Sidney Powell Releases the Georgia Kraken

As promised, Sidney Powell has released the Kraken. The Georgia Kraken in this case.

The very detailed and documented filing was released last week. And contrary to the Trump-supporting super-lawyer’s critics, it looks like she has the goods. Exactly as the president’s lawyers produced their own detailed evidence in Pennsylvania days before, as noted by my colleague Paul Kengor’s sharp-eyed recounting right here in The American Spectator.

Let’s take a deep dive through Powell’s Georgia Kraken.

The plaintiffs are seven Georgia registered voters. The defendants in the case are Republican — yes, Republican — Gov. Brian Kemp, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and four members of the Georgia State Election Board.

The suit begins by saying this:

This civil action brings to light a massive election fraud, multiple violations of Georgia laws … and multiple Constitutional violations, as shown by fact witnesses to specific incidents, multiple expert witnesses and the sheer mathematical impossibilities found in the Georgia 2020 General Election.

Then the suit is off and running for 104 very detailed pages — very detailed.

It focuses on a problem that has also appeared in Pennsylvania — accusing the Georgia Secretary of State of overriding the statutory authority of the state legislature. Next is a section on the “unlawful early processing of absentee ballots,” the voting system companies, then on to evidence of fraud and “a pattern showing the absence of mistake.” Next is a section on the voting machines and how secrecy software throughout Georgia is crucial to the alleged fraud. Then it’s on to “Additional Specific Fraud” and the experts who use statistical analysis to prove the shifts of thousands of votes — and a look at 20,311 absentee or early voters that voted even as they were registered as having moved out of state. It lists in specificity just how the defendants violated both the U.S. Constitution, the 14th Amendment specifically, due process, and plain old federal law. It ends, after reams of detail and witness testimony, with a request for an emergency order to decertify the results.

The very first footnote says:

The same pattern of election fraud and voter fraud occurred in all the swing states with only minor variations, see export reports, regarding Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Wisconsin.

Yes indeed. In fact, when one reads Paul Kengor’s article on the Pennsylvania bombshell, it is crystal clear that the pattern of violations in Pennsylvania is indeed the same pattern outlined in the Georgia case.

Let’s begin with the exact allegation Powell has been making, that is written this way in the suit, bold print for emphasis supplied:

The fraud was executed by many means, but the most fundamentally troubling, insidious, and egregious is the systemic adaptation of old fashioned ballot stuffing. It has now been amplified and rendered virtually invisible by computer software created and run by domestic and foreign actors for that very purpose. Mathematical and statistical anomalies rising to the level of impossibilities, as shown by affidavits of multiple witnesses, documentation, and expert testimony evince this scheme across the state of Georgia.

Powell says the fraud was executed by the systemic adaptation of old-fashioned ballot stuffing. Which is to say, the ancient method used by political bosses of old to rig an election by physically “stuffing” the ballot box or in later days by having a voting machine rigged by a party official has now been updated for the 21st century by the use of corrupted voting system companies and corrupted software. Companies with ties to a foreign power — Venezuela. (And not mentioned: Yes indeed, a Philadelphia Democrat election judge was in fact indicted in May 2020 for rigging a voting machine in three different elections.)

Powell has been pilloried for saying this, in part because she blames the voting system companies. But take a look at this:

Georgia’s electoral system, including its voter registration data and voting machines, lacks adequate data security. This insecurity presents a risk of hacking and tampering that could cause voters to be removed from voter rolls or cause cast votes to be removed or altered….

More than a decade of research shows that electronic voting machines, especially those used in Georgia, are vulnerable to hacking. The Secretary of State and the State Election Board have had notice of these problems but have done precious little to fix them.

The problem? This was not said in Sidney Powell’s lawsuit, although it makes the exact same point as Powell. No, this was said in a 2018 lawsuit by two groups in Georgia — Fair Fight in Action and Care in Action. A lawsuit filed in support of — yes — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Powell has a declaration from one Dr. Navid Keshavarz-Nia. Who is he?

The New York Times mentioned him in this September 2020 story, describing him this way:

Those who worked with him said (Keshavarz-Nia) “was always the smartest person in the room.” In doing cybersecurity and technical counterintelligence work for the C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I., he had spent decades connecting top-secret dots.

Said Powell:

Expert Navid Keshavarez-Nia … concludes that hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump in the 2020 election were transferred to Vice-President Biden.

As David Catron has noted over here, Dr. Keshavarz-Nia says this in his declaration:

I conclude with high confidence that the election 2020 data were altered in all battleground states resulting in hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump to be transferred to Vice President Biden. These alterations were the result of systemic and widespread exploitable vulnerabilities in DVS, Scytl/SOE Software and Smartmatic systems that enabled operators to achieve the desired results. In my view, the evidence is overwhelming and incontrovertible.

Hmmm. Read through the lawsuit from the 2018 Georgia race filed in support of Stacy Abrams and you learn this, bold print for emphasis supplied:

66. One troubling problem—encountered by several voters—is that voting machines switched their votes from Leader Stacey Abrams to Secretary Kemp. Allison Bish, a Gwinnett County voter, used a machine to vote for Leader Abrams. But after selecting Leader Abrams, the machine switched her vote to Secretary Kemp. Ms. Bish switched her vote back to Leader Abrams. The machine again switched her vote to Secretary Kemp. Ms. Bish switched her vote back to Leader Abrams. The machine switched her vote to Secretary Kemp for the third time. Only on Ms. Bish’s fourth attempt was she was able to cast a ballot for Leader Abrams.

67. Jocelyn Lester experienced a similar problem when she voted in Early County. Ms. Lester voted early at the Registrar’s Office in Blakely. She voted using the voting machine, and pressed the button for Leader Abrams. But the voting machine showed her selection as Secretary Kemp. Ms. Lester reports she kept pressing Leader Abrams and by the fourth time, the machine finally corrected. While Ms. Lester was ultimately able to vote for Leader Abrams, she expresses concern that other voters may have been less attentive, inadvertently voting for Secretary Kemp. As Ms. Lester said, “If I were not paying more attention, or were less persistent, it would have been easy for the machine to incorrectly cast my vote for Secretary Kemp. And I can see how a less persistent or attentive person could have the machine incorrectly cast their vote for Secretary Kemp when they were meaning to vote for Leader Abrams.”

So in 2018 Democrats insisted that voting machines switched votes from Abrams to Kemp. But in 2020 when Powell says voting machines switched votes from Trump to Biden — suddenly Powell is some sort of crazed conspiracy nut?

Right.

