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The powers of the President of the USA

by Frank Schnittger Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 02:16:28 PM EST

Fintan O'Toole has his usual eloquent take (subscriber only) on the limitations of Joe Biden's Presidential victory. However in one respect, Fintan's take is as delusional as the President-elect he criticises. Fintan appears to believe that Joe Biden has the power to change the system if he merely highlights its most notable defects. That is, sadly, far beyond the President's powers, and is not going to change much any time soon. The minority's power and privilege depends on there being no significant change and to imagine they will give that up without a fight is delusional.

What follows is a draft letter to the Editor which I very much doubt will be published, so I submit it here for your edification and elucidation...

Fintan O'Toole's take on the success and limitations of Joe Biden's Presidential election win is about as good as it gets (The big danger is if Joe Biden believes everything is okay, Opinion 7th. November).  

Arguing that Biden's belief that the US system of governance is the envy of the world is delusional, Fintan concludes by saying that "Biden has to say what was previously unsayable: that the system itself is broken and demands root-and-branch reform."

But Biden saying this achieves nothing at all and merely serves to undermine his own legitimacy and institutional and popular support. To achieve anything, Biden has to work with a hostile Senate and Supreme Court who will not take kindly to any reforms Fintan (or Biden) might propose.

Yes, the US system enshrines minority rule where a minority of the electorate can elect a President through an electoral college skewed in favour of white, rural, and Republican voters. Yes, 70% of senators will soon be elected by only 30% of the population. Yes, the Supreme Court is packed with arch-conservative ideological warriors. Yes, voter suppression, gerrymandering, and industrial scale bribery (called political "donations") is rampant.

But to amend the US constitution requires a two thirds majority of both houses of Congress and ratification by three quarters of all states. This is a bar set so high that the last amendment to be ratified - in 1992 - took over 200 years to be ratified. And why would Republicans agree to an amendment to elect the President by popular vote - thus eliminating the archaic electoral college - when that would have meant their last two Presidents, Bush (2000) and Trump (2016) would not have been elected?

In theory Democrats could, if they won two outstanding Senate run-off elections in Georgia, retake control of the Senate, with the tie-breaking vote of the Vice President. This could enable Biden to have his appointments to office ratified and some moderate legislation passed - always assuming Democrats get rid of the Senate filibuster rules which allow a minority to block all progress -something which is anything but certain.

However to believe that even many Democrats would agree to pack the Supreme Court with additional liberal appointees, grant the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico full state status, and thus enable the election of four additional senators or reform the laws around political donations is probably delusional. Turkey's do not generally vote for Christmas.

The fact is that Republicans control most state houses and governorships - and thus the gerrymandering and voter suppression processes. The Supreme Court has deemed corporations are equivalent to people and money is equivalent to free speech enshrining the power of the wealthy over the poor. The minority who control the US political system are not about to relinquish that control for some abstract ideal of democracy.

Biden can do almost nothing to change these realities and the best we can hope for is that he will do less harm than his predecessor. The problem is not that Biden may be delusional, but that he is powerless where it really matters. Fintan O'Toole risks being delusional if he thinks that much will change even if if Biden were to highlight these issues.

Most amendments were passed by Congress and ratified in an acceptable period of time, sometimes within a year. The 27th amendment is a singularity for which no time limit had been contemplated at the time nor after. The Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 instead had a shelf life attached. It symbolically achieved ratification by 3/4 of the States recently.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 03:36:56 PM EST
Yes, each amendment has its own story, but the point I am trying to make with the brevity a letter to the editor requires, is that an amendment is almost impossible to pass, especially in today's hyper partisan environment.

Wiki does not list any Equal Rights amendment in 1972. The reduction of the voting age to 18 was passed in 1971 but the very fact we have to go back 50 years to cite a successful amendment on a substantive (and non partisan) issue itself indicates how difficult it would be to (say) elect a President by popular vote - when that would eliminate the Republican advantage in the electoral college and mean that Bush and Trump would not have been elected.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 04:46:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's there, down in unratified:

Equal Rights Amendment    

Would have prohibited deprivation of equality of rights by the federal or state governments on account of sex.    

Initial ratification period ended March 22, 1979, and extension period ended June 30, 1982; amendment failed (status challenged)[a]

by fjallstrom on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 at 08:02:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But does that not just reinforce my main point, which is that the US constitution is almost impossible to amend - even for a very worthy cause - without bipartisan support (and then some), and that Republicans are most unlikely to support any amendment which might disadvantage their (minority) voter base at the polls.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 at 10:45:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unseated Trump: "You're FIRED!!"  

Trump came close to firing Esper on 3 June when the former Raytheon arms executive publicly contradicted the president over the potential use of the 1807 Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty military units against protests in Washington and other cities.

A bit of Executive Power ... 😡

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 06:48:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Trump loyalists attempting a coup d'etat ... just heard BIG a$$ Mitch McConnell repudiating the choice of 75,000,000 Americans. He was joined by SC Senator Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz ... calling out the militia next ... overthrow of Democracy. 😡 an angry narcist can act beyond control in an alternative world.

Trump ready to takeover all crucial tasks ... will fire AG Bill Barr ... CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director.

Trump's chopping block: President will immediately fire 'FBI director Christopher Wray, CIA director Gina Haspel, Defense Secretary Mark Esper AND a long line of senior officials' if he wins reelection

Monstrous, he definitely wants the second term, no Constitution can hold him back ... Trump is no loser even after going bankrupt on Nov. 3.

Furious Trump ready to fire FBI chief for 'letting off' Hunter and Joe Biden

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 09:33:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eisenhower and Civil Rights

By far the best Republican President in my lifetime, the 1953 coup d'etat in Tehran I'll put the blame on the British and CIA. Eisenhower revenged US Foreign Pilicy in Middle East during the Suez Crisis of 1956.

