Saturday, October 16, 2021

Or What?

You'll withhold all your voters in 2022 and 2024?  You'll threaten democracy itself, and destroy the republic with the power of your second-hand tweets? You'll hold your breath until your face turns blue?

Pointing and laughing are now clearly in order.  This is absurd.

There is no provision in law for a "do-over" nor for declaring the loser the winner (even Bush v. Gore didn't declare a winner, it just stopped the vote count.  The court's reading of the Electoral Vote Count Act made that decision a necessity.  Trump is asking for the Court to instate him as POTUS.  They've already declined to get involved in this nonsense.  They aren't going to change their minds now.).  This is beyond farcical.

Besides, as goes Pima County, so goes the nation?  Huh?  His allegations are groundless, as they have been through 60 lawsuits.  But now he says Pima County is suspect, and that's enough to make him the winner?  This is a man who refuses to acknowledge he lost.  The rest of us (i.e., the majority of the country), don't have to sustain him in his delusions. And since he couldn’t get what he wanted from the courts, now he just demands it from…who?

Who is this demand addressed to?  Pima County?  The State of Arizona?  Congress?  The world? How clownish and pathetic can you get?

Pointing and laughing, as I say, is the only reasonable response.

The Conspiracy Is Working!

Any day now Trump is going to blame what he said on Democrats. Don't we all? Finally somebody is giving that story the framing it deserves. Thank you, North Carolina, for making everybody forget about Louie Gohmert. Yeah, I've mentioned it already, but it bears repeating. Especially in this context: I like it when FoxNews does the work for us:

A Tale Of Two Outcomes

The GOP and its billionaire donors are going to do Trump’s bidding, and we’re all doomed. 

Or:
His hand-picked candidates are losing the money race, which means they aren’t getting the support of the GOP’s billionaire donors. Which means, too, their chances of winning are diminished. Which means we may not be doomed after all.

But what fun is that?

Friday, October 15, 2021

"Who's That Knocking At My Door?"

Alright, first thing:  "audit" no longer sounds serious enough, so we have to intensify it.  "Forensic audit" is the phrase of choice. But what does it mean?

But in the push for forensic audits across the state, not one person has given a clear description of what they mean and want, said Lake County’s Republican supervisor of elections, Alan Hays.

“There’s no such thing I’ve found in Florida election code,” Hays said. “We have and always will continue to administer elections in this office in complete compliance with Florida statutes and the rules of the Division of Elections of the Department of State.”

Here's the other thing, peculiar to Florida, but then every state is peculiar in its own way:

Mark Andersen, the Republican elections supervisor in Bay County in the Florida Panhandle, said he spent two hours on a Zoom call with representatives from Defend Florida explaining how his office makes sure vote counts are accurate. He said the group didn’t know that his county already audits every ballot. 

I've seen the same thing at school board hearings.  School boards don't set school curriculum (it's not their job, and most of that is set by the Texas Education Agency), and they don't decide what books wind up in the school libraries (challenged books are reviewed by an ad hoc committee, established by the district administration staff).  But people come to school board meetings now to rail against books and "CRT," which it is illegal to teach in Texas now.  One notable event was the woman recently who ranted for her three minutes, then declared she would be a candidate for the board in the next election, where presumably she would straighten things out.  Most of what school boards do is approve budgets, approve bonds for new school buildings, and recognize staff and students in the district.  It's partly dull work about finances, or ceremonial work honoring students, teachers, etc.  It's also all in the open; by the actions of the Texas Open Meetings Act, the board has a "meeting" whenever more than three members are talking together, and only personnel matters and things allowed as exemptions under that law, can be discussed in closed meetings.  So everything the board does, it does in a public meeting.  But school board meetings are notoriously dull, so nobody attends them.

Like the lady who declared herself a candidate, and then left.  She'd come to rant; she did; she went home. What the board does, is doing, has done, needs to do?  She doesn't care.  She wants to get on the board so she can rant freely.  She doesn't know what the board does; she doesn't want to know.  If she gets elected, she's going to be very bored.  This is one reason all this brouhaha is going to fizzle out, sooner or later. Reality doesn't bend to somebody's will, no matter how much they want it to.

So what's going on in Florida?

 Debbie Horgan, 64, approached the beige house and rapped her knuckles against the door.

A few minutes later, she returned to an SUV idling in the street.

“Another no answer,” she said to the driver, 61-year-old Kevin May. “I’m willing to bet not everyone lives here.”

Yup; Boomers with too much time on their hands, too much Facebook in their lives, driving door to door seeking out "voters" to see if they still live there.  If no one answers, it's presumptive proof they don't; right? If these clowns came to my door, I probably wouldn't answer.  Is that proof I don't live there?  Or does it mean I'm at the grocery store with my wife?

Here’s how it works: Volunteers, like Horgan or Jordan, visit an address on a list. (They weren’t sure how the homes were picked, saying Defend Florida [the group conducted this snipe hunt] may have an algorithm.) They’re trained to ask the names of the residents and whether they voted. They cross-reference that information against voter records. They don’t ask who anyone voted for.

May said people seem to be blowing off real concerns about bloated voter rolls and other anomalies discovered by canvassers and number crunchers. They’re not looking to undo the results of 2020, he said, but ensure future elections are secure.

In recent weeks, Pasco is one of the locales they’ve searched for fraud, even though this mid-sized county of 550,000 has become the cradle of Republican power in Florida. The state’s Senate President Wilton Simpson hails from Trilby. Three of the Legislature’s last five House speakers called Pasco County home at one time. Its sheriff, Chris Nocco, is one of the most politically connected law enforcement officials in the state.

It’s here, a county Trump won by a wider margin than any presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, that Jordan said he’s found his “fair share of ghost voters” — a term he uses to describe people who do not appear to live at the address at which they’re registered. They’re also looking for people who say they didn’t vote when records indicate they did, a sign, they believe, that someone may have filled out a mail-in ballot for them.

If they find a discrepancy, they’ll pass it along and someone may write up an “affidavit.” Defend Florida says it has collected thousands so far. Election supervisors say they haven’t seen the evidence. The leader of Defend Florida, Caroline Wetherington, didn’t respond to a voicemail and text message from the Times.

