STEALING ELECTIONS: THE HISTORY

code red

If you have not started following Jennifer Cohn on Twitter, you should.  She is essential if you want to understand what is likely to happen in the 2020 election with election security.

Among the things you should note for today are:

  • Even when the GOP allows Hand Marked Paper Ballots, they are careful to ensure that no one gets to look at them in a meaningful way. In 2000 and also in 2016, the GOP blocked hand recounts despite irregularities with electronic totals.
  • 6,000 votes disappeared in the dead of election night in Don Siegelman’s run for governor in Alabama in 2002. Alabama’s Attorney General (Republican Bill Pryor), a client of Karl Rove, seized the paper ballots in question before Siegelman could have them recounted.  Pryor then illegally certified the results.
  • Siegelman’s experience is just one example of blatant, before our eyes, vote cheating. The Republicans cheated, stole an election, and none of them were ever prosecuted.  Don Siegelman was the one who wound up in prison.

Notes:

People you can follow onTwitter: @jennifercohn1, @DonSiegelman, @JonathanSimon14,

Don Siegelman’s book: Stealing our Democracy.  https://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Our-Democracy-Political-Assassination/dp/1588384292/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=don+siegelman&qid=1598819261&sr=8-1

Jonathan Simon’s Book: Code Red  https://www.amazon.com/CODE-RED-Computerized-Elections-Democracy-ebook/dp/B087L8PWZP/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=code+red%2C+jonathan&qid=1598829001&sr=8-1

VOTING RIGHTS: STEALING THE 2020 ELECTION

code red

Jennifer Cohn recently interviewed exit-poll specialist Jonathan Simon.  This is an interview which is essential to understanding what is likely to happen in 2020.  The Republicans have thousands of initiatives proceeding throughout the system and throughout the country to ensure a Republican victory.  While the Democrats and the media seem occasionally concerned with the possibility that Trump may refuse to leave office should he lose, they refuse to confront what evidence from 2000 clearly shows, i.e., that the Republicans will run every scheme imaginable to steal the vote itself.

People simply do not want to confront the fact that the election itself will be fraudulent.  The following are excerpts from the interview by Jennifer Cohn.

VOTING RIGHTS: STEALING THE ELECTION: Jonathan SIMON INTERVIEW

  • 2000 was a “harbinger of things to come.” It included hanging chads, a partisan Secretary of State in Florida, voting machine memory card “errors” that subtracted votes from Gore, a bogus voter purge.
  • Kavanaugh and Roberts, two of the people who helped stop the election recount in florida in 2000 are in positions of power today. Roger Stone helped organize the “Brooks Brothers riot” to intimidate recount workers and stall the recount so it would be hard to complete the recount before the deadline.
  • After the GOP blocked the recount, they suckered the Democrats into passing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002. This allocated billions of dollars for new electronic voting machines many of which made recounts impossible because they didn’t use paper ballots.  There were Democrats who co-sponsored HAVA.
  • Hillar Clinton and Schumer were the only two democrats to oppose the HAVA.
  • Georgia was the first state to deploy paperless (unrecountable, unauditable) touchscreen voting machines statewide. After that there were several “poll-defying” GOP victories.  The GOP took the governorship and have held power ever since.
  • The 2000 election between Gore and bush was decided by 537 votes in Florida.
  • In 2004, Ohio Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, was also the Ohio Bush Campaign’s Honorary chairman. The current Secretary of State in Ohio, Frank laRose, has recently banned more than 1 drop box per county.
  • Late on election night, Kerry led. Ohio’s server went down for no reason that has ever been explained.  Blackwell had set up a backup server controlled by Mike Connell (who was Karl Rove’s IT guy).  The server routed Ohio’s results to Tennessee.  When the main server went back up, Bush had the lead.

 

ESSENTIAL ARTICLE: The Thin Blue Line Between Violent, Pro-Trump Militias and Police, The Intercept

rittenhouse with gun

Devereaux, Ryan (8/28/20) “The thin blue…” The Intercept.

“We appreciate you guys. We really do.”

That’s what the police officers in vehicles told a gathering of armed men on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin while throwing them bottles of water.  One of those men then killed two protesters and seriously wounded another.

After shooting a protester, the assailant made a call saying “I just killed somebody.”  He then ran away while other young men tried to save the protester’s life.

The shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse, approached police with his arms up and his AR-15 gun strapped around his chest.  He was virtually ignored and allowed to return home even though other protesters were telling the police that he had just shot someone.

