Author Topic: US Election 2020  (Read 1092 times)

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Offline lookout

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #76 on: November 08, 2020, 07:02:PM »
Oh dear.  :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) tax returns.

Offline Roch

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Offline lookout

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #78 on: November 08, 2020, 07:24:PM »
The journalist is an early Bamber journalist.




Oh gosh yes, just recognised the name.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #79 on: November 14, 2020, 11:31:AM »

Offline David1819

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #80 on: November 21, 2020, 06:05:PM »
Trump continues to deny election loss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MnNzKgy6Qg

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #81 on: November 21, 2020, 06:49:PM »
Trump continues to deny election loss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MnNzKgy6Qg
People will look back at history and wonder how on earth he managed to win in 2016.

Offline nugnug

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #82 on: November 29, 2020, 03:19:PM »
after 6 months of bidden i think people aregoing to really miss trump.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #83 on: November 29, 2020, 03:22:PM »
after 6 months of bidden i think people aregoing to really miss trump.
What a ridiculous throwaway comment from a man in his position. https://youtu.be/XsoHAwuQ73g

Offline nugnug

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #84 on: November 29, 2020, 05:02:PM »
are you not the slightist bit bothered that a clearly senile man has his finger on the little red button in 6 months im sure why are going to wish trump had won thats if we are alive of course.

Offline QCChevalier

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #85 on: December 03, 2020, 10:14:PM »
I think Trump was quite a good president, actually.  I don't agree with everything he says and does, and I think he could and should have gone further in a number of policy areas; but he was still an improvement, and I would have preferred a clear Trump victory in the 2020 election.  I think Biden/Harris will do some isolated good - and I even agree in principle with Biden on one or two things - but overall I think he will be awful for ordinary Americans.  There again, I lean decidedly to the Right politically, so I may well take a pro-Trump view overall. 

Is the declared outcome of the election legitimate? I have made an effort to look at the matter objectively, and from all angles, and I have read some of the litigation filings.  There is definitely evidence of major procedural irregularities, some of it frankly quite worrying; but, based on what I have seen so far, I am not inclined to believe that there is any serious evidence of organised widespread fraud.  However, more may come to light. Indeed, just today I read somewhere that there is proof, from a particular county of a disputed state, that around 20,000 people who were dead at the date of the election are recorded as having voted.  That's just one local area.  The source for this claim is biased, so at the moment I don't place much stall in it, and even if true, some of those votes will be legitimate mail-ins and absentee votes.  Nevertheless, if the claim has any basis to it, then it's not good.  Not good at all.

What will happen?  A number of claims are filed or in the system.  In all cases, it's a question of whether the evidence is sufficient to disturb the apparent results declared, and that turns on legal standards of proof, quality of evidence and procedural issues, etc.  In the alternative, there will be an effort on the part of pro-Trump Republicans to have certain classes of counted votes excluded on the basis that states exceeded their own constitutions or federal standards in liberalising the mail-in ballots. 

I doubt the U.S. Supreme Court will decide all this with finality, but assuming they accept certiorari, they may make a procedural ruling that has the effect of throwing sufficient Electoral College votes into doubt, with the outcome that there has to be a contingent election in the House and Senate.  Is that likely?  A week ago I would have said 'No' and I was pretty sure that Giuliani and Powell was 'trying it on', as we British say, but now I'm really not sure.

It's one of those cases that turns on a mixture of law, the U.S. Constitution itself and raw politics at different levels, and an added factor is that the U.S. judiciary, both state and federal, is undoubtedly highly politicised.  Thus, it's really difficult to offer a fair and balanced prognosis, especially at a distance.  But that's a summary of what I think about it.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 10:28:PM by QCChevalier »

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2020, 10:47:PM »
There have been allegations of fraud in US presidential elections before:

1960: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2000/10/was-nixon-robbed.html

The famous butterfly ballots and hanging chads in Florida 2000: https://youtu.be/zPAWcWEy-w4

Trump's tweet: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/20000-dead-voters-in-pennsylvania/
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 10:47:PM by Steve_uk »

Offline QCChevalier

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #87 on: December 06, 2020, 02:57:PM »
I should have explained which state I was talking about, but I don't want to give any credence to biased claims that are as yet unproven in a recognised court.  I wasn't referring to Pennsylvania, but to a different state, and having double-checked, I rounded the figure up too much.  What my source actually claims is that approximately 14,000 ballots were returned or cast by dead people in one highly-populated county and approximately another 3,000 elsewhere in the same state.  It seems that similar claims are being made about other states  - including, yes, Pennsylvania. 

One thing that, to my mind, gives the claim credence is that under the U.S. system, when ballots are cast or returned, it seems that the identity of the voter is publicly-recorded and the record is viewable to anybody.  Thus, it would be brazen of Trump and/or his supporters to go round making such claims without a proper basis.  Even so, it seems that's exactly what they are now accused of doing. 

There are other bits of evidence.  There's the video from the Georgia count.  I've also been reading accounts of how the voting machines work and it seems that, according to experts, some sort of co-ordinated machine fraud would have been possible.

