Tag Archives: voting

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

Tweet of the Week – November 14, 2020

Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s second-oldest son, had a message for Minnesota voters – one week after the elections.

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Good, Democracy

It’s almost over, people!  The 2020 U.S. presidential election is almost done.  I can see the light of sanity peering above the horizon; struggling and gasping as it may be.  But it’s here.  As with just about everything else this year, it certainly can’t arrive soon enough.

As of this moment, it appears Joe Biden will be the nation’s 46th Chief Executive.  I was more excited when I got the battery replaced in my truck back in July.  I’ve never felt so disillusioned with a political campaign as I have these past few months.  I mean, here’s what we had in our two principal choices: a narcissistic autocrat and an antiquitous swamp creature.  Try to choose the lesser of two evils amidst that morass!

Yet, I still feel optimistic about one thing: democracy seems to be functioning nicely in the United States; the nation that has promoted itself as “The Beacon” of freedom for more than a century.  Despite all of the hateful rhetoric and angry Twitter-speak, I see a semblance of hope in our future.  People are lamenting the lengthy recounts in some states, but that means enough citizens decided to exercise their right to vote more than their right to watch television and either mailed in a ballot or stood in line at the polls.  I was able to walk in and out of a nearby voting facility with no problem last week.  I ignored the slew of political signs glutting the grounds around the place and a local newspaper’s “recommendations” for whom I should vote.  (I have a better idea!  I recommend said newspaper let ME decide!)

As expected, faux-President Donald Trump hasn’t conceded and has already launched a series of lawsuits to stop the various ongoing recounts.  He and his minions had tried to suppress the vote all year long.  And, as with conservative attempts to undermine Barack Obama’s presidency, THEY FAILED!  They couldn’t stop the vote!  They just couldn’t.  New-age voter suppression tactics – equally anticipated from the right-wing – didn’t play out.

Conservatives have always tried to undermine the voting process.  Grandfather clauses and poll taxes segued into fire hoses and violent police officers in the 20th century.  That then morphed into voter ID laws, cutting the number of early voting days, limiting voting places and – finally – to sabotaging the entire postal system.  And, just like many White southerners have been fighting the U.S. Civil War for over 150 years and STILL haven’t won, right-wing extremists STILL couldn’t stop people from voting this year!

The post-election violence forecast by many hasn’t materialized.  Yes, a number of folks on all sides have been protesting.  But that belies an incredible number: 160 million.  That’s the estimated number of people who voted this year; the highest number since 1900.  Considering that more people aged 18-25 voted in the first season of “American Idol” than in the 2000 presidential election, it’s phenomenal!

Thus, democracy is working for us here in the United States.  The system is still imperfect, of course, but it’s operating as intended.  As tough as it’s been this year, that’s a good thing.

Now, damnit, let’s not see or hear another political ad for at least another year!

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Barrett Block

“It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), February 14, 2016, “Meet the Press”

“The court — we are one vote away from losing our fundamental constitutional liberties, and I believe that the president should next week nominate a successor to the court, and I think it is critical that the Senate takes up and confirms that successor before Election Day,” Cruz said. “This nomination is why Donald Trump was elected. This confirmation is why the voters voted for a Republican majority in the Senate.”

Cruz, September 18, 2020, hours after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

If hypocrisy was a virtue, many politicians would be among the most honorable of citizens.  Sadly, political environments seem to have no room for such people.  Hypocrisy reigns, as U.S. Senate Republicans rammed through the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett this week, in order to fill the seat left by the death Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month.  Ginsburg’s failing health and ultimate death had been the subject for years among Supreme Court watchers.  Liberals and even moderates feared her death would come at such a pivotal moment in U.S. history as we’re in now.

