Monday, November 30, 2020

What's going on in the wacky world of election lawsuits?

Federal Judge Orders Voting Machines In Three Georgia Counties to be Subject to Expert Examination in Powell Lawsuit
“Plaintiffs contend that Union County officials have advised that they are going to wipe or reset the voting machines of all data and bring the count back to zero on Monday, November 30.
To the extent Plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order to preserve the voting machines in the State of Georgia, and to prevent any wiping of their data, their motion is granted. Defendants are ordered to maintain the status quo and are temporarily enjoined from wiping or resetting any voting machines until further order of the court.”
Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismisses challenge to mail-in ballot procedures, vacates halt to certification
“Petitioners failed to act with due diligence in presenting the instant claim. Equally clear is the substantial prejudice arising from Petitioners’ failure to institute promptly a facial challenge to the mail-in voting statutory scheme, as such inaction would result in the disenfranchisement of millions of Pennsylvania voters.
Pennsylvania Republicans call for withdrawing election certification
The 26 GOP lawmakers announced the resolution on Friday, citing election law compromises, voter irregularities, and unconstitutional legislative decisions in their reasoning for why the secretary and governor of Pennsylvania should move to "withdraw or vacate the certification of presidential electors and to delay certification of results in other statewide electoral contests voted on at the 2020 General Election."

The first decision surprised some people, because the general "conventional wisdom" is that any lawsuit by Powell is little more than barking at the moon. I doubt that they can prove what they are "needing" to prove, but I like the fact that a Judge will at least allow an examination either way.

The Pennsylvania is not a surprise as that Court is mainly liberal and was expected to rule against the claim. The court is not denying that there might be issues with the mail-in voting (a previous Judge stated that there was a good chance that the plaintiffs would prevail on merits). What they are saying is that there isn't time to argue the point before the safe harbor period. This was a very similar argument that the USSC used to overturn (rather than remand) the FSSC ruling back in 2000 (bumping up against safe harbor dates).   

The legal minds at Legal Insurrection do not feel that the USSC will take this up, so that is sort of why you see the legislative branch attempting (likely in vain) to get involved. 

Recount Recap NY-22 - Like watching a tennis match

Republican Claudia Tenney back in the lead after revision of final count

UPDATE: Judge orders all counties to provide a FINAL final count by 4:00 today and much like a math professor he is also demanding that all counties "show their work" by producing any notes, spreadsheets, or any calculations as to how and why vote counts have been changed. 

The order is being described as "scathing" and it appears to suggest that the judge believes  that at least some counties are attempting to hold back information or otherwise attempting to make calculated last minute changes to alter the outcome. He has also produced a 48 hour deadline on any new legal challenges to be considered.  

He is apparently not holding another hearing until December 7th, which is actually the deadline for NY certification. So it appears that he is fed up with dealing with the counties, plans no more in person hearings allowing them to bicker and argue regarding who is more incompetent, and it certainly looks like that court date will likely be to announce a final decision. 

The Judge is supposed to have some sort of hearing today and is tasked to rule on ballots that cannot be found and others that have no explanation as to why they were challenged. Meanwhile, the vote total flipped back to the Republican, who now leads by 12 votes in the unofficial final tally. 

As of today, the Tenney campaign is pushing for the counties to certify the results, while Brindisi is hoping to delay the process for at least 24 hours. There is some argument that Brindisi can still ask for a full recanvassing/recount "after" the votes have been certified. Tomorrow is December and apparently we might be "starting" a recount for an election that is nearly four weeks old? 

Anyone who still feels that our problems with elections have more to do with the ability of the public to properly vote than the ability of our election officials to properly count is missing the boat. The election reform we need right now has to do with what happens "after" the votes have been cast, not before. 


This is actually a pretty great insight about Social Media

 They are legally treated more like an internet provider or phone company than a media website

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are all playing the same game, pretending to be a neutral forum under federal law, like an ISP or the phone company, while working feverishly to suppress conservative commentary and any news stories that reflect badly on the Democratic Party. (link)


This is actually probably the best manner to look at it. The federal protections that Twitter enjoys under the law is actually similar (if not the same) as the protection that your internet provider or phone company enjoys. What is stated on the internet or said over the phone is not the responsibility of Comcast or Sprint. Comcast and Sprint are simply providing you with the "means" of communicating over the internet or the phone. No matter what nefarious activity you are planning, releasing, or exposing over these forums, the providers are not expected to monitor or censor your communications. Because they are not expected to monitor or censor your behavior, they cannot be held responsible for said behavior.

Section 230 provides this same sort of protection for social media sites. What is said on a social media site is not the responsibility of Facebook or Twitter, any more than it would be the responsibility of Comcast or Sprint. Facebook and Twitter (like your other providers) are just providing a means to communicate. In the case of social media the means is a public forum. Neither Facebook or Twitter technically (under 230) publishes anything themselves. 

