Raconteur Report: COVID – Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Healthcare professional Aesop at Raconteur Report talks about the current COVID-19 resurgence in Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

Much has been made by bloggers whom and on sites which I respect, about certain prognostications by Mssr. Briggs, statistician, regarding Kung Flu.
 
I’m not quibbling about his numbers, just what he makes of them, evidently from an utter lack of knowledge about that of which he speaks.
 
Unfortunately, Briggs’ combines his statistical skills with what he doesn’t know about science in general, and epidemiology in particular.
 
1) There are, indeed, “good” flu years, and “bad’ flu years. But it’s not a 1- or 2- variable problem set.
    a) there are always older people, some of whom are more frail, and many of whom are going to die. But surviving flu one year doesn’t, ergo, make you another year older and thus more likely to die the next year. That’s kindergarten math thinking.
 
    b) How many other conditions does any given grandpa or grandma X have?
 
    c) What is their general health condition?
 
    d) Did they get a flu shot that year, or not?
        d1) Did the flu vaccine witch doctors guess the actual flu strain mutations well, and formulate a great shot (a year with a 95% efficacy) or poorly (a year with 15% efficacy). {e.g., in 2018, IIRC, there were 635 individual strains of flu rampant in the US, and that year’s shot had about a 15% effectiveness. This is nigh on to worthless, relatively speaking.}
        d2) Was there even a flu shot at all?
(In, to my best recollection, 2010, there was no flu vaccine available at all. Whichever year it was, it was a record low flu year. Because CDC and FedGov bombarded the airwaves with PSAs telling people to “Wash your goddamned nasty hands! Stay home if you’re sick!” in so many words, and mirabile dictu, old people and parents of young children actually did it. Flu visits to the ER that year were negligible.)
 
That exact level of concern, plus masks, and distancing, is why, by all accounts, this year’s flu season cases will probably be contained in a thimble.
 
Those are just some of the 100-500 variables behind who dies, and why, from flu, Kung Flu, or any other thing, in any given year. Not just whether it was a “good” or “bad” flu year, last year.
 
Yes, it was world-record @$$holian to put known COVID+ cases into convo homes, which are the lowest form of medical care other than anything found in the Turd World, and you get a perfect storm of the most vulnerable patients, and the most execrable level of care not delivered by actual gypsies and witch doctors (and in most convo homes, there’s little difference between them. The fact that they reek of sh*t and piss the moment you walk in is what poker players call a “tell”.) Those deaths were, indeed,  low-hanging fruit.
 
That such deaths may have accounted for nearly half the initial wave is bad.
It does nothing for the next wave, unless you stop doing that. I have yet to hear that it’s no longer policy. And even if it was, that overlooks the obvious problem: Kung Flu presents asymptomatically in up to 50% of cases (which is why checking for fever temperatures at building entries is like looking for elephants in trees: asinine and pointless.)
 
If they really wanted to keep infected people out of convo homes (which are still chock full of vulnerable patients, in 50 states and 7 territories), they’d have to be rapid-testing every patient they admit, before entry, and rapid-testing every staff member, daily, and every single visitor, vendor, etc., and holding them in quarantine outside until they test negative (an hour or two later). We don’t even do that in first-class hospitals.
 
Doing so would cost a large fortune, and bankrupt everyone, everywhere.
 
So the exact same thing is going to happen, over and over and over, because you won’t pay for doing it right. No one will.
 
Own that.
 
It’s the exact asymptomatic Gilligans – the young and “healthy”,  who won’t get really sick nor die from this – who have been and will continue spreading this virus around, until it hits the susceptible victims, and makes a guaranteed percentage of them very sick, and some of them very dead.
 
Some of them, yes, will be the aged, infirm, and those with levels of disease that were killing people at age 66 in 1933. (That’s why FDR had Social Security kick in at age 65; FedGov expected you to be dead within a year. And then medicine, the same bunch that know-nothing idiots bitch about for the cost, went and started increasing everyone’s life expectancies to the 80s. See if you can guess why SS is broke.)
 
And yes, we know a little bit better what to do (and not to do) to care for those hardest hit by Kung Flu. Which will make about a 1-25% difference in fatalities in subsequent waves. Because those in the roughly 3% likely to die, are still going to die. So maybe now the death rate goes down from about 3% to 2.7%. (The death rate for flu, BTW, is about 0.1%, since ever. Don’t you feel better now, knowing this is only 27 times worse than flu, instead of 30 times?)
 
The biggest problem with those prognosticating from ignorance in general is overlooking the fact that most of the population, in this or any country, has yet to be exposed to the virus.
 
E.g. Califrutopia, last I looked, has tested about 10% of our 40M people.
The rate of those infected at some point, is running damned near 10%.
With millions tested now, rather than dozens, those numbers are statistically valid (unlike, say, Biden’s pre-election poll numbers) and thus (unlike Biden’s vote tallies) aren’t going to widely fluctuate. Right up until we throw open the floodgates, eliminate any precautions, and start spreading Kung Flu virus around like it was welfare money in a Blue State. (Or blank mail-in vote bundles at any Democrat HQ building.)
 
Then, the more people you infect, the more people will die.
 
Yes, only at that +/- 3% rate.
We’re pushing 250K dead now, with the infection rate of 10% in certain places (mostly highly populated areas), and probably less than 0.1% in most of the country denigrated as Flyoverland.
 
So, roll the dice, and tell me what happens when the infection rate goes up everywhere.
Especially if the infection rate goes up by leaps and bounds, rapidly.
And for a special bonus, in the exact places where true modern medical care is 1-4 hours away.
On a good day.
 
Then we get to the fun questions:
 
Does infection confer immunity?
I have no godd…d idea. Neither does WHO. Neither does CDC.
Neither does Pfizer, or any-effing-body else.
I have one firsthand example of repeat infection, hospitalized in front of my face.
I have dozens of cases reported anecdotally.
 
I have seen zero literature explaining this.
I have seen or heard of zero literature documenting exactly how widespread this is.
 
No one knows how much, or how widely, the original strain is mutating.
 
Thus any claims of vaccine efficacy are so much bulls…t.
Any claims of herd immunity are so much whistling past the graveyard.
Any extrapolation of how bad this is going to be, with those exact unknowns being so glaringly obvious, are nothing but Bandini Mountain, with a sewage frosting from downstream of the septic plant.
 
Do I want fiat lockdowns again?
 
HELL NO!
 
Make a case, trot out evidence, not SWAG bulls…t, and weigh the benefits and costs.
Medical, scientific, economic, everydamnedthing. Talk it over, and think it through, FIRST.
Then have the legislatures pass laws, or not, and have governors sign or veto them.
 
Y’know, like republican government has worked going back to, oh Magna Carta, or even Rome and Greece. If only for the novelty.
 
I went over a month in a SoCal ER with no likely COVID patients. I tell you, it was heaven. A crappy night with no COVID patients was like old times.
 
That ended last week. Just about 3 weeks behind the spike in cases, we just had, on my shifts alone, 3 slam-dunk sure-as-hell-got-it COVID patients. I had 2 of them personally, and one of them was the re-infection case I wrote about previously. When I left yesterday, we had a guy who literally desatted from 80% to 60% oxygen level in the two minutes it took to get him from the triage tent to an iso room inside. He was in his 50s.
 
The ICU nurse who died from my hospital got it from a patient who was uninfected, then exposed by an asymptomatic patient in a regular ward, brought it to the ICU, and infected 10 nurses there before they knew it was a COVID case. That nurse was in her early 50s, not her late 80s.
 
Times, in 25 years of my career, that happens with flu: never.
Not one godd…d time.
Not even a consideration.
 
So I’m getting pretty damned tired of ignorant @$$holes burping out pure undiluted horses…t quotes like the following:
 
Young (under 65) healthy people are not being killed by the doom—or much of anything else.
Yes, they are. On a regular basis.
Pointing out that they do so at a lesser rate does nothing to remove the lie from the quote above.
And noting that old people die more often is cold comfort to someone whose 30- or 40-year old spouse died because to pointy-headed number crucncher, they were just a rounding error, or “within the margin or error”. If you don’t have to look the survivors in the eye while their loved one’s bodies are still warm but heading for room temperature, kindly STFU about things when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
 
Suppose I told you, with absolute statistical confidence, that if you ran red lights, you only had a 3% chance of getting bashed to hell, killing someone, or going to prison. 
Would you do it?
Suppose I told you that your meatloaf was 97% steak, and only 3% bullsh*t.
Would you eat it?
 
If you answered “yes”, how much shit could I put in your meatloaf before you’d turn it down??
 
You can tell me that driving is hazardous, because of drunks and idiots. I’ll still drive.
Mainly because I don’t drive 100% of the day.
But unlike bar fights, liquor store robberies, or drunk driving deaths, everybody alive on the planet breathes, non-stop, 24/7/365, without any choice in the matter.
 
So unless you can live isolated, or hold your breath for years on end, or live in a spacesuit 24/7, that makes a respiratory ailment in widespread circulation one hell of a lot bigger concern than the other causes of death which, exactly as the CDC and Briggs note, knock off about 50,000 people every year in this country.
 
