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Britain looks like a failed state

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 7:54am in

Where to start with Manchester? The Tories seem to think their election result based on the approval of about 43 % of the voters gives them absolute power. And that they can ride roughshod over the democratic and even clearly logical wishes of Britain’s third big city. It is instructive to read a tweet from... Read more

Court Packing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 4:50am in

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the debate over “court packing.” Here are some links and references mentioned...

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Did the Militia Group that Planned to Kidnap the Michigan Governor Commit Treason?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 10:00pm in

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock On Wednesday, October 7, the Michigan Attorney General filed 19 state felony charges against...

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The psychopathy of Brexit

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 6:14pm in

Allegedly, according to Bloomberg, unless there is a trade deal within a week, Brexit trade talks are likely to flounder to no deal. A very bleak prospect. This outcome would, I suggest, be the most monumental act of self harm, perhaps ever, in British history. I fear that Rees Mogg’s father – remarkably, a former... Read more

Economic health – or not

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 11:11am in

There is an interesting post from Simon Wren Lewis from last month where he suggests that: in the UK Treasury cutting the deficit generally takes priority over the health of the economy He says: The UK Treasury bears some responsibility for the disaster of 2010 austerity, yet it has not accepted or understood the mistake... Read more

PODCAST: Lisa Graves: Will Amy Coney Barrett Stand by Her Man? He’s Betting a Second Term On It

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/10/2020 - 11:05pm in

On this week's MOYERS ON DEMOCRACY, Bill Moyers speaks to Lisa Graves about what's at stake in rushing Amy Coney Barrett's nomination through the Senate. Barrett is a young judge who has been nominated with the understanding that Republicans are looking for her to cast a vote for Trump from the bench. Continue reading

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Daily government incompetence and worse…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 29/09/2020 - 7:36am in

I recommend all readers take a look at the ‘Russ in Cheshire’ tweet stream – effectively it has already seen comment on ProgresssivePulse here – although the original source is no longer available- but the author is the same. If you are on Twitter it is worth following ‘Russ in Cheshire’. You will probably be... Read more

Trump: “We’re Going to Have to See What Happens”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/09/2020 - 1:30am in

September 23, 2020 Today Americans were roiled by an article in The Atlantic, detailing the method by which the Trump campaign is planning to steal the 2020 election. The article was slated for The Atlantic’s November issue, but the editor decided to … Continue reading

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Red tape becomes true blue

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/09/2020 - 12:12am in

This really must have struck a chord as, indeed it should.. with the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator: As David Allen Green has remarked, taking back control of our borders seems to mean resiting them by setting up border control in Kent – fully policed by criminal sanctions for lorry drivers. While the Tudors famously lost... Read more

Mail-in Balloting, the 12th Amendment and Impending Doom

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/09/2020 - 1:18am in

 On vote-by-mail

            More than 80 million Americans are expected to cast mail-in ballots this fall, representing a 16-fold increase over 2016.

            This is probably going to cause a constitutional crisis of epic proportions.

            The problem isn’t the possibility of fraud that Donald Trump has been going on about. Cases of possible double voting or voting on behalf of dead people Daley-machine-style are statistically insignificant, amounting to at most 0.0025% of mail-in votes.

            The real issue is that the ballots may not be counted on time, triggering the insanity of the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

            The date to remember is December 14th, when the delegations of the Electoral College meet in their respective states. That’s a hard deadline. Each delegation can only certify their state’s vote counts if they are 100% complete—machine votes cast in person at polling places on election day, early votes, absentee ballots, write-ins and, this year, COVID-19 mail-in ballots. If the state fails to certify on time, its electoral college votes aren’t counted.

            Within each state, there is a canvassing/certification deadline for county officials to submit their results. Most are in late November. California, with a December 11th deadline, cuts it close and usually files its national certification last.

            State election officials are doing their best to meet the challenge. They are hiring additional staff, buying new tabulation machines and installing drop boxes. Even assuming that they will be able to hire the additional personnel they need in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the practical impediments to meeting the December 14th deadline are daunting. Mail-in ballots are manually opened and signatures must be visually compared, sometimes several times, to Board of Election records.

Then there are technicalities. For example, 16 states require mail-in ballots to be submitted with an extra “privacy envelope.” In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, 6.4% of absentee ballots submitted in a 2019 election were rejected because voters neglected to insert their ballot inside the privacy envelope inside the mailing envelope—a significant margin that could change the outcome on a national level. Both parties are gearing up for legal challenges about issues like this across the nation.

“Every absentee or mailed ballot, even if dropped off directly at the designated county drop box or polling center, most likely will not get counted on Election Day, and it can easily be challenged and delayed and even rejected on a technicality,” Jed Shugerman writes at Time. “Every mailed or absentee ballot, in an envelope with signatures, is its own hanging chad, its own built-in legal delay.”

            If enough states are embroiled in vote-counting controversies to prevent either President Trump or former Vice President Biden from achieving the 270 electoral votes required to declare them president-elect on December 14th, the obscure 12th Amendment kicks in.

            Used only once—in 1825 to elect John Quincy Adams—the 12th Amendment triggers a bizarre “House of Cards” series of remedies guaranteed to eliminate any remaining belief that the Framers wrote a perfect document designed to withstand the test of time, or that the United States is a democracy.

            After the new 117th Congress convenes on January 3rd, the House of Representatives would vote to elect the president and the Senate would elect the vice president. “Each state delegation gets one vote, and 26 votes are required to win [out of 50 states],” reports the Associated Press. “In the Senate…each senator gets a vote, with 51 votes [out of 100 seats] required to win.”

            Even if Democrats enjoy another “blue wave” election that allows them to pick up congressional seats, they will not capture 26 state delegations in the House of Representatives. Trump would win. If Democrats have taken back the Senate, they could select a vice president to replace Mike Pence.

            It wouldn’t matter if a newspaper recount were to determine later on that Biden should have won both a popular and electoral vote landslide. Trump would remain in the White House.

            The Democratic Party and its allies in the media have been pushing mail-in balloting, but voters who want to see Joe Biden elected and are willing to brave the health risks should consider showing up for early in-person voting. In-person ballots are far less susceptible to rejection over technical issues like security envelopes, they are counted immediately and they thus meet the December 14th deadline for certification.

            As my readers are aware, I do not support either Trump or Biden and will be voting third party, probably for the Greens, this fall. But I don’t support disenfranchisement either. I want everyone’s will to be expressed.

            No matter what happens, no matter who wins, American politics are about to become extremely dangerous. Democracy fails when the losing side refuses to accept the legitimacy of the winning side. That will certainly be the case this year.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of the biography “Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party.” You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)