continued as did the “Big Lie” that Joe Biden was not the legitimate winner of the election. Rosen and Donoghue called the far-fetched claims “Pure insanity.”

DDT’s followers attacked the Capitol on January 6 to stop the Electoral College voting, and 147 congressional Republicans voted to overturn the election. Twenty-one House Republicans who voted against honoring first responders at the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol objected to calling it an insurrection, falsely claiming the insurrectionists walked through the building in an “orderly fashion.” On the same day, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified the event was “an affront to the rule of law.” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) voted against the bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals because it honored Capitol Police Officer Williams Evens, killed in April by a knife-wielding attacker ramming a security barricade with his car at the Capitol.

DDT has fanatically followed the latest GOP attempt to steal the election in Arizona, and a shabby building in Phoenix has become the mecca of political conservatives from throughout the nation—Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin thus far. An Arizona newspaper listed all the politicians who use their trip as part of their next campaign. For example, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is running for the U.S. Senate. He was forced to resign his former position after allegedly blackmailing a woman with whom he was having an affair by releasing nude photographs that he took after tying her up and blindfolding her.

As Arizona temperatures rise to 120 degrees, politicians head to a crumbling structure where volunteers try to count ballots as proof of their conspiracy theory that Maricopa County’s election was rigged. The conspiracy-ridden GOP state senators hired an inexperienced conspiracy-ridden company to lead the “fraudit.” Glowing false praise about the process’s security came from “audit team” leader Randy Pullen, who failed to win his election last fall. The next planned process will recount ballots for his desired position.  

Politician expenses are being covered by the fundraising group led by One America News network host Christina Bobb, who earlier worked for DDT’s administration. OAN is also filming the “fraudit” and raising more money for the process. The fiasco costs several million dollars, most paid by dark money donations, because the state Senate allotted only $150,000 for the fake “count” and “forensic audit,” searching for bamboo in the ballot paper and other QAnon conspiracies. Maricopa County will be on the hook for over $6 million because damaged voting machines must be replaced.

Bobb lost her temper with Jen Fifield, an Arizona Republic reporter, and swore at her for asking a question. At a press gaggle, Fifeld asked DDT-supporter Vernon Jones if he would support a Democrat-led and fundraised audit. Afterwards, Fifield asked Bobb why she stayed silent. “Go talk to your peers who do this to me every f**king day. I don’t care,” Bobb snapped. In addition to raising funds for the process, Bobb has passed information to the GOP Senate president, Karen Fann, to increase the GOP work undermining Maricopa County’s election results.

Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett was assigned to be the Senate liaison, but flaws in the process bother even this Republican. He thinks another audit, this one digital, should be used to compare results of the two “fraudits.” Toward that end, he is trying to hire another company, California’s Citizens Oversight, also with no experience in audits. CEO Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, the company orchestrating the first “fraudit,” has secretly criticized Bennett for the digital count, maybe because he recognizes the shortcomings of his work. Bennett said, “It’s not what evidence is presented to most people, it’s who it is presented to them by.”

After the DOJ warned the Arizona Senate against its plans to canvass voters’ homes as part of its “fraudit,” people falsely claiming to represent the county recorder’s office are knocking on doors in Yavapai County and asking how the inhabitants voted in the last election. Backers of the Senate’s audit have organized their own door-knocking. Yavapai County, population 211,000, is northwest of Maricopa County.

All the demands for “election integrity” are coming from conservatives. The definition for this “integrity” is support for the “big lie” that DDT won the election, despite Republicans as well as Democrats praising the security and accuracy of the 2020 presidential election.

The constitutionality of two Arizona laws blocking voters awaits a decision from the Supreme Court in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. Anyone other than family member, caregiver, or postal worker collecting and delivering ballots commits a felony, and ballots will be rejected if they aren’t cast in the precinct where a voter lives. The lawsuit deals with discrimination against minority voters. In Arizona, almost 80 percent of voters used mail for casting ballots, but mail service can be sketchy in rural areas where many Latinx and Native Americans live. Only 18 percent of Native Americans in the state have access to home mail delivery. With an area bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, the Tohono O’odham reservation has no home delivery and only one post office.

After Arizona’s district court and two different three-judge panels of the 9th Circuit Court ruled for the state, the full 9th Circuit Court reversed those decisions in favor of the voters. It wrote minority were more likely than non-minorities to rely on others to return their ballots. In addition, the mailing law isn’t necessary for election integrity because third-party ballot collection has not resulted in vote fraud. The court also wrote that Arizona officials frequently change polling places in urban counties with large minority populations leading to voter confusion. In 2018, two-thirds of the 3,709 out-of-precinct Arizona rejected ballots were from minority voters. Nationally, 26 states invalidated 140,000 provisional ballots as out-of-precinct in the 2018 midterm elections. In 2013, John Roberts’ Supreme Court overturned Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requiring federal approval before states with a history of discrimination, Arizona being one of them, could enact new voting laws.

AG Merrick Garland said the GOP-backed ballot reviews are “based on disinformation” and has doubled the number of staff dealing with voting rights enforcement by hiring another 300 people for the DOJ. 

According to Republican Tim Miller, QAnon activists describe the “fraudit” as the first step in “The Great Awakening,” and Arizona’s GOP chair, Kelli Ward, threatens “arrests” of anyone not complying with the audit. Bobb and Steve Bannon are leading the publicity for he debacle, and an Arizona woman quit her job as a real estate agent to detail the event on Facebook and YouTube. Both sides are predicting the fraudulent Cyber Ninjas will call Maricopa County—and Arizona—for DDT, and violence will break out—again.