The fact that Facebook or Twitter are private companies is no different than Comcast or Sprint being private companies. Because of the fact that they not held legally responsible for the behavior of the people using their service, they are not entitled to monitor or otherwise censor the behavior of those using it. If you were to suggest that Twitter (because they are private) can ban or otherwise censor speech, then the same could hold true for internet and phone providers. 

Does anyone really want your internet or phone providers to be monitoring your everyday behavior and picking and choosing what you can and cannot type online or say over your phone?  Unless you are prepared for that sort of Orwellian 1984 big brother fascism, you should not be in favor of allowing Facebook or Twitter to do the same. The slope is very slippery and very dangerous. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

A bit of irony?

So CNN has been wall to wall in demanding that President Trump concede and demanding that everyone much accept Joe Biden as President elect for matters of national unity and election integrity. Failure to accept this is grounds for undermining Democracy.


CNN still manages to show Republicans winning only 207 House seats, when in fact there are currently 211 seats called for Republicans with another runoff that involves two Republicans. This would give them 212 seats with New York 22 as the final seat still hanging in the balance. Real Clear Politics has a more realistic take on things.

The reality is that the Iowa 02 and California 25 elections will be certified tomorrow to the Republicans. But CNN still refuses to call them. CNN refuses to call two other New York seats, in spite of Republicans leading by over 30,000 votes in each of them and having their opponents already conceding. 

Notice that CNN has no problems giving the Democrats the 222 seats that have been called for them. They only seem to take issue calling close seats that might go towards Republicans. Apparently this is not a matter of election integrity or an affront to Democracy. 

Recount Recap Iowa-02: Counting over and certification will happen

Miller-Meeks to be certified as the winner by 6 votes
Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks remains atop Iowa's 2nd District congressional race despite a Saturday recount in Clinton County that eroded her already single-digit lead to just six votes. The Clinton County tally concluded a recount in the 24-county southeast Iowa district, which extends from Jasper and Marion counties in the Des Moines metro to Davenport, and includes Iowa City and Burlington. The vote will go to a state canvassing board Monday to be certified, which would make Miller-Meeks the official winner.
In a statement, Hart's campaign manager, Zach Meunier, did not say whether the campaign will file a legal challenge in the race, the closest House election in the nation. That would trigger a review by a judicial panel and cast continued uncertainty over the outcome.

Well we will have to see whether or not the Hart campaign decides to make any more legal challenges. Seems they did pretty well with the recount overall and may actually stand to lose votes if there are legal challenges, given she made up 26 of her 41 votes in the county that failed to follow Secretary of State instructions and ended up with a final total that exceeded the number of votes cast. 

There is nothing in Iowa law that would allow for a third counting of the ballots, and the time to challenge individual ballots was during the recount process. Unless there is some sort or more broad legal challenge to a particular set of ballots or something of that nature, I am not sure what sort of legal action could be taken. 

The Hart campaign made some rhetorical remarks about voter suppression, and suggested that they will carefully review what happens on Monday, but did not make any statements regarding any potential legal challenge. While this doesn't necessarily qualify as a "concession" at this point, I would have expected them to have already determined their legal path (if they had one) and that they would have been prepared to announce it at the end of the recount.

Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

This is an interesting read... if you understand statistics...

Anomalies in Vote Counts and Their Effects on Election 2020
In the early hours of November 4th, 2020, Democratic candidate Joe Biden received several major “vote spikes” that substantially — and decisively — improved his electoral position in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Much skepticism and uncertainty surrounds these “vote spikes.” Critics point to suspicious vote counting practices, extreme differences between the two major candidates’ vote counts, and the timing of the vote updates, among other factors, to cast doubt on the legitimacy of some of these spikes. While data analysis cannot on its own demonstrate fraud or systemic issues, it can point us to statistically anomalous cases that invite further scrutiny.
This is one such case: Our analysis finds that a few key vote updates in competitive states were unusually large in size and had an unusually high Biden-to-Trump ratio. We demonstrate the results differ enough from expected results to be cause for concern.

Previously I have discussed statistical anomalies that dealt with odd vote counts in certain counties that appear to show stark difference between the 2016 Trump/Clinton results and the 2020 Trump/Biden results. Generally speaking, these were anomalies due to:

  • Much higher margin of Biden to Trump ratio than other counties with the same demographics.
  • Much higher margin of Biden to Trump ratio than surrounding counties.
  • Much higher Democratic voter turnout than other counties with the same demographics
  • Much higher Democratic voter turnout than surrounding counties
These were not smallish anomalies, either. As suggested, single county differences between 2016 and 2020 made up the entire margin of victory for Biden in three different states, while a combination of two different counties made up the difference in two other states. 

This particular article deals with something completely different (but likely related) to these county anomalies. It looks at the so called "vote drops" that take place when a particular county uploads vote totals to the Secretary of State office. What they found was several statistical anomalies that are somewhat close to being unexplainable. 

In some cases, the Biden to Trump ratio did not correlate to any particular county count that you could find and would have required the inclusion of  multiple large Biden counts coming in simultaneously from multiple counties. In some cases the Trump vote was so low, that he barely beat the third party candidate (a result that also cannot be found in any of the actual reported totals anywhere). 