Powell has caught all manner of flak for citing the involvement of Dominion Voting Systems Corporation, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Smartmatic Voting Systems — and alleging foreign involvement in the election.

The 2018 lawsuit states: “Georgia maintains one of the least secure elections systems in the country.”

And when it comes to those machines that Powell has complained about? To say again, in fact, it was Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in 2006 who specifically wrote Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson to express her concern about “the acquisition of Sequoia Voting Systems by Smartmatic, a foreign-owned company.”

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Ron Wyden, plus Democrat Congressman Mark Pocan, also raised the alarm on the potential for voter fraud by voting system companies. As noted previously in this space, the Democrats said this:

In 2018 alone, “voters in South Carolina [were] reporting machines that switched their votes after they’d inputted them, scanners [were] rejecting paper ballots in Missouri, and busted machines [were] causing long lines in Indiana,” the letter reads. In addition, researchers recently uncovered previously undisclosed vulnerabilities in “nearly three dozen backend election systems in 10 states.” And, just this year, after the Democratic candidate’s electronic tally showed he received 164 votes out of 55,000 cast in a Pennsylvania state judicial election in 2019, the county’s Republican chairwoman said, “nothing went right on Election Day. Everything went wrong. That’s a problem.”

Yes, it is. And clearly Georgia, as testified to by Stacey Abrams, has serious problems in producing an honest election.

The idea that voting systems are hackable by foreign powers is, contrary to what Powell’s critics are saying, hardly the imagining of a conspiracy theorist. Here is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the subject back in August 2019. The headline:

Threats to Georgia elections loom despite new paper ballot voting

Said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Niesse:

Election officials will have to be on guard against malware, viruses, stolen passwords and Russian interference across tens of thousands of new voting computers. A Russian agent visited websites of two Georgia counties in 2016 but didn’t gain access to election systems, officials said.

And foreign interference wasn’t just targeted on Georgia. Here is the New York Times in July 2019:

 Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds

The Times reported this, bold print for emphasis supplied:

WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded Thursday that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016, an effort more far-reaching than previously acknowledged and one largely undetected by the states and federal officials at the time.

But while the bipartisan report’s warning that the United States remains vulnerable in the next election is clear, its findings were so heavily redacted at the insistence of American intelligence agencies that even some key recommendations for 2020 were blacked out.

The report — the first volume of several to be released from the committee’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference — came 24 hours after the former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III warned that Russia was moving again to interfere “as we sit here.” …

In his testimony to two House committees on Wednesday, Mr. Mueller had sought to highlight the continued threat that Russia or other adversaries would seek to interfere in the 2020 elections. He said many more “countries are developing capability to replicate what the Russians have done.” …

While the report is not directly critical of either American intelligence agencies or the states, it described what amounted to a cascading intelligence failure, in which the scope of the Russian effort was underestimated, warnings to the states were too muted, and state officials either under-reacted or, in some cases, resisted federal efforts to offer help.

Powell quite specifically targets the Smartmatic software voting system and its alleged tie with Venezuela. The suit says:

Affiant witness (name redacted for security reasons), in his sworn testimony explains he was selected for the national security guard detail of the President of Venezuela, and that he witnessed the creation of Smartmatic for the purpose of election vote manipulation to insure Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez never lost an election and he saw it work. Id. 

The purpose of this conspiracy was to create and operate a voting system that could change the votes in elections from votes against persons running the Venezuelan government to votes in their favor in order to maintain control of the government.

And what did the New York Times — the paper warning “Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States” — have to say about the relationship between Russia, Hugo Chavez, and Venezuela? It headlined this in 2019:

Why Is Russia Helping Venezuela?

The story said:

MOSCOW — On a rainy afternoon this week, a group of Russian officials and oil executives gathered for Mass in a Catholic church tucked away behind the imposing secret service headquarters in central Moscow.

They did not come to pray. Instead, they were commemorating the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, who poured billions of dollars into Russian weapons and machinery, and showing support for his embattled successor, Nicolás Maduro.

Mr. Maduro is fighting to save the political system he and Mr. Chávez have built, with Russian support, for two decades.

In other words? Per the New York Times:

  1. The Russians “targeted” the U.S. election system.
  2. “More ‘countries are developing capability to replicate what the Russians have done.’ ”
  3. “Mr. Maduro is fighting to save the political system he and Mr. Chávez have built, with Russian support, for two decades.”

All true. Over there in the Wall Street Journal Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes “The Americas,” a weekly column on events in Latin America and Canada. On Monday, O’Grady wrote this of Powell’s Georgia lawsuit:

Central to the argument against the governor and his associates is the claim that software used by Georgia was developed by Hugo Chávez — who died in 2013 — to steal elections in Venezuela. 

O’Grady discusses the role of then-President Chavez in a 2004 referendum that was focused on whether Venezuelans wanted him to stay or leave the presidency. She writes:

On the day of the referendum, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2004, Venezuelans turned out in big numbers, confident that they could rid themselves of the antidemocratic strongman through the democratic process. An exit poll by the American polling company Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates found that Chávez lost his bid to stay in power by 59% to 41%.

Yet, as I reported on Aug. 20, “at three o’clock on Monday morning two members of the National Electoral Council (CNE) who are politically opposed to Chávez announced that they had been shut out of the audit process and warned the public that the established protocol had been violated. Some 50 minutes later pro-Chávez CNE member Francisco Carrasquero emerged alone to proclaim Chávez the winner.”

Let’s sum it up, shall we?

  1. Powell charges that there was “a massive election fraud, multiple violations of Georgia laws … and multiple Constitutional violations, as shown by fact witnesses to specific incidents, multiple expert witnesses and the sheer mathematical impossibilities found in the Georgia 2020 General Election.”
  2.  As with Georgia, of which she says: “The same pattern of election fraud and voter fraud occurred in all the swing states with only minor variations, see export reports, regarding Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Wisconsin.”
  3. There was, Powell says, “systemic adaptation of old fashioned ballot stuffing. It has now been amplified and rendered virtually invisible by computer software created and run by domestic and foreign actors for that very purpose. Mathematical and statistical anomalies rising to the level of impossibilities, as shown by affidavits of multiple witnesses, documentation, and expert testimony evince this scheme across the state of Georgia.”
  4. As Powell notes that expert Navid Keshavarez-Nia “concludes that hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump in the 2020 election were transferred to Vice-President Biden.”
  5. Democrats have in fact complained about the foreign ownership of voting system companies and the potential for voter fraud with the voting machines and software produced by those companies. Those Democrats were New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, plus Wisconsin Democrat Congressman Mark Pocan.
  6. And last but not least, Powell is correct — 100 percent correct — when she notes that there has been attempted foreign interference in the American electoral process in the past. As noted, no less than the New York Times headlined: “Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds.” And that toast of Trump-haters, ex-FBI Director and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is specifically cited by the Times for saying, “many more ‘countries are developing capability to replicate what the Russians have done.’ ”

The fact that the mainstream media and Democrats are now out there saying there is no evidence of voter fraud is nothing less than an attempted cover-up of facts — hard facts — that, if true, prove Sidney Powell’s case.

