Trump keeps pushing Putin talking points as Russia works for Trump 2020

from historian Heather Cox Richardson. last night:

Midday, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the House Homeland Security Committee that “the intelligence community consensus is that Russia continues to try to influence our elections” by spreading disinformation through social media, online journals, and so on. Russians are “very active” in their attempts to undermine Biden’s campaign. They are trying to “sow divisiveness and discord” and “primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment.”

Russians are spreading the idea that mail-in ballots are insecure, and that Biden is slipping mentally—both stories Trump echoes.

Trump took to Twitter to argue with his FBI director. “But Chris, you don’t see any activity from China, even though it is a FAR greater threat than Russia, Russia, Russia. They will both, plus others, be able to interfere in our 2020 Election with our totally vulnerable Unsolicited (Counterfeit?) Ballot Scam. Check it out!”

The president’s attempt to deflect attention from Russia while putting it on China is more disinformation. Department of Homeland Security whistleblower Brian Murphy last week said that DHS acting Director Chad Wolf told him “to cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States, and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran. Mr. Wolf stated that these instructions specifically originated from White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.”

source

It bears repeating, frequency of voter-fraud in the USA, using the Heritage Foundation’s data, is less than one in 2,000,000 votes, about 4 hundred-thousandths of 1%. 0.00004%

You’d need an electron microscope to see a fraction of a percentage point so infinitesimal.

In other news:

AG Bill Barr, in a speech the other day, as he continues to “debunk” (and promise to prosecute) the “criminal” origins (oringes) of “Russiagate,” the multiple investigations into documented Russian pro-Trump interference in the 2016 election, made the inflammatory comment that Covid-19 stay-at home orders are “the greatest intrusion on our civil liberties” since slavery.

Enough said about that demented ad lib. Here’s the well-expressed objection to AG Barr as Attorney General:

The concern of Barr’s critics—ourselves included—is that Barr has exercised his undoubted supervisory powers in an improper, even corrupt, fashion, and that he has done so in a sustained effort to undermine the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation. The criticism is that he has exercised those powers to frustrate legitimate investigations and prosecutions. And it is that he has done all of this not because of legitimate concerns about the uniformity of justice or fairness to defendants generally but to protect individuals close to the president who appointed him and to serve Trump’s personal and political interests in attacking investigations of himself.

We aren’t saying Barr is deploying powers he doesn’t have or that it is wrong for attorney generals to have such powers and even to use them; we’re saying he has abused powers he certainly does have and that attorneys general need to have.

source

Of course, as we learned during the president’s impeachment “trial” (witness and evidence-free, like any good American trial should be) Abuse of Power is not a legal reason to remove somebody from office, as long as there is a one vote party-line majority to keep the person there.

Or, as any young Trump supporter, applauding Barr’s latest deranged pronouncements about justice might say “suck it, cuck!”

Example of Totally Fake News

The president strongly, strongly denied he ever called dead American soldiers “losers” and “suckers”. He denied it as strongly as our ally Mohammed Bin Salman denied the strangling and dismemberment of that stinking critical journalist in his embassy on the soil of our ally Turkey!

FAKE, fake, totally and completely FAKE. Hello! So fake, they don’t even put on the light! Come on, now.

source

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Why Trump/RNC is spending millions on lawsuits to stop mail-in voting — at a glance

These two graphics give you the picture of why limiting mail-in voting is such an important issue to the RNC. Look at the pictures, no need for a thousand words. Visual word to the wise.

These screenshots are from Fareed Zakaria’s recent piece on a nightmare scenario (he calls it a “deeply worrying” scenario) for November 4, 2020. The first set of numbers is from a CNN poll, the second is from a Democratic data firm called Hawkfish. (Full disclosure: I do not have Tucker Carlson’s numbers on these issues, nor Sean Hannity’s).

The rationale behind all these Republican lawsuits, of course, being the danger of massive Democratic electoral fraud in a rigged election. The RNC is trying to prevent a terrible electoral crime, like those 62 fake votes the Heritage Foundation documented in 2016 (out of 138, 846,571 votes cast.)

Danger: one out of every 2,239,460 votes is cast by a partisan fraudster!

Try saying that with a straight face. If you’re not too busy spreading the word of the well-connected and mysterious oracle Q.