This report studies 8,954 individual updates to the vote totals in all 50 states and finds that four individual updates — two of which were widely noticed on the internet, including by the President — are profoundly anomalous; they deviate from a pattern which is otherwise found in the vast majority of the remaining 8,950 vote updates. The findings presented by this report [28]suggest that four vote count updates — which collectively were decisive in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia, and thus decisive of a critical forty-two electoral votes — are especially anomalous and merit further investigation.

Again, this is not unlike what I found when looking at the counties that provided Biden with the margin of victory in several swing states. There doesn't seem to be any correlation to what happened in other parts of the states or in other similar areas. 

Now as pointed out by this article, none of this (on it's own) proves fraud or tampering. It just seems to warrant someone taking the time to make a reasonable explanation for it (assuming that there is a reasonable explanation).

All that being said, there is one thing that these four large drops that feature huge wild anomalies have in common. They all took place in the middle of the night or very early morning, and they all took place in states where the Governors and Secretary of States had claimed that they were done counting. 

Pennsylvania Judge orders injunction preventing the certification of the election...

This has been a big buzz every since it was released, but the truth is that it is just a preliminary injunction, not a ruling. That being said, the Judge in this case suggests that there is a likelihood of the plaintiffs winning. The problem is that if the entire election was ruled unconstitutional, then it would have to go to the Pennsylvania legislature to determine a winner.

Not sure that even if the legal aspects are there, that this is a politically viable solution. 

Perhaps if this makes no difference in the grand scheme of things (Biden still wins the Electoral College), then it would be less of an issue... But.. whoa, what a precedent that would set?

On the flip side, even if this judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs and declares the election unconstitutional, it's a no-brainer that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would overturn it. Not sure that the USSC five conservatives would have the intestinal fortitude to make the sort of ruling necessary to overrule the PSSC on this one. This might be a matter of much ado about very little. 

Are we censoring science for political purposes?

Johns Hopkins Study Saying COVID-19 Has 'Relatively No Effect on Deaths' in U.S. Deleted After Publication
After retrieving data on the CDC website, Briand compiled a graph representing percentages of total deaths per age category from early February to early September, which includes the period from before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. to after infection rates soared.
Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19. Since COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly, experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data. In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same.

So one doesn't have to spend much time reading between the lines here to understand that John Hopkins is not suggesting that their study was wrong. Certainly nobody would ever suggest that one of the top medical research facilities in the world (and a leader in Covid research) would publish a study on something this serious that would have made any sort of real errors. What John Hopkins is saying is that they simply do not like how some have "used" the study to reinforce the concept that we are overcounting Covid deaths to make it appear worse than it is.

So they removed all of the research and conclusions drawn from their website. I would guess that it is unlikely that they will actually be doing further research or drawing any additional conclusions for any public consumption. 


Currently the CDC website shows that the number of deaths is running about 12% higher than the number of "expected deaths". That being said, that percentage suggests that the number of "expected deaths" would fall well below where it was in the last year (2018) that the CDC appears to have full mortality statistics.  Taking the CDC 12% in absolute statistical terms, they appear to be suggesting that the number of expected deaths would be in 2.66 million range. That would be a drop of about 180,000 deaths from the 2018 number of 2.84 million. Not sure where that number comes from, but it seems wildly flawed at first glance.

Either way... doing some fairly simple raw analysis of the numbers so far, adding some projected lagging numbers for the previous weeks, and providing for a fairly robust guess at how many people will pass over the last five weeks of the year, it looks like 2020 will come in right around 3 million. This is an increase over the 2018 mortality count by approximately 5%.


Meanwhile, the John Hopkins study appeared to have been concentrating on percentages rather than raw numbers. So as the percentage of older people increases (and it is increasing at a fast rate as the boomers hit their twilight years) it only makes sense that the raw number of deaths within that age group would increase even if the percentages stay the same. The same can be true for all age groups as population growth will quite obviously lead to higher raw number of deaths.

What the study concluded (based on what was captured and saved) suggests that while Covid deaths have obviously disproportionately affected the elderly, that the mortality percent in those age groups has not actually increased. What they found was that the rise in Covid deaths among the elderly correlates to an inverse proportionate percentage decrease in other types of deaths. 

Now quite obviously this will lead to a fairly easy to reach conclusion that Covid deaths are being overstated, and that in normal years that many of these same death certificates would have been assigned to something else (heart disease, respiratory illness, pneumonia). While this conclusion really isn't proven by this particular study, it lends itself to it sort of intuitively. 

The fact that people were using their study to promote this technically unproven (but extremely intuitive) conclusion is apparently what led John Hopkins into removing the study. I guess it's now the right of the scientific community to censor any use of a study that seems out of touch with current politics. Even if common sense lends itself to that use. 


