Trump appointed Election Official blasts Trump’s false election claims

An article caught my eye yesterday called “Federal election official blasts Trump’s false election claims as ‘laughable,’ ‘baffling’ and ‘insulting'” by Alex Marquardt of CNN. The article can be linked to below. Here are a few leading paragraphs.

“A senior federal election security official who was appointed by President Donald Trump has blasted the President’s false post-election claims, calling them ‘baffling’, ‘laughable’ and ‘insulting’.

Asked in an interview what he would say to Trump about the election, Ben Hovland said ‘these conspiracy theories that are flying around have consequences.’

Hovland runs the Election Assistance Commission which, in part, tests and certifies voting machines. He was nominated by President Donald Trump last year and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He works closely with other federal agencies that oversee elections, like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

‘At a minimum, it’s insulting to the professionals that run our elections and hopefully that’s the worst that comes of it,’ Hovland told MIT Technology Review. ‘Our people, they’re doing their jobs but they don’t feel safe doing it. That is a tragedy. That is awful. These are public servants. This isn’t a job you do for glory or to get rich.’

The only comments to add to Mr. Hovland’s interview are several Republican election officials and Secretaries of State in places like Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, to name a few, have said on the record there is no widespread voter fraud in their states. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security said it was the most secure election ever.

It should be noted the president’s lawsuits are not faring well in the various courts, as he has only one won in Pennsylvania, which got a few votes thrown out and has lost about a dozen. It is also telling that two of the law firms representing Trump’s campaign have asked judges to allow them to withdraw as counsel. The reason is their own lawyers are critical of their firms’ efforts to harm our voting integrity.

The hard truth is the president has lost the election as his opponent got more votes in the states where it mattered. Ironically, the electoral college victory of 306 to 232 is the same as Trump won over Clinton, which he called a “landslide.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/federal-election-official-blasts-trump-s-false-election-claims-as-laughable-baffling-and-insulting/ar-BB1aZS6m?ocid=msedgdhp

Even Senior Republicans speak out against Trump’s election claims

Courtesy of the US News article link below as well as other sources like Business Insider, The Guardian and The Hill, here are a few quotes from several senior Republican leaders regarding the election claims of the president.

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania “I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch. The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here,” Toomey said on “TODAY.”

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah – Per The Hill, Romney, in a statement posted to Twitter, said the president was “right” to “exhaust legal remedies,” including asking for recounts and that alleged voting irregularities be investigated, but “wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen. Doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions,” Romney added.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida – Per US News, Rubio, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential primaries and campaigned for for the president in recent weeks, tweeted ‘The result of the presidential race will be known after every legally cast vote has been counted. Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud,” he wrote. “And court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline is NOT suppression.”

Senators Mike Lee of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska –  The Senators echoed the sentiment in the same US News article below, saying the votes should be counted. Lee asked people to “allow the vote counters to do their job.”  We should respect that process and ensure that all ballots cast in accordance with state laws are counted. It’s that simple,’ Portman said, while Murkowski urged “everyone to be patient.’

Congressman Adam Kinzinger of IllinoisPer US News, “We want every vote counted, yes every legal vote (of course). But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation,” tweeted Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

Congressman Will Hurd of Texas (and former CIA officer) – Per US News, Hurd of Texas, who is retiring, went further. He accused the president of undermining the foundations of the country. “A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon. Every American should have his or her vote counted,” Hurd tweeted.

German foreign minister Heiko MaasPer The Guardian: The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said: “America is more than a one-man show. Anyone who continues to pour oil on the fire in a situation like this is acting irresponsibly. Now is the time to keep a cool head until an independently determined result is available.”

‘”In order for the result – which has not yet been determined – to be accepted, everyone must first show restraint. Decent losers are more important for the functioning of a democracy than radiant winners.”

These voices are not alone. They speak for many. We need to be patience and trust the people, who appear to take their job with seriousness of purpose and try to get it right, to finish counting the votes. Recounts can occur if warranted per each state law. And, a candidate can bring lawsuit if he or she thinks there was a problem. Yet, disparaging a process before and while it is going on is beyond poor form. The word used a few times above is “irresponsible.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/senior-republicans-speak-out-against-donald-trump-s-election-claims/ar-BB1aLkPT?ocid=msedgdhp

Two sets of thoughts this Friday

“Stop the counting,” the president of the United States cries.

