The Smallest Minority: Slowly, at First. Then Very Fast.

In this post, Kevin at The Smallest Minority talks about voting and bill HR1 – Slowly, at First. Then Very Fast.

Roger Kimball brings the Truth: For US, Gradual Ruin Is About to Become Sudden. (Behind a paywall, but Instapundit has the pertinent portion.)

There is the passage in the house of H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People” bill, which would effectively assure that were was never another fair election in this country.

It would do this by all-but-obliterating voter ID requirements—you need an ID to board a plane but not cast a vote—mandating same-day voter registration and at least two weeks of early voting, and by requiring states to provide unsupervised drop boxes to receive completed ballots.

In other words, H.R. 1 would centralize presidential elections, taking responsibility for oversight away from the states, where the Constitution placed it, and arrogating it to the clutches of the federal government and its sprawling bureaucracy.

If, as seems almost certain, H.R. 1 becomes the law of the land, it would be the final nail in the coffin of electoral integrity

The widespread irregularities (that’s polysyllabic periphrasis for “fraud”) that attended the 2020 election would be codified into law assuring that, for as long as anyone could envision, 2016 would have to be counted as the last free, fair, and open presidential election.

It used to be that American was the land of the free and home of the brave. A robust culture of free speech was every American’s birthright.

We had free and fair elections, unlike the banana republics we were always called upon to bail out or police.

We also had borders, and even politicians eager to increase immigration understood the difference between entering the country legally and opening the floodgates to the hordes massing on our Southern border.

That’s all behind us now, or at least those traditions appear to be on life support—no, the patient was on life support, but someone came to euthanize him and pulled the plug.

The signs and portents are many and they are not encouraging.

Perhaps the most disturbing episode last week was Joe Biden’s alarming performance when he announced the elevation of two women to the status of combat generals.

Biden went on to underscore the “intensity of purpose” with which his administration would be pursuing “body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits, updating their hairstyle requirements.”

This was not from a Saturday Night Live skit: it was the President of the United States live in front of the cameras.

I’ve been on this planet now 59 years. When I was eighteen, I voted for Ronald Reagan – the first and only candidate I ever voted for. I’ve voted in every national and most state elections since, but since then (and even in 1984), I have since voted against. Against whoever was the worse choice. I even cast my ballot for Perot in 1992, being not particularly enamored of either George H.W. Bush or William Jefferson Clinton. I have since concluded that we’ve voted our way into this, but we won’t be voting our way out.

The 2016 election gave me a glimmer of hope, but 2020 ruthlessly stamped out that ember. The Authoritarian Left and its oligarchs in Washington will make sure that their power is never again threatened by the electorate. As someone put it after November 3, 2020, “We knew we had to win by more than the margin of fraud. We just didn’t realize the margin was infinite.”

H.R. 1 legally codifies power grabbing into the future. No more fear of another Bernie or Trump wrecking their plans. The Left controls both houses of Congress, the White House, most of the bureaucracy, and a whole lot of the Justice Department, not to mention the remainder of The Swamp. They can do whatever they want, and they are. Open the border? Done. Raise taxes on the middle cl… I mean, the rich? No problem. Disarm the dangerous “domestic terrorist” publ… I mean, protect the children? On its way!

And anyone who opposes this is a racist and/or a domestic terrorist. A Public Enemy. A Traitor.

I said a while back that I thought all of this insanity had a basis in reality. The Oligarchs aren’t nuts. Well, they may be, but they’re not irrational. They use the irrationality they deliberately created among the general public as a tool, a lever for greater and greater social division so that the chance of any organized opposition of any size is minimized. Why do you think they’re so freaked out about the Capitol riots January 6? Well, they’re not, really. That’s political theater, at which they’re masters. The conditions were set up by them. The Capitol Police were largely stood down and requests for National Guard were refused due to “optics.” Honestly, I think they’re disappointed in the body count. But never mind, it gave them the excuse to clutch their pearls in front of the cameras and claim fear for their lives, and arrest people publicly – the Roger Stone treatment of SWAT teams and armored vehicles, smashed doors and ransacked houses. “This is what happens when you protest wrong.” Turn the thumbscrews one more turn, tighten the ratchet one more click.

In my July 2020 post Endgame I predicted the election outcome. I also wrote:

The wheels come off the train and the train comes off the track in 2021, one way or the other.

