It turns out that some things that happen in Vegas may not stay in Vegas . . . like voting. The Republican Party in the Silver State is now arguing that thousands of votes in the close presidential election were cast by workers who moved out of the state or even by deceased individuals. Various voters reported their deceased relatives receiving live ballots in the mail. Now, the Nevada Republican Party has sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department alleging at least 3,062 instances of voter fraud in the battleground state. The referral is substantially less than the “10,000” referenced earlier but the underlying allegation is still important. The early concern for many of us was that the system established in Clark County would be difficult to review for violations due to how the tabulation was handled and the record preserved.
The allegations over ineligible voting were raised before Election Day. Many states like Nevada are relying on notoriously outdated voter lists and applying fairly lax standards for confirming the identity of voters for mail-in ballots. In Nevada, this is a particular concern because many workers moved out of the state due to the pandemic’s impact on the casino industry. You cannot vote if you moved out of the state over 30 days prior to the balloting. The problem is the accuracy of state voting and residency records in showing such changes shortly before an election. Absent a system of authentication of residency and identification, it would be a system based on the honor system – an approach that no casino would allow even at the nickel slots section.
As courts deal with a flurry of lawsuits in various states, I have been focusing on the allegations in Nevada of thousands of ineligible or even deceased voters. That is the type of systemic failure that could cloud results in not just the Silver State but other states. Nevada was one of the states that I identified before the election as one of three states that I was watching the most closely for election challenges. However, the problems raised in Nevada could raise concerns with shared elements to various states from Michigan to Pennsylvania. The reliance on questionable voter lists and the lack of authentication systems were raised months ago. The legal problem is not simply that such systems may allow for large numbers of ineligible votes but that they would not allow sufficient review of ballots to resolve such questions.
Counting continues across the country. The most important thing is an accurate count, not a speedy count. In 2000, Al Gore should have won the election. The media tried to create a hysteria that we had to know, we had to know, we had to know! That created an enivornment that allowed the Supreme Court to step in with their very questionable action (stopping the recount) that was 'one time only' decision. Please note, this took place December 12th. We are nowhere near that date currently. Do not let anyone build hysteria or try to tell you that there is not time to count all the votes. We're a democracy, we should count all the votes.
Yes, I heard that it's been called for Joe. He may be the winner, he may not be. I'm not talking about recounts, I'm talking about the rest of the votes that have not been counted. I don't believe the military votes still to be counted, for example, will change the results but I do believe we count all the votes. That was my opinion in 2000 and it remains my opinion today. If someone went to the trouble of voting, we have a responsibility to count their votes.
It's a real shame that they didn't go with Bernie or anyone but Joe. Clearly, Joe did not lift anyone's boat. The Senate remains controlled by the Republicans. Joe barely squeaked by Donald Trump. Trump got more votes this go round than he did in 2016.
We could have had a better result if they'd run a Democrat who stood for something. Joe stands for nothing.
Sam Smith has finally released his new album. I do not have it yet. I ordered it and it's supposed to be in today so I will drive over and pick it up. It's called LOVE GOES. I could've ordered it through AMAZON but I'm trying to stay focused on local businesses right now. I want to have stores in my area so I need to support them during the pandemic to have them afterwards.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, November 6, 2020. And the count goes on -- yes, the count goes on.
"Here we go again" is how Kathleen Wallace opens her column that went up at COUNTERPUNCH on Thursday. Yeah, I know. Kind of familiar -- see Wednesday morning's "Here we go again (Ava and C.I.)" but we -- Ava and I -- were true to our own voices, so no one can really copy us though, goodness knows, many have tried and failed over the years. Hey, IN THESE TIMES, what happened to that entertainment media coverage? No, it's not as easy as it looks -- especially if you're trying to offer a feminist perspective but, hey, thanks for playing.
And playing's all Kathleen Wallace is doing. I planned to highlight her but I read and read and it just got worse and worse. 'COVID didn't register!'
Yeah, it did but your head's been up your ass so long that you never got what was going on. The center-left meme was that Covid-19 meant the country would turn away from Donald Trump collectively and now here comes Kathleen to tell us, "I also thought covid would be a gamechanger, but the Trump supporters view the shutdowns as the enemy, not the virus."
Why admit at the top of your column that you were wrong and just cling to your insulting beliefs that got you into this mess to begin with?
For months, the media and much of the left has lived in an artificial world that was far from reality-based. There are people on the right who just see the pandemic as something that's been overblown and/or some sort of plot but that's true of some on the left as well.
What no one seems to get about a number of Donald Trump supporters is that they're not as stupid as the MSNBC talking point crowd.
