Tag Archives: voting

Blood Sporting

Tom Freeman’s painting of the August 24, 1814 burning of the White House by British troops during the War of 1812. (White House Historical Association)

In the fall of 1989, the world watched the Soviet Union begin to crumble, as its various satellites in Eastern Europe started breaking free from the decades-long grip of the terrorist state.  The seminal moment came in November when the Berlin Wall was torn down, and the democratic west joined with the communist east to form the New Germany.  That edifice had been both literal and ideological; a true line between freedom and tyranny.

A month later came another equally stunning and even more sanguineous event; one that gained plenty of international attention, but seems to have faded into history.  Shortly before Christmas gangs of angry Romanians stormed the central palace and captured President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena.  The duo was subjected to a trial and sentenced to death; afterwards they were garroted.  Their demise was similar to that of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, as World War II came to an end.  Bands of anti-fascist citizens captured them after ambushing their convoy and rushed them through a trial, before stringing them up like wild animals.

I imagine the mobs who invaded the U.S. Capitol building this past Wednesday felt equally aggrieved and outraged by what they perceived to be an unfair presidential election.  Spurred on by the vitriolic rhetoric of their dear leader, Donald Trump, they amassed in Washington from all over the country and launched their angry assault.  In behavior similar to that of developing countries, these renegades overwhelmed Capitol Hill police and managed to enter the arena where lawmakers had convened just moments earlier.

That January 6 was a critical day.  That’s when elected officials gathered to certify that Joe Biden had won the U.S. presidency two months ago and would be sworn into office as the nation’s 46th president on January 20.  The gangs of right-wing ideologues who disrupted that stately process demanded otherwise.

This is the first time since 1814 that the U.S. Capitol had been invaded.  And that was in the midst of the War of 1812; during the early days of the American republic.  Great Britain was still trying to regain control of its former colony and succeeded in burning down the capitol.  That was over 200 years ago.  Last Wednesday came during a war of ideology and political differences.

I have never seen anything like it in my life.  Indeed, it is something more emblematic of nations around the world struggling through the growing pains of a new democracy or any new regime change.  It’s similar to what happened in Cuba on New Year’s Day 1959, when Fidel Castro led a ragtag band of rebels into the presidential palace in Havana to overthrow the brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista.  Like Ceausescu and Mussolini, Batista had held onto power for many years through bloodshed and terrorism.  He suppressed free speech and sought to annihilate anyone who dared to disagree with him.  Unlike Ceausescu and Mussolini, however, Batista was able to leave Cuba and live out his life in peaceful exile – and wealth – in Spain.

The people who stormed into the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday aren’t freedom-loving patriots.  They’re domestic terrorists; redneck hooligans supported and agitated by a psychopathic narcissist who didn’t fairly win the U.S. presidency in 2016.  They weren’t the least bit upset over the blatantly fraudulent elections of that year and 2000.

For decades conservatives have lobbed conspiracy theories about mobs of left-wing anarchists swarming into American homes to seize firearms and bibles and force everyone to love Muslims and queer people.  That has never happened.  It didn’t happen after the raucous turmoil of the 2000 presidential elections and it didn’t happen four years ago.  As upset as liberals were then, groups of enraged tree-loving abortionists and pot-smokers didn’t invade Washington and trash lawmakers’ offices.  The biggest threat came from within the bastions of conservatism.

I hope devout Trumpists are happy with themselves.

One Capitol Hill police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, has now succumbed to his injuries.  Four protesters also died; one of them shot to death.  I’m saddened by Sicknick’s death, but I don’t give a damn about the others.  Like people who drink alcohol heavily their entire lives and develop cirrhosis, they brought this upon themselves.  The Capitol Hill police chief has resigned, and – as of this writing – nearly 20 people have been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s mayhem.  Insurrection is a federal offense, and treason is technically punishable by death.  The legal machinations over this debacle will play out for years.

And Donald Trump will go down in history as a president who fomented a riot and placated the rioters.

The nation will move forward, as time does – whether anyone on the far left or far right like it or not.  The spirit of a truly democratic society can’t be quashed.  It never has and it never will.

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Video of the Week – December 12, 2020

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos smacks down claims by U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) over alleged voter fraud lies.

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Tweets of the Week – December 12, 2020

My home state of Texas has become a central figure in Donald Trump’s ongoing and losing battle to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.  Once again, Texas has made a fool of itself, courtesy of Attorney General Ken Paxton who – by the way – has plenty of his own legal troubles.

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Most Threatening Quote of the Week – December 12, 2020

“She’s decided to completely ignore all of the credible, credible, fraudulent evidence that has been continually pointed out.  We’re out here in front of the secretary of state’s house and we want her to know we will continue to be here.”

