If you still think the election was rigged…

The following email was sent to the distribution list of North Carolina State Senator Jeff Jackson, a Democrat. I have found Jackson to be a very reasonable voice in today’s times. This email is an exemplar of his approach.

“Last week I sent an email that bluntly stated:

‘The election was not rigged. The elected officials saying otherwise are being intentionally dishonest.’

And I got a lot of replies from people saying, “Are you SURE it wasn’t rigged? How do you know? Where’s the proof? I heard that it was, so maybe we should look into that.”

Ok, so let me double back for a minute.

If you honestly aren’t sure whether or not the election was rigged, the best way I know to address that is to provide a wide variety of sources on the subject.

So here are 44 sources – a number of them supporters of the president – for you to consider.

In my view, if you genuinely believe that the election may have been stolen, you owe it to yourself to at least check your beliefs against what you see below.

(And if, upon review, you determine that the evidence does not support a conclusion that the election was rigged, the next step would be to cast a skeptical eye toward the sources that repeatedly tried to convince you otherwise.)

‘But Jeff, why should I believe anything you say?’

Don’t. Check the sources.

‘But Jeff, these sources are all corrupt and lying and should be ignored!’

Ok – but just know that when people accuse you of believing a conspiracy theory, this is why.

It’s because – in the face of an immense number of fact checks, Republican judges, and Republican elected officials – you’re not willing to consider the possibility that you may have been misled.

That’s conspiracy theory territory, and you should just know that going in.

For everyone else, feel free to share this and let’s see if we can reach a few people. (If you’d prefer to share in article form, you can do that here.)

It might not work, but we should at least try.

– Sen. Jeff Jackson

*************************************

44 Sources


1. “Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud” – AP
https://apnews.com/…/barr-no-widespread-election-fraud-b1f1…

2. “Trump’s claims of vote rigging are all wrong” – AP
https://apnews.com/…/election-2020-ap-fact-check-joe-biden-…

3. “First Statewide Audit of paper ballots in Georgia upholds results of Presidential race” – Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger (R)
https://sos.ga.gov/…/historic_first_statewide_audit_of_pape…

4. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” – Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council & The Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees
https://www.cisa.gov/…/joint-statement-elections-infrastruc…

5.“The minimal number of criminal investigations that have so far come out of the November vote further reinforce the absence of sweeping vote fraud schemes.” – Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/bdbe541c-42de-11eb-b0e4-0f…

6. “In a remarkable show of near-unanimity across the nation’s judiciary, at least 86 judges — ranging from jurists serving at the lowest levels of state court systems to members of the United States Supreme Court — rejected at least one post-election lawsuit filed by Trump or his supporters.” – Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/e3a57224-3a72-11eb-98c4-25…

7. “It’s Official: The Election Was Secure” – Brennan Center for Justice
https://www.brennancenter.org/…/its-official-election-was-s…

8. “As former Republican Members of Congress who swore an oath to the Constitution, we believe the statements by President Trump alleging fraud in the election are efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the election and are unacceptable” – Letter from ***31 Former Republican Members of Congress***
https://thehill.com/…/525161-former-gop-lawmakers-call-on-t…

9. “To win, Mr. Trump must prove systemic fraud, with illegal votes in the tens of thousands. There is no evidence of that so far.” – Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/…/this-election-result-wont-be-overturn…

10. “U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann — a Republican and Federalist Society member in central Pennsylvania — compared the campaign’s legal arguments to ‘Frankenstein’s Monster,’ concluding that Trump’s team offered only ‘speculative accusations,’ not proof of rampant corruption.” – AP News
https://apnews.com/…/election-2020-donald-trump-pennsylvani…

And you can read the case for yourself here: https://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/si…/pamd/files/20-2078_202.pdf

11. “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.” – Will Hurd (R), Representative of Texas’s 23rd District
https://thehill.com/…/524738-republicans-rebuke-trump-over-…

12. “STOP spreading debunked misinformation…This is getting insane” – Adam Kinzinger (R), Republican Representative of Illinois’s 16th District
https://twitter.com/RepKinzinger/status/1324503564891414528…

13. “The scheme by members of Congress to reject the certification of the presidential election makes a mockery of our system and who we are as Americans.” – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R)
https://www.chicagotribune.com/…/ct-republican-senators-ele…

14. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) Shoots Down Trump Legal Team’s ‘Rigged Election’ Claims: “Absolutely Outrageous” – Fox News
https://radio.foxnews.com/…/sen-joni-ernst-r-ia-shoots-dow…/

15. “[The president] is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt or 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 destruction and dangerous passions.” – Sen. Mitt Romney (R), Utah
https://twitter.com/MittRomney/status/1324763757105602561…