Which makes statistical prognostications from someone like Briggs sound to me exactly like a fresh hot steaming pile of cows…t smells.
 
I can listen to statistical bulls…t from people who don’t know what they don’t know, or I can believe my lying eyes, backed up by medical evidence, and common sense.
 
You guess where I’ma come down on that one.
 

In one of the comments to the above post, Aesop talks a little about the issue of co-morbidities:

BTW, people don’t die because of the co-morbidities, those just make them more likely.

Just like few, if any, people die from drunk driving because they were drunk. Unless they had a BAL of 900, and fell asleep, and stopped breathing. They die because of that pole they hit at 90MPH while drunk, and because the one leads to the other.

The people who got wrapped around the axle of deaths with COVID (or co-morbidities, like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc.) vs. because of. People don’t die from the co-morbidities, they died because those things sapped their body’s ability to deal with things when the COVID pneumonia in both lungs, everywhere, simultaneously, taxed their ability to breathe and survive beyond what it could handle. Generally because they were too frail, fat, old, weak, and sedentary, which is how you get to be fat, diabetic, hypertensive, etc.
But when you walk around for decades fat, sedentary, diabetic, and hypertensive, then get COVID, and die in 3 weeks, it wasn’t those co-morbidities which killed you, it was the Kung Flu.

Just like if you had all those co-morbidities, and got eaten by a lion while on safari. The lion killed you, not the co-morbidities. The co-morbidities just made you easier pickings.

What they died from, in all cases was cardio-respiratory failure caused by COVID pneumonia. Everything else just piled on to decrease their survival prospects, but noting that sick people die more frequently than healthy people isn’t exactly a blazing piece of medical insight.

People who focus on the co-morbidities like it’s an “A HA!” moment are as ignorant as the idiot-savant people that actually think guns just randomly jump up and kill people, all by themselves, and they don’t seem to get that focusing on them just underlines their ignorance on the topic.

There may be some genetic component as well, but absent evidentiary research, that’s just a Hail Mary guess by some people uncomfortable with admitting that they have NFI what causes the Kung Flu to kill 3 people, hospitalize another 7, get 30 sick, and leave 60 completely untouched. I’d rather wait for the answers rather than grunt and squeeze them out of my hindquarters.

And in the meantime, wear a mask and gloves, and wash my hands, which has worked flawlessly for 10 months, to date, in close proximity to rampant cases, to leave me uninfected.

The Asia Times: First Comes a Rolling Civil War

A Trump supporter argues with counter protesters in St. Paul, Minnesota, November 7, 2020. Photo: Tim Evans/NurPhoto via AFP

Pepe Escobar at The Asia Times writes about the near future in First Comes a Rolling Civil War.

The massive psyop is ongoing. Everyone familiar with the Transition Integrity Project knew how this would imperatively play out. I chose to frame it as a think tank gaming exercise in my Banana Follies column. This is a live exercise. Yet no one knows exactly how it will end.

US intel is very much aware of technology that can abet election fraud. That includes NSA software that can interfere with any network, as detailed by Edward Snowden, and manipulate vote counting; the Hammer supercomputer and its Scorecard app that hacks computers at the transfer points of state election computer systems and outside third party election data vaults; and the Dominion software system, known to have serious security issues since 2000 but still used in 30 states, including every US swing state.

The key actor is the Deep State, which decides what happens next. It has weighed the pros and cons of placing as a candidate a senile, stage 2 dementia neocon warmonger and possible extortionist (along with his son) as “leader of the free world,” campaigning from a basement, incapable of filling a parking lot in his rallies and seconded by someone with so little support in the Democratic primaries that she was the first to drop out.

The optics, especially seen from vast swathes of the imperial-interfered Global South, may be somewhat terrible. Dodgy elections are a prerogative of Bolivia and Belarus. Yet only the Empire is able to legitimize a dodgy election – especially in its own backyard.

Welcome to the New Resistance

The GOP is in a very comfortable position. They hold the Senate and may end up picking up as may as 12 seats in the House. They also know that any attempt by Biden-Harris to legislate via Executive Orders will have…consequences.

The Fox News/ New York Post angle is particularly enticing. Why are they suddenly supporting Biden? Way beyond internal family squabbles worthy of the Successionsaga, Rupert Murdoch made it very clear, via the laptop from hell caper, that he has all sorts of kompromat on the Biden family. So they will do whatever he wants. Murdoch does not need Trump anymore.

Nor, in theory, does the GOP. Former CIA insiders assure of serious backroom shenanigans going on between GOP honchos and the Biden-Harris gang. Trade-offs bypassing Trump – which most of the GOP hates with a vengeance. The most important man in Washington will be in fact GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

Still, to clear any lingering doubts, a vote recount would be absolutely necessary in all 6 contested states – WI, MI, PA, GA, NV and AZ. Through hand counting. One by one. The DoJ would need to act on it, immediately. Not gonna happen. Recounts cost a ton of money. There’s no evidence Team Trump – on top of it short of funds and manpower – will be able to convince Daddy Bush asset William Barr to go for it.

While relentlessly demonizing Trump for spreading “a torrent of misinformation” and “trying to undermine the legitimacy of the US election”, mainstream media and Big Tech have declared a winner – a classic case of pre-programming the sheep multitudes.

Yet what really matters is the letter of the law. State legislatures decide whose electors go to the Electoral College to appoint the President.

Here it is – Article II, Section 1, Clause 2: Each state shall appoint electors “in such Manner as the Legislature Thereof May Direct.”

So this has nothing to do with governors, not to mention the media. It’s up to GOP state legislatures to act accordingly. The drama may roll out for weeks. The first step of the Electoral College procedure takes place on December 14. The final determination will only happen in early January.

Meanwhile, talk of a New Resistance is spreading like wildfire.

Trumpism, with 71 million + votes, is firmly established as a mass movement. No one in the GOP commands this kind of popular appeal. By sidelining Trumpism, the GOP may be committing seppuku.

So what will Deplorables do?

The always indispensable Alastair Crooke hits the nail on the head in a powerful essay: Trump is the President of Red America. And depending on how the scripted (s)election tragicomedy develops next, the Deplorables are bound to become The Ungovernables.

Crooke references a crucial parallel evoked by historian Mike Vlahos, who shows how the current American saga mirrors Ancient Rome in the last century of the Republic, pitting the Roman elite against the Populares – which today are represented by Red (Trumpist) America:

“This was a new world, in which the great landowners, with their latifundia [the slave-land source of wealth], who had been the ‘Big Men’ leading the various factions in the civil wars, became the senatorial archons that dominated Roman life for the next five centuries — while the People, the Populares, were ground into a passive — not helpless — but generally dependent and non-participating element of Roman governance: This sapped away at the creative life of Rome, and eventually led to its coming apart.”

So as much as the Dem machine had wanted it, Trump is not yet Imperator Caesar Augustus, whom the Greeks called Autokrator (autocrat), but was a de facto monarch. The American Augustus, Tiberius and most of all Caligula is still further on down the road. He will definitely be a benign, humanitarian imperialist.

In the meantime, what will imperial Big Capital do?

The West, and especially the American Rome, is on the edge of a double precipice: the worst economic depression ever, coupled with imminent, myriad, uncontrollable explosions of social rage.

So the Deep State is reasoning that with Biden – or, sooner rather than later, Supreme shakti and Commander-in-Chief Maa Durga Kamala – the path gets smoother towards the Davos Great Reset. After all, to reset the chess pieces, first the chessboard must be knocked over. This will be one step beyond Dark Winter – which not accidentally was evoked by teleprompter-reading Biden himself on the final presidential debate. The script gets ominously closer to the Rockefelller Foundation’s 2010 Lock Step.

Meanwhile, Plan B is kept in ready, steady, go mode: the lineaments of a global rampage, focused on “malign” Russia’s sphere of influence to satisfy a “revived” NATO and the military-industrial complex, which selected the now media-appointed President-Elect in the first place because he’s no more than a pliant cardboard figure.

The Federalist: 5 Reasons Conservatives Should Have Hope For The Future

The Federalist and Peter Burfeind have 5 Reasons Conservatives Should Have Hope For The Future

If Joe Biden walks away with a presidential victory, conservatives will have many reasons to despair. This would portend some terrifying realities about propaganda and the manipulation of public opinion, the acceptance of potential fraud, and the willingness to accept the curtailment of basic liberties.

But it need not. In fact, conservatives have reason to be quite hopeful. We might be in an Obi-Wan Kenobi moment, wherein striking Trump down will make his movement more powerful than anyone can possibly imagine. Beyond the typical takes on the election that give conservatives hope — we appear to have kept the Senate, and socialism and critical race theory lost — we have five long-term reasons to be hopeful.

1. Final Liberation from Establishment Republicans

At some level, the left has to be jealous. For any chance of defeating Donald Trump, look what they had to settle for: a dementia-addled, 78-year-old fossil who’s spent 47 years in the Senate as a pandering politician straight out of Central Casting. But the Democrat establishment pushed him because he polled best against Trump and, as Democrats are so quick to remind us, “science and data.”

