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

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

Former Trump National Security Director tells GOP to acknowledge the reality

John Bolton urges Republicans: “‘Acknowledge the reality that Biden is the president-elect’” in an article with his title by Quint Forgey of Politico. Here are a few paragraphs below:

“Former national security adviser John Bolton urged congressional Republicans in a new interview to ‘acknowledge the reality’ that Joe Biden is president-elect — predicting GOP lawmakers would survive any potential backlash from President Donald Trump if they broke with him over the 2020 election results.

In an interview with NPR that aired Friday, Bolton said Republicans ‘may not like’ recognizing Biden as the winner of the White House race, ‘but the country deserves to give him the preparation he needs. A gracious president who kept the country’s interests first would acknowledge that.’

‘All I’m saying is that showing disagreement with the president is not fatal to your political future. I’m not asking anybody to climb Mount Suribachi and plant the American flag on top of it,’ Bolton added, referring to the iconic photograph of U.S. Marines raising the flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima.”

Yesterday, the president-elect was declared the winner in Arizona and Georgia, while the president was declared such in North Carolina. The electoral college count now tallies 306 votes to Biden and 232 to Trump. Ironically, this is the same margin of victory that Trump had in 2016. The key in 2020 is Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin went for the Democrat candidate this time.

On the legal front, the Trump campaign efforts are waning. Two law firms representing Trump are seeking permission from judges to back out of cases. A case in Arizona was withdrawn as it will not change the result and the Trump campaign has lost several others in Pennsylvania and Michigan while winning one small case that threw out some ballots in PA. A hand recount is occurring in Georgia, as per state law due to the closeness of the election.

Sadly, with the orchestrated manner in which the president claimed victory, tried to stop the counts, noted voter fraud was trying to steal the election and with his lawsuits, his base believes something is amiss. The fact some spineless Senators have gone along with the Trump charade is frustrating. Trump lost because Biden got more votes in key states.

Four Republican Senators (Romney, Collins, Murkowski and Sasse) have publicly acknowledged Biden as president-elect. Many others have done so privately to Biden. Senators Langford and Grassley have been vocal about Biden getting intelligence briefings. As they note, it is a national security risk for him not to be up to speed.

In my view, this yet one more series of examples of the incumbent focusing on himself rather than the country. As his niece Mary said, her uncle will “burn down everything to avoid losing.” That is evident and a scary premonition of what could come. A person who acts corruptly and deceitfully will stoop to just about anything to win.

Yet, one question seems to evade Trump and his supporters that evokes Occam’s Razor. Occam’s Razor notes the simplest explanation is the more obvious reason. Trump is asking us to believe there is a massive voter fraud effort against him, which would have to include the collusion of many Republican election officials and Secretaries of State.

Is it is easier to believe that a massive voter fraud scheme was undertaken, or a president, who is known for being untruthful, who hired attorneys over the summer, who defamed the mail-in vote process, who hobbled the post office and who told his voters to vote in person knowing those votes would be counted first, is perpetuating a fraud on the American public?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/bolton-urges-republicans-acknowledge-the-reality-that-biden-is-the-president-elect/ar-BB1aZck0?ocid=msedgdhp

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.

Former Republican Attorney General notes Trump lawsuits are baseless and will fail

An op-ed written by Grant Wood for Fox News called “Ex-Arizona GOP AG Woods: Trump claims of election fraud are completely baseless — his lawsuits will fail” is worth reading. A link to the editorial is below. Here are a few select paragraphs.

“Stop counting the ballots — unless they will help me win. That’s the argument President Trump has been making since election night.

I say this as a legal matter, not a partisan one. I was the Republican attorney general of Arizona for two terms, but it was always the law — not my party registration — that guided my decisions.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. Judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans alike have made it clear that President Trump’s election lawsuits aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.”

I found the words of this former Republican Attorney General of impact, given their source. The lawsuits are frivolous, but in keeping with Trump’s modus operandi of suing people and entities. The greater damage is his calling the election into question, which was part of a plan he had been staging for about six months. In fact, Senator Bernie Sanders, with eerie accuracy, predicted what Trump would do on Jimmy Kimmel’s show about three weeks ago.

Speaking of another former Attorney General, Pam Bondi from Florida is on Trump’s legal team. We should recall she is there because she would not let Floridians be a part of the lawsuit against Trump University for fraudulent and aggressive marketing that Trump settled for $25 million before being sworn in.

The only reason I mention this latter example is Trump likes to use the word “fraud” but he has been accused of such on more than one occasion and has often settled the cases.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trump-election-lawsuits-grant-woods

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.