The Georgia Kraken has been released. And pretending it hasn’t will not make it go away.

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Author: Jeffrey Lord

Big Tech’s Big Utopian Lies

What Tech Calls Thinking: An Inquiry into the Intellectual Bedrock of Silicon Valley 
By Adrian Daub
(FSG Originals, 160 pages, $13.50)

Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron’s iconoclastic 1995 essay “The Californian Ideology” was the first stab at an intellectual history of the tech sector. Barbrook and Cameron described a worldview exuded by the likes of blazer-and-denim capitalists like Oracle’s Larry Ellison. This new digital elite held that technological improvement had thrust humanity onto a path of inevitable progress. So deterministic were they in their thinking that they would make John Calvin blush. At the same time, this new “digerati,” as some in the press called them in the early 1990s, articulated a self-aggrandizing anti-statism straight out of an Ayn Rand novel. The digerati were visible saints of a new order, clad in earth tones. They were John Galts with gadgetry. These romantic individualists planned to wipe the slate of mankind clean and provide Marshall McLuhan’s global village with ever more connective tissue, enabling everyone to lead gallant digital lives.

Adrian Daub’s excellent What Tech Calls Thinking provides a needed update to Barbrook and Cameron’s initial ideological rendering of the Silicon Valley crowd. The Stanford professor demonstrates both the significant continuity (see their technological determinism) and significant change (a move away from cultural libertarianism towards a more managerial view of society) in Big Tech’s ideological imperatives. Above all else, Daub shows that all the la-di-da talk of liberation and life as a work of art once articulated by the techies has become just talk, which may be all that it ever was.

The Randian pretenses remain in much of the tech sector, as Daub explains in detail. The likes of Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales and PayPal founder Peter Thiel still speak in Rand’s “Virtue of Selfishness” vernacular. Certainly, one still hears more than mere echoes of The Fountainhead at TED Talks, Silicon Valley’s version of The Old-Time Gospel Hour. Every new disruptor and “thinkfluencer” is a Howard Roark, fighting for transparency and breaking down barriers of time, space, and superstition.

By the time the techies had the whip hand, though, the anti-statists had been replaced with a new cluster of venture capitalists whose ethos was closer to l’état, c’est moi. The generation of Thiel, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg have presented their assertion of financial muscle as world-historical “disruptive” and “destructive” forces — inevitable changes in the marketplace which not coincidentally correspond with the greater assertion of economic power and control by the entrepreneurs in question. These men are not revolutionaries in any sense, according to Daub. They are merely pirates within the existing economic order, taking advantage of gaps within the managerial state (think of Airbnb or Uber circumventing municipal regulations on lodging or taxi services) while shaping the state’s future means of management. At its core, Daub sees the intellectual architecture the tech sector has developed over the past two decades as a cloak for their pursuit of power and treasure.

Daub asserts that the titans of tech have spent little time sitting around reading Joseph Schumpeter and René Girard, despite the evident influence of Schumpeter’s concept of “creative destruction” (the idea that capitalism is powered by constant innovations, which continually displace previous means and modes of production) and Girard’s “mimetic theory” (the idea that as humans come to desire something that others have, they come into conflict with others in pursuit of it) on Silicon Valley’s standard-issue worldview. In fact, Zuckerberg and his peers thought infrequently about the intellectual underpinnings of their efforts until they reached the point of cultural and economic significance when they needed to “contextualize what they’re doing.” That’s when all of the highfalutin’ economic revolution talk heated up and the likes of Google and Facebook embraced their newfound social missions. Once the venture capitalists of Silicon Valley formed the core of the economic establishment, they started acting the part.

Daub sees the intellectual architecture the tech sector has developed over the past two decades as a cloak for their pursuit of power and treasure.

And looking the part too. Daub notes that the corridors of Apple and Facebook look and sound a lot more corporate in 2020, and a lot more like a J.Crew catalog, than they did a decade ago. Back in the day, back before Congress called on Zuckerberg or @jack to discuss election tampering or cancel culture, the dudes (and it was almost exclusively dudes) who worked for Big Tech tended to resemble “Comic Book Guy,” the imperious, slovenly, and Rubenseque character from The Simpsons. Tech certainly presents better than it did a decade ago, but the sense of self-satisfaction remains. The garden variety cant of a know-it-all has been replaced of late wtih TED Talk clichés and bromides indicative of social concern.

Despite Silicon Valley’s apparent aspirations to universalism, the animating ideas of the tech sector arise from some rather specific places. Daub interrogates with great vigor the influence of a particular brand of West Coast hucksterism on the tech sector — the New Age self-help movement exemplified by the Esalen Institute. Esalen’s big ideas — the expansion of human potential, the broadening of human capacity for perception, and the ability of people to design a life of their choosing — sound like the sappiest of Google and Apple advertisements you’ve seen this week for a reason. The connections between West Coast self-help gurus and the pioneers of computer science dates back into the 1960s. The likes of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had ties to Esalen that reached back into the 1970s. Despite their reputation for embracing all things natural, New Agers have a long track record of embracing futurism in all its forms. At the same time, the emerging digerati, in its quest for meaning, found a conceptual framework for their technological determinism in the rosy esotericism of Esalen.

The mainstreaming of cryptic self-help mumbo jumbo has proven to be one of the most profound intellectual developments brought about by Big Tech. Daub rightly sees the tech sector as both one of the primary causes of and purveyors of a post-industrial “aestheticization of labor practices.” The author finds an old-fashioned paternalism in many of tech’s biggest companies, a belief that their workers are creators within a family of creators rather than denizens of the salariat engaged in the workaday slog of coding. Likewise, Daub sees in much of the gig economy a glamorization of the service sector. Somehow delivering pizzas for DoorDash is superior to doing so for Domino’s because it presents drivers with the sense that they are driving for themselves and on their own schedule, even if the compensation, workload, and time spent on the job are similar. Whether one is a denizen of Silicon Valley or a delivery driver in Des Moines, the tradeoff for this romanticizing of drudgery seems to be a sacrificing of the work–life balance that many Americans enjoyed throughout the 20th century.