Ah, I remember those days. I remember hearing the smart set tell us how a Herman Cain would be an abject failure as a candidate or president, so we’d better go with a traditional politician, such as John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush.

Then came Trump, dismantling the entire paradigm. One of the most beloved politicians in our history, he showed us how a successful American with a love for his country can do great things, things politicians have been promising for years, such as lowering unemployment for minorities, increasing wages for the working class, sticking it to communist China, creating peace in the Middle East, giving us energy independence, restructuring bad trade deals, withdrawing from foreign entanglements, and revolutionizing the federal judiciary.

Meanwhile, the Democrats get to watch a doddering hack grapple with the wily Sen. Mitch McConnell for four years, while trying to pick up the pieces of an economy they tanked to get Biden elected president and nothing else. Or maybe they’re looking forward to a President Kamala Harris doing her “Excuse me! Excuse me!” routine like that vice principal you mocked in high school.

You almost have to laugh. While they’re locked into “establishment mode” for four years, pantomiming gravitas with their whole “adults in the room” schtick to impress the seven remaining people watching CNN, the right will be having a blast retaking the House, nurturing a new generation of Trump-like candidates, and choosing another unconventional leader for president in 2024 that we actually like and don’t have to hold our noses to select. We’re done with the establishment, and it feels so liberating.

2. Germination of Several Movements

Let’s get into that new generation of conservatives. Trump brought in a significant swath of working-class voters. The Blexit movement continues, with obvious results in the increased turnout of black voters for Trump. With Trump’s Hispanic gains, can we say the whole “demography is destiny” theory officially ran out of juice at, of all places, the Rio Grande and southern Florida?

The last these demographic groups tasted of genuine Trumpism — prior to the Wuhan virus — they were doing outstanding. Now they got Biden to build his case that destroying the energy sector and subsidizing green energy will really get things going again.

Who better than an old, pandering white guy to convince young minority Americans that maybe it’s time for a second exodus from the Democrat plantation? And who will be on the sidelines with a megaphone the whole time saying, “I told you so. Remember what you had under me?”

3. Trump Not Going Anywhere

That of course leads to our third reason for long-term hope: Trump isn’t going anywhere. This is a man who did five to six rallies a day, speaking an hour and a half at each one, for two weeks after recuperating from COVID-19. He’s also a man who hates losing, and his family is completely invested in the movement he started.

Who knows how this will translate. There’s talk of him beginning a right-leaning media outfit to compete with Fox News. Will he continue doing rallies to inspire support for a transformed Republican Party? Will he do a Grover Cleveland number and run for president again?

Whatever it is he chooses to do, he remains the same person uniquely suited to the task at hand, of disrupting the status quo in Washington. He clearly has the support of half the country. Many love him like they’ve never loved any other politician because of how he spoke up for them. That doesn’t end.

4. The Left Not in Charge When We Survive Meltdown

The left displayed a real logic problem this year. I became alert to this problem when I heard Biden and others blame Trump for the COVID-19 deaths. Huh? Do people really fall this easily for the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, the logic that “X is president during Y, therefore X caused Y”?

Of course they do. That defines the leftist mind, the hive mind, the belief that agency doesn’t reside in the individual but in collective systems. This is how they think. Consequently, they must run those systems. They must have power.

Their attraction to the swamp comes with an underlying presumption of incredible self-importance. They manage the economy. They keep peace in the world. They take care of us all, good people that they are.

So what do you suppose it means when precisely nothing happens 10 years from now, about the time the world is predicted to implode from climate change? If the left is in charge of things, you know exactly what that will mean: “Thanks to President Ocasio-Cortez’s extreme measures, we’ve saved the world from catastrophe.” We’ll get a preview of this propaganda when a President Biden announces the end of the pandemic due to his wise governance.

This is why they not only needed to win this year but win big, big enough to enact the Green New Deal. That, in turn, could only be sustained with court-packing and a few new states to ensure a friendly Senate for the foreseeable future. With each radical measure, they would use the COVID-19 response as a template. “We came together before to defeat coronavirus; let’s do the same to defeat climate change!”

Alas, this is not going to happen thanks to the GOP’s other 2020 election victories. Without new states and new senators, the midterms will remain seasons of GOP success. It’s difficult to imagine the next presidential election generating excitement for a second Harris or Biden term, at least enough to create coattails for a Democrat takeover of the Senate and House.

2030 will come with glorious weather, and the left will have had nothing to do with it. After a string of exposed lies — Russia, COVID-19 “science,” systemic racism, polls, climate change — how soon before the nation becomes wise to the fact that leftism is synonymous with lying?

5. America Is Still America

The answer to that last question gets to the American DNA. Americans distrust power. The left does well appealing to that distrust, promoting a false narrative blaming the “powers that be” whenever they’re out of power. They milk that “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy for everything it’s worth. It comes more naturally to them than it does to the right.

How often, these past four years, did the leftist mind resort to “Orange Man Bad!” and a primal scream into the cosmos every time their car didn’t start, or they encountered a long line at McDonald’s, or they just felt blue? It’s their psychic makeup.

No more. The left is running their asylum now. They’re great at manufacturing fear about the bogeymen behind “the system,” but in actual governance, they do nothing but lose. Of course, the leftist answer to that conundrum is, “If we all just work together, nothing is impossible.” So they can continue to blame the Senate, disinformation, gridlock, those on “the wrong side of history,” and Trump.

The whole point of leftism is that it can’t succeed without total investment by everyone in its program. That’s why it’s “all hands on deck” from Big Tech, Big Media, Big Business, Hollywood, Wall Street, human resources departments, and the Washington swamp. That’s why cancel culture is integral to their success. Dissent, alternative information, and a muscular minority topples the whole house of cards.

We’re America. We left the tyrannies of the world to come here. We left our cultures and even families. We’re all just a few generations away from incredible risk-takers, fighters, and survivors. Rugged individualism is in our blood.

Add to that the brilliant system set up by the forefathers with its many checks and balances. The newly conservative federal courts, red state governments, and that troublesome right to free speech aren’t going anywhere for now. Meanwhile, the free market is begging for new social media platforms and a FBexit or Twexit movement.

The left tells Americans, “We’re all in this together,” but it won’t be too long before, well, 70 million people say, “Speak for yourself. We’ll speak for ourselves, thank you.” That 70 million isn’t going anywhere. It’s only growing.

The Automatic Earth: Biden IS the Swamp

I can understand why various people don’t like Trump. I don’t understand anyone who thought Biden was actually a good candidate. This Automatic Earth article says it all – Biden IS the Swamp.

Since the US has no official institution to call an election soon after the polls have closed, and people want a result fast, it has befallen on the media to make the announcement. And by and large, this hasn’t been that big a deal. But when those same media have for 4 years relentlessly hounded one of the two candidates, it should be obvious that this “system” should not be applied. If only because it has no legal status whatsoever.

However, people both in the US and abroad don’t appear to be aware of this. So when the New York Times et al declare a winner, this is seen as an “official” announcement. It is not. That won’t come until the Electoral College gathers in December (8-14th?!). And at least until then, Trump will have every right to contest the election in court. Still, “world leaders” are congratulating the “next president”. Do they really not know how this works?

The idea behind it all is obvious, of course: to make Trump look like a sore loser, and Biden the president-elect, a title the media claim they can bestow upon him. Do remember that both Biden’s and Kamala’s campaign were considered dead in the water at one point, before they were magically resurrected by the party machine, which ensured that =two people very unpopular in their own party now lead the ticket. Be careful what you wish for.

In that light. I found this intriguing. Twitter adds a warning to this Trump tweet: “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted”. I haven’t seen one instance where they attached the same warning to tweets about Biden winning and being President Elect. But wouldn’t that be the same thing?

No, I don’t particularly mind Biden winning, Washington is a shit hole whoever occupies the White House and other posts, but this is not about Biden. It’s about the people behind him. About the people who elected him to be a candidate, and that’s not his voters; it’s the DNC, the FBI and media that made him possible.

Everyone in the MSM is talking about Trump’s alleged lies, as they have for 5 screeching years, main news networks on Thursday even cut off/short a speech by the President of the United States -that must be a first-, but nobody reflects on the 5-year neverending constant lies they have all told ABOUT Trump, on the entire Russiagate episode, the Mueller report based on only lies, the whole shebang.

The DNC that paid for the Steele dossier without which there would never have been a Mueller special counsel, commissioned by Rod Rosenstein when he was Deputy Attorney General, which was based on lies, exclusively, the FBI that used the Dossier to falsify FISA applications, people like Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler and Nancy Pelosi who kept on lying about having evidence of Russian collusion.

And still these are the people accusing Trump of lying. And they feel they can get away with it, because their media also incessantly repeated their lies, and is still doing that. Forget for a moment about what you think about Donald Trump, and tell me how you feel about an attempt to unseat an elected American president with nothing but lies.

