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.”

Black Man With a Gun: Who Are You?

David Cole, writing at Black Man With a Gun, writes this article about letting minor irritations affect your vote – Who Are You? Unlike many others, I don’t believe that voting for a third party candidate is a waste. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. That said, a person needs to try to get to the core of what they get with any given candidate. A well-spoken, charismatic person who promises the world and looks oh-so-Presidential, but reneges on all the promises and kicks you in the face is probably not someone for whom you should vote. On the other hand, someone who comes across as an uneducated hillbilly but fights for your rights and liberty may be a good candidate.

While catching up on a podcast of Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk,” I heard Tom say this in the last minute of Hour 3: “You don’t like his tweets?…You’re going to give up your gun rights over tweets? That says a lot about YOU.” It’s a great point, and worth discussing.

So what exactly does that say about you? What I heard was Tom suggesting that it says you’re the kind of person who would sacrifice the Second Amendment over something as unimportant as some rude comments and tweets. It says you’re the kind of person who is so sensitive to the President’s commentary that you are willing to either vote for Joe Biden, vote third party, or sit out the election (kind of the same as voting third party). It says that that you are the kind of person who values a president who “acts presidential” even more than you value protecting the Second Amendment. I think he’s absolutely right. I also think it might say something much worse.

Because to steal a phrase from the opposition, “here’s the deal”: Either Joe Biden or Donald Trump will be the next president. (Sorry, Jo Jorgensen supporters. In case no one told you yet, she is not going to win.)

So let’s do Donald Trump first. Gun people who are reluctant to vote for Trump will point to two reasons (other than rude tweets). Their first objection is that he outlawed bump stocks. We can argue the merits and demerits of that another day, but in my opinion that was never a hill worth dying on. If you think it is…well, let’s just say I understand why the President’s tweets upset you so much. Next, they’ll point out that he made comments which indicated that he supported red flag laws. He also didn’t act on it. That’s it. Those are the two anti-gun arguments commonly leveled at the President.

Now, gun folks who latch onto that last one also like to insist that statements in support of gun control are no different from actual gun control. (You know, sort of like how a certain segment of the population equates words to actual violence. But I digress.) Still, if we’re going to hold the President’s words against him, then it’s only fair that we hold Candidate Biden to the same standard, and hold his words against him. If you are unaware of his stance on guns, I suggest you click on over to https://joebiden.com/gunsafety/ and review his plan to “end gun violence.” And how is he going to end it? By enacting the most comprehensive and draconian agenda of gun control ever. Again, if you want the particulars, head on over to his gun control page and read for yourself. I’m not going to list it all out here, but it is safe to say that any gun control measure you can think of is in there. In fact, if Biden’s gun control ambitions are realized, you’ll be referring to the time when Trump took away bump stocks as “the good old days.” No one serious about gun rights can be serious about Joe Biden.

“But Dave,” some of you might say, “it isn’t really just an either/or choice. We can not vote for Trump because we don’t like him, and then if Biden comes for our guns we’ll fight!”

If you could avoid this by voting, would you?

OK, I get it. Molon labe, cold dead hands, Wolverines!…blah, blah, blah. But what that tells me is that you’re the kind of person who would rather go to war to defend gun rights than to vote to save them. That you’re the kind of person who finds the prospect of spilling the blood of your countrymen preferable to voting for Donald Trump…because of tweets, bump stocks, and and some poorly considered comments which have never been acted upon. (Also…I can’t help but notice that none of you have actually gone to war over any of those things yet. Just saying.)

If you could avoid this by voting, would you?

But if you truly favor the prospect of allowing things to slide to the point of possible bloodshed; if you can’t bring yourself to vote for rude, tweeting Trump even if it could save the nation from violent clashes over gun rights…what does that say about you? I think what it says about you…at best…is that you’ll throw the Second Amendment overboard because of some tweets and rude comments. And what it says about you…at worst…is that even though you understand a Biden gun control presidency could cost lives in defense of the Second Amendment, you still won’t vote Trump to stop it.

Is that who you are? Are you a person who would embrace and exhaust every peaceful option to defend the Second Amendment before resorting to violence? Or are you a person who would sit back and willingly let things slide until there is no non-violent option left? Who are you?

If you could avoid this by voting, would you?

The Burning Platform: Fourth Turning Election Year Crisis

Fourth Turning Election Year Crisis comes to us from The Burning Platform.

“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” – Strauss & Howe The Fourth Turning 

How a contested election could send the U.S. into a constitutional crisis - MarketWatch It's not the chairman of the Joint Chiefs' job to remove Trump from office if he won't leave.

“There is no darkness but ignorance. The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” William Shakespeare

I read The Fourth Turning in 2006, after seeing it described in John Mauldin and Doug Casey’s newsletters as an uncannily accurate assessment of American history based upon generational configurations which recur on eighty-year cycles, a long human life. Strauss and Howe wrote the book in 1997 and used their generational theory to predict the Crisis that would begin in the mid-2000’s and come to an indeterminate climax in the mid-2020’s.

As a student of history, the theory spoke to me. I have been writing articles since 2009, using the Fourth Turning as a guide to interpreting what has been happening and what might happen as this crisis period accelerates towards its violent culmination. The quotes above perfectly capture exactly what has happened since this crisis began in September 2008, with the Fed/Wall Street created financial collapse. The existing social order is disintegrating, but they are willing to destroy the country rather than relinquish their wealth, power and control.

Strauss & Howe identified the core elements of this Crisis as debt, civic decay, and global disorder. No one can argue the severe distress engulfing the nation and the world traces its origins to these core elements, with the catalyst for this Crisis being the 2008 central banker manufactured financial collapse. Nothing has been normal since 2008. And 2008’s epic implosion was driven by the disastrous financial, political and military decisions implemented by the puppets of the Deep State from 2000 onward, with the Federal Reserve obligingly creating bubble after bubble as the “solution” to the previous bubble.

And now we are here again, in the midst of the greatest bubble in the history of mankind. A bubble of willful ignorance. The obliviousness of most Americans to the danger awaiting them is akin to the day before Fort Sumpter was bombed, the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked, or the dinosaurs unaware of a giant meteor rushing towards the planet and about to transform their future in a challenging way.

Real hardship has beset the land, for those not in the .1% or Deep State lackeys being rewarded for propagating mistruths, outright lies, fear, and propaganda on behalf of their oligarch benefactors. These apparatchiks mainly consist of corrupt politicians, central bank lackeys, mainstream media hacks, neocon warmongers, surveillance state traitors, and big pharma captured health “experts”. The severe distress does involve class, race, nation and empire, but most of the distress has been artificially created by those pulling the strings – Bernays’ invisible government manipulating the masses.

As the looming election advances like a deadly avalanche crashing down a mountainside towards an unsuspecting village below, a battle wages between an evil ingrained establishment and a few dedicated patriots of truth. If you don’t feel the very survival of the nation hangs in the balance, then you are either delusional, willfully ignorant, or unwilling to recognize your own cognitive dissonance. The next five to ten years will alter the course of history in a profound way. Whether the outcome is positive for average American citizens is very much in doubt.

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley

I wish it were not so, but most human beings seem incapable of critical thought regarding how history follows a cyclical path due to human nature retaining its flaws, weaknesses, vulnerabilities and fortes throughout history. We believe we have advanced because our inventions, discoveries, and technology, but the desire for wealth, power and control over others still consumes a sociopathic portion of mankind who tend to rise to the top through any means necessary.

As Huxley lamented in the 1950’s, technological progress has actually propelled mankind backwards in terms of its humanity and relationship with nature and other human beings. The very technology we glorify as an example of our advancement is now being used by the totalitarians to imprison us. It has happened slowly and methodically over decades as generation after generation have entered the government indoctrination centers (public schools) to be taught ignorance and obedience to the state. This indoctrination has been reinforced by ceaseless propaganda injected into their brains by media conglomerates doing the bidding of the state.

The dystopian use of disinformation, false narratives, blatant lies and propaganda by the totalitarians constituting the Deep State, as their never-ending coup attempt against a duly elected president attests, will be the catalyst for the next vicious phase of this Fourth Turning. For the last four years the Russiagate coup has dogged Trump, as Obama, Clinton, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Mueller and a myriad of lesser co-conspirators have propagated the Big Lie to cover-up their traitorous actions of trying to overthrow Trump.

An honest truth-seeking press with unbiased journalists would have uncovered this conspiracy and revealed the truthful facts to a concerned public. Instead, a completely captured corporate media has turned a blind eye to the truth as they have acted as accomplices of the coup culprits. Just as evil is the suppression of truth through censorship and keeping silent regarding the truth. Huxley understood how totalitarian propagandists operated decades before the current batch of Silicon Valley authoritarians initiated their national truth repression scheme.

The Children of Silicon Valley | by Robert Pogue Harrison | The New York Review of Books

“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” – Aldous Huxley

A perfect example of this is my local ABC news affiliate doing an hour long broadcast last night with absolutely no mention of the Hunter Biden – Joe Biden pay for play scandal. The truth dies in silence. The left-wing media dominated by six mega-corporations and social media billionaire titans (Bezos, Zuckerberg, Dorsey) have colluded with other left wing billionaires (Soros, Bloomberg) and the traitorous Deep Staters (Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Clinton) to bring down a sitting president and now to memory hole proof of Joe Biden corruption and his son’s illegal dealings with foreign enemies.