The milieu most prominent among the giants of Silicon Valley is that of elite colleges. Daub calls out the bildungsroman of choice among tech giants — the story of the college dropout who failed time and again to bring his vision to life before finally scoring big on the right idea. Dropping out has become tech’s grand romantic gesture, the beginning of a Kerouac-like journey from the sophomore dorm room to the executive board room. Yet this fairy tale seems to have happened almost exclusively to kids who 1) attended elite colleges, 2) had developed significant access to venture capital through their associations at such schools, and 3) came from wealthy families that provided them with a safety net that enabled them to fail at a few different endeavors. Your local state college comp-sci dropout is not about to found the next earth-shaking startup. There are plenty of great reasons one could give for why fewer young people should build their plans for the future around a four-year college education. But the idea that you should drop out of college to start a tech company is not among them. Unless you are a Harvard man or have a healthy trust cushioning your every fall, the assumption that you are a budding Elon Musk seems like a surefire path to disappointment and financial hardship.

Taken together, the insights in Adrian Daub’s new book form a robust critique of Big Tech’s underlying ideologies. What Tech Calls Thinking is a slim, well-written volume that both pillories the groupthink of Silicon Valley and explains what troughs the contemporary captains of industry have been drawing from as well as any book in print.

Clayton Trutor holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Boston College and teaches at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. He’d love to hear from you on Twitter: @ClaytonTrutor.

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Author: Clayton Trutor

With Liberty and Justice for All

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

Barry Morris Goldwater, may God rest his freedom-loving soul, spoke these celebrated words in accepting the Republican nomination for president in 1964. But the author of the phrase was a brilliant political scientist named Harry V. Jaffa, whose death, at 96, put the obituarists instantly in mind of a rhetorical flight from which Goldwater supposedly never recovered.

The two — Barry and Harry — knew with some exactitude what they were doing. As William J. Middendorf, a ring leader of the Draft Goldwater movement, would later note, Goldwater was taking on “the major theme of the (GOP) opposition debate: that he and his supporters were ‘extremists’ and the Rockefellers and Scrantons of the party were the voices of ‘moderation.’ ”

But this isn’t about Barry — for whom I proudly cast my first-ever presidential vote. This is about liberty and justice, in the light of Harry Jaffa’s riff on the topic — a riff (through Barry) so unapologetically stated as to throw into the shade Jaffa’s lifetime achievement as an interpreter of Abraham Lincoln.

Liberty and justice, 60 years after the no-vice, no-virtue speech, might be said to require at least as robust an endorsement as Barry and Harry accorded them. We find them besieged on all sides — by Islamic wackos; by IRS workers leaning on nonprofit conservative organizations; by the steamroller congressional tactics used in establishing Obamacare; by universities so much in love, supposedly, with free speech that they protect it by denying students its use.

The media and the Lyndon Johnson Democrats jumped on Goldwater for grossly, as they allowed, overstating his case. Was he — so runs the question before us today — overstating matters or merely anticipating what lay ahead as government began construing its routine duties as crowding aside the private sector, redistributing income, advising Americans on how and what to eat, etc.?

The shift in mission came, actually, with the landslide election in 1964 of Goldwater’s Democratic opponent, Lyndon Johnson, who had decided it was time — ready or not, here we come! — to build a Great Society.

Government impositions on liberty, and the justice that liberty underwrites, were slight in 1964 by comparison with those still to come. Always the calculus is complex; at the start it can mislead. Take an issue from the ’60s. Federal attacks on the claimed liberty to prevent blacks from voting brought new life and understanding to old ideas about equal justice under law. The Constitution required no less.

Thus: How much liberty is enough? How much is too much? When is America — let us say — itself? You can’t always tell. You get hints anyway of how the public feels from what the public does. To wit: The Clint Eastwood movie Sniper earned $64.4 million at the box office for a total of $200 million in two weeks — a record for the period. Eastwood’s bio of U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle affirms a number of virtues — sacrifice, love of country, adherence to duty — that neatly align with, and serve the ends of, liberty and justice.

Sometimes, as all of us know, you go to the movies to see what you don’t see in the life around you. Indicators of this sort bear witness to mainstream discontents of a sort the Goldwater campaign merely sniffed at, pungent as the odors of the moment certainly were.

Harder and harder it gets to argue with Goldwater’s and Jaffa’s words — likely, the most calumniated words ever spoken in modern presidential politics; a bit more on the mark, at that, than a prophecy from a few elections ago — something about, come on over and watch the oceans stop rising and the planet start to heal.

William Murchison is writing a book on moral reconstruction in the 21st century. His latest book is The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson. To find out more about William Murchison, and to see features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

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Author: William Murchison

Republicans’ Opportunity: Populism Without Trump

November’s result should not obscure the fact that Trump bequeathed Republicans a winning populist strategy. The question is whether there can be populism without his persona. Republicans should seek to find out, or at least they should be if they have any political sense. Trump has drawn Republicans the populist blueprint; now someone else must build from it.

For two elections, Trump stole what the Left and Democrats believed to be their birthright: populism.

There is an irony in a flawed candidate devising a nearly flawless political strategy. Both apply to Trump. Yet while the former has been overemphasized to the point of absurdity, inaccuracy, and distortion, the latter has been deliberately overlooked.

Democrats, establishment media, the Left, and the Republican elite all want Trump’s populism to disappear. They are all threatened by it and would love 2020’s outcome to be its obituary. If Republicans are smart, 2020 will be its rebirth in an even more palatable and potent form.

For two elections, Trump stole what the Left and Democrats believed to be their birthright: populism. Trump eschewed the elite, of which he could have been a natural member; the elite never forgave his apostasy. Instead, he forged an unmistakable — and undeniably effective and formidable — political populism.

While the Left and Democrats never could — and never will — admit it, Trump owned their terrain to an extent they have not for decades. Unable to attack him for a populism they have long supported in name only, they vilified and delegitimized him, but they were unable to “de-populize” him or his appeal.

Trump went after America’s working class by going after elite policies. Uncontrolled immigration, unbalanced trade, endless military actions abroad, and a general policy of putting America’s interests behind those of other nations and global goals all fell in his crosshairs. Like federal domestic programs that subsidized others, these elite programs’ costs were borne by America’s working class but bore them nothing.

As a result, in 2016 Trump improved dramatically on Romney’s 2012 electoral vote count — the place where elections are decided. Trump won two million more votes and added 98 electoral votes and six states (Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida) to Republicans’ column.

In 2020, Trump improved substantially in total votes, adding 11 million and increasing his share of the popular vote total from 46.1 percent to 47.2 percent. Yes, he lost five states from 2016 (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona), but he did so by the barest margins: 159,000 votes.

