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Trump, the Muscovite Candidate, probably won’t last very long

Der Fuhrer Donald Trump actually isn’t president of the United States of America until and unless the members of the Electoral College vote him in on December 19, but even if he survives that test, Trump, the Muscovite Candidate who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, will be a one-term “president” at best.

I haven’t written all that much about Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and I hope that some haven’t taken that as any sort of admiration of or acceptance of him on my part.

It’s that The Donald is so fucking bizarre, such an anomaly, such a “presidential” fucking freak, that it’s difficult for me to even know where to begin in discussing him.

Let’s see: During the campaign he routinely uncreatively called Billary Clinton “corrupt Hillary” yet he recently settled his Trump University fraud lawsuit for $25 million, to name just one, recent instance of his own mega-corruption.

Another inconvenient, unflattering fact is that “corrupt Hillary” thus far leads Der Fuhrer Trump by 2.8 million votes in the popular vote.

Despite Trump’s wholly unsubstantiated — and treasonous — bold-faced lie that “millions” of people voted illegally for Billary, the fact remains that Trump lost the election by millions of votes; he did not earn the popular vote of the American people, and therefore he is an illegitimate president-“elect,” in my eyes.

Trump’s presidential illegitimacy is different than was George W. Bush’s — and here I never have written “President Bush” but only “‘President’ Bush,” because Bush always was and always will be a quite illegitimate president. (He lost the popular vote in 2000 by more than a half-million votes and was installed in the White House by his then-Florida-governor brother Jeb!, by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and by the five Repugnican members of the U.S. Supreme Court who stopped the recount in Florida, the pivotal state for Gee Dubya that his brother very conveniently governed, and who thus, with the other conspirators, decided the presidential election for us commoners.)

In that thus far he has lost the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than Gee Dubya did — if we think that it’s at all important that in a democracy the candidate who actually earns the highest number of votes of the people actually is the one who takes office — Trump is even more illegitimate than George W. Bush was, but Bush’s illegitimacy was worsened with the blatantly partisan — and treasonously anti-democratic — involvement of his brother, Florida elections chief Katherine Harris and the wingnutty members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

That said, it still has yet to be determined exhaustively how and how much Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Trump rather than Billary into the big chair in the Oval Office. Arguably, Trump’s having had the help of a foreign government to win the White House is even more treasonous than anything that Team Bush ever did to steal the presidency.

The Washington Post has been all over Trump’s ties to Moscow, with recent news stories such as these:

A rather clear pattern has emerged, and it’s pretty fucking funny (in a sick and fucking twisted way, not in a humorous way) that the American right wing, which for decades was opposed to the “evil empire,” very apparently has as its “president” a treasonous piece of shit who has colluded with that “evil empire” in order to win the presidency — with the “evil empire’s” full expectation, of course, that in return, “President” Trump will do its bidding (in Syria and elsewhere).

True, Trump’s die-hard, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging supporters don’t care even if he’s in bed with Vladimir Putin, perhaps even literally, but these self-defeating dipshits are only a minority of Americans. The majority of us Americans — not just Democrats and Democratic leaners, but also old-school, non-Trumpist Repugicans, too, as well as most so-called independents — take a U.S. “president”-“elect” colluding with a foreign government very, very seriously.

Indeed, The Angel of Political Death looms over “President”-“elect” Donald Trump, its scythe at the ready for swift use at any moment.

If he makes it that far, I don’t see Trump finishing even one term, especially once his ties to Russia are fully investigated and publicized. (Unfortunately, however, even for such blatant treason, billionaires only very rarely are ever put behind bars in our two-tiered “justice” system; only we commoners ever are to be punished, even for petty fucking crimes.)

Even if it weren’t for Russia, our Muscovite Candidate always has done whatever the fuck he pleases — clearly, he’s inside of that billionaire’s gilded bubble from which only a prison cell (perhaps) can release him* — and if it wasn’t his collusion with Russia, it always was going to be something else, some other act of corruption and/or treason, that was going to make his time in the White House short.

There is a reason that Donald J. Trump is only the third person “elected” to the presidency who had not first been at least a governor of a state, U.S. vice president, a U.S. senator, a U.S. representative or an Army general. (Before Trump, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover were the only exceptions to that list of five previous jobs that I see. Uncoincidentally, methinks, both Taft and Hoover were one-termers…)

That reason that Trump is the first to have broken these historical norms for the presidency during my lifetime (Lyndon B. Johnson was president when I was born) is that he is uniquely unqualified for the presidency, and the American system more or less has been set up to prevent such an unqualified person from ascending to the White House — which is probably why Trump apparently had an awful lot of help from Russia to “win.”

