Long again, sorry.
Re #65: Yes, isabelll, well spotted. If Biden does hang on, a grateful nation will owe thanks to Jo Jorgenson and every principled Libertarian who voted for her. And to the Holy Spirit or Mother Nature or whatever greater force might have put an invisible finger on the scale. If Biden were smart, he might immediately invite her to join a task force looking to weed out needless regulations or something.
The sad corollary is that Georgia Democrats may therefore have only a slim chance of getting their Senate candidates through in the runoff, since there will by definition be no third-party candidate in a two-person runoff. Does anyone know if Georgians who didn't vote in November are allowed to register and vote in the runoff in January?
Re cassandra #68 and Steve Bannon:
Yes, my jaw hit the floor reading about him demanding 'heads on a pike,' including the head of the widely respected Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose work has saved so many lives from the AIDS crisis to the present day. And that of Christopher Wray, head of the FBI. A vile new low.
Fortunately, Bannon has been indicted for something already, I believe. Karma going around and coming around may be the upside, if we can all just hang on until January. The federal prosecutors in the New York Second District, among the best in the nation, will then be able to continue the cases for which they have been gathering evidence, and 'rule of law' will mean something once again. And who knows, there may be some Trump tax fraud or influence peddling in there as well. Speaking of Deutsche Bank.
Re Bion #78 and the column by Kornelius:
Yes, it's a grim assessment; but rest assured that all those contingencies are well known to the teams of lawyers on both sides. The only way to get a case to the Supreme Court in the first place is to find some evidence of actual wrongdoing. So far they have had a lot of lawsuits simply thrown out by lower courts, and meanwhile the counting continues. There is apparently one ruling with an opinion written by Alito that may require Pennsylvania to set aside the later-arriving votes in case of a later challenge, if I heard correctly; but so far, I believe it's looking like Pennsylvania may not be dependent on those votes anyway.
Kornelius himself gives the answer that seems the most likely at the moment.
Die beste Chance der Demokraten liegt darin, jetzt möglichst viele Bundesstaaten per Stimmenmehrheit zu gewinnen und sich so gegen den einen oder anderen Versuch der Anfechtung abzusichern. Alle blauen Staaten wird Trump nicht lähmen können. Einzelne vielleicht schon.
If the leads have really grown in 4 of 5 remaining states to the point that no recount is likely to change the margin substantially -- and apparently several thousand votes is normally above that point, though I was concerned when Georgia was only at 1500-something -- then even Republican lawyers (wupper #106) will probably advise him that it makes little sense to go on. Which is probably why the Murdoch outlets are finally nudging him to stop (Masu #126). If true, maybe that's slightly redeeming, despite all the harm they've already caused.
But really, what motivation does the Republican party have to keep him?
Many of them, in the primaries, were never-Trumpers before they stooped to lick his boots. Ted Cruz, for example, or Marco Rubio, those shameless cowards.
The GOP has already packed the courts, to a degree they themselves probably never dreamed of, that will last for a generation or more. They've already destroyed safety and environmental regulations, deported immigrants, and whittled, chiseled, or chopped away at legislation allowing abortion, affirmative action, campaign spending control, gun control, LGBT and women's rights, health care access, and any number of other progressive or even moderate issues, so that all those principles are now shaky enough to be toppled by any of numerous likely Supreme Court decisions sending them back to the state level. That is, washing their hands like Pilate.
Mitch McConnell may rot in hell for all that, but it's exactly what he waited and planned all his life to achieve. And now to hand over the executive branch just at the time when the economy is in terrible shape and the incoming president will have an enormous uphill battle just dealing with the pandemic, after the outgoing administration killed hundreds of thousands in the name of not making people wear masks? Exactly like they handed over power to Obama right after the financial crash, but kept enough control to refuse many of his own court and executive-branch appointments? Fine, I can imagine them thinking, let them try and fail. Let the Republicans be in opposition for a while, and see how much spending it takes to save the nation, so that they can then run again with another anti-tax platform. Which is all they will really have in the future, as almost every other issue of justice and compassion turns against them.