Civil Rights: The Little Rock School Integration Crisis

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education that segregated schools are "inherently unequal." In September 1957, as a result of that ruling, nine African-American students enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ensuing struggle between segregationists and integrationists, the State of Arkansas and the federal government, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, has become known in modern American history as the "Little Rock Crisis." The crisis gained world-wide attention. When Governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School to keep the nine students from entering the school, President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock to insure the safety of the "Little Rock Nine" and that the rulings of the Supreme Court were upheld. The manuscript holdings of the Eisenhower Presidential Library contain a large amount of documentation on this historic test of the Brown vs. Topeka ruling and school integration.

Press release, President Eisenhower's telegram to Governor Faubus, September 5, 1957 [Kevin McCann Collection of Press and Radio Conferences and Press Releases, Box 20, September 1957; NAID #12237650]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 05:18:51 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 01:30:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists, researchers and Trump whistleblower among Biden's Covid-19 taskforce
President-elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus task force on Monday following his victory in the US presidential election while president Donald Trump pursues several long-shot gambits to hold on to his job.

Mr Biden is due to meet with an advisory board co-chaired by former surgeon general during the Obama administration Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner David Kessler and Yale University associate professor Marcella Nunez-Smith to examine how best to handle a pandemic that has killed more than 237,000 Americans.


The group of scientists and experts will liaise with local and state officials on the pandemic response, including how to safely reopen schools and firms and tackle racial disparities. The Biden panel includes Rick Bright,whistleblower who says he was removed from his Trump administration post for raising concerns about coronavirus preparedness and Luciana Borio, who specialises in complex public health emergencies

Mr Trump has frequently clashed with top health officials over the pandemic. Vice-president Mike Pence is due to meet with the White House coronavirus task force on Monday for the first time since October 20th.


Mr Trump, who played golf in Virginia on Saturday and Sunday, has not yet conceded the race, and has launched a number of legal challenges in different states as he seeks to claim victory. While some reports on Sunday suggested that his wife Melania was encouraging him to concede, the first lady appeared to endorse her husband's suggestion that "illegal" votes were behind Mr Biden's victory.

I like the juxtaposition of a President who plays golf two days in a row with a President elect who is starting work despite being denied funding for his transition programme.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 07:27:58 PM EST

yeah, That "convincing victory" i still 51.5% of the popular vote.

under the radar: Mitt Romney has been asked to lead Health and Human Services in Biden administration with BINDER appointment to fill the UT senate vacancy ...should he prefer this Biden nomination to  that Trump nomination. < wipes tears >

by Cat on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 08:09:24 PM EST
Mark Esper fired as Pentagon chief after contradicting Trump
Donald Trump has fired his defence secretary, Mark Esper, in the latest sign that the transition to a new Biden administration in January is going to be turbulent on both domestic and foreign fronts.

Esper was fired by tweet on Monday afternoon, with the president declaring he was "pleased to announce that Christopher C Miller, the highly respected director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be acting secretary of defense, effective immediately.

"Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service."

Esper had been at odds with Trump on a number of issues, most importantly his insistence at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer that there were no legal grounds to deploy active-service troops on the streets of US cities.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 09:25:46 PM EST
The name of the game for Trump now is "how do I spin 70 Million votes into a lucrative revenue stream complete with its own TV network?"

Being called a loser is non-negotiable. If he has to take  the political system down with him, that is only collateral damage and grist to his media mill.

The only way out is if he can label his defeat an establishment stitch up.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 11:25:06 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 at 11:32:27 PM EST
The END of a shameful administration ... going up in 🔥🔥🔥

Nero watching Rome burn!

Mike Pence is taking some time off for a long weekend holiday ... all is fine in the hands of Trump and his mob!

Even becomes intolerable for Fox News and Friends ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 07:50:39 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 10:55:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Buying some extra issues of this week's TIME MAGAzine and drop these off at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. ... understand the resident will be moving out soon! 🤣 🤣

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 08:11:43 AM EST
The major win for supporting Joe Biden was to get rid of a misfit president ... the damage done domestically and on foreign policy cannot be undone in a single four year term.

The Obama/Biden years made crucial mistakes by supporting regime change in Syria and Libya. I understand Susan Rice is frontrunner for State?

Republican Senate managed to set ME policy with PM Netanyahu instead of president Obama. HRC at State was a huge mistake. Support for Qatar, Turkey with Erdogan (MB) backfired as the JCPOA did not take root.

The backlash is the Abraham Accords and the superficial alliance of Israel with Arab Gulf dictatorships. Human Rights has less priority than capitalistic financial gains. The Planet suffers.

It took Netanyahu 12 long hours before sending a double message of congratulations to president-elect and heartfelt appreciation to his best friend.

US election result: Netanyahu congratulates Biden - but Twitter picture with Trump remains | The Independent |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 10:24:36 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 10:59:16 AM EST
by Cat on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 03:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forget Bush vs Gore of 2000 ... I'm Donald Trump and we play by my rules!

Bill Barr memo: Justice lawyer quits after attorney general orders 'vote fraud' inquiries | BBC News |

Mr Barr said prosecutors should only look into "substantial allegations" of irregularities, and that "specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims" should be ignored.

He acknowledged that individual states had the primary responsibility for the conduct of elections but said the justice department had "an obligation to ensure that federal elections are conducted in such a way that the American people can have full confidence in their electoral process and their government".

The department would normally only go beyond preliminary investigations after an election had been concluded and the results certified, but Mr Barr said this could result in situations where "misconduct cannot realistically be rectified".

Mr Richard Pilger said he had quit in response to Mr Barr's memo.

"Having familiarised myself with the new policy and its ramifications... I must regretfully resign from my role," he wrote in an email to colleagues.

I never lose ... I'm after all the perfect tax cheat! Replace my lawyers ... shouting now: "Rudi ... !!"

"Yes Sir, most States are Red so you won!"

