Transition begins

I said the transition to the Biden administration would begin sometime between November 25 to December 1, 2020. It started yesterday, November 23, 2020. What was holding up the transition was Trump’s lawsuits in key states. Losing his lawsuit in Pennsylvania and certification in Michigan were critical to the General Services Administration’ consent to begin the transition.

My predictions going forward: The recount in Georgia will confirm that the last two recounts were right, Joe Biden won the election. Similarly, nothing will change in the partial recount in Wisconsin, except the Trump leadership PAC will pay 3 million dollars.

“The President can sue a ham sandwich, he can send a thousand lawyers to Pennsylvania, but it’s not going to change the basic fact of the matter.”

John Fetterman, PA’s lieutenant governor, responding to a question on the lawsuit to stop counting later arriving ballots, Nov 6.

I am hoping we are seeing a wind down of frivolous lawsuits from Trump. In Pennsylvania, Trump’s legal team appealed Judge Brann’s scathing dismissal. They are not looking for a reversal, but instead claim Judge Brann erred in ignoring the second amended lawsuit. My prediction here, is the court will let stand Brann’s opinion very quickly.

Judge Brann’s called Trump’s PA case “Frankenstein’s monster. ” Dr. Frankenstein, in bringing a corpse to life again, had to patch together various body parts in such a way that his monster could barely walk.

I am on Trump’s emailing list, and receive about 15 emails a day (all go to my spam folder) claiming how they need funds to protect election integrity and prove to the courts, that the election of Joe Biden was rigged. This is a lie. Now the fine print. “Save America” PAC is set up as a “Leadership PAC”, there’s nothing stopping Trump from having fundraisers, say at the Trump Doral Golf Resort and enriching himself, the Trump organization and anyone employed by the PAC. High paying jobs for Donald, Jr, his girlfriend, Eric, Ivanka, Lara, Jared, and the rest of the gang. Save America, Save Doral Golf Resorts, Golf Club West Palm Beach, National Golf Resort, Sterling, VA, Trump’s Jupiter Golf Resorts.

Yes, Save America is to put Trump and his organization and their needs ($$$) above the Republican Party. Save Trump and his billions (soon to be millions after the IRS audit) and his resorts.

Yes, this is Trumpism! On top of every other problem, real or imagined, we have this enormously huge conspiracy against America, that somehow alluded the FBI, the CISA and some 30 courts around the country – Election rigging by evil Democrats, and Rino (Republicans in name only).

Rinos are those that still cling to old Republican ideals of balancing the budget and maintaining a strong defense. Now totally outdated by saturating social media with slogans, like Save America. A massive coordinated and evil conspiracy to steal the election is the only way that Donald Trump could have lost.

Let’s forget this post election Trump sideshow. Trump has already kicked out of his administration anyone with an ounce of integrity, with the latest victim being Chris Krebs. Amazingly, the DHS has not disabled the “Rumor vs Reality” webpage. Unfortunately, I believe Trump supporters and of course the president, reject reality and embrace the rumors. Reality vs Rumors. This is how we save America, or the Republican Party, by being the most gullible and misinformed party in existence.

Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. We have failed miserably in containing Covid-19. The real challenge is an incredibly difficult one, and that is to restore confidence in government and our institutions, such as the CDC, FDA and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It is desperately needed now, as we need all Americans to get vaccinated.

When the vaccine is available where I live, I will be first in line. Every time someone is not vaccinated, they likely will spread it to others before it is discovered. Take a good look at the people you associate with or just pass by, acquaintances and loved ones. You can be part of the chain in spreading the disease because you don’t know you have it at first.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Trump tells his donors they’re paying for recounts. They aren’t.

Pennsylvania counties certify election results despite isolated pushback from Trump allies

How many times has President Donald Trump played golf while in office?

Election Recounts – Deal or No Deal!

If Trump wants a recount in Wisconsin, he’s got to pay 7.9 million dollars for it. If the recount shows he won, the state has to refund the money. Biden leads in Wisconsin by 20,470 votes. Deadline to request a recount is tomorrow, Dec 18.

In 2016, Jill Stein requested a recount in Wisconsin. As a result, Clinton gained 713 votes, Trump gained 844 and so Trump ended up ahead by 131 votes. Whoopie doo!

If the recount doesn’t cost 7.9 million dollars, Wisconsin gives Trump a partial refund.

Nevada has the same deal for Trump. I don’t know the deadlines or the cost of a recount. In 2016, Jill Stein requested a partial recount, and it ended in a net gain of 3 votes for Trump.

Deal or No Deal? If Trump goes for the recounts, the only thing that will come out of it is the count is off, perhaps a couple hundred votes. It will further legitimize the initial count of votes.