Do you think that will be a one-off? If so, you’re blind. If Joe Biden and his handlers ever get into the White House, respect for the Office of the Presidency will still be gone, and it will be for a long time, decades. That’s the price the American people pay for the attempt to unseat Trump based on lies only. Do you really feel that’s a price worth paying? I suggest you give that some serious thought.

With Biden you don’t get Biden, you get the entire cabal that went after Trump, the Democratic Party, the media, the intelligence agencies. And yes, Biden was and is very much part of that cabal. How people do not find that a whole lot scarier than Donald Trump is beyond me.

If -and no that is not when- Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20 2021, that cabal will take over the country. And we’ve seen plenty indications that they intend to make it impossible for the Republicans to ever get one of their own elected as president again. Moreover they will not be investigated for what they concocted over the past 4-5 years.

How the Hillary campaign and the DNC leaked things to the FBI, and the FBI to the MSM, how they lied in courtrooms to get FISA applications on Trump campaign people like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. How they set up Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn so he wouldn’t be Trump’s National Security Adviser, because Flynn knew too much.

It’s a scheme so full of illegal actions that it will be devastating for the entire American political system if it is never investigated, or even if it isn’t investigated very very thoroughly, by an impartial party. And it won’t be if Biden becomes president.

The cabal wants you to think this is about Trump, and any given way to get rid of him is justifiable no matter what, but that is a very dangerous way of thinking. If crimes have been committed, they must be brought into daylight and before a court.

Problem is, of course, that at least half the nation has no idea of what’s been going on. Because they get their news and information from those media that are in on the whole deal. They won’t know that the DNC paid for the Steele Dossier, or that is was just a bunch of lies, or that the FBI knew this even before Rosenstein appointed Mueller as Special Counsel. All that has been kept away from them.

And yes, 4 years ago Trump said he would fight the swamp, but landed right in the middle of it. Early in his presidency he found himself surrounded by the likes of McMaster, John Kelly, Tillerson, and many other swamp creatures, and today he still has people like Mike Pompeo. But at least Trump is an outsider, and if anything can ever be done to drain the swamp, it will have to come from an outsider. That it may take more than 4 years is something we have to take for granted.

The swamp has fought back, and they may yet win. Joe Biden is the face of that. But people who celebrate that victory should think again, whether they like Trump or not. The swamp is not good for you, and it’s not good for your country, your rights, your freedoms. Its entire MO is to take all these away from you. This is not a partisan thing; the fat ass of the swamp easily fits and sits across the divide.

Joe Biden is not Joe Biden, the man doesn’t stand for anything other than holding on to power while getting richer off that power. He’s done it for 47 years. Term limits are desperately needed in Washington, but the only people who can make that decision are those who profit most from not having term limits. If there’s one area where McConnell and Schumer and Pelosi and Lindsey Graham agree, it’s that.

And meanwhile, Trump, unlike Joe Biden, is just Trump. He doesn’t represent a cabal, or a swamp. Even if he’s surrounded by them. Trump is not the biggest threat to America, that’s just something they’ve been wanting you to think for the past 4 years. Successfully, too, for millions of Americans.

The swamp is the biggest threat, whether their handpuppets come in a Democratic or Republican disguise. But to recognize that, you would have to be able to think for yourself, and if you read or watch the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, you simply can’t do that. You just think you can.

American Thinker: The Election Coup Plot, Explained

Founder of American Thinker, Thomas Lifson, writes about the Presidential election in The Election Coup Plot, Explained. You can see the Tucker Carlson video by going through the link to American Thinker or clicking on the Fox News link near the bottom of the article.

Democrats have been thinking about this for a long time…

—Tucker Carlson, November 5, 2020

I fully expect that Twitter and Facebook will suppress circulation of this blog post, but so what?  The half of the country that never strays beyond the mainstream media narrative would find it unbelievable, a fantasy of conspiracy theorizing.  After four years of their media telling them that Russia hacked the 2016 election, and Hillary claiming she was cheated, the new media-approved narrative is that any questioning of electoral fraud is an attack on democracy.

Such people are a lost cause, unless (or until) crimes are proven in court and election cheaters are sentenced to prison.

But for the rest of us who have eyes and brains, there is no stopping suspicion and activism in the “nasty street fight ahead.”  “Samizdat” is a word that Americans are going to be using a lot, at least until Google gets around to changing the definition that still, for the moment, comes up when you search for it:


(source)

One truth-teller with an audience in the mutli-millions is Tucker Carlson, and last night he laid out convincingly the path ahead by which the left, principally relying on its media and social media dominance, will attempt to install as president a man who needed fraudulent votes to win.  The plot, in short, is to have the TV networks, AP, and NYT/WaPo declare the race decided.  At that point the social media censors step in and suppress all efforts — even those of a sitting president — to uncover the fraud as conspiracy theories and an attack on democracy itself.


YouTube screen grab.

If and when Trump-supporters (and a few others who see what is going on) take to the streets and actually threaten the coup, they will be repressed — bloodily, if necessary.  This response already has been signaled.

In the interest of saving your time, I have cued up his presentation last night to skip his review of the way the last presidential vote battle, Bush v. Gore, was covered by the MSM.  The contrast with today is instructive.  If you are not in a hurry, start at the beginning. [Note: the original video vanished. This is a new video that I could not cue up. The whole thing is worth listening to, though.)

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6207560134001

“Americans who love this country are beginning to fear it.

—Tucker Carlson, November 5, 2020

The American Mind: The Fight Is Now

The editors of The American Mind weigh in on the election with The Fight Is Now.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, breaking every rule that Democrats have screamed for months that President Trump was going to break, have all but declared themselves the winners of the 2020 election before the votes are counted.

But the 2020 election is not over. The fight has just begun. This is the moment that decides everything. Everything is now at stake. Republicans must rise to the occasion. This means rallies and protests as well as investigating and ensuring that this election was lawful.

Bring Out the Lawyers

The results last night revealed conclusively that our supposed experts lied to the nation throughout 2020’s election season with deceptive polls, statistics, and percentages about Trump’s chances. This is no surprise—we already know our ruling class has lied non-stop to the American people about President Trump for four years.

Now we are asked to simply trust corrupt Democratic political machines in one-party cities to count the vote honestly. We will not. Instead, Republicans must aggressively investigate and prosecute any and all wrongdoing in the attempt to steal this election.

The reason the Democratic Party just broke all the norms related to voting in America is because they are trying to fend off a loss. They hastily changed the rules midstream by means of hundreds of lawsuits, using COVID as an excuse, and a stream of stories of troubling irregularities is now flowing out of the remaining disputed states. The question upon which everything now depends is whether or not Republicans are willing to stop them.

The American people, no less than the Republican Party and their lawyers, must demand transparency and accountability about what happened last night and what is now happening over the course of the ongoing count. As Michael Anton points out in his latest salvo, “Game-on for the Coup?” waiting until the end to pad the count with votes from urban areas is one of the oldest tricks in the American political playbook, and it has worked before. Is it happening now? Headlines like “Seven Milwaukee wards report more 2020 presidential votes than registered voters” do not inspire confidence, and the same goes for the news now coming out of Democratic bastions like Detroit and Philadelphia.

We have known that the likely outcome of the election would be disputed vote counts in a select number of states for some time. As we’ve pointed out, Democrats have effectively said, over and over: “Our lawsuits to change the way we’ve always voted in the middle of a tumultuous election season are not part of a partisan cheat. Oh, but one more thing: America needs to understand that while it might very well look like Trump won on election night, due to our new rules votes will be counted for some time afterward and then our candidate will probably win.”

If Republicans let this happen without pushing to ensure all applicable laws were and are now being followed they can forget about winning contested states and therefore national elections. The new rule, the new “norm” for the Democrats, will forever be what they did last night: “If an election is close we stop all the counting for a while until we can figure out what’s going on.” But Republicans do not have to let it happen.

The Republican Party at the state, national, and regional level and their lawyers need to demand explanation and investigation of every vote in every disputed state NOW. Swarms of lawyers must push for transparency in all the Democratic city machines now churning out votes for Biden. Lawsuits must be filed and recounts demanded. The FBI and other relevant law enforcement authorities should scrutinize every aspect of the process and offer rewards for reporting wrongdoing.

President Trump understands this. True, many a “moderate” Republican does not and would gladly roll over to the Left. But in 2020, the Republican base also understands both the stakes and the attempt to steal the election that is now well underway. This is why President Trump and his best surrogates must rally and lead them.

Bring Out the People

Now we are expected to sit quietly while the vote is counted. We will not. Instead, the President and his supporters must publicly rally and protest what any reasonable person would judge looks illegitimate.

First, President Trump should plan several more rallies. Huge ones. His supporters will show up to tell the Democrats that they will not sit back and allow them to cheat their way to victory. For months the radical Left has shown up in the streets to threaten the rest of America. They plan more protests if the election does not go their way. The Right must now make a show of support that says: enough.

Second, President Trump’s team should ensure that their best surrogates and the remaining media figures not trying to attack and censor them have the specific data and arguments they need to make the public case: explain what happened last night and how the Democratic Party’s rule changes allow them to tamper with the election, and what the stakes are if they are allowed to get away with it.

