A most undemocratic action

In an Associated Press article called “Mitt Romney on Trump: ‘It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President’” please note the following paragraphs:

“Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics, tweeted Thursday, ‘It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.’

Romney accused Trump on resorting to ‘overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election.’

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., went after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who held a press conference Thursday presenting a list of far-fetched, thoroughly debunked claims on the 2020 election.

In a statement, Sasse said:’Rudy and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations under the statute. We are a nation of laws, not tweets.'”

Other than Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and a few GOP Congress people and governors, most Republican incumbents have been silent or offer some cautious support of the outgoing president. Former Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker have been outspoken in their criticism holding no punches. Yet, per Mark Shields on PBS Newshour, it is interesting that the news show “Meet the Press” could not get any sitting Republican Senators to come on the show last Sunday.

This is telling, but is also sad. We have a petulant outgoing president who continues to claim wide-spread voter fraud without evidence, legal success, or sense of right and wrong. We need to thank Senators and others who speak out. We also need to remind the silent ones to what they swore an oath to – the US constitution.

The following is a letter I posted on the websites of three GOP Senators who are stating their concerns.

“Senator, too few Senators from my former party are publicly stating what they know privately. Thank you for your courage to speak up and be critical of the claims of wide-spread fraud by the outgoing president. Unfortunately, he has sown seeds of doubt and his followers do not know he has lost about two dozen court cases winning only a small one that tossed a few votes, that Republican officials have stated on the record there is no wide-spread fraud, that he fired Chris Krebs because he said the election was secure and what he is doing was predicted and unsurprising as he has orchestrated this over the last six months. He is endangering a peaceful transition of power and per his niece, she said her uncle will burn it all down to avoid losing. I appreciate your efforts to not let him burn down our democracy.”

Please feel free to use and adapt this note. The full article can be linked to below.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/mitt-romney-on-trump-it-is-difficult-to-imagine-a-worse-more-undemocratic-action-by-a-sitting-american-president/ar-BB1bbGPm?ocid=msedgdhp

A note to a friend who is a Trump fan


I know you are an ardent Trump fan and I applaud your passion. Yet, numerous Republican election officials, even Trump appointees, have said on the record there was no widespread voter fraud. And. Trump has lost about two dozen court cases, winning only one small case that tossed a few votes. Biden won because he got more votes in states where it mattered most. Trump has staged this voter fraud issue for over six months, so what he is doing is predictable, alarming and harmful to our country. I expect you will disagree with me, and that is fine, but I wanted you to know I have major concerns. That is what this old fart thinks. That and $2 will get you a cup of coffee.

To the point

The petulant acting president has told his people to not share COVID-19 data with the staff appointed by the president-elect. We are talking about people’s lives and the president is still throwing a tantrum with unfounded claims of wide-spread fraud, claims which he has orchestrated and staged for several months.

Let me come right to the point. This is the first president to not put country first to facilitate an orderly transition. It matters not if the president is still contending the election with or without merit. You still plan ahead to help people. It is that simple.

But, let me be brutally frank. Watching this president over the years, during his first campaign, and during his presidency, his interests have invariably superseded those of the country’s. He cannot help himself as it is in his narcissistic nature. So, doing what is necessary to help people is not in his thought pattern.

As conservative pundit David Brooks said the past year, “the president does not have any empathy or sense of decency.” There are many negative metaphors to draw from, but to me, having pep rallies with his most ardent fans in February without warning them of the risk (after admitting to knowing of the dangers of the coronavirus), is beyond the pale. He put his most loyal followers in danger without their knowledge.

Yet, if that is too subtle, picture Trump tossing paper towels to Puerto Ricans ravaged by a hurricane following his relative disdain to helping them. It was condescending as if it were a king throwing food scraps to hungry people.

City on the Edge of Forever

If you are an original Star Trek fan, you will recognize “City on the Edge of Forever” as arguably the finest episode. This award winning episode was written by Harlan Ellison and co-starred a newcomer actress named Joan Collins, who would become a TV star and appear in several movies.

