Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Where Do We Go From Here and Some Thoughts on How it Used to Be ... before

 

A subscriber to Heather Cox Richardson’s daily “Letter to Americans” quoted the following piece which originally appeared on Facebook.  Americans should think of the questions it raises when they vote for a president shortly.  

If you are not reading Professor Richardson’s daily “Letter,” you are missing a lot.  Get to it by CLICKING HERE.


Professor Richardson’s eulogy on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, posted on September 18, must be read,  It says it all.  Read it at the link provided above.
   Or just CLICK HERE.

 

And here is the item which appeared on Facebook:

“I’ve been wondering why this entire country seems to be under a cloud of constant misery. 

Why we all seem to be Russians

Waiting in line for toilet paper, meat, Lysol.

Hoarding yeast and sourdough starter “in case we can’t get bread”.

Buying stamps so that one of our most beloved institutions might survive.

Why we all look like we are in bad need of a haircut, or a facial or a reason to dress up again and go somewhere.

Anywhere.

 

There is no art in this White House. There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music. No Kennedy Center award celebrations.

There are no pets in this White House.

No loyal man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat.

No kids’ science fairs.

 

No times when this president takes off his blue suit-red tie uniform and becomes

 Human, except when he puts on his white shirt- khaki pants uniform and 

Hides from Americans to play golf. 

 

There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment

of relaxation.  No Obama’s on the beach in Hawaii moments, nor Bushes fishing in

Kennebunkport, nor Reagans on horseback, nor Kennedys playing touch football 

on the Cape.

 

I was thinking the other day of the summer when

George H couldn’t catch a fish and all the grandkids made signs and

Counted the fish-less days.

And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB,

You got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.

 

Where did that country go? Where did all of the fun and joy and expressions of 

Love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did

The ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.

We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation

Instead dividing it.

And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out.

 

We are rudderless and joyless.

We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.

We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness.

The cheering on of others.

The shared experiences of humanity that make it all worth it.

The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.

The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.

 

We are lost.

We have lost so much

In so short a time."       




Back to Politics

And now some thoughts brought on by the day's events.  I would not bother including them at this point, but it looks like the President's gracelessness demands that I do.

Our fool of a President, Putin’s “useful idiot, didn’t have brains enough to wait at least until after Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s funeral to announce that he would be naming a replacement Supreme Court Justice soon and hoped it would shortly be voted on by the Senate.  This is a man raised in a household where love was absent and it is reflected in his every action.  Necessary to such an action would be Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who very well may be a defeated lame-duck Senator by the time the nomination comes before the Senate for a vote.

I fully expect Trump to make his nomination.  Whether his stooges in the Senate will go along with him in sufficient numbers is another question, considering that many fought against even having  a vote on Obama’s Merrill Garland nomination because a presidential election was coming up within the year, and fairness demanded they follow the dictates of that election.  This was the position of Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham among others in 2016.  The shoe is now on the other foot, requiring them to become hypocrites out of loyalty to Trump.  Will they?  Particularly if they are running for re-election.  It works both ways.  And how about the female Senators, who would not even be there were it not for Justice Ginsberg’s lifetime of work?  And there are those that to whom a quick nomination and vote, as Trump desires, is morally repugnant.  It was Justice Ginsberg who had, in anticipation of her passing, wanted a replacement named only after the presidential election.  Some may want to respect those wishes.  No, confirmation in the Senate of his nominee is not a sure thing.

But Trump wants it badly, and done quickly, since it is likely that the results of the presidential election will result in litigation which will end up before the Supreme Court where another conservative Justice on the bench would suit his aims just fine. 

If this happens, and that is where we end up … a Supreme Court infused with new conservative blood handing the presidency to Trump for another four  years … because of an unclear election result, made possible only because of Trump’s baseless attacks on entirely legal “vote by mail” balloting and his sabotaging of the Postal Service, the efficient operation of which is essential to voting by mail, it’s time for a new issue to be raised for Americans  And that is Emigration.  No, that is not a misspelling.  It might be time for Americans still devoted to the democracy which has flourished in our country for 231 years to consider picking up stakes and moving elsewhere.  I hope that doesn’t become necessary.

Meanwhile, it is likely that Joe Biden will get more popular votes than Trump, and if the Electoral College votes fall into place for him, and he survives post-election Trump litigation, Joe ultimately will become President and have a Democratic House and Senate to support him.   