Deal or no deal. We shall see.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Biden is best for Global Problems – Part 3

North Korea

The threat of North Korea obtaining deliverable nuclear weapons is real. Trump campaigned as a tough negotiator, with the skill set needed to have North Korea cease in development of nuclear missile.

From John Bolton’s book, Trump had no coherent strategy. He liked to be the center of attention. He went for the photo shoots. He liked to talk about eventual nuclear disarmament, but was unable to do any better than President Obama.

And in the end, President Kim Jong-Un played to Trump’s vanity and won.

It will be a major problem to be passed to Joe Biden. There will be no big summits, or photo ops. It will take immense cooperation from all our Asian partner to cause nuclear disarmament. It will be a lot of behind the scenes diplomacy.

Stay tuned,

Dave

I am tired of our erratic president

If there is a common tread of everyone who has worked closely with Donald Trump, it is his erratic actions and his inability to work within the system. It is what caused General Mattis, our former Secretary of Defense e to quit. Similarly, Rex Tillerson, our former Secretary of State, also resigned. His long time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, describes Trump’s total disregard for ethics and honorable and looks simply at what is best for himself. Similarly, our former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, describes Trump as highly impulsive and self-serving.

The long awaited stimulus package negotiations was obviously going too slow for Donald Trump, so in a tweet, the negotiations were ended. It is likely Steven Mnuchin didn’t even see this coming. It was likely that the only way to get the bill passed in the Senate, would be with the help of Democrats.

Passage of the stimulus bill was vital to keeping certain sectors of our economy from failing and helping those affected by Covid-19 regulations get by with rent and basic essentials until there is a vaccine, likely to happen in 2021.

So, passage of Stimulus II was only going to be a bipartisan victory, not an exclusive Republican victory like the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, which I believe will happen. It might not be completed by election day, but she will be soon on the Supreme Court.

Please do not elect Donald Trump to another four years. Joe Biden could have gotten Stimulus II through both houses of congress, because he understands the process and has the patience.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Florida – Vote for Biden

I fear time is running out for this simple message. I live in Florida. Unlike most states, the sea water really surrounds us, so we have our choice of beaches. I guess I could include Hawaii another incredibly beautiful state. It is something very precious.

We share something else with the gulf coast states – hurricanes. Not just in frequency, but also in their ability to destroy homes. Scientists will tell you that climate change does not cause hurricanes, because a lot of factors influence the development of hurricanes. What climate change does, with the warming of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters, is allow tropical storms and hurricanes to intensify. So, with climate change, a tropical storm can go to a Category 1 hurricane or from a Category 1 hurricane to a Category 5. The Category 5 hurricanes are extremely destructive and deadly.

The immense forest fires recently in California are the result of many environmental conditions, and I would never blame a forest fire exclusively on climate change. The ignition of the fire can come from multiple sources, including lightening strikes and human activities. The buildup of dry material can also be blamed the difficulty of conducting periodic control burns. However, the inescapable reality is that climate change increases the size of the fire, to the extent where it is incredibly difficult to control. Climate change means a longer dry periods in the western states where the fires can start.

Pulling out of Paris Climate Accords was one of the worse mistakes made by Trump. He said it was grossly unfair to the US and many developed countries, as we would have to bear more of the burden of reducing our carbon emission. In 2016, he said once we left, everyone else would wake up to see what a mistake the US had made, and the European countries would join us in leaving.

It was true Trump, this great deal maker, to sell the public, that he could make America great, by telling everyone how clean our air is, and we have no problem. Yet, as I write, there’s talk about Hurricane Delta coming. Hurricane Delta is right, as this year, we’ve had all 24 named hurricanes and now are going through the Greek alphabet with alpha, beta, gamma, delta.

It is exactly what the scientists predicted – more extreme weather events. Why are there extensive fires in the Amazon? Why in Australia? Why in the artic regions of Alaska, Canada and Siberia?

Climate change is a global problem, solved by working together with all nations. It isn’t going to be solved easily – our carbon emissions are very high and our dependence on fossil fuels very strong. Biden is the right person to lead this country through a transition to less reliance of fossil fuels and more international cooperation in the developing countries – such as Brazil, India, China and Russia.

Vote Biden for Florida, California, the US and the rest of the world. Our house, where we live, is in trouble and it will only get worse under Trump.

A greener planet is possible but we need new leadership now.

Stay tuned,

Dave

September 29 debate – Part II

The presidential debate was a mess, with excessive rudeness and interruptions. Wallace is trying to be neutral, but Trump felt he could overpower Wallace. Midway through the discussion, Wallace makes his frustrations clear to President Trump,

“I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer your –” and before he’s finished, Trump interrupts.