Knosha County Sheriff David Beth offered no explanation as to why Rittenhouse was permitted to leave the scene of the shootings.  In addition to being identified as a shooter out after curfew, the 17-year-old was not old enough to legally carry the weapon he had.

When asked about Rittenhouse leaving the scene, the sheriff said:  “I don’t have a clue.”  He later added: “I don’t even know the man’s name.”

Just hours before the shooting, the Kenosha Guard, a local militia group issued a “call to arms” over Facebook.  This call was amplified by the conspiracy theory website, InfoWars.  They urged private citizens to arm themselves and come out in defense of private property.

Sheriff Beth said at a press conference that the group sought to be deputized, a request he claims he rejected.  But, you only have to watch Rittenhouse walking toward the police, an AK-15 strapped around his chest to realize that he assumed the police would regard him as an ally.

“Mike German, a former FBI agent who went undercover in far-right groups in the 1990s and who is now at the Brennan Center for Justice, noted that law enforcement’s tendency to back off in the face armed right-wing protests was evident in altercations during Trump’s 2016 run for office, and has continued throughout his administration. “To see the police continuing to treat these far-right militants as friendlies is troubling,” he said.” (Quote from the Intercept)

Among the myriad factors contributing to the political violence and unrest the country is now witnessing is an inversion of the relationship between some elements of the armed right and the federal government…. “The anti-government movement is no longer anti-government in the sense that the federal government is no longer its enemy.” “Trump has changed that calculation — the militias, the larger anti-government world, is essentially a pro-Trump political formation.” (Quote from the Intercept)

Posts Rittenhouse made on social media indicate that his worldview was drenched in a militarized culture that has animated large swaths of the country after nearly two decades of war and the emergence of law enforcement as a powerful cultural and political constituency. Embedded in that worldview is a “tactical” community with its own symbols and language, built around the idea of constant threat, good guys versus bad guys, and the sacred role of guns in maintaining social order.

In Philadelphia earlier this summer, a meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and the local police union also featured members of the Proud Boys, a right-wing street-fighting gang that often shows up at pro-police protests to brawl with leftists.

Mackey, Robert (8/27/20) “Trump supporters…” The Intercept.

When Tucker Carlson set off a firestorm of criticism on Wednesday — by describing a 17-year-old Trump supporter who opened fire on protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday, killing two, as a well-meaning kid who decided he “had to maintain order” in the Democrat-run state because “no one else would” — the Fox News host was surfacing an idea that had already spread widely on the far-right.

The Intercept: Militia and the Thin Blue Line

 

Two justice systems: lori loughlin

DAILY BLOG:

  • Lori Loughlin was sentenced to two months for paying bribes to get her daughters into USC.  Loughlin not only paid a bribe, she cheated some other deserving student out of a college education.
  • There are two justice systems in this country.  Race and class intersect to create sentence disparities.
  • While some studies report that arrest and prison admission rates are “dropping” for black people it’s because that rate dropped from black people going to state prison eight times the rate of whites, to five times.
  • And, black people are spending longer in prison. 
  • https://www.themarshallproject.org/2019/12/03/the-growing-racial-disparity-in-prison-time
  • According to a U.S. Sentencing commission Report, black men receive 19% longer sentences than white men for similar crimes.
  • The report also found that judges are more likely to use their discretion to cut an offender’s sentence if the offender is white.

We cannot continue to have a justice system that fails to prosecute white collar, corporate and political criminals.

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MORNING NOTES: DEMOCRATS SIGNALING A RETURN TO AUSTERITY POLICIES

Under the general category of : We Told You.

Joe Biden’s campaign is telling the American people through an advisor and long-time friend of Joe Biden, former Sen. Ted Kaufman, that the Biden administration will not stand up for regular working Americans with economic policy.  “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” said Kaufman speaking to reporters during the Democratic convention.

Kaufman is leading Biden’s transition team.  “When you see what Trump’s done to the deficits…all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts.  We’re going to be limited.” 

So the Biden campaign is already laying the groundwork for backing off most of his campaigns economic promises.  Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that the Biden campaign had “rolled out a $35 trillion economic program….(that) promises to invest in clean energy and caregiving, buy more made-in-America goods, and start narrowing the country’s racial wealth gaps.”

At the same time, Biden was speaking to his donors and saying that despite his pubic campaign promises, he would not be pushing new legislation to change corporate behavior.  This was not covered by MSNBC, or NPR. 

And, after the Kaufman announcement to Wall Street Journal reporters, almost nobody noticed what David Sirota called important signaling that the Biden administration may back off “the entire agenda it is campaigning on.” 