But possibly, he still will have to deal with an ultra-conservative Supreme Court, as described above.  I see no alternative other than his going back to FDR’s failed effort to expand the number of Justices on the Supreme Court, perfectly legal if the House and the Senate go along with it.  The Constitution does not stipulate the number of Justices on the Supreme Court and a President Biden should not hesitate to nominate four or five additional Justices.  Nine is not some kind of magic number and there has not always been that number of Justices on the Supreme Court.

JL


                                                             











































Thursday, September 17, 2020

A Maureen Dowd Column, A Compaint to Google and to Apple and Our Corrupted Attorney General's Latest

 


Here’s a recent column by Maureen Dowd which Trump haters will enjoy, even though it won’t convince any of his supporters to desert him.   I note she mentions “Stella Dallas.”  Gawd, I remember listening to that radio soap opera when I came home from elementary school for lunch or late in the afternoon years and years and years ago.

 JL

 ALL THE PRESIDENT’S INSECURITIES

 


Maureen Dowd - As printed in the New York Times

WASHINGTON — During his 2016 bid, Donald Trump would sometimes pause from bashing elites and the media to speak with awe about a phone call he had with a Very Important Journalist.  Trump puffed up with pride as he told the story to bemused rallygoers, who only moments before had been jeering at the press.  It was, to say the least, a mixed message from the phony populist.  During an interview in June 2016 at Trump Tower, Trump bragged to me about the call with the journalist, who turned out to be Tom Friedman. Lately, Trump has been boasting about Tom’s praise for the White House’s Israel-United Arab Emirates peace plan.  

Like Stella Dallas standing in the rain outside the gates of the mansion where her daughter is getting married, Trump has always had his nose pressed up against the window of the elites.  “For a man who has risen to the highest office on the planet, President Trump radiates insecurity,” former Ambassador Kim Darroch wrote to his colleagues in London, in a leaked cable.  Steve Bannon once told me that Trump was much more concerned about CNN’s coverage than Fox’s. Trump was not seeking affirmation from the nighttime slate of Fox knuckleheads; they were in the bag. Unserious though he may be, Trump covets praise from serious people. And serious Sean Hannity is not.

Fresh off his win in 2016, he was eager to come talk to The New York Times. I’ve never seen Trump happier than in that hour with the “failing” New York Times. (He even got to upbraid me in front of my boss.) As we wrapped up, he told the assembled editors, reporters and Times brass: “It’s a great honor. I will say, The Times is, it’s a great, great American jewel. A world jewel. And I hope we can all get along.” 

That same eager tone was echoed in the audio of Bob Woodward’s tapes with Trump, as the president warmly spoke the name “Bob” again and again, yearning for acceptance from the very establishment that he had denounced to win the Oval Office.  Even though Woodward keeps writing books about Trump with titles that sound like Hitchcock horror flicks — first “Fear” and now “Rage” — Trump somehow thought he could win over the pillar of the Washington establishment. 

“I brought something that I’ve never shown to anybody,” the president told the writer in December 2019. “I’m going to show it to you. I’ll get you something that’s sort of cool.”  He had an aide bring photos of him with Kim Jong Un, including some capturing the moment when the two leaders stepped over the line between North and South Korea.  “Pretty cool,” Trump gushed. “You know? Pretty cool. Right?” He added, “I mean, they’re cool pictures when you — you know, when you talk about iconic pictures, how about that?”

 In a later interview, he gave Woodward a poster-size picture of himself and Kim, saying: “I don’t even know why I’m giving it to you. That’s my only one.” He trumpeted about Kim: “He never smiled before. I’m the only one he smiles with.” 

Trump also bragged to the man who helped break the Watergate story, which sparked an impeachment inquiry, that he handled impeachment with more aplomb than his predecessors.  “Nixon was in a corner with his thumb in his mouth,” Trump said. “Bill Clinton took it very, very hard.  I don’t.”

 Woodward once told me that every president gets the psychoanalyst he deserves.  But at least with Nixon, Woodward had to follow the money to expose the venality. With Trump, he simply had to turn on a recorder.

Trump is his own whistleblower.  As the Times' Nick Confessore put it on MSNBC: “Trump is the first candidate for president to launch an October surprise against himself. It’s as if Nixon sent the Nixon tapes to Woodward in an envelope by FedEx.”

Trump fiends for legitimacy even as he undercuts any chance of being seen as legitimate. He is fact-based and cogent on the Woodward tape talking in early February about how the coronavirus is airborne and deadly and dangerous for young people. But he vitiated that by publicly downplaying the vital information for his own political advantage.