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 12:04:07 PM EST
Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"
Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this
magnificent response:

"A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no
compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no
self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities,
funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump's limitations into
embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once
said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.
I don't say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not
ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility -
for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it's a fact. He doesn't even seem to understand what a joke
is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual
act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never
laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn't just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually
thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices
and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It's
all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don't. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our
heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He's not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He's more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into
a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic
decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman
should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt.
He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks
them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans
look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he
seems like my kind of guy' is a matter of some confusion and no little
distress to British people, given that:

  • Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
  • You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in
the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and
many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it's impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a
sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being
artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of
shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of
nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from
human flaws - he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair
and scream in anguish:
'My God... what... have... I... created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 02:35:13 PM EST
by Cat on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 07:11:05 PM EST
Comrade Trump

In 1922, Vladimir Lenin wrote that "Stalin concentrated in his hands enormous power, which he won't be able to use responsibly," owing to his rudeness, intolerance, and capriciousness - qualities that Donald Trump has in spades. His acquittal by the Senate was a dark day for American democracy, but his reelection could be lights out.

[Nina L. Khrushcheva - Feb 13, 2020]

Pentagon's top policy official resigns after clashing with the White House | Politico |

The Pentagon's acting policy chief resigned on Tuesday after falling out of favor with the White House, raising fears of a post-election purge at the Defense Department.

The departure of James Anderson, the acting undersecretary of defense for policy, potentially paves the way for Anthony Tata, President Donald Trump's controversial nominee for the top policy job who was pulled from consideration due to Islamophobic tweets, to take over the policy shop. Anderson's resignation also comes one day after Defense Secretary Mark Esper was fired by Trump, also over policy disagreements.

Anderson has been acting as the Pentagon's policy chief since February, when the White House pushed out John Rood, the last person to be confirmed in the job, over perceived insufficient loyalty to the president.

Anderson's departure from the job -- often billed as the third-most important in the department -- likely means Anthony Tata, a retired Army brigadier general and Fox News guest who was controversially placed in the Pentagon, will fill the role.

Trump asks a "Cummings clone" to run military matters inside the Pentagon ...

Tony Tata's Army career included phony court order, at least 2 affairs

Yea, by Trump's book ... he's qualified!

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 07:12:34 PM EST
Trump loyalists given top Pentagon roles after several officials resign following Esper's ouster | NBC News |

Retired Army Gen. Anthony Tata, a frequent Fox News guest, will replace Anderson. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who works in the Defense Department and was an aide to the disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, will replace Kernan. Kash Patel, a former National Security Council official and former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who worked on the controversial House investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, will replace Stewart.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 11:04:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 11:26:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great idea if you plan to retain power via a military coup: send in your lawyers to accuse hundreds of military personnel of voter fraud.

GOP List of Alleged Voter Fraud in Nevada Contains Hundreds of Military Addresses

A letter sent Nov. 5 on behalf of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign to Attorney General William Barr alleges that 3,062 voters who do not live in the state of Nevada "improperly cast" absentee ballots in the 2020 election.

But the list that accompanies the letter of those accused of "criminal voter fraud" contains hundreds of overseas military post office boxes and more than 1,000 locations where military personnel are stationed, such as Minot, North Dakota; Edwards and Fort Irwin, California; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Yuma, Arizona.

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 06:43:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on November 12:

Gen. Milley: 'We take an oath to the Constitution' - AP

You see, we are unique among armies. We are unique among militaries. We do not take an oath to a king, or queen, a tyrant, or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual.

No, we do not take an oath to a country, a tribe, or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution. And every soldier that is represented in this museum, every sailor, airmen, marine, coast guardsmen, each of us will protect and defend that document regardless of personal price.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 12:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 07:27:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"That's ridiculous. And you know it's ridiculous. And you asked it because it's ridiculous. You asked a question that is ridiculous, this department cares deeply to make sure elections around the world are safe and secure and free and fair."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there will be "smooth transition to a second Trump administration"

"There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. Right. The world is watching what's taking place. We're gonna count all the votes. When the process is completed, they'll be electors selected. There's a process, the constitution lays it out pretty clearly. The world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today and successful with a president who's in office on January 20 a minute after noon will also be successful."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 10th, 2020 at 09:36:30 PM EST
They recognize an authoritarian leader, one of the club with (un)limited executive power, Commander-In-Chief of most powerful military ...

Brazil's Bolsonaro, Korea's Kim Jung Un, Russia's Putin and China's Xi Jinping ...

None of these friends of Trump have send congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden.

As Putin and Xi bide their time, which world leaders have and have not congratulated Biden?

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 05:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand Estonia's view as the Bidens are hawks on Russia and Putin ... they should be strong allies!

Estonia's far-right minister resigns over Biden remarks | ABC News |

Estonia's far-right interior minister, Mart Helme, resigned a day after he called President-elect Joe Biden and his son Hunter "corrupt characters" without providing further details or evidence.

"Last night I decided to resign (when) looking at the slander and lies produced by the Estonian media," said Helme, of the Estonian Conservative People's Party, or EKRE.

"I am tired. I did nothing yesterday that would endanger Estonia's security. I have not said anything that has not already been told by the American media, the American free media," he told public broadcaster ERR.

He made the remarks on Sunday in an Estonian radio show which interviewed both Mart Helme and his son Martin, who is the country's finance minister. They also discussed a hypothetical scenario of a U.S. civil war after the election result.

Earlier diary:

Estonia Celebrates Annual Waffen SS Division Heroes

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 08:15:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mart Helme doesn't really represent all Estonians, he is from the lunatic fringe of the right-wing populist party (that got 17% of votes in the last election).

On the other hand, when you actually live next to Russia as a NATO member, you don't necessarily want the boys in Washington to turn your country into a burned wasteland of superpower conflict.

Around half of the Estonians see NATO as a protection, but actively seeking a fight with Russians is not actually protecting them, is it?

Everyone in Estonia knows that if there is any kind of military conflict with NATO and Russia, Estonia is overrun before nobody in Brussels notices. And that any counter-action by NATO means fighting in Estonia.