See below the discussion on health care. Wallace’s question was preceded by three statements of fact: (1) The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Nov 10, 2020 on the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, (2) There is no comprehensive to replace it, contrary to Trump’s repeal and replace campaign promise and (3) You signed a largely symbolic executive order to protect people with pre-existing conditions five days before this debate (Direct quote from Wallace).

The question to Trump was mired in interruptions. Wallace asks, “So my question, sir, is what is the Trump health care plan?”

Here’s the discussion from the transcripts. Note, towards the end, I have included only comments from Chris Wallace.

WALLACE: Mr. President, the Supreme Court will hear a case a week after the election in which the Trump administration, along with 18 state attorneys general are seeking to overturn —

TRUMP: That’s right.

WALLACE: — Obamacare, to end Obamacare. You had spent the last —

TRUMP: Because they want to give good health care —

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: If I may ask that question, sir.

TRUMP: Go ahead.

BIDEN: Good health care. (– Biden interrupts)

WALLACE: Over the last four years, you have promised to repeal and replace Obamacare but you have never in these four years come up with a plan, a comprehensive plan —

TRUMP: Of course, I have.

WALLACE: — to replace Obamacare.

TRUMP: Of course, I have.

WALLACE: Well, I’ll give you an —

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I got rid of the individual mandate.

WALLACE: — when I finish, I’m going to give you an opportunity —

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me. I got rid of the individual mandate which was a big chunk of Obama —

WALLACE: That is not a comprehensive plan.

— Trump wants to talk about Obamacare, Wallace is looking for Trump to talk about his plan, and he doesn’t want to do this.

TRUMP: That is absolutely a big thing. That was the worst part of Obamacare.

WALLACE: I didn’t ask —

— Trump interrupts Wallace, to redirect the discussion to Obamacare.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Chris, that was the worst part of Obama —

WALLACE: Sir, you’re debating him, not me. Let me ask my question —

— Trump interrupts Wallace

TRUMP: Well, I’ll ask Joe.

— Trump now wants to be moderator! Wallace response is simple.

WALLACE: No —

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: The individual mandate was the most unpopular aspect of Obamacare. I got rid of it. And we will protect people with preexisting condition.

— Trump interrupts Wallace

WALLACE: I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer your —

— Trump interrupts Wallace.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

WALLACE: You, in the course of these four years have never come up with a comprehensive plan to replace Obamacare and just this last Thursday, you signed a largely symbolic executive order to protect people with pre-existing conditions five days before this debate.

So my question, sir, is what is the Trump health care plan?

Trump talks about future plans to bring down cost of prescription drugs, and fails to discuss “pre-existing conditions.”

WALLACE: What about pre-existing conditions?

WALLACE: As I say, this is open discussion. Let me ask you about…

— Trump interrupts Wallace again.

WALLACE: Sir, you’ll be happy, I’m about to pick up on one of your points to ask the vice president, which is, he points out that you would like to add a public option to Obamacare, and the argument that he makes and other Republicans make is that that is going to end private insurance and will…

BIDEN: It is not. Sorry.

WALLACE: If I can ask you the question. It will end…

— Trump interrupts Wallace as he asks Biden a question. Trump is turning Wallace’s question as a statement of fact. Trump feels it is his turn to talk even as Wallace says this is a question for Biden to answer.

TRUMP: Not what your party says, by the way.

WALLACE: It will end private insurance and create a government takeover of health care.

BIDEN: It does not. It’s only for those people who are so poor they qualify for Medicaid, they can get that free in most states except governors who want to deny people who are poor Medicaid. Anyone who qualifies for Medicare — excuse me, Medicaid would automatically be enrolled in the public option.

The vast majority of the American people would still not be in that option. Number one. Number two…

— Trump interrupts Biden.

TRUMP: Joe, you agreed with Bernie Sanders’s far left on the manifesto, we call it.

— Trump now is asking the question, trying to redirect the question away, to an attack on Bernie Sanders.

===== From this point forward, I will only show Wallace’s comments.

WALLACE: Mr. President, can you let him finish, sir?

WALLACE: Please let him speak, Mr. President.

WALLACE: Mr. President… (Trump cuts him off)

WALLACE: Gentlemen, you realize that you are both speaking at the same time. Let the president — go ahead, sir.

WALLACE: I’ve got to… (Trump cuts him off)

WALLACE: I have to give you roughly equal time. Please let the vice president talk, sir.

======

So, there are a number of tactics going on. First, Trump knows oral arguments will be on November 10, so above all, he wants immediately to change the subject to what was so horrible about Obamacare. He interrupts Wallace’s question eleven times.

Trump is pushing his own accomplishments and ignores the fact that the Supreme Court case is being asked to rule that the entire law is unconstitutional because it no longer contains the individual mandate.

So, the tactics are to pre-emptively interrupt the moderator, and then answer a question more to one’s liking. Also, since the question was posed to Trump, he feels it is his time, and can interrupt Biden. A statement of fact from a moderator for Trump is a question in terms of a point of dispute.