I’m with Michael Moore on this; it’s possible that Trump won’t even be sworn in next month, perhaps especially with the apparently substantiated-enough allegations that he’s a Muscovite Candidate** swirling about him.

That taint of treason might, just might, be enough to induce the members of the Electoral College to do the right thing on December 19, when they meet for the official election of the next president.***

If not, I expect Trump to hang himself with his gilded rope. If he makes it to Inauguration Day 2017, I don’t see him making it to Inauguration Day 2021.

P.S. Michael Moore, back in July, predicted that Trump would win the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In an e-mail to his supporters dated July 23 (I still have this e-mail), he wrote (this is a copy and paste from that e-mail, with only slight edits for style and correctness):

… Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust-Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the Rust Belt of the upper Great Lakes — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states -– but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat).

In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) than the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done?

Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.

When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35 percent tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States.

It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England — broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the middle class. Angry, embittered working (and non-working) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room.

What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. …

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four Rust-Belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November. …

Prescient.

But even if Trump did win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin fairly and squarely — but the fact that Trump & Co. have sued to prevent recounts and any other audits in the Rust-Belt states that they’re supposedly so certain that they won makes me have to wonder if Russia indeed was involved in the presidential election, quite intimately — Trump still lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, which is the largest gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote in U.S. history.

That indeed is politically damaging, which is why Trump lied that “millions” of votes were cast illegally for Billary Clinton.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton. I supported Bernie Sanders, the actual Democrat in the Democratic Party presidential primary, and for president I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein (whose recounts of three states I have supported wholeheartedly, even though I don’t think they’re going to go anywhere).

Billary Clinton indeed is corrupt, but her corruption pales by comparison to Trump’s, whose ties to Russia very much appear to have crossed the line from garden-variety political corruption into treason territory.

Everything with Trump leads back to Russia, including his recent twofer pick of Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive Rex Tillerson for U.S. secretary of state — a twofer because it’s yet another corporate weasel guarding the hen house and because Tillerson’s breath, like Trump’s, smells like Vladimir Putin’s penis.

*That’s yet another example of Trump’s projection onto Billary Clinton: not only is she “corrupt” but he isn’t, to hear him tell it, but she belongs in a prison cell but he doesn’t.

Indeed, Trump very apparently believes, in typical wingnut fashion, that if he simply accuses others of his own brand of wrongdoing, then that alone magically lets him off the hook.

**For anyone who doesn’t get the reference — shut the fuck up, because there will be some who don’t get it — I’ve morphed Manchurian Candidate (with this definition of that term in mind) into “Muscovite Candidate,” as “Muscovite” is what you call someone from Moscow.

***As Wikipedia notes (links are Wikipedia’s):

The United States presidential election is the indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia cast ballots for members of the Electoral College, known as electors.

These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, in their respective state capitals for president and vice president of the United States. Each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress, while Washington, D.C., casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, which is three.

Once the voting for the presidential election has concluded and all the votes for each state have been accounted for, the electors are then advised as to what candidate won the majority in their state. The electors of that state then will cast the vote of that candidate to represent the people of their regions’ majority decision.

However, “Twenty-one states do not have provisions that are fairly specific in directing the electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of their party.” This means that an elector could possibly vote against the majority decision of the state due to there being no law that binds electors otherwise in those states.

In modern times, almost all electors vote for a particular presidential candidate that their states’ majority decided upon; thus, the results of the election can generally be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote.

The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president or vice president (currently, at least 270 out of a total of 538) is then projected to be elected to that office.

If no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the president; if no candidate receives an absolute majority for vice president, the senate chooses the vice president. …

I remain of the strong opinion that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped altogether. There is no compelling reason not to go with the popular vote alone, especially since we call ourselves a democracy, and since the Electoral College has failed us twice in my lifetime of not even 50 years, awarding the White House to the candidate who fucking lost the popular vote.

(Well, the Electoral College has yet to confirm a president for January 2017, and while it’s possible that the Electoral College on December 19 will not pick Trump, it strikes me as an outside chance that the Electoral College will deny Trump the victory. Most people tend to fall in line rather than do the right thing, even if the right thing is staring them right in the face.)