According to Bennett, the ballot counting has finished all “regular” ballots, leaving only boxes with Braille, large-type, overseas military, and duplicated ballots. The fiasco, lasting almost two months, moves on, perhaps best illustrated by the lightning strike on the Washington Monument. This view is through the pillars at the Jefferson Monument. 

June 5, 2021

So-called Arizona Ballot Count for Maricopa Count, More and More Bizarre

With no evidence, the GOP state senators began a bogus count of ballots in the largest Arizona county on April 23. It is orchestrated by a completely inexperienced company that breaks all election laws, led by a QAnon owner.

In the past week, ballot information migrated to a cabin in Montana south of Big Fork, where no state or county officials can provide oversight. Senate subcontractor Ben Cotton, founder of tech firm CyFIR, copied the county election server and other election data before driving everything states away to the beautiful location of a “secure lab.” No information has been provided such as the kind of information taken, reason for the location, length of time it will be there, access to others, safeguards for protection—in other words, secreted from election officials. Ken Bennett, supposedly in charge of the fiasco confirmed the move with no details.

Matt Masterson, a former DHS official who helped lead the federal election security preparations for the 2020 presidential election, calls the Maricopa County ballot “review” a “disinformation blueprint” and said it is “a threat to the overall confidence of democracy, all in pursuit of continuing a narrative that we know to be a lie.” He explained the “playbook where if you don’t like the results … you just claim you didn’t lose and in fact the process itself was rigged against you.”

Step 1: Create a false reality. Litigation six months after Election Day is a victory for spreading doubt about the results. Experienced companies already audited Maricopa County’s 2020 elections results several times, but the company in charge now has no election experience and is led by a CEO sowing election-related conspiracy theories. Legal election audits have consistent and transparent procedures; this one is founded in secrecy and ignorance. The company makes up the process as they move forward in an unreliable mess.

Step 2: Hit the airwaves. The Arizona sham has its own Twitter account and a livestream on the pro-TrumpAmerica News Network which also raises money for the counting. The 10 most popular stories about the “audit” on social media were all published by conservative publications, many pushing the lie that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) won the 2020 election. Jennifer Morrell, a former election official and a national expert on election auditing who observed the process in person for a week, said:

“It’s terrifying. We’ve suddenly said it’s OK to hand our ballots over to a third-party organization with political bias, with no experience, who get to make up the rules and then make a decision or a determination based on what they do on whether or not the outcome of the election was correct.”

Step 3: Use the doubt to sow more doubt. The cyclical disinformation increases the Republicans’ belief that illegal voting is a “major threat” to the stability of the U.S. although election fraud has never been a widespread issue in American politics. Republicans use the evidence-free fraud to more greatly restrict voter access.

Masterson said lying about the election has “zero accountability with no one “being held accountable.”

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office has documented the “fraudit’s” characteristics:

  • Open security gates.
  • Unattended confidential manuals.
  • Disregarded quality-control measures.
  • Failing new software update dropped for the old one.
  • Use of prohibited cellphones and pens with black or blue ink permitted on the counting floor.
  • Insults such as one from audit spokesman and former state GOP chairman Randy Pullen telling an observer that his pink shirt made him “look like a transgender.”
  • Organizers’ descriptions of observers as “pinkies” or “pinkos,” implying or asserting they are communists.

The day after the 2020 presidential election, chairs of the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian parities initiated a post-election audit. According to state law, a multiparty audit board must conduct a hand count from a sample of random voting precincts for comparison from voting machines. That legal audit lasted two days with not one discrepancy. The latest audit ignores all those procedures. State laws mandate vote audits must be transparent, include at least two parties, and be supervised by election officials. None of those requirements is now being followed in Arizona.

Forensic audits that check systems and machines used for recording and tabulating votes require one of a small number of U.S. firms certified by the independent, bipartisan Election Assistance Commission (EAC), companies audited every two years. ProV&V, an EAC-accredited firm, performed a forensic audit of Maricopa County in February.  

Arizona’s law allows ballot recounts if the margin of victory is 200 or fewer votes. DDT lost Maricopa County by over 45,000 votes. Between 2000 and 2019, the 31 statewide votes out of 5,778 statewide general elections in the U.S. reversed the outcome in only three cases, and all three of those cases had a margin of victory under 300 votes and less than 0.06 percent of the votes cast. DDT lost Arizona by over 10,000 votes, 0.31 percent. An election authority said that no race with more than 1,000 votes had ever been overturned by an audit or recount. David Becker, the executive director of the nonpartisan nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research, said:

“In the recount and audit space, 1,000 votes is, for all intents and purposes, a landslide. A margin of 10,000 votes is an off-the-charts landslide.”

Jack Cobb, the laboratory director and co-founder of Pro V&V, said he is especially concerned by the loss of chain of custody, ensuring ballots and equipment are always accounted for. Arizona County’s voting equipment is compromised, and all 16 GOP state senators ordering the audit of the 2020 election were elected in the audited election. “There is no outcome that actually strengthens voter confidence,” Becker said. “Whether the audit gets stopped, or they find no problems, or if they purport to find major problems, all of those will reduce voter confidence. They will not lead to actual facts and scrutiny.”