I was thinking of an analogy of the New England Patriots who were badly losing to the Atlanta Falcons late in the third quarter of the Super Bowl a couple of years ago. Stopping the counting, would be like Trump, the QB for the winning team, going to the referee and saying “why don’t you call this game at the end of the quarter. I have already tweeted we won and playing anymore would be stealing the game from me?” The referee shook is head and said “you have to be kidding me. Oh, and by the way, the opposing QB is Tom Brady, so I don’t think he would cotton to calling the game then.‘ The Patriots came back to win. 

I applaud the election officials and judges who are trying to get this right. We must count every vote legally cast per the laws of that state. There are three things I find interesting, with one being an extrapolation:
– if they acquiesced to the president and stopped the counting, Biden would be declared the winner as he is ahead in Arizona and Nevada.
– the president is claiming fraud with illegal counting in PA and GA, but he needs the counting to continue in Arizona and Nevada – OK, which is it?
– Trump could still win when the counting is done, so at that time, he will say “I never said we should stop counting – that is fake news.”

If you have not seen the show, Senator Bernie Sanders was on Jimmy Kimmel’s show (I think it was Kimmel) about two weeks ago and he described with eerie accuracy what would transpire. The president would be ahead before all the mail-in votes were counted, he would declare victory and ask that the counting be stopped as it is fraudulent.

Yet, what Sanders defines and Trump is doing is not a surprise, as he has been staging this moment for six months with his attacks on the mail-in process.

Breathe in, breathe out, repeat

Not much to do these days, but let conscientious election officials do their jobs and complete their counts. A key way out of this mess is to follow procedures. The minute procedures are not followed, then it becomes chaotic (and more political). It should be noted one of the contenders has a modus operandi of sowing chaos and not being very truthful in the process. I will let you determine which one.

So, follow me. Find a reflective, meditative pose. Or, do your normal workout routine, be it Yoga, Pilates, spinning, walking, running, etc. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat. The only thing to deliver us from chaos is doing normal things that we enjoy doing.

Back to that chaos sower, quite simply, counting people’s votes is essential to our democracy. The folks on the ground in the election process are dutiful, conscientious and trying to get it right. Stopping the count serves no purpose and gains no new knowledge.

If the president (or the former VP) do not like the results that are close, there are measures in each state to follow to ask for a recount. Some small margins may dictate a recount per state law. If at that time, the president or former VP want to bring lawsuit, then that is their right.

Senator Mitch McConnell noted that lawsuits are not uncommon defending the president’s efforts. That is true, but what McConnell failed to mention is the president is suing to stop the process. This is after he has staged this course for over six months. What the president is doing is not a surprise at all and was expected. I wish the president would take this much effort to actually govern than campaign.

At the heart of the stopping push is the president does not want the tallies to indicate he lost. My guess is his fragile ego cannot handle that and he feels like his legal battle is more uphill if he is on the bottom. No judge worth any salt will stop a normal process from occurring. Of course, we do have a president who acts abnormally.

So, what can we do about? Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.

Keep calm and be patient

The election for president is still being determined, so anyone declaring victory at this point is premature. I was hoping to avoid a situation where the president did what he did early this morning – declare victory, insist the counting be stopped and crying foul in the process.

This is the worst outcome that could have occurred, giving a window to the corrupt and deceitful president to be, well, corrupt and deceitful. The people on the ground are trying to get it right, doing what the president fails to do – their job in a competent and honest fashion.

It should be noted Fox News host Chris Wallace and former Republican governor Chris Christie have both chastised Trump for his premature celebration. The outcome is still unknown, with Michigan and Pennsylvania having around 25% or more of their counts outstanding. Wisconsin is leaning narrowly Biden’s way, with absentee ballots in two Democrat leaning towns left to count.

Nevada is also leaning Biden’s way, but still has more counts left. In fact, if Biden carries Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan, that will put him at 270 votes, without counting Pennsylvania. I don’t know the hold-ups in North Carolina and Georgia, but those look like Trump wins.

Frankly, I was hoping to avoid this being so close. I am disappointed in my home state of North Carolina and surprised how Ohio and Florida went. Trump is doing what he was expected to do, even after lying and saying he would not until the votes are counted. His illicit actions over the last six months having been staging for this very moment.

So, if he ends up winning after the votes are all counted then he wins. Yet, we still are in the fourth quarter of this election, so we need to stay calm and be patient.

Former Republican Senator on Debate Commission chastises Trump for claiming unfairness

Per a MSN news summary of an op-ed in The Washington Post, “former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.), a member of the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates, ripped President Trump for accusing the nonpartisan organization for being biased against him.