Allegations of a double standard aside, my biggest concern with Barrett is her unwillingness to answer questions regarding one particular issue, the most sacred element of democracy: voting.  I’ve always found it odd that conservatives will move mountains to protect gun rights, but unleash similar amounts of energy to thwart voting rights.  It’s obvious this matter is critical because we are on the cusp of a presidential election.  Yet, the right to cast a ballot has come under threat since Barack Obama fairly and legitimately won his first election in 2008.  (Understand there’s never been any question of the validity of Obama’s elections.)  States with predominantly Republican legislatures suddenly became concerned with voter fraud and began implementing measures to combat it.  Similar reactions erupted after passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and ratification of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1971.

My home state of Texas, for example, was among the first to tighten voter identification.  College ids and utility bills were nearly eliminated as proof of one’s existence or residency, but they retain their positions as supplemental forms of identification.  Other measures, such as fingerprints and retina scans were proposed – all in a futile attempt to combat the mystical voter fraud; much the same way Ted Cruz managed to fight off myriad communist sympathizers on the manicured grounds of Princeton University.

In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of standing in crowded places to cast a ballot made many people shudder.  Generally, senior citizens and the disabled were among the few granted the privilege of mail-in voting.  But, as the novel coronavirus remains highly contagious, mail-in voting became more palatable.  Then, as if on cue, President Donald Trump and other right-wing sycophants raised the ugly specter of voter fraud.  And, of course, mail-in voting – just like the overall right granted by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – was in jeopardy.

When voting rights advocates tried to compromise by pushing for drop-off ballot boxes, conservatives again balked.  On October 1, Texas Governor Greg Abbott mandated that only one drop-off box would be acceptable per county.  That works great for tiny Loving County (pop. 169), but not for massive Harris County (pop. 4.7 million).  U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman overruled Abbott; denouncing the governor’s proclamation as “myopically” focused.  But the governor persisted, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him.

Earlier this week, however, Judge Barrett couldn’t seem to bring herself to declare the importance and value of voting rights.  Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked Barrett about the freedom of the formerly incarcerated to regain their voting rights.  She highlighted one of Barrett’s 2019 dissent in Kanter v. Barr that voting should be granted only to “virtuous citizens.”  In the Kanter case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled it reasonable that the litigant, Rickey Kanter, lose his right to own firearms after a felony conviction for mail fraud.  Barrett was the only member of the 3-judge panel to resist and brought up the “virtuous citizens” remark, which subsequently invoked discussions of what constitutes virtuous.  As with any moral declaration, the concept of virtue can be purely subjective.  Yet Barrett didn’t stop there.  In her dissent, she went on to write that the application of virtue should limit the right of citizens to vote and serve on juries.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard conservative political figures announce their support for ex-convicts to regain their right to bear arms, if they’ve served their full sentences.  None, however, have expressed similarly ardent advocacy for the same ex-convicts to earn back their right to vote.  I suspect this is because they all realize the significance of the power of voting and the power it gives even to the poor and disenfranchised.  Hence, measures in the past with poll taxes and “grandfather clauses”.

Barrett still wouldn’t clarify what she meant by “virtuous”.  In response to Klobuchar, she said, “Okay. Well, senator, I want to be clear that that is not in the opinion designed to denigrate the right to vote, which is fundamental … The virtuous citizenry idea is a historical and jurisprudential one.  It certainly does not mean that I think that anybody gets a measure of virtue and whether they’re good or not, and whether they’re allowed to vote. That’s not what I said.”

Klobuchar persisted.  In citing Justice Ginsburg’s writing in the landmark voting rights case Shelby County v. Holder, she asked, “Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg’s conclusion that the Constitution clearly empowers Congress to protect the right to vote?”

Shelby County v. Holder was crucial in the contemporary assault on voting rights.  It addressed Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices and Section 4(b), which contains the coverage formula that determines which jurisdictions are subjected to preclearance based on their histories of discrimination in voting.  The seminal 1965 act was not-so-subtly aimed at southern states.  When the case arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, where a 5-4 ruling declared Section 4(b) unconstitutional because it was based on data over 40 years old.  The high court didn’t strike down Section 5.  Previous research had showed that both sections had led to increases in minority voting since the 1960s.  Contemporary voting advocates, however, claimed that recent efforts – especially after Obama’s 2008 victory and mainly in the South – made it easier for election officials to impose greater restrictions on voting.