 I do wonder what the problem with "bloated voter rolls" is, actually.  If those people aren't voting (and many a registered voter seldom does vote), so what?  Hard to commit fraud if you don't do anything at all with the franchise.  But these efforts, and the affidavits they produce (another conjuring word; it sounds official, so it must be powerful!), are a joke, because:

These canvassing efforts fail to consider that people change addresses all the time, said Gary King, a political science professor and director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. They move for jobs, go to college, transfer assisted living facilities, leave their parents’ home, get evicted, become homeless, retire to live with their kids or die. Voter rolls don’t always keep up, King said, but it doesn’t suggest anything nefarious.

“Voter rolls definitely have mistakes,” King said. “It’s human beings collecting data.”

King said there are serious efforts to study voter fraud, which does happen occasionally on a small scale. But fraud to the degree being alleged would mean a massive conspiracy involving hundreds of elections workers across the state’s decentralized election system. There’s no reason to believe that sending amateur surveyors to check voter addresses is a way to root it out, he said.

“If you have chest pains, you don’t just grab a butter knife,” King said. “You need experts to do survey research just as much as heart surgery. It’s really hard to get it right, and it’s so easy to completely mess it up.”

My parents moved from their house of 50+ years to an assisted living facility; and then moved to Houston.  So far as I know, they never changed their voter registration.  But if they had, I don't know what the process is for the next county to notify the old county of the change (registration is handled by county clerks). Maybe there is one, maybe there isn't.  My daughter's voter registration finally lapsed because she doesn't live in Texas anymore.  Probably theirs did, too, after a time.  But it would have been conceivable that they were registered in two counties at once, for a time.  I mention this also because I still occassionally get letters from people wondering if my father, now dead 5 years, wants to sell the property at the address of the facility they moved to before moving to Houston.  I don't expect government record keeping to be much better than what private businesses come up with.

So was that evidence of fraud?  Of course not.  Indeed, imagining a vote fraud conspiracy across all 254 Texas counties (or even five of them) is ludicrous in the extreme.  But this goes back to the previous post about conspiracy theorists:  these people are, at least slightly, psycopathic and narcisisstic.  If anything they've been given license by the Pscyopath and Narcisssist in chief we put in the Oval Office for four years.

But that doesn't mean they know what they're talking about, or that they're taking over the country.  Even Florida isn't interested in a "forensic audit."  Even the Texas Legislature is not jumping at the chance to give Greg Abbott an audit of five counties.  I'm not sure this tactic is going anywhere, really.

When Pinellas County lawmakers gathered at St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus on Sept. 9, Defend Florida was there. A speaker from the group, Cathi Chamberlain, asserted that their members had been canvassing and identified suspicious voters. Chamberlain said it was evidence the state needed a forensic audit, and she called out Speaker Sprowls for saying that the election went well.

“The (Republican National Committee) wants us to ignore what we have seen,” Chamberlain said. “We will not.”

But when the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office asked in an email to see evidence of these suspicious voters, Chamberlain didn’t reply to the email. She told the Times it’s because she wanted a personal meeting with the supervisor’s office.

Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, attended the Sept. 9 meeting. This month, at a Senate committee hearing, Hooper told Lee, the secretary of state, he was hearing from a lot of constituents “certain that our election process needs a forensic audit and that elections were in turmoil.”

Lawmakers could debate the need for an audit when they convene for their annual 60-day legislative session in January. It’s unclear if they will. The sponsor of the bill ordering an audit, State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican, was relegated by Sprowls to an office in the Capitol’s basement.

Even the most conservative lawmakers are unwilling to support an audit. Sen. Dennis Baxley, the chairman of the Senate elections committee, said he has had conversations with people concerned about the 2020 election but wasn’t sure it would lead to any changes in state law.

“We take what they tell us and put it in the pot, and we’ll stir it around and look through all of it and see what comes out,” Baxley said.

A Defend Florida leader boasted in Telegram that the group had a two-hour meeting with Republican Rep. Erin Grall of Vero Beach, the chairwoman of the House judiciary committee and a member of the elections committee. They called Grall an “ally of the people” and speculated she would connect them to other influential lawmakers.

Grall confirmed that she met with the group and took interest in their concerns. But a forensic audit, “that’s not something I’m pursuing with them at all,” she said.

Asked his thoughts on the calls for an audit, Sen. Doug Broxson, a Pensacola Republican on the elections committee, sighed deeply and paused for a solid 10 seconds.

“If there was a problem, we’re 10 months past the election,” Broxson said. “Don’t you think some of that would have seeped out by now?”

That's the litmus test of a conspiracy:  three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

So how are these conspiracies so successful in their secrecy? 

Growing The Grand Old Party


According to NPR White House correspondent Scott Detrow, Biden on Friday travelled to a daycare center in Hartford, Connecticut to promote childcare plans that are part of his "Build Back Better" agenda.

While there, he greeted several children at a playground, only to be interrupted at one point by Trump supporters who were yelling at him from across the street.

As recounted by Voice of America News reporter Patsy Widakuswara, "at one point Biden put a twisty blue tube toy on his head" while meeting with the children and "as this happened you could clearly hear Trump supporters across the street yelling 'traitor' and "f*ck Joe Biden."

 

"Game Over, Man! Game Over!"

Well, it is a game; and I wish it was over.

 "That's the good news: It's small and not growing," he added before issuing a caveat. "The bad news is that a lot of the ideas it adopted are fairly popular. It's just we haven't paid attention. When we asked things [in polls] about views of child sex trafficking, people vastly overestimate how big it is in this country. When we ask about elite involvement in sex trafficking, people vastly overestimate that. So there are a lot of beliefs out there that are fairly widespread. But they're not QAnon. They're just ideas that QAnon adopted."

I'm old enough (literally!) to remember when every childcare business in the country was engaged in Satanic worship and traumatized the children in their care to the point the kids didn't remember any of the evil things they were forced to do, and could only talk about it with abusive prompting and loaded leading questions from "trained investigators."

It was all bullshit, in other words.  The allegations were outlandish, involving blood sacrifices and sexual assault on minors and other horrors for which no physical evidence could be found and no witnesses revealed because it WAS THAT EVIL!  This was all done during business hours in broad daylight, but nobody saw a thing, no trace of these practices was ever left behind, no child ever went home crying and refusing to go back to that chamber of horrors, because it WAS THAT EFFECTIVE! Remember the guy who stormed into the pizza parlor in D.C. to release the kids from the basement where the Democrats regularly had sex with them, in groups?  Except there was no basement?  That was the country, except we were all looking for that basement, convinced by news accounts and "experts," that it had to be there.  We all vastly overestimated the horrors, in no small part because we feared/felt guilty about leaving our smallest children with strangers for many hours a day.