The End of America has been predicted by many people for quite some time.  The Progressive Postmodernists appear to have decided that the time is ripe.  The national debt cannot be ignored forever.  The projected entitlement spending is unsupportable.  All their preparation of the battle space through balkanization has brought us to this point.  Black Lives Matter, itself organized and run by self-proclaimed Marxists, is the hinge on which the lid is swinging, but Pandora’s Box is certainly opening.  I don’t think we’re going to stop the greed, envy, hatred, pain, disease, hunger, poverty, war, and death that will come flooding out of it, and there most likely won’t be much around afterward to put them back in.

BLM is no longer the hinge. Post January 6, “Domestic Terrorism” has taken its place. The Anointed have told their followers to Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of their neighbors who are Not Like Them™. But the National Debt currently exceeds 28 trillion dollars. Twenty-eight TRILLION dollars. $28,000,000,000,000. Not quite five times what it was in 2000, and spending hasn’t slowed down a bit. It continues to accelerate.

That which cannot go on, won’t. But the Anointed are getting theirs while the getting is good, and the rest of us are on our own.

How much longer before their gravy train derails? I predicted before the end of 2021, but there’s a lot of ruin in a nation. We may yet hang on a bit, but not forever.

We live in the very best period of history humanity has ever experienced, and we’re about to destroy it nonchalantly, like a child with a Christmas ornament. I’m not sure Billy Beck’s “Endarkenment” is sufficiently descriptive.

R Street: H.R. 1 is a direct attack on free speech and federalism

Today the House of Representatives passed HR1, containing election reforms. R Streets has an article titled H.R. 1 is a direct attack on free speech and federalism. The bill heads to the Senate next where it will face a more difficult battle. President Biden has said that he will sign it if it passes.

H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” is a direct attack on free speech and federalism.

For years, H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” has been advanced as a way to fix our political system. The bill is sweeping in scope, and represents a wish list of ideas from the political left. In the new Congress, the bill will likely take center-stage.

H.R. 1 is likely the most consequential piece of election-related legislation in years and mostly in a bad way. Let’s be clear: it should be easier to participate in elections and easier to talk about elections. Anything that does the opposite is a bad idea.

As an organization, R Street stands strongly for the cause of political reform, and we will always support good policy. H.R. 1 is not good policy. For example:

  • It limits freedom of speech: The first amendment protects public speech and case law accords the most protection to political statements. While the internet does make broad circulation of ideas easier than ever before, reaching a true mass audience almost always requires spending money. Therefore, restricting money spent on political causes, while perhaps well-intentioned, also restricts speech. H.R. 1 only adds to the labyrinth of laws and regulations that govern spending money on political causes and it should be opposed for that reason alone. It’s through political speech that people can make their views known and can debate with each other. Less money for political speech means that whoever has power already is likely to keep it even if they use it in harmful ways.
  • H.R. 1 would weaken organizations that are seeking to impact public policy in positive ways: The first amendment applies to mass media organizations, nonprofits and unions, and is the reason any of these groups can speak without any fear of criminal sanction. Profit-making businesses, the lifeblood of the economy, have political rights too. The right to speak freely also involves the right to speak collectively and anonymously. We believe that limiting speech for people or groups we disagree with eventually could open the door to limiting our own speech. As a non-profit organization, the precedents H.R. 1 would set for groups like us would significantly restrict the ability of numerous organizations to carry out critical policy work.
  • It aims to forbid anonymous speech: Anonymous speech about political matters has played a vital role in America’s history—just ask the authors of The Federalist Papers. Many of those who supported the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s had very legitimate fears of having their identities uncovered. There are many good reasons to speak anonymously and disclosure requirements only harm individuals who support unpopular causes. But sometimes people who support once-unpopular causes turn out to be right. Helping a cause should not require public declarations of support.
  • It federalizes elections unnecessarily: The Constitution and its amendments make two promises that are sometimes at odds: voting rights can’t be abridged and states should run their own elections. While there should be a strong federal role in protecting the right to vote and election security, the specifics of election administration should be left to the states. This helps good policy ideas spread while bad ones die well-deserved deaths. Decentralization makes the overall system stronger—people intent on disruption have to figure out 50 separate systems—and lets states adopt customized practices, preferences and political systems. H.R. 1 would slash these differences and undermine state autonomy, an important strength of our electoral system.

Don’t get us wrong—there are some reforms in H.R. 1 that make a lot of sense. Vote-by-mail, mandatory paper trails for votes, enfranchisement of those with felony records, same-day registration, non-partisan redistricting and federal pre-clearance of changes to voting laws are all ideas worthy of support. But at the federal level, H.R. 1 is a bad bill that would squash political speech.