16. “President Trump’s legal team has not presented evidence of the massive fraud which would have had to be present to overturn the election. I voted for President Trump but Joe Biden won.” – Sen. Bill Cassidy (R), Louisiana
https://twitter.com/SenBillCass…/status/1331013512605405184…

17. “Republican Sen. Pat Toomey calls Trump’s campaign to overturn Pennsylvania election ‘completely unacceptable’” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
https://fusion.inquirer.com/…/pat-toomey-pennsylvania-elect…

18. “Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer (R) says widespread voter fraud not proven in 2020 election” – KETV
https://www.ketv.com/…/i-will-uphold-my-oath-nebra…/35132772#

19. “Former GOP election law attorney says widespread voter fraud doesn’t exist” – Fox Denver
https://kdvr.com/…/former-gop-election-law-attorney-says-w…/

20. “There is not and has not been any credible evidence of significant fraud in the 2020 election” – Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/there-is-not-has-not-been…/

21. “Georgia election: Trump voter fraud claims and others fact-checked” – BBC
https://www.bbc.com/news/55561877

22. “Trump’s made-up claims of fake Georgia votes” – AP News
https://apnews.com/…/ap-fact-check-donald-trump-georgia-ele…

23. “Fact-checking Trump’s false claims about Pennsylvania’s election before his supporters attacked the Capitol” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
https://fusion.inquirer.com/…/trump-washington-rally-pennsy…

24. “Trump tweet wrongly suggests there were defects with Michigan voting machines” – Detroit Free Press
https://www.freep.com/…/trump-fact-check-defect…/3902951001/

25. “The Times Called Officials In Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud” – New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/…/…/10/us/politics/voting-fraud.html

26. “A Georgia Election official debunked Trump’s claims of voter fraud point by point” – New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/…/politics/trump-georgia-election-f…

27. “Pennsylvania pours cold water on Trump’s voter fraud claims” – The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/…/first-thing-pennsylvania-pour…

28. “Here’s the reality behind Trump’s claims about mail voting” – AP
https://apnews.com/…/virus-outbreak-joe-biden-election-2020…

29. “2020 election ‘most secure in American history,’ federal election security officials say” – Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/…/2020-election-secure-history-fede…

30. “Presidential Election ‘Most Secure’ In History, Top Security Experts At DHS Say” – HuffPost
https://www.huffpost.com/…/2020-election-most-secure-dhs_n_…

31. “Fired director of U.S. cyber agency Chris Krebs explains why President Trump’s claims of election interference are false” – 60 Minutes, CBS
https://www.cbsnews.com/…/election-results-security-chris-…/

32. “Trump’s own officials say 2020 was America’s most secure election in history” – Vox
https://www.vox.com/…/2020-elections-most-secure-dhs-cisa-k…

33. “Governor Wolf, officials say Pennsylvania had a fair and secure election” – MSN
https://www.msn.com/…/governor-wolf-officials-s…/ar-BB1cwXYG

34. “No, Dominion voting machines did not delete Trump votes.” – New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/…/no-dominion-voting-machines-did-n…

35. “Georgia officials rebutted Trump’s claim that Dominion voting machines failed in ‘Republican strongholds.’” – NYT
https://www.nytimes.com/…/05/us/polit…/dominion-georgia.html

36. “Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R) went on CNN and said the presidential election wasn’t ‘rigged’” – Springfield News Leader
https://www.news-leader.com/…/missouri-senator-…/3910497001/

37. “Sen. Cornyn (R) says he’s seen no evidence of voter fraud” – The Daily Sentinel
https://www.dailysentinel.com/…/article_c1250852-0687-5d3b-…

38. “No evidence shows Biden benefitted from voter fraud, South Dakota Senator John Thune (R) says” – Argus Leader
https://www.argusleader.com/…/thune-no-evidence…/6190130002/

39. Georgia official Raffensperger: “We had safe, secure, honest elections” – 60 Minutes, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/…/georgia-official-raffensperger-w…/

40. “Fact-Checking the Congressional Debate on Ratifying the Election Results” – NYT
https://www.nytimes.com/…/fact-check-electoral-certification

41. Arizona Supreme Court upholds election challenge dismissal: “In all, eight lawsuits challenging Biden’s Arizona win have failed.”
https://apnews.com/…/election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-a…

42. Fact check: After hand count audits of the vast majority of the ballots in the state, no evidence for claims Arizona’s results were marred by fraud – NBC News https://www.nbcnews.com/…/electoral-college-ce…/ncrd1253058…

And you can see the hand count results for yourself here: https://azsos.gov/…/2020-general-election-hand-count-results