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Green Party’s Jill Stein to the rescue with push for three-state recount

Updated below (on Friday, November 25, 2016)

Although on November 8 she garnered only around 1 percent of the presidential vote — and although she was shit and pissed upon mercilessly by the shameless, anti-democratic, Democrat-in-name-only, “feminist” Billarybots — two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein (shown above) is pushing for a recount in three battleground Rust-Belt states that some experts say Billary Clinton might actually have won: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And thus far Stein has raised more than $4.3 million for the recount effort while Team Billary, of course, has done exactly nothing.

As has been reported for the past day or two or three, “A group of election lawyers and data experts has asked Hillary Clinton’s campaign to call for a recount of the vote totals in three battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — to ensure that a cyberattack was not committed to manipulate the totals.”

Deadlines for requesting — and paying for — recounts in these three states are quickly approaching, with Wisconsin’s deadline being tomorrow, according to The Associated Press.

Just as Al Gore essentially rolled over and played dead apparently in order to stay “above it all” (my words) in 2000 when George W. Bush & Co. blatantly stole the White House (with a deficit in the popular vote of more than 500,000), thus far Team Billary similarly pussily hasn’t requested any recount, of course (and the deficit in the popular vote this time thus far is more than 2 fucking million).

To the potential rescue has come Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who, although of course no recount will put her in the White House, has the standing to request recounts in these states because she appeared on their November 8 ballots.

It’s quite possible that the recounts will turn up nothing, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they turned up some surprising shit. Malfeasance or “innocent error” (my words) certainly would explain how the pussy-grabbing Donald J. Trump “beat” Billary Clinton in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, when Wisconsin hadn’t gone to a Repugnican since 1984, Michigan hadn’t gone to a Repugnican since 1988, and ditto for Pennsylvania.

As of this writing, Stein has raised more than $4.3 million in donations for recount efforts in the three states.

Establishmentarians are scoffing, of course, because, just as we were supposed to do in 2000, we commoners are just supposed to shut the fuck up while the White House possibly has been stolen yet again. We’re certainly not supposed to point out that it’s possible that a presidential election still can be stolen, because such information is inconvenient and possibly even — gasp! — unsettling!

Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania together have 46 electoral votes. Should it turn out that Billary actually won them, that would boost her current electoral vote count from 232 to 278 — meaning that she, not Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, won the Electoral College.

Even if it turns out that just one of these three states actually has flipped to Billary, it it puts the entire presidential election into question (as if Billary’s 2-million-plus popular-vote lead hasn’t done that already!).

The recounts are worth it. At the very least, presumably they’d give us some degree of insight into how much we can — or cannot — trust our presidential elections.

I’ve given $20 to the recount effort; I encourage you to give to the effort too if you can.

Stein’s recount fundraising page right now says that the cost of the Wisconsin recount has been covered through the donations received thus far, and says that the recount request deadlines are tomorrow for Wisconsin, Monday for Pennsylvania, and Wednesday for Michigan.

This thing is worth a shot. Democracy — true, actual democracy — is worth it.*

Update (Friday, November 25, 2016): Politico reports that today Jill Stein filed her recount petition in Wisconsin.

Interestingly, though, the Politico writer, a Zach Montellaro, apparently can’t help himself from editorializing throughout his “reportage.” He notes that Stein “barely [made] the 5 p.m. EST deadline,” as though that were relevant (it would have been newsworthy had she missed the deadline), and he feels it important to note all of the fundraising webpage’s changes and updates, even though this (the plan to request a three-state recount) has been a rather fast-moving and quickly changing last-minute development — and even though it’s unprecedented, to my knowledge.

Montellaro also used this slanderous language in his “reportage”: “On the back of a debunked fear of election tampering in key swing states, the Green Party presidential candidate raised nearly $5 million to fund a recount effort.”

“Election tampering in key swing states” has not been debunked, not with actual physical evidence, and while Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com widely has been quoted as having thrown cold water on the idea that some swing states’ reported vote totals are wrong, fivethirtyeight.com actually concluded thusly:

… It’s possible nonetheless that the election was hacked, in the sense that anything is possible. (And the best hackers are experts in erasing their tracks.)

Maybe hackers knew which control variables we’d look at and manipulated the vote in a way that it would look like it was caused by race, education and population driving different voting preferences.

Maybe hackers didn’t manipulate the share of votes in individual counties, but rather the turnout, increasing the number of votes in counties likely to favor one candidate or another.

Maybe some irregularities at the county level in early Wisconsin vote-counting are signs of wider problems. Maybe we’d find something if we dug down to the precinct level, or if we looked at other states with mixed voting systems.