Who should we believe?  Should we believe any of them?  I am reminded of the Apostle Paul: For now we see through a glass darkly.  What's worrying, to twist the metaphor, is what we might see when the fog clears.  And to mix metaphors, can we or should we necessarily blame some otherwise honest individuals among prominent Americans who do not want to look under the rock and face what is beneath it and its consequences?

The mainstream media are busy debunking it all, or trying to; and all sorts of other people are saying it's all lies.

I found this article on the CNBC website that may - I only say may - provide context for Trump's latest activities:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/04/trump-gop-fundraising-election-vote-fraud-claims.html

On the other hand, in fairness to Trump, I remind myself that the mainstream media have not acquitted themselves well, have not given his presidency a chance or reported him fairly, and are now very agenda-driven, as are activists opposed to Trump. 

The only mainstream outlets I can find that are reporting Trump favourably over this are Fox News (neo-conservative, so tenuously pro-Trump) and The Daily Express (which has shifted its market into dissident centre-right territory, i.e. Farage/Trump type people). 

As an example, here's a link to a recent article from The Daily Express, though as a caveat I am sceptical as to that newspaper's reliability:

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1368787/joe-biden-election-2020-vote-fraud-donald-trump-latest-news

From all quarters, the truth seems to be taking second-place to the overt pursuit of power.  Surely the first priority is to ensure that elections are conducted with integrity?  Even from a crude gaming perspective, the prioritisation of civic integrity makes sense because once sharp practices and even cheating become normalised, everybody involved in the process loses credibility.

I should add that, as a British onlooker, one thing I find quite depressing is the way that a lot of Americans seem to underrate their own constitutional arrangements.  The American system, described by conservative jurist Antonin Scalia as a work of 'Renaissance genius', has important checks and balances that help resolve situations just such as this and, crucially, also help prevent democracy.  What I mean by that is that the Founding Fathers and drafters were (rightly, in my view) averse to mass democracy, in so far as the concept was understood then, for many reasons - one of which is that they regarded democracy as almost synonymous with cheating and the election of mob-backed charlatans. 

Anyway, with that, at this stage, I am not going to come to a firm conclusion of my own either way.  I am inclined to 'wait and see'.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 08:44:PM by QCChevalier »

Offline QCChevalier

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #88 on: December 11, 2020, 12:51:AM »
The latest in this saga is that the Texas Attorney-General (i.e. that state's highest legal officer) has filed suit in the Supreme Court against four other states for, as he sees it, the unconstitutionality of their mail-in ballot laws. 

Paxton has framed the litigation as a dispute between states, thus the apex court of the United States has original jurisdiction in the matter.  Specifically, the Paxton complaint asks the Supreme Court to push back the Electoral College voting date from 14th. December 2020 to a later date and to order the four respondent states to disregard unconstitutional ballots.  If successful, this would mean that those four states (and possibly more states if the scope of the action is then broadened) would have to repeat state-wide counts but without the invalidated ballots.  Presumably, this would then deliver the relevant electoral votes to Trump at the deferred Electoral College.

As matters stand, the Supreme Court has not actually accepted the complaint for an oral hearing, never mind decided it.  Paxton is still waiting for the justices to consider the arguments for and against whether they should hear the case at all, which is what the very strong response from Pennsylvania is about.  I am expecting the Supreme Court to knock Paxton back, but it is very difficult to be sure because the Supreme Court bench does now have more of a (small 'c') 'conservative' balance; and, any sort of legal prediction is difficult, even on the merits of a particular case, because the whole system in the United States is so highly politicised, something quite alien to the British way of doing things. 

In England & Wales, we don't officially have 'Conservative-appointed circuit court judges' or 'Labour-sympathising Lords Justices of Appeal'.  Lord Denning was not a Liberal Party appointee.  Lord Scarman was not a mainstay of his local Labour Party in between hearing appeal cases.  For that sort of carry on, or anything similar, to be the case here would be considered epically scandalous and there would be public inquiries and sundry demands for resignations or worse.  The nearest we have to a political judiciary here in England & Wales is that local lay magistracies have traditionally had to reflect the political balance of the sessional district in which they sit, but the appointment process was and is still officially neutral and bureaucratic.  In the United States, the judiciary is overtly political, as is routine law enforcement, with elected sheriffs and prosecutors.  Imagine an English county with a Chief Crown Prosecutor or Chief Constable who has been elected, running as the Labour or Conservative candidate.  We have Police & Crime Commissioners now, and used to have local police authorities made up of elected councillors, but these are mechanisms for deciding policy, whereas in the United States, elected prosecutors and sheriffs actually make operational law enforcement and prosecutorial decisions.  Even judges are elected in some local areas and states of the USA, which is bizarre - for instance in Pennsylvania, the state supreme court judges are popularly elected to 10-year terms!  It's just how they do things there.