They know damn well that the hissy fits over what Donald did in February and Joe Biden's claims of what he would do are largely nonsense. Reality, in February and March, Joe and his campaign were telling people -- in the midst of the pandemic -- to go to the polls and vote. Joe presented no plan for a response to the pandemic.
Did Donald flounder? Yes, he did. But many people remember that so did the CDC. Many remember when we were told there was no point in wearing masks Then we were told to wear masks. People can look at those events and they can see that everyone was learning as they went along.
The Democratic Party leaders tried to weaponize Covid for the election. And you got a lot of childish and petty little brats -- who need to grow the hell up, quite frankly -- reinventing the narrative the same way they tried their neoliberal reinvention of government in the 90s (that was the Clintonesque destruction of the safety net and you can refer to the book REINVENTING GOVERNMENT if you're late to that party). It was disgusting to see people try to profit politically off the pandemic.
And maybe if you did something other than 'learn' about the world from MSNBC, you'd have known that. We spoke to group after group and heard this called out repeatedly. I'd be surprised if out of the hundreds in the last two months, more than 21 of them were Trump supporters. The bulk identified as Democrats (though many were clear that they would not be voting in the election due to Joe's position on fracking or his assault of Tara Reade or both). And they were appalled by the way the pandemic was being used as political football. Nancy Pelosi's refusal to provide a second stimulus also fell under that umbrella. People were outraged by that and saw that as yet another example of a party wanting your vote but refusing to do anything to get it. And then came Joe's I-promise-you-nothing campaign and you had a political party that stood for nothing other than trying to shape opinion.
I don't know why, in the face of the rebuke that is this election, you'd say, "I got is wrong but let me tell you about all the other things I believe without any basis in fact and let's pretend like they are right."
Throughout the last four years, opinions have been presented as facts and this from the 'neutral' media? It rained is a fact. What someone felt about the rain is an opinion -- that seems to confuse a number of so-called reporters at various corporate outlets.
Wallace really shouldn't write a word. She's a stupid and sexist fool. Doubt me? Note this passage:
This falls completely on Obama and the corrupt DNC machinery. As you all know, prior to Super Tuesday, Obama pulled the strings of the other primary candidates, creating a situation that unearthed a most inorganic Biden victory. He got them to pull out and support Biden en masse. Though Obama was reported to have said “don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up”, he opted to intervene in the democratic process of a legitimate primary. Elizabeth Warren (oh don’t upset her with snake emojis) helped out too, making sure the progressive vote was splintered. It makes you wonder what was going on there. She sells her soul for no payout, it seems.
Did Elizabeth help out? That's an opinion but if you think she helped out and you also think this falls completely on Barack -- your words -- then why is it that you seen to blame them equally? That's what you're doing in that paragraph. Four sentences calling out Barack and three calling out Elizabeth.
And note the sexism, Elizabeth is the one who "splintered" the progressive vote. Not Bernie. As a man, apparently, the progressive vote belonged to Bernie. As a woman, apparently, Elizabeth was supposed to sacrifice and step aside. Was this the election or post-WWII America? Go home, girls, the men are back!
What an offensive piece of trash Wallace is.
Again, there are facts and there are opinions. It's a fact that they both sought the nomination. It's an opinion that one should have dropped out (we never called for either to drop out -- we did note that people needed to back off and stop the sexism against Elizabeth and that failing to do so would only hurt Bernie). Elizabeth and/or her supporters could argue throughout the primary that Bernie lost last time and he'd lose again. They could have argued that Bernie had the nomination stolen from him last time and that he'd have it stolen again.
They could have pointed out the reality that Elizabeth stood up to Joe in the debates while Bernie undercut his own talking points and his own stands with 'my friend Joe' comments.
They could have pointed to the attacks during the primary from Bernie on women like Zephyr Teachout. What did Zephyr do? Oh, yeah, she wrote the truth about Joe Biden's record -- a record that Bernie was running against. And Zephyr was rewarded for that well researched and well thought out column by being attacked and disowned by Bernie and his campaign. Or the backstabbing of Briahna Joy Gray. If you were shocked by Bernie's dismissive attitude towards Briahna, so sorry that you didn't know s**t as usual.
It wasn't surprising in the least. I sat through those awful VA hearings the Senate Committee held under Bernie's leadership (I also sat through Daniel Akaka and Patty Murray's hearings which set the standards for any Senate hearings). I saw Bernie's patronizing attitudes towards women -- women on the committee, women testifying before the committee. A group of women veterans and I spent one post-hearing lunch together counting up all the sexist terms Bernie had used in the hearing and all the ways he'd been patronizing to women but never to men.
