Tag: Voting

Nope, No Coup Attempt Here

It’s every day that the President of the United States calls the Republican members of a county canvassing board just to wish them well.

Also, it’s every day that the President of the United States calls the Republican leaders of a state legislature to lobby them about appointing their own electors.

We can make all the jokes we want about the efforts of his Evil Minions™ dissolving into a, “Nearly liquid mass of loathsome — of detestable putridity,” but this is an attempted coup, and should be confronted as such:

President Trump has invited the leaders of Michigan’s Republican-controlled state legislature to meet him in Washington on Friday, according to a person familiar with those plans, as the president and his allies continue an extraordinary campaign to overturn the results of an election he lost.


Trump lost Michigan by a wide margin: At present, he trails President-Elect Joe Biden in the state by 157,000 votes. Earlier this week, the state’s Republican Senate majority leader said an effort to have legislators throw out election results was “not going to happen.”

But the president now appears to be using the full weight of his office to challenge the election results, as he and his allies reach out personally to state and local officials in an intensifying effort to halt the certification of the vote in key battleground states.


Trump’s team appear to be increasingly focused on Michigan as a place where Republican officials — on the state’s Board of Canvassers and in the legislature — might be persuaded to overturn the results.

Earlier this week, Trump called a member of Wayne County’s Board of Canvassers after a contentious meeting in which she first refused, and then agreed, to certify election results from the state’s largest county. She subsequently released an affidavit seeking to “rescind” her vote for certification — a move that the secretary of state’s office said was impossible.

Legal experts condemned the president’s actions, saying he was trying to use the power of his office to alter the vote.

“To bring the weight of the White House and the presidency onto an individual county canvassing board commissioner about what to do with certification is an incredible assault on the democratic process,” said Richard H. Pildes, a constitutional law professor at New York University. “No question about that.”

Joanna Lydgate, the national director of the Voter Protection Program, said that “there is no basis in fact or law for failing to certify the election.”


“It changes the result of the election in Michigan if you take out Wayne County,” he said. Wayne County includes Detroit, the state’s heavily Democratic, majority-Black largest city.

Also on Thursday, Trump’s efforts seemed to have gained some traction, with the news that Michigan’s GOP leaders appear willing to meet with him.

The Detroit News reported that the state GOP legislative leaders who plan to visit the White House on Friday are Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield.


In Michigan, the high-water mark for Trump’s efforts so far came Tuesday night, during an hours-long meeting of the Wayne County board of canvassers. The board’s two GOP members voted against certifying the county’s results, which overwhelmingly favored Biden. But then, after three hours of angry comments from the public, the two GOP members changed their minds and voted to certify the results.


Palmer and Hartmann said they had agreed to certify Wayne County’s results on the condition that they be audited by state authorities, to resolve small errors in the counts of voters at some Detroit precincts. The number of votes affected is believed to be in the hundreds, far less than Biden’s margin of victory in Michigan.


Supervisors in rural Mohave County, a Republican stronghold bisected by the Grand Canyon, were set to canvass their county vote at a public meeting on Monday. Instead, they decided to delay their vote and take it up again on Nov. 23 — the deadline for certification.

The supervisors agreed that they didn’t question whether the results in their own county were accurate. Instead, one GOP supervisor said, they wanted to show solidarity with the president’s challenges elsewhere.

“It has nothing to do with our results,” Supervisor Hildy Angius said in explaining her vote. “It’s more of a big picture sort of thing.”

The big picture is called “Seditious Conspiracy,” and it is a felony.

Anyone with two brains cells to rub together and the political acumen of Little Orphan Annie knew that the Republicans were willing and able to resort to coups after the 1998 impeachment and the 2000 Florida debacle.

They view the Democratic Party as completely illegitimate, and because of this they feel justified in using corrupt means to seize power.