Third, no one—including the President himself—should stop communicating as the media begins to censor news and views it doesn’t like. We need a full court press to catalogue and communicate the many ways in which suspicious activity has and is now taking place in disputed regions of the country. If one channel is closed to us because of censorship, we must work together to circumvent it.

Finally, all weak sisters on the right must be called out. In military doctrine, psychological operations only work on a populace that is already experiencing a defeat. They backfire when conducted against resilient and confident foes. The media and the left right now are trying to defeat and demoralize half the country under the guise of “democracy” and disingenuous cries of “just count the votes!” After the last six months, the last thirty years, the last damned century—conservatives and Republicans who lack steely resolve need to be called out and cast aside for those who will fight!

There is no time to lose. We have already detailed what the Democrats want to happen next. The playbook is already written, but it is not yet fully executed. It can be stopped if Republicans act together—now—to stop it.

Ryan P. Williams
President, Claremont Institute
Publisher, The Claremont Review of Books

Arthur Milikh
Executive Director, Center for the American Way of Life

Matthew J. Peterson
Vice President of Education, Claremont Institute
Founding Editor, The American Mind

James Poulos
Executive Editor, The American Mind

American Mind Editors

American Thinker: The Democratic Party is the Dark Winter

J. Robert Smith at American Thinker has some words about where the Democratic party wants to take the country in The Democratic Party is the Dark Winter.

We are, indeed, at a crossroads in America.  Next Tuesday, we’ll learn the choice of direction.  Will voters stick with President Trump, who, in saner times, would be a slam-dunk for reelection — or do they embrace Joe Biden and his grim vision of a dark winter?  We have to believe that most Americans haven’t cast off common sense, along with their used masks and empty hand sanitizer bottles.  But for voters on the fence — as inexplicable as that is — let’s evaluate what the Democratic Party is showing us about itself.

Biden’s claim in the last debate that the U.S. is moving toward a dark winter, thanks to COVID, was revealing.  It exposed more than Biden’s cynicism in trying to manipulate people’s fear of the virus, it exposed an irony.

The dark winter tag speaks to the Democratic Party’s condition, not America’s.  Democrats are ominous.  Their worldview is antithetical to the American experience, and it’s rotted.  Worse is that they’re destructive.  We see it in their language and actions.  2020 is showcasing the Democrats accelerating descent into a mean-spirited, grudge-filled aggression toward traditional America — the America of the Revolution and the founding.  They despise that immense swath of red, white, and blue between the Northeast and West Coast.  And anywhere patriots live.

Perhaps 2020 is providential, in that the Good Lord chose an election year to lay bare the Democrats’ grim plots?  Maybe this is a chance for the broader electorate to get a strong read on the party that’s dumped Happy Days are Here Again for its rendition of Eve of Destruction?

The Democratic Party is a cancer making systemic attacks on the nation.  The attacks are political, cultural, and moral.  The left, which is ascendent in the party, has over many years, infiltrated major institutions: education, the media, arts and entertainment, corporate executive suites, government bureaucracies.  The fight to restore traditional America won’t end after the president’s hoped for reelection.  With Trump, though, our chances of winning the fight increase dramatically.

Let’s focus on two big, foreboding developments that are transpiring this year.  They’re pincers in the Democrats ambition to impose tyranny — a tyranny that leftists and globalists plan to fully unfold should the corrupted and compromised Joe Biden win.

COVID and the Shutdowns

In March, the COVID crisis struck, but for Democrats, it had little to do with public health.  It was an opportunity to impose and exercise raw political power.  15-day state closures to assess and formulate approaches to grappling with the infection turned into open-ended blue state shutdowns.  New York, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington State — blue states all – are still closed to varying degrees.  Businesses have been erased and millions are unemployed.  The rights to worship, to assemble (except for protests and riots), and to function as free citizens, have been curtailed.

Democrats are previewing their preferred model of governance — and it should chill patriots.  Theirs isn’t bigger government as an expediency to deal with a temporary crisis.  How Andrew Cuomo, Tom Wolf, Gretchen Whitmer, Gavin Newsom, et al, are governing sets precedents.  Democrats are demonstrating top-down, strongman government as their choice.  It has the stink of Xi Jinping and the PRC.

Conventional wisdom claims that the lockdowns may ease when the elections end.  After all, shuttering blue state economies was meant to hurt Trump.  Collateral damage to Democrat leaders’ own constituents?  A necessary price to defeat the president.

But will the shutdowns end?  Why, when they’re so useful to undermining rights and allowing governments’ grips to tighten?  Biden has declared for more shutdowns until the virus is beaten. Of course, viruses are never beaten.  Biden’s handlers are trying to be clever.

Biden in the White House means a national shutdown.  The U.S. economy has taken a multitrillion-dollar hit this year.  More blows in 2021 would send the nation careening into a depression that would surpass the 1930s.

But a depression would accomplish much for power-hungry Democrats and globalists.  The Great Reset initiative, advanced by the World Economic Forum, is poorly disguised fascism.  “Manmade climate change” failed to trigger a “reset.”  The COVID crisis is the globalists’ new lodestar.

Race and Mob Violence

In late May came George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.  There, cringing leftist mayor Jacob Frey was joined by the leftist city council in withdrawing police protection, thereby handing over their city to mobs, though gaslighting that peaceful protests are a right.  Mobs acted as mobs act: with violence — ransacking, smashing, and burning Minneapolis.  Leftist BLM and Antifa provocateurs did their parts, inciting rioters to even more mayhem.

Minnesota governor Tim Waltz, in Nero fashion, decided to stand down as Minneapolis burned — though he had the cheekiness to seek federal aid to recoup millions of dollars in clean-up costs, smartly denied by the Trump administration.

Not to be outdone, Seattle and Portland followed Minneapolis’ lead.  It was all rinse and reap as mobs ran loose.  Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan’s impotence and endless rationalizations for her city being destroyed were surpassed finally by her embrace of something called the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).”  It was a haven for lawlessness in a broader jurisdiction of lawlessness.  Washington State’s chief eunuch, Jay Inslee, jabbered about protests and rights from the comfort and safety of the governor’s mansion in Olympia.

South of Seattle, Portland ignited.  Mobs took the streets.  Mayor Ted Wheeler wasn’t to be out-soyboyed by Jacob Frey.  Whereas Frey, like a conquered potentate, groveled before a BLM mob in Minneapolis to show contrition, Wheeler went into the streets seeking dialogue with the barbarians, only to suffer a tear gassing before retreating.  Oregon’s progressive governor Kate Brown jabbered about protests and rights from the comfort and safety of the governor’s mansion in Salem.

Do you see the pattern?  Blue states and blue cities alone have sunk into dystopia.  We can attribute some of this to Democrats’ gutlessness and moral desolation, but there’s more here.

One way of interpreting what’s occurring in blue cities is that anarchy creates vacuums, and power — goes the saying — abhors vacuums.  So, it’s a twofer.  Democrats have exploited COVID to push tyranny and have opened the doors to chaos to create the conditions for yet more tyranny.  Their Brave New World is comprised of zombie apocalypses as a precondition for Orwell’s Big Brother.

George Floyd’s killing sparked yet other opportunities to spew venom and lambast decent Americans as racists.  Only blacks (except defiant Larry Elders) and “woke” affluent progressive whites are exempt from the vitriol and coming recriminations — if the haters prevail.

Robert Reich has floated the idea of a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” should Biden win.  That would be a redo of Soviet show trials and Mao’s shaming of Chinese during his Cultural Revolution.

In race matters, America itself doesn’t get a pass.  No, America was racist from its inception, that being 1619, not 1776.  The founders were nothing more than well-heeled white overlords.  Say Democrats and leftists, Americans must pay for the sins of racism.  Critical Race Theory is indoctrination through shaming and bare-knuckled intimidation.  It was being introduced in federal agencies and the military before the president took steps to halt it.

A Biden presidency dooms this nation to tyranny — or, more likely, protracted conflict.  How could patriots ever meekly surrender their God-given rights and the noble — and ennobling — ideals of our Revolution and founding?  Ronald Reagan made the case powerfully: patriots will not surrender.  Donald Trump is the only man standing between us and tyranny and conflict.

KOMO News: Law enforcement agencies prepare for potential unrest after Nov. 3 election

From KOMO News, Law enforcement agencies prepare for potential unrest after Nov. 3 election

One week before the hotly contested presidential election that has fanned emotions on both sides, law enforcement agencies across the region are preparing for the possibility of civil unrest erupting in Washington state..

“We are making preparations and hoping for the best (but are) concerned about widespread civil unrest,” said Bellevue Police Department Chief Steve Mylett.

Some law enforcement agencies that are tracking extremist activity say they are seeing increased chatter among right-wing extremist groups.

“A lot of the chatter we’ve picked up over the last few weeks has been more directed at post-election civil unrest,” said Devin Burghart, executive director for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, who has been monitoring elections professionally since 1993. “Talk of an impending civil war, depending on the election results and the taking back of America have certainly dominated those far-right corners.”