Afraid that the current audit sham won’t give them the results they want, the 16 GOP state senators may mandate another election review in Maricopa County. This one would run digital images of compromised ballots through a program to count all votes for every race on the county’s ballot. Maricopa County already provided the state Senate with these digital images as part of the Senate subpoenas. The current process is investigating only presidential U.S. senatorial races. Republicans are considering a California company, Citizens Oversight, for the next process and then will compare the two results.

Ray Lutz, founder of Citizens Oversight, said it had never audited an election and the proposed technology had never been used for an official audit. “This is a grand test,” Lutz said. Asked if he was confident about an accurate audit, Lutz said his team sometimes sees “mistakes that are made on our side.” State Senate President Karen Fann refused to hire Clear Ballot, one of the only election audit companies able to accurately re-tabulate other company’s ballots digitally.

The Republican in charge of the entire fiasco said about 60 percent of 2.1 million ballots have been gone through in other a month and hopes to finish by the end of June. Originally, he predicted nine days for the process.

Built in 1965, the Arizona Veteran Memorial Coliseum, site of the ballot counting, has fire safety problems with seven of 32 code violations still not corrected. These include sprinklers and the hood systems in the kitchen which expired in 2013, being used to cook meals for staff and volunteers. GOP senators knew about these problems. Any fire could destroy all the ballots and other items from the 2020 election in Maricopa County—except for what is stashed away in a Montana cabin.  

The partisan ballot recount in Arizona was pushed by DDT and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, according to newly released emails to and from state GOP senators. Hundreds of pages were published yesterday under a records request under the Freedom of Information Act. Senate president Karen Fann told two constituents in a December 2, 2020 email that she had spoken with Giuliani “at least 6 times over the past two weeks.” Six days later, an email threatened Fann with being recalled by “the new patriot movement of the United States.” She answered that the state Senate was “doing everything legally possible to get the forensic audit done” and that they planned to sue the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. She also wrote on December 28:

“I have been in numerous conversations with Rudy Guiliani [sic] over the past weeks trying to get this done. I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud.”

When another constituent threatened Fann on April 8 with not being re-elected, Fann assured her that “we are not giving up” although “our efforts have been sabotaged every step of the way.” The sham audit started on April 23.

In November, the GOP-led board had unanimously voted to certify the county’s election results and declared no evidence of fraud or misconduct “and that is with a big zero.”

Other states are so excited about falsifying ballot counts that three legislators from Pennsylvania visited the scene in Arizona—and maybe Montana although that would be a secret. Other swing states—Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin—that flipped in 2020 from 2016 are planning private “audit” efforts. These people are also consulting with DDT to help regain him the White House.

May 11, 2021

Arizona’s ‘Fraudit,’ Lies about ‘Stolen’ Election Continue

California has a $75+ billion surplus while Gov. Gavin Newsom is the object of a recall because he went to a dinner with lobbyists during a block on gatherings a year ago; it’s the sixth attempt in two years. He plans to give bonuses to the state’s residents next year. Will these people vote against him?

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is ousting Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her House leadership position because she won’t agree that the election was “stolen” from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT); McCarthy said he is doing it because “unlike the left, [Republicans] embrace free thought and debate.”

Rhode Island’s Gov. Dan McKee may also be history after he canceled a fundraiser co-hosted by a DDT supporter; he said:

“I do not like Trump…he is dishonest, divisive, and his ‘Big Lie’ is a threat to our democracy.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the GOP is dead without DDT; his disowning of DDT after the January 6 insurrection was short-lived

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) wants to have both sides, but he also wants to unify the party with GOP policies. Republicans have no policies except supporting DDT and opposing Democrats—it’s their platform. Then they take credit for popular laws that they unanimously voted against.

Cancel culture” is the only GOP comeback, and Republicans don’t know what it means. Today, Bob Baffert, trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, used the expression because the horse failed its drug test. Baffert is suspended from Churchill Downs, pending an investigation, and he whined about losing his due process. At least four other horses trained by Baffert have been found with drugs in the past three years. Medina Spirit makes the 29th violation noted in Baffert’s career.  

The insurrectionists won: they succeeded in continuing the false narrative of a “stolen” election.

Republicans lie to the world about the “peaceful” insurrection and the “stolen” election, but they also lie to other Republicans about DDT’s polling in core battleground districts: his unfavorable were 15 points higher than favorable, almost double.

Nowhere, however, has DDT World become more ridiculous than in Arizona. Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone blamed the “Senate Republican Caucus’ audit of the Maricopa County votes” for “[jeopardizing] the entire mission of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office,” according to the Arizona Republic. The GOP senators demanded “certain routers,” causing a “significant security risk to Sheriff’s Office law enforcement data” if they are released. Another danger is the demand for “passwords to the county’s ballot tabulators used on Election Day at voting centers” to have “administrative access to voting machines.” County Attorney Allister Adel has told the Senate ballot-count fraudit liaison, Ken Bennett, the county has no more passwords beyond what it has released. Penzone stated:

“Access to this information would adversely affect the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office ability to protect critical evidence, data shared between law enforcement agencies, protected private information and individual passwords, all of which could be used to the detriment of citizens and law enforcement infrastructure.”

Penzone wrote that the move “puts sensitive, confidential data belonging to Maricopa County’s citizens—including social security numbers and protected health information—at risk as well.” GOP Supervisors Chair Jack Sellers agreed, stating problems with the routers would “cripple County operations and cost as much as $6 million.” Chris DeRose, a Republican Arizona election law attorney, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that “no good can come” from the Senate’s efforts. 