Once again, I will quote Robert Graves putting words into Germanicus Caesar’s mouth, with the Republicans fulfilling the role of the Teutonic Tribes:

Spaniards can be impressed by the courtesy of the conqueror, French by his riches, Greeks by his respect for the arts, Jews by his moral integrity, Africans by his calm and authoritative bearing, but Germans are impressed by none of these things. They must be struck into the dust, struck down again as they rise. Struck again while they lie groaning, while their wounds still pain them; they will respect the hand that dealt them.”

—Germanicus Caesar, Roman general
(15 B.C.- 19 A.D.)

Trump and His Evil Minions™ Are Melting

They are melting like the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy threw water on her.

It’s a sight: 

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal defense lawyer who is spearheading the Trump campaign’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election, held a bizarre news conference on Thursday that quickly devolved into chaos.

At one point, Giuliani’s hair dye could be seen running down his face. At another, the former New York City mayor quoted the comedy film “My Cousin Vinny” to support his arguments.

Much of the press conference consisted of Giuliani rehashing the same conspiracy theories the president has amplified: that mail-in ballots are fraudulent, that election machines were illegally tampered with, that ballots were secretly dumped, and that Democrats masterminded a vast election-rigging scheme to simultaneously win the White House and get destroyed in down-ballot and state legislative races.


At one point in the news conference, Giuliani did an impression of Joe Pesci’s character from “My Cousin Vinny” to back up the Trump campaign’s claim that Republican election observers were not allowed to properly watch the ballot counting.

Later in the presser, Giuliani’s hair dye started dripping down his face.

This is a metaphor for something, but I am not completely sure what.

Oh Lindsey………

Last week, I wrote about reports that Lindsey Graham was pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to throw out mail-in ballots from counties with large minority populations using signature matching as a pretext.

It appears that there was at least one other witness to this:


In an interview Monday with The Washington Post, Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, accused the senator of trying to pressure him into tossing out legally cast ballots. And Tuesday, after Graham mistakenly told reporters he had spoken with secretaries of state in Arizona and Nevada, those officials rejected that assertion.

“I have not spoken to Senator Lindsey Graham or any other members of Congress regarding the 2020 election,” Barbara Cegavske, the Nevada secretary of state, said in a statement. Cegavske and Raffensperger are Republicans.


Old friends and colleagues issued warnings Tuesday that there is a line Graham cannot cross with state election officials.

“If all he’s trying to do is get information, people are entitled to do that. If he’s trying to influence the way they perform their duty, that becomes a bit problematic,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a former state attorney general.

In Georgia, state officials showed additional irritation Tuesday with Graham’s intrusion into their world. Gabriel Sterling, a senior staffer in the secretary of state’s office, held a news conference to explain what he heard on the call between Raffensperger and Graham.

“What I heard were discussions of absentee ballots — if there were a percentage of signatures that weren’t truly matching, is there some point where we could go to court and throw out all the ballots,” Sterling said.

Such an action would have disenfranchised many legally cast ballots.

(emphasis mine)

This is not a good look for you, Mr. Graham.


Yeah, This Is Appalling

Talk about burying the lede.

 In a Washington Post story about Republicans pressuring the (Republican) Secretary of State to throw out legal ballots, we find this bit of horror from Lindsay Graham:

In the interview, Raffensperger also said he spoke on Friday to Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has echoed Trump’s unfounded claims about voting irregularities.

In their conversation, Graham questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger said he was stunned that Graham appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss legally cast ballots. Absent court intervention, Raffensperger doesn’t have the power to do what Graham suggested because counties administer elections in Georgia.

“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said.

(emphasis mine)

The road that Graham was speeding down was, “Invalidate all the mail in ballots from counties with lots of black and brown people.”

This has been a core Republican value since (checks notes) before John Roberts worked at the Reagan White House.

The party of Abraham Lincoln is now the party of  Jefferson Davis, and one of their most important values is, “Stop n****** from voting.”

I do not know how you find common ground with that.

Again, I invoke Robert Graves’ paraphrase of Germanicus Caesar.