Except like razor blades in Halloween candy (an urban legend that arose from one father in Houston who poisoned his kid's Pixie Stix and then tried to pass it off as coming from his Halloween stash.  Oddly, it never put anybody off Pixie Stix, but we feared apples and popcorn balls ever after.), it was entirely invented.  Led to some prosecutions, which was a nightmare in its own right.  But the Satanic worship and sex crimes never happened.  Although there are people, to this day, who still think they did.  And I don't mean conspiracy nuts; I mean people who simply accepted the news stories.  Because the news never went back and said that was all mass hysteria, and we got caught up in it, too: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.  Funny how the news outlets never, ever, do that, isn't it?

Listen carefully, you'll find the argument here is about the complicity of the news outlets, and their own cluelessness about the complexities of the world:

"A lot of the coverage is saying, 'QAnon is big and getting bigger and it's far right.' None of those things are true. I've been polling on QAnon for three years — more than anyone else," he explained. "And that's what we find in our analyses, largely that QAnon is driven by people who just hate the entire establishment. I mean, when you watch the followers, these aren't normal Republican people. They're not conservative in any meaningful way. These are people who want to tear down the system because they feel alienated from it."

...

"QAnon sort of created a little game, like: 'Here's clues; go figure them out.' So it's sort of like a decentralized cult, and it's got activities baked into it. 'Ooh, here's some garbled language. Go decode.' That's sort of new. But the theories themselves were not particularly new. Almost everything was old — some of it decades old; some of it was millennia old. And the news journalists covering it were freaking out like, 'Oh my God, they think that there's a deep state full of pedophiles working against the president,'" he stated before adding, "There's nothing new there. It's incredibly boring."

Our "cynical, jaded, worldly, skeptical" journalists are mostly credulous fools who believe whatever the last person told them.  Not to the point of being Q-Anon conspiracists, but to the point of being wholly incapable of putting anything into context that isn't already part of their narrative.

In his interview with Morris, the political scientist explained, "A typical conversation [I have] with a journalist would be something like: 'Hey, Joe, I saw this new conspiracy theory on Twitter and I'm freaked out about it because everyone's going to see it and everyone's going to believe it and that's going to be bad.' And I say, 'Well, did you see it?' And they say, 'Yeah.' And I say, 'So you must believe it then.' And they say, 'No.' And I say, 'Well, what makes you so f*cking special? What magic shield, what superpowers do you have that protect you?'"

A little self-awareness and self-reflection goes a long way.  Conspiracy theories thrive precisely among the people wholly incapable of that self-reflection and self-awareness:

 "Some conspiracy theories feel different precisely because they are different. And what we find is that some conspiracy theories — like Holocaust denial, saying that nobody died at Sandy Hook, things like that — they attract a different sort of person. And what we find on surveys is that those types of conspiracy theories, they appeal to people who have higher levels of psychopathy and narcissism," he explained before elaborating, "I mean, there's this style of reporting that's been out for a while, like, 'My cousin became a QAnon and now I don't know what to do.' These articles always start off with: 'My cousin used to be so normal.' What's really going on is the cousin was never normal or you just didn't pay attention to the cousin and he was probably weird but you didn't have a word to put on that."

In my experience, people always become who they always were.  Sometimes friends and family are surprised by that.  Sometimes friends and family are utterly clueless.

He added, "But then you hear 'QAnon' in the news. Now you can categorize what your cousin is doing as something. You're like, 'Oh, my God, this thing just happened to him.' Well, no, it didn't just happen. Your cousin was always a wackadoo. I'm sorry."

And they have always been with us, and will always be with us.  Keeping track of them is one thing; being obsessed with finding out there are people like that in the world, and we're done for, we done for!, is quite another matter.

Fools And Their Money

I realize this is another sign that democracy is doomed and we're all going to wish we'd listened when the sky falls in on us (no, I'm not attributing that sentiment to Rupar; he's too intelligent to be that dim), but this is a fund-raising e-mail, not a notice sent out on Twitter by Trump's "press secretary" (Or whatever her title is).

This is the crap schmucks are paying for by donating to Trump and getting on his mailing list.  They actually paid to receive this crap.  And I don't care who's saying it, up to and including Trump:  it's still a distinctly minority position.

I heard two things on the news this morning:  one about shipping ports in Italy, one about cops and vaccine mandates in Chicago.  The Chicago Police Union (of course), which has only the best interests of its members and the public in mind, are threatining a work stoppage over the Mayor's order that all city employees show proof of vaccination or pay for regular covid tests themselves.  The city is taking this seriously enough to seek an injunction in court, but Chicago has already lost 7000 police officers to covid, ya gotta wonder what the problem is here.  You've also gotta wonder how many cops are actually gonna stay home over this issue.

Recent history says:  not many.  As they say in the stock prospectus, past performance is no guarantee of future performance, but we've heard about these "huge numbers" of people who will quit if they have to get the vaccine, and those huge numbers just...fail to quit.  Yes, people are quitting retail and restaurant jobs in massive numbers, but mostly that's because of rude customers and exposure to covid, not because they have to be vaccinated.

Which brings us to Italy.

A work stoppage and protest was called at a major port there for today (sorry, I was in the car, I can't recall where, exactly, this was to happen).  The protest was over Italy's "green card" vaccine "passport," and probably involved ship crews as well as port employees.  The expectation was for a major shutdown of Italian shipping.  Stephanie Ruhle even breathlessly asked the reporter at the port how this would affect world-wide shipping.

Not at all, as it turned out.  "Tens" of people, said the reporter, showed up to protest.  Business went on as usual.  Nothing was so much as slowed down by the protestors.  A lot of noise, in other words, but nothing else.  And noise passes soon, and is over.

So the noisemakers dominate the news, and news anchors who need people to stay tuned tell us breathlessly that doom is predicted and here's our correspondent to tell us just how bad it is, and....it isn't.  (Ruhle also breathlessly reported on the situation in Southlake, which she said involved just one school, but that's how it gets started.  The reporter made clear it started with a stupid state law, but Ruhle was playing talk-radio host and had to keep the flames fanned.  I used to think better of her.)*  Trump is making a lot of noise, must of it either unintelligible or self-destructive. This kind of noise (in the tweet above) is for the fools soon parted from their money.