 For more than a week, instead of focusing on his peace deals and his nomination for the “Noble Prize,” as a Trump campaign ad spelled it, everyone has been focused on a story that contends he called Americans who died in war “suckers” and “losers.”

Trump desperately wants approval even as he seems relentlessly driven to prove he’s not worthy of it.  He may be ludicrously un-self-aware, but even he sensed that his tango with Woodward would end badly. It was fun for a while, bro-ing out in the Oval with his fellow septuagenarian big shot, batting around the finer points of white privilege. But it could not last.

 “You’re probably going to screw me,” the president told the writer. “You know, because that’s the way it goes.”  Even so, the unreflective Narcissus will never drag himself away from his reflecting pool.  You know, because that’s the way it goes.

c. 2020 The New York Times Company

 

 


Listen Here, Google and Apple

The folks at Google who manage Blogspot through which this blog is published apparently believe that all change is good.  Well, it isn’t.  Doing things differently for the sake of what is improvement in some people’s mind does not necessarily make them better.  Recently Google changed some of its formatting in recording the statistics regarding how often blogs were accessed, and by whom in terms of country and internet server.  When they instituted the changes and asked for opinions, I gave them mine and they were not favorable.  Unfortunately, among other shortcomings, I can no longer determine how many “hits” the blog is getting from places like Russia and other refinements the old system provided. 

In a related area, recently, my mobile phone started misbehaving doing stuff on its own it had never done before.  After five years, it was wearing out so I replaced my IPhone7 with an IPhone11.  Apparently, Apple’s engineers operate like those at Google.  They think any change must be for the better.  T’ain’t so, McGee!  (Can you identify the source of that remark? I am sure those engineers I mentioned are too young to recall that.)  To clear the screen on the new model, all one has to do is swipe upwards, instead of pushing a button at the bottom which the old model had.  It’s different,  but is it better?  I bet that some future model (IPhone 15 or 16?) will replace the upward swipe with something revolutionary, like a button to tap.  And in signing on, a fingerprint has been replaced by facial recognition (which doesn't work when I wear a face mask or use my phone in the middle of the night from my bed.)   But in five or six years, some genius will come up with the idea of using fingerprints instead of facial recognition.  

 

 

 Our Attorney-General - An American Disgrace

The New York Time’s recently reported some frightening news from our frightening Attorney General, the first few paragraphs of which are is reported below:


Barr told prosecutors to consider sedition charges for protesters


By Katie Benner

The New York Times

 

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr told federal prosecutors in a call last week that they should consider charging rioters and others who committed violent crimes at protests in recent months with sedition, according to two people familiar with the call.

 

The highly unusual suggestion to charge people with insurrection against lawful authority alarmed some on the call, which included U.S. attorneys around the country, said the people, who spoke on the condition they not be named describing Barr’s comments because they feared retribution.


The most extreme form of the federal sedition law, which is rarely invoked, criminalizes conspiracies to overthrow the government of the United States — an extraordinary situation that does not seem to fit the circumstances of the unrest in places like Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere in response to police killings of Black men.

 

A Justice Department spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment

 

                                                             *   *   *   *

 

A friend recently moved, always a taxing experience.  Exhausted by it, she commented regarding her move, “This is it.  Never again.”  In view of items like that published above, and the possibility of Trump’s re-election in November, or a violent reaction to the election’s results, I implied to her that another move might be needed in the future, once another country in which to live in were determined.  This is the way bad things started in the first half of the Twentieth century.

JL

Monday, September 14, 2020

A Great Cerabino Column, More on Stephen Miller and a Visit with a College President

A Column Worth Reading

When the old Soviet Union collapsed in the Nineties, the government-owned engines which ran their economy, however inefficient they were, their manufacturing, their extraction of natural resources, their distribution systems, all were in disarray and what was left “were up for grabs."  Some individuals associated with these former entities seized them as their own booty, not necessarily without the assistance of the Russian underworld, and continued to personally own and operate them as what we refer to as ‘oligarchs.’  As the Russian government reformed itself, the existence of these oligarchs continued, but not without the recognition of their importance by the Russian government.  That’s the background needed before you read Frank Cerabino’s fascinating and witty recent column motivated by former Trump ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen’s new book, “Disloyal: a Memoir.“
 JL


A New Twist in the Old Saga of the Palm Beach mansion off of which Trump Made a Killing