Per the vision of creator Gene Roddenberry, the original Star Trek was steeped in existential questions posed by some very good scriptwriters. Questions regarding prejudice, hatred, good vs. evil, the Roman, Greek and Egyptian gods who visited earth being aliens, doing no harm when visiting a civilization, etc. The “City on the Edge of Forever” dealt with someone altering a small event in time, that changed the world and future.

I will avoid spoiler alerts, but the gist of this episode is a very drugged Dr. McCoy, played by DeForest Kelly, goes back in time through a previously unknown portal. He winds up on earth in New York City right before World War II where he meets a pacifist advocate played by Collins. For some reason, McCoy alters the course of history and the Enterprise no longer exists., fortunately after Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) have beamed down to the location of the portal.

In essence, they go back in time to when McCoy did, to figure out what happened. While here Kirk meets Collins’ character and they become mutually smitten. Spock discovers the two paths forward, the one that McCoy altered vs. the one which occurred. The story boils down to should something you detest happening, be allowed to happen, so as not to impact millions of lives in not a good way. I will leave it at that.

Setting aside the science fiction aspect, the story is well crafted and well acted. Most of the stories were, although a few were kind of cheesy. The original series was short-lived, but its reruns built a huge audience.

One of the more powerful sidebars comes from Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, the communications officer. She met Martin Luther King at an event. King was a fan of the show, and when he learned Nichols was considering leaving it, he encouraged her to stay. King said seeing a Black woman on the show made a huge statement as to what the future might look like.

So, I feel I stand in good company if MLK liked the show. Check this episode out if you can. For those who have not seen it and plan to do so, you may want to avoid the comments.

Fraudulent voter fraud claims suffer more setbacks

Well, it is has been two weeks since the election in the United States. A week ago Saturday, Joe Biden was declared the winner and is now president-elect. At the end of last week, Arizona and Georgia were called for Biden, while the president won North Carolina. So, that brings the electoral college tally to 306 to 232.

Note, this is the same margin as Trump had over Clinton in 2016, which he defined as a landslide, even with 3 million fewer votes nationally. In 2020, this victory is more significant as it is with the winner getting over 5 million votes more than the president. But, the president has continued with his orchestrated voter fraud claims case which he has been staging for many months. Yet, his fraudulent claims of voter fraud is not going very well.

Per a Bloomberg piece by Erik Larson called “Trump and Allies Dial Back Voter Fraud Claims After Defeats,” the fraudulent fraud claims continue to suffer defeats.

“President Donald Trump’s legal campaign to overturn his 2020 election defeat shrank further with the narrowing of a key Pennsylvania lawsuit and the retreat of supporters who had sued in four battleground states.

The Trump campaign on Sunday revised its highly touted suit to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s projected Pennsylvania victory, abandoning its most extravagant claims of widespread voter fraud. On Monday, four suits associated with a conservative group that also sought to block election certifications based on broad voter-fraud claims were dropped in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia.

The broad pullback follows several major courtroom defeats last week and highlights the difficulty lawyers are having in backing up Trump’s claims of a ‘rigged’ election.”

Americans need GOP Senators and other Trump sycophants to start recognizing what is going on and stop this fraud being perpetrated by the president. Trump lost because he got fewer votes than Biden in key swing states. Of course, where he got more, there was no fraud claims. It is amazing how that works.

Americans and global watchers this is what a conspiracy looks like. This is what fraud looks like. Yet, the person leading this charge is not some group that must include duly appointed Republican election officials who have vehemently supported their processes against the president’s claims. It is being led by the president of the United States whose ego cannot stand losing. This is not leadership, it is petulance.

Yet, be forewarned by the president’s niece who said her uncle will “burn it all down to avoid losing.” He has already harmed America which prides itself on a peaceful transfer of power. Is this corrupt and deceitful president going to be the first to buck this extremely important trend?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-and-allies-dial-back-voter-fraud-claims-after-defeats/ar-BB1b3STY?ocid=msedgdhp

A recipe for election conspiracy

The following is a recipe for an election conspiracy that began earlier this year. It is being perpetrated and orchestrated by the president of the United States, not a vast contagion of complicit election officials, that would have to include many Republicans.

