The Widdershins

Activist Monday: Our Hail Mary…

Posted on: December 5, 2016

Rests on the shoulders of perennial presidential spoiler, and now epic Jewish Guilt sufferer,  Jill Stein. Strange days, indeed.

For reasons of “electoral integrity” (aka: “Oh sh*t, what did I do?!”). Stein is determined to press forward with recounts in the three states previously considered part of the Democratic Firewall: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. At this point, Drumpf’s margin of “victory” in the 2016 election is down to about 70,000 votes. An automatic recount is very close to being required in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, due to the extremely small percentage of der Trumperer’s “win.” Whether or not this recount adds any votes for HRC is almost irrelevant, as what it is far more likely to find is evidence of vote tampering and/or hacking. Indeed, in Wisconsin, in one county, the seal on 5 of 9 ESS voting machines was clearly shown to be broken.

If the name “ESS” rings a bell, it should. The machines are notoriously favorable to Republicans. Yet they’re still used in both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Quelle coincidence! Here are some interesting parallels between a completely outrageous election result in South Carolina in 2008, based on ESS machines, and the still impossible-to-believe result in the 2016 election.

Strong disparities between absentee ballots and election day ballots

Dr. Miller performed additional tests to determine whether there was a significant difference in the percentage of absentee and Election Day votes that each candidate received. The result in the Senate election is highly statistically significant: Rawl performs 11 percentage points better among absentee voters than he does among Election Day voters. “This difference is a clear contrast to the other races. Statistically speaking, the only other Democratic candidate who performed differently among the two voter groups was Robert Ford, who did better on Election Day than among absentees in the gubernatorial primary,” Miller said.

Hmmm, 11 percent worse on Election Day than the absentee/early votes showed. Where have we seen this pattern recently? [Note: Although the blogger who wrote this piece blames James Comey, perhaps there were more shenanigans than anyone realized.]

Both Obama and Clinton won approximately 60% of absentee ballots (Obama: 60.85%, Clinton 60.15%). So far so good. But if you look at the election day ballots cast, you see a rather dramatic shift from Obama’s performance in 2012 to Clinton’s in 2016. Where Obama actually improved his margin to 65% on election day in RI, HRC dropped to only 54%. This represented a net 13% shift in Clinton’s margin of victory over Trump on election day vs absentee ballots…[bolding mine]

She went from 60% in early/absentee voting to 54% on Election Day, whereas Obama went up to 65%? Really? Even given Comey’s actions, could such a huge underperformance have been accomplished without electronic interference?

And here is a June 2015 article in Truthout by Bob Fitrakis, long-time election integrity activist and e-voting canary in the coal mine, predicting that Democrats will lose the 2016 election due to swing states where the easily hackable e-voting machines are still in use – all states with, gasp shock horror, Republican governors and secretaries of state. Oh, had Debbie Wasserman-Schultz only listened.

Whether or not the recount flips any of the states, it clearly highlights the main issues that are throwing our elections to Republicans. While they do not have a mandate for any of their policies, they somehow keep winning the House and Senate, and now, unbelievably, the White House. Yes, this is partially due to better branding and marketing in general; but it’s also true that voter suppression, gerrymandering, and trackless e-voting in Republican-controlled swing states are starting to make it impossible for Democrats to win anywhere. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can support our local Democratic Party, and other liberal organizations of our choice, to overturn this pathetic farce of an electoral system we keep accepting.

What about the Electoral College?

Until the Electoral College votes on 12/19, the results of the Presidential Election are not final. There is a good deal of activism around getting the Electors to switch their votes to Hillary, especially the ones in blue states that Drumpf improbably won. (Note: I was looking at Hamilton Electors for a minute, but I realized quickly that they would still want to elect a “reasonable” Republican instead of Drumpf. I think that’s ludicrous, and no Democrat should go along with it. The clear and obvious thing to do would be to elect the winner of the popular vote, not someone who wasn’t even on the ballot.)

Apparently the swing state electors are getting bombarded by Republicans and Democrats alike, with eloquent pleas to switch their votes. And, there’s this petition, which I signed, along with almost 5 million others.