Genevieve Peters, a Trump supporter, condemning Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for confirming Joe Biden’s election win

Carrying American flags and guns, about two dozen protesters, including Peters, marched up to Benson’s Detroit home at night, while chanting “Stop the Steal”.  They accused Benson, a Democrat and Michigan’s chief election officer, of ignoring widespread voter fraud.  Peters, a corporate trainer who lives in California, live-streamed the protest on Facebook.

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Most Dramatic Quote of the Week – December 12, 2020

“Literally the survival of our nation and our rights as Americans and as Christians is on the line with these two races on January 5 in Georgia.”

Ralph Reed, political activist and former head of the Christian Coalition, on the need to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election win

Reed warned that unless “something happened” to reverse the certification of votes in the election, “we’re looking at the possibility and the prospect of a Vice-President Kamala Harris being able to break a tie and turn control of the U.S. Senate over to Chuck Schumer, AOC and the squad, and the far left,” Reed said.  (Reed was referring to New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 3 other female members dubbed as “The Squad” (all non-White) who serve in the House of Representatives, not the Senate.)

“The country that we have known for over 230 years will be gone, and there will be no protection for our rights as believers or of the minority rights of the conservatives in the Senate,” Reed added.

Cue the violins.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – December 12, 2020

“This is what they do to Trump.  It’s not going to work with me.  I won’t back down because I am very religious and I know God is watching over me.  This started with COVID.  The Obamas funded that Wuhan lab to make COVID.  Then the impeachment process.  They’ve used every avenue possible to cheat, they used Dominion. Dominion software was created to cheat. I have a binder from Dominion that proves this.  There’s so much more that will be exposed.”

Mellissa Carone, former IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems in Michigan, on SarahPalin.com

Carone worked on Election Night last month in Detroit and claims the amount of fraud at that one vote-counting center alone should be enough to overturn the election in President Trump’s favor.

“The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressman, has decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law.  Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences.  This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable.  This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic.  Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”

Allen West, Chairman of the Texas Republican Party, responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

To non-Americans, the term “Union” is basically a reference to the 19th century U.S. Civil War, which long-time conservatives still describe as a states’ rights issue, when in reality, it was about the right of southern states to keep human beings enslaved.

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Video of the Week – December 5, 2020

In his first formal interview since the election, Trump spoke to FOX News’ Maria Bartiromo, where he spit out more lies and unsubstantiated allegations.  Critics have condemned Bartiromo for not fact-checking him.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – December 5, 2020

“Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity, that guy is a class A moron.  He should be drawn and quartered.  Taken out at dawn and shot.”

Joe di Genova, a Trump campaign lawyer, in an interview with “The Howie Carr Show,” which was broadcast on the radio, Newsmax and online streams.

Di Genova was referring to Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, whom Trump fired on November 17.

“I assume that the power of the pardon is absolute and that he should be able to pardon anybody that he wants to.”

Sean Hannity, in his radio interview with fringe lawyer Sidney Powell, about Trump’s ability to pardon himself and “his whole family” as he walks “out the door” of the White House

“If you want to steal an election of the United States, what do you do? You go into the swing states, your Democrats, you target the urban areas where you have the largest vote count.  They need to produce a massive, significant, large number of votes – therefore they have to go to large Democratic cities.”

Gary Berntsen, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) career officer who worked on various counterterrorism deployments, to Epoch Times.

Berntsen claims that the irregularities during the November election may be part of a larger scheme.  He didn’t provide supporting evidence or name any specific person or party for wrongdoing.

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Best Quotes of the Week – December 5, 2020

“Just 100 days to mask, not forever – 100 days.  And I think we’ll see a significant reduction.”

President Elect Joe Biden, urging Americans to wear masks to help stop spread of COVID-19

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

– U.S. Attorney General William Barr, confirming that various complaints by the Trump Administration of voter fraud in the recent elections are unfounded.

“Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some.”

Gabriel Sterling, the Voting Systems Manager for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, during a press conference Tuesday afternoon after weeks of harassment, threats, and division

Sterling called out President Trump and Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler for not condemning ongoing threats made against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his wife, and numerous elections officials and contractors.

Sterling said the “straw that broke the camel’s back” occurred when a 20-something contractor discovered a noose in front of his home with his name on it after an online video claiming to show him “manipulate data.”

“He just took a job,” Sterling said, adding he chose to have a high-profile job, but the young man who was threatened was just doing his job.  “People started accusing him of treason.”

“I am not going to be intimidated by these threats from telling the truth to the American people.”

Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in an essay for the Washington Post

Donald Trump had terminated Krebs via Twitter on November 17 after CISA rebuked the President’s claims of rampant voter fraud in the November 3 elections.  Trump campaign lawyer Joe di Genova had suggested Krebs should be shot.

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A Very Important Message to Trump Voters from the Chief

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November 28, 2020 · 1:13 AM