One party rule

“Don’t you think it’s better when the government isn’t in control of one party?”

With the Democrats ready to take back the Senate (as I write this), that question comes up.

My answer? Normally, yes.

But that concept labors under the assumption that the parties will then work together and compromise. As long as one of the parties refuses to do that — refuses to even let bills come to the floor to be debated — then no, all that does is make government inefficient, useless, and nonresponsive to the electorate.

Give me a reasonable Republican party and maybe I’d agree.

The stupidest election lawsuit yet

Yesterday, the Trump election deniers lost their 50th case in their ridiculous quest to destroy democracy.

Here’s why it is so laughable.

The legislature here in Pennsyvania — which is still run by Republicans — last year passed the law allowing mail in ballots. Many of the GOP candidates urged their voters to use them. Not one complained about it or claimed the law they had passed was unconstitutional.

Suddenly they lose the state.

“The mail in ballots we passed and didn’t complain about for an entire year are unconstitutional!” they suddenly discovered. “Clearly, the only solution is throw every single one of these ballots out even though there was no fraud whatsoever and literally millions of voters would be disenfranchised.”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court laughed that out of court, pointing out that not only was the lawsuit untimely but was clearly blatantly political. Not only that, even if the complaint was valid, the resolution suggested (throwing out all the mail-in ballots) was not reasonable.

The Trumpies appealed to the Supreme Court and within an hour, the case was denied with a one sentence statement and no dissenting comments from the court. (It should be noted that in order for the Supreme Court to decide to accept a case, you need at least three judges to agree — so at least one if not all three of the justices appointed by Trump voted to not take the case).

Of course, as I stated earlier, the real reason for all these cases is to raise money from the rubes. It has nothing to do with real law in any sense, which is why real lawyers have either refused to take these cases or have resigned as Trump’s attorneys — leaving us with Guiliani and his crew of slapstick-comedy rejects.

The latest attempt comes from Texas, whose motto is apparently “Don’t mess with Texas, but it’s perfectly fine for us to mess with you.” The Texas Attorney General has filed this case trying to throw out the results in only states Trump lost, with another vague accusation of something-wrong-but-no-one-seems-to-have-any-evidence-or-idea-exactly-what-it-is.

Since Republican ideology never actually stands for anything except money and power for them and their donors, the claim of “state’s rights” gets thrown right out the door in this blatant attempt for one state to interfere with the elections of another.

The Solicitor General of Texas — you know, the one who is supposed to argue these cases in the Supreme Court — has refused to participate, leaving Texas AG Ken Paxton to do all the work. You remember Paxton, right? The guy who is supposed to uphold the law who has been indicted for security fraud? Yes, that Paxton, whose real goal with this lawsuit is to impress Trump into giving him a pardon.

These criminals are so used to getting their way that they are astounded that the law is being applied to them.

Examining Nate Silver’s predictions for 2020

Nate Silver (of fivethirtyeight.com) actually did a pretty good job. Keep in mind that he is not a pollster; he just takes the polls, weighs them based on the pollster’s history of accuracy, averages them with math I don’t understand, and then makes his prediction.

Trump was undercounted in all the polls by about 2%, so the predictions for Florida and North Carolina going Biden’s way were wrong, but the others were around that 2% difference.

His prediction for some of the “swing states” is on the left and the actual percentage is on the right. The two he got wrong have asterisks.

AZ: 50.7 / 49.4

FL: 50.9 / 47.8 *

GA: 50.1 / 49.5

MI: 53.5 / 50.6

MN: 53.7 / 52.6

NC: 50.5 / 48.7 *

NV: 52.3 / 50.1

PA: 52.0 / 49.9

WI: 53.7 / 49.6

These are the swing states he predicted would be in Trump’s column (and they were):

IA: 48.5 / 45.0

OH: 49.2 / 45.2

TX: 48.8 / 46.4

The real reason they’re fighting over the election

In case it’s not obvious, the real goal of the Republican efforts to fight the election results is to keep getting donations from their gullible cultists.

This entire presidential administration has been about making the Trump family richer, by ignoring all laws about conflicts of interest and nepotism and by moving government funds to their own personal use. No reason to think they’re going to stop doing that simply because they lost the election.

Seriously: If you go to their donations page, you can see where they are asking for money to fight the election and then, in small print at the bottom, it says that the money will mostly be used to pay down their campaign debt.

I am not making this up. The Wall Street Journal today pointed out that the “Official Election Defense Fund” explains that 60% of contributions to the fund will go toward paying off Trump’s election debt, and 40% to the operating account of the Republican National Committee. Only after a donation hits the legal limit will the remainder go toward legal expenses.” 

So why is their campaign is in debt? You’ll see that they spent a ton of campaign money on fancy hotel rooms and cars and meals for the campaign higher ups, and there’s probably more abuse we just don’t know about. It’s clear that his campaign violated the law by laundering money meant for the campaign into other places, but as long as the Attorney General works for Trump instead of the people of the United States, don’t expect much to happen.

And, of course, these lawsuits are frivolous and have no chance of success, as plenty of experts have said.

How we stole the election

Our plan was perfect.

We used the Deep State as usual. The Deep State is all powerful, you know, and with it we can do anything (except stop Mitch McConnell, get Hillary elected, or prevent an unqualified Supreme Court justice from getting appointed, but other than that…).

We were so clever that we even had Trump-appointed judges on our side, holding that the election was going fairly and all votes were being counted.

Of course, we didn’t want to show our hand so we made sure that we didn’t take the Senate like everyone predicted. That would be too obvious. We also lost a few House seats as well, just to throw everyone off our trail.