Not satisfied with the third ballot recount in Arizona (making it the fourth count) by a private company who believes the election was “stolen” from DDT, QAnon conspiracy theorists want to invalidate all state election results since 2018 and immediately remove all elected officials. The citizens filing the lawsuit will then take over those elected positions—with no election. Among the group “We the People,” a common QAnon term, are a losing GOP candidate in 2020 and a prospective one for 2022.

One independent observer, Elizabeth Howard from Brennan Center, was permitted into the facility by a judicial order. She wrote:

“The point doesn’t have to do with election integrity based on procedures I witnessed. The procedures are drastically different from professional and effective procedures in use across the country by election officials. For instance, when counters are supposed to count ballots, the ballot is placed on a spinning turntable.

“Ballot counters are tasked with watching that ballot as it whizzes by, checking for marks for two races, marking the tally before the next ballot comes whizzing by them. It also allows for multiple instances where the counters’ tally sheets don’t match. In a normal post-election procedure where you are reviewing individual ballots, there would be a fair bipartisan official that agreed on how to count individual ballots. That’s not what we’re seeing at the colosseum. That’s another concern along with the fact they continue to change the procedures that are in use.”

Despite the $15 an hour frauditors are paid, only one-third of the counting tables are occupied. Tables spend between six seconds and 20 seconds or more on each ballot, and half the counters don’t do anything because of the time between batches of ballots.

One Republican senator who voted for the procedure is now disgusted with choosing auditors with “preconceived notions” and a focus on pursuing conspiracy theories. He said:

“There’s not even a perception of independence.”

Another GOP state senator, also voting for the current recount, now suffers buyers’ remorse. He said:

“It makes us look like idiots. Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point.”

No, it’s just embarrassing to be a Republican state senator.

The Arizona clown show has become a joke throughout the world, and Republicans know it. Many of them just want the ninjas to leave. Georgia wants the circus show next, and Michigan and Wisconsin are considered the fraudits after that.

Investigative reporting reveals the foundation for the “big lie” about a stolen election was started in a Texas airplane hanger soon after the GOP 2018 losses. Behind it is Russell Ramsland Jr, a Republican businessman selling such bizarre products as technology beaming light into the human bloodstream for disease cures. Unsuccessful in his own congressional run, Ramsland held meetings on electronic vote manipulation for challenging election results. His funding came from Republicans whose wealth came from the oil, gas and fracking industries.

The project began with locating losing candidates, such as wealthy real estate developer Don Huffines who lost his second run for the Texas legislature. Huffines met James “Trey” Trainor III, a DDT-appointee for the Federal Election Committee, for advice in challenging his loss, but Huffines decided not to pursue a case against the election. Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) was the second subject. He complained to state AG Ken Paxton, but nothing came of it.

By 2019, Ramsland was spreading the lie about U.S. election software originating in Venezuela and massive voting manipulation. By 2020, he added the evidence-free claim about the Spain-based election technology firm Scytl, “housing all of our votes … in an insecure fashion.” The next claim listed a server in Frankfurt, Germany as the location. Raumsland gave a two-hour briefing to seven members of the House Freedom Caucus and MyPillow founder Mike Lindell information for his movie about alleged election fraud.

DDT started to spread these claims as a cover for his possible election loss later in 2020. After DDT’s loss, Ramsland and his associates continued briefing right-wingers such as Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and DDT’s conservative lawyer Sidney Powell who had been in Rumsland’s loop for two years. Raumsland’s lies continued to be the source for burgeoning cases thrown out of court for months.

A major falsehood appeared from Raumsland’s misunderstanding of “errors”: he translated “ballot has been reversed” as evidence of tampering when it actually meant the ballot was spit out and the voter had to feed it back into the machine. Officials said that claims in his report were baseless. A hand recount in one county Raumsland considered highly problematic showed the original count was off by only 12 votes out of 16,000 ballots. DDT is still using that country as his proof of how the election was rigged. 

DDT’s Department of Homeland Security called the 2020 election the “most secure in American history,” but one-third of the U.S. population believe fraud caused DDT to lose—almost half of those thinking it was from hacked machines. Although many people believe the election was stolen, Ramsland’s organization was the font of inaccurate information shaping public perception. Florida’s “hanging chads” in 2000 had led to paperless touch-screen voting machines, cheaper but open to hacking and lacking any paper trail.

The lies will continue until Republicans revolt against DDT–and they won’t. 

May 1, 2021

Two GOP Clown Shows: Arizona ‘Fraudit’ and Florida ‘Retreat’

Last week highlighted two major Republican activities, the sham re-re-recount of ballots in Maricopa County (AZ) and the GOP attempt to figure out how to take over the nation beyond anti-voting laws and gerrymandering electoral college votes.

Part I reads like a novel. The Sore Loser tossed out of the White House creates a “big lie” about a “stolen” election despite rulings from over 100 judges, some of them appointed by Sore Loser, in over 60 cases deciding he’s wrong in the most closely watched election in U.S. history. The search for a sucker state to support the falsehood leads to Arizona, where furious Republicans in the state legislature turn over 2.1 million ballots and all the electronic voting equipment in one county to an obscure, conspiracy-driven company in Florida which takes $150,000 of state funds plus unknown sums from other conspiracy theorists. The company promises to “recount” the ballots for the third time. State law doesn’t allow this, but a judge gave permission to GOP senators for the faulty recount. The first two audits of the same vote validated the majority of people voted to put the current president into the White House.