Burghart said his team has been monitoring the rhetoric at recent large gathering, on social media, walkie talkie apps and on HAM radios.

“This is the highest level of intensity we’ve seen in that entire time, by far,” Burkhart said, who added that the chatter so far has not amounted to any real threats in the Pacific Northwest.

Burghart believes the failed plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has deterred other extremist activity.

A spokesperson for the Seattle Police Department said the agency is ensuring they’re fully staffed around the November election date.

“The Seattle Police Department has limited time-off for personnel around November 3rd to ensure the department is able to adequately provide public safety services at any events, gatherings or demonstrations related to the election,” said police Sgt. Randy Huserik in a written statement Monday.

He also pointed to the readiness of the Community Response Group, a recently launched team, should an unplanned, large-scale event occur in the aftermath of the vote.

The Washington National Guard is also training crews in preparation for potential deployment.

“The Washington National Guard is merely taking proactive steps to ensure our men and women are properly trained and ready should local jurisdictions or law enforcement agencies need us,” said Karina Shagren, spokesperson for the Guard.

Shagren said crews are receiving the same training they received ahead of supporting local law enforcement agencies in Seattle and Bellevue during summer protests.

Officials in the FBI’s Seattle office said they are not aware of any legitimate plans for violence or unrest before, on or immediately after election day.

“We don’t have any specific credible threats here in Seattle,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge. Abass Golfrey.

He said the office is planning on establishing a local command post ahead of the election and working with other local agencies to ensure national security through the election.

“Yes, there is heightened stakes, and within the FBI office here we’ve noticed that,” Golfrey said. “But this is what we do.”

Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee said his administration does have plans in place should unrest follow the election, but he did not say if those plans included deployment of the Washington National Guard.

“I’m very hopeful the margins of the election will be large enough that there is not a reason for controversy,” he said. “That would be a great blessing for the United States.”

Forward Observer: One Week Until D-Day

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer sends this short reminder. Forward Observer provides tactical and operational intelligence on the groups driving civil unrest and domestic conflict. They just hired a new analyst to the team and are ramping up production ahead of what they are calling the “Royal Rumble”. If you’re concerned about the country’s slow descent into domestic conflict, and want the ground truth during the upcoming violence and disruption between November and January, then you can join Forward Observer. Subscribe here and get access to Forward Observer’s intelligence reporting.

I’ve followed Professor Peter Turchin for several years. He’s a scientist who studies history and uses models to forecast conflicts.

For the past 10 years, he’s been warning that 2020 would be a turbulent year in American history.

In a recent article co-authored for a think tank, Turchin writes, “The social system that we live in is extremely fragile.”

The domestic conflict has already started, he continues, “[b]ut worse likely lies ahead.” Turchin describes the conflict as “the turbulent twenties”.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to long time readers. Our Low Intensity Conflict likely started in 2016, and maybe as far back as the 2008 financial crisis.

I started writing my intelligence report on a weekly basis in 2016 because I was very confident that domestic conditions would worsen to the point of armed conflict.

After spending three years in Iraq and Afghanistan as an intelligence NCO and contractor, I knew I had what it took to track a domestic conflict.

There’s one week before the election. I can’t say for certain that we’ll see armed political violence in the coming days, but I’m certain that politically-related killings will continue.

This low intensity conflict is not going to end in November, or December, or January.

This conflict is going to rage for years.

Here at FO, to stay on top of developing conditions, we’re adding regional forums, expanding our daily podcast, and introducing a new line of intelligence products starting in early November.

You won’t be disappointed. But if you are, you can cancel your free 7-day trial anytime you like.

Stay ahead of the curve with our reporting. Subscribe here.

Until next time, be well and stay out front.

 

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper

American Mind: What Happens if No One Wins?

This article at The American Mind discusses what happens to the Presidency if no one clearly wins the election – What Happens if No One Wins?

The Constitution provides for election crises—and its provisions favor Trump.

*This article was co-written with Robert J. Delahunty, a law professor at St. Thomas University.

Conservatives and liberals agree on few things, but one of them is that the country may well see an election crisis this year. All of the ingredients seem to be present: a closely and bitterly divided electorate; the threat of violence and disruption on Election Day or after; and the unusual circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this essay we provide a short roadmap through the main legal and constitutional issues that could arise if Election Day fails to result in a clear winner of the presidency, identify opportunities for political mischief, and explain why the weight of the constitutional structure favors President Donald Trump in a contested election.

Unusual Circumstances

A crucial fact in this year’s election is that, largely because of COVID, an unprecedented number of voters will vote by mail. According to the Washington Post, 84% of the electorate, or 198 million eligible voters, will be able to vote by mail this year. In the 2016 election, roughly 25% of the votes were cast by mail. This year, as many of half the ballots may be mailed in.

Republicans tend to prefer voting in person while Democrats tend to prefer absentee balloting. In the swing state of North Carolina, Democrats requested 53% of the absentee ballots and Republicans 15%. A July poll reported that 60% of the Democrats in Georgia, but only 28% of the Republicans, are likely to vote by mail.

Counting mailed votes could make a decisive difference on Election Day. In the 2012 election, Barack Obama bolstered his winning margins substantially in swing states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania through overtime votes. Hillary Clinton picked up tens of thousands of overtime votes in 2016, though not enough to win. Last April, over 79,000 Wisconsin ballots arrived after election day (and were counted by court order) in a state that Trump carried in 2016 by about 23,000 votes. In Michigan’s August primary, 6,405 ballots missed the deadline and were not counted; Trump carried that state by 10,000 votes.

In one plausible scenario, Trump appears to be the winner on the morning after Election Day, but a “blue wave” begins in the days and weeks after, and Biden claims a belated, overtime victory.

Both Democrats and Republicans have sought either to enlarge or restrict the opportunities for absentee voting. A massive amount of litigation is already taking place. At last count, 279 Covid-related election cases are currently underway in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—and that tally does not include other litigation over other election issues.

Vote-counting problems—and the litigation they will generate—do not end once deadlines are decided. States must match signatures on ballots to those on voter rolls and verify that each ballot is valid. Although some key states permit pre-Election Day verification, others do not. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan were among the latter. “Real problems will emerge here,” Karl Rove has warned, “especially when there’s a big increase in mail-in ballots over 2016.”

In Pennsylvania, for example, 84,000 people voted by mail in the 2016 primaries; in 2020, 1.5 million did. In the best of circumstances, matching signatures on mail-in ballots to those on file with the state (from voter registration, ballot applications, or the DMV) is not, to the untrained eye, an easy task. Repeated and time-consuming challenges to the verification process will delay a final, official count.

The Electoral Count

Delayed election results could mean much more than the inconvenience of waking up on November 4 and not knowing who is President. They could trigger a constitutional crisis that would shake the country to its foundations.

An old federal statute, the Electoral Count Act of 1887, establishes deadlines for the states to report their official results and for the 538 members of the Electoral College to meet. The latter date this year is December 14, or 41 days after Election Day. The state deadline this year is December 8. The date is a safe harbor: if a state reports in time, Congress will accept its electors. The Act provides that if “any controversy or contest” remains after December 8, Congress will decide which electors—if any—may cast their state’s votes in the Electoral College.

Delays in counting the votes could well encroach on the December 8 deadline. State legislators and governors might come under mounting pressure to designate electors on their own if the popular vote remains incomplete, especially if there are allegations of fraud or abuse. Article II of the Constitution provides that “each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” The time when state legislatures directly appointed electors themselves are long gone: since the 19th century, states have delegated that power to their voters. But as the Supreme Court noted in Bush v. Gore, a state “can take back the power to appoint electors.”

The constitutional question is not whether but how a state legislature could reclaim the appointment of electors. States have provided by statute for the selection of their electors by their voters; therefore it one might argue they may only resume that power with a second, superseding statute. On the other hand, the Constitution specifically designates state legislatures, rather than the executives or a combination of the two, to choose the electors.  A state legislature might argue that a past legislature-and-governor cannot constrain its discretion to choose electors today.  Is it likely that state legislatures in battleground states could reclaim their constitutional power before the December 8 deadline looms? Probably not.

While Republicans control the state legislatures in six key battleground states, only two of those states also have Republican governors (Arizona and Florida). In four other contested states Republicans control the legislature, but Democrats control the executive: Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. Only if the Constitution allows state legislatures, acting without the governor, to choose the electors, could those states cast electoral votes in a disputed popular election.

But there is another scenario in which the state legislatures could designate electors if litigation held up a definitive accounting of the popular vote. This requires a closer look at the Electoral Count Act.

The Act contemplates a post-election period in which states have the opportunity to resolve any “controversy or contest” in accordance with their pre-election law through “judicial or other methods or procedures.” Once this process has reached a definitive conclusion or “final ascertainment,” the governor is then to certify the electors. But the Act presupposes that all such controversies or contests have run their course before the governor submits the certified list of electors. What if December 8 is at hand and the controversies are still going on?

Another provision of the Act could come into play. If a State has held an election on November 3 “and has failed to make a choice” by the December 8 deadline, the Act declares that “the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day [after Nov. 3] in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct.” That failure could arise from fraud, uncertainty, ongoing recounts or litigation. In those circumstances, a state could be said to have “failed” to make a choice, and its legislature could pick the electors.