Our strategy also involved the mail-in ballots in certain states. We allowed the Republicans in those states (such as Pennsylvania, where I live) to write the law that prevents poll workers from counting ballots until after election day. That would give the Trump supporters false hope, since we all knew the mail-in ballots would favor Democrats as they came in later. Sneaky!

Then to further mislead everyone, we allowed poll watchers from both parties to observe the counting, and even live streamed the whole thing so anyone who wanted to observe could watch. We stole the election right under their noses while they watched every single thing we did.

We’re so devious.

But here’s the real trick we used:

We got more than five million votes than Trump. What a shock, huh? Who would have thought that the guy who lost the popular vote last time and who has never reached a 50% approval rating in polls the entire time he was President would lose?!

One Shift Two Shift Red Shift Blue Shift

Long before the election, those in the know discussed how the different voting patterns of each party would give us “red shifts” and “blue shifts.”

Since most of Trump’s supporters were voting in person instead of by mail, you would see a lot of his votes at first and then there would be a shift to the blue as the mail-in ballots were counted.

In states that allowed the mail-in ballots to be counted prior to election day, we saw the opposite: The first numbers coming in from states like Texas and Florida looked very favorable to Democrats, but as the same day numbers came in, it shifted to the Republicans.

NY Times map as of noon November 5th

The problem is that in some states (including my state of Pennsylvania), the law does not allow the counting of ballots until election day — so it first looked like Trump was doing great but as the mail-ins were counted that were overwhelmingly for Biden, the numbers changed greatly.

As you may have guessed, it was the Republicans here in Pennsylvania who fought against allowing the ballots to be counted early, and they’re now the ones claiming that the election is being “stolen” (without a shred of evidence to support that) as these ballots (including mine) are counted.

Don’t be fooled by the screams on the right of anti-democratic fascists who want to stop the count for no good reason other than they are losing.

Trump tests positive

As you may know, I have a number of novels and short stories published, including one book about a Presidential election (with vampires).  I often comment about how the whole Trump presidency has a plotline that is so outrageous and ridiculous that no acquisition editor would ever accept it.

But I have to admit, finding out that Trump has the “hoax” disease certainly has been foreshadowed greatly. If this were a standard book following the trend, this would be the point where the main character would realize the consequences of his actions and come out of this a better man.

I certainly don’t expect that to happen. I don’t think there is a “better man” inside of Trump.

But this diagnosis leads us to a few points I want to make:

First:  Have you noticed that many people are assuming this isn’t true? And you have to admit — Trump has lied so often that you have to wonder. Isn’t it sad that we have a President who is so dishonest that we automatically assume anything he says is a lie?

Second: No, the elections will not be cancelled. The debates may, but voting has already begun in many places. And elections are run by the states, not the federal government in any event.

Third: Trump is certainly in the most vulnerable population for this disease:  elderly, overweight, and unhealthy to begin with. But if he comes out of this fine, it won’t be because covid is a hoax or he’s a superhuman. It will be because he will have the best health care available in the world that the rest of us can’t get.

Fourth: I don’t want anyone getting this disease or dying from it, and that includes Trump. I want him to live, lose the election terribly, and then go to jail.

Fifth: It’s not like Dr. Fauci and others didn’t warn anyone. Maybe people should take medical advice from doctors instead of from politicians.

There is no Republican party. Only Zuul

There is no longer a Republican party, apparently. Only Trump.

They’ve decided not to have a platform at the convention, so we don’t know what they stand for other than Trump. Trump and his family will be the main speakers, and Trump will speak every night at the convention.

You know, it used to be funny to call his followers cultists, but jeez, it really applies these days.

AOC and the nominating process

I’ve seen more than one post from people complaining that AOC was supporting Bernie instead of Biden because she was one of the people nominating him at the Democratic convention last night.

That’s not true.

Bernie delegates are required by the rules to vote for him on the first ballot. If Biden did not get a majority, then they could switch their votes on the second ballot.

And under the rules, someone has to officially nominate him and someone has to second the nomination. Someone has to do it.

So someone did, and she seconded it. It was a formality. She had already long ago endorsed Biden. She spent most of her sixty seconds talking about issues that were important to her and then, at the very end, seconded the nomination because it had to be done.

Now we can discuss whether politically she should have done this (as opposed to letting someone else take on that job), but that is a separate issue.

 

Harris and the “But she’s a cop” argument

As a lawyer who works with DAs and AGs every day, allow me to say: they’re not all bad. Some are even liberal Democrats who want to see justice done, help victims, and stand up to bad cops.

And not all cops are bad, either. I know, I work with them every day, too.

So I’m really sick of my fellow liberals saying “You can’t support Harris for VP — she’s a cop!”

To place them all in the “bad” category is like when we defense attorneys try running for office and people say “You can’t vote for them. They’re on the side of criminals!”

No, we’re on the side of justice, and that can be fought by both DAs and defense.

I personally want more Democrats to run for DA and AG. But when my fellow Democrats consider that a disqualifying factor, then I guess I won’t expect a lot of reform coming. (If you want to make change, you have to be in the room where it happens.)

So let’s see how terrible this cop was in California when she was a DA and later an AG.  Hmmm.  Well, she refused to enforce the state’s death penalty. She took felony marijuana arrests and reduced them to misdemeanors and refused to even prosecute the misdemeanor marijuana arrests. She set up a hate crimes unit to help LGBTQ victims and refused to defend California’s Proposition 8 that prohibited gay marriage. She stopped prosecuting young prostitutes, realizing that they were the victims, and worked to provide them with support to get out of their situation.

And when she ran for AG, the police union refused to support her.

So much for “but she’s a cop.”