But at a time when the number of voters without confidence in the accuracy of the vote count is rising, the burden of proof ought to be on people claiming there was electoral fraud.

The paradox is that in our current electoral system, without routine audits, seeking proof requires calling for a recount, which in itself can undermine confidence in the vote.

Fivethirtyeight.com got it right there until it totally pussed out at the end for whatever reason or reasons (knee-jerk, self-serving establishmentarianism, apparently, but who knows?).

“The burden of proof ought to be on people claiming there was electoral fraud,” but when they don’t have access to the voting system equipment, computers, ballots, etc. — which are in the sole possession of local governmental entities — how, exactly, can they prove their allegations without being in possession of the physical evidence?

And which is more important: “confidence in the accuracy of the vote count” (which easily could be just blind confidence) or a good reason to have confidence in the vote?

There apparently is a widespread belief (which has persisted at least since the 2000 theft of the White House) that it’s more important to have quick election results that aren’t questioned — you know, so that we don’t “undermine confidence in the vote” — than that we have election results that are accurate, and that’s incredibly fucked up.

Anyway, again, the subtext of Politico’s Montellaro’s “reportage” is to cast aspersions upon Stein, apparently. Among other things, he snidely notes that much of the money that Stein has been raising — more than $5.2 million thus far, per Stein’s recount fundraising webpage as I type this sentence — will go toward lawyers’ fees, as though it were Stein’s fault that you need lawyers to handle this shit and that lawyers, always the opportunists, frequently go on their legal-fee feeding frenzies.

I just gave another donation to the recount effort. That’s what unfair, hypocritical, usually establishmentarian attacks on people who have courage and who are trying to do the right thing often spur me to do.

P.S. Politico does make one interesting, fairly newsworthy note, which it saves for the very last paragraph; it reports that Jill Stein has raised more money for the three-state recount than she raised for her 2016 presidential bid.

I mean, that’s interesting. How relevant it is I’m not sure, but it’s interesting.

But it’s also interesting that enough people have questioned the “official” November 8 presidential election results that thus far they have donated more than $5 million to have the votes in three swing/Rust-Belt states recounted — and that they have done this outside of the partisan duopoly of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party. (On that note, it recently was reported on MSNBC that the Obama White House encouraged Billary Clinton to concede to Donald Trump quickly you know, in order to avoid ugliness, because, you know, it’s more important to avoid ugliness and to remain “above it all” than it is to have elections in which the winners, and not the losers, actually take office.)

Again: Democracy is worth it; $5 million is chump change toward what election integrity is worth.

Anyone who has read me for the past year-plus knows that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton, but while Team Billary and the Billarybots totally fucked Bernie Sanders out of the party’s presidential nomination, the fact remains that on November 8 Billary Clinton indisputably won the popular vote by a huge margin, and Trump’s reported wins in the traditionally Democratic Rust-Belt states look suspicious enough to double check.

*Jill Stein’s fundraising webpage for the recount effort gives this important background information:

In 2004, the Cobb/LaMarche [Green Party presidential] campaign demanded a recount in Ohio. Because of their efforts, an election administrator went to jail. We also exposed the profound problems with DRE machines [link is mine], which helped launch an election integrity movement. That provoked California to engage in a “top-to-bottom” review of [its] voting system, which culminated in the abolition of DRE machines.

The Green Party Platform calls for “publicly-owned, open source voting equipment and deploy it across the nation to ensure high national standards, performance, transparency and accountability; use verifiable paper ballots; and institute mandatory automatic random precinct recounts to ensure a high level of accuracy in election results.”

Election integrity experts have independently identified Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as states where “statistical anomalies” raised concerns. Our effort to recount votes in those states is not intended to help Hillary Clinton.

These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is. [Emphasis is mine.]

All money raised goes toward recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We hope to do recounts in all three states. If we only raise sufficient money for two, we will demand recounts in two states. If we only raise enough money for one, we will demand a recount in one state.

We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states.

If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.

Here are the filing fees and deadlines for each state:

  • Wisconsin: $1.1 million by November 25 [tomorrow]
  • Pennsylvania: $0.5 million by November 28 [Monday]
  • Michigan: $0.6 million by November 30 [Wednesday]

Those are filing fees alone. The costs associated with recounts are a function of state law. Attorney’s fees are likely to be another $2 million to $3 million, [and] then there are the costs of the statewide recount observers in all three states. The total cost is likely to be $6 million to $7 million. …

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