These anti-rational propagandists are enemies of freedom, as they systematically pervert reality and knowingly manipulate the minds of the masses towards how they require them to think, feel and act. After years of socialist indoctrination in government schools and universities, the masses have been taught to feel rather than think. Victimhood is celebrated, while personal responsibility is scorned…(continues)

Click here to continue reading at The Burning Platform.

The Federalist: Trump Resistance Plans ‘Mass Mobilization’ After Election To Shut Down The Country If Biden Doesn’t Win

From The Federalist, Trump Resistance Plans ‘Mass Mobilization’ After Election To Shut Down The Country If Biden Doesn’t Win.

Riot and protest instigators plan to “make sure Trump leaves the White House” by any means necessary after the Nov. 3 election, according to website posts from the group Shut Down DC and their allies. “[W]e’re making plans to be in the streets before the polls even close, ready to adapt and respond to whatever comes our way,” the group says on its website currently.

“Trump has shown that he will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on power. Trump will not leave office without mass mobilization and direct action,” an Oct. 13 version of the same web page reads, according to Internet Archive records.

The group linked to protests at the homes of Trump administration officials tells its DC-area supporters to “Come to Black Lives Matter Plaza” on election night “to create serious disruption if Trump really tries to steal the election!” Black Lives Matter Plaza is the site of repeated anti-Trump summer rioting and defacement of the historic Saint John’s Church one block away from the White House.

On the page, Shut Down DC sketches out its plans for election night and immediately following. On Nov. 4-7, the group says it plans to “do whatever it takes”:

In the days following the election we’ll continue to come out into the streets every day to respond to rapidly changing events. We may be waiting for votes to be counted or we may be responding to major attacks on democracy. Over the next few weeks we’ll use our Spokes Council process to plan actions that are flexible and can scale to respond to a lot of different scenarios.

Then, on Nov. 8-11, the group’s plan is to meet members of Congress returning to Washington DC for the lame-duck session. “If Trump is trying to launch a coup, that’s no time for business as usual. We’ll meet them at the train station or the airports or if they drive into town we can meet them at their homes,” the website says.

A slide deck posted on the group’s website from an “organizing call” claims this group is working in concert with leftist groups around the nation to prepare for President Trump to “steal the election” and attempt a “coup.” The slides pinpoint now as the time these groups are “gathering gear” to respond.

The post-election plan of action links to the group’s advice about taking “appropriate precautions” for security. This includes forming “affinity groups” “that will go into more detail and possibly engage in higher risk actions.”

“Keep in mind that not everyone needs to know every detail of your plans,” says the post-election plan about “taking appropriate precautions.” “We don’t! Feel free to only share what people outside your [affinity group] need to know, and keep the specific action details close to the vest.”

What kinds of actions these might be are stated in a “Strategic framework for action following the 2020 election” that sketches out their plans for rioting and attacking American institutions and life until Biden is installed as president. It claims if Trump declares victory that will mark “the start of the coup.”

“At some point in the days following the election Trump will almost certainly either attempt to declare outright victory or attempt to invalidate the results of the election. That is the start of the coup,” it claims. “…Trump can only seize power if the world believes that he has the power. That’s why we’re starting this phase of the election in the streets… We need to show that we’re ungovernable under a continued Trump administration…That can mean blocking traffic at major intersections and bridges, shutting down government office buildings (why should ICE or the FBI be able to keep doing Trump’s bidding when he’s leading with a coup?!?), or blockading the White House.”

The document bases its action plan upon the scenarios projected by the establishment leftist “Transition Integrity Project” for election night and sketches these activists’ response to each, explicitly rejecting the possibility that Trump could legitimately win. It continues:

We’ll keep it going until Trump concedes. We could be in the streets throughout the fall and into the winter– maybe as lots of rolling waves of action or possibly as a few major tsunamis! In other parts of the country, as vote counts conclude, our focus will turn from protecting the vote counts to themselves being ungovernable.

As it becomes clear that Trump’s coup is failing, institutions and the elites will start to abandon him – or we will approach them as part of the problem. Either Amazon will shut down AWS for the Trump loyalists in the government or we’ll shut down their fulfillment centers. Either governors will tell their national guards to stand down or we’ll shut down their state capitals as well. Over time, Trump will grow increasingly isolated and his empire will crumble down around him.

Then — and this is the important part — Biden will move into the White House and be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

On its Facebook page, the group recently posted a picture of a mob arriving at Sen. Lindsey Graham’s house at 6 a.m. to harass him for following the Constitution. In the picture, one protest sign reads, “We can’t sleep so neither should Lindsey.”

“Preventing Donald Trump from stealing the election and remaining in office is likely to take mass, sustained disruptive movements all over the country,” the group’s website posted on Oct. 7.

“Puting [sic] pressure on the media and social media agencies to refuse to declare a victor, resisting demands to call the vote in forvor [sic] of Trump, physically protecting the vote count from counter-protestors, federal agents, or white supremacist militias are all potential actions in this moment,” says the group’s “Disruption Guide for 2020.” The guide, a Google document, had 61 viewers at the moment it was reviewed for The Federalist.

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.

DollarCollapse.com: The LEAST Important Election Of Our Lifetimes

John Rubino at Dollar Collapse argues that the election this November is The LEAST Important Election Of Our Lifetimes because nothing important is going to change.

A consensus seems to have formed on both left and right that the upcoming presidential election involves some literally existential questions, making it THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIMES.

In fact, the opposite is true. This election is the least important of the past 30 years and very possibly the least important ever. Because, to put it bluntly, we’re kind of screwed either way.

Let’s consider some of those supposedly existential threats:

A Politicized Supreme Court
As this is written, Senate hearings on the nomination of Trump’s third Supreme Court Justice are in progress. Democrat questioners seem to be mainly concerned that a conservative Court would eliminate Obamacare and Roe v Wade, consigning women and the poor to circa 1915 levels of degradation and neglect.

Leaving aside the question of whether Obamacare and Roe were Constitutional in the first place, let’s consider what would happen if they’re overturned.

Would the elimination of Roe v Wade mean that abortion becomes illegal from coast to coast? Not at all. States containing 70 or so percent of the US population would immediately legalize abortion within their borders while making provisions to ferry in pregnant women from neighboring non-choice states. The result: The issue moves back into the legislative realm where actual voters get to have a say and the procedure remains available for the vast majority of American women. Not ideal for folks on either side of the issue, but par for the course in a Democracy where citizens seldom get all that they want. And certainly not an existential threat.

With Obamacare, the issue is not the whole program, but just its “mandate” provision through which the government orders every American to buy health insurance and penalizes us if we don’t. Striking it down as beyond the scope of Federal power does not mean that Obamacare – or any other healthcare entitlement – goes away. It would continue as before but without the government ordering people to participate. A little bit harder to administer perhaps, but probably not the end of the program and, again, certainly not the end of the world.

In any event, 49% of Democrats want to replace Obamacare with a single-payer system like Medicare For All, and the demise of Obamacare might speed up that process, thus improving the world from a liberal perspective.

Meanwhile, conservatives fear that the Democrats, should they retake control of the White House and Senate, will “pack the Supreme Court” by decreeing that it should have, say, 15 judges instead of the current 9 and then adding 6 liberals, to turn the court into a permanently liberal branch of Congress.

So how big a threat is a politicized Supreme Court? Obviously not too big, since Justices have been “legislating from the bench” for decades (Roe dates from 1973) and activists on both right and left continue to complain that the other side is winning. Sounds like business as usual whoever is the next president.

World War III
This is just filler because the military/industrial complex is obviously in charge either way.  Under Trump, we’re liable to be fighting China or Iran by this time next year while under Biden, WWIII will probably feature Russia. The details differ but our kids are cannon fodder in both scenarios.

Rampant corruption
Let’s just agree that Trump, Biden, Harris, and Pence are each in their own way corrupt and/or unethical. But since two of them will end up running the country come November, from a corruption standpoint does it really matter which two?

The environment
This seems like a legitimate potential difference — until you notice a couple of things. First, Trump has talked about rolling back regulations to “save” coal and boost fracking, but he’s actually accomplished very little. Coal is still dead and fracking is moribund.

Second, solar power is eating the electricity business. Here’s a chart showing how solar installations are soaring even as Trump tries to save coal. As the cost of solar keeps falling, it will eventually dominate the energy economy, and there’s nothing Trump can do to stop it.

Solar power installations least important election

And don’t forget cultured meat and vertical farms, which will, over the next couple of decades, do to factory agriculture what solar is doing to coal and natural gas.

Meanwhile, the Dems’ Green New Deal (which Biden in any event has disavowed) would, even in its most ambitious form, accomplish very little for the environment beyond what solar and other clean technologies will inevitably do via the free market.

The conclusion: Trump isn’t nearly the environmental threat he’s made out to be, and Biden isn’t that much of a savior. Technology and new business models are the big story here, and they don’t care who’s in charge.

Irresponsible borrowing
Each side accuses the other various kinds of financial impropriety. But the truth is that both are operating on an unspoken agreement to spend, borrow, and print whatever it takes to stave off a collapse brought about by past mismanagement.

The following chart shows the increase in US government debt over the past three administrations. Note that in the absence of labels you can’t tell by the amounts borrowed whether Democrats or Republicans were in charge in any given year.