Part III on the debate is in preparation.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Sept 29 debate

I will skip over the usual commentary on the back and forth interruptions and name calling.  The statements made, and their truthfulness are listed below.  In some cases where a rating was not provided, but from the context, it was clear that the statement was false, I have labeled it so, followed by an asterisk.   Others might label some statements as misleading or taken out of context.  Statements are sometimes is included in congressional reports for political purpose.

On climate change, I will follow up with a summary on the differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.  One clear take away from the debate was that Joe Biden’s approach to climate change is not the “New Green Deal.”   It was too bad that Donald Trump seemed fully prepared to ridicule a plan that wasn’t Biden’s.

Trump “I brought back 700,000 jobs. (Obama and Biden) brought back nothing.”   FALSE

Trump is wrong about the job gains on his watch; the actual increase is about 450,000 prior to the pandemic.  As for Obama and Biden, they saw gains of 916,000 if you start counting with the recovery from the Great Recession, which is the fairest comparison if you also ignore the losses under Trump during the pandemic.

Trump [Joe Biden] “had 308,000 military people dying because you couldn’t provide them proper healthcare in the military.”  FALSE

Donald Trump falsely says 308,000 military people died waiting for care on Biden’s watch.  The number comes from a VA inspector general report that found the VA’s data “virtually unreliable.” The figure includes people who had been dead for many years, some before 1998.  It includes people who never applied for benefits.

Trump “You said you went to Delaware State but you forgot the name of your college.” FALSE

Biden once said that he got his “start” at at the school because he received support there when he announced his bid for Senate on the campus.  Trump is taking his comments out of context.

Trump “The mayor of Moscow, his wife, gave your son (Hunter Biden) three and a half-million dollars.”  FALSE *

This was not rated by Politifact, however in their summary they state:  “A Republican Senate committee report said a Russian widow sent $3.5 million to a partnership co-founded by Hunter Biden. Biden’s lawyer says he did not co-found the partnership and had no stake in it. Democrats say they reviewed the Republicans’ documentation but did not find a specific link to Hunter Biden.”  It has been labeled false because the Republicans were given an opportunity to support the link between Hunter Biden and the partnership by releasing the documents  and failed to do so.

Trump:  Numerous statements concerning potential fraud with mail-in balloting. FALSE *

Washington Post “As usual, Trump offered a baseless conspiracy theory that widespread use of mail ballots during an infectious-disease pandemic would lead to massive voter fraud. There is simply no evidence for these claims. The Department of Homeland Security says Russia is spreading the same kind of disinformation to sow doubts about mail balloting and the integrity of the U.S. election.”

Trump:  He falsely claimed that Biden supports the Medicare for All plan. He never did.  Reference: Factcheck.org FALSE *

Biden/Trump:  Trump said “I don’t think” Kellyanne Conway, his former White House counselor, said “riots and chaos and violence help his cause,” as Biden claimed.   I’m going to rule in favor of Trump on this one, and give Biden a FALSE.

Conway’s actual statement was, “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”  Conway is clearly saying that Trump’s handling of the existing situation shows he is the better leader.

Biden:  He said billionaires have gotten $300 to $400 billion wealthier during the pandemic, but he is referring to a study that ignored the financial losses by wealthy stockholders early in the pandemic.  Reference Factcheck.org FALSE *

Biden  “We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before.”  MOSTLY FALSE

The most inclusive measurement, for goods and services, shows that the U.S. trade deficit with China was smaller under Trump in 2019, the most recent full year, than it was in any of the final three years of the Obama administration.  Looking only at goods shows the trade deficit was generally higher under Trump than it was in the Obama years, but it declined in 2019 to around the level as the final year of the Obama administration.  [Note: Politifact presents a graph which does not show much difference between Trump and Biden on China trade deficits].

Biden: Biden got it wrong when he claimed there was “15% less violence” during his time in office than today. The violent crime rate dropped under Trump. FALSE *

Ref: Factcheck.org

Biden:  Biden falsely charged that the Trump administration did not try to send experts to Wuhan, China — where the novel coronavirus outbreak emerged late last year — during the early stages of the pandemic. (Ref Factcheck.org)  FALSE

It’s a pretty outrageously false statement, given HHS Azar’s statement.  On January 6, we offered to send a CDC team to China that could assist with these public health efforts,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a Jan. 28 press conference.   China made public the discovery of a new virus, and Azar within a week wanted to send CDC experts to Wuhan.    It was China that did not want CDC experts in Wuhan.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Presidential Debate September 29, 2020

I will both watch the debate and tape it.  I will review what the fact checkers reveal.  I am interested in both policy and truthfulness.  If it turns out that Biden lied the most during the debate, I will say so.  I will post my comments on Wednesday.  I suggest those who have not made up their minds, this debate should be watched carefully.   Politifact and factcheck websites will likely catch many of the misinformation.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Who not to vote for

The choices are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Green Party.