The Pursuit of Happiness

In these dark, threatening times we should, more than ever, be reaching out to others, sharing hope and joy; pursuing happiness. Instead, the chilling shadow of constantly predicted doom, sprayed over us by high pressure firehose, can easily darken our waking hours.

We are living through a vast war on so many fronts it’s hard to remember, through the lens of this endless multimedia blitzkrieg, how beautiful the ocean is, the sky, trees, the natural curiosity and playfulness of kids and other young animals, the faces of people we love. Happiness, it often seems now, will have to wait on a few major world factors changing for the better.

Meaning that to pursue happiness, we need to become part of the change we want to see in the world. It is on each of us now to figure out how to do our part carrying a mercilessly heavy burden to get us all to a better day. And figuring out how to remain as happy and decently human as possible while we do it.

As I was reading NY Times headlines on my phone late last night (while Sekhnet battled a little insomnia) I saw a reference to “doom scrolling”– an excellent description of exactly what I was doing, reading the newspaper at this perilous moment in human history.

It’s very scary not only here in the United States, life everywhere on the planet is imperiled, at war, trying to make sense of massive global chaos, violence and destruction — in the face of vigorous, constant, brazen propaganda, much of it insisting there’s no problem at all — except for irrationally enraged cranks intent on deception and violence. The whole problem, everyone seems to agree, is inchoately angry, vicious assholes on the other side of every damned issue!

I then, to my chagrin (since I was by then aware I was “doom scrolling”), clicked on an Op Ed that was one of the worst evocations of possible doom here in America that I’ve ever seen. Entitled Whose America is It? it makes the point that in these radically polarized times both sides see the opposing party as not only 100% wrong and despicably deluded, not only as enemies but as less than human.

We have learned over and over that dehumanization is the precondition for mass violence, you have to see an enemy as a disgusting piece of garbage before you can kick him in the face and then shoot him. It’s much harder to brutalize and kill a fellow human being, it seems.

I’ve been urged by my few good friends to disconnect from this soul-crushing cycle of violence that is the news, get out into nature, immerse myself in the preciousness of our world, refresh my spirit. I understand their point– unless I can figure out how to join with others to take effective action I am just marinating in a horror movie and spouting random opinions to nobody in particular. I vow to take a day off, enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having in NYC lately, be thankful that the air here is not toxic like on the west coast, that the pandemic is not ripping through here at the moment, that constant ambulance sirens are not shrieking by all night as they were a few months back.

I decide to start the day doing something I love. I will go downstairs to play the guitar, finish learning a musically ingenious song I’ve been working on, a beauty Louis Armstrong made popular a few years back. But, first, I’ll quickly catch up on the headlines, just for a second. In that second I see, no surprise, that this evil blowhard is pursuing his own perverse notion of happiness, making sure the world is ruled by his master’s irrefutable will, presumably a reflection of the divine will of this guy’s fervently beloved deity. Stops me in my tracks, it does.

No details really needed, here’s a picture of this dogged pursuer of happiness, from today’s news.

Presumably animated by his deep faith in the compassion and wisdom of the Christ he venerates, he gives a speech urging federal prosecution of protesters arguably exercising their First Amendment rights. He wants federal prosecutions of angry protesters under a draconian federal sedition law that allows imprisonment for twenty years for “sedition” which is, in common parlance, a synonym of “treason” [1].

Rings a bell. Weren’t the unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts, designed to muzzle political opponents, the downfall of the John Adams administration? [2]

Damn this mind of mine, and its endless interest in the idiocies of our most powerful humans that are recorded as history!

As soon as I finish editing this (won’t take long) I’m going to force myself to make that unpleasant call to try to resolve a large, surprise tax bill, make an appointment to have my clogged ears cleaned, and go finish mastering “Do You Know What It Means (To Miss New Orleans)” on the piano as well as guitar. Playing it in time on the piano (mainly that Bbm7-9 Eb7-9 Eb7 Ab7 sequence) is a musical challenge so far that feels very much like the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness, happiness, and justice shall you pursue.