Perhaps with all of the mounting evidence that America has, indeed, made the wrongest of wrong choices, the electors will choose country over party. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Another effort to make our electoral system fairer is the initiative to award all Presidential elections to the popular vote winner in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It’s called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. It would take effect if/when enough states sign on to reach 270 electoral college votes. Right now they’re at 165. I hope this goes forward, but it probably won’t make any difference this year. I hope I’m wrong about that.

If it doesn’t work…there’s still impeachment.

As all of the protests and grassroots efforts to change our hellatious new reality are going forward, the world is reeling from the daily evidence, so clearly presented several trillion times during the primaries, that Drumpf is completely, utterly and dangerously unfit for office. In just one example of this disastrous mismatch of person to job, the mango-colored monkey’s offhanded, “let’s make a deal” call with Taiwan is already p*ssing off DGINA (I mean, China) so badly that the country’s government has lodged a complaint.

The call, first reported by the Taipei Times and confirmed by the Financial Times, is thought to be the first between the leader of the island and a US president or president-elect since ties between the two countries were severed in 1979, at the behest of Beijing.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said in a statement on Saturday: “It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China.”

Geng added: “This is a fact that is generally recognised by the international community.”

Uh, yes, generally recognized. But Drumpf doesn’t care! Why shouldn’t he talk to every “fantastic” leader of every “fabulous” country out there? There could be money in it for him, after all!

And that brings me to Drumpf’s worst problem as President: his unwillingness to sell his business to an impartial overseer and have it put in a blind trust. It is completely unacceptable and un-American for a President to profit from his job. In fact, if he earns any emoluments from foreign leaders (such as Tsai, perhaps?), that is an impeachable offense.

Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, plans to introduce a resolution next week calling on Trump to “convert his assets to simple, conflict-free holdings, adopt blind trusts, or take other equivalent measures in order to ensure” he meets the Constitution’s emoluments clause, according to a news release from his office.

That clause provides that no officeholder “shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept any present, emolument, office or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign state.”

“Unless he takes appropriate action, Mr. Trump’s many international financial interests pose a great risk of violating the Constitution” once he takes office, Cardin said in the news release.

Even Republicans may be inclined to impeach him after the last few weeks of incompetence, indiscriminate rage-tweeting and foreign and domestic policy vertigo. Yes, that leaves us with Mike Pence, but Steve Bannon and all of Drumpf’s hellish brood go away, as well as his international business partners and New York’s Nosferatu. And let’s face it, the Donald’s coalition is only for him, not for all Republicans; and many of those deplorables are experiencing a hell of an election hangover. Heh heh.

Take heart: The far-right backlash has begun

In fact, it seems that while we got Brexited, it doesn’t mean that the whole world has gone crazy. (And there’s Regrexit there too, by the way.) While there’s no doubt that the far-right has won some victories in Europe recently, the left won some as well. In Austria, the Neo-Nazi candidate has just lost to the Independent, who was backed by progressives. There is a massive movement across the globe against Austerity, corruption and granny-starving politics – which is basically the platform that the far-right “populists” (like Drumpf) ran on. Now that the Donald and his merry band of loony tunes are doing a greedy 360 and plotting the destruction of our health care system, he will face a huge amount of resistance from the American people. As I mentioned before, the Republican Party’s actual policies are not popular. Take Obamacare as an example – now that Republicans are going to have the power to repeal it, only 26% of Americans want it done.

The bottom line

Short-term, our last best hope is that Dr. Stein’s efforts find enough votes and/or anomalies to swing the election back to Hillary. I am praying for that miracle, but I don’t expect it to happen.

Long-term, we have a lot of work to do. You can pick your way to resist the Drumpf agenda: join the women’s march on 1/21/17, protest the Electoral College vote on 12/19 if your state went for him; donate to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, or your local Democratic Party; run for office; or take to social media the way Danielle Muscato did. In Pennsylvania, you can take this pledge, which has a lot of great ideas in general.

Hang on, Widdershins. It’s going to be a very, very bumpy ride. We’ll all need each other to get through the next little while.

This is an open thread.


35 Responses to "Activist Monday: Our Hail Mary…"

Good post!

Speaking of election strangeness and interference, there’s this:

Wow, Luna! Pooty-Poot is growing very, very bold. Yet another reason for the electors to stop Drumpf in his tracks. We should call him the “Siberian” (instead of Manchurian) Candidate.

I’m following the recount drama as close as I can. Watch Steins’ new conference in front of rump Tower, and today watch a nice live video from Dan Rather – lots of good questions asked about how journalists can improve.
It really seems everyone is devastated. As you all know, I live in very red OK and am pretty isolated to progressive thinkers. The pantsuit nation has gotten a following here and I have now been to a meetup and a workshop from the locals in that group. Our plan is to help get the dem message refined. develop candidates and knock on doors & get them elected here. I am actually very pleased to have met so really nice people here and I have a reading list and a lot of things to chew on.
The workshop I attended focused on understanding the life view differences between left & right perspective with the goal of us learning to have respect and understanding of where they are coming from. I feel that once I come to terms with my own view – you know I was shocked to realize 6 months ago that I’m not conservative – I think I will be able to write and actually contribute to the discourse.
I hold out faint hope for the recount, but regardless I want to see Democrats mad as hell and to come out fighting.

@madamab, Ha, good one for another #tRump nickname! Although, wait a minute, Siberia was where Stalin and his ilk sent the resisters. Hmmm, what about Putin’s Poodle?

Putin worked as a KGB agent for nearly 20 years, including undercover as a German translator and at a Russian university, keeping on eye on the students and luring recruits. I’d forgotten that. And as a kid he idolized the Soviet spy agents. Welp. Bigger kid, bigger playing ground now.

Contrast, that is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing. I love your approach!

Luna, Putin’s Poodle works too. 😉

MB, great recap of where we are because I’m still feeling a little woozy from the daily onslaught of the Orangetan and his acquaintances.

We should be grateful that China has basically said, “Trump doesn’t know very much and Taiwan tricked him.” Of course, that was before the WaPo said the call was in the works for quite some time before it took place. Disrespect to the Chinese will be the beginning of the end of our cooperative international agreements. On balance, they have been very helpful, but that is about to come to an end.

That will be the dawn of a very dangerous time.

@3, Contrask that is so inspirational as well as aspirational. Wow, that’s a plan that should be replicated in 49 other states posthaste. What a wonderful way to find others with a similar world view. I’m envious.

Prolix, Madamab, Fredster, NW Luna – all of you have been inspirational to me in your knowledge and grasp of the issues. I suppose Hillary would be proud of the people her efforts have inspired, but I would so much rather she be hearing about it from her desk in the oval office.
I will try to share some of the workshop with you later. I’m going to go to another session and see what else I get from it.

They are considering replacing Trump with Kasich. So even if we get the electoral college to go against the vote, they wouldn’t vote Hillary in.

contrask, I’m glad to hear details! I’m not on FB because of 1) datamining and 2) monopoly on platform. I did get a meetup email so will check out what’s in my area. I already know there’s a big local march planned for Jan 21 in solidarity with our sisters (and brothers) in DC.

@9 – Yes, those are the people I was referring to. A “reasonable Republican” as long as you’re not a woman!

Prolix – thanks. It was really, really difficult to organize my thoughts enough for the recap.

Good Lord, Al Gore visited Ivanka and her Dad today. Apparently Ms. Trump is very passionate about preventing climate change. Can you imagine if Drumpf made him Secretary of Energy?!

@11, I read that earlier and looked carefully at this sentence:

a sincere search for areas of common ground

and thought hmmm, he doesn’t say they actually found any, though.

Hello everyone. Excellent post mb.

Just a crap day today for me. Weather has been dreary, rainy, coolish (high 40s/50s) and just meh.

contrask sounds like you have met up with a great group of people. I hope that group works out well and that the “other side” will give y’all the mutual respect for your/our p.o.v.

@9: Re the Politico article: Yeah because Kasich is so moderate. 🙄

@11, yeah, Ivanka was interested in “child care tax credits for those poor wayward children of Wall Street investment bankers,” until she has suddenly discovered “green projects”. It’s like a good dish at La Bernardin, a pinch of this and a dash of that, smear a little truffle oil around and you got yourself a nice night out.

@15, while writing it off as a business deduction because you met with some politicos from Eastern European truffle areas.

So, we’ll see what the courts say, which will depend on just what they thing about verification of election results.

Monday, December 05, 2016, 3:19 PM EST

An Orlando lawyer has officially filed a lawsuit for a statewide recount in the presidential race. Courts will decide whether recount will take place.