Bottom line: Unless something unusual happens between now and the end of the year, we will likely see an increase of deaths over the 2018 numbers of between 140,000-150,000. Many will want to blame any increase in deaths solely on Covid. But common sense tells us that at least some of this will be due to population growth and a growing percentage of elderly people who have a higher mortality rate. 

The John Hopkins study seems to suggest that population growth and a growing percentage of elderly people is responsible for much (if not all) of it. 

Election recap: NY-22 Legal Battle

Incumbent Democrat Anthony Brindisi now leads Republican challenger Claudia Tenney by 13 votes... or does he?

In order to get a better handle on everything and to see what the raw numbers looked like, Justice DelConte ordered all counties to provide an unofficial count. However, many (if not all) of the still disputed ballots were included in this unofficial interim count, which changed the numbers from the previous unofficial counts (where many of these same disputed ballots had not been included). 

After everything was added in, the totals show that Brindisi leads by 13 votes, which apparently prompted the Democrat to immediately declared himself the winner (even as the Judge has not made any final rulings on these disputes).  

However, sources are stating that this unofficial count is meaningless and misleading as DelConte has already "verbally ruled" that at least some of the ballots included in this interim count are invalid. Unless DelConte changes his mind, some of these ballots counted in the most recent counts won't be included in any certified count. So while this unofficial count makes it appear that Brindisi is ahead, there is still reason to believe that he is still behind. 

The problem with these sorts of elections, recounts, challenges, etc... is that there is way too much room for error, tampering, and outright fraud. It becomes a problem when the election officials tasked to perform these recounts are generally more interested in garnering a particular result, than garnering a fair and accurate count. 

Right now, on top of the missing sticky notes allowing for no way to tell why certain votes were challenged or even if they were or were not already included in the final count, one of the counties appears to be missing as many as a hundred disputed ballots, many of which were also included in the latest unofficial numbers. The same problem exists in terms of not being able to verify which ballots are included or not included in the final counts.

This is quickly becoming a shit show, and one has to wonder if these are honest mistakes or some sort of ploy. It would appear that Brindisi quite literally needs most every disputed vote  to be counted to actually win the election.  Perhaps the idea  behind the missing sticky votes and missing ballots would be to somehow convince the Judge that all of these ballots must be counted (some a second time) under the mantra of "count all the votes" in order to garner that result.

It's a murky situation. How does a judge make a ruling on disputed ballots if there is no information on why they were disputed or if the ballots are missing. What is the default position?  Should a judge toss out all disputed ballots that cannot be verified or should a Judge count all disputed ballots that cannot be verified. Seems to me that you cannot count what cannot be verified, but I am sure others would provide us with a different opinion. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Covid outbreak certainly looks more regional than response oriented

  • Look at Minnesota, in the middle of everything with some of the tightest restrictions in the country.
  • Look at Illinois which appears just as dark (if not darker) than surrounding states which have lesser degree of mask wearing.
  • Look at New Mexico, which has both the highest amount of Covid and the highest amount of mask wearing.
  • Missouri on the other hand, looks to be a bright spot, in spite of having less mask wearers.
  • The southeast is actually doing just as well as the west coast, in spite of the southeast having much fewer mask wearers. 


If someone chooses to click on a link and read a story...

who is anyone to tell them that they are not entitled or should not be viewing that information?

To be clear, I am not talking about a link that is offering to take someone to child porn or a link to a malicious site which is intending to download viruses to that person's computer. I am talking about a link to a story about something that is describing something actually happening in the world.

Now obviously in the hyper-aggressive woke cancel culture, there are people who do want to control what others are exposed to and are able to see. These people do not work in the old fashioned way of actually making an argument or otherwise attempting discrediting something they believe to be misleading or false. They seemly want to bully their way into controlling what arguments are or can be made. If they disagree with a line of thinking, that line of thinking should go away.

This week, attorney Sidney Powell dropped more election lawsuits. Much of what Sidney Powell has been suggesting would make for better reading in a fiction novel than a lawsuit. But Powell also brings up legitimate issues as well. Legal experts much smarter than I believe that she has raised enough legal  questions with enough affidavits, that under normal circumstances would have allowed portions of these cases to make at least make it to discovery. The problem with election lawsuits is that there is no time for discovery. You either bring proof up front or go home.
In a normal case, this pleading would be enough to get into the discovery phase, at which point documents and systems could be inspected, and more testimony taken. The problem here is that we have a short deadline until the electoral college process kicks in, and there’s not enough time. 
The other thing worth noting is that much of the mockery of Powell has been undeserved. She has evidence, a lot of evidence, that this was a severely problematic election. If she had months or years to pursue this through the normal litigation methods, maybe she would prove that what was possible actually happened. Her biggest enemy at this point is the calendar. (link)
All that being said, if you attempted to click on a link that would take you to Sidney Powell's lawsuits or stories about these lawsuits, your social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) were blocking them. This was done under the guise that the links might be unsafe. (You can see picture above for what happened in Twitter if you attempted to view a link taking you to the actual PDF of the lawsuit). Perhaps the truth (that Twitter is censoring information they don't like) is a bridge too far for even them to openly admit. After all, how can an election lawsuit not be considered "real" or otherwise "news". Even the worst lawsuit in the history of legal proceedings would still be news (if only for the fact that it was bad). 