I will not vote for someone who in their nomination speech, lasting 45 minutes made 20 misleading or false statements.  I would not vote for someone who has lied over 20,000 times while in office.  I would not vote for someone who has installed political anti-environmentalists with experience in lobbyist activities for fossil fuel companies  in the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and Department of Agriculture.  I would not vote for someone who would abolish many important programs and regulations established by President Obama, because they were done during his administration.   The Paris Climate Accords was one program that was working and put the US in a leadership on Climate Change.

I also believe in a Justice Department which does not chose sides.  I want a president that does not attack his own FBI and other agencies.  For these reasons, and many more, I will not vote for Donald Trump, the candidate for the Republican Party.

I will not vote for either third party candidates, Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Party)  or  Howie Hawkins (Green Party).  Neither candidate has any chance of winning any state.  It is a wasted vote.     Jorgensen would like to eliminate many programs helping seniors (social security/ Medicare) and young adults and new families  (student loans and health care).    The Green Party understands we have an environmental crisis, but they will take votes away from Democrats.  The  Republican Party has tried to get them on the ballot, exactly for this purpose.

So,  I will vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who have the experience and pro-actively solving problems in the next 4 years.   They will help us “Build back better”  after the wreckage left by Donald Trump.  We will rebuild our alliances with  Europe and Asia,  end unnecessary trade wars,  find cooperative solutions to climate change  and work together to solve global problems.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Visit my other site: www.sim538.com The only site with all 2020 Election Predictions

Upcoming Election

An incumbent president, usually runs on his achievements during the prior  three plus years.  But, much of what Donald Trump has claimed to have accomplished is not true.  From environmental issues, energy,  the economy and immigration, Trump has claimed credit for accomplishments during the Obama administration.  Trump also falsely portrayed much of his own administration’s efforts as successes, when in fact they were not.

The 20,000 lies that Trump has told over the last 3 1/2 years are quite incredible.  His version of a stupendous economic recovery in 2018-2019 is total nonsense.   The economy was not in collapse at the end of Obama’s term.  It definitely had crashed during George Bush’s last year, losing 800,000 jobs a month and it was President Obama had turned it around, adding about 200,000 jobs a month.  In fact, when Trump cites statistics on how well his administration has done, he typically goes back in time, to the date of his election (November 8, 2016) and not his inauguration date in 2017  just to steal some credit from President Obama.

In the upcoming blogs,  I intend to examine more closely the “three E’s”  – the environment, energy and the economy, plus I intend to  address immigration policy and the “build the wall” craze (it should be called enhance the “see-through fence” initiative).   Trump could brag all he wanted as a real estate developer.  Now he is getting caught every single day, in multiple lies.

Immigration policy is a real pile of crazy sh*t,  Sorry, I just didn’t know how to express this any better.  For months Trump kept bragging how great his policies were,  because apprehensions at the southern border were going down, 40%,  then 61% and finally 78%.   So, immigrants were not trying to sneak into our country, because they were afraid of being caught.  Of course, apprehensions started to rise,  and Trump again bragged that his policies were a tremendous success because they were going up.   Down is great, up is great, who cares, it’s all in the presentation?    In January 2020, the President celebrates great numbers on immigration again, this time apprehensions again were going down.   So, down, up and down again, all with dubious statistics, and all causes to celebrate the tremendous success.

I believe it is necessary to dispel the barrage of  false claims in order to establish the truth.   There is an enormous distribution system of false information.  Energy, environment and the economy issues are all intertwined.    The  “fake news” is often slick presentations, with selected facts helped along by industry lobbyist  groups.  Just one small example –  I saw on a cable news program, a clip showing barges filled with coal going down the Mississippi river,  and the newscaster was talking about how US coal exports had doubled since 2016, which is true.  Yet, in about 2 minutes, I could verify that US coal production had continued it’s steady decline during the Trump administration.  This rise in exports was simply that more coal was being sent overseas,  because the demand was dropping in the US.    Major coal companies filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and 2020, including Cloud Peak Energy and  Murray Coal.

So, I am preparing my first blog on the environment and more will follow.  I am always receptive to comments from my visitors, contrary to my opinions.  As usual, I will support my statements with links from the internet.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Your mail-in vote will be counted

“Mail-In Ballots will lead to massive electoral fraud and a rigged 2020 Election. Look at all of the cases and examples that are out there right now, with the Patterson, N.J., being the most recent example. Republicans, in particular, cannot let this happen!”

Donald Trump July 2, 2020 (repeated  26 times)

Washington Post labels this as False.  See links below.