A sort of cute story. A very cute lion, anyway.

MB, fantastic post, as always! I’ve been to Taiwan btw. We spent 3 nights in Taipei (National Palace Museum was amazing and I actually found a cool women’s clothes boutique that played American rock music and had a couple of cute things to fit my tall, long limbed bod), then we flew on a small plane to the other side of Taiwan to see some of their natural beauty. I know that has nothing to do with the orange horror but just thought I’d throw that in there.

@9, Contrask, agree that business about nominating Kasich is infuriating. They shouldn’t be allowed to vote for someone that wasn’t on the ballot. That’s nice about the group you found in OK. My mom was born & raised in OK City btw.

I’m trying to not get my hopes up about the recount. It looks like there are so many issues with the recounts, I can’t even keep track. I hope some good comes of it anyway, maybe the people in those states will demand they get rid of their voting machines. I’m still pissed that Jill Nader didn’t tell her peeps to vote for Hillary in the swings.

Love the cute lion pix. Am off to read the Pundit. Catch you all later!

Politico has a post up that says Kasich is publicly telling electors not to vote for him.

Fiona Apple has a new Christmas song:

@23: Excellent Fiona, just excellent!

@20 – 22 I’m glad the Kasich thing got shelved. He wouldn’t be much better than Pence AND I agree they only EC option should be Hillary. But I’m not putting much faith in it. It’s painful to have it dangling out there. I need closure. And someone to figure out how not to install the tRump virus in the whitehouse.

My big question is: if enough electors flip their votes to Hillary – what would happen? Can you imagine the chaos? Never mind that she’s won the popular vote by huge numbers and electors are legally allowed to do it. There will be hell because Drumpf and his followers don’t care.

@27, things could get worse than the 60s/early70s.

Screaming into the void here also — Ohio’s state house has just passed a bill outlawing abortion at 6 wks. Next stop: Gov Kasich for signature.

Officials of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio were stunned. The group issued a statement saying, “The unconstitutional six-week abortion ban, known as the ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ would block access to safe and legal abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant. The amendment has no exceptions in the bill for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the woman and would criminalize doctors who perform abortion procedures, regardless of the reason.”

x-posted from SkyDancing

@29, Luna, that Ohio bill is unconstitutional on its face. As the Supreme Court is constituted now, even if the dig up Scalia or find someone almost as crazy, it still wouldn’t pass constitutional muster.

As with all of these crazy, mean-spirited bills, the fanatics know the bill will be ruled unconstitutional, but it does wonders for fundraising. What makes it particularly venal is that while knowing all of this and that they are essentially fundraising, they are willing to sacrifice the poor women who will fall through the cracks during the interregnum.

That fact is what angers me the most. It is just like McTurtle and the Repubs did throughout Obama’s years on job creation. They were and are willing to sacrifice the poor, the unemployed, the educationally challenged, the hungry — all to satiate their hunger for power. Not to help, but to capture the power to advance social causes a diminishing segment of the country supports.

My blood pressure is now exceeding acceptable limits. I’ve got to be quiet.

@30, Prolix, agree — they want to enforce their tunnel-vision nightmare of control on everyone else. As for the unconstitutionality aspect:

Previous attempts to pass the bill failed over concerns that it would be ruled unconstitutional in the federal courts, as have similar laws in two other states.

“A new president, new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic, and there was consensus in our caucus to move forward,” said Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, when asked why the measure suddenly surfaced to the shock of objecting Democrats.

I’m no lawyer, but this worries me. Thank the deities I don’t have reproductive capability now! And those younger women voting for Trump — and the Bernie-bully chicks — may have a big shock coming.

@31, Luna, either Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, doesn’t know his arse from his elbow or he can’t count to 5.

Justice Kennedy adheres to stare decisis meaning, he respects caselaw and settled law. He considers Roe to be settled. He voted to overturn the TX access case just this past summer in a 5-3 decision. That means the Scalia vacancy would have to be filled and one of the 5 majority would have to be replaced.

By then the Ohio law will be reduced to the trashcan of history.

I suspect death will have to take out someone because the right thinking lefty Justices aren’t going anyplace.

Good to know that tRump is concentrating on the transition and not worrying about bidness.

New post up!

@32, hoping that stare decisis holds for future appointees also.

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