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

Robert Redford, actor and environmentalist, speaks loudly

In an article by Zack Budryk of The Hill called “Robert Redford backs Biden, warns of slide toward autocracy if Trump wins,” the following three paragraphs paint the appropriate portrait of the election.

“The reelection of President Trump, Redford wrote, would ‘accelerate our slide toward autocracy. It would be taken as free license to punish more so-called ‘traitors’ and wage more petty vendettas – with the full weight of the Justice Department behind them.’

Redford predicted ‘untold damage’ to the environment under a second Trump term, citing the president’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and rollback of Obama-era energy and environmental regulations.

In contrast, he wrote, ‘Biden leads with his heart. I don’t mean that in a soft and sentimental way. I’m talking about a fierce compassion – the kind that fuels him, that drives him to fight against racial and economic injustice, that won’t let him rest while people are struggling.'”

I can already hear the dissenting voices say Redford is just an actor, why should his opinion matter more than mine? It doesn’t. But, here is a man who has spent a life of trying to protect the environment, whose voice has a little more gravatas. Plus, any public figure who is paid based on consumers buying his product, risks more by making statements such as this.

Finally, while my opinion is just one voice, I agree with everything that Redford write above. So, that is at least two like minds on this issue. The full article can be linked to below.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/robert-redford-backs-biden-warns-of-slide-toward-autocracy-if-trump-wins/ar-BB16uSyj?ocid=msedgdhp

Saturday in the park – a few wandering comments

It is a good day for a walkabout, so let’s head to the park, allowing for social distancing. As we wander, here are few thoughts to ponder.

I saw where Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, sold one of his several Super Bowl rings for charity, garnering $1.1 million. Very nice. It reminded me of an interesting accusation Kraft made on a visit to Moscow. He accused Vladimir Putin of pocketing his ring after he asked to see it. Putin said Kraft gave it to him – Kraft said he did not.

I received a letter from one of my Senators in response to my emsil on my concern the president is firing Inspectors General. He said it was the president’s right to fire the IGs. I called and left a message thanking him for the letter, saying I understood his point, but strongly disagree. Firing IGs is like firing the umpire and should be of concern to all senators, regardless of who is president. We must have governance over any president, but especially this one who is not known for telling the truth. By the way, commentators Mark Shield and David Brooks echoed these concerns last night on their PBS Newshour recap of the week.

I read in my newsfeed the fuss about mail-in voting is a lot of hot air about nothing. Five states currently use mail-in voting to a heavy extent – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington. It seems people don’t like to drive a long way to a voting precinct and prefer to mail it in. Having lived in a state that saw a Republican super majority plow through ALEC based cookie cutter language on Voter ID Laws, one party is trying to limit voting for their own benefit. Voter fraud is very miniscule, but you would think it is rampant. Fortunately, the judges saw the NC law as “precision-like” discrimination and ruled it unconstitutional. The problem in America is we need to encourage more voting, not less.

China is not the only one who tried to cover up what was happening with COVID-19. After being briefed in January on the pandemic risk, the US president chose to naysay the risk and misinform per his modus operandi. The misinformation continues to this day. On the good side, Americans are coming together. We see the more strident folks beat on their chest and say “I am invincible,” but most Americans are doing what they can, observing social distancing, and helping each other. To be brutally frank, we deserve a better leader than the one who is misinforming us routinely. We need people in leadership positions to shoot straight with us and not try to do things to win an election, first and foremost. Ironically, if the president had chosen to be presidential beginning in January, he could have helped Americans and helped his chances of winning.

Joe Biden had another slip up. Joe screwed up presuming black votes were his. That was wrong. Yet, later in the day, Biden did something that is very un-Trump like, he apologized for his remarks to an important audience. This is not unusual for Biden to say things he may want to check and it will happen again. Yet, it is very important to note biographers have said Trump was taught by his mentor Roy Cohn to “never apologize and sue everyone.” Having watched Trump for years, I must confess I cannot recall him apologizing. He is more inclined to blame someone else than be accountable. Biden was accountable for his screw-up. Yet, no one should take voters for granted, including Joe

Well that is enough to chew on while you walk. Have a great weekend. Be safe.

A few funny takes on the news

Taking a step back from the seriousness of the news, we can find some humor. Here are a few thoughts to ponder.

Did anyone tell the president a side effect of taking hydroxychloroquine is hair loss? I mean the guy already has a two feet long comb over.

Does Mike Pence practice that puppy dog loyalty expression in the mirror? His boss has said some of the most inane things right in front of him (like ingesting disinfectant) and he does not break from that expression.

Did you hear the nickname Joe Biden gave the highly prolific nick-naming president? Joe called him “President Tweety.” I am not a fan of name calling, but this one, while colorful and apt, may be one of the least offensive ones he could have used. I may have said “Mr. Tweety” instead, but again it is colorful and descriptive of an excessive tweeter.

Joe Biden is a decent man and will help bring us together, if elected, but people should refrain from showing him saying things he should not out loud as way to say he is getting senile. Joe has a history of saying things he could have checked. On the upside, in one interview, he let the cat out of the bag and forced Obama to publicly embrace same sex marriage before Obama was ready to. When the ACA was signed, he could be heard whispering to Obama, “this is a big f***ing deal.”

One of the funniest sights occurred when the president spoke of ingesting or injecting disinfectant to cure COVID-19, then turning to Dr. Deborah Birx for corroboration. Watching her try to disappear in her chair with a mortified look on her face was priceless. It reminded of the times in high school where you prayed the teacher would not call on you.

The last place a White House staff member wants to be is behind the president when he goes off script. Unfortunately, I am tall and could not hide. I am reminded of former FBI Director James Comey, who is about 6’9″ tall. He was in the White House and he was trying to blend into the blue curtains with his navy blue suit to avoid be called on. Unfortunately, the president found him and called him out to shake his hand.

Sadly, many things the president says could be viewed as funny, but they are too scary or sad. When he invents things or openly speaks of what is talked about as “what-ifs” with staff, as if they were real, it becomes scary. My personal favorite is when he announced in front of the Pakistani leader, the India leader asked him to broker a peace deal over the area called Kashmir. The Pakistani leader looked surprised and encouraged. Unfortunately, that was not true. Within the hour, Prime Minister Modi of India sent out a press release saying “no such request has been made.”

What are some of your funny moments?