In reviewing the 2020 outcome, it is crucial that its context by understood. Trump lost his five states by just 0.8 percent of the votes cast in these states. Further, he did so after four years of establishment media vituperation. For two years he faced organized opposition in the House, which included hearings and investigations and culminated in impeachment. This year he faced Senate trial, a global pandemic, lockdowns, economic collapse, and a summer of riots. In the election itself, there was an unprecedented use of mail-in ballots, which helped increase the vote total by almost 24 million votes, almost 20 percent higher than 2016’s. Still, he barely lost.

Despite what the opposition will insist, Republicans should see that Trump’s populism almost succeeded despite him. It also means that the prospect exists that it could do even better without him. The question is not whether populism worked for Republicans, but whether they will try to run with it again without Trump. The clear answer is that they would be fools not to try.

As evidence of its potency consider the populist approach’s electoral efficiency for Republicans. In 2016, Trump won his decisive additional electoral votes and states despite winning 1.1 percent less of the popular vote than Romney did four years earlier. Even with all the obstacles Trump faced in 2020, he still won the same percentage of the popular vote that Romney did in 2012 and 26 more electoral votes — while missing 63 more by less than 1 percent of the votes cast there.

Imagine a Trump populist message with a new Republican messenger. Just returning Republican and Independent suburban women would likely have flipped the outcome in the crucial battleground states. Republicans only need to flip 2 percent of the voters to win the popular vote, but just 0.5 percent on average to flip the five battleground states Trump lost in 2020.

The bigger question is whether Republicans will pursue populism without Trump. Trump has been so denigrated by the establishment media and political opponents — both inside and outside the party — that his obvious political accomplishment is overlooked. Trump arguably created a movement. His enemies would like nothing more than to have his nascent populist movement discredited with him.

This year’s contest was a realigning election. It was not in the way realigning elections are generally considered — geographically — but instead was a class realignment. This campaign removed all doubt as to which party represented the nation’s wealth and political and media establishment — its self-styled “elite.” The wealthiest states and urban areas went for Biden. The establishment media was for Biden. Big businesses went for Biden. Outside money was for Biden and Democrats enjoyed an enormous campaign cash advantage. Again, they were obstacles Trump and his populism almost overcame.

It was a class realignment election because of Trump. Of course, there are those who will dispute this for their own purposes. The Left and Democrats want to retain the rhetoric of populism for themselves. The Republican establishment want to retain the party for themselves after populism wrested it from them.

In the wake of this clear realignment, Republicans must ask whether they can realign themselves. Can Republicans raise a new messenger of the Trump message and seize the opportunity before them?

J.T. Young served under President George W. Bush as the director of communications in the Office of Management and Budget and as deputy assistant secretary in legislative affairs for tax and budget at the Treasury Department. He served as a congressional staffer from 1987 through 2000.

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Author: J.T. Young

Mr. President: Appoint a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Election Gate

The headline over there at the Epoch Times was this:

Trump Suggests He’ll Appoint ‘Special Prosecutor’

The story, a report on Maria Bartiromo’s Fox show Sunday Morning Futures said this:

President Donald Trump said he is considering appointing a special prosecutor to probe former intelligence officials and investigators involved in surveilling his 2016 campaign as well as the Nov. 3 election.

And the suggestion from this corner? Do it Mr. President. Investigate ElectionGate.

Let’s look back at what has been seen as the biggest election scandal in history — Watergate. It was a decided constitutional crisis. The focus: the allegation that President Richard Nixon’s campaign — if not Nixon himself — was involved in an attempt to steal the 1972 presidential election by sending in burglars to bug the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and setting up a “dirty tricks” operation that would “screw up” the campaigns of various Democratic candidates for president.

And when the scandal broke into public view, Nixon was accused of conducting a “cover-up.” While he finally resigned the presidency in August of 1974, the House Judiciary Committee had authorized three articles of impeachment that ultimately were not used because of the resignation. Yet in this moment it is instructive to revisit Article I of the proposed Nixon impeachment. It said (bold print for emphasis supplied):

On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.

Today’s ElectionGate scandal is thoroughly documented in the various Trump campaign lawsuits. It lists one “unlawful” action after another in states like Pennsylvania and Georgia. Among the actions listed were “unlawful early processing of absentee ballots,” allegations of corrupted voting system companies operating as tools of foreign governments, deliberately and unlawfully keeping legitimate election observers from doing their jobs, voting while dead, state officials unlawfully overriding the authority of state legislatures, and a complete disregard for the Fourteenth Amendment. Oh, and don’t forget the required “chain of custody records” mysteriously vanishing.

The headline over at Breitbart has captured the reaction to all of this:

Poll: 79% of Trump Voters Believe ‘Election Was Stolen Through Illegal Voting and Fraud’

The headline is a reference to a Politico story that does indeed reveal that 79% of Trump supporters believe the 2020 election was in fact stolen.

Which is to say, almost 79 percent of Trump’s almost 74 million voters believe they were deliberately, willfully robbed of an honest election.

In other words, if a Special Prosecutor was needed to investigate Watergate, which Democrats of the day said was an unlawful attempt to steal the 1972 election and then cover up the attempt? Then there is, based on the evidence thus far uncovered and detailed in the Trump campaign lawsuits, more than enough evidence for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate ElectionGate.

And if a President Biden objects? Then he, like President Nixon, can fire the Special Prosecutor.

Which in itself will confirm the view of that 79 percent of Trump supporters that this election was, in fact, stolen.

And that Joe Biden knows it.

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Author: Jeffrey Lord

Wilton Gregory, Biden’s Kind of Bishop

Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., is basking in the praise of the mainstream media. Reports of his elevation to cardinal have generated such gushing headlines as: “Archbishop Gregory stood up to Trump. Now he’s about to be the first Black cardinal in U.S.”

In June, Gregory blasted Trump for trying to “silence” the mob during the riots outside the White House. Gregory’s criticism conformed perfectly to the media’s line. He accused Trump of clearing the mob for a mere “photo op.” After Trump visited the St. John Paul II shrine in Washington, Gregory excoriated his hosts, the Knights of Columbus: “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles.”

Can anyone imagine Gregory making such a harsh statement during the Biden presidency? Not a chance. Gregory “stood” up to Trump. But he won’t stand up to Biden, despite the starkly anti-Catholic agenda Biden has promised to unleash, an agenda that cuts across every moral issue the Church considers non-negotiable.