The Federalist: If Americans Can No Longer Trust Our Elections, We’re In Big Trouble

From Willis Krumholz at The Federalist, If Americans Can No Longer Trust Our Elections, We’re In Big Trouble

The polls from the major networks and universities promised a blue wave. President Trump was down by at least 10 points nationally, and by nearly that much or more in the major swing states. The few pollsters, including Trafalgar, who got 2016 and 2018 right and called 2020 a close race, were widely ridiculed.

Nate Silver, a leftwing poll analyst, was chief among the critics. Silver gave former Vice President Joe Biden a nearly 70 percent chance of winning Florida.

Immediately on Election Day, turnout looked good for the GOP. Trump won Florida decisively and by 8:30 p.m. Central Time, and made huge inroads in urban areas. While Hillary Clinton won Miami-Dade County by 30 points in 2016, the 2020 Trump ticket was down only single digits in the county.

That’s because Trump made significant gains among nonwhite Americans, and according to exit polls had the second-highest nonwhite share of the vote of any Republican since 1976. Cuban Americans are a big reason for Trump decisively winning Florida, but Trump’s gains with minority voters are a nationwide trend. The flipside was lower black and Hispanic turnout for Democrats—except for several major Democratic cities in contested swing states.

In other words, a significant margin of minority voters who didn’t defect to Trump decided not to vote. Indeed, a Bloomberg article days before the election cited anonymous Biden officials who said the campaign was worried about black and Hispanic turnout due to a lack of a ground game in these traditionally Democratic strongholds. But the warnings had gone unheeded.

Instead, the campaign hoped to make up these lost minority votes with gains in the suburbs, particularly among white women. In the end, Trump gained among white women compared to 2016, and only appeared to marginally lose votes from white men—many of which may have been upper-class suburban white men.

Back to Election Night

On election night, Trump’s decisive win in Florida was a bellwether to punters in the betting markets. The Trump campaign also seemed to outperform Election Day voting in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, especially given the turnout seen in Florida. A shy Trump vote did exist, especially in the suburbs among women, and the GOP was morphing into a working-class, increasingly multiracial party. Betting odds swung in Trump’s favor, peaking at around 85 percent.

That’s when things went south for the Trump campaign. In a yet unexplained move, states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin stopped releasing vote counts on election night. Fact-checkers have noted that these states didn’t stop counting—fair enough—but not why they stopped releasing the results of their counting.

Come 4 a.m. the next morning, huge amounts of fresh Biden votes were reported. Trump’s betting odds plummeted, and days later the media declared Biden to be the president-elect.

Except 70 percent of Trump voters, who comprise half the country, are convinced of massive election fraud. Yet corporate media has no intention of investigating claims of fraud. Instead, it has pivoted from saying there is “no evidence” of fraud, to saying that not enough evidence exists to overturn the results.

Contrary to the hope of Trump supporters, the courts will probably be powerless to sort these issues out. This is an incredibly dangerous moment for the country and may be a pivotal point in the future of America’s democratic republic. Did we just cross the Rubicon?

The Morning After

Before all else, we must go to the source of distrust over this election. Whereas Florida finished counting votes on election night, and has a system that knows roughly how many votes are outstanding and will be counted before election night is over, in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin an unknown number of ballots could come in at the last second. And they did.

For that, thank Democrat lawsuits to overturn state voting laws at the last second, using COVID as a pretext. For those who doubt that the suits were nakedly political, note that they looked like a wish list based on a bill Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi authored in 2019 to accomplish nationwide mail-in voting.

Many of the suits were quarterbacked by former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias, who was involved in manufacturing Russiagate’s Christopher Steele “dossier.” Like most things rotten in this country, particular blame should be placed on the courts that decided bureaucrats could unilaterally rewrite state laws to turn absentee voting into mail-in voting.

There was no good reason to remove requirements that absentee ballots arrive before the end of Election Day, nor to allow the fraud-welcoming practice of “ballot-harvesting.” The John Roberts Supreme Court stood idly by and let lower courts rip up longstanding state election law. Democrats and the media complain that the legislatures should have acquiesced and affirmed this judicial tyranny by changing the law to allow ballots to be counted before Election Day. That would have only put the legislature’s seal of approval on a mess that the courts stupidly created.