Cerabino
Frank Cerabino            
Palm Beach Post

We missed a good naming opportunity. 
The folks in Palm Beach like to name their houses. A showy name is easier to remember than the address, I guess.
I say “house,” but what I mean in this particular case is a Palm Beach residence with 492 feet of oceanfront property, a 48-car garage, 18 bedrooms, 22 bathrooms, a ballroom, an art gallery, two guest houses, and 36-foot-tall ceilings in some places. 
When the estate at 515 N. County Road was owned by nursing-home magnate Abe Gosman he named it “Maison de l'AmitiĆ©,” which translates to “House of Friendship.” 
Bankruptcy forced Gosman to liquidate, and the two potential buyers were well-known Palm Beach party chums: Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump.
Trump paid $41.3 million for the property in 2005, outbidding Epstein, who would go on to become Palm Beach’s world-renowned serial rapist of underage teenage girls. 
If Epstein had been successful in buying the estate, “House of Friendship” would have been an outrageously inappropriate name.
Decency would dictate a name change to something more fitting: Something like Palacio Pedophilia, or Salon d’Sleazebaggio.
But that’s not the missed naming opportunity I’m writing about. 
When Trump bought the humongous, empty estate, he didn’t hang onto it for very long. 
He sold it three years later to a trust controlled by Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who consolidated his wealth during the chaotic post-Soviet era by getting a controlling share of Russia's biggest fertilizer company.
Rybolovlev had a fortune in Russian flight capital which he used to buy fine art, a European soccer club, an $88 million apartment in Manhattan and a $20 million home in Hawaii.
So, at the time, it seemed like Rybolovlev was just buying himself a winter home in South Florida. The Palm Beach real estate transaction came at a particularly good time for the cash-strapped Trump.
James J. Henry, an investigative economist and fellow with Columbia University's Center on Sustainable Investment, put it this way:
"The nine-lived Trump, in particular, had just suffered a string of six successive bankruptcies," Henry wrote in The American Interest. "So the massive illicit outflows from Russia and oil-rich FSU (Former Soviet Union) members like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan from the mid-1990s provided precisely the kind of undiscriminating investors that he needed.
"These outflows arrived at just the right time to fund several of Trump’s post-2000 high-risk real estate and casino ventures – most of which failed.”
Rybolovlev paid $95 million for the estate that Trump bought three years earlier for $41.3 million. That’s quite a mark-up, and more than $30 million higher than the property’s appraised value.
It was the same year that Donald Trump Jr. told investors “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” And the year that Trump was facing another bankruptcy.
Trump Entertainment Resorts, which operated three Atlantic City casinos, had amassed $1.74 billion in debts when it failed to make a $53.1 million bond interest payment in December 2008. Two months later it sought Chapter 11 protection.
The $53.7 million markup of the Palm Beach property was strange, but maybe for billionaires like Rybolovlev, it was chump change for a piece of property he fell in love with.
Except for this: Rybolovlev never moved into his Palm Beach estate, and nobody can say for sure that he even visited the property during the time he owned it.
After eight years of vacancy, the mansion and its out-buildings were leveled and the property was subdivided into three smaller lots and sold by the company Rybolovlev controlled. 
There is no more “Maison de l'AmitiĆ©.”
But there is some new context to this strange sale. It comes from Trump’s former fixer, lawyer and confidante, Michael Cohen, who had turned against his former boss after being the fall guy for Trump’s illegal $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels a month before the 2016 election. 
Cohen wrote in his newly released book, “Disloyal: A Memoir”, that Rybolovlev wasn’t the real buyer of the Palm Beach estate. 
“The Russians bought the house from Trump for $95 million in 2008, an inflated price paid on the eve of the real estate collapse and global financial crisis, at the time the largest price ever paid for a private residence in the United States,” Cohen wrote in Chapter 12 of his book.
“Trump told me that the price hadn’t really been an issue. He explained that the Russians weren’t really spending their own money when they made their excessive purchases of European soccer teams and super yachts and Central Park South penthouses,” Cohen wrote. “The oligarchs could enjoy the assets, but always and forever at the pleasure of Vladimir Putin, the new tsar, and displeasing him meant risking their fortunes but also their lives.” 
Cohen wrote: “‘The oligarchs are just fronts for Putin,’ Trump told me. ‘He puts them into wealth to invest his money. That’s all they are doing – investing Putin’s money.’”
“Trump was convinced the real buyer of Maison de l’Amitie was Vladimir Putin,” Cohen wrote.
It’s too bad we didn’t know at the time. 
We could have given the Palm Beach estate a much more suitable name, such as Maison de l’Murderer, Casa Kompromat, or Shady Acres.
fcerabino@pbpost.com