I mention this as Trump supporters are following the president’s lead saying this election is being stolen from him. Yet, Trump’s base and sycophants, whether aware or unaware, are part of his orchestrated conspiracy to defraud the American people. What he is doing now was predicted and predictable. The recipe is simple:

1) Recognize many people will vote by mail because of COVID-19
2) Understand the mission of the GOP over the last ten years to make it harder for the wrong people to vote (Google ALEC and Voter ID laws, Surgical gerrymandering)
3) Defame the mail-in process and raise questions
4) Hire a person to hobble the post office
5) Hire law firms with over 1,000 lawyers to prepare for a post-election battle if needed
6) Enlist as many GOP led state governments to restrict further mail-in votes
7) Encourage supportive voters to vote in person, knowing the in-person votes would be counted first
8) If needed, claim victory on election night while ahead and try to stop the counting
9) Claim the election is being stolen and sue

While some may feel this is farfetched, after reading about the attorneys being hired and the president’s words and actions, I wrote in September a piece called “Take it to the bank – the president will sue to avoid losing the election.” And, Senator Bernie Sanders eerily predicted on a TV talk show what Trump would do three weeks before he did it.

At the heart of all of this is a person who is known for lying, cutting corners, cheating, and being ego-maniacal, meaning he cannot stand to lose. As his niece said, her uncle will burn everything down to avoid losing. That appears to be so.

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

You remember that place next to the restaurant we liked – an updated version

This is an example of “couplespeak.” After years of marriage, it is entirely possible the other member of the couple will know precisely where the speaker is meaning. And, neither may actually remember the name of the place or the restaurant used as the landmark. This kind of conversation can surface in a multitude of ways. Here are a few more examples.

Oh, she is that actress who starred in the action movie with the guy we like.

This one usually requires some stumbling add-ons. Because the responding question will usually be, “Which movie are you talking about?” Nowadays, with Google, it is possible to come up with names and trace the movie to the other star. Yet, it is possible for the spouse to know after some add-on suggestions, who the actress and actor are.

Why don’t you make that casserole you made when we had some folks over?

Between the two, the name of the other couple can be surfaced which will help with the mental Rolodex of recipe names. Otherwise, it will be an ingredient hinting exercise. “I remembered it was a chicken and sausage dish.”

Was it Johnny, Susie or Joey that had the whooping cough or was it the croup?

This is not a fill in the blank question like the others. But, if you are a parent of more than one child, some of the younger child illnesses blend together. Your kids will laugh at you if you don’t remember, but they will cease laughing when it happens to them as parents. Also, the diseases do get mixed up some, which is why you keep a list.

What is the name of that singer that sounds like the woman we heard on the American Idol or The Voice?”

It is the “name that person questions” that come up the most. We know both of us know her, yet neither can recall her name. We do need to find some hint that will jog memory or facilitate the Google search.

Do you think the “Sun” or “Jellyfish” or “Popcorn” is that actress or singer who was in…?”

To get this reference, you have to be a fan of “The Masked Singer,” where artists dress in very creative costumes and sing in competition. Throughout their stints, the competitors offer clues. Yet, given the previous and first example above, it does test our couplespeak. Do you think that is the guy who starred in the sit-com about the young family with two dads?

To others, it will appear we have no sense at all. If you told someone that you could not remember a popular person or place, the other person would think you were crazy. “How can you not know that?” Yet, all couples will eventually migrate to this couplespeak at some point.

Tell me a few of your examples. Which ones did I not capture? When did you first notice this trend?

Current Arizona Republican Attorney General denounces unsupported fraud claims

In an article in The Washington Post entitled “Arizona’s GOP attorney general rejects Trump’s unfounded voter fraud claims: ‘There is no evidence’” by Jaclyn Peiser, the current Arizona Attorney General adds his Republican voice to that of his predecessor, Grant Wood (also Republican) regarding the election in Arizona.

The article can be linked to below, but here are the first four paragraphs which give you the gist of his comments. Note I wrote a few days ago about Wood’s comment in a Fox News editorial.