Gregory opposed Trump not on “religious principles” but on his own left-wing political predilections. A protégé of the late uber-liberal Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Gregory hews closely to his politics and theology. It was Bernardin who played such a large role in normalizing Catholic pols like Biden by downplaying their opposition to abortion and other issues of Christian morality. Barack Obama still sings Bernardin’s praises, recalling warmly the help he received from him during his rise in Chicago as a community organizer.

Notre Dame’s honoring of Obama didn’t elicit from Gregory any sputtering about the misuse of a “Catholic facility.” Should Biden receive similar honors, we can expect more silence from him. Gregory has let it be known that he will not withhold Communion from Biden despite his defiance of Church teaching on multiple issues of importance. Biden has even presided at a gay wedding, which is a Catholic scandal of the first order. It is the disuse of canon law in the face of such outrages that explains the rise of the defiant Catholic pol, a category that grows larger with each passing year.

In other Church eras, such defiance would have been unthinkable. But now it is commonplace, and a Biden presidency will only exacerbate the problem. The previous pope had tried to address the scandal of the anti-Catholic “Catholic” pol, telling the U.S. bishops in a 2004 memo that support for abortion constituted “formal cooperation” in grave evil and that such pro-abortion Catholic pols should “be denied the Eucharist.” Gregory, along with the now-defrocked Theodore McCarrick, famously ignored that instruction from then-Joseph Ratzinger.

Under Pope Francis, that memo has gathered even more dust. The issue is no longer even debated at the meetings of the U.S. bishops. Biden can expect little to no resistance from the bishops as long as Francis is pope. “I want to begin whatever conversations ensue in a positive vein, rather than in an adversarial mode,” Gregory has said.

The head of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Archbishop Jose Gomez, was undermined by Francis-friendly bishops after saying that a Biden presidency posed some “challenges” for the Church. “There are some voices that urge the conference to move toward a more confrontational stance toward Biden and the new administration,” San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy said to National Catholic Reporter. “I think that’s really contrary to the tradition of our conference and is going to be counterproductive if a move is made in that direction. The conference has operated on the principle that the church has no political mission in the public order, but it does have a moral mission in the political order.”

That’s a rich comment coming from McElroy, who is one of the most politicized bishops in America. It is the project of the Francis-aligned bishops to blur the distinction between moral and political issues, to the advantage of Democrats. The game of these bishops is to treat political issues — prudential matters involving climate change, illegal immigration, and the like — as moral, while treating moral issues that touch upon the natural moral law as political. (Hence, McElroy has said Catholics can disagree about abortion law, even as he presents his support for amnesty as “Catholic teaching.”)

Gregory’s blatantly political intervention against Trump took place under this deliberate confusion of moral and political issues. Trump’s visit to the St. John Paul II Shrine had in no way violated the “religious principles” of the Church. That Gregory would even make such an outlandish claim indicates the extent to which he defines his own left-wing politics as “Catholic.” It is no accident that this hour of open and rewarded left-wing clericalism (Cardinal Joseph Tobin’s elevation was in part aided by his “standing” up to Mike Pence in Indiana) coincides with a destructively “Catholic” presidency.

Gregory is Biden’s kind of bishop, hostile to politicians who preserve the Church’s religious freedom, welcoming to those who seek to crush it.

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Author: George Neumayr

Pennsylvania Bombshell: Biden 99.4% vs. Trump 0.6%

There are landslides and then there are landslides. There are lopsided votes and then there are lopsided votes. There are egregious examples of vote manipulation and then there are really egregious examples of vote manipulation. What surfaced during hearings in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 25, 2020 may set the standard for electoral outrageousness. An expert testifying to the Pennsylvania Senate flagged a batch of ballots that recorded some 570,000 votes for Joe Biden and only 3,200 for Donald Trump.

Yes, you read that correctly. That would equate to Joe Biden bagging 99.4% of that enormous chunk of votes. That one batch alone would have flipped the state to Biden.

This bombshell was dropped last Wednesday at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg. The November 25 hearings, which began at 12:30 p.m. and ran for nearly four hours, were convened at the request of Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties). It was sponsored by the Senate Majority Policy Committee, chaired by Sen. David Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill). Mastriano has called what happened “unacceptable,” and has called for the resignation of Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar.

This particular gem was provided by Ret. Col. Phil Waldren, a former combat officer with a background in Army information and electronic warfare. Waldren, who testified along with Rudy Giuliani’s team, brought to the hearing his considerable expertise in analysis of election-data fraud. After Waldren presented his material, the chair opened the floor for questions. Rudy Giuliani went first, asking Waldren to clarify what his analytics team means when they talk about “spike anomalies” in voting patterns. These, as Waldren defines them, are “events where a numerical amount of votes are processed in a time period that is not feasible or mechanically possible under normal circumstances.” Waldren showed a chart with a shocking example of an apparent massive dump of votes for Joe Biden. Giuliani pressed Waldren for clarification regarding this unbelievable “Biden injection of votes.” Here’s the exchange:

Waldren: At the very beginning of the chart, where there’s a circle that says “On Election Day,” what that indicates is there’s a spike in loaded votes. 337,000-plus-or-minus-some votes that were added in there in one big batch. So that was an anomaly in the reporting. Normally you would expect to see a smooth curve going up, not any big spikes, that’s kind of what Greg was talking about, the anomalies of loading and uploading those votes. So that big spike that occurs there is a prime indicator of fraudulent voting.

Giuliani: And that’s [a total of] 604,000 votes in 90 minutes, is that right?

Waldren: Correct, this is [shows chart] 337,000 votes in that period of time.

Giuliani: And when you look at this entire curve, with all these spikes, can you calculate how much of a vote that accounted for for Biden, and how much for Trump?

Waldren: Close to 600,000. I think our figures were about 570-some-odd-thousand that all those spikes represent overtime.

Giuliani: For Biden?

Waldren: Correct.

Giuliani: And how much for Trump?

Waldren: I think it was a little over 3,200.

That’s roughly 570,000 votes for Biden and 3,200 for Trump. Biden scooped up this enormous batch by 99.4%. Incredible. Impossible. Scandalous.

When Waldren said this, the audience in the room gasped in shock. (To watch the exchange, and the entire hearing, click here. This exchange begins at 1:28:00.)

If what Waldren alleges here is true, then this would constitute one of the most insidious examples of documented voter fraud in the history of American presidential politics. This one spike alone would have erased Donald Trump’s 600,000-vote lead over Joe Biden late Tuesday night, November 3. Biden has reportedly won Pennsylvania by about 70,000 votes. This one swing would have done it. If this is true, then this episode alone might well constitute a smoking gun affirming a fraudulent election in Pennsylvania.