43. “Arizona’s GOP AG rejects voter fraud claims” – Axios
https://www.axios.com/arizona-republican-ag-rejects-voter-f…

44. From a presidential commission to Trump-nominated judges, here’s who has rebuked Trump’s voter fraud claims – Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/…/01/03/voter-fraud/

Dr. Fiona Hill cautions all on civil unrest fomented by the outgoing president

Dr. Fiona Hill is one of the most credible public servants who risked a great deal by testifying of her concerns regarding the coercion of Ukraine to benefit the president.* In an article called “Former Trump official Fiona Hill: ‘President’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war'” by Justine Coleman of The Hill, she cautions of more civil unrest. Here are a few paragraphs along with a link below.

Former Trump National Security Council member Fiona Hill on Monday said that President Trump’s ‘actions have put us on the brink of civil war’ after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol last week.

Hill, who served as the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, called the Capitol raid a “coup” in a Politico op-ed, saying that a coup does not need to be a ‘sudden, violent seizure of power involving clandestine plots and military takeovers.

‘Trump disguised what he was doing by operating in plain sight, talking openly about his intent,’ she said. ‘He normalized his actions so people would accept them. I’ve been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them.’

The former Trump official said Trump’s efforts to stay in power during his presidency amounted to a ‘self-coup’ that was ultimately unsuccessful. But she noted ‘the bad news is that his supporters still believe the false narrative’ that the president won reelection after he and other Republicans have promoted unfounded claims that widespread voter fraud led to his loss.

Trump has not repudiated it, nor have the House and Senate Republicans who voted against the Electoral College results, she wrote. ‘Millions of people still think the election was stolen. They still support Trump the person, not the Republican Party, and many are prepared to take further action on his behalf.

‘As in the case of other coup attempts, the president’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war,’ Hill continued. ‘Trump did not overturn the election results, but, just as he intended, he disrupted the peaceful democratic transition of executive power.’

Her voice is one of experience and reason. She needs to be listened to by all, but especially Republicans in position of leadership.

Former Trump official Fiona Hill: ‘President’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war’ (msn.com)

*Per Wikpedia, Fiona Hill is a British-American foreign affairs specialist and academic. She is a former official at the U.S. National Security Council specializing in Russian and European affairs. She was a witness in the November 2019 House hearings regarding the impeachment of President Trump. A PhD in history from Harvard University, she is currently a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

A few thoughts on a rainy Tuesday

It seems like we cannot escape the rain, but at least it is better than ice and snow. Take care and drive safely. Here are a couple of thoughts on this rainy Tuesday.

In the first Harry Potter movie, one of Potter’s dorm mates won his group extra points by standing up to his friends when they were about to do something wrong. The headmaster noted standing up to one’s friends shows more courage than standing up to one’s enemies. Senator Mitt Romney should be awarded more points for his political courage for standing alone as he spoke truth to power. Like Romney, the public servants who testified under oath and at great risk showed courage when they knew they would be punished by “he who should not be named.”

There is an old saying “one should never argue with a street preacher.” Why? If someone is going to stand on a corner and yell for several hours, they may be a tad zealous. Online or on social media, it is hard to identify the street preachers (a metaphor for zealous people). Their views are given too much weight, especially when they are elected officials. Unfortunately, with gerrymandering and tribal politics, some authors of ludicrous statements are better left ignored. When an official advocates killing people for their beliefs, that is not only asinine, it is hate speech. I wish the press would ignore much of the BS spewed by the US president, yet they feel obligated to report it.

Since my computer seems to be hiccupping this morning, let me leave you with those two thoughts. Have a great day.

We must applaud political courage

Earlier this week, two Republican Senators, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, said the briefing by the White House on the assassination of the Iranian Soleimani, was not just poor, but the worst of briefings. I applaud their political courage to push back on the president for less than satisfactory explanation. I have called each Senator to share my thank you as an Independent and former Republican voter.

I had the same type of kudos for the parade of diplomats and other public servants who testified under oath and at great risk to the House Intelligence committee about their concerns over the shadow diplomacy being used by the president in Ukraine to strong arm action for his personal benefit. I watched these witnesses speak under oath about how we should be doing our best to nurture and protect the young democracy in Ukraine. On the flip side, I saw a president, not under oath, berate these public servants for being less than truthful, without really addressing the need to protect the interests of Ukraine.

Political courage seems to be in short supply these days. At the same time the two Senators were sharing their concerns, a US Congressman was being questioned for the release of a doctored photograph. The intent of the photograph which showed the preceding president shaking hands with the current Irani president, whom he has never physically met, seems to be less than meritorious. Yet, when questioned, the Congressman was flippant and disdainful of the reporter.