Mail-In Balloting Is an Easier Fraud Mark

Regardless of the existence or level of fraud in the 2020 election, it is a fact that mail-in balloting opens elections to the likelihood of massive fraud and chaos. First, there’s an easy opportunity for cheating, given the unknown number of ballots that can come in. Because ballots can be accepted after election day, an unscrupulous faction that lags in earlier counting can come up with the votes to make the difference.

Second, there’s less accountability for election officials. In a normal election, it is possible to immediately tell how many votes are cast and from where—once the votes are cast, all that’s left is to count the votes, because officials know by ward and precinct how many votes are in and what type have been cast (are the votes early in-person, absentee, or election day in-person?). Not so for mail-in voting.

One can have a recount, but that will only recount the same bad ballots.

Then, once the counting starts, mail-in voting brings problems of a haphazard chain of custody and reduced controls over voter-eligibility verification. All this is why one can have a recount, but that will only recount the same bad ballots.

The obvious problems with mail-in voting are not a rightwing conspiracy. France banned mail-in voting in the 1970s for these very reasons. In a recent New Jersey mail-in election, about 20 percent of the ballots cast were found to be fraudulent. A local New York election this year saw huge delays in processing ballots. A 2012 article in the New York Times warns that regular old absentee voting could screw up the electoral process, let alone allowing ballots to come in after election day.

Independent left-leaning journalist Glenn Greenwald writes Georgia had an 80 percent chance to go for Trump on election night, ostensibly because of a good Republican turnout. But so many ballots came in for Biden the next morning that the state ostensibly swung to Biden’s favor, due to major Democratic turnout in the Democratic stronghold of Fulton County.

This doesn’t prove fraud, but Greenwald calls this seesaw process in which many areas are counting votes nearly a week after the election a “disgrace.” “Distrust in U.S. outcomes [under such a system] is dangerous but rational,” writes Greenwald.

‘No Evidence’ of Any Fraud?

The media, Democrats, and many establishment Republicans have reflexively repeated that “no evidence” of fraud existed. Yet evidence does exist. The stories coming out of major vote-counting centers are shocking, and only add to the distrust. Dozens upon dozens of witnesses have signed affidavits attesting wrongdoing or highly inappropriate behavior from officials who are supposed to be impartial.

Detroit poll challengers have signed affidavits, under penalty of perjury, that they saw election workers counting ballots for non-eligible voters, and the double counting of voters. These persons say they were harassed constantly, and that election workers and Democratic operatives would get in their faces and start screaming if they raised a concern.

Federal agents threatened one of these whistleblowers, in an effort to get him to recant his story.

Some “election workers” appeared to be AFL-CIO activists. If concerns were raised, GOP poll challengers said, they were ushered from the room by the police and the entire room would cheer. They say election workers’ goal was to get as many GOP poll challengers as possible kicked out of that room.

Poll challengers also allege that they were pushed out of the room when the military ballots came in. Workers were sent to lunch; Democrats ate inside the building and the Republicans ate outside the area where votes were being counted, and the doors were locked so Republicans couldn’t get back in.

Irregularities alleged by these challengers aside from counting ineligible voters include ballots being dropped off by random vehicles, including a Mercedes Benz and a Ferrari, or arriving after the cutoff period. A sworn affidavit claims ballots were being “fraudulently and manually entered” when the person had no information and the birthdate was simply put as “1/1/1900.” Another Detroit GOP poll challenger says she witnessed names on ballots not coming up in the system but being counted nonetheless. When she raised concerns, she says she was kicked out.

Sworn affidavits by several U.S. Postal Service employees, in at least Pennsylvania and Michigan, along with a city employee from Detroit, alleged they were asked to backdate ballots (make ballots appear as if they were sent on election day) by their superiors. It was later revealed that federal agents threatened one of these whistleblowers, in an effort to get him to recant his story. A Clark County Nevada elections department employee says that his coworkers fabricated proof of residence data to allow ineligible voters.

In Philadelphia, GOP poll challengers had to sue to be allowed to observe what election workers were doing. Democratic state officials counter-sued to stop the access. While GOP poll challengers were moved forward in the room, the vote counters were moved further away, a mockery of state law that allows oversight of this process.

Photos of Philly vote counters show several women wearing Biden masks. A Trump campaign lawsuit has a sworn affidavit from a person who says he or she saw USB drives being delivered to the back of the room where voting machines were housed, and where observers were restricted.