US government debt least important election

The conclusion? If Trump wins he’ll continue to run trillion-dollar deficits. If Biden wins, he’ll borrow that much or more. Neither will scale back the military budget or soaring entitlements. And both will encourage, via zero and possibly negative interest rates, the private sector to continue its own borrowing binge. On fiscal policy, these guys are virtually indistinguishable.

Fascist dictator!
It’s amazing how many Democrats literally expect Trump to ignore the coming election and just declare himself dictator.

Please listen, liberals: Trump is trolling you. He’s a narcissistic stand-up comedian who finds himself with a vast audience of emotional children, and he’s doing what any self-respecting comic would do: He’s freaking you out. So pretend you’re at a stage-side Comedy Store table and just roll with it. When his set is over, he’ll drop his mike and amble off to his next gig.

Meanwhile, it’s equally amazing that conservatives look at Court stacking, the Green New Deal and other liberal power grabs as a prelude to an updated version of Orwell’s 1984. This is Joe Biden we’re talking about. He’s been a feckless political hack for longer than most voters have been alive and has never once displayed the ambition required to set up a dictatorship.

As President, he will take corporate donations and follow the orders implicit in those legal bribes. The result will be Clinton/Obama business as usual, not revolution.

Granted, Biden will likely die or lose what’s left of his mind before his first term ends. And yes, Kamala Harris is an instinctive authoritarian. But she has the same moral flexibility as the Bidens, Obamas and Clintons, which just implies a slightly nastier version of the status quo. Again, plenty of run-of-the-mill corruption and brutality, no coup in sight.

So the very real personality defects of this crop of candidates are an annoyance rather than a danger. And as such, they’re easily managed. Just don’t watch Fox or MSNBC and the coming political mess will wash over you like the smell from a passing garbage truck, unpleasant but ephemeral.

What DOES Matter?
The coming financial crisis of course. The pandemic turbocharged a process of hyper-financialization that was already underway, and now whoever is in charge next will have no choice but to keep bailing out everything in sight with tens of trillions of newly created dollars.

This will shift the pressure from bankrupt states and insolvent companies to the currency. Prices will start to rise as the dollar falls. And the fears of today’s voters will seem in retrospect like quaint fantasies from a simpler and embarrassingly naïve time.

And that’s when dictatorship becomes a real possibility. Not Because Trump or Biden are implementing long-held plans but because they are panicked by events spinning out of their control and have literally no idea what to do. This is a legitimately scary prospect. But the coming election will have nothing to do with it one way or the other. Buy gold now.

Publius Huldah: Mail-in voting? A “political question” which only State Legislatures and Congress may decide

Publius Huldah opines on the legalities of mail-in voting. Mail-in voting? A “political question” which only State Legislatures and Congress may decide

It has become obvious that one of the purposes of the COVID-19 scam is to bring about unrestricted mail-in voting in the toss-up and Red States so that the upcoming presidential election can be stolen by the Left for the senile Joe Biden and his constitutionally ineligible running mate, Kamala Harris.

On September 9, 2020, the Left achieved their goal for the Red State of Tennessee – unless the Tennessee State government enforces the US Constitution and rejects the federal judge’s unconstitutional order.

1. The absurd Order from the US District Court, Middle District of Tennessee

The Tennessee Code permits mail-in voting for certain categories of people [Tenn. Code § 2-6-201]; but requires those who register by mail to appear in person at the official place of voting and bring proof of identity when they vote for the first time [Tenn. Code § 2-2-115 (b) (7)].

Our elections are already tainted by the “ghost voters” described in Deroy Murdock’s article (published 2017) [here]. Murdock showed that throughout the United States, over 3.5 million persons who didn’t exist were registered to vote. But that number wasn’t sufficient to elect Hillary Clinton; so the Left needs more ghost voters. With mail-in voter registration, dead people can be registered to vote; and with unrestricted mail-in voting, those dead people can vote forever.

The Plaintiffs in this action claim to be distressed about the statutory requirement that first-time voters (who registered by mail) appear in person to vote because it forces them to choose between their “health” [they might catch COVID-19 if they go to the polls] and their right to vote. 1

On September 9, 2020, federal judge Eli Richardson issued a preliminary injunction which has the effect of setting aside, for the upcoming presidential election, the statutory requirement – established by the Tennessee Legislature – that persons who registered by mail, show up in person the first time they vote.

Here is Richardson’s 29 page Order.

So let’s cut 29 pages of bunk down to its essence: Richardson ruled that the Tennessee Legislature’s requirement that the first-time voters (who registered by mail) physically appear at the polls, imposes a “moderate burden” on voting rights; and the State failed to show the Court that Tennessee has a “legitimate state interest” to justify that burden. 2

Even worse: Throughout his Order, Richardson writes repeatedly [some 20 times] of Plaintiffs’ “First Amendment right to vote”; and says at the end of para 31 of his Order,

“…it is likely that Plaintiffs will prevail on their claim that the first-time voter requirement violates the First Amendment right to vote…”

But the First Amendment makes no mention of a “right to vote”. 3 Furthermore, in footnote 22 of his Order, the Judge says:

“In a prior order, the Court declined to address any suggestion that there is no First Amendment right to vote, for any purposes at all, by mail in particular… The Court was well aware that McDonald supports such a suggestion, but the Court simply did not need to opine on that matter. The Court likewise does not need to do so here…”

What? The Judge declined to address whether or not a First Amendment right to vote actually exists even though he has already determined that Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim that the requirement that first-time voters (who registered by mail) show up in person to vote “violates the First Amendment right to vote”!

2. Why do Plaintiffs and the Judge repeatedly speak of a “First Amendment right to vote”, when the Judge isn’t prepared to say that such a right even exists?

They may be aware that the federal court has no jurisdiction over this case; but are attempting to fake it by claiming that the case “arises under the Constitution” via the First Amendment.4

The judicial power of the federal courts is limited to those few categories of cases enumerated at Article III, §2, clause 1, US Constitution. Not one of the categories invests the federal court with jurisdiction over this case. This case can’t be said to “arise under the Constitution” because there is no “right to vote” in the US Constitution; and the remaining categories listed in Article III, §2 are clearly inapplicable.

So it appears that Plaintiffs have fabricated a mythical “First Amendment right to vote” in order to provide a pretext for the federal court to exercise jurisdiction in this case – and that the federal judge let them get away with it.

3. Article I, §2, clause 1, US Constitution, negates the absurd claim that there exists a federal constitutional right to vote.

At Article I, §2, cl. 1, the States expressly retained their pre-existing power to determine the qualifications of voters:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.” [italics added]

Accordingly, those who are eligible to vote for Representatives to their State Legislature are the ones eligible to vote for Members of the federal House of Representatives. 5

With four later Amendments, the States agreed that they would not deny eligibility to vote to Citizens on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay a tax (24th Amendment), and for those 18 years of age or older on account of age (26th Amendment). It is important to note that these four amendments do not grant the “right” to vote to the persons described in the Amendments – merely that the suffrage will not be denied to those persons on account of their race, sex, etc.

So the States retained their original authority to set whatever qualifications for voting they deem appropriate, subject to their agreement that they would not deny suffrage on account of a Citizen’s being in one of those four categories.

So there is no “right to vote” set forth in the US Constitution. To the contrary, voting is a privilege granted or denied on the basis of whether applicants meet the qualifications for voting set forth within their State Constitution. 6

4. What does our Constitution say about how the President and Vice President are to be elected?

Article II, §1, cl. 2 and the 12th Amendment set forth the procedures for electing President and Vice President. Those procedures are described here under the subheadings, “Electors appointed by States were to choose the President” and “The 12th Amendment establishes procedures for voting by Electors”.

Our current procedures bear no resemblance to the Constitutional requirements. 7 It’s too late to obey the Constitution for the upcoming presidential election; so let’s see what our Constitution says about the federal elections to Congress.

5. US Constitution: the “times, places and manner” clause

Pursuant to Article I, §4, clause 1, State Legislatures have the power to prescribe the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for US Representatives 8 and US Senators.9

This clause also provides that Congress may make laws which override such State laws.

So the power to determine the time, place and manner of holding such federal elections is delegated exclusively to the Legislative Branches of the State and federal governments.

It is up to the State Legislatures to decide which “burdens” are appropriate with respect to the place of voting – with Congress having power to override what a State Legislature decides. The Judicial Branches of the state and federal governments may not substitute their views as to which “burdens” are appropriate and which are not. These are “political questions” granted to the Legislative Branches to decide; and the Judicial Branches – state and federal – may not lawfully interfere. 10

It is clear that “manner of voting” includes such matters as a requirement of personal presence at the place of voting. This is what our Framers contemplated, as shown by their words quoted in footnote 8 below. When a State legislature decides that personal presence is required – that decision can be overturned only by Congress.

So Judge Richardson’s view that the Tennessee Legislature doesn’t have a good reason for requiring first time voters (who registered by mail) to vote in person and present ID is irrelevant, and his Order is ultra vires.

6. What is the State’s remedy against the unlawful Court order?

So! You have seen that determining the “place and manner of voting” is a political power delegated exclusively to the State and federal Legislatures. It is thus a “political question”; and the federal [and state] Judicial Branches may not substitute their views for those of the Legislative Branches.