Coronavirus Confusion


I caught part of an interview the other day by CNN’s Dana Bash with Robert Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, part of a CNN segment dealing with how re-opened college campuses were becoming hot spots of positive Covid19 testing.  He commented that his University was now “transitioning from prevention to treatment.”  I took this to mean that while testing of the student body would continue, there would be reduced emphasis on stopping the spread of the virus by social distancing, mask wearing, crowd avoidance, etc., particularly off of the campus, where the University had less control, and a greater emphasis on treating the symptoms of those infected young people who usually survive the virus anyway.

This overlooked the facts that those symptomless individuals who still remain untested  actually might be carriers and contagious for others (that’s why there is no such thing as ‘too much testing’), and of course those who have tested positive for the virus definitely can infect others. More vulnerable than college students, these include older family members when they go home on college breaks, or those they encounter in the local community. 

Although President Robbins doesn’t come out and state it flatly, this approach, involving a de-emphasis on prevention, agrees with the “herd” immunity theory which proposes that the more individuals who are infected, the more who will acquire immunity from the virus, the vast majority of whom will not die from it or even require hospitalization.  That is where “transitioning from prevention to treatment” seems to me to be heading. Those were his words.

Most reputable medical professionals strongly disagree with the “herd” theory because whatever immunities it might provide to those who have been infected, it increases the number of those who can spread the virus.  Balancing this is the fact that President Robbins is an M.D., whatever that is worth. 
JL





A Resemblance?

Some of you might have seen a recent NPR article on the nexus of evil in the Trump administration, adviser Stephen Miller.  For those who have not,  CLICK HERE

In any event, I’ve noted a strong resemblance between Miller and the late Roy Cohn who some of you might remember as Senator Joe McCarthy’s young sidekick during the infamous hearings during the 1950’s and much later, ruthless adviser to businessman Donald Trump in his business career.  Here are pictures of both.  Could this be why Trump is so attracted to Miller?



Miller


Cohn










                      


Not Registered to Vote?

Floridians who are not registered voters have until October 5 to register.  It can be done online by  visiting:

https://registertovoteflorida.gov/eligibilityreactive   OR SIMPLY,


Thursday, September 10, 2020

A Lesson from Covid19 and Why Trumpies like Trump


A Scary Future ... Maybe 

Fans of science fiction and futuristic writing may have noted that in that genre of fiction, there won’t be much of a working class around, or even needed, when these now-not-so-distant times come around.   

Starship Enterprise

Those who remember “Star Trek” recall that things usually went pretty well on “Starship Enterprise” but there didn’t seem to be the kind of human support for Captain Kirk and his crew that one would assume would be necessary to keep an operation of that magnitude running smoothly.  Where were the armies of mechanics, the cooks, the cleaning personnel and maintenance people to fix things that break, to prepare and serve meals, to keep supplies of everything where they should be, to sweep the floors and make the beds?   Nowhere to be seen!  In the future, as in “Star Trek,” armies of people will not be necessary for these chores.  They all will be automated to a technological degree that we, in the year 2020, cannot begin to understand.  Everyone’s needs will be met and the only human involvement would be that of the very few in charge of the technology and the linkage to artificial intelligence which will have replaced human intelligence by then.  That day will come. 

When it is reached, all of the needs of the former working class, or that part of  which might survive, now with unlimited time available for leisure and educational activities, will be fully provided for by the labor-free system which will keep everything else running, just as it did on the fictional Star Trek’s “Starship Enterprise.” The big challenge of the Twenty-Second century will be developing a global economic system to provide for all of this, without destroying the freedoms to which we have become accustomed.

Which brings us to the changes in our lives, today, brought about by the Covid19 Pandemic.

We are learning that “going to work” can easily be replaced by “working from home” and that fewer people will be needed to do what has to be done.  Factories that employed thousands can be, and are being, run by hundreds of robots.  And the technology that develops them eventually will not require human labor.  Brick and mortar stores are being replaced by online retailers, and drones are beginning to make the deliveries.  Food and drink can be prepared, served and delivered automatically too, to guests sitting at tables or at home.  Banking and finance do not require people either.  Money can be moved with the click of a key.  And human decision-makers will be replaced by artificial intelligence.  Justice will be dispensed by automated courts and medicine will provided automated cures.