H/t Atrios

Barr is Still Trying to Rat-F%$# the Election

William Barr just issued a memo directing US prosecutors to directly intervene in (non-existent) claims of vote fraud in state courts

In response, Richard Pilger, who oversaw voter fraud investigations at the Public Integrity Section of the DoJ, resigned immediately.

Mr. Barr’s authorization prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post within hours, according to an email Mr. Pilger sent to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times.


Mr. Pilger, a career prosecutor in the department’s Public Integrity Section who oversaw voting-fraud-related investigations, told colleagues he would move to a nonsupervisory role working on corruption prosecutions.

“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications,” he wrote, “I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Election Crimes Branch.” A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Mr. Pilger’s message.

Justice Department policies prohibit federal prosecutors from taking overt steps, like questioning witnesses or securing subpoenas for documents, to open a criminal investigation into any election-related matter until after voting results have been certified to keep their existence from spilling into public view and influencing either voters or local election officials who ensure the integrity of the results.


Mr. Barr’s memo allows U.S. attorneys to bypass that career prosecutor and take their requests to his office for approval, effectively weakening a key safeguard that prevents political interference in an election by the party in power.

Barr is the most corrupt US Attorney General ever, but unlike the distant number 2, John Mitchell, he won’t go to jail, because we don’t do that to powerful white men any more.

Lawers, particularly the professional staff at the DoJ, need to file complaints Bar Associations where he has been admitted to practice law.

In related news, the allegations of voting irregularities are so fact free that expensive white shoe law firms are getting skittish about taking the Trump campaign’s money:

Like many big law firms, Jones Day, whose roots go back to Cleveland in the late 1800s, has prided itself on representing controversial clients.

There was Big Tobacco. There was the Bin Laden family. There was even the hated owner of the Cleveland Browns football team as he moved the franchise to Baltimore.

Now Jones Day is the most prominent firm representing President Trump and the Republican Party as they prepare to wage a legal war challenging the results of the election. The work is intensifying concerns inside the firm about the propriety and wisdom of working for Mr. Trump, according to lawyers at the firm.

Doing business with Mr. Trump — with his history of inflammatory rhetoric, meritless lawsuits and refusal to pay what he owes — has long induced heartburn among lawyers, contractors, suppliers and lenders. But the concerns are taking on new urgency as the president seeks to raise doubts about the election results.

Some senior lawyers at Jones Day, one of the country’s largest law firms, are worried that it is advancing arguments that lack evidence and may be helping Mr. Trump and his allies undermine the integrity of American elections, according to interviews with nine partners and associates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their jobs.

At another large firm, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, based in Columbus, Ohio, lawyers have held internal meetings to voice similar concerns about their firm’s election-related work for Mr. Trump and the Republican Party, according to people at the firm. At least one lawyer quit in protest.

I’m not saying that Donald Trump should have competent and aggressive legal counsel.  EVERYONE should have competent and aggressive legal counsel.

What I am saying is that the rats are leaving the sinking ship, and I am very amused.

Now Its Up to the Federal Court

(Update:  The federal judge that it was brought to, the most deranged right-winger in the 5th circuit, has rejected the application for lack of standing.)

The Texas Supreme Court has rejected an effort by Republicans to throw out 127,000 votes in Houston:

A legal cloud hanging over nearly 127,000 votes already cast in Harris County was at least temporarily lifted Sunday when the Texas Supreme Court rejected a request by several conservative Republican activists and candidates to preemptively throw out early balloting from drive-thru polling sites in the state’s most populous, and largely Democratic, county.

The all-Republican court denied the request without an order or opinion, as justices did last month in a similar lawsuit brought by some of the same plaintiffs.

The Republican plaintiffs, however, are pursuing a similar lawsuit in federal court, hoping to get the votes thrown out by arguing that drive-thru voting violates the U.S. constitution. A hearing in that case is set for Monday morning in a Houston-based federal district court, one day before Election Day. A rejection of the votes would constitute a monumental disenfranchisement of voters — drive-thru ballots account for about 10% of all in-person ballots cast during early voting in Harris County.