Those people will always be with us.  Just try not to be one of them.  It's pretty much the best you can do.


*I'm looking forward to the parent who finally sues over a "violation" of that law, so the courts can point out its far too vague and indistinct (what does it mean to make someone feel "bad" about their race?) to be enforceable.  Which will end that nonsense.  Again, we owe a debt to the courts, even if it takes awhile for us to get there.

Catch And Release....

After 30 days.  Abbott tried holding them without charges, but that didn't work. (Again, praise be to the courts!).  He can catch them; but the law says he has to, after 30 days, release them.

He's a really terrible liar.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Just One More Thing...

Let me add this to what I said earlier about the ISD in Southlake, Texas. The problem is really not the school district; it's stupid state laws.

Credit where credit is due, and all.

The Court System Is Not Your Friend. And Other Observations

But at the moment, it is very friendly.

And in related news, it's always a good day for a Jen Psaki video clip:
๐ŸŽถThis is how you do it!๐ŸŽถ

What Hath Got Wrot?

Read that headline, and your response should be: What the f*ck is wrong with that school district official?

Then read the story:

"Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979," Peddy said in a recording taken secretly by a Carrol staff member, referring to a new Texas law that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing "widely debated and currently controversial" issues.

"And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives," Peddy continued.

"How do you oppose the Holocaust?" one teacher said in response.
 
"Believe me," Peddy said. "That's come up."

Gina Peddy is the executive director of curriculum and instruction for Carroll ISD.  And she's exactly right.  This issue came up, and she had to address it, because of "a parent's complaint about a fourth grade teacher who had an anti-racism book in her classroom."

Those kinds of complaints can go to the Texas Education Agency, of if the parent is seriously nasty, to court.  Schools don't operate by litigating issues, or by fighting with the TEA.  Where the schools might have ignored this parent's complaint before, now Texas law says they have to pay attention to it.

Look next to legislator's swearing up, down, and sidewise that they never meant schools to present "both sides" (?) of the Holocaust.  Or slavery, which is coming next, if it hasn't come up somewhere already.

When I was in Texas schools, Marxism was the subject you did not discuss.  You just agreed it was bad, and asked no further questions.  Matters of race weren't discussed either, despite the fact my junior year was riven by a campus-wide fight releasing the pent-up anger of black students who had lost their high school and been forced to attend mine:  Robert E. Lee (insult to injury).  It was 40 years later before it occurred to me those students had lost their high school because whites were not going to allow the school board to shut down either of the white high schools to send those students to the "black" high school.  No wonder those students were pissed.

We're going backwards, in other words.  The reaction to the death of George Floyd galvanized some people, whites included.  It scared the hell out of others, mostly whites.  They're still scared.

That's no reason for them to be in charge, or to get their way.

(And the problem with Twitter is that people think the story is contained in the tweet. But that's another matter.)

As I Was Saying About The Courts

Mesa County’s top election administrator, the embattled Republican Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, cannot be involved in the administration of her county’s November election, a judge ruled Wednesday. 

District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison sided with the Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who in late August filed a lawsuit seeking to block Peters and Deputy Clerk and Recorder Belinda Knisley from handling the next election. 

That lawsuit “met the burden of showing that Peters and Knisley have committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts. As such, Peters and Knisley are unable or unwilling to appropriately perform the duties of the Mesa County Designated Election Official,” the judge wrote in a 22-page ruling. 

This means that former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams will oversee Mesa County elections this year. He was appointed by the Mesa County commissioners, under a temporary agreement that pays him $180 an hour. The commissioners supported Griswold’s suit.

This is not a “one-size fits all” analysis, but the idea that Trump will fill the lower reaches of the states with crazies who will throw the election to him in 2024 (even if Republicans don’t vote in that election) overlooks the fact the system is not that simple, and that the system is subject to judicial review.  Breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts could be enough to stop such a conspiracy in its tracks.

Again: it’s not that it should go this way, or that it’s all good and the courts will make everything all right: it’s just that the system isn’t that fragile, and Trump and the GOP aren’t that clever.

And the decision about who won the election is not left to low level state employees without oversight or review.  If these Trump crazies gain office, it doesn’t mean they can’t be challenged except at a much later election. These people aren’t exactly hiding what they want to do, after all.

FoxNews And The GOP Canceled Dr. Seuss

Somebody really needs to read that book to them.

Please Don't Throw Me In That Briar Patch!

"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24," Trump said. "It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do."

Okay. Cool.  And about this:

"Why isn't the January 6th Unselect Committee of partisan hacks studying the massive Presidential Election Fraud, which took place on November 3rd and was the reason that hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington to protest on January 6th?" Trump asked, even though his claims of fraud were long ago debunked.

"Look at the numbers now being reported on the fraud, which we now call the 'Really Big Lie.' You cannot study January 6th without studying the reason it happened, November 3rd," Trump argued, attempting to claim that those debunking his lies are the ones actually lying.

"But the Democrats don't want to do that because they know what took place on Election Day in the Swing States, and beyond. If we had an honest media this Election would have been overturned many months ago, but our media is almost as corrupt as our political system!" Trump argued, though even Fox News has accurately reported Trump lost the election. 

There is no provision in law for reversing an election because of fraud.  There is no court ruling, out of 60+, that fraud in the 2020 election occurred.  Even if it did (and in a few cases it did, always involving a Trump voter somewhere in the country), there is no legal doctrine, statute, regulation, or Constitutional provision or interpretation allowing for the entire election to be undone and the outcome handed to the loser.

So if Trump wants to run on the 2020 election outcome, and try to hold the 2022 and 2024 elections hostage, more power to him.  I can't think of better ways to suppress the Republican vote turnout, and I'm all for that. 

Once again, let us all give thanks to the courts.  They are saving democracy for the rest of us, from the vocal minority that shouts the loudest at us.

My only concern is that this plan will peak too soon. Because history says it will work.

Thank G*d For The Courts

A judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit that alleged fraud in Georgia’s most populous county during the 2020 election. The suit sought a review of some 147,000 absentee ballots in search of illegitimate votes.

The lawsuit was originally filed in December and said there was evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper ballot counting in Fulton County. It was filed by nine Georgia voters and spearheaded by Garland Favorito, a longtime critic of Georgia’s election systems.

Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero’s order dismissing the case says the Georgia voters who brought the lawsuit “failed to allege a particularized injury” and therefore lacked the standing to claim that their state constitutional rights to equal protection and due process had been violated.

“All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots were injected into the Fulton Co. election results, how many were injected, where they came from and how we can prevent it from happening again in future elections,” Favorito wrote in an email. “It is not adequate for any organizations to secretly tell us there are no counterfeit ballots and refuse to let the public inspect them.”

That last paragraph is the very definition of a conspiracy theory.  "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."  But it's not evidence of presence, either.  It does come down to an issue of trust (doesn't everything?); but I trust the courts more than I do crazies who are going to claim "evidence" of "counterfeit ballots" which, conveniently, they can't show me.  That's Mike Lindell-level evidence, and more of that we don't need.

The highlighted paragraph is important because of this:

Greene described it as "absolutely devastating news" during an appearance on Real America's Voice with host Steve Bannon.

"The case has been dismissed for lack of standing!" she exclaimed. "They're saying the plaintiffs have not established that they have received injury."

"If wide-open borders, a complete invasion at our border, the catastrophe in Afghanistan, arming the Taliban nation with $85 billion worth of our military equipment, abandoning Americans," Greene said, complaining about President Joe Biden. "If that's not injury, what is injury? And that is the direct results of election fraud. Everybody knows it!"

T'he issue of "particularized injury" escapes her understanding altogether.  If you really want to politicize the courts, follow the MTG standard of "justice." Throw the court doors open so any disagreement is subject to judicial review and you will have politicized the courts completely. And rendered them worthless.

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers “ was a plan to destroy the law, not save it. (And yes, this is my fundamental problem with the Texas abortion law: the putative plaintiffs have no particularized injuries. Except they just don’t like abortions. That’s not enough.)

So Greene’s argument is: in order to save the government, legal system and all, we must destroy it. Let's just say there's a reason she's spouting this nonsense on a podcast, and not on the floor of the House of Representatives. 

I guess we can blame Georgia for this:

Judge Brian Amero wrote in an order Wednesday that the plaintiffs, including Garland Favorito of the group VoterGA, lacked standing and also failed to allege a particularized injury in their lawsuit that claimed fake ballots were counted in Fulton's totals.

The dismissal is the latest in almost a year of unsuccessful lawsuits that have failed to overturn or alter election results in Georgia after President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump by about 12,000 votes. Multiple investigations by state and local officials have also found little evidence to support conspiracies and claims about how the votes were counted, though isolated instances of misconduct have been reported and referred to appropriate authorities.

Amero granted the motion to dismiss filed by Fulton's three Democratic election board members and also dismissed the two Republican members, who did not object to an inspection of the thrice-counted ballots.

The swift decision by Amero comes hours after the Secretary of State's office filed a brief detailing investigations into the core claims of the suit.

"Based upon interviews with the foregoing witnesses, as well as other witnesses who were interviewed during the course of the investigation, and in the inspection of approximately 1,000 absentee ballots and ballot images, the Secretary's investigators have been unable to substantiate the allegations that fraudulent or counterfeit ballots were counted," the filing read.

Just because you don't like the outcome, doesn't mean you get a "do-over."

"We know already that the election results in at least five of the swing states were irredeemably compromised," Ellis said. "We already have sufficient evidence for these states to decertify their electoral results. So, what this means is that the state legislatures would pass a resolution through both chambers that essentially say that the secretary of state's certification that was sent to Congress was based on false or faulty information."

When does this "evidence" make it to five state courts for evaluation and ruling?  And where in state, federal, or constitutional law does it say an election that was "irredeemably compromised" is just reset and done over?  I know the principle of fraud in contracts; one remedy is that, under certain circumstances, the fraud undoes the contract. That principle has no application in election law.  The states can pass resolutions until the cows come home; it won't make any difference to the election of 2020.

I know we're all doomed because Trump and minions, but there are even federal laws regarding the reporting and certifying of votes counts, and criminal sanctions for interfering with those acts.  I don't care how many people Trump "puts in place" in various states, we are not entering "Invasion of Body Snatchers: Electoral Count" territory.

Thank G*d for the courts. 

Truce On Xmas

I have mentioned before, more than once, that I make things for people for Xmas.  I've been making and sending out fruitcakes (rum soaked and tasty, not the kind apparently assembled by a pile driver where fruits are pressed together so tightly they’re held by an atomic bond) for over 30 years (!).  I used to make cookies, but they don't ship so well, so I make breads instead.  Stollen, pannetone, pandoro, and other Christmas breads, mostly.

I frequently have recommended Bill McKibben's Hundred Dollar Holiday.  I'm a big advocate for simple Christmas celebrations with family and friends, and food and drink and maybe even games, the way Dickens described it (and before Clement Clark Moore got ahold of it).

And so now we come to Fauci, or Biden, or the Grinch, stealing Christmas.  Did nobody learn the moral of that story?

It's not like this is going to happen on Xmas morning and we're going to wake up to empty trees with nothing but lights and baubles to show it's Xmas Day.  Hallowe'en is still 18 days away (as I type).  We see this coming, to the extent that it is. We can prepare for a Xmas without store-bought items and, dare I say it, without massive post-Xmas debt.

Who needs that?

This is Striketober, after all.
If we're going to strike a blow for fairness and equity in the job market, we might as well strike one for Christmas Day, too.  Are we so pitiful that if the ships from China grinch our Christmas, we'll wake up and boo-hoo around the Xmas tree?  Will Christmas not come if the stores don't provide us with everything we are desperate to buy and pile on the floor?

I think we're a little better than this, and a low-key, family oriented Christmas, even if you can't get a turkey after Thanksgiving, won't be a disaster.  The Grinch took everything, after all, right down to the last tree bauble and even the Roast Beast.  The Whos down in Whoville didn't care.  They had Christmas anyway.

Can we learn nothing from that?

Sure we can.  Make your plans accordingly, and look forward to a festive season even if the shipping is delayed and packages don't reach their destinations. Here's an idea, if you're anxious:  mail before Thanksgiving.  Or just makes lots of phone calls on Xmas Day.

If the Grinch couldn't cancel Christmas, who are we to do so?
Yeah, that’s how this works. Well, we wouldn’t want that to happen!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Looking Too Long Into The Abyss

Why aren't all these people in jail for life? Or hanged? From lamposts? Examples, people, we need examples! Heads on pikes, birds pecking out dead eyes, skin sloughing off skulls due to exposure! We've got London Bridge! Let's use it! They aren't the only ones.