Danforth declared Trump’s ‘attack on the debate commission is an attack on the election itself‘ while warning the president that he was doing ‘incalculable‘ damage.

Danforth made his argument in a Washington Post op-ed Tuesday despite what he described as ‘a strict vow of silence regarding my personal feelings about the current presidential campaign.

His op-ed focused on Trump’s criticisms of the debate moderators. Thursday’s debate is set to be moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker, and the first debate was moderated by Fox News’s Chris Wallace.”

Note, the accusations of unfair treatment is a long time tactic of Donald Trump predating his run for presidency. It is part of the narcissist’s playbook called projection, where the narcissist will accuse others of what he or she is doing as a defense mechanism.

Why do I say that? Trump has been cheating for many months, actually years, about the 2020 election. He has purposefully discredited the US intelligence findings that Russia helped him win in 2016. It should be noted that just two months ago, the Republican led Senate Intelligence Committee published their report saying there was routine contact between Paul Manafort, the campaign manager for 4 1/2 months, and a Russian official.

This year, we have seen the president appoint someone to lead the US Postal Service who has weakened their efforts (until they were ceased), who has gone out of his way to riducule the mail-in voting process that even Republicans say works well and suggest his more ardent base go watch the polls.

I thought I would never see a president of United States do the opposite of what a leader would do which is protect the voting process. By itself, this is a metaphor into the fragile ego and deceitful nature of this person.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ex-gop-senator-on-debate-commission-blasts-trump-s-bias-accusations-warns-of-incalculable-damage/ar-BB1afVwg?ocid=msedgdhp

Early votes are in for this family – please vote

Joe Biden has aired a commercial which encourages people to vote. He only appears at the end and he does not say vote for me, although that is tacitly implied. While Biden is ahead in several swing state polls, the lead is within the margin of error of the sample size and presumes the poll is unbiased and looks like the voter mix. It should be noted that these polls indicate a mean, so one standard deviation encompasses only 1/6 of a likelihood in either direction around the mean.

Biden has rightfully told his campaign team to assume we are losing and go out with vigor. Trump followers like to say the polls were wrong in 2016, but actually they were pretty accurate. Before the late Comey announcement to reopen the investigation, HIllary Clinton had a supportable margin of standard deviation toward a victory. After the Comey announcement, the standard deviation indicated Trump could win.

So, some lukewarm Clinton voters stayed home or made a protest vote for Jill Stein. A few Bernie Sanders supporters were so ticked off at Clinton, they actually voted for Trump. That was an insult to Sanders, but it mattered not. Clinton would have been a better president than she was a candidate, just as she was when she was a Senator. Yet, too many whacks at the Clinton pinata over the years left a negative impression in too many.

While Trump’s faults were obvious in 2016, he was expected to be better than he has been. Now, people have seen the divisiveness, the corruption, the incivility, and the lying that embodies the president. And, he has taken credit for things he had little to do with or not as much as advertised and blamed others for his faults.

So, I encourage every one to vote. Please do not mess around this time. To be frank, Trump needs to not only lose, he needs to lose convincingly. He has been overtly cheating for many months and will do so after the election if the margin is not convincing. He is a cornered animal and he will actually get worse as we near the election.

Please vote. My family has all voted now. My wife, daughter and I voted early yesterday. It was well done, safe and secure. It took us twenty minutes. Please invest that time. It is important.

American Utopia – an excellent musical by David Byrne

For those of us who came of age in the 1970s, the name David Byrne may be familiar. Yet, the name of his group, “Talking Heads” likely will ring a few more bells.

For the past few years, David Byrne’s “American Utopia” has been well received on Broadway. Fortunately, before COVID-19 shut down Broadway, Spike Lee filmed a special performance with Byrne and his multi-national troupe. It is a memorable show that is airing now on HBO. Below is link to a HBO trailer.

Dressed alike in gray suits, sans shoes and ties, Byrne and his eleven performers blend their talents in a choreographed marching band of various drum kits, guitars, a keyboard, and various and sundry instruments.

Only two of the songs appear to be popular Talking Heads’ songs – “Once in a lifetime” and “Burning down the house.” The latter sounds better than the released version with added percussion.

He also adds new music and that of others. Byrne explains the songs beforehand and includes an introduction of the band as they build the next song instrument by instrument.

Another highlight occurs when he says he asked permission from Janelle Monae to do her song as a plea for justice for a list of killed black people. This was filmed prior to the terrible deaths this year, but Lee adds a memorial at the end of the song.