The Harris County Clerk’s Office argued that its drive-thru locations are separate polling places, distinct from attached curbside spots, and therefore can be available to all voters. The clerk’s filing with the Supreme Court in the earlier lawsuit also said the Texas secretary of state’s office had approved of drive-thru voting. Keith Ingram, the state’s chief election official, said in a court hearing last month in another lawsuit that drive-thru voting is “a creative approach that is probably okay legally,” according to court transcripts.

Plus, the county argued in a Friday filing that Texas’ election code, along with court rulings, have determined that even if the drive-thru locations are violations, votes cast there are still valid.

“More than a century of Texas case law requires that votes be counted even if election official[s] violate directory election laws,” the filing said.

The challenge was the latest in a flurry of lawsuits on Texas voting procedures filed in recent months, with Democrats and voting rights groups pushing for expanded voting access in the pandemic and Republicans seeking to limit voting options. In this case, the lawsuit filed Tuesday asked the state Supreme Court to close Harris County’s 10 new drive-thru polling places and not count votes that had been cast at them during early voting.

Seriously, this Republican Jihad against voting is a clear and present danger to the Republic, and this needs to be dealt with.

Making a common cause is not possible at this point.

My suggestion is that we take the suggestion historian and author Robert Graves regarding the Germanic tribes during the Roman empire:

Spaniards can be impressed by the courtesy of the conqueror, French by his riches, Greeks by his respect for the arts, Jews by his moral integrity, Africans by his calm and authoritative bearing, but Germans are impressed by none of these things. They must be struck into the dust, struck down again as they rise. Struck again while they lie groaning, while their wounds still pain them; they will respect the hand that dealt them.”

—Germanicus Caesar, Roman general
(15 B.C.- 19 A.D.)

 We need to stop trying to accommodate them. 

And in the Continued War on Voting

In Minneapolis, a Trump official and the police union are trying to bring in retired officers to intimidate voters.

The fact that a Trump administration is trying to gin up a voter suppression effort is no surprise, but the involvement of the PBA, and it’s notoriously president belligerent Bob Kroll in actively recruiting thugs to suppress the vote is crossing the line from the thin blue line to active criminality:

The Minneapolis police union put out a call this week for retired officers to help serve as “eyes and ears” at polling sites in “problem” areas across the city on Election Day, at the request of an attorney for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The request was made by William Willingham, whose e-mail signature identifies him as a senior legal adviser and director of Election Day operations for the Trump campaign.

In an e-mail Wednesday morning to Minneapolis Police Federation President Lt. Bob Kroll, Willingham asked the union president about recruiting 20 to 30 former officers to serve as “poll challengers” to work either a four- or eight-hour shift in a “problem area.”

“Poll Challengers do not ‘stop’ people, per se, but act as our eyes and ears in the field and call our hotline to document fraud,” the e-mail read. “We don’t necessarily want our Poll Challengers to look intimidating, they cannot carry a weapon in the polls due to state law. … We just want people who won’t be afraid in rough neighborhoods or intimidating situations.”

Kroll then passed on the request to federation members, saying “Please share, and e-mail me if you are willing to assist,” according to a copy obtained by the Star Tribune.

Neither Willingham nor Kroll responded to requests for comment Wednesday.

Bob Kroll is a menace to the citizens of Minneapolis.

The Bobbsey Twins Are At It Again

Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman have veen indicted in yet another state for their program of threatening voter suppression robocalls.

Seeing as how they have shown themselves to be undeterred from their lives of crime by the prior indictments, I think that pre-trial detention without bail is called for:

A grand jury in Cleveland on Tuesday indicted right-wing political hoaxers Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman with felony charges connected to a multi-state robocall campaign that prosecutors say was meant to scare voters in urban areas with large minority populations out of voting by mail in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Wohl, 22, of Irvine, California, and Burman, 54, of Arlington, Virginia, are indicted on eight counts of telecommunications fraud and seven counts of bribery in connection with more than 8,000 calls that were placed to residents of Cleveland and East Cleveland.