And since there is no “right to vote” contained in the US Constitution, the Federal District Court has no jurisdiction over this case. This case doesn’t “arise under the Constitution” or fit within any of the other categories of cases enumerated at Article III, §2, cl.1, US Constitution.

So the pretended Order of September 9, 2020, is ultra vires and lawless, and the State of Tennessee has no obligation to obey it.

The duty of the elected and appointed State and local officials is to obey the US Constitution. When the dictates of a federal [or State] judge contradict the Constitution, State officials must side with the Constitution and against the judge. 11

And what will happen if the State of Tennessee refuses to comply with the Judge’s order? The Judge can’t enforce his Order. He has to depend on the Executive Branch of the federal government to enforce it. 12 Do you believe that President Trump will send in federal troops to force the State of Tennessee to comply with Judge Richardson’s ultra vires Order?

Note:  In addition to the Offices of President & Vice-President, many other offices will also be on the Ballot:  the entire US House of Representatives is up for grabs.  So is the House in the State Legislatures all over the Country.  1/3 of the US Senate will be on the ballot; and a proportional number of Senate Seats on State Legislatures throughout the Country will be on the ballot.

EVERY REPUBLICAN LEGISLATOR NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND:  Your Seat is likely to be stolen in this upcoming election.

So you better wake up and get your State Legislature to smack down the federal & state judges who are assisting the Left in stealing your Seat.  And if Congress doesn’t act, they will lose control of the Senate and most likely every seat in the House.

Why should the Left stop with stealing only the Presidential election when they can also steal YOUR seat?

Endnotes:

1 How do they get their groceries?

2 Order at paras 29 – 31.

3 The First Amendment says,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment is a limitation on Congress’ powers to make laws – it doesn’t grant a “right” to vote!

4 In Federalist No. 80 (2nd para), Hamilton states that cases “arising under the Constitution” concern

“…the execution of the provisions expressly contained in the articles of Union [the US Constitution]…” [boldface added].

In the 3rd & 13th paras, Hamilton illustrates what “arising under the Constitution” means: He points to the restrictions on the power of the States listed at Art. I, §10 and shows that if a State exercises any of those powers, and the fed. gov’t sues the State, the federal courts have authority to hear the case.

5 The 17th Amendment [ratified 1913] provides that those who are eligible to vote for Representatives to the US House are eligible to vote for US Senators.

6 With the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, Congress usurped the retained power of the States to set and enforce eligibility standards for voting. In a series of 3 papers, the last of which is here, I show how the assertions about The Federalist Papers made by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, in their attempts to justify their unconstitutional judgments, are false.

7 Our disregard of these constitutional provisions doubtless contributed to the creation of the current chaos.

8 Our Framers told us what “times”, “places” and “manner” mean:

In Federalist No. 61 (4th & 5th paras), Alexander Hamilton shows that “Time” refers to when elections are held. He explains that under the Articles of Confederation [our 1st Constitution], States had been conducting elections from March to November; and that uniformity in the time of elections is necessary “for conveniently assembling the [federal] legislature at a stated period in each year”.

“Place”: Hamilton also points out that the suffrages of citizens living in certain parts of the States could be defeated by restricting the place of election for Representatives in the House to “an INCONVENIENT DISTANCE from the elector” (2nd para). [caps are Hamilton’s].

“Manner” of holding Elections refers to such things as paper ballots or show of hands, the place of voting, and whether the States will be divided into congressional districts for purposes of electing Representatives. James Madison discusses the “Manner” of holding Elections in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 2, August 9, 1787:

“Mr. Madison: … the Legislatures of the States ought not to have the uncontrouled right of regulating the times places & manner of holding elections. These were words of great latitude. It was impossible to foresee all the abuses that might be made of the discretionary power. Whether the electors should vote by ballot or vivâ voce, should assemble at this place or that place; should be divided into districts or all meet at one place, shd all vote for all the representatives; or all in a district vote for a number allotted to the district; these & many other points would depend on the Legislatures and might materially affect the appointments …. what danger could there be in giving a controuling power to the Natl. Legislature? Of whom was it to consist? 1. of a Senate to be chosen by the State Legislatures … 2. of Representatives elected by the same people who elect the State Legislatures…” [emphasis added]

Rufus King in the Massachusetts Convention said in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 3, January 21, 1788:

“Hon. Mr. King rose … It was to be observed, he said, that in the Constitution of Massachusetts, and other States, the manner and place of elections were provided for; the manner was by ballot, and the places towns; for, said he, we happened to settle originally in townships…” [emphasis added]

9 When Art. I, §4, cl. 1 was drafted, the State Legislatures were to choose the State’s Senators to the US Congress – so the “place” of choosing the US Senators would be wherever the Legislature met. With ratification of the 17th Amendment, Congress gained oversight over State laws addressing the “place” of election of US Senators.

10 In Marbury v. Madison [link], decided 1803, the Supreme Court explained the concept of “political powers” and that the manner in which political powers are exercised is beyond the reach of the courts:

“By the Constitution of the United States, the President is invested with certain important political powers, in the exercise of which he is to use his own discretion, and is accountable only to his country in his political character and to his own conscience. …whatever opinion may be entertained of the manner in which executive discretion may be used, still there exists, and can exist, no power to control that discretion. The subjects are political. They respect the nation, not individual rights, and, being entrusted to the Executive, the decision of the Executive is conclusive … [and] can never be examinable by the Courts.”

Marbury addresses the political powers exercised by the President. That same deference to the exercise of political powers has long been extended to the acts of the other political branch, Congress. Where the Constitution grants a political power to Congress, the manner in which Congress exercises the discretion is also beyond the reach of the Courts. So, for example, if Congress were to exercise the power granted to it by Article I, § 4, clause 1, to make a law banning mail-in voting; its action can never be examined by the Courts – the Courts may not substitute their views for those of Congress.

11 Marbury v. Madison also stands for the Great Principle that when an Act of one branch of government violates the Constitution, the other Branches must obey the Constitution and not the unlawful Act.

12 Alexander Hamilton made this same point over 200 years ago – see Federalist No. 78 (6th para). If law schools had made The Federalist Papers required reading, our Country wouldn’t now be in such a mess

Zero Hedge: Empty Supreme Court Seat “Resets the Race” for President

Yesterday evening Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. This event will change the Presidential race and perhaps further fan the flames of division around the country. Expect to see and hear much commentary/propaganda in the months ahead. Here is a collection of commentary over at Zero Hedge – “This Resets The Race” – SCOTUS Opening Creates Opportunity For Trump To ‘Change The Subject’ Before Nov. 3

We’re still waiting for the ‘October Surprise’ that Democrats are hoping will derail Trump’s quest for a second term (although it didn’t exactly work out that way back in 2016), but the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last night has certainly shaken things up, with only 45 days left until the election.

 

VP Joe Biden sounded dejected last night as he delivered his statement on Ginsburg’s passing.

Biden, and his former boss, Barack Obama, have urged the GOP to wait until after the election to move ahead with the next SCOTUS nominee. As Biden said in the clip above: “There is no doubt – let me be clear – that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden told reporters late Friday. “This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016” and “that’s the position the United States Senate must take today and the election’s only 46 days off.”

According to Bloomberg, GOP strategists are already chattering about how the SCOTUS situation will give Trump the opportunity to change the subject away from the coronavirus outbreak that’s hobbled his economy, and toward what has been on of the GOP’s biggest accomplishments over the past 10 years: packing the federal courts with conservative justices.

It’s an area where Dems have ceded far too much ground, allowing the Federalist Society to work in concert with successive Republican administrations to ensure a steady supply of ideologically-tested conservative justices.

Ironically, Bloomberg quoted a top aide to former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid saying that Dems need to “wake up” to the importance of the judicial branch. Of course, as we reported earlier, it was Reid who opened the door to the “nuclear option” by changing the Senate rules to allow President Obama to confirm cabinet appointments with a simple majority.

For Trump and his Republican allies in the Senate, the vacancy lets him change the subject away from the coronavirus pandemic that has imperiled his odds for winning a second term. Now, they can offer their base a chance to tighten the conservative majority on the high court for years to come.

Yet Biden and Democrats can seize on the moment, too, invoking Ginsburg’s legacy to spur turnout on Nov. 3 and give liberals a fresh reason to vote out Trump. Democrats had contributed more than $20 million to ActBlue in four hours after Ginsburg’s death was announced.

Jim Manley, a former top aide to ex-Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said he hopes Democrats “wake up” to the importance of the Supreme Court.

The reality is that Republicans have always taken judicial nominations more seriously than Democrats,” he said. “My hope is that that actually changes with this shocking news. Whether it does or not remains to be seen.”

Mitch McConnell didn’t waste any time Friday night. Mere hours after RBG’s death, McConnell released a statement promising a vote on the Senate floor and calling on GOP Senators to back whoever is appointed by Trump to fill the vacancy. Right now, the smart money is on 7th Circuit judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative Catholic and a runner-up during Trump’s last two nominations.

GOP strategists are heralding this as an opportunity for Trump to flip the script, and put Democrats on the defensive.

“This resets the race,” said Republican donor Dan Eberhart. “We are not running solely on the Covid response and the economy anymore.”

Biden has rarely spoken about the Supreme Court except to commit to nominating a Black woman to the bench if he gets the opportunity.

