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Sunya
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« Reply #135 on: Jul 31, 2020, 03:39 PM »

Thanks Rad, maybe it was not directly sayed but this was what I interpreted at that time when I read it

This is from the Impeachment thread:


My feeling is that Trump will loose the popular vote from anywhere between 3 to 5 million votes. It will come down to the Electoral College in America yet again. And, because of that, like before, it is possible the 'election' will end up with the minority controlling the majority. The Republicans will do anything to hold onto power: period. And that includes destroying what is left of 'democracy' in America itself.


I calculated the election day chart for all time zones in America and all of them have Mercury stationing on that day. That Mercury of course will be squaring the natal Mercury in the USA natal chart: 24 Cancer, retrograde, and squaring it's natal Pluto as well as the transiting Saturn, Pluto, and Pallas. At the same time is will be trining the natal retrograde Lucifer in the USA chart which is at 22 Aquarius which is conjunct it's natal Moon at 18 Aquarius.

*********

"i don't even know how we can look at this charts. For someone like this soul (Trump), what can we take of a nodal return? Where is he going, what is his evolutionary future? Under natural law it would mean him taking responsibility for his actions but he does not follow that law. Isn't that since he is but a reflection of how much us too, as society, have moved away from this law, it will take the time for individual and collective re-alignment with the earth and each other so this reflection fades away?"

************

To look at Trump's chart in order to understand it one must first come to grips with the fact that this is a Soul who has made a contract with Evil. Thus, the normal natural laws that apply to all Souls who have not made that contract do not apply in normal ways, remembering that one of the intentions of Evil, Lucifer, is to create the opposite reality intended. The Nodal return in his chart is also being met with the transiting Neptune also squaring those Nodes, his Sun, Uranus, and his natal Moon. The natal Neptune for the USA chart is also squaring his Lunar Nodal Axis.

The underlying desire within his evil Soul that is being mirrored by, sadly and tragically, so many in America is to be a monarch or a king that dictates everything. He is a sick example of what Friedrich Nietzsche called 'zarathustras' or super humans that are special and are meant to rule over all others that are not zarathustras. Trump considers himself a zarathustra who can do, in his own words, 'what i want to do'. That, indeed, is the very basis of the contract he made with evil: to do whatever he wants. This is then mirrored in other evil Souls like Putin who desires to destroy democracies in all countries, and to replace them all with zarathustras, oligarchs, who control everything. This is, at it's core, the connecting point between Trump and Putin. 

The current republican party is comprised by so many white nationalists who consider themselves superior to all other races, and who desire to be in power at all costs in order to create a reality based on that white nationalism. The current power structure of the republican party has been been for many years now doing all they can to inhibit and block the voting rights of all the people that live in America in order to keep themselves in power. This is why the current republican party has no more actual principles that used to define what the republican party was. Now all's they care about is power and control, and doing whatever to sustain that power and control. All of this is occurring because of the progressive demographic changes underway in America wherein by around 2040 or so the white people will be a minority in 'their' own country.  In essence, the republicans do not want a democracy at all, they want a monarchy. Check this: https://www.rawstory.com/2019/12/republicans-arent-afraid-of-trump-he-freed-them-to-pursue-their-long-buried-dream-of-crushing-democracy/

So this then perfectly aligns with the evil Trump and his desires, which is why they are now so perfectly aligned. Within this are the utter delusional  white evangelical 'christens' who pretend to themselves that Trump 'is the chosen one'. And, of course, the ever evil Trump pretends to himself that his is the chosen one by 'god' versus reality: the chosen one by Evil, Lucifer, itself. The opposite of the actual truth is the issue here. Trump's inner reality is one of total and complete delusions, fictions, that he convinces himself almost minute to minute are actually true. In turn, he needs and attempts to make others 'believe' in those very same delusions and fictions in order to continue his own inner convincing of himself that those delusions and fictions are real: 'see they all believe it'. So he will do anything in order to convince others the the opposite of the truth is real.

In the election chart this is one of the actual meanings of the transiting Neptune in Pisces in opposition to the natal USA Neptune in Virgo: factual reality vs delusions and fictions. So in many ways the election will determine who and what prevails.

So the next election is America of course reflects this tremendous conflict wherein a 'minority' of Americans are these white nationalists who want to maintain control at all costs who live in an utterly delusional reality that, for them is real, the republican party who wants the same thing, their 'chosen one' to lead the way for them, and all other Americans, the majority, who are defined by actual factual reality who want a social and political system that is equitable for all.

The election day chart relative to the natal  USA chart symbolizes all of this.

________________

Anyway my question on arquetypes was not necessary because here is well explained.


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« Reply #136 on: Aug 01, 2020, 05:01 AM »

Laurence Tribe explains the constitutional ‘fail-safe’ — that could result in President Nancy Pelosi

By Bob Brigham
Raw Story
8/1/2020

Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe was interviewed on Friday by MSNBC’s Joy Reid on “The ReidOut.”

Tribe, who has taught at Harvard Law for fifty years and argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court offered an intriguing theory Reid suggested had cheered up many of her viewers.

Reid asked Tribe about President Donald Trump talking about trying to delay the November election as he trails former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls.

“They’re trying to make it look chaotic but there’s a fail-safe mechanism built into the constitution itself,” Tribe said. “No matter how much dust he throws into the gears, at high noon on January 20th, 2021, if there has not been a new president elected, at that point, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House become president of the United States.”

Tribe explained that “all of the enablers at that point would risk committing federal felonies if they were to exercise power, which they no longer have, because Trump would no longer be president.”

“That’s the fail-safe. The constitution is not designed to self-destroy but it’s designed to self-preserve,” he explained.

“There’s every reason to believe that the new Congress is going to be in Democratic hands. So I wouldn’t, at this point, play Trump’s game of throwing up our hands and saying ‘there will be no winner, Trump is going to win by default.’ He can’t really do it,” Tribe noted. “The default solution in our system is President Nancy Pelosi — and I can think of worst things than that.”

*************

Trump Might Try to Postpone the Election. That’s Unconstitutional.

He should be removed unless he relents.

By Steven G. Calabresi
Mr. Calabresi is a co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.
NY Times
8/1/2020 

The president on Thursday tweeted that the 2020 election would be “fraudulent” if there is universal mail-in voting.

I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment.

But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.

Here is what President Trump tweeted:

    With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020

The nation has faced grave challenges before, just as it does today with the spread of the coronavirus. But it has never canceled or delayed a presidential election. Not in 1864, when President Abraham Lincoln was expected to lose and the South looked as if it might defeat the North. Not in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression. Not in 1944 during World War II.

So we certainly should not even consider canceling this fall’s election because of the president’s concern about mail-in voting, which is likely to increase because of fears about Covid-19. It is up to each of the 50 states whether to allow universal mail-in voting  for presidential elections, and Article II of the Constitution explicitly gives the states total power over the selection of presidential electors.
ImageIt is up to each of the 50 states whether to allow universal mail-in voting.

Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on Jan. 20, 2021. Even if President Trump disputed an election he lost, his term would still be over on that day. And if no newly elected president is available, the speaker of the House of Representatives becomes acting president.