Did Bernie tell Elizabeth that he didn't think a woman could win?
We don't know. But those of us who have seen Bernie in action do know that it wouldn't be a surprise. And, when that rumor came up, we said here, check the archives, whether it was said or not, it shouldn't be the end of the world. The statement, as reported, was that someone didn't think the country would elect a woman. That's an opinion and it's an opinion of what others think. It wasn't a statement, as reported, that a woman shouldn't be president or that Bernie said he wouldn't vote for a woman. It was a politician looking at the landscape and trying to read it and coming to a conclusion.
Our advice was to leave it alone and that was partly because we knew Bernie's past very well. Just leave it alone and let it fade. But his supporters couldn't do that or wouldn't do that. And Bernie couldn't either and he had to give the story new life by confronting Elizabeth at the end of the debate. As she was heard saying, "You called me a liar." And that is what he did.
None of this is written as an Elizabeth lover. Had she gotten the nomination, I would've voted for her. I probably would've voted for anyone other than Joe. I certainly would've voted for Beto, Julian, Marianne . . .
But I am not an Elizabeth Warren fan nor am I even a supporter. I don't mean a supporter or her presidential campaign, I mean a supporter of her public work. I think she's done a very poor job on a lot of things. I would include that the time to let us know that a program isn't working is long before the money's all been distributed. I think she's been very dishonest about her past -- I'm referring to the Republican thing, not the Native American aspect. Trina was very familiar with Elizabeth Warren and her politics and the minute Elizabeth ran for the Senate, Trina was telling you she wasn't all that and that she had started out a Republican. Trina lives in Boston and knew exactly what Elizabeth was and wasn't.
And we called out Elizabeth through out the campaign including when she decided to use impeachment as a campaign booster. Didn't work for her.
So Elizabeth's not perfect and I'm not saying she is. I'm not a supporter of Elizabeth Warren. But, please note, Kathleen Wallace, when I'm writing about what happened and trying to explain it, I'm not just offering a one-sided version of a narrative that rescues all my beloveds and paints everyone else as the devil.
Kathleen is unhappy with Bernie's loss. But she's not going to blame him apparently. So she'll blame Barack (who does deserve a portion of the blame, he clearly pulled strings behind the scenes) and she'll blame Elizabeth but she won't blame Bernie.
Here's what Kathleen thinks is a critique of Bernie:
This is all not to say that Sanders isn’t clearly at fault in this situation as well. He embraced the sheepdog role and after the first Lucy football incident, he should have run as an Independent if he was serious about truly winning the presidency. How many people who couldn’t afford it plunged what assistance they could into his campaign? It’s a pretty craven and bitter move to do to those young idealists. At some point, you have to hold to your convictions. Say what you will, but these scary Trumpers do hold to their (often toxic convictions) and it’s powerful. They win that way. Bernie has done much to push progressive ideals and has done well introducing them to a large audience, but he also has been instrumental in ripping the hearts out of those who truly believed in his platform. How can you be for the ideas that he offered and still hit the campaign trail for a Biden? Sure, sure the bigger threat thing is what is always given as the excuse— but he likely knew exactly what would happen this second time around. He coalesced progressive support around him during the primary, keeping a trend towards any third party leanings down. He was an instrumental cog in all of this….again.
So his portion of the blame, per Kathleen, is the sheepdog role -- a role he played after he dropped out. And his other one was refusing to run as an independent. Again, that would happen after he dropped out.
Bernie, in her mind, made no mistakes until then. And the mistakes she attributes to him feed into her belief that he's a good guy. He may very well be a good person but she doesn't offer that possibility for Donald Trump or Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren or anyone she disagrees with. Are we not supposed to notice that?
As the pandemic was making clear the need for Medicare For All, who dropped out?
Bernie. It was the perfect time to speak out about his platform and how, look around at the people in need in this crisis, this is why we need Medicare For All.
But he didn't do that. He grumbled about David Sirota and Nina Turner when they were busting their asses for him. He called out Zephyr and, after the election, Briahna. This is leadership?
And you could float the idea that it's another reason Elizabeth didn't drop out. She was running against a man who did nothing. Naming post offices, that was Bernie's Congressional accomplishment. Yes, I started that talking point but I didn't do it to help Hillary (I actually favored Martin in 2016) and I didn't realize the campaign would run with his lack of accomplishments in Congress -- both the House and the Senate. I was just applying the same standard to all. It's not my job to fluff and flatter.
And Elizabeth does have some accomplishments in the Senate and she might have stayed in the campaign for that reason.