That analysis presumes, however, that the Act is constitutional. The founders anticipated the possibility that the Electoral College would fail. In fact, they may not have foreseen political parties that would present the same presidential candidates in every state. Instead, several Founders seem to have thought that the states would often propose local favorites, that the Electoral College would reach no majority in the face of multiple candidates, and that the election would have to go to a backup procedure.

No candidate may win in the Electoral College for less noble reasons as well. Suppose states send electoral votes that—even if certified by the governor—remain under question, whether because of fraud in the vote, inability to count the ballots accurately under neutral rules, or a dispute between branches of a state government.

While the Electoral Count Act appears to create safe harbors for a state’s report of its Electoral College votes, the Act itself might prove unconstitutional. Under the 12th Amendment, “the President of the Senate [i.e., the Vice President] shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates [of the electoral votes of the states] and the votes shall then be counted.” Left unclear is who is to “count” the electors’ votes and how their validity is to be determined.

Over the decades, political figures and legal scholars have offered different answers to these constitutional questions. We suggest that the Vice President’s role is not the merely ministerial one of opening the ballots and then handing them over (to whom?) to be counted. Though the 12th Amendment describes the counting in the passive voice, the language seems to envisage a single, continuous process in which the Vice President both opens and counts the votes.

The check on error or fraud in the count is that the Vice President’s activities are to be done publicly, “in the presence” of Congress. And if “counting” the electors’ votes is the Vice President’s responsibility, then the inextricably intertwined responsibility for judging the validity of those votes must also be his.

If that reading is correct, then the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Congress cannot use legislation to dictate how any individual branch of government is to perform its unique duties: Congress could not prescribe how future Senates should conduct an impeachment trial, for example. Similarly, we think the better reading is that Vice President Pence would decide between competing slates of electors chosen by state legislators and governors, or decide whether to count votes that remain in litigation.

The Role of the House

If the electoral count remains uncertain enough to deprive either Trump or Biden of a majority in the Electoral College, then the 12th Amendment orders that “the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.” Our nation barely avoided that outcome 20 years ago in the 2000 Florida recount and has only used twice it in our history (in 1800 and 1824). So if the disasters described above occur, then the Constitution gives the power to choose the President to the House.

So it seems like Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats would get to pick the winner. But not so fast, said the framers, who feared congressional control of the executive. Rather than allow a simple majority vote, the Constitution requires that the House choose the President by voting as state delegations. If the House decides the Presidency, Delaware would have the same number of votes as California.

This unusual process makes sense in light of the larger constitutional structure. The Framers rejected the idea that Congress should pick the President, which they believed would rob the Chief Executive of independence, responsibility, and energy. They wanted the people to have the primary hand in choosing the President, but mediated through the states, because they also feared direct democracy.

Thanks to Republican advantages among the states (rather than the cities) the current balance of state delegations in Congress favors Republicans by 26-23 (with Pennsylvania tied). If today’s House chose the president, voting by state delegations, Trump would win handily.

But there is another twist. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution seats a new Congress on January 3, but does not begin the term of a new president until noon on January 20. The new Congress chosen in the 2020 elections, rather than the current Congress, would choose the President. Even though Republicans currently have a majority of delegations, Democrats have narrowed the gap—after the 2016 elections, Republicans had held a 32-17 advantage in state congressional delegations. If Democrats can win one more congressional seat in Pennsylvania and then flip one more delegation, they could achieve a 25-25 tie in the House. Then the election would require political bargaining of the most extreme kind for the House to resolve a disputed presidential election.

First Constitutional Backup

Suppose the House cannot agree, which could well happen given the polarization of our politics. The Constitution even provides for this. If the House splits 25-25 between Trump and Biden, then the 20th Amendment elevates the Vice President-elect to the Presidency.

Under the 12th Amendment, when the Electoral College fails, the Senate chooses the Vice President. Unlike the House procedure, the Senators each have one vote, meaning that under the current balance in the upper chamber, 53 Republicans would choose Mike Pence to effectively become the next President. But, as with the House, it is the Senate chosen by the 2020 elections, rather than the 2018 elections, that will choose the Vice President. On November 4, we may well learn who will win the Presidency—because control of the Senate is also at stake.

Suppose that this November, Democrats take three Senate seats—those in Arizona, Maine, Colorado, and North Carolina, while losing Alabama—and the Senate divides 50-50. Could Pence, as the sitting President of the Senate on January 3, break a tie in the Senate in his favor to make him Vice President on January 20, 2021, and hence President due to the inability of the House to break its own deadlock? It appears that this is the case; Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution says the Vice President “shall have no Vote, unless [Senators] be equally divided.” It does not restrict the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote to some functions of the Senate but not others. In those extreme circumstances, Pence might recuse himself, but the Constitution would not require it.

Second Constitutional Backup

Suppose then the House, Senate, sitting President, and even Vice President Pence decide that he should not use that tie-breaking power. Then the Constitution’s backup system for the Electoral College will have failed.

That still leaves a second backup system. Article II of the Constitution states that in “the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability” of both the President and Vice President, Congress can declare “what Officer shall then act as President” until the disability ends or a new President is elected. Don’t forget that word, “Officer,” because it may make all the difference.

Under the current federal succession statute, Congress decided that congressional leaders should assume the Presidency. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sits first in line, followed by the President pro tem of the Senate, currently Chuck Grassley. From there, the line of succession continues to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and then the other cabinet members.

But, as Yale law professor Akhil Amar persuasively argued in 1995 (at the prospect of Newt Gingrich becoming President should Congress impeach Bill Clinton!), this part of the federal succession statute likely violates the Constitution. Notice that Article II requires that the Presidency pass down to an “Officer.” The Constitution generally—but not always—refers to “Officers” as members of the Executive Branch. Further, the Incompatibility Clause of the Constitution prohibits Members of Congress to hold executive office. Neither Nancy Pelosi nor Chuck Grassley can become President. Mike Pompeo would become President—an outcome so unusual, so unexpected, it just might fit our bizarre times.

International Man: The American Revolution—The Sequel

Jeff Thomas at International Man writes The American Revolution—The Sequel from his perspective outside of America.

The US is the most observed country in the world. Since it’s the world’s current empire (and since it is beginning its death throes as an empire), it’s fascinating to watch.

Those of us outside of the US watch it like Americans watch TV. It’s like a slow-motion car wreck that we observe almost daily, eager to see what’s going to happen next. We criticise the madness of it all, yet we can’t take our eyes off the unfolding drama. It has all the excitement of a blockbuster movie.

  • The national debt is, by far, the highest of any country in history.
  • The economic system is a house of cards, getting shakier every day.
  • The government has become mired in progress-numbing fascism and increasing collectivism.
  • The government is aggressively creating the world’s most organized police state.
  • The majority of the population have become wasteful, spendthrift consumers who apathetically hope that their government will somehow solve their problems.
  • The media consistently misrepresents international events, prodding the citizenry into accepting that the ongoing invasion of multiple other countries is essential.
  • The most popular candidates for president (both parties) are the candidates that are the most egotistical, out-of-control blowhards who preach provocative rhetoric rather than real solutions.

Still, most Americans retain the hope that, somehow, it will all work out.

Hope Is a Desire, Not a Plan

There are growing numbers of Americans who have accepted that the US is unravelling rapidly and is headed for a social, economic, and political collapse of one form or another.

Some talk of a new revolution (but hopefully a peaceful one, of the Tea Party sort). Some imagine that, if they can store enough guns and ammunition in their homes, they might be able to make a stand against government authorities. Others mull over the idea of organised secession by some of the states. A small, but growing, number are quietly leaving for more promising destinations.

Except for the last of these, most of the “hopes” are understandable, but any attempt at a “Second American Revolution” is unlikely to succeed.

Why? Well, just for a start,

  • The power of the US state is far greater than that of King George III in the late eighteenth century.
  • The present US state would be fighting on its own ground, not some continent thousands of miles across the ocean.
  • The US state is committed to the concept that it dealt definitively (and forever) with the concept of secession between 1861 and 1865.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that a breakup of the union, or complete removal and replacement of the government were possible in the US. What then?

Well, unfortunately, here comes the really bad news for those who hope that the US could start over as the free nation it was in its infancy:

  • In the late eighteenth century, America was a largely agrarian collection of colonies. Colonists had to work hard just to survive, so the work ethic and self-reliance were paramount in the colonists’ makeup. They were a brave people who were accustomed to providing for themselves and physically fighting off those who would challenge them.
  • Colonists received no significant largesse from the British or local governments. No welfare, no social security, no Medicare or Medicaid, no benefits of any kind.
  • Colonists made their own daily decisions. They had no government schools or media telling them what to think or what choices to make. They relied on common sense and self-determination to guide their decisions and actions.

Today, of course, the opposite is true. Less than 2% of Americans are involved in agriculture. A mere 9% are actually employed in the production of goods. They are rarely directly involved in their own physical protection (Most, if not all, combat is overseas and fought by defence contractors or those who voluntarily serve the military).