Wohl and Burkman already face similar criminal charges in Michigan and a civil lawsuit in New York City connected to the same scheme. They are free on a $100,000 bond after pleading not guilty to charges in that state.

Cuyahoga County court records say Wohl and Burkman are expected to make their first court appearance on Nov. 13.

The charges stem from a group called Project 1599, which Wohl and Burkman founded. The caller told potential voters that police and debt-collection companies could use personal information that voters put on their mail-in ballots to track down people who have outstanding warrants and credit-card debt. The claim is not true.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office was the first to file charges against the duo. Ohio’s investigation began when U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Cleveland Democrat, and others went to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office, which referred the case to prosecutors in Cuyahoga County, the Columbus Dispatch reporter earlier this month.


Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose referenced the indictments Tuesday afternoon during an appearance on Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s twice-weekly coronavirus address. DeWine invited LaRose on to discuss voter turnout and concerns about in-person voting.

LaRose said that his office received a tip through its voter-fraud website of “an incident of voter intimidation that was targeted particularly at the minority community,” which he called a “really ugly and pernicious act of voter intimidation.”


Wohl and Burkman have risen to notoriety in recent years as they blundered their way through a series of public announcements of scandals later discredited.

Wohl earlier this year began circulating what he said was a copy of a lab report showing that Biden had contracted COVID-19 and had 30 days to live. Biden and his campaign dismissed the report as fraudulent.

The pair is also accused of hiring one of Wohl’s ex-girlfriends to publicly accuse Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is more popular and seen as more trustworthy on information about the pandemic than Trump, of assaulting her in a hotel in 2014. The woman later told a reporter that the accusation was false and that Wohl and Burkman paid her to levy it.

How do folks like this, and I am including the evil James O’Keefe (I know a good James O’Keef) stay out of jail.

If they weren’t white ……… Oh, now I get it.

Vote Early and Often

The whole family voted today.

We got absentee ballots and then drove to Hannah Moore park to drop them off.

I voted for Biden, though the I was very tempted to vote for the Bread and Roses Party candidate, they are socialists on the ballot only in non-swing states like Maryland, but in the end, my family’s arguments prevailed.

I wanted to stop at the marijuana dispensary down the street after voting though.

It took about 15 minutes, and we caught it on video:

Smart Move

The Michigan Secretary of State has banned the open carry of firearms within 100 feet of polling places.

The theory is that open carry of weapons at a polling place is a clear attempt to intimidate, which it is.

Needless to say, the ammosexual crowd are squealing like the pigs that they are:

Michigan is prohibiting the open carry of guns within 100 feet of polling places amid fears of voter intimidation during the pivotal Nov. 3 election, prompting criticism from the National Rifle Associationand the possibility of a lawsuit from Second Amendment advocates.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent guidance to local election officials on Friday — 18 days before Election Day — to clarify that the open carry of firearms on Election Day in polling places, clerk’s offices and absent voter counting boards is banned.

“The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk’s office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear or intimidation for voters, election workers and others present,” the new guidance says.

Open carry these days is primarily an attempt to intimidate people that the ammosexual crowd disagree with.  It has been for decades.

The intent is to terrorize their opponents, and they should be treated as such.

Boy, This is Turning into a Sh%$ Show

First, former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale creates the most convincing shirtless suspect audition tape for an episode of Cops ever, and now serial securities fraudster Jacob Wohl, and his partner in crime Jack Burkman, have been charged with election fraud and face the prospect of decades in prison.

The wheels really do seem to be coming off of Trump’s Evil Minions™ right now:

Conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were charged on Thursday for allegedly orchestrating a series of robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote in the November presidential election, Michigan authorities said.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a slew of charges against Burkman, 54, and Wohl, 22, including conspiracy to commit an election law violation and using a computer to commit the crime of election law – intimidating voters. Prosecutors allege the two political operatives were using a robocall system aimed at scaring Detroit voters away from using mail-in voting ballots. The calls, which were made in August, went out to nearly 12,000 Detroit residents.