Volunteers believing in the “big lie,” many of them disgruntled retirees and even one losing 2020 Arizona candidate, gather in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum chronicled only by the conspiracy-driven network One America News. A few leaks, such as the “counters” using pens that can change the ballots, escape when a journalist is hired as an “observer,” but she is soon thrown out. Before she left, she also discovered the employees have no training, and the process have no guidelines. The ballots, equipment, and software also have no security from conservative media prowling around. The judge taking a lawsuit to stop the farce and investigate violations of the law rules Democrats must put up a $1 million bond, payable to the small company if they manage to “find” a majority count for the legally elected president’s opponent. The judge has to step down because the GOP lawyer in the case had been his extern for five years.  

Another judge permits local media access to the counting facility, but a journalist is evicted after posting a photograph of a former GOP legislator counting ballots. He ran in the 2020 election, placing last in a three-way contest, and attended the Washington protests on January 6. He is also one of 11 electors voting for Sore Loser although the legal electoral college from Arizona was for his opponent with the state’s majority vote. The journalist’s photographs are here.

The company’s use of UV lights, likely damaging ballots, searches for “folds” and “watermarks”–an idea from a discredited inventor. According to QAnon conspiracy theory, Sore Loser secretly watermarked ballots to prove fraud. The process also has no solution for an “overvoted” ballot if a voter tries to select more than one candidate.

The elected supervisors in charge of Arizona elections are excluded from the company’s decisions. Even the Republican in charge of these county supervisors worries about the count and damage to the election equipment. He says taxpayers will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the equipment’s recertification process. After a week of sham “recounts,” a new judge permits non-partisan observers, but the company has had a week to remove any sense of credibility in the endeavor.

The judge orders the release of the company’s policies to ensure voter privacy and ballot secrecy. One person says these policies, finally released, appeared to be written after the court order. Concerns also include vagueness, leaving room for interpretation, which isn’t permitted in ballot counts.  

And the company hired for the recount? Truth is still stranger than fiction. The judge asked for more information about the Cyber Ninjas (yes, that’s the name), and discovered Arizona and Florida people in politics, including well-connected Republicans, know little about the Ninjas. The company advertises protection from hackers and subcontracted four private firms for what’s being called the “fraudit.” Doug Logan, head “Ninja,” is known primarily for his publications smearing the votes for the presidential winner and their software. Former Florida GOP executive director, laughed about the company and says:

“They’re ninjas. When they snap their fingers, they just disappear. They need to get a special stone to do it, the absentee ballot stone. Once they have that stone, they can just fade into the wind.”

Ninjas are also intimidating voters by going door to door to “confirm if valid voters actually lived at the stated address.”

Online QAnon conspiracy theorists scrutinize each “recounter” filmed by OAN, flagging and sharing videos of anything they believe is foul play. The Arizona Rangers, a civilian militia group, patrols outside the coliseum. MAGA Joe J. accuses the state’s GOP governor, Greg Ducey, of allowing “Antifa” to be “deployed against American civil servants” when “the true result is finally revealed.” Sore Loser’s fired national security adviser supposedly has “intel” that Northwest protesters are heading to Arizona “to disrupt finding the truth.”

Sore Loser is obsessed with the count, talking about it “constantly” and hoping to be vindicated, but the events in the Arizona stadium makes the state—and Republicans—laughingstocks with all the rational people following the idiocy. A company believing more people voted for Sore Loser than for the winner is in charge of the outcome—like in a Third World country election.

The plot concludes when the Ninjas leave the coliseum on May 14 because seniors start using the site for graduation ceremonies. But the clown show will probably move to Michigan for another fraudit in the sequel to Sore Loser, Volume I.

In Part Two of the GOP clown show, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) may have been the highlight of the GOP retreat in Orlando this past week—the possibility of Republicans evicting her from her leadership position. The battle began when Cheney voted in favor of impeachment for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) didn’t remove her from the position then. She said that congressional members challenging the vote of the people for Joe Biden in the 2020 election should be disqualified from a presidential campaign; i.e., Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), She also wants the commission on the January 6 insurrection should be narrow instead of including the Black Lives Matter protests in the previous year, as Republicans are demanding.

Uninvited to the retreat, DDT’s essence still loomed over the events, but Cheney said McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are the party leaders, not DDT. Her biggest sin last week, however, seems to be the fist bump she and President Joe Biden exchanged before his speech to the joint congressional session. Donald Trump Jr tweeted a rather incoherent comment about the “travesty.” 

DDT called Cheney a “war-mongering fool” after she said she might run for president in 2024, a position he wants, and said she would “embarrass her family” if she did. After Biden’s speech, DDT told Fox network he wanted a replacement for McConnell. Republicans don’t know how to combat the infighting caused by DDT that breaks the GOP unity. Cheney wants to concentrate “on substance and the issues,” refusing to back DDT as a 2024 presidential nominee while the majority of outspoken congressional members are sticking with DDT. 