For the Democratic Party to return to an austerity model in this economic context is unconscionable.  The outlines of this
“destructive and insane” policy are presented by economist Dean Baker.

Even more disturbing is the lack of coverage of the story, and the lack of outcry from the left.  Sirota notes that the lack of push-back from the left may well indicate that the left coalition has decided to repeat 2009 and just defer to the anticipated democratic president. 

Notes:

Sirota, David (8/20/20  ) “Team Biden…” Too Much Information.

Baker, Dean (8/20/20) CEPR.net

MORNING NOTES: bELARUS, RUSSIA, GREG PALAST AND VOTING, ENFORCING THE LAW

  • Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has ordered protests to end in the capital Minsk.  Protests are also going on in Khabarovsk.  https://news.yahoo.com/belarus-crisis-unsettling-putin-home-162603296.html
  • Olga Lautman (@olgaNYC1211) is reporting on Twitter that according to “Bild Media sources” the Kremlin is sending troops into Belarus in support of Lukashenko and to stop the protests.  Alexandra Chalupa (@AlexandraChalup) notes that this is similar to actions Russia took in 2014 when they sent “humanitarian aid” into Urkaine followed by a military convoy.
  • According to Greg Palast: 22% of all mail-in ballots don’t get counted.
  • In 2016, more than 141,000 ballots were disqualified because someone challenged the signature.
  • In 2016, in Michigan 75,000 ballots were not counted in Detroit, machines broke down.  Trump supposedly won by 10,000 votes.
  • In Wisconsin in 2016, over a hundred thousand students were told right before the election that they could not vote with their university issued ID.
  • In Georgia, to vote with a mail-in ballot in the primary, there was a part of the ballot you had to unattach (it has no perforations) before you return the ballot.  Also, if your signature changed from the signature you used when you signed up for your driver’s license, your ballot could be challenged and thrown away.  For example, if you signed your driver’s license Christina J. Johns and you sign your ballot “Christina Johns” they can throw it out.
  • Greg Palast’s book “How Trump Stole 2020 “is a must read.  But, the most interesting fact to come out of this book is that presented with the evidence of the stealing of votes, the Clinton campaign would not challenge the results.  Does anybody think that the Biden campaign will do any differently?
  • And, while I’m on the subject, the Obama administration failed to hold officials from the Bush administration accountable for torture or domestic surveillance.  And they refused to prosecute those responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.  They said they wanted to move ahead.
  • I will eat my left arm off if a Biden administration does any differently.  They will not hold the criminals and grifters and treasonous bastards in the Trump administration responsible for their crimes.  They will also say “Let’s move ahead.”  “Let’s look at the future not the past.”
  • On the first night of the Democratic Convention, the Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer bragged that Obama and Biden “didn’t waste time” blaming those who were responsible for the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. No, why “waste time” enforcing the law for white collar, corporate and political criminals.  It’s too easy to wind up among them. 
Brian Kemp, Georgia’s governor after stealing the election from Stacey Abrams. He is an architect of voter suppression. He must be removed from office.

MORNING RUNDOWN: Belarus, Putin, DoInJ; Barr, Post Office, RICO, “The Chickenshit Club”

joe biden

MORNING RUNDOWN

  • Widespread protests continue in Belarus. Protests have been happening in the major city of Khabarovsk for weeks after Putin “removed a popularly elected governor and replaced him with a hand-selected loyalist.  Putin is now in the position of allowing Lukashenko to flee to Russia (as he did with Yanukovych in Ukraine) and gobbling up parts of Balarus, or does he modulate his interference.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/08/15/putin-lukashenko-belarus-russia/
  • The Department of inJustice: The case against a company  charged with conspiring to defraud the government by orchestrating a social media campaign to interfere with the 2016 election was dropped in March by the Barr Justice Department.  This was a prosecution that had been pursued for two-years and was dropped weeks before the case was to come to trial. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/08/foreign-hackers-have-made-it-harder-us-prosecute-them
  • David Plouffe, along with others stress that the destruction of the effectiveness of the Post Office, is an emergency (see also Jesse Eisinger). He recommends prime-time hearings, now; subpoenas to Trump WH and other officials.  “This is a RICO case,” says Plouffe. Twitter  From the Democrats, silence, strongly worded letters.
  • Lest we Forget: Don McGahn is the nephew of mafia attorney, Pat McGahn, who brokered the AC Taj Mahal land deal between Donald Trump and mob boss, Little Nicky Scarfo.
  • Jesse Eisinger’s book “The Chickenshit Club” is one of the most important books in understanding what is happening with the Republican party and the Trump administration. Tweet (8/16/20)  “…cutting government and then pointing to a crippled government as proof that government doesn’t work has been a Republican strategy for 40 years.”  Republicans who are surprised at the inaction of the federal government in the pandemic and at the dismantling of the post office have not been paying attention to the policies of the Republican party they have been voting for.
  • Fascism not only “can happen here” it “has happened here.”  There have been other fascist movements in the United States.  Also, the Republicans are using flaws in the system to establish this Christian Nationalist authoritarian state.  Hint: Trump didn’t think of these flaws himself.     https://www.alternet.org/2020/08/expert-explains-how-trump-has-exploited-our-legal-infrastructure-to-advance-true-fascism-in-america/
  • Biden is already caving on health care for Americans. Democratic operatives tell “The Hill” that the most likely strategy is to “fix” Obamacare without providing a public option.   This is just one example of what a Biden/Harris administration will be like.  There will be repeated caving to corporate interests and the abandoning of the people they are begging to vote for them now.  “Powerful health care industry groups, ranging from drug companies to health insurers to hospitals, are strongly opposed to a public option, worried about its impact on their bottom line, and would fight any legislative push on the subject next year.  The industry is instead pushing the idea of a more modest ObamaCare fix that does not include a public option.”
  • https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/511909-battle-looms-over-biden-health-care-plan-if-democrats-win-big