Both Wohl and Burkman face four felony counts and a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.

The voice on the call attributed to Wohl and Burkman attempts to trick listeners into not sending in mail-in ballots, falsely warning that the information would be used to track fugitives, collect on credit card debts, and enforce “mandatory vaccines.” The calls also told residents to “beware of vote by mail.”


Wohl and Burkman didn’t respond to immediate requests for comment. In August, Burkman denied being behind the robocall, claiming it was suspicious that it was connected to his personal cell phone number.

“No one in their right mind would put their own cell on a robocall,” Burkman told The Daily Beast.

Ummmm ………We’ve seen your other frauds and scams (also here, here, and here

You areally ARE that f%$#ing stupid.


The attorney general’s office added that during the investigation into the robocalls, investigators communicated with officials in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois—all of whom reported similar robocalls being made to residents in their states. All the calls, they said, were made to residents in “urban areas with significant minority populations,” the Michigan attorney general’s office said.


The Michigan charges aren’t the only legal charges facing the pair. Wohl has been charged with two felonies over alleged violations of California securities law. On Saturday, The Daily Beast reported on a secret FBI investigation into Wohl and Burkman over the leak of confidential juror questionnaires and grand jury testimony in the trial of Trump associate Roger Stone.

Wohl and Burkman became notorious online in 2018, after a failed attempt to manufacture a sexual assault allegation against Robert Mueller collapsed in spectacular fashion. Since then, they have tried to create hoaxes against other Trump opponents, but the schemes always fail almost immediately, often due to Wohl and Burkman’s own errors.

Seriously, these folks are flipping out. 

My deepest wish is that the inevitable shrapnel that results from their flying to pieces so spectacularly only injures their fellow travelers.

A Feature Not a Bug

The Baltimore post office sat on 65,000 pieces of political mail for at least 5 days before the primary.

Not ballots, mind you, but this is just the dress rehearsal.

It’s a great way to depress turnout at the (overwhelmingly Democratic) Baltimore City:

An audit of U.S. Postal Service performance during this year’s primary election season has found 68,000 pieces of political mail sat untouched at a Baltimore mail processing facility for five days ahead of the June 2 primary.

The audit published Monday says the mail, sent May 12, “sat unprocessed” for five days before being discovered by management at the facility.

Baltimore was in the midst of several contentious political races at the time, including those for mayor, comptroller and City Council president. Numerous candidates for those offices spent thousands of dollars on campaign mailers in an attempt to sway voters in close primaries.

Ballots destined for those voters also were in the mail stream during the window when the political mail sat at the facility, but the audit specifically stated the delayed pieces were not ballots. “This was First-Class campaign mail from a political candidate,” according to a footnote in the report.

 I’m going to drop off my ballot this year.

Tweet of the Day

Obama said people losing faith in the vote being meaningful is how democracy ends. That is just victim-blaming. Democracy ends when voting doesn’t change things. Voting for Obama didn’t change things, thus showing that democracy is weak and voting doesn’t matter.

— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) August 20, 2020

The Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) as it currently exists, and as it is personified by the Clintons and the Obamas, is incapable of even conceiving that people can working together can make the world a better place.

Chaos is Job Won

The new Postmaster General is a Trump toady, and he is doing his best to destroy the post office in order to kill postal voting:

The new head of the U.S. Postal Service established major operational changes Monday that could slow down mail delivery, warning employees the agency would not survive unless it made “difficult” changes to cut costs. But critics say such a philosophical sea change would sacrifice operational efficiency and cede its competitive edge to UPS, FedEx and other private-sector rivals.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told employees to leave mail behind at distribution centers if it delayed letter carriers from their routes, according to internal USPS documents obtained by The Washington Post and verified by the American Postal Workers Union and three people with knowledge of their contents, but who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retribution.