President Trump needs to be told by every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election. Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional and without precedent in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.
« Last Edit: Aug 01, 2020, 07:40 AM by Rad » Logged
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« Reply #137 on: Aug 01, 2020, 06:04 AM »

Trump’s mail voting lies debunked by his own lawyers

on August 1, 2020
By Igor Derysh, Salon
- Commentary

President Donald Trump on Thursday tried to draw a distinction between “mail voting” and “absentee voting,” but his own lawyers acknowledged in court documents the two are the same thing.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Trump suggested delaying the election on Thursday amid plummeting poll numbers and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 150,000 people and caused the largest GDP drop in U.S. history. Trump has no power to postpone the election, and the idea was roundly rejected by Republican lawmakers. At the same time, many members of the GOP have expressed similar concerns about mail-in voting as the president.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump claimed without evidence.

Some states have long used all-mail elections. There have been more than 250 million ballots cast by mail in the last 20 years, and only 143 prosecutions related to mail ballot fraud, or a rate of about 0.00006%.

Trump later reiterated that he opposed “mail-in-voting” but “totally” supports “absentee voting,” even though they are the same thing. Trump and many of his aides have repeatedly voted by mail themselves.

Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, for example, have claimed that they voted “absentee” in Florida. But there is no “absentee” voting in Florida. Instead, the state has a “no excuse” vote-by-mail system that allows anyone to cast a ballot by mail for any reason.

Trump’s own lawyers acknowledged that there is no difference between “mail-in voting” and “absentee voting” in a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s mail voting rules last month.

Attorneys for the Trump campaign noted that while some states have different wording regarding the terminology, “the terms ‘mail-in’ and ‘absentee’ are used interchangeably to discuss the use of the United States Postal Service to deliver ballots to and from electors” in a lawsuit available in full on the president’s website.

    On @maddow tonight, I told @AliVelshi that Trump's own lawyers admitted in federal court that "the terms 'mail-in' and 'absentee' are used interchangeably."

    Here are the receipts. pic.twitter.com/wJILzX7FKk

    — Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) July 31, 2020

Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Democratic Party who frequently argues election cases in court, told MSNBC on Thursday that “there is no distinction” between the two terms.

“They are synonyms,” he said. “Some states tend to use the term ‘mail-in.’ Some states tend to use the term ‘absentee.’ Sometimes, within a state, the statutes will refer to both. But they are both the same. They are both processes by which people who don’t want to show up to the polls in person can receive in the mail a ballot . . . that they either mail back or deliver through some other mechanism to election officials. There is no difference.”

Trump’s complaints appear to be based on the premise that mail voters typically have to request and fill out a form in order to obtain a mail-in ballot, but some states are sending every eligible voter an application in anticipation of a surge in mail voting due to the pandemic.

The president falsely claimed on Thursday that states were sending out “hundreds of millions of universal mail-in ballots.”

Aside from the fact that there are not “hundreds of millions” of voters in the country, only California, which Trump lost by 31 points in 2016, plans to send absentee ballots to voters. Though Trump has falsely accused other states like Michigan of sending everyone a ballot, Michigan is one of a handful of states that is sending applications — not ballots — to eligible voters. There is not a single state that is sending ballots or applications to anyone who is not registered to vote.

Trump and Attorney General William Barr have also floated conspiracy theories that these ballots could possibly be tampered with or forged, but these baseless claims have been refuted by Republican state officials. There are numerous safeguards in place, including bar codes and signature verification.

Beverly Clarno, Oregon’s Republican secretary of state, told CBS News that the state’s system uses unique barcodes for each ballot it sends out. Kim Wyman, Washington’s Republican secretary of state, told The New York Times that “vote-by-mail has a lot of security measures.”

“At the end of the day, all voting systems are like banks,” she said. “You build a lot of things in to protect from fraud. You build in a lot of measures to detect it. But ultimately, if somebody wants to commit fraud, or if someone wants to rob a bank, they can. And then we have measures on the back end to prosecute that criminal activity. So you hope to deter it, and you hope it doesn’t happen. But if it does, you have ways to deal with it.”

Pressed on his false claims about mail voting on Thursday, Trump spun a new narrative arguing that he does not want election results to be delayed.

“I don’t want to see an election — you know, so many years, I’ve been watching elections. And they say the ‘projected winner’ or the ‘winner of the election’ — I don’t want to see that take place in a week after Nov. 3, or a month or frankly — with litigation and everything else that can happen — years,” Trump claimed. “Years. Or you never even know who won the election.”

Election experts rejected the idea that counting mailed-in ballots, which happens in every election, would delay the election for years.

“That’s not new. We’ve had absentee voting in this country for a long time,” Elias told MSNBC. “We regularly don’t have all the ballots counted on election night.”

“Any state should be able to count votes-by-mail and verify it within a month unless something derails the system,” Edward Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University, told The Hill.

“We should get ready for the fact that we may not know who won on Election Night,” added Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School. “But there’s a process for counting and a process for fighting over the count. And the Constitution says that all of that is over — full stop — well before noon on Jan. 20.”
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« Reply #138 on: Aug 02, 2020, 05:30 AM »

Obama and Trump highlight two Americas as election draws nearer

Analysis: as the former president eulogized a civil rights hero, his beleaguered successor seemed intent on undermining faith in democracy

David Smith in Washington
Guardian
2 Aug 2020

They were six hours that defined two Americas as well as exposing the magnitude of the decision facing voters in November.

At 8.30am on Thursday, the US government announced that gross domestic product had suffered the biggest decline on record because of a coronavirus-induced shutdown. Minutes later, Donald Trump warned on Twitter that “2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history” – and suggested that it should be postponed.

As the morning wore on, it was announced that Herman Cain, a former presidential candidate who attended a recent Trump rally without a face mask, had died from Covid-19. And in Atlanta, Georgia, at the funeral of the civil rights giant and congressman John Lewis, George W Bush and Bill Clinton paid tribute and the frail Jimmy Carter sent a message of condolence.

Then came a soaring eulogy from Barack Obama ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K7VFkdyX9E&feature=emb_logo ), drawing pungent comparisons between notorious racists of the 1960s and the America of today. “Bull Connor may be gone,” he said. “But today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans.

“George Wallace may be gone. But we can witness our federal government sending agents to use teargas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. We may no longer have to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar in order to cast a ballot. But even as we sit here, there are those in power are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting.”

Soon after the predominantly African American congregation stood and applauded Obama at a pulpit once graced by Martin Luther King Jr, Trump headed to the Red Cross in Washington where Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, told him: “I was in Trump country and they told me to deliver you a message, Mr President. They told me to tell you, you look badass in a face mask.”

The collision of these two worlds, so radically opposed in style and substance, played out live on cable news. In Washington, Trump, under siege from a coronavirus death toll exceeding 150,000, with an economy in free fall and poll numbers to match, was discrediting the legitimacy of the election and drawing a bipartisan backlash that left him isolated as never before.

In Atlanta, four presidents from less polarized times were joining to pay homage to a man who, from his early 20s, had put his life on the line for voting rights and faith in democracy. For Democrats, the sight and sound of Obama at the top of his game provoked a rush of nostalgia – and resolve to turn back the clock by electing his vice-president, Joe Biden, as the next president.

Moe Vela, a former senior adviser to Biden at the White House, said: ““ To me, the whole day was almost a dichotomy. It heightened the choice that we as Americans get in this election. This completely failed leader is playing political games with a legally baseless suggestion about delaying the election. It’s worked for him his whole life but it’s not working any more. I am confident he is in a panic because his old playbook isn’t working.”

Trump spent much of 2016 claiming the election was “rigged” until he narrowly won it. He has made numerous statements casting doubt on the 2020 version, insisting that an expansion of mail-in voting due to the pandemic will lead to widespread fraud – a claim debunked by studies. Even so, his questioning of whether 3 November should remain as the election date still drew sharp intakes of breath and cries of fascism.