All properly submitted mail-in votes will be counted.  Studies have shown that intentional fraud in voting is very rare, whether it is done by mail-in votes or in-person votes.   Russia did everything they could to influence our 2016 election.  Printing fraudulent ballots is not one of them.  At least, Attorney General Barr agreed that this has not happened in the past.   The problem is that voters have to register to vote.  When bar coded mail-in  ballots are received, they  are scanned to see if they are from approved registered voters.

In 2007, a voter in King County, Texas registered her dog to show how easily it was to fool the system.  In 2016, a voter in King County tried to do the same, but this time was caught when the information was run through state and federal databases.  Providing false information on registration is a crime.  Similarly,  it is a crime for anyone except the owner of a mail box to remove mail.  See link below.

Mail-in and in-person  ballots have been rejected in the past.  More mail-in ballots are rejected.   Three reasons for this are:  (1) Ballots arrive after the election day and  (2) Voters must sign the return envelope and will not be accepted if the signature does not match the registration form.   To avoid any problems, send in the ballot in the proper return  envelope provided at least 5 days before the election.

In a very close election,  it is likely the mail-in ballots will receive extra scrutiny, because they could make a difference in the outcome of the state’s electoral votes.

Although rare, fraud has occurred in both mail-in and in-person voting.   People who have multiple homes, have been able to vote twice, but have been caught.

In some states, there is “accidental voter fraud”   where felons who have completed their sentences and thought they were able to vote.  But, the states find after election day, that they had not completely made restitution (repaid their victims, done community service, etc) and so they accidentally broke the law.  The number of people who fall into this category are very small, and it can be for very minor crimes like writing a forged check.   Laws are not the same in all states.  The  “felony disenfranchisement”  has been challenged in the courts.  See below.

The felony disenfranchisement is a serious problem is only one aspect – it makes people who have done their time, and hopefully rejoined society,  fearful to vote. State laws vary and some are unrestricted while others require probation to be completed and   a formal petition to be approved prior to restoration of voting rights.

All mail-in ballots have to be counted.  It is the law.  They may not all be counted on election night,  but the count on election night is not the final tally of votes.   Your mail-in ballot could be the one, that CNN announces “the race in this state is too close to call.”    VOTE 2020.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

NYT The facts about mail-in voting and voting fraud

Wikipedia:  Felony disenfranchisement in the US

Washington Post: Tracking all of President Trumps Lies

(This is a free and incredibly detailed tracking system,  and is rated four Pinocchio’s their highest false rating,  All repetitions occurred from April to July 2020 and were done over Twitter.)

Also see:

Amazon:  Donald Trump and his assault on truth,  G. Kessler  and Washington Post fact checker.

 

Why the electoral college?

OK, not a barn burning question for sure.   I’ll admit this topic came up at a dinner party, and as I responded, everyone seemed to move away from me.  It is a good topic to bring up at any dinner party where you would like guests to leave.

First,  the electoral college was part of our constitution and you can’t pass a law in Congress and change this to the popular vote.

Second, the idea was a compromise solution in the creation of our constitution.  The delegates who met at the Philadelphia Convention from May 25, 1787 to September 17, 1787 had a single purpose, to replace the original  framework  of federal government, the Articles of Confederation, with  a more lasting structure.   Prior to this time, there was only the unicameral Continental Congress and no judiciary or executive branch.   The president of the Continental Congress was largely ceremonial and there was no salary for this position.

A debate raged at the Convention in 1787 on how to elect a president.   Many suggested Congress throw in a hat, the names of three people who could be president, and they would be drawn at chance, thus allowing the hand of Providence to govern our selection  (ok, I’m joking).    One option was to have the Congress elect the president.  Obviously, this could lead to a less democratic system.   The idea of direct elections was an alternative, yet the problem at the time was the difficulty in the circulation of information.  Radio  transmission had not yet been invented.   So, the compromise idea was the electoral college where the people of each state would vote for electors and en bloc they would cast their vote for the president.

There was a super wrong assumption made by some at the Convention in forming the electoral college.  They added that if one candidate did not get the majority vote of electors,  then the House of Representatives would decide by a majority the next president.  Those who favored the House electing the president, thought this would happen frequently, because we would have multiple candidates.   In fact, in our history this has only happened three times.   There was nothing in our constitution to have a runoff election, as in many other countries.  One candidate can become president if he wins the majority of the Electoral College by just one vote.   At present, a tie is possible (269 to 269) and the House would have to decide.

The number of electoral votes are based on the state’s population.  There have been improvements made in this system, such as the 12th amendment and the recent Supreme Court decision to allow States to bind electors to the candidate they have pledged to support.  States have laws that fine electors who fail to vote for their pledged candidate.    More information can be found in Wikipedia – see links.