And yet, this electoral bombshell has been completely ignored by the mainstream press. The only national sources that I could find reporting it were RealClearPolitics, Breitbart, and Greg Kelly of Newsmax TV. The video link that I’ve provided is courtesy of Right Side Broadcasting Network a conservative source, filling a gap vacated by shameless mainstream “news” sources which avoided the hearing like the plague.

I ask: Is this accurate? What happened here? Who or what could have flipped votes like this? Who was responsible? How does this occur? Is this real? Does this not have the potential to remove Pennsylvania from Joe Biden’s column? At the least, should it make the Pennsylvania vote uncertifiable for either Biden or Trump?

And yet, this was just one of many striking claims by Waldren and others throughout the nearly four hours of hearings. Another stunner is that a total of 1,823,148 mail-in ballots were sent out by the Commonwealth, and yet 2,589,242 mail-in ballots were counted in the final vote tally for the state. Thus, there are some 766,000 mail-in ballots unaccounted for — that shouldn’t exist. As Rudy Giuliani noted, these 766,000 ballots “appeared from nowhere.” Neither the Pennsylvania secretary of state nor governor has explained this massive discrepancy.

Trump’s critics will want to dismiss the hearings as a partisan spectacle hosted by Pennsylvania Republican legislators. You can’t do that. A real journalist would see enough here to at least merit making some phone calls or sending a few emails. It’s not rocket science, press boys and girls. Do your jobs!

For the record, likewise egregious voter spikes have reportedly occurred in Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin. One analysis has targeted these four incidents of “voter updates”:

1. An update in Michigan listed as of 6:31AM Eastern Time on November 4th, 2020, which shows 141,258 votes for Joe Biden and 5,968 votes for Donald Trump

2. An update in Wisconsin listed as 3:42AM Central Time on November 4th, 2020, which shows 143,379 votes for Joe Biden and 25,163 votes for Donald Trump

3. A vote update in Georgia listed at 1:34AM Eastern Time on November 4th, 2020, which shows 136,155 votes for Joe Biden and 29,115 votes for Donald Trump

4. An update in Michigan listed as of 3:50AM Eastern Time on November 4th, 2020, which shows 54,497 votes for Joe Biden and 4,718 votes for Donald Trump

Likewise, these incidents could have flipped the respective state into Joe Biden’s win column. I could go on and on. See the affidavit of Russell Ramsland of Allied Security Systems detailing the numerous instances of “physical improbabilities” in the voting tabulations (and election results) in Michigan. If your mind and heart is open, you can’t but be shocked by this.

But Back to Pennsylvania, which is my focus here.

Could some reporter at some mainstream media outlet — one with a modicum of journalistic integrity and decency — pause to take some time to try to determine if these claims are accurate? Could just one “journalist” with access to Joe Biden ask for his reaction? How long would it take for Donald Trump to be grilled by a pack of ravenous reporters if Joe Biden had been potentially victimized like this?

And given that the media will not give these claims a hearing, could the U.S. Senate give them a hearing? There’s enough here that demands investigation.

Whether you like Donald Trump or not, whether you voted for him or not, this should concern every American. If this were Joe Biden being victimized, I would likewise protest. The media sure as heck would. This is not right.

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Author: Paul Kengor

Fraud Prevention: A Voting Prerequisite

In a press release from May of this year, the Carter Center wrote:

The nonpartisan 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, noted among its many findings and recommendations that because it takes place outside the regulated environment of local polling locations, voting by mail creates increased logistical challenges and the potential for vote fraud, especially if safeguards are lacking or when candidates or political party activists are allowed to handle mail-in or absentee ballots.

Neither this communiqué nor the original 2005 commission report that it references proposed doing away with voting by mail. To the contrary, the Carter Center advocated expanded use of mail-in votes as a proper response to the pandemic and its concerns. Nonetheless, they both noted the increased possibility of problems when this method is used. As the New York Times put it in 2012, “Fraud in voting by mail is… vastly more prevalent than the in-person voting fraud that has attracted far more attention.”

The sober tone of the commission report in particular points to a fundamental issue that goes to the heart of our democracy — the confidence of the people that their will is properly registered so that we have government by the consent of the governed.

This issue of voter confidence is an issue far larger than the one term of office granted by this or any single presidential election to its winner. The settlement of claims of election fraud must be processed under a pressing deadline. A successful suit to overturn election results must be on the basis of evidence that persuades that not only was there fraud or error, but it was of sufficient magnitude to alter the award of states’ electors. The challenge to do this successfully is very great.

Whatever the results of these suits, now in progress in the so-called swing states, a greater task will remain. How do we remedy the loss of confidence among the electorate that the election results truly record the will of the people in their states?

For this is a very real issue. The deal that is expressed in our Constitution is that the people agree to delegate some of the power that is naturally theirs by right to a government that without this consent has no right to rule. We do empower our Congress, our courts, and the Executive to make, execute, and adjudicate laws that we must obey.

Recognizing that the people remain sovereign, the Constitution guarantees that even though the majority will be empowered, the minority will still be respected and no government can remove certain fundamental rights, such as the right to speak out and organize opposition to current powers and to have their votes counted in subsequent elections.

For this reason, voter suppression is a fundamental violation of the Constitutional deal, and something that easily can — and should — generate distrust in elections and the legitimacy of the power they grant.

Fraudulent voting is no less a violation. Each fraudulent vote nullifies the voice of a real voter who disagrees with what the fraudsters are trying to empower.

With the stakes so high, our emotions run high as well. But we need to establish our case beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not enough to level a serious charge — we must prove it as well. There is not much time to prove the case for this election. But there is no such time limit for making the larger and more important case — to remove the possibilities of fraud from our future elections.

Our struggle has been against those who try to remove the people from power. For decades, power has been concentrated more and more into a swollen executive, which not only enforces laws but has appropriated Congress’ power to write them and the judiciary’s power to adjudicate them.

The ultimate usurpation is the one that makes the ballot box unnecessary, because the fix is in. Then, as Edmund Burke wrote at about the time our Republic was taking its first steps, the key to success and even survival becomes servility.

We are well on the way, with cancel culture, the heavy-handed censorship of Twitter and Facebook, and a media which suppresses stories that hurt their political agenda. It has been ratcheted up another notch against the election challenges.

Don’t be servile. No matter what the outcome of the suits to invalidate results in this election, be resolute on the larger battle about securing future elections. It is a battle in which there is no short deadline so there is more time to bring evidence to the table and to make our case. But make it we must, thoroughly and persuasively and relentlessly.

It is possible and necessary to make sure there are no obstacles to any legal voter voting. It is possible and necessary to identify the security weaknesses in our mail-in voting and in our voting electronics and to fix them.