On one level, it was classic Trump and remarkably effective: the media furore did dull the impact of the shocking economic numbers that showed a 32.9% contraction in annualized GDP last quarter. But as the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and others shot down the idea, noting that elections continued through the civil war and second world war, and that the president has no power to change the date, it seemed Republicans had finally drawn a line not even Trump could cross.

On Thursday afternoon, at a White House press briefing, the president sought to clarify: “Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history.”

That, many commentators said, was the true intention: to make Americans distrust their own democracy. The coronavirus pandemic and expected surge in mail-in voting does raise the spectre of a chaotic election riddled with delays, disputes and myriad legal challenges – all fertile territory for Trump’s conspiracy theories. He may choose to declare victory long before the last vote is counted and rely on conservative media to weaponise the message.

Tara Setmayer, a former Republican communications director on Capitol Hill, said: “All indicators point to Donald Trump losing but this is not 2016 and Biden is not Hillary Clinton. But who knows? Look at what Trump is doing.

“That tweet about delaying the election, even though constitutionally and under the law he cannot do that, is planting the seeds to get people to question the integrity of the election, which is more dangerous because the peaceful transfer of power is partially what has allowed this constitutional republic to thrive for the last 240 years. When you start chipping away at that, it’s very banana republic to dictatorish and that worries me about what happens in November. There’s no telling what this freakin’ lunatic is willing to do to sully the election.”


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« Reply #139 on: Aug 03, 2020, 08:56 AM »


‘See you in Court!’ Trump threatens to sue Nevada’s Democratic governor over mail-in voting

on August 3, 2020
Raw Story
By Travis Gettys

President Donald Trump threatened to sue Nevada’s Democratic governor after the state legislature approved a measure to mail ballots to all active voters.

The Democratic-led legislature voted to expand mail-in voting for November’s election due to the coronavirus pandemic, which Gov. Steve Sisolak is expected to sign, but Trump and other Republicans have strongly rejected those measures.

“In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state,” Trump tweeted. “Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!”

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, the only Republican to hold statewide office in Nevada, admitted she wasn’t aware of any fraud in June’s primary, when the state mailed all active voters absentee ballots and opened a limited number of polling places.

But she still complained about the process for passing the measure, which she claims to have seen as a draft only a day before lawmakers voted on it.

“We were not involved in this bill’s writing at all,” said Cegavske. “I wish somebody would have asked us about because we could have told you what we had planned.”

    In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court! https://t.co/cNSPINgCY7

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2020

*************

‘Will stop at nothing’: Trump slammed for calling Nevada move to expand mail-in voting an ‘illegal late night coup’

on August 3, 2020
By David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement

President Donald Trump is furious that lawmakers in Nevada approved legislation to expand mail-in voting by sending all registered voters a ballot. Monday morning Trump falsely called the move an “illegal late night coup” that would make it “impossible for Republicans to win the state” and accused the governor of using the coronavirus pandemic to “to steal the state.”

There is no evidence his claims are valid.

On social media Trump was mocked, lambasted, and ridiculed.

    President afraid of losing election resorts to cherry picking states where he can use the courts to prevent voting by people who might vote against him. Nice.

    — (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) August 3, 2020

    in which our president admits that Republicans can’t win without suppressing the vote

    — Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) August 3, 2020

    You dumb fuck. @GovSisolak and the NVLEG passed it in the early afternoon and we’re a state of above 3 million. If Florida can do mostly mail in (which is how you voted) I’m fairly confident we can handle it. Now go back to watching TV. https://t.co/0rmIQNbrIc

    — Matt Johnson (@VivaMattyVegas) August 3, 2020

    Weird for Trump of all people to use “clubhouse” as an epithet https://t.co/MrHjrOYFeO

    — ryan teague beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) August 3, 2020

    In an illegal foreign assisted coup, a racist game show host stole the presidency via the 2016 election. He’s now crying because he knows his time is up. https://t.co/lUz5fgRTfF

    — Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) August 3, 2020

    The President will stop at nothing to prevent people from voting easily. He needs a low turnout and he will use the courts to get it. https://t.co/ArqhFH0Czg

    — (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) August 3, 2020

    Or, this was a legitimate legislative effort by an independent state over which your authority amounts to precisely fuckall. https://t.co/3DCD7BKLzx

    — Ben. No More, No Less. (@BJS_quire) August 3, 2020

    Not a great sign when normal democratic processes to expand voting rights are described as a “coup” https://t.co/kGYPmdJi2O

    — Matt Novak (@paleofuture) August 3, 2020

    “Post Office could never handle the traffic of mail-in votes without preparation”

    – says @realDonaldTrump who defunded and decimated the Post Office, put a donor in charge of it (a man who told letter carriers to slow down deliveries), and won’t let it access $ it was loaned. https://t.co/V0KaTuB2ON

    — Adrienne Watson (@Adrienne_DNC) August 3, 2020

    You are deliberately hobbling the United States Postal Service to try and steal the election. We will remove you. Your time is up. #TrumpShitShow https://t.co/uKuZYR7AE2

    — Rep Richard Dangler (@RDangler) August 3, 2020

    A Presidential admission that if everyone is allowed to vote and all the votes are counted, Republicans can’t win. See you in court –courtesy of the New York AG. https://t.co/lphOE2Ttnp

    — Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) August 3, 2020

    RESIGN and escape to Moscow while you can. https://t.co/Hy8vDRnpTU

    — Rosie Punch (@RosiePunch) August 3, 2020
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« Reply #140 on: Aug 04, 2020, 05:33 AM »


‘No he doesn’t’: Experts shoot down Trump claims that he has authority to stop mail-in voting with an executive order

on August 4, 2020
By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

“This is just about him trying to set up a situation to sow seeds of confusion and fear so that if he loses in November, he can try to delegitimize a completely valid election.”

President Donald Trump ramped up his baseless attacks on mail-in voting late Monday by threatening to issue an executive order curbing the practice ahead of the November elections, a move rights groups and experts said would be a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“I have the right to do it,” Trump said during a Covid-19 press briefing Monday evening. “We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’ll see what happens.”

“No, he doesn’t,” responded attorney Daniel Jacobson. “As the Supreme Court has explained: ‘the Framers of the Constitution intended the States to keep for themselves, as provided in the Tenth Amendment, the power to regulate elections.'”

Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin, also weighed in:

    The President has no power—none—to change individual *state* rules regarding mail-in voting by Executive Order.

    As usual, this is just bluster—designed not to lead to any actual action, but only to further create a cloud around an election potentially decided by mail-in ballots. https://t.co/kQleqAGRxm

    — Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) August 3, 2020

The president’s remarks came just hours after he called the Nevada legislature’s expansion of mail-in ballot access “an illegal late night coup” that would make it “impossible” for Republicans to win the state.

During his press briefing Monday, Trump fired off a barrage of lies about Nevada’s efforts to provide a safe alternative to in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic and said his administration “will be suing” the state. Trump also continued to make a false distinction between absentee voting—which he claims to support—and vote-by-mail.

“You have to look at what they’ve done,” the president said, referring to Nevada. “You can have two ballots, you can harvest—it’s harvesting. So you can take thousands of ballots, put them together, and just dump them down on somebody’s desk after a certain period of time.”