[1]

While seditious conspiracy is generally defined as conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state, treason is the more-serious offense of actively levying war against the United States or giving aid to its enemies.
Sedition – FindLaw

Sedition is defined as words or speech that incite people to rebel against the government or governing authority. Words that inspire a revolution that overthrows the government are an example of sedition.
Sedition dictionary definition | sedition defined – YourDictionary

[2]

The Alien and Sedition Acts were a series of four laws passed by the U.S. Congress in 1798 amid widespread fear that war with France was imminent. The four laws –which remain controversial to this day– restricted the activities of foreign residents in the country and limited freedom of speech and of the press. Mar 5, 2020
Alien and Sedition Acts – Definition, Significance & Purpose …

Follow the link above and we see that these partisan, free speech limiting laws were brought to you by our original Federalist party (talk about yer small world!) — under the headline:

Dueling Political Parties 

The Federalist Party, which supported a strong central government, had largely dominated politics in the new nation before 1796, when John Adams won election as the second U.S. president.

In opposition to the Federalists stood the Democratic-Republican Party, commonly known as Republicans or Jeffersonians for their ideological leader, Thomas Jefferson. Republicans wanted to reserve more power to state governments and accused the Federalists of leaning more towards a monarchical style of government.

Prevalence of Voting Fraud using Heritage Foundation numbers

I know that facts matter in politics far less than slogans, catchwords and emotionally resonant advertising, we see that everyday here in America and worldwide. Still, this constantly repeated complete lie about massive voter fraud in US elections has gotten under my skin — it will be the vehicle for Trump claiming victory in an election he is expected to lose by millions of votes. The “rigged election” cry could also be the opening salvo in a bloodbath, armed white supremacists are not expected to take this election rigging lying down. So, for the peace and prosperity of our great nation, let’s take a moment to look at the facts about voter fraud.

I got the vote totals for national elections 2000-2018 from this website http://www.electproject.org/home. My arithmetic gave a total of 1,089,090,347 votes cast in the ten most recent national elections (I show my work below). I divided this number of votes by the Heritage Foundation’s claimed 1,296 incidents of proven voter fraud in recent elections (their Election Fraud database goes back to 1982, there was one in 1983, none in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989 or 1990 and a few other years, oddly enough). In 2016 they list 62 cases of fraud, out of 138.846,571 votes cast — I used the total of every fraudulent vote they claim for the last 20 national elections.

The Brennan Center’s investigation that resulted in its report The Truth About Voter Fraud gave incident rates of between 0.00003% and 0.0025% (3 hundred thousandths of 1% to 25 ten thousandths of 1% — a pretty wide range in the statistically insignificant– unless somebody mistyped some zeros) for the prevalence of voter fraud [1].

For purposes of extreme New York Times-style fairness, I’m treating the Heritage Foundation’s numbers as accurate and condensing them into the 18 year period 2000-2018 for which I’ve tallied national votes. Doing this drives the fraud prevalence number twice as high (since their fraud claim includes twice as many years) but let’s give this repeatedly debunked right-wing talking point about massive voter fraud every benefit of every doubt.

My calculator, dividing the total votes 2000-2018 by the Heritage Foundation’s proven 1,296 cases of fraud since 1982, tells us that voter fraud, 2000-2018, using this worst case scenario that goes beyond the claims of the conservative think thank, occurs in 1 of every 840,347 cases. (Dividing the 2016 votes by the 62 listed by the Heritage Foundation for 2016 gives us 1 case of voter fraud for every 2,239,461 votes, but let’s go with the much higher incidence calculated above).

My math skills are a bit rusty, so please bear with me. Out of 1,089,090,418 votes cast (2000-2018) 10,890,904 would be a one percent fraud rate. 1,089,090 would be a tenth of one percent, 0.1%. 544,545 fake votes (half of that 0.1% number) would be five hundredths of one percent 0.05%. 840,347 per 1 billion plus would appear to be between a tenth and five hundredths of a percent.

Even that tiny fractional of one percent seems too high somehow. The fraction 1/840,347 as a percentage is… shoot, beyond my feeble skills. Counting the places it seems it should be in the 0.000% range. Any help out there?

As far as I can work it out, using the percentage key of my phone, the prevalence of voter fraud seems to be 0.000118984% or 12/ten thousandths of one percent. Wow — a couple of orders of magnitude smaller than that give or take 0.075%, which was my common sense estimate.