So, NATOs role is not to seek fight, but give Estonia a false sense of security. When there is a conflict, like the Bronze Soldier thing way back when, that doesn't reach the level of a shooting war, Estonia finds itself left alone and having to resolve the issue with Russia, not with Washington or Brussels. So while NATO offers protection, security is defined by relations with Russia.

by pelgus on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 12:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly ... if only this would impress the generals and weapons manufacturers supplying badly needed jobs in Trump's Red States. 😡

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 01:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US sec'y of state begins difficult 7-nation tour in France
PARIS (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed "global challenges" with a handful of members of a Paris think tank Saturday at the start of a seven-country tour of Europe and the Middle East, travels that were certain to be awkward since all the nations on his schedule have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden for winning the White House.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 05:33:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kenyan columnist and cartoonist Patrick Gathara has been well known for his commenting of European and US events using the same framing European and US media do when reporting on African countries:

Also noted in Africa:

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 10:24:58 AM EST
Laugh? We nearly all died - why my US failed state Twitter thread went viral
Patrick Gathara
The chaotic US election has undoubtedly been the biggest story in the world in the last two weeks. Watching it unfold from over 13,000km away in Kenya, the election itself - the long queues, the delayed and disputed vote count, impugned credibility - was disturbingly familiar. Our own elections follow a near-identical pattern. The media coverage, not so much.

Gone were the condescending tone, the adjective-laden labels and the expectation of violence and malfeasance so often applied to "foreign" elections. In its place was an easy familiarity and assumption of competence.

The media did not feel it necessary to depict the US as a crisis-wracked, oil-rich, nuclear-armed North American country with armed terror groups roaming its ethnically polarized restless interior. But these were exactly the sorts of descriptors that have traditionally allowed western audiences to identify with and follow events in distant, "exotic" places. It seemed to me that the rest of us deserved the same consideration. And so I decided to offer this perspective in a Twitter thread.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 05:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump Is Fundraising For Legal Help Fighting A `Stolen' Election. Nearly All The Money Is Actually Going Elsewhere. - TPM
In reality, there is no election defense fund; the donations are siphoned into a mix of various committees. Up until Tuesday, some of the money was being used to pay down the Trump campaign's debt. As of Tuesday morning though, the formula was changed to funnel most of the money into Trump's new leadership PAC called Save America.
"Not a penny is dedicated to a legal expense account unless donors have maxed out their contributions to the first two committees, $5,000 to the leadership PAC and $35,500 to the RNC," said Paul Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause.

Far from arming Trump in his fight against the election results, in most cases, most of the money will end up in the new leadership PAC. (Trump's baseless claims of election theft are widely acknowledged to be the complaints of a sore loser which, while harmful to democracy, are completely lacking in validity.)

Calling leadership PACs "notorious" for being abused as slush funds, Ryan predicted that Trump will keep the coffers full by teasing a possible 2024 run, all the while finding ways to funnel money back to his businesses and family members.

"This is a way that he can fleece his supporters to support his own lifestyle for the next few years regardless of whether he even runs in 2024," Ryan said.

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Nov 11th, 2020 at 11:31:57 AM EST
No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread problems

Dominion Voting Systems, which makes software that local governments around the nation use to help run their elections, is now at the center of baseless claims that "software glitches" led to mistakes in vote tallies in Michigan and Georgia last week.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 at 06:56:08 PM EST
The counts have been proceeding at an excruciatingly slow pace. Anyone know what's going on? GOP slowing counts so that states won't be able to certify their results in time to count in the electoral college?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 at 09:36:23 PM EST
by Cat on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 at 09:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Republicans Decry Slow Ballot Counts While Hampering Efforts to Speed Them Up | Mother Jones - Sept. 25, 2020 |

Trump allies have outlined plans to exploit delays in counting votes to create chaos and overrule the will of the people.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 at 11:25:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No.  It's always like this.  New York and California always take forever, and elsewhere it just takes a long time to get through things like provisional ballots because a lot more verification work has to go into it.  

People just never paid attention before, because we didn't have one party trying to get states legislatures to throw out the results.

You can follow the count and which states have finished and certified their results here:


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 10:58:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The "red mirage/blue shift" phenomenon is actually the norm with the popular vote for this reason.  Recall that Obama only led McCain by about 3 points on Election Night in 2008 and won by 7.2.  If memory serves, Romney actually led Obama slightly around 11PM on Election Night in 2012 (ironically Trump had a meltdown on Twitter about the Electoral College over it), but Obama wound up winning by 3.9.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 11:02:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Florida Is the only one of 15 battleground states where Trump improved his performance in terms of margin of victory since 2016. You must be so proud! :-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 12:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's not great.  Living vicariously through my Georgia friends and kinfolk lol

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 03:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All things considered, if you offered me Georgia as a blue state in exchange for Florida as a red state going forward, I'd probably take that.

Now if we could just get a Georgia- or Virginia-type blue shift in North Carolina....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 03:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate to say this 😊 Murdoch's news outlet made the early call ...

Biden increases lead in Arizona, ending Trump's hopes that continuing vote count would put state in his column | AZ Central |

Biden leads Trump by 11,434 votes in the statewide tally -- a margin greater than the estimated number of ballots remaining to be counted in Arizona.

The Thursday evening results from about 4,000 Maricopa County ballots went 53% for Biden and 43% for Trump.

No path for victory for Trump ...

This election marks only the second time the Grand Canyon State has supported a Democrat for president since 1948.

The Wrath of McCain 😄

Attorney General Mark Brnovich ..

Trump's voting irregularity claims get cold reception in court hearing | Phoenix Biz |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 08:40:41 AM EST

Law firm drops Trump's Pennsylvania lawsuit days after legal team in Arizona did the same | The Independent |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 06:36:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 11:29:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 09:34:15 AM EST
Did they discuss what to do if your predecessor is still living in your home and doesn't want to leave?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 10:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe his predecessor was banned to a monastery halfway up a mountain in a Red region ... and censored. That would be nice!