“If the plants run late, they will keep the mail for the next day,” according to a document titled, “New PMG’s [Postmaster General’s] expectations and plan.” Traditionally, postal workers are trained not to leave letters behind and to make multiple delivery trips to ensure timely distribution of letters and parcels.


The Trump administration has consolidated control over the Postal Service, traditionally an apolitical institution, during the pandemic by making a financial lifeline for the nation’s mail service contingent upon the White House political agenda. President Trump in April called the agency “a joke” and demanded it quadruple package rates before he’d authorize any emergency aid or loans.


“This is framing the U.S. Postal Service, a 245-year-old government agency, and comparing it to its competitors that could conceivably go bankrupt,” said Philip Rubio, a professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University and a former postal worker. “Comparing it to U.S. Steel says exactly that ‘We are a business, not service.’ That’s troubling.”

The changes also worry vote-by-mail advocates, who insist that any policy that slows delivery could imperil access to mailed and absentee ballots. It reinforces the need, they say, for Congress to provide the agency emergency coronavirus funding.

These changes achieve 2 goals of Trump and his Evil Minions:  Shafting Amazon, and suppressing the vote to boost his own reelection chances.

I Expect the Supreme Court to Reverse

A judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida has ruled that the Florida law requiring that all fines and legal fees be paid off before regaining voting rights is an illegal poll tax.

Of course, it is, that was the explicit intent of Republicans when they voted to gut the constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters.

I’m pretty sure that the Supreme Court is going to reverse when it gets there, because 5 of the 9 are partisan Federalist Society hacks who thinks that it’s fine to use pretty much any pretext to prevent n*****s from voting:

A law in Florida requiring felons to pay legal fees as part of their sentences before regaining the vote is unconstitutional for those unable to pay, or unable to find out how much they owe, a federal judge has ruled.

The 125-page ruling, issued by US district court Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee on Sunday, involves a state law to implement a 2016 ballot measure approved by voters to automatically restore the right to vote for many felons who have completed their sentence.

The Republican-led legislature stipulated that fines and legal fees must be paid as part of the sentence, in addition to serving any prison time.

Hinkle has acknowledged he is unlikely to have the last word in the case, expecting the administration of Republican governor Ron DeSantis to launch an appeal.


The judge called the Florida rules a “pay-to-vote system” that were unconstitutional when applied to felons who were otherwise eligible to vote but genuinely unable to pay the required amount.

A further complication was how to set the exact amount in fines and other kinds of legal fees owed by felons seeking the vote. Hinkle said it was unconstitutional to bar any voter whose amount owed “could not be determined with diligence”.

Hinkle ordered the state to require election officials to allow felons to request an advisory opinion on how much they owe, essentially placing the burden on election officials to seek that information from court systems. If there was no response within three weeks, then the applicant should not be barred from registering to vote, the ruling said.

Hinkle said the requirement to pay fines and restitution as ordered in a sentence is constitutional for those who are able to pay if the amount can be determined.

This is a good decision, and it is the right decision, but I do not believe that a profoundly corrupt Supreme Court will support it.

Five Down, 45 States to Go

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam just signed a law making election day a holiday and creating an easy path to vote by mail.

Needless to say, making voting easier and more convenient is something that Republicans hate with a passion, they have been practicing aggressive voter suppression since before Reagan was President, but this is a good thing:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Sunday that he signed a series of new measures into law aimed at expanding access to voting in the commonwealth.

The new legislation will establish Election Day as a holiday, remove the requirement that voters show a photo ID prior to casting a ballot and, expand early voting to be allowed 45 days before an election without a stated reason.

“Voting is a fundamental right, and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” Northam said in a statement. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”

Several states and cities have already made Election Day a civic holiday, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky and New York. State offices typically close, though it depends on the state whether employees are entitled to paid time off to vote.

Proponents say making Election Day a holiday could improve voter turnout. But Election Day may not become a federal holiday anytime soon — it’s drawn deep division along party lines.


The new legislation also repeals the current Lee-Jackson day holiday which honored Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as “defenders of causes.” Both men owned slaves and fought to preserve slavery in the US.