None of this means that American judges are rigidly and simplistically partisan.  There does seem to be a shared sense of civic values in the system.  As a demonstration of this, the Northern Georgia Circuit federal judge who recently dismissed the Powell suit is a Republican appointee.  But was he being 'judicial'? Was he  upholding his oath of office and defending the Republic and a nation of laws, etc., etc., or is it that legal and political considerations are complexly entwined, the legal basis of the suit was politically ripe but legally and constitutionally premature, and thus he calculated that allowing the litigation to be quickly appealed up to the apex level is better politically and, for tactical reasons, this should be done without showing his own hand?  The fact he is overly a political appointee raises that question in my mind - which is the problem.  Can anyone have confidence in such a system?

There are some points that could be made for the American way of doing things, odd and strange as it seems to British eyes.  For one thing, Republican v Democrat partisanship was not traditionally ideological; that has only become a feature very recently.  Moreover, it should be remembered that the terms 'conservative' and 'liberal' not only have meanings in American English that are very different to the more nuanced meanings we are used to in Britain, they also have term of art denotations within a juridical context.  A 'judicially conservative' judge may nevertheless be a raging left-liberal; conversely, a judicially-activist judge may in fact be deeply conservative politically.  A possible example of the latter was the late Robert Bork, a very accomplished United States federal judge (though paradoxically and confusingly, Bork's activism had the aim of taming activism in favour of traditional American judicial passivism). These differences seem to cut across established partisan divisions, and individual judges will also revise and change their judicial attitudes with further learning and experience, all of which means that appointments or elections on the basis of simple party allegiance and patronage are no guarantor of the socio-cultural and political flavour of a particular court or circuit over the fullness of time. 

Most of the American judiciary themselves, state and federal, would probably prefer not to be looked on as didactic warring factions sitting in legatine mini-parliaments, but more as a Socratic elite ruling on (or quietly leavening, depending on the judicial attitude) American social and cultural mores over the vaster spans of service allowed to jurists compared with elected politicians.  In defence of the American system, it could be observed that the reality of a politicised judiciary - warts and all - is just a more honest basis to proceed, with checks and balances in place to discourage abuse and partisanship.  We like to think the English and wider British judiciary are impartial, but it's not really true in practical reality, and it is also obvious that there is extensive political interference and intervention in police and prosecution decisions in this country, it is just hidden and done behind the scenes.

Yet the reality is that American commentary, even rulings from learned federal and state supreme judges, tends to be ultra-partisan and Manichean, as well as boisterous, and it is quite difficult to discern what is really going on, even who is telling the truth.  For me, the knowledge that a particular judge is a 'Republican' or 'Democrat', or indeed 'Independent' - if there are any - completely undermines confidence in the American judicial system and means that, at least in my eyes, a crucial font of impartial and objective information within that society is tainted and coloured by agendas.

Returning to matters at hand, a significant development is that 17 states have now filed amici curiae in support of the suit.  On the political front, approximately half the GOP House delegation have also voiced support, which in itself changes nothing of the legal prognosis for success or failure in the Court itself, but partisanship for and against presidential personalities isn't always strictly split along party lines, and if Trump manages to force a contingent election in Congress (which I believe is the real intention, as this has historical precedence), then it bodes well that more than 100 House Republicans are already willing to back what we keep being told is ambitious, even vexatious and abusive, litigation that is bound to fail.

What are the possible outcomes of it all?  I think this is likely to go one of two ways:

(i). The U.S. Supreme Court hears one or more suits and issues rulings favourable to Trump.  If this happens, then the affected states will re-count and/or the issue will be decided by a contingent election in Congress.  If some or all affected states are pushed into a zugszwang of this sort, they may resist and insist on appointing Democratic electors (or anti-Trump Republicans).  If a contingent election looks likely, then the Democratic strategy may be to try and have the date of the election pushed back.

(ii). The Court rejects all the litigation or rules unfavourably for Trump.  What happens after this eventuality promises to be either the biggest damp squib in history, with the Trump phenomenon vanishing into thin air, or you have an actual constitutional crisis and civil war situation.  The Beltway elites mostly don't support Trump, but he does have a base, as demonstrated at the least by the 17 states that back the Paxton litigation and the 100 GOP House members.

The impact of Trump on U.S. politics has been not so much in policy (he didn't really do much that was different), it was more the iconoclastic mood of his presidency.  The question is whether this mood will continue when Trump departs and whether it can crystallise into something, and if so, what?  If Trump prompts a genuine crisis in the legitimacy of the American system of government, then - good or bad - that would be a stupendous legacy for a fairly banal New York property developer and international hotelier.  Nevertheless, as I explain above, the roots of an American political crisis are embedded in the flaws of the system itself.  The first president, George Washington, warned against partisanship and its cancerous affect on representative government, but even he might not have quite envisaged the unseemly - and unrepublican - hyper-partisan spectacle that has been unfolding before ordinary Americans for decades and cannot just be blamed on Donald Trump.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 01:49:AM by QCChevalier »

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: US Election 2020
« Reply #89 on: December 11, 2020, 08:32:PM »
Americans don't like losers, which is why to my mind Trump is finished. The Republican Party is far more likely to choose Ted Cruz, or at a pinch Marco Rubio next time.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 05:36:PM by Steve_uk »