But, yo, as Mr. Trump and his lawyers would be quick to point out– WAY, WAY MORE, hundreds of times more, thousands, than that crazy 44/millionths of one percent figure people determined to end the so-called myth of widespread voter fraud once and for all keep trotting out at virtual cocktail parties!

Doing the math, the number of voters in 2016, 138,846,571 divided by 840,347 gives us a stunning 165 fraudulent votes! (Checking this against the percentage I derived makes the percentage 0.00000118984% or 12/millionths of one percent…)

Bear in mind that this highly theoretical 165 (more than twice the number Heritage has for 2016 voter fraud cases) could be considered a significant number of fake votes. Trump became president in 2016 on the strength of a combined 78,000 votes in three swing states, votes which gave him the election-deciding Electors of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan [2].

Though, to be candid, that projected number falls far short of the claimed millions of fraudulent votes investigated and never found by Mike Pence and Chris Koback’s short-lived Presidential Advisory Commission on Electoral Integrity [3].

Why is this constantly cited lie about massive voter fraud still allowed to march forward, still allowed to support numerous federal and state lawsuits brought by Trump and his myrmidons [4]?

It is like other muscular zombie beliefs we keep being forced to confront: there is no catastrophic climate change — record heat, record wild fires and record numbers of devastating tropical storms are just… things, nature, science has no idea; there is no systemic racism in the United States, unarmed blacks are scary and need to be dealt with harshly and sometimes too much force is used by patriots doing a very dangerous job; Jared has made peace in the Middle East, defeated the opioid crisis and was splendid in curbing the spread of Covid-19, no country did it better; forcing people to wear disease prevention masks is a form of hysterical left-wing fascist nanny state tyranny, private industry is always superior to government efforts, health care in the US is fine… Go down the infernal list, here you go:

In 2016 Trump won the Electoral College by 78,000 votes spread across Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, so 16,520 votes (under this slow-cooked, bloated number based on a study of almost 40 years of voting fraud by an extreme right “think tank”) could well decide 2020 [3]. If you believe the Heritage Foundation, and why wouldn’t you? It’s a THINK TANK, dummy!

Trump handily took the Electoral College in 2016 — 304 to 227.   He won Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan by a total of 78,000 votes, combined  [1].   This number is 0.000312% of the estimated 250,000,000 American voters.  Of  course, I intensely dislike Mr. Trump, so I have jiggered the numbers to make him look less popular than he actually is. Only about 138,000,000 Americans voted in 2016, in an historic contest between the two most hated political figures in America.   That means Trump’s robust Electoral College margin was actually closer to a convincing 0.000609375%.   A mandate, a historic mandate, really.

[1]

  • The Brennan Center’s seminal report on this issue, The Truth About Voter Fraud, found that most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”
  • A study published by a Columbia University political scientist tracked incidence rates for voter fraud for two years, and found that the rare fraud that was reported generally could be traced to “false claims by the loser of a close race, mischief and administrative or voter error.”
  • 2017 analysis published in The Washington Post concluded that there is no evidence to support Trump’s claim that Massachusetts residents were bused into New Hampshire to vote.

  source

[2]

According to the final tallies, Trump won Pennsylvania by 0.7 percentage points (44,292 votes), Wisconsin by 0.7 points (22,748 votes), Michigan by 0.2 points (10,704 votes). If Clinton had won all three states, she would have won the Electoral College 278 to 260.     source

[3] Wikipedia

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PEIC or PACEI), also called the Voter Fraud Commission, was a Presidential Commission established by Donald Trump that ran from May 11, 2017 to January 3, 2018.[1][2] The Trump administration said the commission would review claims of voter fraud, improper registration, and voter suppression.[3] The establishment of the commission followed through on previous discredited claims by Trump that millions of illegal immigrants had voted in the 2016 United States presidential election, costing him the popular vote.[4]Vice PresidentMike Pence served as chair of the commission, while Kansas Secretary of StateKris Kobach served as vice chair and day-to-day administrator.

[4] myrmidon:

a follower or subordinate of a powerful person, typically one who is unscrupulous or carries out orders unquestioningly.

“one of Hitler’s myrmidons” (Google’s example, not mine)

Plausible Worst Case Scenario — sorry to mention it

Chief Justice/swing vote John Roberts decides who is president after Trump contests results of the 2020 election.