Now he has to seize on the issue as well, and Democrats were already showing signs they were willing to join him.

Trump was widely expected to move ahead with a nomination, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowed that the Senate would vote on it.

To be sure, there’s also a strong possibility that RBG’s death motivates more Democratic voters to turn out to the polls. Few things can cut through the noise like the creation of another ‘martyr’.

Early reports suggest RBG’s death triggered a flood of donations to Democratic groups like ActBlue and “Demand Justice”, with tens of millions of dollars flowing into their coffers overnight. GOP pollster and Trump critic Ed Rollins told Bloomberg that the gravity of the issue could drive voters to the polls in massive numbers. Typically, higher turnout is seen as a negative for Republicans.

It could also motivate more GOP voters to come vote in critical swing-state races down-ticket, including for the Senate.

“This will be the overarching issue in not just the 2020 presidential election, but also in several Senate races that may decide who controls the Senate in the future,” said Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist who heads the pro-Trump Great America PAC.

“This will drive voters to the polls in massive numbers on both sides,” Rollins said. “It will also dominate the airways and certainly will be a major factor for the rest of this campaign.”

Still, the vacancy may not necessarily be a boon for Trump because it is likely to galvanize voters on both sides of the aisle, said Brendan Buck, a Republican strategist.

“It will help shore up constituencies he needs. Battle lines are going to be drawn. But it will fire up folks on both sides, and my guess is it’s a wash at best for the president,” he said.

The Hill was slightly more pessimistic, pointing out that several influential Republican Senators were conspicuously silent last night, while others promised to back Trump’s nominee without delay.

McConnell can’t afford to lose three GOP votes in what could be remembered as one of the most important votes in that chamber in history. Two GOP senators – Alasaka’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins – released statements mourning Ginsburg…

…but saying nothing about whether they intend to back McConnell and Trump. Both Collins and Murkowski were among a group of moderate senators who initially expressed doubts about Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and later enabled Democrats to move ahead with a formal inquiry into allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Kavanaugh when he was in high school and an undergraduate student at Yale. Both have said previously that they wouldn’t support a SCOTUS vote so close to an election. Collins is facing tough reelection odds, as her vote in favor of Kavanaugh has been wielded effectively against her by her Democratic opponent, who is reportedly ahead in the polls. Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon currently holds 49% to the senator’s 44%, according to the Hill.

Murkowski has a long history of speaking out against a “double standard” of SCOTUS confirmation votes during an election year.

Murkowski told The Hill over the summer that attempting to fill a Supreme Court vacancy right before the November election or during a lame-duck session in December would create “a double standard” and she “would not support it.”

Murkowski pointed to Senate Republicans’ decision in 2016 to keep vacant the seat of late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia until a new president was elected in that year’s election. Then-President Obama nominated D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s vacant seat in March of 2016 but he never received a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing or a vote.

“When Republicans held off Merrick Garland it was because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let people decide. And I agreed to do that. If we now say that months prior to the election is OK when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it,” Murkowski said. “So I would not support it.”

Another key vote is Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the only Senate Republican to vote to convict Trump on an article of impeachment.

Though he declined to speculate about what he might do if a vacancy emerged on the court in the months before the Nov. 3 vote, Sen. Mitt Romney could provide a third vote against Trump’s nominee (though a tie would of course be broken by VP Mike Pence).

A 4th GOP defection would sink the vote, assuming no swing-vote Dems step up and defect to the other side. However, that’s not exactly guaranteed. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin backed Kavanaugh, a vote that has proven tremendously popular in his home state of West Virginia.

Several reliably GOP senators will likely have their past statements used against them. Perhaps the most notable example of this is Lindsey Graham.

However, Graham has said he’s open to backing Trump’s nominee after getting some input from his constituents, of course. Chuck Grassley, who led the Judiciary Committee when it sunk Garland’s nomination, said at the time that he would do the same thing if the shoe were on the other foot. However, he too is expected to back Trump’s nominee.

After all, Trump has a powerful argument for filling the seat. A deadlocked Supreme Court ahead of what could be a contested election could risk a constitutional crisis that could have ramifications for societal cohesion.

Time is also an issue: It has taken an average of 74 days to confirm the last 10 justices appointed to the Supreme Court, ranging from 99 days for Clarence Thomas in 1991 (a process that was elongated by the Anita Hill scandal) to 50 days for Ginsburg in 1993.

Election Day is 45 days away, and the next Congress isn’t scheduled to take its seats for another 106 days. And given the general state of things in America right now, a lot could change in that time.

International Man: Six Reasons Why the Wrong Party Will Win the Most Important US Election Since 1860

Doug Casey at International Man writes his thoughts on the 2020 election in Six Reasons Why the Wrong Party Will Win the Most Important US Election Since 1860

The upcoming election may be the most important in US history. At least as important as that of 1860, which led directly to the War Between the States. In 2016 I believed Trump would win and placed a money bet on him. This time I’m not so sure, despite Trump’s “incumbent advantage” and the fact the Democrats could hardly have picked two worse candidates.

I see at least six reasons why this is true, namely:

  • The Virus
  • The economy
  • Demographics
  • Moral collapse of the old order
  • The Deep State
  • Cheating

The consequences of a Democrat victory will be momentous. Let’s look at why it’s likely.

1. The Virus

Despite the fact COVID is only marginally more deadly than the annual flu, and the fact it’s only a danger to the very old (median death age 80), the hysteria around it is changing the nature of life itself. It’s proven much less serious than the Asian flu of the late ’60s or the Hong Kong flu of the late ’50s. And not even remotely comparable to the Spanish flu of 1918-19. None of those had any discernable effect on the economy or politics. COVID is a trivial medical event but has created a gigantic psychological hysteria.

The virus hysteria is, however, a disaster from Trump’s point of view for several reasons. None of them have anything to do with his “handling” of the virus—apart from the fact that medical issues should be a matter between a patient and his doctor, not bureaucrats and politicians.

First, the virus hysteria is severely limiting the number and size of Trump’s rallies, which he relies on to keep enthusiasm up.

Second, more people are staying at home and watching television than ever before. However, unless they glue their dial to Fox, they’ll gravitate towards the mainstream media, which is stridently anti-Trump. People who are on the fence (and most voters are always in the wishy-washy middle) will mostly hear authoritative-sounding anti-Trump talking heads on television, and they’ll be influenced away from Trump.

Third, older people have by far the heaviest voter turnout, but roughly 80% of the casualties of the virus are elderly. And over 90% of those deaths are related to some other condition. Be that as it may, fear will make older people less likely to vote in this election. The COVID hysteria will still be with us in November. Older people tend to be culturally conservative and are most likely Trumpers.

Fourth, in today’s highly politicized world, the government is supposed to be in charge of everything. Despite the fact there are thousands of viruses, and they’ve been with us thousands of years, this one is blamed on the current government. Boobus americanus will tend to vote accordingly.

2. The Economy

Keeping his voters at home is one thing. But the effects the hysteria is having on the economy are even more important. The effect of COVID on the economy should be trivial since only a small fraction of the relatively few Covid deaths are among people who are economically active.

Presidents always take credit when the economy is good and are berated when it’s bad on their watch, regardless of whether they had anything to do with it. If the economy is still bad in November—and I’ll wager it’s going to be much worse, despite the Fed creating trillions of new dollars, and the government handouts—many people will reflexively vote against Trump.

In February, before the lockdown, there were about 3.2 million people collecting unemployment. Now, there are about 30 million. So it seems we have over 30 million working-age people who are . . . displaced. That doesn’t count part-time workers, who aren’t eligible for unemployment but are no longer working.

The supplementary benefits have ended. If they return, it will be at lower levels. The artificial good times brought on by free money will end too. It will be blamed on the Republicans.

Worse, the public has come to the conclusion that a guaranteed annual income works. This virus hysteria has provided a kind of test for both Universal Basic Income and Modern Monetary Theory—helicopter money. So far, anyway, it seems you really can get something for nothing.

An important note here: Trump—whatever his virtues—is an economic ignoramus. He’s supported both helicopter money and artificially low-interest rates since he’s been in office. But especially now, because he knows it’s all over if today’s financial house of cards collapses on his watch.

I’ll wager that, out of the 160 million work-force Americans, 30 million will still be out of work by voting day. The recognition that the country is in a depression will sink in. The virus hysteria was just the pin—or sledgehammer, perhaps—that broke the bubble. But that’s another story. What’s for sure is that the average American will look for somebody to blame. As things get seriously bad, people will want to change the system itself, as was true in the 1930s.

The only economic bright spot for Trump is the stock market. But it’s at bubble levels. Not because the economy is doing well, but because of the avalanche of money being printed. Where it is in November is a question of how much more money the Fed will print, and how much of it flows into the stock market. Even then, there’s an excellent chance it could collapse between now and the election.

For reasons I’ve detailed in the past, the economy is now entering the trailing edge of a gigantic financial and economic hurricane. The Greater Depression will be much different, longer-lasting, and nastier than the unpleasantness of 1929-1946. And people vote their pocketbook. Bill Clinton was right when he said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” If stocks fall, it will compound this effect. A high stock market just gives the illusion of prosperity. And, at least while stocks are up, contributes to the atmosphere of class warfare. Poor people don’t own stocks.