McCarthy, wanting to “cancel culture,” claims DDT knew nothing about the January 6 attack until McCarthy called him while he sheltered from the mob—an obvious falsehood based on accounts from other Republicans and the video of DDT watching the protest. Sources reported DDT “enjoyed” the insurrection. McCarthy also revered his story about DDT telling him rioters were angrier about the election than McCarthy and refused to answer questions about his previous claim. Another McCarthy lie was denying he had told DDT the insurrectionists were his supporters and not from the left wing. And now he denies he worked with DDT to overturn Biden’s legal election. Originally, McCarthy wanted to sponsor a resolution to censure DDT because “the president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” Now he frequently travels to Mar-a-Lago to kiss DDT’s ring. 

One story from January 6 shows McCarthy’s lack of concern for his House members. After the evacuation of the House chamber, he hid in his office with Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR). As the assault worsened, McCarthy’s security detail took him to a safe place, leaving Westerman, who grabbed a Civil War sword from an office display. Westerman took the sword into McCarthy’s bathroom and crouched on the toilet during the hours-long assault. After hiding with the toilet for several hours, Westerman went on to vote “no” for impeachment. McCarthy justifies his action by saying a relationship with the president is “my job.” No mention of the people of the United States.  

Meanwhile, Republicans ignore corrupt, scandal-ridden congressional members such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

March 1, 2021

2021 CPAC: From Idolatry to Nazism

This year’s CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) had an extremely limited set of policies—easy to remember: the election was rigged, and liberals are trying to “cancel culture.” There were no surprises. The hate-filled, fear-mongering event loved Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), and the majority wants him elected president in 2024 for the “third time” after what they falsely maintained was a rigged election in 2020. DDT plans no new party; he assumes he’ll win with the current one. Basically, the attendees spent four days whining.

On Sunday, the last day of CPAC, the DDT-worshipping cult soaked up 90 minutes of their religious leader’s words after admiring his golden statue for four days and pledging their allegiance to them. Reminiscent of the Bible’s golden calf, DDT’s graven image was associated with Moses’ brother, Aaron, who gave into pressure from the Israelites who gave up hope that Moses would bring their Lord’s law down from Mt. Sinai. Aaron collected all the people’s jewelry and melted it down to create an idol to another god. Worshipping the golden calf, possibly the Canaanite fertility god Bael, is considered apostasy, a rejection of a once confessed faith. Throughout the entire conference, the faithful to DDT, once following white evangelical Protestantism (WEP), obediently supported his lies.

Evangelicals revere violence to obtain the ends and honored the people who physically attacked police officers in their way when breaching the U.S. Capitol. The uniform strategy for DDT’s GOP encourages violence against and exclusion of everyone who refuses to completely follow their position.

Created by artist Tommy Zegan, the golden DDT, 200 pounds and over six feet tall, was made in Mexico where Zegan is a resident. It perfectly represents the GOP and DDT’s adoration of wealth and their willingness to abandon all principles for its acquisition. evangelicals exchanged their belief in emulating Christ to adoring a serial sexual assaulter whose only goal was to make more money.

In the biblical story about the golden calf, Moses became so furious with the idol that he burned it, put its ashes into water, and made Israelites drink it. God (Yahweh) was so angry he was responsible for 3,000 men killed the day Moses returned. He “blotted” the others out of his book and sent them to die in the wilderness for idolatry.

Right Side Broadcasting, a conservative media outlet founded in 2015, was streaming CPAC when it used a disclaimer to cut away during a panel discussion presenting the lie that DDT won the 2020 election. A host told viewers:

“There’s a lot of sensitive topics being talked about right now. We want everyone to do their own research in regards to what they’re talking about in this discussion right now—anything with the election, anything like that. It’s important to do your own research.”

The host’s colleague echoed the sentiment because voting technology companies are suing people and media outlets for billions if they present debunked conspiracy theories as facts and falsely accuse these companies of stealing the election for Biden. A Right Side host interrupted MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell when he claimed, “You stub your toe, and they say ‘Oh, you’ve got COVID!” The host warned Lindell that YouTube could “shut down” the media platform “if we talk about vaccines.” Lindell had called the vaccine the “mark of the beast,” a sign for those who worship the antichrist.

Almost two dozen GOP representatives gave proxy votes against the stimulus bills using “the ongoing health emergency” as the excuse before they headed off to CPAC. At least ten of them were CPAC speakers. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) first spoke at CPAC’s extremist alternative America First Political Action Committee (AFPAC), also meeting in Florida. Gosar’s speech followed that of former Rep. Steve King (R-IA), stripped by Republicans of committee assignments for racist positions before he failed to be re-elected. AFPAC’s organizer, Nick Fuentes, has been banned from YouTube for his hate speech. After Gosar’s AFPAC speech, Fuentes blamed Black Lives Matter activists of wanting “a new racial caste system in this country, with Whites at the bottom.” Fuentes called the January 6 insurrection “awesome.” 

This proxy is Gosar’s third since January 21 after lambasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for permitting House members to vote by proxy because of health concerns. On February 2, Gosar deleted his tweet from 35 weeks earlier stating, “Pelosi’s ‘proxy voting’ scheme is shameful and constitutional.” At CPAC, Gosar denied he is a racist and tried to distance himself from AFPAC. 

CPAC speech samples:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) threw his constituents under the bus when he tried to overlook abandoning them by escaping to a warmer clime while they suffered and sometimes died from the failure of the Texas power grid:

“I got to say, Orlando is awesome. It’s not as nice as Cancún—but it’s nice!”