With lawsuit after lawsuit in state after state, claiming potential for massive fraud in expanded voting due to the pandemic (without evidence), Mr. Trump and his janissaries [1] are attempting to suppress the vote and once again win the Electoral College.

Absence of evidence for Trump’s debunked voter-fraud claims doesn’t seem to matter in the lawsuits the president is pursuing to restrict voting in states trying to expand it safely during a pandemic. The suits are all moving forward, ready to be appealed if lost. 

I suppose I must leave aside the following questions for the moment:

If the actual prevalence of fraud is a microscopic fraction of one percent, how are these voter-fraud based cases allowed to go forward as though they’re credible claims? 

Why is that statistically insignificant nano-percentage of voter fraud not a major, constant talking point and a decisive legal rebuttal of Trump’s baseless claims?

This chilling piece by Fareed Zakaria lays out a plausible scenario for John Roberts, the corporatist swing vote on the Supreme Court, deciding, in the face of numerous Trump federal lawsuits and appeals that reach our highest court, who will be the 46th president of the United States.

Here is the article Zakaria cites: How Trump Could Refuse to Go. From that article:

Nominally, Trump and his political sycophants are trying to stop state and local officials from making voting-by-mail more accessible during a pandemic. But, in fact, the real aim is simply to push into the public sphere the false claims that mail-in ballots are prone to fraud. Each court battle or legislative fight gives them the opportunity to keep sowing those doubts, ready to be harvested later.

[1] janissary:

a member of the Turkish infantry forming the Sultan’s guard between the 14th and 19th centuries.

a devoted follower or supporter.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball, Fellow Citizens

The distractor-in-chief, gleeful chaos agent, lights multiple stinking dumpster fires every day — it’s his particular gift. That antifa guy who allegedly shot the religious right-wing counter-protester in Portland? According to Trump he got exactly what he deserved (death in a hail of bullets from U.S. marshals) in what has to happen in such cases. Trump told a host on FOX: “Now we sent in the U.S. marshals for the killer, the man that killed the young man in the street. Two and a half says went by and I put out “when are you going to get him.” And the U.S. marshals went in to get him. There was a shootout. This guy was a violent criminal, and the US Marshals killed him. And I’ll tell you something — that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution.”

You can be as outraged as you like that the U.S. president advocates the summary extra-judicial execution of an unarmed American suspect (according to witnesses of the shooting) by federal police. The only alternative, and not to Trump’s liking, would have been holding a “politically correct” criminal trial with witnesses, evidence, all kinds of delay and inconvenience. Be outraged or keep your eye on the ball:

The number of votes that will be counted in the upcoming presidential election is the only crucial number right now.

The president used this identical tactic, repeating lies about widespread voter fraud, the last time he ran for the world’s most powerful office. He did this for the same reason he’s doing it now: to create fear and uncertainty ahead of an election he expects to lose if all the votes are fairly counted. And to set the table for going to court to contest an election rigged against the real winner– him.

A flashback, to show Trump used this exact ploy last time, from the Washington Post, October 18, 2016:

An unshackled Donald Trump is barreling down the final stretch of the campaign, making bold and unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud and rigged elections the centerpiece of his closing arguments to American voters.

While Trump is light on the specifics of how this alleged election-rigging works, it seems to involve some combination of media bias and official complicity running all the way from precinct ballot boxes to the director of the FBI.

The truth of the matter is that lawmakers already have numerous legal options at their disposal for tipping the scales of democracy in one direction or another. Changing the composition of the electorate — by enacting restrictions on who can vote, or at what times, or on the ID required to fill out a ballot — are one way to do this.

source

Voter fraud is not a statistically significant thing in the USA. The incidence of documented voter fraud is a microscopic fraction of one percent. The stubborn myth of voter fraud has been debunked time after time, yet it will not go away — like the wild bot-fueled rumor of that Democrat-run child sex trafficking operation in the basement of a Washington DC pizza place (a place that had no basement) — there’s a large, growing movement based around that groundless conspiracy theory right now, applauded by the president himself [1].