Again, Barrett just couldn’t (more likely wouldn’t) bring herself to state her position clearly.  “Well, Senator, that would be eliciting an opinion from me on whether the dissent or the majority was right in Shelby County,” she told Klobuchar, “and I can’t express a view on that, as I’ve said, because it would be inconsistent with the judicial role.”

Klobuchar then brought up alarming news that Atlas Aegis, a Tennessee-based company, was trying to recruit former members of the U.S. military to show up at various polling places while armed; all in a supposed effort to ensure the security of voting.  The image of such activity has become plausible as even President Trump advocates for armed poll-watchers to prevent voter fraud.  Whether these people should be armed with bazookas or cell phones hasn’t been made clear, but the threat is obvious.

“Judge Barrett,” asked Klobuchar, “under federal law, is it illegal to intimidate voters at the polls?”

“Sen. Klobuchar, I can’t characterize the facts in a hypothetical situation and I can’t apply the law to a hypothetical set of facts,” Barrett said.

Well, that’s a nice, safe response.  And I have to concede it’s only proper in such a setting.  A fair jurist can’t logically state a position without knowing the facts.  As the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Barrett’s self-admitted idol, once declared, “I want to hear your argument.”  But that should apply only to specific cases.  There should be no doubt about the concept of voting.

Barrett was also evasive in answers to other questions, such as abortion – the perennially key issue among conservatives – and the Affordable Care Act.  Trump had made it clear from the start of his presidential campaign that he wanted to overturn both the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and the ACA.  While he and social and religious conservatives offer no concessions for Roe, the president often mentioned a replacement for ACA, which has yet to materialize and – as far as I’m concerned – doesn’t exist.  Roe will always remain a thorn in the fragile ribs of conservatives, but the idea of eliminating health care coverage for all citizens – particularly while we remain mired in this pandemic and flu season already underway – is infuriating.  Not-so-ironically the high court is set to review the validity of the ACA next month.  As with the upcoming election, Trump wants to ensure a conservative majority on the court before both events.

Trump has already stated – as he did in 2016 – that he will only accept the results of the election if he wins.  Whatever fool is surprised, please raise your hand now, so we full-brain folks can laugh at you!  Loudly.  Yet it’s clear: Trump realizes this election could end up like 2000, when the Supreme Court ordered the state of Florida to stop its ballot recount and thereby hand the presidency to George W. Bush.  That Bush’s younger brother, Jeb, was governor of Florida in 2000 wasn’t lost on most.  The “good-old-boy” network was alive and well at the turn of the century!

And it thrives in the anti-First Amendment actions of Republican governors across the nation.  I feel that Barrett is basically their puppet; their tool in resolutions to ensure a conservative majority in the Supreme Court.  As with any justice, Barrett’s place on the court could impact generations of people.  As a writer, I’m a strong free speech advocate, which equals the right to vote.  They’re intertwined.  And I feel that many conservatives view the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as available to only a handful – people like them.  People who share their narrow view of the world and what is appropriate in order to function within it.

Thus, the U.S. Senate’s kangaroo confirmation hearings for Barrett are ominous.

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Tweet of the Week – September 26, 2020

Mitt Romney

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Worst Quotes of the Week – September 26, 2020

“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.  You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”

President Donald Trump, expressing concerns over voter fraud during a White House press briefing

“We’ve hit — they say — an ominous number, ladies and gentlemen. Two hundred thousand people have died from the coronavirus. That is the biggest lie this century.”

Mark Levin, on his radio program The Mark Levin Show

Levin went on to declare, “Two hundred thousand people died who may have had the coronavirus, but less than 10,000 died from and only from the coronavirus.”

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