Moreover, Powell's Twitter account was also suspended, as were two different elected members of "Congress" who have also been advocates of protesting or contesting the 2020 election. Apparently the idea of actually protesting or contesting an election is now grounds to have your twitter account suspended or removed.

The irony is that the media spent three years chasing the concept that President Trump was a Russian asset who worked with Vladimir Putin to steal an election. No place was more home to the craziest of the theories than Twitter. To see these same people so arrogant and self absorbed, as they hypocritically attack everyone and anyone who suggests the 2020 election might have had some flaws is scary. To see Twitter do the complete 180 as to what might be allowed on their site is crazy. Censorship isn't even the right word. We need to find a new word to describe this.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Covid Update

Maybe it's time we consider that actual people dying is more important than what rhetoric is thrown around by politicians? 
  • Illinois - 11,378 new cases & 178 reported deaths
  • Sweden - 4747 new cases & 2 reported deaths
While some want to continue to argue (for whatever reasons) that Sweden "got it wrong" while the Democratic Governors in the United States have "gotten it right", perhaps it would be better to look at the facts as they show up in black and white. 

Meanwhile, some things stay the same even as they change
  • States with Democratic Governors 834 deaths per million
  • States with Republican Governors 769 deaths per million

Only a matter of time for New York and Governor Emmy 

What does the Sidney Powell Georgia lawsuit allege?

Georgia lawsuit long on allegations and short of proof

Sidney Powell has suggested that the massive nature of her lawsuits were going to be akin to "releasing the Kraken". There is no question that the allegations raised are quite serious, but there are certainly obvious issues with whether or not Powell can actually "prove" any of what she alleges. Or more to the point, whether or not the basic facts stipulated by all even provide for the possibility of a court ordered relief or what that relief might be. 

But regardless of the legal uphill battle this lawsuit carries, I can offer my own opinion at what issues should be taken seriously (even if there is nothing a court can do about them).

The Dominion and Smartmatic voting machines that have been under fire and all of the voting information within them were actually connected to the internet so that information could be accessed and updates could be made remotely. I am not sure exactly how common this is or why you would want or need these machines on line. But I seem to recall that in 2016 when Democrats argued that machines were hacked in Wisconsin, that the main problem with that argument was that those machines were never actually connected to the internet to have been hacked by an outside source. Any hacking would have had to have been done on-site.

Obviously the fact that connecting your individual voting machines to the internet allows for the possibility that they could be hacked by outside players, does not actually prove that it happened. I also have no idea what real security is provided by Dominion to guarantee nobody can get it. It could be as safe as your banking information. But one might think that whatever convenience is gained by having these machines on-line is far outweighed by the potential risk, both real and imagined. 

This is an issue that probably needs to be addressed in the future, but I find it hard to imagine that Powell can provide any evidence that the machines were actually hacked. 

Approximately 100,000 more mail in ballots were allegedly counted than there is record of being received. Now I am not sure where exactly this allegation comes from, but it would appear to be something that could be flushed out one way or the other pretty quickly. If these allegations are true, proving them would not be that difficult. If they are not true, then providing proof that the number of mail in ballots counted was equal to the number that they show received would also be a relatively simple task. 

If true, this would lend credence to the many affidavits signed suggesting that pristine unfolded mail in ballots were counted in Fulton county and other places. Obviously every mail-in ballot would have creases from being folded and placed in an envelope, and no mail in ballot could be returned without being in the envelope. Either way, no mail in ballots should be counted that do not have creases. If any were counted, then that would actually appear to be evidence of tampering or fraud.

Now a judge may decide that the matter is moot, simply because there would be no evidence of the suing part being injured. It seems that half the time these political or election lawsuits are tossed due to lack of standing or other legal technicalities. But I would hope that any Judge looking for any semblance of truth would ask for this allegation to be verified one way or the other. 

What "could" happen in this situation would be if the amount of fraudulent votes exceeded the margin of victory, the election could legally be set aside. Or if they could be technically sorted out based on a lack of fold or crease, they could be invalided.  But a judge would have to have balls the size of beach balls to pull either of those moves. 

There was no water pipe break in Fulton county is another allegation raised by Powell. According to more witness affidavits, there was never a water pipe break, but rather there was a situation with a toilet that overflowed. The affidavits state that the mysterious imaginary water pipe break was just an excuse to evacuate the building, but that a group of poll workers did not leave the building and instead spent several hours unsupervised counting ballots and working on the computers. 

Again, even if it can be proven that poll workers worked unsupervised, and possibly even lied to get everyone else out, that evidence does not "prove" fraud.  But if this allegation was true, then it's possible that the poll workers who remained behind and worked may have broken an election law, even without proving any fraud. 