    President Trump: “Absentee [voting] is great. It works. Like in Florida, they’ll do absentee. It really works. But universal mail-in ballots is going to be a great embarrassment to our country.” pic.twitter.com/ZsTJxmxcl8

    — The Hill (@thehill) August 3, 2020

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in an appearance on MSNBC late Monday that any effort by Trump to stop state expansions of vote-by-mail through executive action would be “shot down in court.”

“This is just about him trying to set up a situation to sow seeds of confusion and fear so that if he loses in November, he can try to delegitimize a completely valid election,” said Gupta.

Trump went on to say the U.S. Postal Service won’t be able to handle the unprecedented surge of mail-in ballots—a claim the USPS contradicted in a statement Monday night.

“The Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the agency said.

As Common Dreams reported last week, postal workers and voting rights advocates are growing increasingly concerned that policies implemented at USPS in recent days by Republican Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—a major Trump donor—could threaten the Postal Service’s ability to deliver mail-in ballots on time in November.

“Trump’s assault on the Post Office follows the playbook the gop has used for decades,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) tweeted Monday. “Deliberately sabotage an institution and then claim it’s broken and must be destroyed.”
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« Reply #141 on: Aug 05, 2020, 04:09 AM »

Trump backtracks on Florida mail-in voting: ‘I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail’

Raw Story
8/5/2020
By David Edwards

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he wanted “all” people to vote by mail in Florida.

“Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail!”

    Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020

Defend democracy. Click to invest in courageous progressive journalism today.

The president’s tweet comes after he spent weeks attacking mail-in voting. Florida is the state where Trump is expected to vote.

************

Trump abruptly flip-flopped on voting by mail — here’s why

on August 5, 2020
By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

President Donald Trump and his allies have been waging a disinformation campaign about mail-in voting, aggressively trying to delegitimize the practice that has a history in the United States dating back to the Civil War. The plan, as I’ve argued, seems to be to lay the groundwork for challenging mail-in votes or stopping them from being counted if it looks like he’s ahead with in-person ballots on Election Day.

But on Tuesday afternoon, the president suddenly changed his tune on the matter in one key state: Florida. He sent the following tweet:

    Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020

The tweet references a dubious distinction that Trump has himself been trying to draw between absentee and mail-in ballots. In many jurisdictions, they’re the same thing, though absentee ballots can refer to a subset of mail-in ballots that require the voter to provide an excuse for not voting in person, such as being out of town on Election. But any concerns about mail-in ballots would apply to absentee ballots, so the president’s attempt to draw a distinction makes little sense.

It made even less sense in Florida — where, as it happens, the president votes by mail under suspicious circumstances — because Florida doesn’t have a special category of “absentee” ballots. Anyone who wants to vote by mail can do so.

So why has the president changed his tune and given the green light to mail-in voting in Florida? MSNBC’s Chris Hayes had a plausible answer:

    Allow me to translate: someone told him that he's scaring his elderly supporters in Florida away from vote-by-mail and it's gonna hurt him so hence this. https://t.co/mPAlUlfpiV

    — Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 4, 2020

Brian Beutler of Crooked Media added:

    1) Florida is fast at counting mail ballots.

    2) Florida is filled with seniors.

    3) If Trump discourages Republicans from voting absentee there during a pandemic, Biden wins the state, and thus the whole election, ON ELECTION NIGHT.

    4) Ergo, the below tweet. https://t.co/Uben7QTbs8

    — Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) August 4, 2020

As NPR reported Monday, Joe Biden’s prospects in Florida look promising. If Trump loses there, he’s almost certainly lost the entire race:

    …Biden has gone from a 49% to 48% polling advantage in early February to 50% to 44%, with some reputable surveys showing Biden with a double-digit lead. This is one state we expect to snap back to toss-up, but right now it’s leaning in Biden’s direction.

So abandoning the supposedly principled objection he’s had to mail-in voting for months, Trump has decided to encourage his voters to drop their ballots in the post. It may be the tactically correct move — it just comes at the cost of completely undermining his attempt to delegitimize the process. He began with such little credibility outside his support base that he may not care.

But the Washington Post’s Greg Sergent noted that Trump’s tweet almost certainly doesn’t signal an end to his war against mail-in votes — at least not in any state where he thinks it works to his advantage. Republican lawyers will continue to fight to restrict access to mail-in voting on his behalf:

    Please don't be lulled by this. Even as Trump tells his own voters to vote by mail, GOP lawyers are fighting in court to ensure that mail ballots that arrive after election day are not counted in all the swing states: https://t.co/QwC9ed16cv https://t.co/nplB5OUz96

    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) August 4, 2020
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« Reply #142 on: Aug 05, 2020, 07:01 AM »

Historian who predicted Trump’s upset 2016 win now says he’s going to crash and burn in 2020

on August 5, 2020
Raw Story
By Brad Reed

Allan Lichtman, a political historian who teaches at American University in Washington, D.C., became famous for correctly predicting President Donald Trump’s upset win four years ago.

But in a new interview with The New York Times, Lichtman makes the case that Trump appears very unlikely to win a second term as the country has been racked for months by the coronavirus pandemic, high unemployment, and civil unrest.

Lichtman goes through multiple factors that he says are “keys” to predicting outcomes of presidential races, including the fact that Trump’s party lost the House of Representatives in 2018, the economy has entered into a recession, and there has been “considerable” social unrest over the past three months.
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While the president does have some things going in his favor, including the avoidance of major foreign policy disasters and having an opponent who is not particularly charismatic, Lichtman argues that those aren’t enough to outweigh the other hurdles the president is facing.

“The keys predict that Trump will lose the White House,” he said.

Watch:
<iframe title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="480" height="321" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="true" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" id="nyt_video_player" src="https://www.nytimes.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000007227782"></iframe>

**********

He Predicted Trump’s Win in 2016. Now He’s Ready to Call 2020

Most historians just study the past. But Allan Lichtman has successfully predicted the future.

Featuring Allan Lichtman
NY Times
Aug. 5, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET

This is professor Allan Lichtman. He’s taught history at American University for almost 50 years. He’s a former steeplechase champion. “It’s a race designed for horses but run by people.” “Tic-Tac-Dough.” And a former quiz show winner. “I had a 16-show winning streak. Won four cars.” But we’re not here to talk about any of that. We’re here because “Allan Lichtman” “Allan Lichtman” “Allan Lichtman” is the Nostradamus of presidential elections. He’s accurately predicted them for four decades. Yes, even that one. “Donald Trump sent me a note. Congrats professor. Good call. In his big Sharpie letters.” Now Allan’s ready to tell us who will win in 2020. But we’ll come back to that. Allan Lichtman is certain we’ve been thinking about elections all wrong. “The pollsters and the pundits cover elections as though they were horse races. But history tells us voters are not fooled by the tricks of the campaign. Voters vote pragmatically according to how well the party holding the White House has governed the country.” So polls are worthless?

“They are snapshots in time. None of this in the end has any impact whatsoever on the outcome of a presidential election.” So Allan Lichtman designed a better system to predict presidential winners. He calls it “The Keys to the White House.” And like some other politics these days, there’s a Russian involved. “In 1981, I met Vladimir Keilis-Borok. Vladimir turned to me and said, we are going to collaborate.” By the way, Vladimir wasn’t a historian or a politician. He was a leading expert in predicting earthquakes. “This point, I thought the guy was either nuts or KGB.” He wasn’t.