So now we must do so.

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Author: Shmuel Klatzkin

A Reminder: State Legislators Have Constitutional Power Over Elections

Principles critical to the foundational freedom of this nation and its citizens must be preserved and vigorously defended regardless of who takes the presidential oath every four years. With our “three layer cake” of government responsibilities at the federal, state, and local levels, America’s unique shared governance is defined by the U.S. Constitution. After this election and its nearly endless reports of vote fraud, no role is more important than state legislators who hold sole power to determine election policy and procedure.

Despite clear Constitutional limits and roles, liberal judges (appointed, not elected) have stolen state legislative power over election policy. Conservative legislators, cowed by leftists, have done little to protect election integrity in their states.

Nowhere is this theft of authority more apparent than in Pennsylvania. Republican state representatives passed legislation in September to shore up vote protection. Then Democrat Governor Pat Wolf, without authority, initiated changes that made vote fraud easier. Wolfs anti-vote security measures were upheld in October by the 5:1 Democrat majority Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

This unlawful decision negated legislative law requiring the rejection of mismatched signatures on ballots. This was good news for ballot harvesters who no longer had to worry about practicing stolen voter signatures before mailing stolen ballots.

Out of America’s 99 legislative bodies, the GOP currently holds majorities in 59, and gained two more in the election. In 2021 there will be 27 Republican governors and only 23 Democrats.

These state political majority numbers, combined with Constitutional authority, give conservative state legislators the political support and legal authority to demand recounts, investigate fraud allegations and determine certification announcements.

The Founding Fathers, with a prescient fear that corruption could leech into American political power, set up a constitutional republic formally dividing governmental powers. Federalism was written into law through the 10th Amendment and other Constitutional statutes, and provided shared power between national, state and local authorities throughout these united states (capitalization intentionally omitted).

The Constitution designates the “enumerated powers” of the federal government and leaves all other policymaking to the states. The Founders believed those who govern closest to the people govern best — known as the principle of subsidiarity. Although the word is seldom used in common conversation, the principle is not. Subsidiarity simply means issues are handled best by those in the least centralized authority.

Under Article II Section I of the Constitution, further confirmed by the 12th Amendment, the federal government has one election job — set the national date for voting and certification by the Electoral College. Governors have no federal or state authority over elections, nor do state judiciaries. The liberal media and leftist activist class have no role at all.

Although our country has veered from other enumerated powers and subsidiarity, the responsibility of state legislatures to direct election protocols is foundational and authoritative. It has never been systemically challenged on a national level by one political party — until now.

In at least 20 states, liberal lawsuits waved through by activist judges usurped the power of the people by dismantling vote security measures passed by state legislators. Nearly every state endured challenges to vote integrity from the left-leaning activist groups, while conservative vote integrity organizations and individuals, and Republicans, scrambled to fight them.

Another tool for legislators is filing a Writ of Mandamus with a court (used only when a government official is not fulfilling duties of the office) to compel a governor to calla special legislative session addressing the integrity of a state’s votes and the status of electors. This is being considered in Georgia where high-level state officials are being accused of ignoring widespread reports of fraud.

In Pennsylvania, the clear violation of Article II of the Constitution giving election authority to state legislatures resulted in a mess of outrageous partisan behavior at polling stations, disputed procedures, and unstable vote counts, which have, at the time of this writing, made it impossible for state electors to certify for Vice President Biden or President Trump.

Pennsylvania has a Democrat governor and a Republican legislature. Yet GOP state representative Mike Kelly of Butler County stands nearly alone in his so-far effective lawsuit blocking certification because of the corruption baked into mailed ballots. In Oklahoma, although President Trump won 65 percent of the vote, Republican lawmakers filed legislation to strengthen state statutes while encouraging all legislators to pass photo ID and paper ballot laws.

Where are other state legislators in this contentious and endless election? Are they not concerned with the integrity of the vote, regardless of party affiliation? Did they miss the Constitutional requirements in their oaths?

State legislative bodies nationwide must reclaim their authority to protect voters against fraud, political criminals, and overreaching activist judges. Legislators’ liberty comes from God, their authority from the Constitution, and their imperative from the people.

They are likely to remember who caused the chaos, who ignored it, and who tried to fix it.

Amb. J. Kenneth Blackwell is a member of the American Constitutional Rights Union Action Fund Board of Directors and the former mayor of Cincinnati.

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Author: Ken Blackwell

Great Reasons to Be Thankful

Thursday

Yes, it’s Thanksgiving again and I am totally terrified. All of my sources of livelihood are either obsolete or closed down. Governor Newsom has shut down movie and TV production, not entirely, but enough. Commercials are rarely shooting. I am writing a history book and it’s on a subject I like a lot, but it pays modestly, at best.

So I draw down my savings and I sell my real estate. But that hurts and it scares me terribly. I try to live one day at a time to avoid despair.

This morning I awakened to my usual bad thoughts and then went back to sleep. I got into my pool, which was way too cold. But I needed a change of thoughts so I swam anyway. It worked and I awakened refreshed. I had an egg for brunch and then went to visit my Korean friend, K., whom I was helping with a term paper. She is staying at the ritzy condo of a boyfriend. We talked for a long time and then I took a nap in her guest bedroom. Outside, a dog barked nonstop. I dreamed that the dog’s owner asked if I had a reliable dentist. What could that mean?

Then, off to Gelson’s, world’s most expensive grocery store, to find nothing I could afford.

I came home and watched the news. The MSM is certainly acting as if Biden has already won. How did that happen?

Then, magic. I went over to my Korean friend’s bedroom. She was all dressed up for dinner in a gauzy white dress with beautiful Tiffany rings on her delicate fingers. Her hair was a soft blonde color.

We went to the dining room of our club. She wore a huge mink coat she had borrowed from my wife. Her teeth were white and child-like. She sat down at the bench of the Steinway piano in our club dance room adjoining the dining room. “I haven’t played since I was eight or nine,” she said, but in her case that was only about eleven years ago. She rolled back her mink sleeves and a lovely, pure mountain stream of Schumann piano concertos rolled, like a slow motion beneficial tsunami out through the clubhouse, out past the terraces and fountains and onto the golf course and into the night sky where the lilting notes attached themselves to a perfect Fall half-moon.

The night was filled with the possibilities of America. My great grandparents had come here as small businessmen, my grandparents had fought in our colonial wars. My father was a high advisor to Republican Presidents. Now, I sit in a ballroom of a desert country club feeling the music lift me to the moon.

This is still America.

Please follow Ben Stein on Twitter @BenStein1944 or on Parler.

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Author: Ben Stein