Bottom line: I would not expect this lawsuit to go anywhere. The only glimmer of hope for Powell fans would probably be tied to the whether or not there is real evidence that more mail in ballots were counted than were legally shown as received. There seems to be an actual legal standing here where a judge could conclude that if it can be proven that more illegal ballots were counted than the margin of victory... then the results of the election could technically be tossed aside. But to suggest that is a long shot would be an understatement. 

Open mic - Iowa recount edition

Miller-Meeks up by eight votes with one county left to report (Clinton County). Previous reports from the Hart campaign of a nine vote swing in favor of the Democrat in Jasper county was actually only one vote when all is said and done. Scott county went ahead and reported their 26 vote swing in spite of their recounted totals adding up to 131 more ballots than the number of people who actually voted. 

Random person with same last name in front of a mic

Clinton County (about 24,000 votes total) still has 4000-5000 left to count, but have only found one vote in favor of Hart so far. One has to wonder why these 4000-5000 votes have been still "left to count" pretty much since Tuesday... and when exactly they plan to finish. Seems to me that you are simply providing time for something unusual to happen. There was no good reason to count 80% of your ballots and just leave the remaining 20% sitting out there for days while everyone else does their job and finishes.

Just getting over it with another open mic

No coincidence that a 5-4 USSC decision determined that Governors can no longer treat churches and synagogues differently than liquor stores, camp grounds, and parking garages. Only the really really really stupid believe that it's unsafe to worship god, but safe to buy booze. 

Found this random judicial figure in front of a microphone

Just a few months ago, this same sort of decision went 5-4 the other way, with Judge Roberts casting the deciding against the first amendment and religious liberty. Now we have five justices willing to actually put the constitution ahead of the whims of Governors. At least in regards to the preliminary injunction in favor or religious freedom. No reason to believe any final decisions will go the other way.

Found this random guy in front of a mic looking all pissed off? Wonder why?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble!


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Open Mic

Since I am still getting over it...  here is an open mic for people who want to bring up their own subjects!

Like this random military guy I found on the internet speaking into a microphone! 

I will no longer be posting anything anymore about any subject...

Because as our own feeble minded nursing home resident has suggested... 

Scott needs to get over it

This "getting over it" apparently precludes any post about congressional races, Covid, post election activities, international affairs, media issue, or apparently anything that doesn't directly relate to Joe Biden.

House election recap Iowa

Still counting votes three weeks later!

UPDATE: If reported numbers from the Hart camp are correct, the unofficial totals from Scott (26), Jasper (9), and Clinton (1) would put Hart in the lead by "one" vote. One vote! Put over the top by the late reporting counties (as it always is). That makes the issue with Scott county attempting to include increase their overall count by 131 more ballots than they had on election night a pretty big problem that needs to be settled.

Iowa 02 - Miller-Meeks + 35 (unofficial)

  • Miller Meeks - 196,880 (+18 since beginning of recount)
  • Hart - 196,845 (+30 since beginning of recount)

Johnson County (the liberal bastion of this district) completed  their recount last night.  They added five votes for Hart and two for Miller Meeks, which was a net gain of three votes for Hart. Johnson County make up about 20% of the district and went over 2-1 for Hart.  

Scott County (one of the few counties that Hart won) had not officially reported numbers as of yesterday, but unofficially the rumor is that Hart might have picked up approximately 30 votes 26 votes. Because of complaints in how they counted, their official report is on hold till next week in order to resolve these issues. It certainly does seem strange that a fairly medium size county would have this many extra ballots when the rest of the state has so few.

Clinton was another county that had not completed their counts, but their count had only netted one extra vote for Hart so far, as they started to recount the mail in ballots. Mail in ballots should not be where you find under or overvotes as those are checked by hand. Jasper appears to be the last remaining county (based on this latest tweet from this morning).

Jasper is a medium size county (about 20,000 votes) and was a county that went for Miller-Meeks. Rumors are (however) that Hart may have picked up some votes (9 is the unofficial number) there as well. Funny how all of the late reporting counties end up favorable to the Democrat... again?

UPDATE: The actual report from Scott County is that their hand recount shows 131 more votes than recorded in the county's canvas of votes. This means one of two things:
  • That the judge will not accept their new recount totals and make them start over (or reject their hand counts in favor of the original machine counts).
  • Or that once again, there will be a margin of victory (probably less than five votes either way) that is tainted by odd recount totals in one particular county.
Imagine for a second that the Democrat Hart wins a hand recount by one or two votes where over half of his total new votes come from one county that did not follow the instructions of the Iowa election officials and ended up with a recounted vote total that has 131 more votes than they started with?

Wouldn't that just be sooooo 2020! 

Biden voters "in the dark" about the election news cycle?

The news media did their job... if their job was to help Biden get elected?

Imagine that the President of the United States is nominated for multiple Nobel Peace Prizes for brokering Middle East peace agreements, and a large portion of Americans do not know that it happened because their media refuses to report good things about the President?