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 10:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China finally sends 'congratulations' to Joe Biden on US election win | Dawn / AFP |

China congratulated United States President-elect Joe Biden on Friday nearly a week after he was declared winner of the American election.

"We respect the choice of the American people. We express our congratulations to Mr Biden and Ms Harris," said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing, referring to incoming vice president Kamala Harris.

Wang said China understands "the result of the US election will be determined in accordance with US laws and procedures".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 10:16:21 AM EST
Trump's Last Stand ... Awaiting A Humiliating Defeat

Donald Trump attacks Fox News: 'They forgot the golden goose' | The Guardian |

Obama calls president 'elixir of racial anxiety' and attacks Republicans over result denial

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 11:52:59 AM EST
by Cat on Fri Nov 13th, 2020 at 04:32:06 PM EST
Scary 😖

Troubling, did she fail to find a job in her home State Arkansas?

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 09:01:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She has not lived in Arkansas for 20 years.
by asdf on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 03:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Removing the Pentagon leading brass ... not providing Joe Biden with intelligence briefings ... I do not trust Trump and acolytes to leave an impression towards Iran and guarantee turmoil in Middle East for next decade.

Once again the rag newspaper NYT being used by the rogue intelligence community to offer the pretense for war.

"Operation Mockingbird 2.0" ??

Israeli agents in Iran kill al-Qaida's top lieutenant - report | The Guardian |

A setup for going to war with a lethal airstrike ... fulfilling Trump's promise to obliterate Iran's Culture ... the Barbarian!

FBI Wanted List - Abu Muhammad al-Masri

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 08:56:46 AM EST
Iran denies report al Qaeda operative killed in Iran - Reuters
Nov 14 (Reuters) - Iran on Saturday denied a New York Times report that al Qaeda's second-in-command was killed in Iran in August by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that there were no al Qaeda "terrorists" on Iranian soil.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 09:12:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT history ... one doesn't need to write the facts or truth to help start a war ...

If there was any truth in it, wouldn't Trump have trumpeted his heroic act before the election? Poor timing?

Judith Miller - William Safire

Operation Mockingbird: New York Times confesses to role in subverting First Amendment

Apologies or Evasions: A Critical Look at the New York Times's and Washington Post's Self-Criticism

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 10:56:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France's Macron meets with Pompeo, calls for European independence | DW |

Pompeo's meetings in France to be held in 'complete transparency' with Biden team, says Macron

Macron walks diplomatic tightrope while hosting Trump ally Pompeo | France24 |

Ongoing disagreements

In contrast to some other EU leaders, Macron sought from the outset to win over Trump, making him the guest of honour at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris in 2017 - a trip that included a dinner with their spouses on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

But analysts say that the French leader has little to show for his efforts, with Trump pulling the US out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord and the two leaders also locking horns on Iran, trade and taxing digital giants.

"The strong relationship between our countries cannot be overestimated, and I'm looking forward to my discussions here in Paris," Pompeo tweeted soon after his arrival on Saturday.

But there was ample scope for friction.

EU leaders are also still trying to save a hard-won international deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, which Trump ripped up early in his term.

A senior Trump administration official told the press that Washington's policy of "maximum pressure" on historic foe Iran was "not going to stop in the coming months".

Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Stockpile | NY Times |

A strike on Iran's main nuclear site at Natanz could flare into a regional conflict and pose a serious foreign policy challenge for Biden.

Biden's transition team, which has not had access to national security intelligence due to the Trump administration's refusal to begin the transition, declined to comment for this story.

In 2012 President Obama blocked Israel and Netanyahu from executief a strike on Iran. In 2019 Trump backed down from a retaliatory strike on Iran's Quds military force only to assassinate commander Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq. This resulted in US Forces drawing down in Iraq and leaving the region to outside powers.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 11:21:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France's Macron meets with Pompeo, calls for European independence | DW |
No press conferences were held following the low-key talks, although Pompeo said the EU and US need to work together to address Turkey's "very aggressive" foreign policy.

"Europe and the U.S. must work together to convince Erdogan such actions are not in the interest of his people," Pompeo told French newspaper Le Figaro, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

ROTFL: has Pompeo convinced his boss that "such actions are not in the interest of his people"?
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 01:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 07:54:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Ronen Bergman Selling A Book On Iran

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 08:12:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is now the new Number 2?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 05:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 05:42:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 06:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter as long as Number 6 is kept distracted.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 06:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't seen Number 6 around for a while. Maybe he thinks he's become a free man. He's wrong. He will be back.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 08:57:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mike Pompeo: Qassem Soleimani is causing trouble in Iraq and Syria ... we need to raise the cost for him | The National - July 2018 |

We are the good guys, they are the bad guys. Delivering war planes for peace in the Middle East!!

U.S. Isolated at U.N. as Push to Ramp Up Pressure on Iran Fails | Foreign Policy - Sept. 21, 2020 |

Pompeo announces $23b sale of F-35s, other arms to UAE, links it to Israel peace | Times of Israel |

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had authorized the sale in keeping with the administration's Middle East peace efforts, and directly tied the arms sale to the UAE's decision to normalize ties with Israel.

"This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE's need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran," Pompeo said in a statement.

Lawyers file evidence of Yemen war crimes in 3 jurisdictions

Chairman Aims to Reassure Allies in Middle East

Army Gen. Mark Milley is meeting with national and military leaders to assure allies and partners in the region and deter Iran from malign behavior. Milley is carrying an important message to U.S. allies and service members on a whirlwind trip around the world.

He is also talking to allies about Iran and the malign activities they sponsor throughout the region.

"They're the world's number one sponsor of terrorism. They have conducted a wide variety of support to terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East region, and that's widely known," Milley said.