Now, what precisely did I say that made guests at a dinner party move away from me?  I said the Electoral College was a good thing as opposed to the popular vote.  Here’s my logic.   We are a closely divided country, Republicans and Democrats.  Small splinter parties may emerge in the future to try to prevent a candidate from gaining 270 or more votes.  Candidates tailor their election campaigns to the swing state voters, particularly if they see one candidate is on the rise.  In this way, our elections in the 7 to 10 swing states will continue to be tight.    If we have a near tie, under the Electoral College system,   which could happen in this November,  the losing party may ask for the courts intervention  in a closely decided states.    Immediately, potential recounts in states like North Carolina,  Wisconsin or Florida come to mind, with the clock ticking to inauguration day. The Supreme Court decision on December 12, 2000 in  Bush v. Gore created this precedent.  However,  It would be a hundred times worse under the popular vote to do a recount, with thousands of voting districts whose tally is called into question.

So, the 1787 compromise lives on.  You’ll never get a 2/3 majority of both houses to amend the constitution.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia:  Philadelphia Convention

Wikipedia:  Electoral College

Amending the US Constitution

 

 

 

Voting Fraud

RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!   Donald Trump’s Tweet, June 22.

The above tweet from Trump is total  nonsense.  It should be shoveled into a pooper scooper.   Twitter has flagged some of Trump’s more outrageous claims.

I and my wife are mailing in our ballots in the 2020 presidential election.  Many citizens will do the same in Florida.   We do not have to be absent from Miami to get one. It is expected that many people will use the mail in option with the Covid-19 risks.  Unfortunately, many others may not vote at all.  In 2016, 43% of eligible voters did not vote.

Voting fraud is extremely rare.  Investigations have uncovered cases, but never a systematic abuse.   The principal safeguard in election is voter registration, which gives officials opportunity to weed out any invalid voters.  See links below.  A study by the Washington Post found 0.0025% of votes were fraudulent.   So, given a million voters, we might have 25 votes that were not acceptable.  Sometimes valid votes are not accepted because people over time change their signature.

There are research groups who will, for a fee, find cases of voter fraud.  People who are guilty of committing a felony may not know that they are ineligible to vote.  This depends on the state they live in.  So, they are a handful of people committing “accidental” voter fraud, because if they had known, they would have never voted.  This is a minuscule number of voters.

Some people may still like to show up at the polling stations, because they are concerned their vote will not be counted.  There is some truth to this.  If their ballot does not show up before the deadline, the wrong return envelope is used or the signature does not match the one on record, then the ballot will be rejected.  About 1% of all mail-in ballots are rejected.    But, all properly sent in ballots have to be counted.

So, please ignore everything Donald Trump says.   Two reasons he is saying this:  (1) Higher turnout favors a Democratic win and (2) He can claim the election was rigged if he loses.

Please Vote 2020.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Analytical modeling from Moody’s showed Trump’s chances of winning were significantly higher when voter turnout is low, based on historical trends.

Click to access president-election-model.pdf

Washington Post: Minuscule number of potentially fraudulent ballots in states with universal mail voting undercuts Trump claims about election risks

Washington Post:  Here’s the problem with mail-in ballots: They might not be counted.

New York Times Arrested, Jailed and Charged With a Felony. For Voting.

New York Times: The Facts About Mail-In Voting and Voter Fraud

Fact Check:  Trump’s Latest Voter Fraud Misinformation

 

 

The DNC v-Convention

The Democratic Convention will be from August  17 to 20, in Milwaukee,  Wisconsin.   Officials have announced that the actual event will be scaled back due to the Covid-19 epidemic.   The delegates do not have to fly to Milwaukee, stay at hotel rooms, go to packed arenas, meet with others in photo ops  and sit together in numerous meetings, etc.  A convention is an epidemiologist worse nightmare.    Delegates can stay home and vote remotely.   For the health of the delegates, and their entourage, volunteers,  the press, the residents of Milwaukee and really for the state of Wisconsin, I think it’s a terrific move.

I believe the convention should be renamed the v-Convention as in the virtual convention.   Officials should play up this internet event, as not scaling down the convention but scaling up it by placing it on the internet.  The primary purpose of both the Republican and Democratic conventions is marketing of their candidate and bashing the opposition.   Recently, it seems more time is spent on the latter.  The Democrats can claim a health conscious convention and connect with voters in this manner.

I’ve also suggested to the DNC, that this should be called the v-Convention or Convention in the Clouds.   It can be amazingly successful, with live streams of supporters in all the key states.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Who is telling the truth in the impeachment hearings

Politicians lie.  They all do it.  But they also get caught doing it.  That’s the purpose of fact checking organizations.  Trump supporters have a lot to explain, and their defense of Trump includes a lot that is just not true.  I encourage my followers to fact check what they read here, and it really isn’t hard. Also, “main stream media” such as CNN and the print media, including  the New York Times and Washington Post are very reliable sources of information.  The House Intelligence Committee puts an incredible amount of raw information,  i.e. transcripts of testimony and documents on their website.  It is hard to keep up with all of this, but it is out there.