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative “think tank” funded by Charles Koch and friends, published a study that found almost 1,100 cases of voter fraud between 2000 and 2018. For the state of Florida alone, Heritage lists one case in 2018 AND another one in 2017 (as well as THREE from 2015 and a whopping FIVE from 2013). Here’s the entry from 2017:

Gladys Coego, a temporary worker in the Miami-Dade County elections department during the November 2016 election, pleaded guilty to filling out the mail-in ballots of other voters in favor of Republican mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado. While she admitted to altering the ballots of at least two individuals, detectives believe that Coego likely fraudulently marked numerous other absentee ballots. She was sentenced to two years of house arrest. Source: bit.ly/2hmygEr, bit.ly/2w9hoax

source

The Heritage Foundation claims “at least 1,296” proven cases of voter fraud and 1,120 convictions (see their full report at the link above).

You can read a detailed critique of the Heritage Foundation’s Electoral Fraud study at the Brennan Center website. The lede: Claims that the Heritage Foundation document contains almost 1,100 proven instances of voter fraud are grossly exaggerated and devoid of context, Brennan Center researchers found — but that is not the point.

Even taking the study by Charles Koch and friends at its word — nationwide 1,296 instances of “recent, proven election fraud” in recent years, out of perhaps a billion votes cast — well, you don’t need a calculator to see that this is a nano-fraction of one percent of all the votes cast. Hardly grounds for a dozen or more federal lawsuits by Trump and the RNC claiming, with microscopic evidence, that mail-in voting is an ongoing invitation to massive voter fraud.

Let us fight this transparent lie about extensive voter fraud head-on — there are no guarantees about the future of our democracy.

I’m researching a reliable number of the total votes cast in every election between 2000 and 2018. Taking the Heritage Foundation’s 1,296 fraud cases and dividing it into the number of votes cast will give us a fraud prevalence perhaps much higher than the 44/millionths of one percent fraud number I have been going on [2]. The Heritage Foundation-derived percentage may be many, many times that, perhaps as high as 44/ten thousandths of one percent fraud. In which case…

Keep your eye on the ball, ladies and gentlemen — making the votes count and allowing people to vote safely.

I’m going to do my best in the coming days to figure out how to get this number and this idea out there, find a way to organize with others and do everything to ensure maximum votes are cast and counted. Keeping our eye on the immediate goal: voting these corrupt autocratic rascals out of power — which will happen 100% if all votes are counted, or even 90%.

Stay tuned.

[1] The word “Satanic” was removed from the description of this cabal of powerful pedophile cannibal Democrats, to make the QAnon theory more mainstream, to attract non-religious Christian Americans and even non-Christians (this conspiracy is a gigantic tent, like Trumpism itself). Every decent American can get behind a movement that stands for the protection of children from organized, predatory, sex-pervert cannibals. Fair is fair, evidence or no, you can’t argue with the idea that children must be protected from evil. If you can argue against it, what the Devil is wrong with you, pervert? God bless the children!

[2]

Number of states with active voter ID laws: 32

Number of laws passed to tighten voting laws since 2001: Over 1,000

2012 voter turnout: 129,085,403

Approximate number of 2012 voter fraud cases: 4

Projected number of 2016 voter fraud cases based on 2012 turnout: 4

Your odds of getting struck by lightning (twice!) are more likely than election fraud at: 1 in 9 million

source

44/millionths of one percent

Documented prevalence of voting fraud by individuals 2000-2016 is 0.0000044%.

Say it loud.

Put it on fucking shirts and baseball caps.

It’s not that voting fraud by individual voters is extremely rare in the USA, it’s not that the RNC’s many ongoing lawsuits to restrict voting are based on zero actual evidence.

Voter fraud’s documented prevalence is:

44/millionths of one percent

And even if was a thousand times more than that, 44/thousandths of one percent– how would that change the story?

Why is this fraudulent insistence on widespread voter fraud not front page news in every major newspaper as our divided nation argues about “rigged” vs. “fair” elections?

Evidence vs. No Evidence (and the 44/millionths of one percent odds of winning on the merits, after exhausting all appeals)

We live in a bizarre and dangerous time when arguments presented without evidence can prevail — particularly in the algorithm-driven Court of Public Opinion. This court is not presided over by particularly sophisticated judicial minds. Any assertion that sounds legally plausible will do to support a claim already endorsed by partisans. Doctrines like Presidential Privilege, or Sovereign Immunity sound pretty impressive, and pretty darned absolute and unassailable. Case closed!