Deterring Iran from further hostile acts is on the minds of U.S. allies in the Middle East, the chairman said. But countering Iran is tough because they can lash out overtly, nation versus nation, or covertly, via cyber attacks or attacks by Iranian-sponsored or -funded terror groups.

Milley also answered a question about thefiring of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer . He said Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper made the decision for good reasons, and the decision is a matter for civilian leaders. Milley added that he supports Esper's decision.  

Pompeo Will Not Meet Turkish FM, Will Speak With Patriarch Bartholomew on Turkey Trip

In Istanbul, Pompeo will meet the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), Bartholomew I, "to discuss religious issues in Turkey and the region and to promote our strong stance on religious freedom around the world," the State Department said.

Pompeo is expected to meet with Netanyahu to discuss "Iran's malignant behavior"

Pompeo is expected to arrive in Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the Abraham Accords, "and our joint efforts to address Iran's malign activities."

He will then visit three Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates that recently normalized its ties with Israel in a White House-brokered agreement. Pompeo is expected to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed "to discuss security cooperation and regional issues," in Abu Dhabi.

He will then travel to Qatar, to meet with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani "to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including the importance of Gulf unity."

His final stop will be in Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the State Department said.

What's In A Name?

Iraqi Defense Minister Amir Hatami Visits Tehran 'Working To Combat Terrorism'

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 02:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Saudi-US partnership critical to confronting Iran, Pompeo says after Prince Faisal meeting | Gulf News - Oct. 15, 2020 |

Following the meeting, Pompeo said on Twitter that it was "past time" that Iran lived up to its commitment to global regulations regarding money laundering and financing of terror, calling on Tehran to ratify both the Palermo Convention and Terrorist Financing Convention.

Pompeo also praised American and Saudi relations, saying, "The US-Saudi partnership is critical as we confront Iran's destabilising behaviour.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 04:49:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A long way until the Inauguration of President Joe Biden .... just like Rome, the world may be burning.

Analysis | Will Netanyahu Strike Iran? Unlikely, but Trump Might | Haaretz |

Faced with the most unpredictable president to ever sit in the White House, Israeli officials are trying to decipher Trump's intentions about Iran until January.

Mike Pompeo will visit the Middle East, including Israel, next week. The timing is interesting. What could the outgoing U.S. secretary of state be after here, with the coronavirus pandemic still raging and his boss supposedly packing his bags after his clear-cut loss to Joe Biden in the presidential election?

Is Trump plotting a war against Iran? | WSWS |

The growing speculation is driven not only by Pompeo's visit to Israel, which is to include the first-ever appearance by a US secretary of state at a Zionist settlement in the occupied West Bank. Earlier this week, the former Iran-Contra conspirator Elliott Abrams, who is the Trump administration's special envoy on both Iran and Venezuela, arrived in Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And the Jerusalem Post reported that US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley held a video call Thursday with his counterpart, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi.

The powers of the President to strike "terror" has been expanded by successive presidents since George Bush, the 9/11 Saudi attacks on America and the War Powers Resolution of 2002. No one reckoned with a Trump presidency and mental state.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 08:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying about Iran-Contra, named special representative for Iran | CBS News - Aug. 6, 2020 |

The Tragic Life of the War Criminal Elliott Abrams

Abrams' chief claim to fame is his role in Ronald Reagan's blood-soaked foreign policy in Central America in the 1980s, for which he earned the nickname, "contra commander-in-chief." The contras were the brutal right-wing paramilitary groups in Nicaragua who terrorized civilians throughout the decade, cutting a swath of torture, rape, and murder aimed at everyone from the elderly to children. Their methods were similar to those of right-wing paramilitaries in the other countries of the region, including El Salvador and Guatemala ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 09:35:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Preparing a path for attack on Iran ... leading US envoy Elliott Abrams meets Netanyahu

Rhetoric - a war of words already developed ...

Will Biden be a Chamberlain or a war leader like Churchill ... perhaps Trump should make the choice for him !!  😡

Are Israel and the US planning to attack Iran? | Jerusalem Post |

Advice for Biden: 'War is never inevitable'

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 11:21:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Evangelists and the Jewish State of Israel ...


Trump Declares Himself "King of Israel," the "Second Coming of God" | Vanity Fair - August 2019 |

A damning combustible mixture for the Middle East!

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 11:33:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 07:44:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Republican Party is the Trump Party.  

Going against him would end their careers.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 09:07:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tucker Carlson and the guy in GA are finding that out right now
by asdf on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 06:58:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump asked for options for attacking Iran last week, according to US officia | France24 |

Trump made the request during a meeting on Thursday with his top national security aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, his new acting defense secretary Christopher Miller, and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the official said.

The official confirmed the account of the meeting in The New York Times, which reported that the advisers persuaded Trump not to go ahead with a strike because of the risk of a broader conflict.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 05:38:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 12:47:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 29th, 2020 at 01:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checking in with Team Trump:

`Purely outlandish stuff': Trump's legal machine grinds to a halt - Politico

A Michigan lawyer for Donald Trump's campaign filed a case in the wrong court. Lawsuits in Arizona and Nevada were dropped. A Georgia challenge was quickly rejected for lack of evidence. His Pennsylvania legal team just threw in the towel.

The president's legal machine -- the one papering swing states with lawsuits and affidavits in support of Trump's unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud -- is slowly grinding to a halt after suffering a slew of legal defeats and setbacks.

In the effort to stop Joe Biden's victory from being certified, so many lawsuits have been filed in so many state and federal courts that no one has an exact number. But one thing is certain: the Trump campaign has an almost perfect record, having won only one case and lost at least a dozen.

Bullshit is a poorly efficient fuel: lot of light and smoke (mostly the latter), but its mileage per gallon will leave you stranded on the roadside.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 09:19:49 AM EST
About that cunning plan of having GOP-controlled state legislatures dismissing Biden's popular vote wins in their states and opting to select Trump electors instead:

Can Trump win with 'fantasy' electors bid? State GOP says no - APsplaining

Republican leaders in four critical states won by President-elect Joe Biden say they won't participate in a legally dubious scheme to flip their state's electors to vote for President Donald Trump. Their comments effectively shut down a half-baked plot some Republicans floated as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House.