Most Americans receive benefits of one type or another from their government. Most recipients regard these benefits as “essential” and could not get by without them.

Most Americans receive their opinions from the media. Although this is not apparent to many Americans, it’s glaringly clear to those outside the US who can only shake their heads at the misinformation proffered by the US media and the wholesale acceptance of this “alternate reality” by so many Americans.

But what bearing does this have on what the future would be for Americans if they were to become determined enough to either remove their entire government or, alternatively, for some states to secede?

There have been many revolutions in the history of the world, both peaceful and otherwise. In the case of the American Revolution of 1776, the colonists themselves were largely self-contained as a people and possessed the ideal ethos to succeed as a productive country.

But this has rarely been true in history. Whenever a people have been heavily dependent on the State in one way or another, they had become accustomed to receiving largesse at the expense of others. This is a major, major factor. Such a group is unlikely in the extreme to either produce or elect a Washington or a Jefferson. They almost always choose, instead, to fall in behind someone who promises largesse from the State. In choosing such leaders, the people are more likely to receive a Robespierre or a Lenin. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The pervasive difficulty here lies in the erroneous concept that there can be a return to freedom whilst maintaining the dependency upon largesse from the State. The two are mutually exclusive. Those who seek a return to greater freedom must also accept that “freedom for all” means an end to the State being empowered to steal from one person in order to give to another.

Or, as stated by Frédéric Bastiat in the mid-nineteenth century, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Whether the US continues on its present downward progression, or if it breaks free in a bid for greater freedom, the eventual outcome is likely to have more to do with the collectivist mindset of the majority than with the libertarian vision of a few.

Editor’s Note: Right now, the US is the most polarized it has been since the Civil War.

If you’re wondering what comes next, then you’re not alone.

The political, economic, and social implications of the 2020 vote will impact all of us.

Wilder, Wealthy, and Wise: Civil War 2.0 Weather Report – Oct. 5, 2020

Wilder, Wealthy, and Wise shares their latest Civil War 2.0 Weather Report – Worse Than You Think.

“You were right, Smith. You’re always right. It was inevitable.” – The Matrix: Revolutions

Right now it feels like we’re watching a slow-motion video of a wreck that’s getting ready to happen. We know it’s going to happen, but have no idea how to stop it as physics makes it inevitable.

  1. People actively avoid being near those of opposing ideology. Might move from communities or states just because of ideology.
  2. Common violence. Organized violence is occurring monthly.
  3. Opposing sides develop governing/war structures. Just in case.
  4. Common violence that is generally deemed by governmental authorities as justified based on ideology.
  5. Open War.

We are in the gray zone between step 9. and step 10. I will maintain the clock at 2 minutes to midnight. Violence continues to be commonly justified by local and state authorities, but there are now premeditated, fatal attacks by the Left. As noted in a previous update, the only thing keeping the clock ticking to full midnight is the number of deaths.

In this issue: Front Matter – Being Out In Front – Violence And Censorship Update – Updated Civil War 2.0 Index – You Have No Idea – Links

Welcome to the latest issue of the Civil War II Weather Report. These posts are different than the other posts at Wilder Wealthy and Wise and consist of smaller segments covering multiple topics around the single focus of Civil War 2.0, on the first or second Monday of every month. I’ve created a page (LINK) for links to all of the past issues. Also, feel free to subscribe and you’ll get every post delivered to your inbox, M-W-F at 7:30 Eastern.

Being Out In Front

When I started doing these updates, I wondered if I was being too pessimistic. In part, the original scale was developed based on personal experience – I had visited a “blue” state a few years ago on summer vacation.

A man, apparently looking at birds in a little-used state monument, saw us drive in. He trained his binoculars on our license plate. “Lower-upper Midwestia, eh?” he yelled. “Yes,” I responded.

“Who’d you vote for?” Unusual, but, whatever.

“Well, his name starts with a T,” I replied, grinning.

It puts the donkey in the pit, or a lifetime of communism it will get.

He then proceeded to call me a name for a portion of the anatomy that was the first thing people panicked about when COVID-19 hit and everyone bought all of that toilet paper.

“What did you say?”

“You heard me.” He then repeated the anatomical description and then scurried, rat-like into his SUV.

The Mrs. had gone to the little bathroom at the historical site, and had missed the interaction. I’m glad. She would have broken him like a stick. She always handles my light work.

But this was a significant data point. Never in my life had I been attacked, in public, for no reason other than my ballot. For most of my life, political differences had been a path to amusing conversations among friends. We had considered moving to this state. Why would we, though, when people acted like that? And now, people are moving out of California for the same reason we didn’t move to that blue state.

Once upon a time, we could talk about our political disagreements and still be friends. That worked, because even though there were things we disagreed about, we agreed about most things. Now? Leftists have largely abandoned the things that made us Americans. We have nothing to say to each other.

Seriously, The Mrs. would have broken him in the most embarrassing thirty seconds of his life.

When a stranger will insult you in public over nothing more than your ballot? The time of violence is close.

Violence And Censorship Update

Last month I put forth the criteria (from the literature I could find) that 1,000 was the number of deaths that signified a civil war. There was at least one great comment that made the point that we were already there and the 1,000 death minimum was arbitrary.

It is. But we have to have something, even if it’s arbitrary. The last I could find, there were 50 documented deaths due to the protest as listed by the Washington Post. My bet is that number is too low. It doesn’t, for instance, add in the numbers of dead due to rampant lawlessness in cities where BLM®/Antifa™ have taken root and taken over.

Not all of those “excess” murders are political, but a lot more are than I think are currently being admitted. Although it’s unscientific, I’d put the number of deaths closer to 150 than 50, but no one is tallying them.

On the censorship front, Facebook® has announced that no political ads will be run in the United States the week prior to the election. Facebook© has been removing points that differ from the “official” line about medical opinions, many of which have varied significantly throughout 2020.

Always wondered why the people in Hong Kong are holding American flags and are against censorship, while Antifa© are burning American flags and demanding censorship.

Perhaps the biggest censorship has been elimination of all Facebook™ posts expressing support for Kyle Rittenhouse, who in my opinion was exercising his right of self-defense. The same is true for virtually every major Internet funding service where Kyle’s supporters have tried to get monetary support for him. In the end, at last check they nearly have enough money for his bail. Yet Gofundme® regularly funds people accused of murder. But not witchcraft or self-defense.

They have to have a line somewhere.

Updated Civil War II Index

The Civil War II graphs are an attempt to measure four factors that might make Civil War II more likely, in real-time. They are broken up into Violence, Political Instability, Economic Outlook, and Illegal Alien Crossings. As each of these is difficult to measure, I’ve created for three of the four metrics some leading indicators that lead to the index. On illegal aliens, I’m just using government figures.

Violence:

Up is more violent. The public “perception” of violence keeps dropping over time, in part (my opinion) is that people are now expecting violence, and the sight of burning buildings and riots in the street are just accepted in September of 2020 – I don’t think there’s anyone (besides CNN®) that would say that September was more peaceful than April 2020, but if you look at the graph, we’ve just become used to constant political violence from the Left.

Political Instability:

Up is more unstable. Instability was up in September. I think there’s a really growing feeling among the people on the Left that Trump will win, and that would be the scariest thing that they can imagine. Well, that and getting real jobs.

Economic:

Down indicates worse economic conditions, are up significantly. I wrote last month that I expected a decline through October. Oops. This is why you don’t trust me with your money. But I think the numbers are juiced – I think that the unemployment numbers are artificially low, perhaps significantly so. And I’m expecting the markets to drop off a cliff. Sometime soon.

Illegal Aliens:

Down is good, in theory. This is a statistic showing border apprehensions by the Border Patrol. Numbers of illegals being caught is rising again – it’s at higher than all but one of the last five years. Even if it’s bad here, it’s worse south of the border.

You Have No Idea

. . . how bad it can get.

One thing that history has proven is that the most difficult conflicts are civil wars. They are generally unrestrained in the level of brutality. Why? Unlike war objectives such as wanting Ukraine for extra storage for lawn furniture or wanting Spain to just shut up, already, civil war objectives are personal.

Just saying, you can store a LOT of patio furniture in the Ukraine.

You can see that in Antifa®, especially. I’ve written a lot about them, and I’ve made an effort to really try to understand their mentality. I wrote a post specifically about that, and it’s one of my favorites (Why Would Anyone Become A Leftist?). For Antifa™, it’s personal. Very personal. As Sam Hyde said,

“When we win, do not forget that these people want you broke, dead, your kids raped and brainwashed, and they think it’s funny.”

One thing that was memorable to me was when I was reading Concerned American over at the excellent Western Rifle Shooters Association (LINK) was when he said that he thought that no one over fifty would live through the coming crisis.

A statement that stark took me by surprise. It’s not that he’s wrong – I don’t know that he is. But it brought home to me that the potential for damage in the coming few years dwarfs anything that has ever happened in the United States.

Be aware. Prepare. Be in the safest place you can be…(continues)