 

 

GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Voting in Brian Kemp’s Georgia

kemp
Stealing the Vote
 
The Republicans are using a variety of methods to steal this election. At the moment, the focus is on disenfranchising people because their ballots by mail don’t arrive on time. The Republican party is actively sabotaging the post office to make sure that your ballot doesn’t arrive on time. But, this is just one of the issues.
 
In Georgia, for example, if the signature you use to sign your mail-in ballot does not match exactly the signature as you wrote it when you got your driver’s license, they can (and I suppose will) throw it out. For example, I use my first two initials and my last name to sign almost everything. It’s quicker and easier. But, I also sometimes write my first name, middle initial and last name. On the ballot I just used in the primary, I signed both ways just to make sure there was no confusion. Today, I learned that this means that my ballot was almost certainly thrown out.
 
If your signature changes in any way, since you applied for your driver’s license, your ballot can be thrown out.
 
There are a thousand and one different catches like this that can be used to throw your vote out.
 
1) ballot arrives late due to post office
2) signatures that don’t exactly match your driver’s license signature
3) having had your name stricken from the voter rolls because a name similar to yours appears in another state. (Read Greg Palast’s book about how many people were purged in Georgia because their first and last names were the same as someone in another state (for example, George Mason). These people were purged even though the Georgia person was named George A. Mason and the Virginia person was George B. Mason; even though the birth dates were different.
4) having been purged from the voter registration roles because you didn’t vote in two elections
 
This list goes on and on and on. It’s not reading that I especially enjoy, but if you want to understand the true depth of the voter manipulation that is going on, you have to do it. They are depending on people not reading about this, not researching this.
 
They are also depending on people NOT WANTING TO BELIEVE that the voting system is this terrible. I have had friends, Democrats, get angry, really angry because I tried to tell them about the research demonstrating how much vote manipulation is going on (in this case in Georgia). People get mad because they want to think that all they have to do is vote.
 
There is a reason the state of Georgia spent a small fortune on complicated new voting machines just before the election. And, there is a reason they made every polling place replace all their signs that said “I voted” with “I secured the vote.”  This is a propaganda campaign to convince people that their vote is counted in a fair election.
 
To give you just one example: the state of Georgia maintains that you have a paper ballot with these machines . A paper ballot means that your vote can be verified, right? You get a piece of paper printed out with your voting choices on it. You are supposed to check these and make sure they are right before running the paper ballot through the scanner which records your vote.
 
But, your actual vote, the vote that is recorded by the scanner that you put your ballot through, does not even recognize the printed material. It reads a bar code at the bottom of the page that YOU CANNOT READ. So, just because you check and see in the printed part that you voted for Biden, nothing prevents the bar code from saying you voted for Trump. You would never know.
 
Just recently, the State of Georgia said that in any recount, the recount would be confined to running the ballots through the scanner again. IF YOUR VOTE WAS RECORDED INCORRECTLY IN THE BAR CODE, RUNNING IT THROUGH THE SCANNER AGAIN ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE THAT.
 
The State of Georgia (run by the criminal Brian Kemp) was explicit. Any recount would involve ONLY running the ballots through the scanner again.
 
We cannot just assume that “overwhelming voter turn out” will win this election for us. Voter turnout means nothing if your vote is not counted, or counted incorrectly.