But Does It Have Machine Guns...

A bullet proof rear shield, and a rocket powered ejection seat?

“Official Secrets”

 


So I’m watching the movie “Official Secrets” on Netflix, and I’m up to the “largest anti-war demonstration” in British history (the story is set in Britain), a demonstration against the invasion of Iraq. More people than ever attended a Trump rally, by the way. And about as much impact on the government.

The basic story is about a British government employee who is given an NSA memo asking for information that can be used as leverage (i.e., blackmail) against representatives of certain countries to force a vote in favor of war against Iraq, a memo she then leaks to the press. Yes, it’s a movie ‘based on true events.”  It interweaves news footage with fictional responses of the characters as war approaches. What I had forgotten was how blatant, in retrospect, the lies were that led to war.  Lies from Blair, lies from Bush, lies about “mobile weapons labs,” lies about WMD, etc., etc., etc.  None of that was found, of course.  No connection between Hussein and Al Qaddafi ever existed. No excuse for the war existed, either.  We would later euphemism the lies as “stovepiping” and “misrepresentation” but never, ever, as outright lies.

And yet this was not a “Constitutional crisis” and we sailed blithely on and no one feared re-electing W. or considers him a danger to democracy now.  Yet he lied as surely as Trump did, and on much more important matters than some of the nonsense lies Trump spewed.  Trump got people to lie for him.  Bush got Colin Powell to lie about WMD and “mobile chemical weapons labs.”  Or at least to present evidence based on very unreliable sources.  He got George Tenet (the head.of CIA) to do the same thing. And we know this for a certainty.

“Crisis” is not a definitive thing, it’s a term.  It is defined by those who use it.  And the question, as ever, is who is allowed to use it, and why.  George W. Bush did not represent a threat to the republic or our democracy, despite the scope and depth of his lies.  At least that’s what’s everyone said, first by their support for war, then by their indifference to the result of the war (that clearly the heads of two governments and their underlings were lying to the world). Indeed, what did him in was Katrina, and his inability to cope with a crisis that was a real crisis.  But was he guilty of a crime against democracy?

Why not?  Well, mostly because nobody “serious” ever said so.

This film, by the way, is 2 years old.  No one is really surprised by it.  In the movies, the bad guys always fear exposure; going to the press always undoes the conspiracy, brings justice to bear, brings the guilty before the bar for justice to be done.

Don’t you wish real life was like that?

Yes…

...and... Also: The number of “quits,” according to AP, rose 21% from July to August in the “hospitality” industries: bars, restaurants, hotels. The driving factor is assumed to be Covid, as the further one gets from jobs involving regular contact with the public, the lower the number of “quits.”

Retail saw a rise in “quits” of 6% since July.

It’s certainly more people than are showing up for Trump rallies.

Republicans we’re blaming this on extended unemployment. They still insist on opposing anything that would make life safer for the workers who have decided their jobs aren’t worth dying for. And seem remarkably silent on the threats to healthcare workers, perhaps because their voters are more likely to be making the threats. One has to wonder how that’s going to work out for them.

Two prominent Texas-based companies, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, already require employees to be vaccinated. Spokespeople for the two airlines told the Tribune that requirement won’t change despite Abbott’s new order.

“One of the hallmarks of capitalist economy is the ability of the private sector to make decisions without government intervention unless there is a legitimate public concern that needs to be addressed,” Perryman said. “It is difficult to see how forcing companies to expose their employees, vendors and customers to greater risk of a deadly disease and fostering the spread and mutation of that disease brings a compelling public benefit.”

Locally, at least:  not very well, at all.

The Greater Houston Partnership, a leading business group in Harris County, also denounced Abbott’s action.

“The governor’s executive order does not support Texas businesses’ ability and duty to create a safe workplace,” Bob Harvey, the group’s president, said in a written statement. “While the courts will likely decide the validity of this order, we encourage all employers to continue to promote the importance of vaccinations with their employees. Vaccinations are our path out of the pandemic, and the Partnership remains focused on supporting steps that lead to improving the rate of vaccination in our community.”

The Texas Restaurant Association questioned how Abbott's new order would affect OSHA's temporary emergency standard that's supposed to be released in a couple of weeks. The association expects lawsuits to be filed in response to Abbott's ban on vaccine mandates. However, the association said it will continue to support restaurants and committed to protecting their employees and customers.

"Above all, we continue to call upon our communities to cooperate with restaurants that are trying to remain in business after a very challenging 19 months," Kelsey Streufert, chief public affairs officer of the Texas Restaurant Association said in a statement. "By working together, we can accelerate our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting our health and our economy."

Every Time You Think…

Texas has reached peak stupid, somebody says: "Hold muh beer..." And somebody else says: “Oh yeah? Watch this!” This is Texas. We never run out of stupid. Then again, we’re seldom this bad: Which is kind of comforting, actually.

Finally!

An interesting theological and philosophical issue.*

“Can free will be abolished?”

Film at 11!


*And clearly, this is why we need the filibuster! (So we can give up our free will to Joe Manchin, Krysten Sinema, and the GOP minority. Because without a super majority in the Senate, we don’t deserve free will! Or something…)

As Nietzsche Said:

 “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster.”   Or just look a damned fool. 

"The Calls Are Coming From Inside The House!"

I guess he means "parents" like this:

A North Carolina school board approved a resolution condemning white supremacist groups on Monday — shortly after at least one member of the Proud Boys was escorted out of the meeting.

Granted, that wasn't about threats and intimidation, it was about violating the rules of the meeting.  Which is actually a common use of such rules to maintain order, especially in these disordered times:

The Proud Boys member was one of several people who were cut off and removed by law enforcement when they tried to speak about "critical race theory" and other topics that didn't appear on the agenda of the Orange County school board, according to a report from Raleigh's News & Observer.

But that was this time, this time not being the only time the "Proud Boys" have tried to speak:

In response to other recent Proud Boys demonstrations, the school board then unanimously approved a resolution opposing "incidents of hostile and racist behavior," and saying it "stands united against all forms of white nationalism and white supremacy."

"According to the school board resolution, Proud Boys members have spoken at school board meetings and shown up at Orange High School, including at the Sept. 24 football game, to protest the district's COVID-19 policies," the newspaper reported. "The resolution details emails from teachers and students who describe how unsafe they feel being around the Proud Boys. The comments include people charging that Proud Boys members shouted racist and homophobic slurs at students."