Blanket Unlimited Protective Presidential Immunity (for the president and anyone who has ever talked to him): BINGO! Sounds like a winner, unless you look at every previous Supreme Court ruling on less audacious claims of presidential immunity.

Fortunately for our democracy, laws and legal precedents govern when legal doctrines may be applied – and when they may not be applied. The final word on what is lawful is given to the courts of our country. These cases are won or lost based on who has the superior evidence for their claim. If powerful sounding legal doctrines are misused by the government, as Bill Barr routinely does, simply as stumbling blocks to delay the court’s final determination of a claim the AG (and every other legal scholar) knows will fall — that’s fatal for our democracy and the delicate system of checks and balances that upholds it.

Trump’s only hope for an outright, or at least arguable, electoral victory is chaos, confusion, fear, rage, violence and the suppression of millions of votes from people he’s alienated by his divisiveness and incompetence.

He’s favored in this hope by the winds of the highly infectious pandemic he decried and denied for months, a rampaging, deadly, airborne disease that creates chaos, fear, confusion. 39% of Americans couldn’t care less that he deliberately lied to the nation about the severity of the virus, as he revealed for posterity during his many recorded talks with Bob Woodward.

He’s favored by the discord he sows every day, the fear, rage and violence he inspires as he publicly strives to keep everyone calm. Those who follow him will insist he is the Law and Order candidate striving to keep everyone calm. They will faithfully repeat what the president himself has said, defending his decision to lie about the deadliness of the novel coronavirus.

He is NOT favored by the evidence for virtually any of his claims.

He’s not the brilliant dealmaker and great businessman he boasts about being; he’s a fraud and a snake-oil salesman, a serial failure saved from bankruptcy by vast family wealth over and over. Just before his election he settled a case to shut down his fraudulent university, as president his charitable family foundation has been shuttered for illegal activity.

Trump is well-known to be a compulsive liar. It is a compulsion, he literally has to lie. He is in jeopardy of prosecution for multiple crimes once he is no longer president. He’s been kept in office so far, in the face of massive evidence of his obstruction, abuse of office and other wrongdoing, only by fervent true believer AG Barr and soul-dead Senate leader McConnell. Trump is wounded and dangerous.

Please look at and memorize this number to trot out at your next virtual cocktail party: 44/millionths of one percent:

44/millionths of one percent

Rate of voter fraud in the United States 2000-2016: 0.0000044%

The president’s repeated claims about massive vote-by-mail fraud are not supported by any evidence. Voter fraud is a brazen lie told to help suppress the numbers who will be allowed to vote. You can read about the lack of evidence of voter fraud he and the RNC submitted in a federal suit they recently brought to limit mail-in voting during a pandemic [1].

Trump’s presidential commission on Election Fraud, created soon after his razor thin 78,000 vote Electoral College victory in 2016, tasked with finding the three million fraudulent Hillary voters that gave her a wide margin in the popular vote (many of these voters were dead Mexicans, as I recall Trump saying) found zero evidence. Headed by voting rights zealots Mike Pence and Chris Kobach, the commission shut down after two meetings, having turned up no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

By now, everyone should know Trump’s election rigging voter-fraud claim is false, a lie, 100% bullshit. The rate of demonstrated voter fraud is, let’s repeat it, to help remember the nano-percentage of cases of actual voter fraud, to drop into conversation:

44/millionths of one percent

Rate of voter fraud in the United States. 2000-2016: 0.0000044%

Yet the media continues to report on claims of widespread voter fraud like it is a real issue.

I read one in the NY Times the other day, grotesquely contorted to appear fair and balanced, that made me hate them anew. All they needed to do in that article was somewhere provide the number of actual, documented voting fraud cases from 2000-2016: 0.0000044% (or use the equally descriptive “statistically insignificant”). They dared not cite that damning fact, for whatever accursed reason, in assessing the truth or falsity of Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud and a rigged election.

You read the NY Times article and emerge with the idea that some very smart lawyers believe that mail-in fraud is much more widespread than in-person fraud. Perhaps as much as 200% more prevalent: 97/millionths of one percent, one imagines. Even if it is 1000% more prevalent, that’s 44/100,000ths of one percent. Come on, Grey Skank… sheesh, what is in it for you?