State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate's victory. Such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people, several noted.

"I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud -- which I haven't heard of anything -- I don't see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors," said Rusty Bowers, Arizona's Republican House speaker, who says he's been inundated with emails pleading for the legislature to intervene. "They are mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people."

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 09:43:13 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 11:13:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Held: A State may enforce an elector's pledge to support his party's nom-inee--and the state voters' choice--for President.
Nothing in the Constitution expressly prohibits States from takingaway presidential electors' voting discretion as Washington does. Article II includes only the instruction to each State to appoint electors, and the Twelfth Amendment only sets out the electors' voting proce-dures. And while two contemporaneous State Constitutions incorporated language calling for the exercise of elector discretion, no language of that kind made it into the Federal Constitution. Contrary to the Electors' argument, Article II's use of the term "electors" and the Twelfth Amendment's requirement  that the electors "vote," and that they do so "by ballot," do not establish that electors must have discretion.
KAGAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and  GINSBURG, BREYER, ALITO, SOTOMAYOR, GORSUCH, and  KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined.  THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which GORSUCH, J., joined as to Part II.
What was the question?
archived: Tue Jan 28th, 2020
by Cat on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 04:06:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably no harm that Trump tests the boundaries of constitutionality so that any flaws are highlighted and judicial precedents are set.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 04:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
exactly and rather, "judicial precedents are" affirmed.

You all will recall the Anti-RBG's quaint, if abrupt and stoic, references to "precedent" and "super-precedent" case law in her confirmation hearing.

by Cat on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 07:52:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 08:21:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Real American Pancakes

K-pop group one of many to hijack the extreme right-wing march in Washington DC 🤣

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 06:17:15 PM EST
Joe Biden has plans for Israel and the Middle East | Ynet News |

One of the steps Israel will take with Biden's inauguration is to replace its current ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, a former Republican operative who is persona non grata among Democrats.

His replacement will be Israel's recently installed ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, who will continue to hold both positions and work extremely hard to mend Israel's relationship with the Democrats.

Israeli minister warns of war if Biden returns to Iran Deal | JPost |

Dutch Senate calls to affirm Jewish ties to Temple Mount

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 07:44:57 PM EST
soooo no plan to vacate US Embassy in Jerusalem, because ...NORMMMMMMZZZZZZZZZZZZ
by Cat on Sat Nov 14th, 2020 at 07:55:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Nov 19th, 2020 at 02:09:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Federal judge batters DHS appointee ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 01:00:24 AM EST
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 06:08:22 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 10:09:11 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 11:14:30 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 08:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 08:36:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Before quarantining, Grassley had spoken on the Senate floor without wearing a mask.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 18th, 2020 at 07:09:57 PM EST
How many Republican senators now?

Rick Scott Florida Republican senator says he has Covid-19

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida said in a statement Friday morning he has tested positive with Covid-19, adding to the number of lawmakers in recent days that have tested positive with the virus.
"After several negative tests, I learned I was positive this morning," he said in a statement. "I am feeling good and experiencing very mild symptoms. I will be working from home in Naples until it is safe for me to return to Washington, D.C."
Scott, who is the chairman of the Senate Republicans' campaign arm, had campaigned last week with Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler who are both facing January runoff races for reelection in Georgia.

Perdue & Loeffler next?
by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Nov 20th, 2020 at 09:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Loeffler:

Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler tests positive for Covid but is undergoing further testing

(CNN)Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler has tested positive for Covid-19, her campaign announced.
Loeffler tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, but a subsequent test came back as inconclusive on Saturday evening, according to campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson.
"Senator Loeffler took two COVID tests on Friday morning. Her rapid test results were negative and she was cleared to attend Friday's events. She was informed later in the evening after public events on Friday that her PCR test came back positive, but she was retested Saturday morning after conferring with medical officials and those results came back inconclusive on Saturday evening," Lawson said.

Special election on January 5.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 05:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Presidential Transition Live: Trump invites State Lawmakers to Rescind Their Certification Votes | NY Times |

Washington Post: Trump spoke to GOP official who now wants to 'rescind' vote to certify Detroit's result

Comedy Capers ... Bunker Mentality of an American Tiran

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 19th, 2020 at 07:40:37 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 19th, 2020 at 07:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lead attorney together with Rudy Giuliani ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 19th, 2020 at 09:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily briefing Oval Office ...

Mr. President, it was truly a landslide, congratulations! Just take a look at all states turned RED!


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 20th, 2020 at 05:12:41 PM EST
Republican areas trending red. Could it have anything to do with Covid denialism?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 20th, 2020 at 08:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

That ideer purporting to totalize attitudes and medical literacy and legislated civil rights and EOs and electoral restrictions shared by multi-state, non-contiguous populations isn't even testable.

Every US state had been identified by "positivity" analysis > 3% months before November panic d/b/a "second wave". Zero-nominal attempts to isolate "asymptomatic" virus carriers was made by private or public-sector institutions: Free movement of persons  undermined all PH "intervention" rhetoric, regardless of satan Trump or christ Fauci.

Also see Oui's non sequitur re: SARS-CoV-2 incidence in Mayo hospital system (below), regardless of corporate labor relations over the prior 9 months.

by Cat on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 05:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have thought that the analysis of Covid infectees by their political affiliation was, in principle, testable, provided the relevant data is collected, which it probably is not being done at the moment.

You would have to control for other risk factors - number of people in home, urban, suburban, and rural locations, age, customer facing occupations, face mask wearing or not etc: not an easy task, but not intrinsically impossible.

In fact we need statistical data on how effective various mitigation strategies are - we may be expending a lot of effort on less efficient measures. Just because Trumpistas oppose mask wearing doesn't prove they are wrong.