3. Demographics

Since the gigantic political, economic, and social crisis we’re in will be even more obvious come November, people will want a radical change. Since that—plus lots of free stuff—is what the Democrats are promising, they’re likely to win. But there are other factors.

The last election was close enough, but now, four years later, there are four more cohorts of kids that have gone through high school and college and have been indoctrinated by their uniformly left-wing teachers. They’re going to vote Democrat overwhelmingly.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), and people like her, are both the current reality and the future of the Democratic Party—and of the US itself. She knows how to capitalize on envy and resentment. The Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements have added the flavor of a race war to the mix. Racial antagonism will become more pronounced as whites lose their majority status over the next 30 years.

Nobody, except for a few libertarians and conservatives, is countering the purposefully destructive ideas AOC represents. But they have a very limited audience and not much of a platform. Arguing for sound money and limited government makes them seem like Old Testament prophets to Millenials. Collectivism and statism are overwhelming the values of individualism and liberty.

It’s exactly the type of thing the Founders tried to guard against by restricting the vote to property owners over 21, going through the Electoral College. Now, welfare recipients who are only 18 can vote, and the Electoral College is toothless.

For the last couple of generations, everybody who’s gone to college has been indoctrinated with leftist ideas. Almost all of the professors hold these ideas—as well as high school and grade school instructors. They place an intellectual patina on top of emotional, fantasy-driven leftist ideas.

When the economy collapses in earnest, everybody will blame capitalism. Because Trump is rich, he’s incorrectly associated with capitalism. The country—especially the young, the poor, and the non-white—will look to the government to “do something.” They see the government as a cornucopia.

A majority of Millennials are in favor of socialism, as are so-called People of Color. By 2050, whites will be a minority in the US. A straw in the wind is that a large majority of the people who commit suicide each year are middle-class white males—essentially, Trump supporters. The demographic handwriting is on the wall. Trump’s election in 2016 was an anomaly. No more than a Last Hurrah.

4. Moral Collapse

There’s now a lot of antagonism toward both free minds and free markets. A majority of Americans appear to actually support BLM, an openly Marxist movement. Forget about free minds—someone might be offended, and you’ll be pilloried by the mob. Forget about free markets—they’re blamed for all the economic problems, even though it’s the lack of them that caused the problem. The idea of capitalism is now considered undefendable.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the system is obviously bad for the Republicans and good for the Democrats, who promote themselves as the party of change.

It used to be pretty simple—the Republicans and the Democrats were just two sides of the same coin, like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Traditionally, one promoted the warfare state more, the other the welfare state. But it was mostly rhetoric; they were pretty collegial. Now, both the welfare and the warfare state have been accepted as part of the cosmic firmament by both parties. The difference between them is now about cultural issues. Except that polite disagreement has turned into visceral hatred.

The Dems at least stand for some ideas—although they’re all bad ideas. The Republicans have never stood for any principles; they just said the Dems wanted too much socialism, too fast, which is why they were always perceived—correctly—as hypocrites. Antagonism between the right and the left is no longer political or economic—it’s cultural. That’s much more serious…(continues)

Gatestone Institute: How to Steal an Election

The political power generated from a document like the “Transition Integrity Project” report introduces the threat of terror and street violence as a “normal” or “expected” outcome of the upcoming presidential election. Here is what you will see, hear and read in the next few weeks: “Yes, expect violence in the aftermath of the election, because now that is the new ‘normal.’ Trump made us do it….” Pictured: Police officers in Washington DC come under attack by rioters launching fireworks at them, on May 30, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

From Chris Farrell at The Gatestone Institute, How to Steal an Election on a recently published plan, wargaming election crisis scenarios, to spread/continue violence in the event Trump wins the November election.

How does one ensure their political allies are ideologically synchronized, and know exactly how to disrupt a presidential election? What about the “journalists” in the news media and the babblers on social media — how does one get them onboard with the planned nationwide revolutionary disruption? Easy! Publish a report titled: “Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election.”

In one of the greatest public disinformation campaigns in American history — the Left and their NeverTrumper allies (under the nom de guerre: “Transition Integrity Project”) released a 22-page report in August 2020 “war gaming” (their term) four election crisis scenarios: 1. A decisive Trump win; 2. A decisive Biden win; 3. A narrow Biden win; and, 4. A period of extended uncertainty after the election. The outcome of each TIP scenario results in street violence and political impasse.

TIP organizers and leaders include Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks, Nils Gilman of the “independent” Berggruen Institute in California, and John Podesta, the longtime fixer and handler of the Clinton political dynasty. The nominally Republican members of group include former Republican National Chair Michael Steele, journalist David Frum, and former magazine editor Bill Kristol.

Publication of the TIP report is an information warfare strategy employed for revolutionary political purposes. The strategy is sophisticated and multifaceted. The TIP document:

  • Lays the groundwork for “consensus” news media and social media narratives;
  • Rationalizes “unconventional strategies” for generating maximum confusion and turmoil over “unfavorable” election outcomes;
  • Projects accusations of unlawful/criminal conduct on President Trump and those voting for him;
  • Co-opts the (already politically sympathetic) Washington DC federal bureaucracy to support their strategy from the headquarters of every department and agency of the Executive;
  • Relies (correctly) on a low-awareness/low-energy response from the political Right to counter the TIP program.

Is it possible that the leadership of the American Left, along with their NeverTrumper allies, are busy talking themselves into advocating and promoting street violence as a response to a presidential election?

The answer is: Yes.

In the opening paragraph of their “bipartisan” report, TIP states: “We assess with a high degree of likelihood that November’s elections will be marked by a chaotic legal and political landscape.” Especially if they have their way.

An alternative to one of the war-gamed scenarios resulted in the TIPsters advocating for the secession of Washington, Oregon and California. Is there no sense of historical irony in the Democrat party? Secession over an election? Again?

The single greatest irony of the TIP report is the overwhelming use of “projection” in framing and characterizing various claims against President Trump (and his supporters) as a means to justify the Left’s “irregular” plans to disrupt the election process.

Projection, as a political technique, is not a secret. The American Left has never bothered to hide or disguise it, nor have they even found it desirable to do so.

The covert portion of the projection technique is the funding and organizational involvement behind the projection itself. Who is paying the bills for TIP and its affiliates? This is a highly organized, sophisticated operation with career political operatives calling the shots. No one does this for free, and someone (or some entity) is paying the bill. Who?

The TIP report is itself an exercise of power. Political intelligence information and public policy strategies are being fused through the actions of TIP. That synthesis is a demonstration of real political power, and it is being implemented in a written plan that contemplates street violence to affect the outcome of the US presidential election. The political power resourced and generated from a document like the TIP report can be used for persuasion (through news and social media), indoctrination (of activists and other “true believers”), and introduces the threat of terror and street violence (to the general population) as a “normal” or “expected” outcome.

Here is how the news and social media narrative is coming together and what you will see, hear and read in the next few weeks: “Yes, expect violence in the aftermath of the election, because now that is the new ‘normal.’ Trump made us do it. He made us take the election, because the old, regular system just cannot be relied upon. That’s why we had to publish our report, so we could organize ‘around’ all of the regular processes. Obama promised ‘fundamental transformation,’ and now, years later – we’re finally going to deliver.”

What evidence is there of awareness and preparedness on the political Right to confront and counter the TIP (and other Leftists) and their plans to disrupt the election? Not much. Time is short. The Left’s threat of violence and subversion of the election is real. How we respond is critical.

Medium: Why Trump Is Likely to Win Again

Freelance writer Thomas Greene has written a piece at Medium.com titled Why Trump Is Likely to Win Again. While I believe he gets some things wrong (like a lot of people do believe H. Clinton is a criminal), I agree that voter anger over elected representatives and un-elected bureaucrats who have been captured (and corrupted) by the system is the primary fuel keeping the Trump engine running.

The Bronx of my childhood was a paradise. My street ran parallel to a section of the old Croton Aqueduct, by then long disused, which we kids called the Ackey. Along its banks grew trees and bushes and wild flowers forming a ribbon of thicket in which we played, and through which we “hiked.”

We were always in the street. We learned our games and rhymes by word of mouth, from older to younger. We chose our adventures and settled disputes among ourselves. We played stick ball and ringolevio and skully, red rover and stoop ball, and a deliciously sadistic variety of Johnny on a pony. We raced about on noisy cheap skates with metal wheels.

In this urban sanctuary I grew up safe, loved, happy, and unmistakably working class, yet somehow I slipped away. I was reared to become an ironworker or electrician, but I managed to pass through a posh New England liberal arts college and end up a tech journalist and author. I’ve worked unsupervised, chiefly from home, since the 1990s.

Most of my relatives and old neighborhood friends hate people like me. And I don’t blame them. Most are lifelong Democrats, yet they voted for Donald Trump, and will again, and I can’t blame them for that, either. Let me explain.

My career is the product of an economic revival engineered by the center-right New Democrats of the Clinton era and subsequent administrations. I’ve observed the tech industry for two decades; it’s a job, but it’s hardly work: I’m a nerd; I like science, technology, and medicine. Right now, I couldn’t be more comfortable in lockdown. Amazon supplies my dry goods while a friendly driver brings my groceries. My family and I are safe. No one comes near us without a mask. I control my environment; I choose the people in whose presence I’ll work, if any. I can smoke and drink on the job if I please. So long as I honor my deadlines and file clean copy, no one has anything to say about it. Tech’s been good to me.