What "radical curriculum" is the school board trying to protect students from, Senator?  The one that advocates shouting "racist and homophobic slures at students"?

I really don't think parents are as stupid as you think they are.

"In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation's public schools," Garland wrote. "While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views." 

Criminal threats of violence are not really the same thing as "speaking out at school board meetings to protect kids" from curriculum which is, by and large, set by the state, not by local school boards.  Which is another problem:  the promotion of civic illiteracy, as well as simple incivility.  Don't we expect better than that of our leaders?  Shouldn't we? 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

In Rome, This Person Was the Diktator

Yes, that's where our word comes from.  In Rome, it meant the power to suspend the laws in order to preserve the empire.  Not unlike Lincoln suspending habeas corpus because of the Civil War.

Except in Rome, it established the rule of Julius Caesar, the last diktator.  Because he never relinquished the role, and pretty much became the Emperor of Rome.  It took awhile, but shit pretty much started going downhill after that.

I know the Texas courts have upheld Abbot's authority, pretty much on procedural grounds.  The courts, all the way up to SCOTEX, have refused to uphold temporary injunctions denying Abbott the authority of his executive orders until further review.  But San Antonio ISD (an independent school district) is suing the Governor over his mask mandate order, and that case has not been thrown out based on a final and determinative SCOTEX ruling.  So Abbott and Paxton are still on pretty shaky ground.

I don't wonder how the courts will uphold Abbott suspending all laws he doesn't like just because he wants to fend off his crazier right-wing GOP opponents in the upcoming primaries.  Because at this point we've pretty much got a Governor declaring himself Emperor, here.  All he needs to do now is suspend elections.  Maybe that would get the Court's attention.

I'm not sure what else will, even though this order has yet to make it to a court challenge. If the courts say an injunction against this one is out of bounds, then the shit really will hit the fan.  And, as Professor Vladek noted, there's still two articles of the Constitution to consider:
Article VI:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Pretty sure that's what the good professor is referring to.

Oh, to put that in context: 

(IOW, do you advise your clients to set themselves up for a lawsuit, or do you advise them to set themselves up for a federal lawsuit?)

Where The Magic Happens

 "What I think really has to be discovered is that there is a secret server that all the votes go to where they manipulate the heck out of it," Powell said in an interview with The Ledger Report. Her interview covered her oft-repeated and baseless claims that voting machines helped fraudulently "steal" the 2020 presidential election from former President Donald Trump.

"What I think really has to be discovered"?  That's not an allegation, that's a wish. That's a line from Ferlenghetti, except he said it better: 

I am waiting for my case to come up   

and I am waiting

for a rebirth of wonder

and I am waiting for someone

to really discover America

and wail

I like that better than Powell's statement, which only reveals someone who has no clue how the internet works, except that it involves "servers" and something called "algorithms."

I had a friend whose brother worked for the phone company as a repair technician.  He understood how phones worked, but even he said the connection to another phone was "where the magic happens."  He meant the machinery (later computers) that allowed one phone to connect to another out of the millions on the planet through the mere manual (at the time) operation of a dial (push buttons then, but I remember back to "direct dialing" with rotary dials).  None of us understand how phones work, even now.  We just rely on them, but it never occurs to us that they use "servers" and "algorithms," although odds are, they do.  We just never learned to talk about phone service that way.  You dial, the other person answer; that's "phone service."  We understand the internet no better than that, but now we pretend we do because we know words like "servers" and "algorithms."  And then we make wishes based on our ignorance:  "What I think really has to be discovered is" the little men inside the computers making them all work, connecting everything by magic through "lines."  Ley lines, probably.  Shit, for Sidney Powell, might as well be.

"We need to know where their servers are and what they're doing with them, and we need the data from them and we need the data from the machines," she continued. "But they're going as fast as they can, right now, everywhere they can to completely revamp the machines with new software that erases everything that shows what they did."

Because that's the other thing people do with computers:  they erase things.  And while the internet seems a spaceless zone where what I type on my computer is actually "received" on something (a "server"?) somewhere else in the world (or not?  Somewhere in the solar system?  Mars, maybe?) is then visible to you wherever you are.  That's the old "Cyber-space" model of cyberpunk, which we're now too sophisticated to take seriously (though for awhile it seemed like the "internet" had to be somewhere; it coulnd't be everywhere and nowhere.  Why not "cyberspace"?  That's a place, right?*).  Just as those who would keep us terrified reach back to communists (the old but gold standard of Boomers) for a shibboleth, they also need something more concrete than the internet (which is more metaphor to most of us, than physical reality).  Enter "servers" and "algorithms," although the latter are more abstract than concrete, and the former are simply a name for computers used for a specific purpose.

But the computer is "where the magic happens," and that magic is controlled, and conducted, by "algorithms."  Which, as we know, do devious things.  What magic doesn't?

During her interview with Ledger, Powell claimed that the U.S. Army had issued a grant to a New Jersey university to develop an algorithm that would weigh votes to help predetermine the outcome of an election.

Additionally, she claimed that the Department of Defense had a patent with the National Institutes of Health "to inject false voter identifications and votes into our voting system and allow remote access enough central server."

"That is the recipe for disaster that we have today," Powell said.

It's fun to watch the 1950's monster movies about giant ants or giant gila monsters, all produced by "radioactivity" (another idea we didn't understand at the time; radioactivity produces cancers and death, not growth into giant monsters).  Inevitably the military is called out, and comes rolling through the streets in jeeps and trucks full of cannon fodder...er, soldiers.  Frankly, they might as well all be wearing red Star Fleet jerseys, and we all know it.  It's what they're there for.  But this display of military power is not seen as the rise of martial law; in a country where the entire citizenry was just in the military or working in factories for the war effort (or so, again, it seems from the movies of the '40's), the military is not "them," it's Us.

Well, it was until Vietnam.  Corporations followed shortly after, the military and corporations losing their sheen as the saviors of America.  Vietnam brought Agent Orange and napalm and soon we distrusted both the military and the corporations, and they were "them" against "Us."  "Alien" is the classic metaphor of the age:  a savage creature bent only on killing sentient life (and probably the cat, if he'd ever bothered), sought out by the very corporation that employed the crew of the "Nostromo."  Their lives willingly sacrificed (unbeknownst to them) to recover the creature as a weapon it could market to the military.  The perfect marriage of nightmare, the logical outcome of Eisenhower's warning of a 'military-industrial complex.'