Imagine that the son of one of the candidates for President is under FBI investigation for money laundering, the candidate himself is likely involved, and a large portion of Americans do not know anything about it because the media refuses to report anything bad about this candidate?

That is the world we live in folks... 

You can read further analysis of this at the Powerline Blog 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Covid Update

Yesterday's numbers:

Illinois - 8322 new cases,  61 new deaths

Sweden - 3507 new cases, 7 new deaths

Close NY-22 recount exposes recurring theme

Ballots cast by the dead emerge in extremely tight Brindisi-Tenney race
The discovery of mail-in ballots cast by dead voters has emerged as an issue in the neck-and-neck race between first-term upstate Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi and rival Republican Claudia Tenney.
Tenney, who held the seat before being ousted by Brindis, was ahead by a razor-thin 100 votes as the two campaigns appeared before a state judge who will rule on hundreds of disputed absentee and affidavit ballots that could determine the winner.
Madison County Attorney Tina Wayland-Smith reported that election officials there disqualified absentee ballots filed by three “deceased” voters” in a filing with state Supreme Court Justice Scott Del Conte, who is overseeing the count in Oswego County.

As pointed out by the attorney, this isn't an issue so much as to whether or not "deceased" voters make the difference between winning and losing the race, but rather this is about obvious election fraud that authorities seem vigilantly disinterested in.

Too many times, these suits pop up and are dismissed because the amount of fraud presented isn't enough to overturn the results of the race. But when these lawsuits suggest something illegal, then shouldn't there be a place to push forward with these investigations?

Certainly the deceased people did not cast the vote from beyond the grave. That means someone filled out the ballot and mailed it in. This action is fraud and quite honestly a "felony" that could bring jail time to whomever filled it out and sent it in. This is a crime that should be treated like any other known crime. 

We don't not investigate or prosecute a car jacking, burglary, or assault because there isn't some larger issue involved. We investigate these because they are a crime and that is the job of law enforcement to investigation and otherwise prevent crime.

Update: Another not-so-funny bit of information

Apparently there are 39 disputed ballots that nobody knows why they were disputed. They all had "sticky notes" attached to them, and now some sticky notes are missing, multiple sticky notes are on some ballots, while there were sticky notes apparently stuck to each other at the bottom of the envelope.

Just another great example of why we need a better system to "count" the ballots, rather than just making improvements on how to cast ballots. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Now that the "rich" vote Democrat... look for more proposed giveaways to the rich!

Forgiving Student Loan Debt? We are literally talking debt numbers in the trillions here and a majority of those are middle to upper middle class.

Obviously, we will see no legislation that will offer to provide rich kids going to school a student loan forgiveness program, which is why you are hearing Joe Biden and others talk about it as a possible executive action. Whether this is something that a President can actually do via executive decree will be up to the courts to decide. But one thing is for certain, when it's a Democrat in the White House, Democrats are all for executive power and making the Presidency into some sort of dictatorship.

But the point remains here... that a student debt forgiveness program that doesn't otherwise means test for income, will mainly benefit the wealthy or upper middle class. The ability for someone who comes from a low income family to pick up thousands in student loans with the idea that they could pay it back is not the same as it is for someone who has access to larger amounts of money (due to family income). 

Sometimes you have real issues (like Covid, loss of jobs, increase in crime) and sometimes you have a situation where spoiled children want to borrow a whole bunch of money for their own gain, and then not want to actually have to be burdened with paying it off. Seems like not something that should be high on the priority list (even if you are na├»ve enough think it's a good idea). 

As someone who worked two jobs and gigged as a musician so I could afford to pay for college and live in squalor, I do not feel sorry for the dorm dwellers who got all sorts of free time to study, could go to bed at reasonable hours, and other advantages... all because they decided to take out loans that they now do not want to pay. You reap what you sow. I made the decision to work my way through college (which was not easy) in order to avoid student loans. Those who made a different decision must live with that.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

This guy has become the legal voice of reason

Along with Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Turley has become a solid voice of reason in an otherwise partisan world

To be perfectly clear, I don't believe that Trump is going to win these lawsuits and reverse the results of the election. I haven't believed that these lawsuits were anything more than a nuisance since the beginning, even if I wish there was a legal manner to take them more seriously. 

The manner in which election lawsuits work simply does not allow for the concept of investigation of aberrations, oddities, or even affidavits of people who saw questionable behavior.  But rather an election lawsuit requires that the proof of election fraud already exists and that evidence is in hand. In some ways, there simply isn't enough time to get into discovery, subpoena witnesses, gather evidence, or the sorts of things that most litigation requires. Because of time limitations, we generally rush almost immediately into the end game, which makes the burden on the plaintiff much too difficult for 99 out of 100 situations.   

But the reality is that there is still legal maneuvering that can be done, there are questions I believe should be answered. Until the results are certified, Trump has every right to make his legal moves and request answers.  