But the guy I was expected to become walks beside me like an imaginary friend I never outgrew. I think about him often — daily, if I’m honest. He commutes by bus, encountering irresponsible louts who refuse to mask up. He worries about it, too. His wife, who had earned a second income, is at home supervising their kids. He lives by the lunch buzzer and the punch clock. If there’s music where he works, it’s amplified by cheap, overdriven speakers and the genre will suit him only by chance. The temperature and ambient noise and lighting were calibrated by industrial psychologists. He can’t evade disagreeable co-workers. He’s paid far less than a family wage, but he’s got no health coverage or pension. He endures daily uncertainty about his family’s needs. Why should he not hate me? I would hate me if I were him.

He and millions of others failed to thrive in the tech economy, but that was a feature, not a bug. Blue-collar Americans were never going to adapt, despite the assurances of New Economy cheerleaders, many of whom were in government. Factories closed and data centers opened. Dotcom outfits traded on nothing more than an online presence, which somehow made sense to us. The New Democrats exalted capital both tangible and intellectual, and devalued labor, as if they’d been old-school Establishment Republicans. They fawned over Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison, Michael Dell and Andy Grove the way one imagines Calvin Coolidge gushing about Rockefellers and Morgans, Vanderbilts and Astors.

A high-tech meritocracy would lead America in a better direction, and the need was urgent. The Old Economy was failing, undeniably. It was time to re-formulate it with a progressive veneer: no more dirty factories or pollution; NAFTA would ship that mess abroad. America would subsist on green energy, outsourcing, financial services, the sacrament of e-commerce, and high-tech gadgets: a middle-class Valhalla governed by upper-middle-class trustees from the best schools. There would be no need for troublesome relics like labor unions; the virtuous nature of technological progress would itself ensure quality jobs and dignity for workers. Plentiful consumer credit would replace the family wage and health-care benefits. Blue-collar America would suffer collateral damage, but too much was at stake; it would be a necessary sacrifice. And of course we’d be gentle; we were Democrats and nerds, after all.

Big Tech was hardly the sole disruptor, but the New Democrats fell for, and amplified, Silicon Valley’s specific flavor of empty promises wrapped in technobabble. “Delivering the ____ of the future,” they said. We got e-this and i-that and smart everything else. It had a wholesome ring and implied that Richard Feynman and Carl Sagan were finally in charge. The progressive, sciency veneer gave cover to other mega-rackets with less compelling legends, enabling them to fleece their workers and consumers too. Soon everyone was delivering the ____ of the future.

The Democratic Party divorced its industrial, unionized base and married its Silicon Valley mistress. It had once believed in collective bargaining. It had once believed that workers were an essential part of a healthy economy and worthy of respect. There was a time when a US president, like Harry Truman, might entertain a labor activist, like Walter Reuther, amiably in the Oval Office. But the Party had fallen hard for its tech darlings and began to dream of a meritocracy based on steadily-increasing knowledge, intelligence, and creativity that would lift us all toward self-realization as we bathed in the restorative glow of our screens. In other words, Democrats put their faith in social vaporware. Old-Economy workers would be “rehabilitated,” language implying that they might be more intellectually challenged than unlucky. “Euthanized” would be a more honest word. The former lower-middle and working classes would listen to two decades of meritocratic cant while their standards of living would fall steadily with no ground floor in sight. They were never a priority.


The candidate Barack Obama spoke to blue-collar America. He campaigned on change that would rejuvenate careers and restore dignity. Working Americans in the swing states doubted that Hillary Clinton even knew they existed. They saw Obama as a last hope and supported him enthusiastically in the 2008 primaries and later in the general election, but he soon proved to be a disappointment. He, too, fell in love with Silicon Valley and Wall Street and neglected the people who needed him most. And they punished him: he won fewer states in 2012 than he had in 2008. People like the alternate me felt cheated by a guy who rocked a Brooks Brothers suit and talked a great game, then gave the Tech and Finance sectors everything they wanted and more. Educated people from the best schools trusted Big Tech outfits because educated people from the best schools ran them. Elites imagine each other to be virtuous because they imagine themselves that way.

Technology giants were understood not as hardy sprouts but would be treated instead with princess-and-the-pea levels of delicacy, thanks to a superstitious fear that it might all be brought to grief by, say, forcing companies with hundreds of billions in share value to tolerate an employees’ union, offer a minimum wage adequate for a decent life, or pay tax proportional to their reliance on public goods.

No one bears greater responsibility for the lack of empathy toward Old-Economy workers that led to Donald Trump’s victory than big-name Tech darlings and the New Democrats who coddled them, then openly ridiculed their own voter base: the people Hillary foolishly nicknamed “Deplorables;” that is, the millions of disappointed Obama voters who would happily have voted blue if they’d had confidence that the party would respect them, welcome them, and acknowledge their needs. But the New Economy is a gated community, shut firmly to them, whose most strenuous boosters have been the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations. Old-school, working-class Democrats are unwelcome in the party they built. No one wants them tracking mud through the salon.

Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the swing states the same way Barack Obama had: by characterizing her as disdainful toward blue-collar Americans. It was a potent message among those who once had seen decent wages in return for honest work, lately reduced to Walmart greeters and Uber drivers. Humiliated by a labor market in which they had nothing to trade, the former working class understood that they also had nothing to lose. Liberal democracy and its supporting institutions shed their veneer of sanctity when dead-end employees can aspire only to dead-end management gigs. Call them “associates” and “technicians” all you want; they know who they’ve become and what others think of them. They are why Trump won in the swing states; he was propelled to victory by disillusioned Obama voters. They gleefully chanted “lock her up” not because they thought Hillary was an actual criminal, but because they knew what her election would bring them: four or eight more years of economic and social stagnation to top off the twenty they’d already been through.


They elected Donald once and they will try to again. He is scornful and vicious. He despises openly. He snarls and barks. He will make a pig’s breakfast of everything he touches, but here’s the thing everyone misses: educated elites will feel the hardship he causes more acutely than the millions of workers who have already adapted to pittance wages, dead-end careers, and chronic disrespect. They’ve endured two decades of it; they can cope. They’re betting that liberal snowflakes like me can’t.

Trump will not be defeated by educating voters, by exposing his many foibles and inadequacies. Highlighting what’s wrong with him is futile; his supporters didn’t elect him because they mistook him for a competent administrator or a decent man. They’re angry, not stupid. Trump is an agent of disruption — indeed, of revenge. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has positioned him as a tragic force-multiplier on a scale that few could have predicted, and the result is verging on catastrophic.

Still, that might not be enough to prevent his re-election. Workers now sense that economic justice — a condition in which labor and capital recognize and value each other — is permanently out of reach; the class war is over and it was an absolute rout: insatiable parasites control everything now, and even drain us gratuitously, as if exacting reparations for the money and effort they spent taming us. The economy itself, and the institutions protecting it, must be attacked, and actually crippled, to get the attention of the smug patricians in charge. Two decades of appealing to justice, proportion, and common decency have yielded nothing. I’d rather not see four more years of Donald, but I understand the impulse to use him as a cat’s paw.

Joe Biden is only moderately attractive to swing voters. He’s got longstanding ties to the financial and consumer-credit rackets, and many of his senior campaign people are former lobbyists, industry flacks, and banking alums. He’s a New Democrat at heart: too much like Hillary and too little like the Barack Obama we thought we were voting for in 2008. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders appeal to the Obama 2008 → Trump 2016 electorate, not Biden, and not the domesticated Obama of 2020 who will be campaigning for him.

I doubt that Obama can draw enough of his old swing voters back to the Democratic Party. They were his constituency once, but he let them go and now his transformation into a New Economy aristocrat is complete. He could even be a liability to Biden, who seems more down to earth than today’s Obama.

The New Democratic Party and the flashy economic colossus controlling it are a seductive pair. We saw this as Obama spoke on 30 July 2020, eulogizing the late US Representative John Lewis. The former president and Columbia University and Harvard Law School graduate promised us that one day, “when we do finish that long journey toward freedom; when we do form a more perfect union — whether it’s years from now, or decades, or even if it takes another two centuries — John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America.” Thus did our first black president signal that he might condone two more centuries of racial and social injustice so long as the meritocracy continues to treat him and his family right.

He and other high-minded elites are thinking fine thoughts and beaming positive energy to ordinary Americans from the metaphorical gated community swaddling the rich, progressive class. No uniformed weasel will dare kneel on any of their necks, we can be certain. There will be no eviction notices, no local food pantries, no paltry unemployment checks for them. These people have no clue what’s going on in the workaday neighborhoods of American cities and in our towns and rural communities, and they’ll be pleased to keep it that way.

Why should the victims of the New Economy not despise the system, and the people tending it, so intensely that they would vote Republican again? Why would they not hope that Donald will cause so much damage that America will be forced to make a fresh start? For them, stability equals stagnation while chaos might bring opportunities.

Elections are decided in the swing states. We know how Massachusetts and Mississippi will vote. The battle will take place in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virgina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Colorado, and it will be decided by Obama-Trump voters. They haven’t forgotten that, during two decades’ time, Democrats exported their jobs and rewarded them with gigs. The question is, will their resentment overcome their reluctance? They might fear Donald’s destructive potential, but they’ll be inclined to vote for someone who has been wrecking the political and economic system that cut them down from working class to working poor with no hope of escape. Donald has a solid chance of winning.