His “cancel culture” speech ridiculed the left and the media, telling them to “lighten up” about issues such as wearing masks and protests of police brutality. He explained Houston had no protests because of “what the people of Texas think about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.” Another brunt of his ridicule was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for being afraid when a mob of 800 broke into the Capitol to kill congressional members.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who received DDT’s Medal of Freedom for leaking House committee secrets to the White House, claimed President Obama stole the election for Joe Biden in 2020 with a conspiracy to have absentee voting. Nunes omitted any mention of expanding mail-in vote because of the pandemic when he talked about the idea in “April or May.” [At that time, DDT discouraged people voting by mail.] Deroy Murdock, a conservative writer, blamed judges for the January 6 riots who rejected the frivolous lawsuits about the election.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the man photographed with his fist raised in the air indicating solidarity with DDT’s mob readying to attack the U.S. Capitol, returned after the insurrection and voted to overturn the election on January 6. At CPAC, he accused politicians, historians, and academicians describing slavery and white supremacy in American history of hating the country and its culture. An editorial from his hometown newspaper didn’t let him get away with it. The Kansas City Star wrote: [find photo]

“We didn’t so much start with nothing as we stole what was here before we got here from Native Americans. And when we did end slavery, after a war in which the Confederacy—whose heroes Hawley defends—fought to preserve it, we were awfully late coming around. And then did everything possible, through Jim Crow laws, to keep things as inequitable as they had been. This doesn’t mean we hate America; it means we recognize reality, and see the need to learn from it.”

The editorial board also wrote about the GOP-maligned Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), saying Hawley and others’ cries for “America First” parallels Nazi sympathizers  in the 1930s. Cheney has been attacked for declaring that “it’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), another presidential wannabe who came in second only to DDT in CPAC’s presidential candidate straw vote, promised conservatives would never return to “the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear.” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, “We represent the pro-Trump, America-first wing of the conservative movement.” Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) vowed to “never bend the knee to a politically correct mob,” meaning protesters and not insurrectionists. 

Speakers pledged to “fight,” but no one knew exactly for what.

DDT’s speech was chockfull of lies. A few oddities: 

“[The Supreme Court] didn’t have the guts or the courage to make the right decision.”

“[The Republican Party] is becoming the party of love. Just look outside.”

One remarkable moment at CPAC came when a woman asked about fixing voting machines that “switched thousands and thousands of votes.” GOP attorney Charlie Spies told her, “There is just zero evidence that’s true.” The audience heckled him.

The conference with a theme of “America Uncanceled” that embraced racism did cancel one scheduled speaker, announcing his “reprehensible views [had] no home with our conference or our organization.” The person, Young Pharaoh, espouses anti-Semitic views popular with QAnon talking points. On his late night show, Stephen Colbert mockingly ridiculed CPAC for the cancelation, saying that “conservatives don’t want to be associated with anyone like that. It could sully the good name of the mob with aluminum bats trying to murder Mike Pence.”

One person not canceled was Hiroaki “Jay” Aeba, “the political head of a Japanese religious cult that promotes nationalism, xenophobia and the belief that its leader is the reincarnation of an alien from Venus who created life on earth millions of years ago,” according to David Gilbert. As leader of Happy Science, Aeba believes he is the Messiah and sells “miracle cures” for COVID-19. Like Scientology, the cult is focused on making money; “cures” can cost up to $400. The group’s aim, however, is political, worldwide, with CPAC part of its method to achieve its goal.

CPAC’s stage design matches its neo-Nazi inclination with a depiction of the Norse othala, or odal, rune used by Nazis during World War II adopted to “reconstruct a mythic ‘Aryan’ past,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. The rune also appeared at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville (VA) that include anti-Semitic chants.

January 5, 2021

January 5: Georgia Turns Bluer, GOP Plans Coup

Democrat Democrat Warnock has been declared winner of the Georgia senate seat to replace Kelly Loeffler, and Democrat Jon Ossoff has a small lead against David Perdue. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), who always wants instant gratification, won’t be happy. Just like he wasn’t happy with his 62-minute telephone call to Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to beg and demand the 11,780 votes to flip the state for him. He expects Raffenperger to “find” the votes and “recalculate.”

No knows who leaked the tape. Raffensperger admitted to taping the call, and several people participated in the conversation from DDT’s end. One source stated Raffensperger had said he wouldn’t release the tape of the call unless DDT “attacked him or misrepresented the call.” In a tweet, DDT accused Raffensperger of being “unwilling, or unable, to answer questions” about election fraud conspiracy theories, a falsehood according to the tape. When Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called Raffensperger earlier this year and asked him to destroy ballots, Raffensperger said he was glad he had a tape of the call to prove Graham’s lying denial to ask for certification of Georgia for DDT. No matter who leaked the conversation between DDT and Raffensperger, DDT may have committed a crime. Steve Benen wrote:

“Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes were obviously a turning point in history. By most measures, these new revelations are considerably worse. The abuse is direct and unambiguous. The corruption is overt and deliberate. The recording is a bit like a glorified confession. We’ve known for weeks that Trump has been engaged in a lobbying effort, targeting state officials in the hopes that they’ll overturn election results he doesn’t like, but it wasn’t until yesterday that we heard the precise nature of his perverse pitch—which includes elements of madness, extortion, and fraud.”

GOP response? They have no problem with DDT’s criminal interference in a presidential election, but they are outraged by the leaking of the tape.