So now the DOD works with the NIH to use the pandemic to undermine democracy, or at least wrest power from the people, because sure, that's how it works.  And all those movies and TV shows about conspiracies and ruthless government agencies that sprang up like mushrooms in the decades after 1975, made fallow the ground for "Q-Anon" and Sidney Powell and Donald Trump.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.  He's also nutty as a fruitcake.  Well, some of them are.  The rest of us, I think, are actually a bit more sensible than that.  When we come across what Sidney Powell said to some obscure website/podcast, we can agree she's got more than a few burnt out bulbs in her chandelier, and her elevator doesn't make it to the top anymore.


*This actually parallels the development of the narrative voice in Western literature.  When the novel came along, a third-person narrator telling you, a stranger to the narrator, what other strangers were doing and thinking in what were then private lifes (we started giving that up long before the telephone, much less the personal computer), was literally inconceivable.  Early novels were "epistolary."  The first fiction was that you were reading someone's mail, their private letters.  The idea of publishing famous (dead) people's letters came from that.  It took a few decades to get to Dickens' and famous statements like "Marley was dead, to begin with.  Scrooge knew he was dead?"  In the early 19th century that statement would have been indecipherable and uninterpretable.  Not long after that Dickens could write an entire first-person narrative novel, and nobody blinked at the narrator telling the story of his private life.  The fiction of the narrator, first-person or third, was quickly established, and the need for a more "recognizable" excuse for the narration, abandoned.  "Cyber-space" connected us to the familiar dimensional world of vision, so important to binocular primates.  Now we accept that the internet exists simultaneously on our phones and screens and also on everyone else's, and yet is not contained by either of those classes of things.  Now it's just something we "connect" to, now it's just "out there" and "in here" at the same time. But still, servers and algorithms, right?

But The Anti-Vaxxers Are In Control!

Twitter and the intertoobs told me so!

(If I could come up with something original, I’d invest in some cardboard and plastic skulls.)

Monday, October 11, 2021

I’m Just Going To Stay In Bed…

...for maybe a month or two. Contemplating my lack of accomplishment. And my inadequacy. Also, my lack of feathers.

Nobody Knows

The Houston Texans have "a broad following." Despite losing all the most talented and beloved players in the last two seasons, and going 1-4 so far this season, more than "thousands" showed up in their stadium on Sunday.

To watch them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Now, the owners of football teams are insulated from such matters by TV contracts which pay them no matter what, and no matter what, Texans games will be broadcast in Texas just as Saints games were broadcast in Louisiana even during the years they were the "Ain'ts".  Nobody shuttered the Superdome or hung up the Saints jerseys for storage.

Politics is different.  Trump controls Grassley because Trump is seen to control the mid-terms.  The truth is nobody knows, and politicians fear change more than a vampire fears garlic.  Or sunlight, for that matter.  All they know is their primary voters are Trump supporters and if you don't support Trump, you don't survive the primaries.

Presumably.

Nobody knows, as I say.  Trump is powerful because he's perceived as being powerful.  But if the mid-terms don't put Trump candidates in office (and odds are they will drive otherwise disinterested voters to the polls just to defeat them), what power does Trump have?  The power to destroy?  Yeah, he can't wield that power in government without controlling government again.  Is he on the verge of doing that?

Nobody knows.

I prefer to think he isn't, but I'm happy for people to say he is.  It motivates otherwise disinterested parties to VOTE! Meanwhile tout le Twitter is upset and scared and expecting the worst again because Joe Biden hasn’t ushered in the new age before Xmas ๐ŸŽ„.

If we’re going to lose democracy in this country, it won’t be because Trump took it, but because we gave it up. Is that going to happen because of a thousand people in Iowa ? If it does, we deserve it.

But I don’t think it will.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Big Pharma Is Only Big Pharma When We Call It Big Pharma

Not to mention the hospital stay and the needless burden on an already overburdened hospital system. Besides, we have lots of vaccine. Monoclonal antibody treatment is still experimental, and we’re running out of it. More worthwhile advice from the clown who would be Texas Governor.(I think even McConaghey could take him.)

Cutting The Sandwich Meat

"I've been very clear from the beginning," he said. "If you look at a number of states, they didn't follow their state-passed laws that govern the election for president. That is what the United States Constitution says. They don't say that the states determine what the rules are. They say the state legislatures determine the rules."

"But the states all certified [the election]," Wallace interrupted.

"But at the end of the day, are we going to follow what the Constitution says or not?" Scalise continued. "I hope we get back to what the Constitution says but clearly in a number of states, they didn't follow those legislatively-set rules."

"So you think the election was stolen?" Wallace pressed.

"I -- what I said is there are states that didn't follow their legislatively-set rules," Scalise repeated. "That's what the United States Constitution says. And I think there are a lot of people that want us to get back to what the Constitution says we should be doing, not just with elections, with a lot of other things too. And then there are some people that just want to ignore what the Constitution says and do their own thing."

Wallace noted that Trump continues to hold rallies falsely insisting that he won the 2020 election.

"I guess the question is -- last time, I promise -- do you think the election was stolen or not?" the Fox News host asked. "I understand you think there were irregularities and things that need to be fixed. Do you think the election was stolen?"

Scalise again refused to give a yes-or-no answer.

"It's states that did not follow the law set," the Louisiana Republican opined. "When you see states like Georgia cleaning up some of the mess and people calling that Jim Crow law. That's a flat-out lie."

Yeah, the Constitution he's citing addresses Federal elections, not just presidential ones.

So, a follow up for Rep. Scalise: was your election in 2020 legitimate? Was the election of every GOP Rep. and Senator in 2020 from the states you say violated the Constitution, illegitimate?

Because you can’t slice the baloney so thin it only has one side.

Forward Into The Past!

 Sounds like a concession to me 

Pretty sure they already have. Well, one of those is new since 2016. But the rest is very, very familiar. Yup, 2024 will be 2016 redux.

Gotta say, unless he comes up with some new material, this show closes out of town. Four more years of this is too much for anybody. At least we’ll have the pleasure of watching him call the GOP primaries “rigged.” That will drag all his supporters out of the GOP and out of the electorate proper, leaving the rest of the GOP wondering who they’re going to appeal to.

That’s a show I would watch.