President Trump’s campaign plows on with lawsuits featuring unfounded claims of voter fraud in lost battleground states, Arizona’s Republican attorney general on Wednesday rejected the president’s conspiracy claims and said he’s unlikely to overtake President-elect Joe Biden in the state.

‘It does appear that Joe Biden will win Arizona,’ state Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a Wednesday interview with Fox Business host Neil Cavuto. “There is no evidence, there are no facts that would lead anyone to believe that the election results will change.”

Brnovich, the first high-ranking Republican in Arizona to reject Trump’s fraud claims in the state, added that Trump would have to win 65 percent of the less than 50,000 remaining votes to edge out a victory, a dubious outcome based on expert analysis and historical trends. It would be ‘very, highly unlikely to happen,’ Brnovich said.

Fox News, the Associated Press and Decision Desk HQ have all declared Biden the winner of Arizona. As of Thursday morning, The Washington Post has yet to call the race. With 99 percent of the ballots counted as of Thursday morning, Biden leads by more than 11,600, according to The Post.

The president keeps saying that Democrats are trying to steal the election, but these two men are Republicans. The Secretary of State in Georgia is also a Republican. Other state officials are also pushing back on the president’s fraud claims. Others are taking notice, especially with the president not offering tangible, significant evidence.

I saw a Reuters poll that noted 79% of Americans and 1/2 of Republicans believe the president elect is Joe Biden. What the president is doing was predicted by more than a few months ago. Hobbling the post office, defaming the mail-in process and hiring 1,000 attorneys around the country over the summer show a staging of this moment.

In fact, google Bernie Sanders on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show back in October regarding Trump’s expected election actions. Sanders lays out precisely what the president is now doing – claiming victory on election night, suing to stop the election counts and claiming fraud by those trying to steal the election.

From where I sit, the only fraud going on has the fingerprints of Donald Trump on it.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/arizona-s-gop-attorney-general-rejects-trump-s-unfounded-voter-fraud-claims-there-is-no-evidence/ar-BB1aWp4T?ocid=msedgdhp

If you don’t add value…

Just because someone is in a leadership position does not make them a leader, in and of itself. We are witnessing in real-time what leadership looks like and does not look like.

On the former, the president-elect has been inclusive, hopeful and unifying in his speeches. He said the major issue of the moment is the pandemic noting we cannot recover our economy without addressing the increasing cases and deaths. He has already announced a team to address these issues and given Americans straightforward advice about masks, social distancing and doing what is needed in advance of the vaccine.

On the latter, we have an incumbent president who I have never concluded was a leader, given his self-serving, untruthful, demeaning and bullying actions. After saying we should give him a chance after the 2016 election (as we should do with any president), it took less than a week for him to start burning that misplaced trust. A democratically elected leader does not act that way – an autocratic one does. Long ago I wrote that if the president cannot add value when he talks or tweets, he needs to stop talking or tweeting.

When a person in a leadership position does not add value or is untruthful, they start getting ignored. When you say inane or untruthful things, the speaker turns people off. Since the 2020 election, the incumbent is doing what many (including me) expected him to do – claim victory early on, claim fraud when the votes come in, and contest the election. He has been setting the stage for these actions for many months.

It should be noted that major news networks have cut away twice, once from the president and once from his PR person, when they started saying unsupported claims of wide-scale fraud. Think about what that says. Cutting away may be one of the biggest insults a president could get. In essence, the networks are saying if this is what you are going to talk about, then we have better things to do. It is like the crazy uncle at the Thanksgiving table – you just stop listening to him.

On the night of the election when the president claimed victory, he was vilified by more than several news people saying he cannot make that claim and is inflaming the situation. Chris Wallace of Fox News was one of those people. Even Republican leaders called the president “reckless and irresponsible.” Yet, he still has his sycophants who support this incredibly untruthful narcissist.

Now, I read that foreign leaders are giving the president the cold shoulder. That speaks volumes as well. The difference between these two candidates is staggering. One is being a leader, while the other is being, well whatever he wants. The story on the latter has gotten real tiresome. And, people are voting with their feet.