Byrne makes observations throughout about our country. In one telling moment, he encourages people to vote, using the audience lights to indicate how many 20% represents that vote in local elections. He also noted in the 2016 election only 57% of Americans voted. To me, this indicates the voting problem in America – it is not fraud, it is not enough people are voting.

Yet, the highlight is the wonderful music coming from the stage produced by many different nationalities, races and ethnicities. That is what America is all about.

https://www.hbo.com/specials/american-utopia

One is telling us to vote, the other is saying watch who is voting

In and of itself, the title of this post tells you all you need to know about who should be the president in January, 2021. One candidate, named Joe Biden has a commercial telling people in commercials to vote. Not vote for me, although that can be construed, but he never says the words and he only appears at the end.

The other candidate named Donald Trump is telling everyone the voting process, especially the mail-in process, is fraught with errors and people can cheat. He is behind in the polls and has been most of the summer, but he has said routinely, if he does not win, the system is rigged. Note, the significant majority of Republican leaders have said there is no evidence of such and five states rely on mail-in voting, with 37 states who use it often.

Please reread these two paragraphs. This should tell you all you need to know about the two candidates. There have been and will be stories of questions about mail-in ballots, but those happen all the time. They just don’t have conspiracy people like the president looking to use them. I do know election officials are trying very hard to assure the process is fair and secure, very much unlike the person who occupies the White House.

My thesis is simple. The Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans confirmed the Russians interfered in the 2016 election favoring Trump, actually going further than the Mueller report. Neither investigation was a hoax or witch hunt. Here are a few questions to ask. Has the president called the Russians on the carpet? Has the president been active in making sure the election process is secure? Has he reassured Americans about the process? Has he offered proof of widespread problems? Or has he been his normal rabblerousing self stirring up trouble because his fragile ego cannot tolerate losing?

I was both saddened and amused when the president told Bob Woodward he did not let Americans know about the dangers of COVID-19 as he did not want to start a panic. Really? This president traffics in panic. That is in his modus operandi. Cause panic, create fear to divide Americans and make himself look like he is above the fray. The problem is these fires of unrest are traceable, in part, to the person holding the gas can in the White House.

The racist incumbent in the White House

In a article by Justin Coleman of The Hill called “Santorum: ‘Huge mistake’ for Trump not to condemn white supremacy at debate,” the former Senator chastised the president for not condemning white supremacism. Per The Hill’s article (a link is below):

“Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) on Wednesday said that it was a ‘huge mistake’ for President Trump not to condemn white supremacy during the first presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Santorum said in an appearance on CNN’s ‘New Day’ that Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacy was a ‘bad error,’ saying the president has “condemned these groups before.”

‘But for some reason, he didn’t and I think that was a huge gaffe,’ the former senator said. ‘And it’s been typical of the president when he gets backed into a corner he doesn’t like to be forced to say something.’

‘He made a huge mistake, and again you can’t say anything other than disappointed,’ he added.”

This is not the first time the president has failed to condemn white supremacism or has uttered racist remarks.

– Trump’s comment about good people being on both sides in the Charlottesville, VA white nationalist march and reaction that led to one woman mowed down led to his Jewish National Economics Advisor Gary Cohn to decide to leave the White House after he passed a tax bill.
– Trump settled a court case for housing discrimination against African-Americans, and then had to be taken back to court as he did not honor the settlement.
– Trump placed a full page article accusing the Central Park Five (all African-American teens) of a heinous crime. They were convicted, but the conviction was overturned.
– Trump used derogatory terms against Native Americans in public testimony as he was losing casino business to Native Americans.
– Trump for several years continued attacking President Obama for not being born in America, the “Birther Issue.” Would he have done this is Obama was 100% white?
– Trump referenced not wanting immigration from “s**thole countries” when he decided to unwind an agreed to DACA for the Wall funding deal made verbally earlier in the day.
– Trump made reference to the four new Congress members to “go back to where you came from” as they were women of color.
– Trump announced his candidacy referencing the “rapists’ coming in from Mexico
– Trump supported the right for his mostly white followers to protest (with guns) in state capitols to re-open the economies, but references the multi-racial Black Lives Matter protestors as “thugs.”

While I am not perfect, it is pretty clear the president has made many racist remarks, which make him racist. Further, I am hard pressed to not call Trump a white supremacist sympathizer. But, don’t take my word for it. His attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen said under oath to Congress, “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is a cheat.” Why did he lead with racist?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/santorum-huge-mistake-for-trump-not-to-condemn-white-supremacy-at-debate/ar-BB19zId5?ocid=msedgdhp