Trump has been pushing this load of crap since he announced that he was running for president in 2016. Check out this report from the Public Broadcasting System, October 2016, completely debunking this ignorant blowhard talking point.

As for American votes actively suppressed, recently, votes already legally cast and yet actually not counted, keep reading. This exchange is from the latest interview by national treasure Bill Moyers, about a federal lawsuit this Republican election lawyer is bringing to trump the multiple frivolous Trump lawsuits arguing for the need to curb unsubstantiated, widespread voter fraud [and also to throw a wrench into Trump’s ongoing conspiracy with mega-donor Postmaster General DeJoy to slow the delivery of mail]:

DAVID BERG: We have to prove imminent harm. In order to get any kind of injunctive relief from any court in the country, you have to prove that you are in imminent danger of losing, in this case, a valuable right, for which no money can compensate you. This is at the heart of this democracy: a free, unfettered right to vote. In this case, we were able to show, this is what we think is the harm. This is what we think we can say to the court. “Look, your Honor– ” I wouldn’t say, “Look, your Honor.” But I would say, “Your Honor– we have four people here. Their experience, from all published reports, is no different from millions of Americans. Their right to vote was unconstitutionally burdened, as the test goes.”

BILL MOYERS: In their primaries.

DAVID BERG: In their primaries. Yes, exactly. And in the runoffs. So, we say to the court, “That’s not something that a voter should have to confront.” And we can’t be certain, given everything that’s happened with the United States Postal Service, that this is not going to happen again. “This” being the failure to deliver the ballots in response to applications. And then, and this is also critical, because this is unknown to the voter. There were tens of thousands of votes that arrived too late at election officials’ offices during the primary season, and in the runoffs, Bill. And they weren’t counted. Used to be that, you know, you postmarked your mail-in ballot on the last day before the election, and it’ll get counted. We don’t have that assurance anymore.

BILL MOYERS: So what are you asking the court to do?

DAVID BERG: The court can look to the causes. There are four causes of the slowdown, probably more that we don’t know about. But there are four that widely publicize. The most serious of the causes, you’ve probably heard DeJoy and other of his cohorts at USPS–

BILL MOYERS: Postmaster DeJoy, President Trump’s appointment to be postmaster general.

DAVID BERG: Yes, exactly. He’s bragged about the fact in an email to all of the 600,000 employees of the United States Postal Service that the rate of delivery has really improved. On-time delivery has gone from 83% to 94% in just a month. That’s just about as trustworthy as when he, DeJoy, said he would suspend all the changes. Which was just a head fake, was just three card Monty with our election. When he said he’d suspend the changes that he was making at the post office claiming it just to be for cost-cutting, what he really meant to say was, I’m not going to reverse the changes I’ve already made, which has created slowdowns in mail delivery, failure to deliver mail all over the country. Especially more pronounced in some parts than others. So what we’re asking the court to do is lift the hiring freeze. Thousands of postal workers have been sidelined by the Coronavirus. And the fallacy of this business about delivering on time, Bill, if your trucks all leave on time, that’s one thing. But they leave on time without the mail. They are no longer allowed to do late deliveries or special deliveries to customers. So the mail stacks up, and that makes the delay even worse. So yes, he’s telling us the trains are running on time. But they’re empty.

[1] Trump’s claim in the case — that mail-in voting:

… denies any procedural visibility to candidates, political parties, and the public in general, thereby jeopardizing the free and fair public elections guaranteed by the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. The most recent election conducted in this Commonwealth and the public reaction to it demonstrate the harm caused by Defendants’ unconstitutional infringements of Plaintiffs’ rights. The continued enforcement of arbitrary and disparate policies and procedures regarding poll watcher access and ballot return and counting poses a severe threat to the credibility and integrity of, and public confidence in, Pennsylvania’s elections.

full amended complaint here

is not only unsupported by evidence (in apparent contempt of a judge’s order) but these claims are identical to Kremlin talking points about the upcoming US election. How a federal lawsuit is allowed to go forward, unsupported by evidence of any kind, in spite of the unambiguous order of the federal judge that Plaintiff’s submit evidence or STATE THAT THEY HAVE NO EVIDENCE, is a modern American judicial mystery.  The failure of the news media to report on it is a modern American media mystery. 

self-dealing source