In Philadelphia, GOP poll challengers had to sue to be allowed to observe what election workers were doing.

Meanwhile, the Georgia GOP state party chair claims Fulton County election officials told his observers to go home on election night because they were closing up, but then continued to count ballots “in secret.” In Wisconsin, election clerks allegedly altered “thousands” of absentee ballots to make them eligible.

Add to this multiple videos of what appears to be poll workers throwing away Trump ballots, and at least a handful of examples of dead persons voting. A conservative pollster, Richard Baris, claims to have found evidence of 10,000 deceased persons voting in Michigan. Others also claimed to have found thousands of dead voters in that state.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania far exceeded its record for 90-year-olds registering to vote. In Nevada, multiple witnesses signed sworn affidavits that they saw a “Biden-Harris” van filling out loads of ballots.

Yes, Republicans have at least anecdotal evidence of fraud, although in one sense the media is right: these anecdotes are not evidence enough to overturn the election. That’s because there’s no way to quantify any of this evidence into an actual number of bad votes, even assuming all these claims are well-founded.

Then There Are the Statistical Anomalies

There’s more than anecdotal evidence, however. Observers and experts pointed out plenty of statistical anomalies. Some may turn out to be innocuous, or easily explainable. Others have been less well-explained.

First, Republicans took issue with the massive vote dumps for Biden that occurred overnight, in which Biden was getting nearly 100 percent of the vote. One of these was attributed to an extra zero and human error.

Michigan added almost 150,000 votes in one instance, all of which were for Biden except for about 6,000.

Silver tweeted that around 27,000 votes out of Philadelphia went “all for Biden.” In the face of obvious wonderment of how Biden could get 100 percent of such a large share of votes, Silver was quick to claim that election officials “unintentionally enter vote updates one candidate at a time, rather than entering all candidates together.” Maybe, but when votes stop getting reported and reporting starts coming in early in the morning with nearly 100 percent of votes coming in for Biden that justifiably raised eyebrows.

On a graph, these vote dumps in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania resulted in Biden quickly jumping above Trump, and the odds of a Trump win plummeting. Michigan added almost 150,000 votes in one instance, all of which were for Biden except for about 6,000.

On election night, Trump led in Pennsylvania by almost 800,000 votes. The next morning, Trump’s lead shrunk to less than 100,000. Later, ballots found, including those apparently lingering with the U.S. Postal Service, supposedly put Biden over the edge.

Biden received an unbelievable amount of the mail-in share in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Biden’s advantage in mail-in voting was to be expected, but the magnitude of the spikes for Biden in these select states is worth scrutiny. According to ballot requests across the country, GOP voters voted by mail too, just not with the same intensity as Democratic voters.

But while Trump received a reasonable share of the mail-in or absentee votes in places like Ohio, Biden received an unbelievable amount of the mail-in share in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Biden’s Pennsylvania mail-in total, excluding about 90,000 mail-in votes from libertarians and those with no party affiliation, equates to winning all the Democratic and Independent mail-in votes, and 9 percent of the GOP mail-in votes.

Said differently, Biden is up 60 points in absentee or mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, and up by almost 40 points in Michigan. That’s not Biden receiving 60 percent of mail-in votes in Pennsylvania. That’s Biden receiving 80 percent of the mail-in vote. Comparably, Biden was only up single digits in absentee voting in most other battleground states. Biden’s mail-in advantage was 15 points in Ohio and 5 points in Minnesota.

There’s no reason to think Pennsylvania and Michigan should be outliers to national mail-in voting trends. Despite several comments by the president, the Trump campaign ground game in these states encouraged mail-in voting. In Michigan and Wisconsin, according to NBC News, Republicans actually led Democrats in mail-in ballots requested and returned. Yet the vast majority of the ballots that were counted after election day in these states were for Biden.

A Weird, Asymmetric Surge in Only Some Cities

No, this Biden surge in cities wasn’t driven by the suburbs abandoning Trump—Trump didn’t lose the suburbs any more than he lost them in 2016, and losses there were more than replaced by gains in working-class areas. These Biden votes were entirely driven by massive turnout in select Democratic strongholds in swing states. As mentioned before, this turnout was not consistent across the country. In parts of these cities, there was more turnout than registered voters.

Biden only had a net gain of 4,000 votes compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016 in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio. Yet Biden had a net gain of almost 70,000 in Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan. In Minneapolis, Democrats bragged of 88 percent turnout—extremely high relative to the rest of the country and the state…(continues)