For a long time public health authorities in Ireland regarded mask wearing as unnecessary and ineffective outside of hospital and clinical settings. It's not entirely clear what caused them to change their minds... certainly I have seen no conclusive data.

Personally I think mask wearing should be required in public places where social distancing is not possible, but more because of the precautionary principle rather than hard evidence of effectiveness.

The US is currently conducting a live social experiment in different approaches to reacting to the pandemic. We just need to collect the data to know what strategies work best, and to what degree.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 04:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
triple (D)
by Cat on Thu Nov 26th, 2020 at 01:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. hits 12 million COVID-19 cases as many Americans defy Thanksgiving travel guidance
Still, video footage on Twitter showed more than a hundred people, wearing masks, crowding departure gates at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Arizona [D], on Friday. Lines for TSA checkpoints and kiosks at Chicago O'Hare airport were also long on Friday and "reminiscent of pre-pandemic times," local TV station WGN reported.
Seven governors of Midwestern states- Wisconsin [D], Minnesota [D], Illinois [D], Ohio [R], Kentucky [R], Indiana [R] and Michigan [D] - encouraged their residents to heed medical advice over the holidays and not to celebrate Thanksgiving with people outside their households. ...
We're celebrating Thanksgiving amid a pandemic. Here's how we did it in 1918 -- and what happened next
by Cat on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 11:53:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jimmy Kimmel: Trump's 'minions are working hard right now to poison the well' | The Guardian |

The national embarrassment Jimmy Kimmel has termed "Squattergate" - Donald Trump's refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election and facilitate the transition of power - sputtered along on Tuesday evening, the day before the deadline for the Trump campaign to request a recount in Wisconsin. The recount for a state Biden won by over 20,000 votes would cost the Trump campaign $8m, "which is why he's asking his supporters for $16m - a little walking around money on the side," Kimmel joked.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:14:49 PM EST
President met with Michigan's Republican leaders at White House in desperate bid to subvert democracy

Another blow to the LOSER ...

"Michigan's certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 06:55:41 AM EST
Merrick Garland Among Biden Candidates For Attorney General, Sources Say
Federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland is under consideration to serve as attorney general in the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, NPR has learned from two people closely following the process.


More recently, Garland was nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Despite his qualifications and a history of support from conservatives, Senate Republicans denied Garland even a hearing for the post, and he quietly returned to his job on what's considered the second most important court in the nation.

Confirmation hearings at the Senate may be... interesting.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 09:52:06 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 21st, 2020 at 04:51:52 PM EST
Replay of White Supremacy and Trump's Thumping by Joe Biden

Electoral disputes and the Compromise of 1877

How the 1876 Election Tested the Constitution and Effectively Ended Reconstruction

Disputed returns and secret back-room negotiations put Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House--and Democrats back in control of the South.

Dismantling Reconstruction

At the same time, key decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court struck at the protections afforded by Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments and legislation. The Court's decision in the Slaughterhouse Cases (1873), established that the 14th Amendment applied only to former slaves, and protected only rights granted by the federal government, not by the states.

Three years later, in United States v. Cruikshank, the Supreme Court overturned the convictions of three white men convicted in connection with the massacre of more than 100 Black men in Colfax, Louisiana in 1873, as part of a political dispute. The men had been convicted of violating the 1870 Enforcement Act, which banned conspiracies to deny citizens' constitutional rights and had been intended to combat violence by the Ku Klux Klan against Black people in the South.

The Supreme Court's ruling--that the 14th Amendment's promise of due process and equal protection covered violations of citizens' rights by the states, but not by individuals--would make prosecuting anti-Black violence increasingly difficult, even as the Klan and other white supremacist groups were helping to disenfranchise Black voters and reassert white control of the South.

... giving Hayes a 185-184 electoral vote victory; the Congressional commission adjourned on March 2. Hayes privately took the oath of office the next day and was publicly sworn into office on March 5, 1877, and Hayes was inaugurated without disturbance. (President Ulysses S. Grant had quietly strengthened the military force in and around Washington)  

Once again the United (?) States is in need of repair and reconstruction. The shining hill ... etc. fools!

The American Century - End of Exceptionalism

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 08:06:27 AM EST
SPL: 576 extreme antigovernment groups

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 11:31:26 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2020 at 04:58:44 PM EST
Stitched together haphazardly like a Frankenstein monster ...

Sidney Powell has been disavowed for repeating the conspiracy voiced by Her Master ...

USA failling apart ... the only democracy in the New World ... what a terrible LIE!

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 at 05:54:29 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 23rd, 2020 at 11:06:49 PM EST
The Winner Is Joe Biden!!

GSA's Emily Murphy says transition can begin

In a letter to Joe Biden, Murphy - who initially held up the transition process - told the president-elect that she will open up resources to allow the transition of power to formally begin, the Guardian can confirm.


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 24th, 2020 at 12:01:13 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 24th, 2020 at 09:08:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As the dike broke ...

164 business leaders urge Trump to begin transition to Biden ...

CEOs Urge Trump To Concede: 'Not A Moment To Waste' In Fighting COVID-19

Separately, Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, also called on Trump to concede. Schwarzman has long been one of Trump's biggest financial backers.

"I supported President Trump and the strong economic path he built. Like many in the business community, I am ready to help President-elect Biden and his team as they confront the significant challenges of rebuilding our post-COVID economy," Schwarzman told Axios in a separate statement, adding that it was time for the country to "move on."


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 24th, 2020 at 06:31:21 AM EST
Trump complains that the Supreme Court is not doing what he wants. "What kind of a court system is this?"

The obvious answer to his question is "not the sort of court system you would have if you were a successful dictator and had figured out how to appoint Mitch McConnell as Chief Justice."

The concept of separation of powers is weak in the US at present, but there is still a little bit of it left.

by asdf on Mon Nov 30th, 2020 at 11:46:57 PM EST

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