“We recast American presidential elections as stability, the party holding the White House keeps the White House. And earthquake, the White House party is turned out of power.” So they got to work. “We looked at every presidential election from 1860 to 1980.” What they found were 13 keys. Only two of which have anything to do with the traits of the candidates. Allan has used the keys to accurately predict every election. First in 1984, calling it two years early before anyone even knew who Reagan’s contender would be. In 1988, calling it in spring when Bush was trailing Dukakis. Again in ‘92, ‘96 and in 2000, when he called it for Al Gore? Hey, Allan. “No, no, I wasn’t wrong. I correctly predicted that Al Gore would win the popular vote. When I first developed the system in ‘81, you had to go all the way back to 1888 to find a divergence between the popular vote and the Electoral College vote.” So Allan eventually started calling the winner, not just the popular vote, which was useful 16 years later when, well, you know.

“I’m a Democrat. And the toughest thing in being a forecaster is to keep your own politics out of it.” But that’s enough history, professor. Let’s get to it. What do Allan’s 13 keys predict for 2020? “And remember, an answer of ‘true’ always favors the re-election of the White House party. If six or more of the keys are false, you get a political earthquake.” OK, No. 1: The White House party gained House seats between midterm elections. “Republicans lost the U.S. House midterms in 2018. So false.” No. 2: There is no primary contest for the White House party. “No Republicans challenged Trump for his renomination. So true.” No. 3: The incumbent seeking. The sitting president is running for re-election. “Doesn’t look like he’s stepping down, so true.” Four: There is no third-party challenger. “Despite claims by Kanye West to be running, this is a two-party race.” This is looking pretty good for Trump so far. No. 5: The short-term economy is strong. “The pandemic has pushed the economy into recession. False.” Six: Long-term economic growth during this presidential term has been as good as the past two terms. “The pandemic has caused such negative G.D.P. growth in 2020 that the key has turned false.” No. 7: The White House has made major changes to national policy. “Through his big tax cut, but mostly through his executive orders, Trump has fundamentally changed the policies of the Obama era. So true.” No. 8: There is no social unrest during the term. “There has been considerable social unrest on the streets, with enough violence to threaten the social order. So false.” No. 9: The White House is untainted by scandal. “My favorite key. As I predicted, Trump was impeached. Plus he has plenty of other scandals. So false.” No. 10: The White House has no major foreign or military failures abroad. “We’ve had some very difficult moments with Donald Trump. But so far, true.” 11: The White House has a major success abroad. “While Trump hasn’t had any big splashy failures, he hasn’t had any major successes either. So false.” 12: The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic. “Donald Trump is a great showman. But he only appeals to a narrow slice of the American people. And as a result, false.” 13: The challenger is uncharismatic. “Biden is a decent empathetic person, but he’s not inspirational or charismatic. So true.” That means — “The keys predict that Trump will lose the White House.” That’s Allan Lichtman’s prediction. And Allan Lichtman is always right. “Don’t just take my word for it. There are forces at play outside the keys — voter suppression, Russian meddling. It’s up to you the voters to decide the future of our democracy. So get out and vote. Vote in person. Vote by mail. As Abraham Lincoln said, the best way to predict the future is to choose it.”

Right now, polls say Joe Biden has a healthy lead over President Trump. But we’ve been here before (cue 2016), and the polls were, frankly, wrong. One man, however, was not. The historian Allan Lichtman was the lonely forecaster who predicted Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016 — and also prophesied the president would be impeached. That’s two for two. But Professor Lichtman’s record goes much deeper. In 1980, he developed a presidential prediction model that retrospectively accounted for 120 years of U.S. election history. Over the past four decades, his system has accurately called presidential victors, from Ronald Reagan in ’84 to, well, Mr. Trump in 2016.

In the video Op-Ed above, Professor Lichtman walks us through his system, which identifies 13 “keys” to winning the White House. Each key is a binary statement: true or false. And if six or more keys are false, the party in the White House is on its way out.

So what do the keys predict for 2020? To learn that, you’ll have to watch the video.

<iframe title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="480" height="321" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="true" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" id="nyt_video_player" src="https://www.nytimes.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000007227782"></iframe>
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« Reply #143 on: Aug 06, 2020, 08:59 AM »

Pence brags about plan to fight mail-in votes: Trump will ‘head straight to the courthouse’ — hints at using SCOTUS to win

on August 6, 2020
By David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement

Vice President Mike Pence let down his guard in an interview with David Brody, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network reporter in a just-released video about the Trump administration’s plan to fight the mail-in voting process to win the election – and possibly to use the Supreme Court to win.

Pence bragged that the Trump administration – not the Trump campaign, which shows there is no line between the two – has plans to challenge mail-in ballots in court.

“You’re going to see this president and our administration head straight to the courthouse,” Pence declared, proudly. “We’re going to oppose universal mail-in voting.”

“We’re going to lean into the courts at every level,” he added, suggesting they already have a plan to take the battle to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Earlier this week one noted author claimed Jared Kushner is “in charge of planning [a] last ditch try at disqualifying Biden ballots on election night, urging Republican state legislatures to ‘send competing slates of electors,’ and then seeking a Supreme Court ruling in Trump’s favor.”

Watch the vice president’s remarks:

    JUST RELEASED: VP Mike Pence on fighting Democrats’ plan for massive mail-in balloting in 2020: “You’re going to see this president and our administration head straight to the courthouse…We’re going to lean into the courts at every level.” @Mike_Pence @VP @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/lQeOnz5FnE

    — David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) August 6, 2020

Watch: https://twitter.com/DavidBrodyCBN/status/1291362177237090305
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« Reply #144 on: Aug 07, 2020, 04:46 AM »

Brace yourself for months of lawlessness — ‘Election Night’ likely will not end until 2021

on August 7, 2020
By John Stoehr, The Editorial Board
- Commentary

There’s nothing wrong with treating American politics like a sport as long as everyone involved in the competition is playing the same sport by the same rules. There’s nothing wrong as long as both sides agree the rules are legitimate, both commit to obeying them and both accept the consequences when they break them.

But there is a problem with treating American politics like a sport when one side is playing soccer and the other is playing football while neither can agree to the rules, because one side won’t commit to obeying them. There is something wrong when one side not only refuses to accept the consequences of rule-breaking but sets out to undermine the idea of rules altogether. In that case, treating politics like a sport, as the Washington press corps habitually does, isn’t helpful. It’s harmful. Even dangerous.
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The biggest problem with the upcoming election, from the point of view of Americans who want to see the incumbent gone, is something that would not normally be a problem. Indeed, it has never been a problem in our lifetimes. It has been a civic good. What I’m talking about is blind institutional faith. Most of us, even the great cynics among us, still believe the system is fundamentally sound. We believe the rules are inviolate. Little appears to be standing in the way of a 2020 Democratic landslide.

Before explaining why blind institutional faith is a problem, let me add that it feels so good to have blind faith in our institutions. All of us want to believe the only thing threatening Joe Biden’s victory is voter apathy, and many of us want to believe that voter apathy is moot after the trauma that was the 2016 election. Blind institutional faith is moreover affirmed, and that good feeling compounded, by a Washington press corps that habitually treats American politics like a sport. If all the major polls show Biden ahead of the president by double digits in critical swing states, then surely this nightmare is about to end. Good will triumph over evil, and everything will be fine.

Everything won’t be fine, though, and good might not triumph over evil if recent findings by Nils Gilman and Rosa Brooks are any indication. Together with about 70 expects—legal scholars, retired military officers, former US officials, strategists and attorneys—they oversaw a series of “war games” that “peered ahead to the Nov. 3 election, now less than 90 days away, and explored how the race between Trump and Joe Biden could turn into a post-election crisis,” wrote USA Today’s Joey Garrison. In the process, they demonstrated, I think, how blind institutional faith is problematic.