As a software engineer who has spent much of his life working with data, statistics, financial statements and computer software, I can flat out tell you that I don't believe that obvious data anomalies or other significant data related irregularities are generally random or just happen. Certainly the people who I support would not accept the explanation that their financial statement coming back with hard to believe numbers should not be questioned or investigated. Certainly nobody is going to threaten them with punishment for questioning it or investigating it. If these numbers are truly wrong, people in their company could go to jail. We have to work with clients to investigate and double check anything and everything that doesn't look correct. There is no need to have prove of a problem before something is investigated and double checked.

While random can sometimes just happen, random anomalies that fit patterns pretty much never happens when it comes to statistical analysis, computer software, or any form of math or accounting. Patterns suggest issues, and issue always require investigation. But as stated previously, that is not the way it works with elections and it certainly is not the way it works with election lawsuits. Finding an anomaly or even a pattern of anomalies does not meet the legal burden of "proof" necessary. 

That being said, there can never be any realistic calls for "unity" after this election when there are physical threats, doxing, and other issues associated with those making these challenges. Certainly there can be no call for "unity" if there are people who believe you can prosecute someone for challenging election results. We don't punish people for being curious, and when even 30% of Democrats believe some cheating went on to help Biden, it does not push any sort of "unity" to attack those who speak the unspeakable. 

The people of the United States have no responsibility to submit to calls for "unity". That "unity" will need to be earned by those calling for it. You earn with transparency and respect for questions. You don't earn with threats and doxing. All that does it make it look like you have something "big" to hide.

Wouldn't it have been better for everyone if some of these same people were willing to question some of these anomalies with the same passion and interest that they took in promoting the idea back in 2016 that our President was working as a "Russian agent" and colluding to steal an election? Make no mistake, there is much greater reason to believe that there was ballot tampering and possible fraud in this election, then reason to believe that was that Donald Trump was ever working with Vladimir Putin. 

Attempts to brush it under the rug will not bring anyone together. It will only pull us further apart. 

Here is a step in the right directions

FDA grants emergency approval to coronavirus antibody treatment given to Trump
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday granted emergency authorization for the antibody treatment administered to and later praised by President Trump for his past COVID-19 diagnosis.
The antibody cocktail from Regeneron is authorized for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults, as well as pediatric patients at least 12 years old who have a high risk of progressing to severe disease.
The company said it could have enough doses for around 80,000 patients by the end of November, and enough for approximately 300,000 patients in total by the end of January.

The reality is that Regeneron, Hydroxychloroquine, and other drug cocktails have been successfully used by multiple countries in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. The reality is that some of these same drugs were used successfully here in the United States to treat Covid viruses in the past. 

The fact that our country has pretty much refused to "treat" Covid has been an ongoing problem. If there is an area where our county mismanaged our Covid response, it's not that we didn't wear enough masks, social distance, or otherwise shut more things down. Our mismanagement would come from having literally no consistent guidance from anyone as to how or when to treat this.

So the question really becomes... why when so many other countries found success with treatments, when he have had success in the past with treating other Covid viruses, have we ultimately fought tooth and nail against anything other than just "isolation" of those who tested positive? Why was it that so many of "our" experts took a different course than previous experts and other experts in other countries?

Moreover, why were these so called experts so passionately against, if not venomously against these treatments? Why were they willing to just do "nothing" rather than "something" when it came to treatment? Why did they continue to ignore study after study showing these treatments working elsewhere, while relying on studies that were incomplete, irrelevant, or set up to fail. 

Yet here we are, 260,000 deaths later and we are finally getting around to approving a no-brainer treatment that could have prevented thousands or even tens of thousands of deaths. Talk about a day late and a dollar short.

The answer to this is that this is 2020 and politics and partisanship rules. 

Obviously we know that Trump has touted the idea of treatments from word go. According to polling, most Republicans were on board with the idea of treatments, and were more than willing to take treatments if made available. Democrats on the other hand, pretty much disagree with Trump as a matter of principle, meaning that they were kneejerk against treatment. Their Party line was all about preventative actions (shut downs, mandates, regulations, isolation). Polling showed that they were against taking any treatments, just as many Democrats are (for reasons obviously associated with TDS) against taking a vaccine that was developed during the Trump term.

Let's be clear.  This proves the power that politics has over substance. We all know that the media will push the Democratic line of rhetoric 24-7. We also know that there are plenty of deep state players willing to do the same. Bottom line is that most Government employees are Democrats. While politics and science shouldn't mix, it does all the time. From "global warming scientists" who are still predicting the end of the world to "social scientists" who have managed to find 37 genders and systemic racism around every corner, politics is front and center. 

But make no mistake, most these decisions regarding drug treatments and choices these experts pushed were not "scientific" at all. These were ultimately political and designed to appease certain people. If the opposition to these drugs was based on "science" then the FDA would not have reversed positions on these drugs over time. If this was based on "science" then that science would have been consistent with past science and the science that other countries are using. To suggest these decisions were made on science is to suggest that "science" in 2020 in the United States is different from "science" from other time periods and "science" from other parts of the world. 

The only real question here is simple. How many Americans died because of politics?