Now, this won’t happen all at once.  It may take a century or two for most of it to come to pass.  But it will happen.  Meanwhile, we are learning from the unemployment caused by the Covid19 pandemic that unemployment for many, and ultimately perhaps everyone, might be the normal state of affairs.  That is a lesson we may be learning from the pandemic.   If this makes you uncomfortable, that may be because you suspect there is a grain of truth in these words.

JL

                                                        



Why Trumpies Like Him, an Exercise in Hatred

Here’s a quote from a recent Thomas Friedman column that hits the nail on the head about why the incompetent, lying occupant of the White House, despite his obvious shortcomings, has so many supporters.  

 “It has been obvious since Trump first ran for president that many of his core supporters actually hate the people who hate Trump more than they care about Trump or any particular action he takes.  The media feed Trump’s supporters a daily diet of how outrageous this or that Trump action is – but none of it diminishes their support.  Because many Trump supporters are not attracted to his policies.  They’re attracted to his attitude – his willingness and evident delight in skewering the people they hate and who they feel look down on them.”

We should start thinking why these people hate the people they hate so much!  (Possibly including you!) There’s more to it than just resenting elite liberals, new immigrants and foreigners in general that Friedman paints as the basis of this hatred.  

It is like that quote about his shooting a person in the middle of Fifth Avenue and getting away with it, only this time magnified by 190,000 Covid19 deaths, not just one person being shot.   Accepting these numbers as (to quote the President) “it is what it is" demands a high level of hatred.  It is hard to believe that level exists in the United States but it does.  

And remember, the truth is not hidden.  Books and articles exposing the fraud in the White House are all over the place, the latest being Bob Woodward's "Rage."  But to those whose hatred is fueled by Donald J. Trump, they make no difference.  Even if he is defeated in November, he and his hateful supporters will not go away.  

JL

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Delayed Election Results and Your News Sources



Where Do You Get Your News?

Most of those who recognize the incompetence of the President, his lies and his unconstitutional actions, and those of whom he has appointed, get much of their news and opinions on that news from MSNBC and CNN.  This can lead to an overly optimistic opinion as to the outcome of the November election.   Newspaper and magazine readership is way, way down, so TV and the Internet assume greater importance, and the major TV networks just do not carry that much news. 

A gigantic number of voters depend on unreliable news sources (Fox News, Sinclair radio outlets, much of talk radio) for their news and opinion.  These voters were enough to win the electoral college for Trump in 2016.  These sources are closely identified with the Trumpublican party.  (There is no longer a Republican party.)  On the other hand, CNN and MSNBC … and public radio and TV as well … despite being condemned by the President as ‘fake news,’ are far more objective.   So it's important what your news sources are, and regardless of where you stand, to avoid an unwarranted feeling of optimism.  




A Potentially Endless Election

In sixteen States (including D.C.) “vote by mail” ballots postmarked before Election Day but received after Election Day can be counted toward the State’s final totals.  State law governs how long this might be and under what circumstances they can be counted.

In view of this, here is a list of the States where the final count of the State’s votes can be in doubt for as much as fourteen days after Election Day determining the disposition of the State’s electoral votes.   And of course, litigation can extend this period much further as can potential violence.  In my opinion, both litigation and violence will play roles and in all likelihood, the final decision will be made long after Election Day by the Supreme Court on one selected case involving the electoral votes of one State which will make the difference in the election's result.    During that period, until the Supreme Court acts, there may be a role for the military in preserving the Constitution, which they are sworn to do.





 
State        Number of Electoral Votes       How Long After Election Day Mail in Votes 
                                                                     Postmarked before the Election will be Accepted

Alaska                  3                                                         11
California            55                                                        3            
D.C.                      3                                                          7
Illinois                  20                                                        14
Kansas                 6                                                          3
Maryland            10                                                        10
Mississippi          6                                                          5
Nevada                6                                                          7 or 3
New Jersey         14                                                        2
New York            29                                                        7
North Carolina   15                                                        3
Texas                    38                                                        5
Utah                     6                                                          7 or 14
Virginia                13                                                        3
Washington          12                                                        5
West Virginia       5                                                          5


North Carolina, Texas and Virginia, States where the final results may depend on these 'vote by mail' ballots, are the ones to watch!   I can't see them making much of difference in the other States listed. 


(After 231 years, I feel our democracy needs a tune-up.  Fortunately, we have that in the Constitution’s provision regarding Amendments.) 

JL