Called the Transition Integrity Project, the group gamed out, in June, a series of plausible and possible scenarios. Its findings are frightening. “In an election taking place amid a pandemic, a recession and rising political polarization, the group found a substantial risk of legal battles, a contested outcome, violent street clashes and even a constitutional impasse,” Garrison wrote. Here are the key points of group’s report:

The election won’t end on Election Day: “We face a period of contestation,” the report said. “The winner may not, and we assess likely will not, be known on ‘election night’ as officials count mail-in ballots.” “An unscrupulous candidate”—meaning Trump—will cast doubt on the election’s legitimacy and “set up an unprecedented assault on the outcome.” Everyone must be “educated to adjust expectations” starting now.

The election will be contested well into January 2021: “We anticipate lawsuits, divergent media narratives, attempts to stop the counting of ballots, and protests drawing people from both sides.” The president “will very likely use the executive branch to aid his campaign strategy, including through the Department of Justice. There’s a chance the president will try convincing red-state officials “to take actions—including illegal actions—to defy the popular vote.” Of particular concern, the report said, is “how the military would respond in the context of uncertain election results.”

The transition will be highly disrupted: Instead of handing off power, “Trump would prioritize personal gain and self-protection,” the report said. He “may use pardons to thwart future criminal prosecution, arrange business deals with foreign governments that benefit him financially, attempt to bribe and silence associates, declassify sensitive documents, and attempt to divert federal funds to his own businesses.”

The report offers recommendations. They boil down to getting ready. This is not a normal president. This won’t be a normal transition. We are entering a period of historic uncertainty in which none of us can take anything for granted, not even the rules—laws, norms, institutions—that many of us place our trust in. There’s still time to re-balance expecting the worst with hoping for the best. That’s fortunate, because most of us are still expecting the best to happen while praying the worst won’t.

John Stoehr is the editor and publisher of the Editorial Board, a newsletter about politics in plain English for normal people and the common good. He’s a visiting assistant professor of public policy at Wesleyan University, a fellow at the Yale Journalism Initiative, a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly, and a contributing editor for Religion Dispatches.
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« Reply #145 on: Aug 08, 2020, 04:11 AM »


‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a major Trump donor—ousts top officials

on August 8, 2020
By Common Dreams

Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a “Friday Night Massacre” for the U.S. Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General—had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of top executives from key posts and the reshuffling of more than two dozen other officials and operational managers.

According to the Washington Post:

    The shake-up came as congressional Democrats called for an investigation of DeJoy and the cost-cutting measures that have slowed mail delivery and ensnared ballots in recent primary elections.

    Twenty-three postal executives were reassigned or displaced, the new organizational chart shows. Analysts say the structure centralizes power around DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major ally of President Trump, and de-emphasizes decades of institutional postal knowledge. All told, 33 staffers included in the old postal hierarchy either kept their jobs or were reassigned in the restructuring, with five more staffers joining the leadership from other roles.

Already under fire for recent policy changes at the USPS that mail carriers from within and outside critics have denounced as a sabotage effort to undermine the Postal Service broadly as well as disrupt efforts to carry out mail-in voting for November’s election amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the moves unveiled late Friday were viewed as an overt assault on democracy and a calculated opportunity to boost Republican’s long-held dream of undercutting or privatizing the government-run mail service while also boosting their election prospects in the process.

“Another Friday night massacre by this administration—and this time dealing another devastating blow to our postal service,” said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) “The American people deserve answers and we’re going to keep fighting for them.”

Scanlon was among more than 80 congressional lawmakers who sent a letter to DeJoy earlier in the day expressing “deep concerns” about operational changes he has made for mail carriers that have delayed deliveries and lowered standards.

“It is vital that the U.S. Postal Service not reduce mail delivery times, which could harm rural communities, seniors, small businesses, and millions of Americans who rely on the mail for critical letters and packages,” the letter stated. “Eliminating overtime and directing postal workers to leave mail on the floor of postal facilities will erode confidence in the Postal Service and drive customers away, resulting in even worse financial conditions in the future.”

As Common Dreams reported earlier Friday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was among those who signed the letter and also called for DeJoy’s efforts to be investigated by the Inspector General of the USPS. Since 2016 alone, DeJoy has donated more than $2.5 million to the Republican Party and candidates. In 2020, prior to his appointment as Postmaster General by the GOP-controlled board of governors, DeJoy had already given approximately $360,000 to a Super PAC supporting Trump’s reelection.

As the Post notes in its reporting, the reshuffling of top managers and executives—as well as a hiring freeze and push for early retirements—”worried postal analysts, who say the tone of DeJoy’s first eight weeks and his restructuring have recast the nation’s mail service as a for-profit arm of the government, rather than an essential service.”

In a video posted to Twitter, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oreg.) characterized DeJoy as a “political crony” of the president’s and also denounced the brazen efforts now on display as a “Friday Night Massacre” scenario:

Appearing Friday afternoon on Capitol Hill, DeJoy brushed off accusations that he is acting as a political bag man for Trump. “While I certainly have a good relationship with the president of the United States, the notion that I would ever make decisions concerning the Postal Service at the direction of the president or anyone else in the administration is wholly off-base,” DeJoy said.

But outside critics like Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics and a fierce critic of Trump’s behavior as president, said the latest move should be seen as nothing less than a direct effort by DeJoy to exploit his authority at the Postal Service to further the president’s political interests and reelection prospects.

According to Brian Tyler Cohen, a liberal commentator and podcast host, “Congressional Democrats need to do something about this” immediately.

“If we wait until October/November, it’ll be too late,” said Cohen. “Trump is actively sabotaging the election under our noses—this isn’t theoretical, it’s happening RIGHT NOW.” Cohen said this situation should be treated like a “fucking five-alarm fire” and said action must be taken by both lawmakers and the U.S. public without delay.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chair of the House subcommittee which has oversight for the USPS, said what DeJoy is trying to pass off as simple organizational restructuring is actually “a Trojan Horse” designed to destroy one of the nation’s most trusted and valued institutions from within.

Connolly on Friday night called it, “Deliberate sabotage to disrupt mail service on the eve of the election—an election that hinges on mail-in ballots.”
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« Reply #146 on: Aug 08, 2020, 05:36 AM »

Trump Has Launched a Three-Pronged Attack on the Election

And it starts with undermining the U.S. Postal Service.

August 7, 2020
Laurence H. Tribe
University professor of constitutional law emeritus at Harvard Law School
Jennifer Taub
Professor of law at the Western New England University School of Law
Joshua A. Geltzer
Executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection
The Atlantic

As President Donald Trump reflects on his sinking approval ratings and grows more desperate by the day, he’s been floating a dictator’s dream: postponing the November election. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Trump loyalists, including the Federalist Society co-founder Steven Calabresi, swiftly rejected this authoritarian fantasy. So Trump has retreated to a fallback position: casting doubt on the legitimacy of any election he doesn’t win. That starts by inventing fables about how voting by mail invites massive fraud and interminable delay—except, Trump now tells us, in Florida, where Trump’s elderly supporters will surely rely on it.