Since the general election, DDT’s followers believed the lies about election fraud, including a large number of congressional members—140 in the House and a baker’s dozen in the Senate—who then claim people who believe the GOP leadership lies about the concern regarding election fraud “deserve to be heard.” Like in 60+ losing court cases?  The only “reason” provided for widespread election fraud is that DDT couldn’t possibly lose the election. Fox network’s Tucker Carlson blames DDT’s loss on “virtually every power center on Earth [including] big business, Wall Street, the defense establishment, pharma, the permanent bureaucracy in Washington and above all, Silicon Valley.”

On January 6, congressional members hope to keep DDT in the Oval Office by protesting the states’ legal certification of Electoral College votes, forcing each chamber into a two-hour session for each protest. If one chamber—such as the House with a Democratic majority—accepts election votes, they remain valid. Several Republicans in the Senate have indicated disgust and dismay with the 13 trying to overturn the election in favor of DDT and promise to vote against the conservative opposition to democracy.

When the 117th House of Representatives was convened, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) challenged “the seating of members-elect from the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.” (North Carolina’s vote was closer than Michigan’s, but the GOP doesn’t mind because DDT won North Carolina.) Roy pointed out the claims of election fraud could also taint the elections of representatives and senators from these states because the same process was used to elect them.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), elected as an independent after her state’s GOP ran another candidate, opposes the coup because she “swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution“:

“I will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election. The courts and state legislatures have all honored their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results.”

On his Facebook page, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) posted:

“When we talk in private, I haven’t heard a single Congressional Republican allege that the election results were fraudulent – not one. Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will ‘look’ to President Trump’s most ardent supporters…

“The president and his allies are playing with fire. They have been asking—first the courts, then state legislatures, now the Congress – to overturn the results of a presidential election. They have unsuccessfully called on judges and are now calling on federal officeholders to invalidate millions and millions of votes. If you make big claims, you had better have the evidence. But the president doesn’t and neither do the institutional arsonist members of Congress who will object to the Electoral College vote.

“We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage. But they’re wrong—and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) mourned, “Has ambition so eclipsed principle?”

Other GOP congressional members are coming out to vote against the challenge, including Sens. Jim Inhofe (OK), Jerry Moran (KS), Tim Scott (SC), and Tom Cotton (AR).  

Leaders of the attempted coup to overturn the presidential election struggled to provide rationales for their seditious behavior. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who has lost court cases to reverse the election, said that if legal elections are not nullified, “it will mean the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government.” About his defeats, he called for violence, for the losers to “be as violent as antifa and [Black Lives Matter].”

A coup leader, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) attacked Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) for “shameless personal attacks” and “unfounded claims” about many court cases and AG Bill Barr’s statement disproving election fraud. Toomey also wrote about democracy being “the right of the people to elect their own leaders.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) criticized people for their opposition in overturning a legal election. He told them to “calm down” and “tone down the rhetoric.”

Members of the coup who appeared on television like Hawley and Rep Clay Higgins (R-LA) cannot cite any evidence of “election crimes.” Two of them—Cruz and Hawley—aim at a 2024 run for the White House if DDT ever gets out of the way. Even VP Mike Pence, another presidential wannabe, said he “welcomes” the opposition to Biden’s win. 

Monday, DDT told a rally audience “if [Pence] doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much” after he told the crowd Pence would overturn the election results in DDT’s favor. At a lunch with DDT, Pence tried to explain he may not have the power to block the electoral votes for Joe Biden’s victory despite DDT’s false claim “the Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.” Pence knows his role on January 6 is to preside over the counting of the vote and read them without changing them. Yet DDT maintains:

“The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.”

DDT prefers people believe the election was stolen from him instead of thinking he lost. Initially, DDT knew he lost, according to advisers, but a small group of insiders fed his delusion about erasing Biden’s win. Cleta Mitchell, an attorney advising DDT during his telephone call, left the law firm Foley & Lardner because its policy is not to represent “any parties seeking to contest the results of the election.”

The pro-coup Republicans in Congress use their MO of beating down the opposition with illegitimate arguments to destroy the reputations of Democrats. The GOP had ten hearings, one of them 11 hours long, about Hillary Clinton after four deaths at the diplomatic outpost at Benghazi. House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blatantly stated the reason was to lower Clinton’s poll numbers. Now Republicans want a commission to audit already audited election results already examined in 60+ court cases where 80 judges, including some appointed by DDT, ruled no fraud.

Overturning the election doesn’t appeal to supporters of states’ rights who are opposed to the federal government making decisions, especially the U.S. president. Business leaders also know that this attempt decreases the stability of the nation: 200 leaders of the biggest companies signed a letter of protest to “thwart or delay” the electoral process.

Arrests of DDT supporters in Washington, D.C. for assault and carrying weapons started on Tuesday. The leader of the Proud Boys is banned in D.C. after his arrest for destroying a Black Lives Matter banner at an historic Black church in the city and carrying two “high-capacity firearm magazines.” D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser mobilized 340 National Guard members to help police after permission from the city’s National Guard commanding general Maj. Gen. William J. Walker and acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller. Guns are also banned “within 1,000 feet of First Amendment Activities” (aka protests) on January 4-7. The city also blocks openly carrying firearms, and licensing for concealed carry must be from the District of Columbia.

And the ignored COVID-19 surges. On January 5, 15 days before the inauguration, new infections in the U.S. are 226,593 and new deaths 3,543. Total deaths are 365,664—closing in on the 400,000 expected on Inauguration Day.

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