For Democrats, the only path forward is behind: the Party must welcome, and actually represent, employees whose lives and labor and services are valued as essential contributions to society. The former working class won’t be satisfied until they see Bill and Hillary, Barack and Joe enact an auto-da-fé through the streets of Washington accompanied by a dreary huddle of bankers, VCs, bond traders, and Tech CEOs in quest of a genuine catharsis in which the pain of their guilt and self loathing swells and burns and finally grows so unbearable that they literally curse themselves and beg to be forgiven.

If candidates Biden and Harris, and the wider Democratic Party, fail to recognize and renounce the worst elements of the high-tech, financialized New Economy they’re in bondage to, and neglect to reach out to Obama-Trump swing voters with genuine understanding, compassion, and respect — not to mention actual, regulatory solutions — Donald might well be elected again, exactly as he was in 2016: by swing-state Democrats who have had enough.

 

 

Forward Observer: Election 2020 – Catastrophic Failure? The Evidence Is Stacking Up

This video comes from intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer.

Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations (1996) describes a world in disarray following the collapse of the American Empire.

In the latest Forward Observer TV video, I describe what that looks like for the United States, focusing on uncertainty surrounding November elections.

Alt-Market: Election 2020 – The Worst Case Scenario Is The Most Likely One

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market talks about this year’s Presidential election and what may happen in Election 2020: The Worst Case Scenario Is The Most Likely One

…For the past few month my suspicion is that there might not be an election at all. But let’s look at the factors that are in place:

1) Joe Biden, the Dem candidate, appears to have stage four dementia. Either that, or he is a very good actor. This is another situation where I am questioning WHY? Why would the establishment run Biden (like they ran Clinton), perhaps the worst possible choice if they hope to rally people against Trump and conservatives?

Maybe Trump is meant to stay in office for another four years, because Biden appears to have no capacity to hold the attention of an audience (again, unless his Alzheimer’s is an act).  That said, if the economic decline is severe enough into November, the election numbers could still be very close because of the backlash against Trump.  Close elections are the easiest for the establishment to manipulate one way or the other.

2) Leftists hate Trump so thoroughly that they would vote for anyone at this point just to get rid of him; but will this fervor be enough to sway moderate Dems to participate if Biden continues his displays of mental frailty?

3) The pandemic lockdowns and viral spread are likely to hit hard by November. Meaning, there is a chance that people will find it difficult to vote at all, unless the votes are handled by mail-in or by electronic means.

4) Electronic or mail-in voting will not be trusted by the public on either side. Whoever wins will be accused of cheating.

5) Civil unrest and violence is almost guaranteed in the lead up to the elections, which could frighten people away from voting booths if they are even in operation.

These factors and more lead me to predict that Election 2020 will be a contested election which ends with Trump staying in office but accused of usurping the democratic process. This outcome is the worst possible outcome and also the most advantageous for the globalist establishment.

The elites are even hinting publicly that this is about to happen. For those of you that have been reading my work for many years, the name “Max Boot” might sound familiar. In my article ‘How Globalists Will Attempt To Control Populations Post Collapse’, published in 2016, I outlined writings by Council on Foreign Relations member Max Boot on the Malaysian Model, a method he describes as the perfect strategy for taking control of a population and destroying an insurgency.

The model calls for the institution of city-sized concentration camps which are used to isolate a rebellion away from the general population. The population in these cities is then subjected to extreme tracking and control measures, while the military is sent out to rural areas to eliminate potential insurgent threats.

Well, Boot is back again, this time writing about how he thinks Donald Trump will try to “hijack” the presidency in 2020.

In an article for the Washington post titled ‘What If Trump Loses But Insists He Won’, Boot outlines a scenario that was “war gamed” by a group called the Transition Integrity Project. The group played out a scenario in which there is a razor thin victory for Joe Biden, followed by actions by Trump to keep control of the presidency through lies and legal wrangling. The group also predicted civil unrest leading to potential “civil war” as the fight over the White House expands.

This article is, I believe, an attempt at predictive programming by the establishment. They are TELLING US exactly what is about to happen. A contested election, civil war, martial law, economic collapse and the US will be destroyed from within.  If conservatives actively support unconstitutional levels of federal power or martial law, then the scenario becomes even worse.  By forsaking our foundational principles in order to “defeat the left”, we would be handing victory to the globalists.  We would be destroying our own movement’s reason for existing while the elites barely have to lift a finger.

The CFR and its long time goal of erasing US sovereignty would then be nearly complete. All that would be left is to ensure they they are the people that get to rebuild America from the ashes of all out domestic conflict and collapse. This cannot be allowed to happen.

I continue to predict that the plan is to destroy the US as we know it and blame conservatives in the process. With so many elites inhabiting Trump’s cabinet, this outcome would be easy for them to engineer. That said, the end game is not in the hands of the elites. It’s in the hands of conservatives.

The temptation for conservatives will be to fully embrace government power in order to stop the leftists, but if we refuse to support martial law measures, if we demand or assert alternative solutions (such as community based security), if we stand by our principles of limited government and if we fight back against the globalists specifically instead of only focusing on the political left, then there is a chance we can stop them from taking control. That said, if we bow to government power and hand over our freedom just to defeat the leftists, then we will lose the greater battle against globalism in the long run.

Forward Observer: November as a Tipping Point

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer writes about civil unrest and possible coming constitutional crisis in November if a failed election occurs in the article The Jungle Grows Back.

A couple years ago, I read a book, entitled “Clash of Civilizations,” in which the author Samuel P. Huntington offers a controversial look at the rise and fall of civilizations. Huntington sums up a world in disarray following the decline of the United States, the unraveling of the world order, and ultimately, the fate of the West. Historians are likely to look back on November 2020 as the tipping point, in one direction or another, for the American civilization.

What’s unique is that Huntington warned about this as early as the 1990s, when he wrote not just about the eventual decline of the United States as the world’s superpower, but also the changing shape of conflict.

Civilizations, he writes, are bound by “common objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people.” And due to geography, competition for resources, and other factors, these civilizations regularly come into conflict.

Perhaps the most intriguing of his arguments is what happens to a civilization, in this case the West, after protracted moral decline and cultural decay. Citing historian Caroll Quigley, Huntington writes that decay occurs “when the civilization, no longer able to defend itself because it is no longer willing to defend itself, lies wide open to ‘barbarian invaders.’”

Huntington questions whether or not the West would remain viable, or if it could ever been renewed in the face of this decay.

But Huntington also writes about America’s place in the world during this period of decline:

“All in all, the emerging world is likely to lack the clarity and stability of the Cold War and to be a more jungle-like world of multiple dangers, hidden traps, unpleasant surprises and moral ambiguities.”

Yet this warning may also end up describing the domestic social and political order in years or decades to come.

We might say that, given the civil unrest, the cultural revolution and Far Left political insurgency, and a growing legitimacy crisis for the federal government, ‘the emerging United States is likely to lack the clarity and stability of the previous period, and to be a more jungle-like world of multiple dangers, hidden traps, unpleasant surprises and moral ambiguities.’

There’s some uncertainty over how permanent this period of social unrest will be. Some have predicted that there’s no going back from here. Others say the anger, like the country experienced in 1968, will eventually subside and give way to a more peaceful era. There’s little reason to believe that civil unrest will magically disappear after the November election, even if domestic conditions do simmer down through the summer.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry recently warned of a potential revolution if President Trump is reelected. Far Left activists have promoted protests and violence if Joe Biden wins because Biden has expressed support for law enforcement and police organizations. And there’s the potential for accelerationist violence regardless of who wins.

Frankly, the biggest risk we face is a constitutional crisis stemming from disrupted November elections — perhaps a failed or contested presidential election — which could mark a point of no return for the United States.

Earlier this month, we reported to Forward Observer subscribers that the United States Postal Service had encountered delivery issues during state primaries earlier this year. Some voters in Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, Maryland, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. experienced a wide array of delays, “unintentional missorts,” missing ballots, postmark issues, and missed delivery deadlines during their primaries. According to analysis done by The Intercept, some 950,000 mail-in ballots went uncounted in the 2016 elections. Accusations of voter fraud or voting irregularities are likely to be amplified this year due to the country’s political and social conditions.

Given the likelihood for an unprecedented volume of mail-in ballots in November, there are already questions about whether the postal service can handle the increased load. In previous months, the USPS has suffered from decreased revenue, staffing issues, and bureaucratic mismanagement — evidence that their efforts are likely to be strained during the election. There are a number of other issues, like a state’s inability to quickly process large volumes of mail-in ballots, which have led to vote counting delays in primaries this year. And, of course, these conditions could spell delays for final counts in November, as well.

This is not to say that substantial voting issues are an inevitability, or that this will certainly lead to a catastrophic failure. But the evidence is stacking up that processing election results will be challenging and that results may be delayed.

The 2000 presidential election, for instance, wasn’t decided until nearly mid-December after lawsuits ended with a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. I question what the country’s political and social agitators will do in the weeks following Election Day, in the event that the 2020 presidential election is litigated up to the Supreme Court.

That’s just a lot of time for political maneuvering and strategic disinformation from both sides, which is sure to rile up political factions and maybe lead to political violence…

Continue reading at Forward Observer by clicking here.