Making voting easier AND offering a big f%$# you to the folks who want to lionize Civil War traitors.

Two snaps up.

Son of a Bitch

In a good way.

Despite the best efforts of Wisconsin Republicans to suppress the vote, Jill Karofsky defeated right wing hack Daniel Kelly in the race for Wisconsin State Supreme Court judge:

Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky won the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court, narrowing the conservative majority after a tumultuous election conducted in the midst of a global pandemic, according to unofficial results released Monday.

Karofsky’s victory marked the first time in a dozen years that a Supreme Court challenger beat an incumbent — and just the second time in more than half a century. Her win over Justice Daniel Kelly will shift conservative control of the court from 5-2 to 4-3.

Appearing by video conference from her home with her son and daughter behind her, Karofsky thanked her family and supporters and decried the decision to hold the election during the coronavirus outbreak.


The pandemic triggered a record surge of absentee balloting as voters looked for a way to stay at home to prevent themselves and others from getting ill. Many voters have complained they never received their absentee ballots, forcing them to choose between giving up the ability to vote and braving the polls on election day.


Republicans were so worried about Kelly’s chances that they considered moving the election so it didn’t fall on the same day as Wisconsin’s presidential primary, when Democratic turnout was expected to be high. They abandoned the plan to move the election amid public opposition.

By the time election day rolled around, the Democratic presidential primary had largely fizzled and the world was in the grip of the pandemic. The Supreme Court candidates abandoned their in-person campaigning and both sides urged people to vote by mail instead of going to the polls.

The voters were pissed off, big time, by the machinations of the Republican Party to suppress the vote.

If Democrats don’t see this as a political winner now, they are even more clueless than I had thought.

Pass the Popcorn

The anarchist daughter of a Republican voter suppression specialist has released the files from her late father’s hard drives to the public:

More than a year after his death, a cache of computer files saved on the hard drives of Thomas Hofeller, a prominent Republican redistricting strategist, is becoming public.

Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina fought in court to keep copies of these maps, spreadsheets and other documents from entering the public record. But some files have already come to light in recent months through court filings and news reports.

They have been cited as evidence of gerrymandering that got political maps thrown out in North Carolina, and they have raised questions about Hofeller’s role in the Trump administration’s failed push for a census citizenship question.

Now more of the files are available online through a website called The Hofeller Files, where Hofeller’s daughter, Stephanie Hofeller, published a link to her copy of the files on Sunday after first announcing her plans in a tweet last month.

“These are matters that concern the people and their franchise and their access to resources. This is, therefore, the property of the people,” Hofeller told NPR. “I won’t be satisfied that we the people have found everything until we the people have had a look at it in its entirety.”


Stephanie then reconnected with her mother, Kathleen, and visited her parents’ apartment in North Carolina, where she found four external hard drives and a clear plastic bag containing 18 USB thumb drives in her father’s room. Stephanie says her mother encouraged her to take the devices.


It turned out they were filled with photos of Stephanie with her children and other personal items — as well as files from her father’s work as a redistricting consultant for Republicans.

While looking for an attorney to represent her mother in 2018, Stephanie says she connected with the North Carolina chapter of Common Cause, an advocacy group that had brought a lawsuit against Republican state officials to overturn political maps Thomas Hofeller helped draw. After mentioning the hard drives to Common Cause, Stephanie received a court order to turn them over as potential evidence for the lawsuit. She did so in March after making a copy of some of the files for herself.

Since then, the Hofeller files have led to bombshell developments in two major legal battles in the political world.

In September, Common Cause won its legal challenge to political maps in North Carolina, where a state court cited some of the files as evidence of gerrymandering designed to unfairly give Republicans an advantage in winning elections and maintaining control of the state legislature.


For her part, Stephanie says she’s committed to transparency with the public in case she gets access to any more of her father’s files.

“If I were to find something,” she says, “I would most certainly share it.”

There is a whole lot of slime found underneath those rocks.