And in the meantime, take the convenient opportunity to get rid of Trump, whom many of them never liked that much anyway, behind closed doors. Tasteless, embarrassing, insulted allies, praised dictators, spread the coronavirus ... They were able to use him for their own purposes for a while, and then dump him just in time to exit with their own skins more or less intact.
And they can still use him for propaganda purposes, without actually having him in the room where the nuclear football happens. If he can keep firing up their newly nasty and radicalized 'base,' he can still do that on cable TV and talk radio, as long as he can manage to avoid prosecution. And in the meantime, he can go back to golf and overcooked steak and his own super-sanitized golden real estate, and let toadies flatter him for his 'legacy.' Works for everyone.
Yes, of course all that could go south if any of the court cases stick, or if there's more violence than expected. But somehow I don't actually expect the system to totally collapse, as long as Biden really is able to get enough votes to win in several states.
I hope I'm not wrong.
False News Targeting Latinos Trails the Election
Rampant falsehoods evolved online on Wednesday, intended to make Spanish speakers question the unfolding election results and believe that President Trump was being robbed of victory. ...
For weeks, officials and election security experts braced for what was widely expected to be an election marred by hacking and misinformation. They zeroed in on familiar adversaries in Russia, which weeks earlier had been caught hiring people in Mexico and Venezuela to push out Instagram and Facebook content.
The officials and researchers worried about interference from Iran after Iranians posing as members of the far-right Proud Boys group threatened Democrats not to vote. The Justice Department on Wednesday announced a takedown of dozens of Iranian propaganda sites targeting Americans. And Microsoft and United States Cyber Command separately took aim at Russian cybercriminals’ hacking infrastructure in an effort to stave off the kinds of ransomware attacks that could freeze up election systems.
But on Tuesday, they breathed a sigh of relief as Election Day passed relatively unscathed. It was, one administration official said, just another Tuesday on the internet.
Yet 24 hours later, it appeared Facebook and Twitter might have overlooked the deluge of disinformation targeting Spanish-speaking Americans. Spanish-language accounts with huge followings falsely said that Mr. Trump had secured an early victory, that social media was censoring his win and that Mr. Biden was cheating. ...
By Wednesday, disinformation experts ... likened the flood of Spanish-language disinformation to an emergency and called on social media platforms to retroactively inform anyone who engaged with the content that the claims were false.
The reach of the disinformation is vast. In just 24 hours, Spanish-language disinformation was generating traffic that eclipsed even the interference campaign by the Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency four years ago.
On Facebook, a video posted to a seven-month-old Colombian account called Mr. Capacho en Vivo, with 40,000 followers, accused Twitter of censoring Mr. Trump’s victory and had already been viewed more than 500,000 times — far more traffic than Russian trolls generated with fake Black Lives Matter ads ahead of the 2016 election.
Marketed as a global finance and political news page, the Colombian account pushed QAnon conspiracies, such as the baseless belief that leading Democrats are part of a global cabal of Satanist child molesters. On Monday, the same account posted an edited, misleading video of Mr. Biden touching children, falsely claiming that he was a “superpredator.” By Wednesday, the video had been watched about 45,000 times.
A Motorcycle Rally in a Pandemic? ‘We Kind of Knew What Was Going to Happen’
Infectious-disease experts warned about the risk of cramming revelers into the Black Hills of South Dakota. But it was the annual Sturgis rally, and bikers were coming no matter what.
Could Omaha Swing the Race? In 2020, Nothing Is Impossible
The lone Electoral College vote awarded by Nebraska’s Second Congressional District has gone to Joe Biden. It could be the vote that gets him to 270.
As Biden Inches Ahead in Georgia, Stacey Abrams Draws Recognition and Praise
Celebrities, activists and voters credited Ms. Abrams for building a network of organizations that highlighted voter suppression and inspired an estimated 800,000 new voter registrations.