It is very consistent for Trump to launch a counter offensive attack on impeachment, by supporting and often retweeting  statements by Republican senators, which are without foundation, when his actions are indefensible.

Here is a short list of statements  which are absolute rubbish:

Question 1: Did President Barack Obama immediately fire all Bush-appointed ambassadors “the day he was elected office”?

FALSE

As is the custom, Obama immediately replaced most — not all — of Bush’s politically appointed ambassadors. Obama did not remove any of the career appointees to ambassadorships.

Sources:  Factcheck.org and politifact.com

Question arises because Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was recalled after a smear campaign was launch against her by people close to Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani and Representative Pete Sessions.  There is a lot more to this story, but Trump got caught before he could put a political appointee into the Ambassador position.

Question 2:   Is it true that several news organizations reported that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. Senator Kennedy states, “It’s been well documented in the Financial Times, in Politico, in The Economist, in the Washington Examiner, even on CBS, that the prime minister of Ukraine, the interior minister, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, the head of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption League, all meddled in the election on social media and otherwise,”

A:   From Politifact.com:

FALSE

We found that these articles paint a picture of Ukrainian leaders fearful of Russia and of Trump’s comments that took a more conciliatory stance on Russian aggression. The news coverage shows Ukrainians preferred Hillary Clinton because she was tough on Russia. However, the articles don’t show a vast, top-down approach ordered to boost Clinton.

Kennedy mentioned The Economist multiple times. The Economist’s U.S. editor John Prideaux told us: “We are a bit puzzled by Sen. Kennedy citing us to the effect that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 elections.”

Republicans frequently mention a 2017 Politico article, which focused on the work of a Democratic political contractor who tried to dig up dirt on Trump and his advisers. We vetted it and found that the GOP has used its findings selectively.

Question 3:  Is Sen. John Kennedy similar accusation true?  The Senator says former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko “actively worked for Secretary Clinton.

FALSE

Answer by Politifact.com – see link.

His sources are  completely lacking.   It didn’t get the “Pants on Fire” designation, but it should.

Question 4:  What about the 2017 Politico story that shows the Sen. Kennedy statements are true?

FALSE

A:  “The article did not state that the Ukrainian government conspired with the Clinton campaign or the DNC,” said Melissa Cooke, a booking manager for Politico, in an email. “It also emphasized that the acts of Ukrainian officials to raise questions about Trump were not comparable to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and reported that the then-Ukrainian government was trying to make amends with then-President-elect Trump.”

Senator John Kennedy is a Republican from Louisiana.

Question 5: Is Trump’s statement true: “They never thought, Dan, that I was going to release that call, and I really had no choice because Adam Schiff made up a call,” Trump said Nov. 15. “He said the president said this, and then he made up a call.”

FALSE 

Trump has repeated this statement numerous times.  Schiff already had the released memo, and was just giving a “dramatized synopsis” of key points.  See link.

—-

I’m stopping at 5 false statements for now.  For more false statements,  please follow this link to politifact.org   (Fact-checking Impeachment Claims) .    One of the few true claims came surprisingly from Fox News, and their legal analyst who stated it is perfectly legal to have witnesses testify in private.  I’ve included this link at the end.

There will be an enormous number of false statements, coming from Rep. Jim Jordan,  Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Attorney diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing (see link below), Sen. John Kennedy from Louisiana, and of course, Donald Trump.  I encourage everyone to check out these links and dig in more to get the truth.  It doesn’t come from Facebook or Twitter, that’s for sure.

In the coming few weeks, the false statements will increase.   Republicans know when the impeachment goes to the Senate, they have the votes to acquit Trump.   It is highly likely they will not only acquit him, but cast the Democrats as the true villains,  is concocting false evidence against Trump, because they can’t  deal with their loss in 2016 or because they can’t  win the election

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Sen.  Kennedy claims that Ukrainian President Poroshenko actively worked for Clinton is False

What we know about the Politico story at the heart of a Ukraine conspiracy theory

Did Obama Fire All Bush-Appointed Ambassadors?

Donald Trump gets Ukraine phone memo timeline backwards

Exclusive: Giuliani Ally Pete Sessions Was Eyed for Top Slot in Ukraine

Fox News analyst correct: Impeachment inquiry is following rules by questioning witnesses in private

Other Fact checking resources:

AP FACT CHECK: Trump and the people he forgets he knew

Politifact.com

Republicans Cherry-Pick Facts on Impeachment

Factcheck.org