Unlike the two Senators’ political courage, the act and the response by the Congressman is poor form. We need our legislators to be among our better Angels, not our worst demons. With it so easy to disinform these days, we need our legislators to avoid such temptation, and to condemn it even when it is done on their behalf. We all must be truth seekers.

I am reminded of the late Senator John McCain, when running for president in 2008, correcting a woman when she attacked the character of Barack Obama. He told her that Obama was a fine person, but he and Obama just disagreed on issues and policies. I miss the Senator and his political (and military courage). We need to emulate him and the recent actions of Senator Lee and Paul.

Half a dozen heroes to think about

My wife and I watched the movie “Harriet” on Friday about the American hero Harriet Tubman. She helped over 300 slaves find their way to freedom. Her courage, tenacity, faith and smarts are highly commendable. The movie is excellent and quite moving.

It got me thiking about a few other heroes. Let me mention three more historical heroes who need more notoriety, before I close with two current ones who deserve the shout out.

I have written before about Alan Turing, the father of modern day computing. He led a team that cracked the Nazi Enigma code used in secret transmissions. Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower said Turing and his team helped shorten the war by two years and save 750,000 lives. Sadly, Turing had to hide the fact he was gay and was later imprisoned after his sexual preferences were discovered. What if they had discovered he was gay in 1940 rather than 1950? Would those 750,000 people have died?

Two men who should get more acclaim are Elliott Richardson and William Ruckelshaus. What did they do? In October, 1973, they refused in succession to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox at the direction of President Richard Nixon and were themselves fired. This was the beginning of the end of the Nixon presidency. Nixon called the Watergate investigation a “witch hunt” and said repeatedly “I am not a crook.” He was wrong on both counts. It wasn’t and he was.

A current hero is only sixteen years old, Greta Thunberg, the climate change activist from Sweden. She has inspired tens of millions kids, teens and adults in urging the need for more climate change action. I find her candor and can-do attitude refreshing. She has gotten the attention of legislators, but they need to act. We are behind where we need to be.

The other current hero is former US ambassador to Ukraine, Maria Yovanovitch. She was the first to testify to the House impeachment committees. Her political courage and respect for the US constitution is enviable. Her testimony led others to also brave testimony, especially in light of a vindictive president who they reiterated abused his powers. I cannot emphasize their courage enough, as more than a few Republican legislators feel the same but are not as courageous and fear the wrath of the president and his base.

Going against the grain in the face of adversity should be valued. Tubman freed herself and traversed over one hundred miles alone. Then she went back at great personal risk and freed more people. I applaud her and these other five people. We all should.

Support the impeachment process

The following is a variation of a letter I forwarded to my US legislators. Please feel free to adapt and use.
**************

Seeing the parade of diplomats and senior staff members testifying under oath regarding their consistent concerns over the president’s abuse of power is telling. They are exhibiting political courage with the knowledge they are up against a vindictive person. We should applaud their heroism and heed their concerns.

As an independent and former Republican voter, I strongly support formalizing the impeachment process. We must get to the bottom of this. Having read the Mueller Report, the president’s credibility is poor.

A few questions to ponder – October 27, 2019

A couple of questions to ponder:

– why is the US president directing the US Attorney General and why is he aware of findings?

– why is it so hard for ardent Trump fans to believe hard-working, diligent ambassadors who have served both Republican and Democrat presidents?

– why are we not celebrating the political courage of these ambassadors who are testifying while knowing the president is very vindictive?

– why are not more questions being asked of AG William Barr who white-washed a more damning Mueller report?

– why did the GOP stormtroopers brag that they had not paid attention to what these heroes were testifying and had not read the Mueller report?

– why are legislators OK with a morally corrupt and likely criminally corrupt president?

– why do two Republican lawyer groups say the impeachment inquiry is justified?

– why do Trump followers think the ten plus year economic growth in the US started January, 2017? Could it be they believed his lie how horrible things were and unemployment was as high as 42%? It is amazing how it dropped to beneath 5% after the inauguration.

Mind you, I am glad economic growth continued, but what concerns me is we borrowed from our future to make a pretty good economy a little better for a little while. Instead of paying down debt in good years, our deficit climbed 26% to $984 billion for the fiscal year ending 9/30/2019. This is the fourth straight year of increases. We are over $22 trillion in debt today and it will be near $34 trillion in eight years sans change.

Trump said the economy will suffer if he is not reelected. The truth is the economy has been softening for more than a year and will continue to soften next and the following year and regardless of whether Trump is reelected.

Just a few questions to ponder.