Trump’s attack on voting by mail has several fronts, but one is by far the most serious: his attempt to slow down mail service, perhaps in a targeted way, while also insisting that only ballots counted on November 3 are valid. In addition to casting doubt on the entire election, another purpose of this scheme is to engineer a scenario in which Trump can pressure Republican-controlled legislatures to ignore the popular vote in their Democratic-leaning swing state (think Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) and instead select an Electoral College slate that supports him. Trump’s attempt to cut short the counting of valid votes is flatly contrary to constitutional law and federal statutes. Even so, states can and should do more to protect American’s mailed-in votes. States should immediately enact new legislation or take other legal steps clarifying that they intend for Congress to honor electors they choose, and that they may need a bit of time to finalize choosing them—ideally doing so by December 23 and no later than January 6, 2021, when Congress meets in special session to certify the election results. Through state-level action, Trump’s efforts can be neutralized.

We can see glimmers of Trump’s approach in what he said about Florida’s tight 2018 gubernatorial and Senate races, and he’ll say it again to delegitimize the counting of mail-in ballots that might cost him reelection. We’ve received a frightening preview in the Census Bureau’s recent announcement that it plans to cut off population-counting efforts one month early, well before needed to meet the December 31 deadline for delivering census results to Congress.. This decision was made after the Trump administration itself had asked for more time, not less. It’s the same play: When Trump doesn’t like the numbers coming in, he stops counting.

Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes: Trump is terrified of losing

Halting vote-counting after Election Day requires Trump to stage a three-pronged attack: slowing mail delivery, then urging Republican state legislatures to deem Election Day “failed” because of the many uncounted votes, and finally denouncing as illegitimate all vote-counting that continues after Election Day—even as slowly delivered mail-in ballots keep arriving. Leading the first step is Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who’s reportedly shutting down post offices and slowing mail delivery under the guise of cost-cutting. Employees say that piles upon piles of letters and packages remain undelivered, stranded for weeks on end. These efforts undermine public confidence in the Postal Service and threaten to slow the distribution of blank ballots to voters and the return of completed ballots to state officials—with a likely disproportionate effect on Democratic-leaning urban voters, for whom the coronavirus’s circulation in cities makes mail-in voting particularly appealing. The likely surge in mail-in ballots that the pandemic will encourage suggests that tallying the election results won’t be completed on November 3 but will take days, possibly weeks, to complete accurately.

Trump will almost certainly use this delay as an opportunity to cast doubt on the whole election. He may even try to urge Republican-controlled legislatures in states that tend to vote blue but supported him in 2016 to deem Election Day “failed” given the uncounted votes, as well as pressure those legislatures to then exploit a federal law that allows them to come up with a new way to appoint presidential electors—such as handpicking a slate committed to Trump.

Trump may additionally think his hand is strengthened by another federal law that tells Congress to respect each state’s final resolution of ballot disputes if made by December 8. This date may well be too soon for all mail-in ballots to be counted when the pandemic is sure to increase the number of such ballots cast. But that provision is a mere “safe harbor”: It doesn’t require that states resolve ballot disputes by December 8. The only statutory deadline for a state to send its tally is December 23, and the only deadline for receiving a state’s tally—the true constitutional deadline—is January 6, when Congress meets in special session to certify the election results. So there’s no excuse for a state to call its election a failure or for Congress to disregard the results so long as they’re resolved ideally by December 23 but ultimately no later than January 6—not December 8.

Here’s why: Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for the states to “give their votes.” Congress chose the “first Monday after the second Wednesday in December,” which this year is December 14. However, Congress also provided a backup date, the “fourth Wednesday in December,” which this year is December 23. This is the day when the president of the Senate requests any state from which no certified vote has been received to send one “by the most expeditious method possible.” The law requires any such state to transmit its vote count by registered mail to the Senate president (or if the president is not present, the archivist). Insisting on December 8, rather than December 23, cuts short by nearly one-third the time available to make sure that every legitimate vote is counted—and it plays into the absurd claim Trump seems prepared to make: Because there might not be time to count all mail-in ballots this year, none should be counted.

Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart III: The looming threat to voting in person

In its infamous Bush v. Gore decision, the Supreme Court’s five-justice majority treated the early-December “safe harbor” date as a firm deadline for Florida to stop its recount—but only because of the majority’s view of Florida law. The Court pointed to language from Florida’s Supreme Court suggesting that the Florida legislature, by trying to meet the safe-harbor date, intended to sink all ballots that failed to be recounted by then. And the Florida legislature, to be fair, hadn’t made it as clear as it might that it had no such perverse intention.

States can and should act now to avoid Bush v. Gore treatment. Before November 3, they should pass new laws or enact new policies through their executive branch that make a commitment to democracy, regardless of political party (or seek definitive rulings from their highest court before that date). Such efforts wipe off the table Trump’s potential election-tampering tactics.

First, states should pass statutes making clear that vote-counting must be done not by December 8, but by January 6—and ideally by December 23, which still provides crucial additional time. This will ensure that a state legislature can’t claim voters “failed to make a choice” simply because vote-counting necessarily continued past Election Day, and that Congress can’t disregard results from states simply because they arrive after December 8, or after December 14, the statutory (but not constitutional) date set for the Electoral College to meet and to send vote counts to the Senate and archivist.

Second, states should adopt a postmark rule, whereby every ballot postmarked on or before November 3 is included in the tally. If the question isn’t whether ballots are received by November 3 but instead whether they’re sent by that date, a deliberately tardy Postal Service no longer poses the same threat. Of course, not all states may be able to accomplish this through legislation, but state courts may provide another promising path. One example is the set of voters in Minnesota who sued their secretary of state to challenge the state law that said absentee ballots would be counted only if received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. A Minnesota court approved a settlement with the voters that requires all absentee ballots to be postmarked on or before November 3 and arrive no more than seven days after Election Day to be counted. This decision indicates that any rule to count only ballots received by Election Day during this pandemic is an unlawful burden on voting rights, in violation of the equal-protection provisions of state constitutions and the U.S. Constitution.

Norm Ornstein: The November election is going to be a mess

Third, states should start the mail-in and early-voting processes well before November 3, and as soon as the candidates up and down the ballot are known. This will help states count the unprecedented wave of mail-in ballots they’re about to receive.

Fourth, states should invest in vote-by-mail infrastructure, such as what Colorado has in place, including dedicated drop boxes for ballots that bypass the postal system entirely. What’s more, states should urge loudly that federal money to help with this task be included in the next coronavirus-relief package.

And fifth, states should, in every way possible—including by litigation—erase any doubt that they mean to count every legitimate ballot, even if counting needs to continue not just until December 8 but until December 23 and, if necessary, until January 6. The difference could be between losing American democracy and saving it.

Trump thinks he has a trio of tricks up his sleeve for November: Slow the mail, rely on Republican state legislatures to deem Election Day a failure with so many votes still uncounted, and decry as illegitimate all vote-counting that persists past Election Day, and certainly past December 8. State legislatures and courts should act now to show just how futile this strategy would be for Trump. In so doing, they would be shoring up the electorate’s confidence in our voting system’s integrity, and would be reinforcing the foundations of a great democracy by reaffirming a simple principle: If we believe in one person, one vote, then every American’s lawfully cast vote should be counted.
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« Reply #147 on: Aug 09, 2020, 04:52 AM »


Trump campaign conspiring with GOP leaders to disrupt the November election: report

on August 9, 2020
By Matthew Chapman
Raw Story

On Saturday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump has been brainstorming with GOP officials on how to curb mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 election.

“Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have taken to the courts dozens of times as part of a $20 million effort to challenge voting rules, including filing their own lawsuits in several battleground states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Nevada,” reported Anita Kumar. “And around the time Trump started musing about delaying the election last week, aides and outside advisers began scrambling to ponder possible executive actions he could take to curb mail-in voting — everything from directing the postal service to not deliver certain ballots to stopping local officials from counting them after Election Day.”

There is no clear legal basis for most of these schemes, as elections are predominantly run at the state level.

Alarm has risen in recent weeks about changes in postal service by the president’s new postmaster general and longtime donor, Louis DeJoy. Under DeJoy’s directive, several senior postal officials have been reassigned or fired, and the postal service has made policy changes that are slowing down delivery.
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« Reply #148 on: Aug 10, 2020, 05:33 AM »

Lawmakers demand removal of Postmaster General DeJoy over ‘nefarious’ efforts to ‘aid Trump re-election’

on August 10, 2020
By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

“He is working to dismantle a fundamental institution of our democracy. He needs to resign or be removed, now.”

On the heels of a “Friday Night Massacre” at the U.S. Postal Service that deeply alarmed lawmakers, activists, and ordinary citizens nationwide, two House Democrats are demanding the immediate removal of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over his sweeping operational changes to the beloved government service that have slowed the delivery of essential packages and jeopardized mail-in voting.

“DeJoy’s nefarious collective efforts will suppress millions of mail-in ballots and threaten the voting rights of millions of Americans, setting the stage for breach of our Constitution.”
—Rep. Peter DeFazio

In a statement over the weekend, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) accused DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump with millions invested in USPS competitors—of doing the president’s bidding by sabotaging mail delivery with the November election less than 90 days away.

“DeJoy’s baseless operational changes have already crippled a beloved and essential agency, delaying mail, critical prescription drug shipments for veterans, and seniors and other essential goods,” said DeFazio.

The Oregon Democrat warned that the latest change imposed by DeJoy—the ouster of two top officials and reshuffling of nearly two dozen others—lay bare his “mission to centralize power, dismantle the agency, and degrade service in order to thwart vote-by-mail across the nation to aid Trump’s reelection efforts.”

“This November, an historic number of citizens will vote by mail in order to protect their health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said DeFazio. “DeJoy’s nefarious collective efforts will suppress millions of mail-in ballots and threaten the voting rights of millions of Americans, setting the stage for breach of our Constitution. It is imperative that we remove him from his post and immediately replace him with an experienced leader who is committed to sustaining a critical service for all Americans.”

DeJoy, a former North Carolina logistics executive, was appointed to lead USPS by the agency’s Board of Governors in May despite his complete lack of experience at the Postal Service and his potential conflicts of interest, which have drawn scrutiny from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other lawmakers. After taking charge in mid-June, the new Postmaster General wasted little time rolling out changes to USPS that postal workers said undermine the agency’s core mission and potentially set the stage for privatization.

During an open session last week with the Board of Governors, DeJoy rebuked lawmakers for “sensationalizing” major mail backlogs reported in states across the nation and downplayed the resulting delays as “isolated, operational incidents.” Postal workers, for their part, have warned that the delays appear to be a direct consequence of DeJoy’s policies barring overtime and prohibiting the sorting of mail ahead of morning deliveries.

As the American Prospect‘s David Dayen noted, the Postal Service under DeJoy’s leadership has also “informed states that they’ll need to pay first-class 55-cent postage to mail ballots to voters, rather than the normal 20-cent bulk rate.”

“That nearly triples the per-ballot cost at a time when tens of millions more will be delivered,” Dayen noted. “The rate change would have to go through the Postal Regulatory Commission and, undoubtedly, litigation. But the time frame for that is incredibly short, as ballots go out very soon. A side benefit of this money grab is that states and cities may decide they don’t have the money to mail absentee ballots, and will make them harder to get. Which is exactly the worst-case scenario everyone fears.”

    This is the clearest example yet of Trump and his puppet Postmaster General’s attempts to sabotage the USPS before November’s election.

    This kind of behavior is why we’re demanding an investigation into Trump’s USPS—the Inspector General should add this to their list. https://t.co/2aXcLeZsF9

    — Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 8, 2020

Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) said in a statement issued alongside DeFazio’s that DeJoy is guilty of “unconstitutional sabotage of our Postal Service with complete disregard for the institution’s promise of the ‘safe and speedy transit of the mail’ and the ‘prompt delivery of its contents.'”

“My friend Maya Angelou used to say, ‘when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time,'” Adams added. “The Postmaster General has shown us on multiple occasions he is working to dismantle a fundamental institution of our democracy. He needs to resign or be removed, now.”


* dejoy.JPG (80.39 KB, 822x806 - viewed 6 times.)
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« Reply #149 on: Aug 11, 2020, 02:40 PM »

Kamala Harris will join Joe Biden on the Democratic Party ticket as the VP nominee to defeat Donald Trump and Mike Pence in November

on August 11, 2020
Raw Story
By Roxanne Cooper

Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive 2020 nominee for president, will be joined on the ticket by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who will serve as his running mate.

The choice of a running mate has added significance this year because of Biden’s age. He turns 78 on November 20 and would be the oldest man ever to assume the office if he defeats Trump, as polls predict.

“The vice-presidential pick this year is so much more important than it normally is because people expect Biden to only serve one term,” said David Barker, a professor of government at American University.
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“And so whomever he picks as vice president is likely to be the next Democratic candidate for president in four years,” Barker said.

Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican-born father and Indian-born mother, served as a district attorney in San Francisco before becoming attorney general of California, the first woman to hold the post in the most populous US state.

She was elected to the Senate in 2016, just the second black woman elected to the body and the first woman of South Asian heritage.

Harris challenged Biden for the Democratic nomination but dropped out of the race in December 2019 and threw her support behind Biden, the former vice president and senator from Delaware, in March.

Biden and Harris clashed during an early Democratic primary debate but he appears not to hold it against her.

Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs led more than 100 prominent African-American men Monday in penning an open letter urging presidential candidate Joe Biden to choose a woman of color as his running mate.

President Donald Trump said earlier on Tuesday that some men may feel “insulted” by his Democratic rival Joe Biden’s commitment to choose a woman as his vice presidential candidate.

“He roped himself into a certain group of people,” Trump told Fox Sports Radio in an early morning phone-in interview.

“Some people would say men are insulted by that and some people would say it is fine,” Trump said.

Declaring that he wants a government as diverse as the country itself, Biden committed early in his campaign, in March, that he would name a woman on the ticket.

Only two other women have been nominated vice presidential candidates — Sarah Palin by the Republican party in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro by the Democrats in 1984 — and neither made it into the White House. No woman has won the presidency either.

In the radio interview, Trump praised his own vice president, Mike Pence, but said bluntly: “people don’t vote for the vice president, they really don’t.”

“You can pick a George Washington to be a vice president. Let’s pick up Abraham Lincoln, coming back from the dead. They just don’t seem to vote for the vice president.”

*******

Below:

1. Natal Chart for Kamala Harris
2. Harris natal chart with the outer ring of the transits to it on election day
3. Synastry chart with Joe Biden: Biden's natal chart is the inner wheel

To enlarge the chart simply put your cursor on the 'jpg' for the chart and click it


* harris.JPG (160.68 KB, 1021x999 - viewed 13 times.)

* election day harris.JPG (154.44 KB, 1034x1006 - viewed 9 times.)

* syanastry chart of biden and harris.JPG (159.09 KB, 1051x1020 - viewed 11 times.)
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