More to the point, she doesn't need a reason to stay in other than she wants to. She's not stealing anything from anyone by making a forceful case for herself.
I'm raking my brain for when we hear this sort of talk about a man. Other than the lunatic ravings of Al Gore's self-appointed online defender/mistress Bob Somerby (in his attacks on Bill Bradley), I'm not remembering it.
If Bernie's campaign was so weak that it couldn't survive another person campaigning openly, then it wasn't strong at all.
Now it's another thing to suffer through what the DNC did to him in 2016 and the strings Barack pulled this go round. Those were not done publicly, they were largely hidden.
But Elizabeth wanted the nomination and she sought it publicly. If Bernie couldn't handle that, I don't know that he could have handled the nomination.
Wallace is worried about Pete Buttigieg and that made me laugh the most at her column. Barack was the shiny, new toy in 2008. Pete can't be that. He tried to be it in 2019 and 2020 but it didn't happen. And in 2024 or 2028, he's not going to be anything but another fat assed male politician. Am I the only one whose noticed how much weight he's put on? Or how fat his face is? Barack was shiny and new with his thin trim self -- to the point that people spoke of anorexia. True or not, he did look lean and hungry and it gave his words an impact that a soft and fat politician just wouldn't have. Barack looked lean and hungry and that amplified his message of change. When roly-poly Pete lumbers out on stage in four years or eight years, a call to change from a fat cat politician will ring as hollow as it always does.
I kept searching her column -- which was sent into the public account by fifteen different people -- or at least fifteen different e-mail accounts -- for something to praise and include. I thought I was going to from the byline. But it's a really bad column. And don't think you're brave by noting Joe grabbing a woman's ass and including a mention of #MeToo if you can't mention Tara Reade. Tara told the truth. Kathleen did mention Anita Hill. It's safe to do that, isn't it?
Thing is, I was around back then and it wasn't safe. But people -- women and men -- wouldn't let it die. We didn't walk away from it. And these same people today, we're not walking away from Tara Reade. Joe will never live Tara down. It's the sort of thing the media can dismiss for a year or so but it's the sort of thing that festers and grows and that becomes so firm that even the cowardly -- Kathleen, for example -- finally feel that they can speak out about it -- the way she feels she can support Anita all these decades later.
I wanted to praise Kathleen. But she wrote a sexist article which opens with her admitting she was wrong but never goes on to try to attempt to re-evaluate any of the prejudices and mistaken beliefs that led to her being so wrong.
Most of all, I'll never support any argument -- made by a man or a woman -- that a woman's role is to sacrifice her goals and dreams so that a man can get ahead. I will always stand against that sort of nonsense.
In Iraq, Dilan S. Hussein (RUDAW) reports:
Iraqi President Barham Salih on Thursday officially signed recent
electoral reforms into law, dividing provinces into smaller voting
constituencies for the 2021 election.
"The law was passed after a long debate. The reform of the electoral law was a national demand to secure Iraqis' right to choose their representatives without fear of forgery, manipulation and the exertion of pressure on voters," said Salih.
"I call upon all state institutions to swiftly fulfill the required conditions for conducting early fair and free elections," he added. "Electoral corruption is a serious scourge that threatens the peace and stability of our community as well as the country's economic viability."
This would appear to mean that elections are moving forward (June 6, 2021). THE MEDIA LINE notes a possible snag, "Yet a dispute about how to replace retiring judges of the Federal Supreme Court, which rules on constitutional challenges, needs to be settled prior to elections." Of the new law, AP explains, "The new law changes each of the country’s 18 provinces into several electoral districts and prevents parties from running on unified lists, which has in the past helped them easily sweep all the seats in a specific province. Instead, the seats would go to whoever gets the most votes in the electoral districts."
Karen Steele has a letter to the editors of THE BALTIMORE SUN which includes:
Oct. 22 was the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Iraq War Logs (“Julian Assange is no hero,” May 15, 2019). The documents revealed war crimes, more than 15,000 previously undocumented civilian casualties and evidence that the military killed innocent people and mislabeled them as enemies for statistical purposes.
These revelations were only possible because Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning acted out of conscience, and WikiLeaks bravely published them after the Washington Post and New York Times hesitated. The coverage won countless awards, but also led to Ms. Manning spending years in prison and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange facing an unprecedented 175-year sentence.
Two more things. Time permitting, I'd like to explore the good and the bad about Brad Bannon's HILL column -- explore it this weekend. Second, this weekend, NOW and The Feminist Majority have a virtual conference:
1600 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209
The following sites updated: