Just find 11,780 votes
January 4, 2021 5:32 AM   Subscribe

“The people of Georgia are angry,” POTUS said in audio obtained by The Washington Post (Law & Crime). “The people in the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that you’ve recalculated.” He asserted he won the state of Georgia, and he repeated baseless conspiracy theories regarding widespread voter fraud as well as sabotage. “All I want to do is this,” Trump said on the audio. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.” Audio and transcript via CNN.

Clinical psychologist and niece Mary Trump in her latest interview (Salon) after news of the call broke: Donald's the weakest person I've ever met in my life. But there are, as it turns out, people who are a great deal weaker than he is. He is a magnet for them. They also see that in their view he has been incredibly successful. He speaks to their grievances in a way I believe no one else ever has in this country. We saw that during his recent rally in Georgia. He said, "We're all victims here." All the thousands of us, including himself! Trump's a victim, too, despite having every privilege possible. He's a "victim." I've never met anybody who felt so sorry for himself, who so felt that he was owed something. But the truth of the matter is that his followers, such as the people at the recent Georgia rally, are his victims. That is what is so maddening.

Will 45 try a self-pardon? Guess we will find out.
posted by Bella Donna (509 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite
 
itmf again
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:39 AM on January 4 [42 favorites]


Surely this....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:40 AM on January 4 [94 favorites]


For the first time in four years (well, longer than that), he is compelled to speak with two people who have power over him. And, thus, those two people were able to repeatedly tell him "No" and call him on his bullshit.

It was glorious.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:41 AM on January 4 [73 favorites]


The old joke was that the 60's didn't end until 1972. I kind of feel like 2020 isn't going to end until fall 2021 at the earliest.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:42 AM on January 4 [44 favorites]


I know Jen Mercieca has a whole book about it, but I've listened to it twice because I'm fascinated by the mobster speech affectations
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:50 AM on January 4 [25 favorites]


I am pleasantly surprised (amazed even) that Kemp and Raffensperger, who both ran in their own elections as hard-core Trumpists (and in the case of Kemp was perfectly willing to bend the rules in his favor) are willing to stand up to him. I hope that this infighting in the Georgia Republican Party will translate into a pair of losses in tomorrow’s election, but I can’t bring myself to be that optimistic.
posted by TedW at 5:50 AM on January 4 [58 favorites]


Not to jinx the election, but I saw on Twitter that the betting odds had shifted in the Dems' favour.
posted by acb at 5:56 AM on January 4 [12 favorites]


I listened to this last night, the whole thing, and I felt physically sick afterwards. He is so depraved, he is surrounded by looney tunes and the fucking rest of the GOP only care about getting re-elected. I'm convinced he strategically targeted Georgia with a leadup of telling people it's all rigged so the sheeples will say they won't vote, put pressure on the Georgia GOP and get his 11,870 votes. He misfired though because the Georgia election officials actually care about democracy. The pushback by Raffensperger and his lawyer is majestic in its simplicity and force. And it looks like this isn't even illegal WaPo? How is this possible.

you betcha he's gonna pardon himself and his mealy mouthed kids.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:57 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


I could not agree more with this comment from Mary Trump: "We cannot have a reckoning if the government refuses to hold people accountable. The idea that there may not be a truth and reconciliation committee or a crimes commission is unspeakable. How is that possible? There is no one in the United States government for whom that is more necessary than for Donald. It would be good if there was accountability at the federal level. We may have to settle for accountability at the state level."
posted by Bella Donna at 5:57 AM on January 4 [65 favorites]


It's really galling being repeatedly told that the lesson of this attempted coup is "Democracy held up!" when, rather transparently, the lesson is "With even a slightly different hand of cards, they will get away with it next time."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:59 AM on January 4 [219 favorites]


This is the same guy Lindsay Graham called right after the election 100 years ago
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:11 AM on January 4 [12 favorites]


It bears emphasis that the very kindest thing that can be said about Raffensperger is that, after years of faithful service to the Leopards Eating Faces party, he refused to break the law personally to feed a large mass of faces to the leopards. Even in doing so, he declined to state conclusively he was now against leopards eating faces, instead pledging to remain in service to the Leopards Eating Faces party, and suggesting there might yet be other avenues for the leopards to find the large volumes of faces they require.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:12 AM on January 4 [88 favorites]


It's really galling being repeatedly told that the lesson of this attempted coup is "Democracy held up!" when, rather transparently, the lesson is "With even a slightly different hand of cards, they will get away with it next time."

Strongly agree. On January 30th, the DOJ needs to file charges against everyone involved in this cavalcade of whimsy, from Donald all the way down to Carter Page. If they don't, they're hanging out a blazing neon marquee saying "Once you win the presidency, you can literally commit treason in broad daylight and never face consequences for it."

There are fascists out there who are a hell of a lot smarter and more competent than Donald and his personal circle of yokels. They're already planning their 2024 presidential bids. The next time the GOP takes power, it's going to be a lot worse. Imagine what it'll look like if they don't fear reprisal.
posted by Mayor West at 6:16 AM on January 4 [96 favorites]


Hey Trump, I found them, I found your 11,780 votes. Here they are!
posted by chavenet at 6:24 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Why isn’t the Democratic senate leadership getting Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party to show their steel (and respect for the constitution)…… by switching to membership to the only party in the USA who support respecting the results of free & fair elections: the Democratic party?! Jim Jeffords moved parties for much, much less!

(hint: you'd only need a couple)
posted by lalochezia at 6:25 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Hey Trump, I found them, I found your 11,780 votes. Here they are!

*gasp* damn *gasp* it
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:27 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


I am sick to death of Trump and his bullshit, but I listened to the entire call, and I would genuinely like to know: how long does it take, internally, for him to transition from the act of making up a lie to internalizing the lie so deeply that he believes it himself? Absolutely has to be some kind of pathology at work.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:29 AM on January 4 [38 favorites]


Jim Jeffords moved parties for much, much less!

Jim Jeffords was senator during a time when there was such a thing as a moderate republican. Now the closest things we have are Mitt "47%" Romney, Susan "Very Concerned" Collins, and Ben "The Fuck Outta Here" Sasse. It's not Democrats' fault that there are no sane GOP senators; it's GOP primary voters.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:29 AM on January 4 [46 favorites]


Susan Collins being reelected was the biggest mistake Maine made.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:31 AM on January 4 [39 favorites]


Following Teri Kanefield on Twitter has made me feel less crazy through this whole election. She recently had a great thread on anti-hardball tactics, the upshot of which is that if progressives escalate by using the same tactics as Republicans, democracy will be further eroded. So we have to work harder and use groundswell grass-roots tactics to strengthen democracy from the ground up. It's depressing and demoralizing that they can get away with this and we can't fight on a level playing field, but I'm afraid she's right.
posted by rikschell at 6:35 AM on January 4 [29 favorites]


My takeaway is that he really does believe all this bullshit. I had thought that the whole contested election stuff was just a way to cynically grift money from the rubes and it still is that but he obviously really thinks in what's left of his brain that the election was stolen from him.
posted by octothorpe at 6:36 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


I just wish Raffensperger, when asked to "find" votes, had said something like:

"Well, what if we, as you put it, "found", say, 50000 votes, with maybe 40000 for you, Mr. President, Of course not such round numbers, because it's got to be believable, of course. Would that be okay, Mr. President?

(wait for him to respond)

"Well, I'm not going to do that Mr. President, because that would be illegal."

Yesterday, all day, I kept occasionally flipping over to Fox News, just to see what they were saying. While MSNBC and CNN were all about the call, all day long, Fox News, as far as I could tell never even mentioned it. They seem to just be pretending this recording doesn't exist.
posted by smcameron at 6:38 AM on January 4 [23 favorites]


I just read that Raffensperger, asked why he made and released the taped phone call, said: "This is a man who has a history of reinventing history as it occurs. So, if he's going to try to dispute anything on the call, it's nice to have something like this, hard evidence, to dispute whatever he's claiming about the secretary. Lindsey Graham asked us to throw out legally cast ballots. So, yeah, after that call, we decided maybe we should do this."
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:45 AM on January 4 [149 favorites]


My takeaway is that he really does believe all this bullshit. I had thought that the whole contested election stuff was just a way to cynically grift money from the rubes and it still is that but he obviously really thinks in what's left of his brain that the election was stolen from him.


why-not-both?.gif

I mean, it's a fucking Ouroboros, a feedback loop - he starts claiming the election is stolen just because he's spent his whole life skating by on bluster and bullshit, and then all the media he consumes picks it up and runs with it, which inspires his cult members and lawyers to come up with "proof", which then gets repeated and boosted by right-wing "news" & Twitter, which is all he ever pays attentions to, so now he's seeing all this "evidence" that the election was stolen, so it must be true.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:47 AM on January 4 [22 favorites]


Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party

Who would that be, specifically?
posted by mhoye at 6:49 AM on January 4 [24 favorites]


how long does it take, internally, for him to transition from the act of making up a lie to internalizing the lie so deeply that he believes it himself?

i think there is no "internal" nor "belief" there -- there is just surface, one layer of skin so infinitely thin it has only one side rippling with anguished id and throbbing with searing frangible fear. the psychological structure for internality and belief is simply lacking. not sure this view is helpful at all.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:51 AM on January 4 [30 favorites]


Why isn’t the Democratic senate leadership getting Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party to show their steel

There is this little thing called the Serenity Prayer which asks the universe to grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change. I dunno where you live but where I live, no Democratic leaders have the power to turn straw into gold nor Republicans of any sort into, you know, Democrats.

Hey zerobyproxy, do you have a link to this part? "Lindsey Graham asked us to throw out legally cast ballots."
posted by Bella Donna at 6:53 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


So Georgia and DC both allow one-party telephone recording. An embarrassed Trump camp can't sue over the release of the recording (and, for fuck's sake, this is public government business, right?)

The chairman of the Georgia GOP now claims that these calls were "settlement discussions" from Trump's lawsuits (both federal AND state) against Georgia's Secretary of State and the calls were confidential, and the transripts heavily edited to leave this information out. WaPo disagrees.

Marc E Elias (god bless his soul) has remarked that
"Trump and his allies have lost 60 post-election lawsuits, including several in GA. There are no cases that could have plausibly been the subject of settlement discussion.

Oh, and I represent parties in all of those cases, so I would have had to be on the phone as well. I wasn't."
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:57 AM on January 4 [58 favorites]


Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party

The problem as pretty much any member of this fictional wing will get primary by someone even worse, hailing from the fever-swamps of OANN. Maybe Romney, Murkowski and Collins could still win statewide elections running as independents.
On the house side, the 140 members who have signed on to Trumps coup attempts are also worried about primaries, and thanks to extreme gerrymandering, almost any other R would win those distrcits.

Along with [gestures broadly at everything] I hope on of the first things Democrats work on once back in power is a seriously look at ranked choice voting, which seems like it could reduce the far right crazies and given progressive candidates a real chance.
posted by CostcoCultist at 6:57 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Sadly, RCV was unable to unseat Collins in Maine, where it was used in the last election.
posted by scolbath at 6:59 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Why isn’t the Democratic senate leadership getting Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party to show their steel (and respect for the constitution)…… by switching to membership to the only party in the USA who support respecting the results of free & fair elections: the Democratic party?

Anything is possible, but I see that as really unlikely. The people pushing back within the GOP are, a lot of them, pretty hard core conservatives -- Tom Cotton was quoted as saying the election challenges need to stop, for example. Although more moderate, is Collins likely to switch parties? I doubt it.

Slightly more likely (though sadly still unlikely to happen) would be a split in the GOP itself, leaving a rump of authoritarian/seditious crazies, and some new more normal faction remaining committed to democracy.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:00 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


There's more here than in Watergate, but honestly, at this point, I just want him to go. Just go.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:02 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


I don't understand why they think "these were settlement discussions" gets them anywhere. Even if that were true, it just makes it sound more like a quid pro quo - "I will agree to drop this lawsuit if you 'find' me 11,780 votes." That's not better.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:07 AM on January 4 [18 favorites]


> I am pleasantly surprised (amazed even) that Kemp and Raffensperger, who both ran in their own elections as hard-core Trumpists (and in the case of Kemp was perfectly willing to bend the rules in his favor) are willing to stand up to him.

They are also responsible for a major election occuring tomorrow which will decide in advance pretty fucking nearly every political decision in the next two years. The last thing they want is to jeopardize their roles in that just to engage in blatant fraud in an election which has been ratified by the Electoral College.

Incidentally this makes me dying to hear some of the other phone calls Trump has made over the past two months. They could go a long way towards explaining some of the flat-out surreal hijinks that Giuliani has been up to.
posted by at by at 7:07 AM on January 4 [18 favorites]


Winning Georgia won't make him President. So there has to be several other phone calls to leadership in other states that we're not hearing.

Good luck sleeping tonight.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 AM on January 4 [56 favorites]


Why isn’t the Democratic senate leadership getting Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party to show their steel (and respect for the constitution)…… by switching to membership to the only party in the USA who support respecting the results of free & fair elections: the Democratic party?

Right now, the Republican party is in danger of fracture. Load the Democratic party with centrist and right-wingers? Then the Democrats are in danger of fracture. No, let's not do that.
posted by parliboy at 7:09 AM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Winning Georgia won't make him President. So there has to be several other phone calls to leadership in other states that we're not hearing.

I think the only reason he's calling Georgia is because Republicans are in control there and he thinks that means they'll be on his team. He's not calling Gretchen Whitmer or the Dem gov of Wisconsin. Maybe the governor of Arizona.
posted by LionIndex at 7:11 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]


by switching to membership to the only party in the USA who support respecting the results of free & fair elections: the Democratic party?!

Do . . . do we really want the likes of, I dunno, Rob Portman or Ben Sasse (votes with Trump 86% of the time), as actual Democratic party members? How does this not push the Dem party even further to the right at the legislative level?

Perfectly happy to have some Repub Congresspeople vote with the Dems on occasion - when it comes to figuring out how to back the Republican Party away from the crazy they're on their fucking own as far as I'm concerned.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:12 AM on January 4 [17 favorites]


how long does it take, internally, for him to transition from the act of making up a lie to internalizing the lie so deeply that he believes it himself?

I believe you have this absolutely backward. He begins with the belief, not the lie. He has a vision of the world that in his mind IS fundamentally true, and the words he uses are the ones that support that vision.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:12 AM on January 4 [40 favorites]


> Why isn’t the Democratic senate leadership getting Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party [...] by switching to membership...

If we're dreaming, I would rather have a loyal opposition of a Republican party that can engage in bipartisanship. If the past 40 years of national politics are anything to learn from, the departure of moderates from the party has done the most to purify and mainstream the Republican party's mass of corruption and hate.
posted by at by at 7:14 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


My takeaway is that he really does believe all this bullshit.
Cult leaders - that's what Trump is at this stage - can be grifters and believe their own bullshit.
posted by elgilito at 7:16 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


I swear to God I've said "Christ, what an asshole" so many times in the last decade that it's worn a set of grooves in my tongue.
posted by JanetLand at 7:18 AM on January 4 [34 favorites]


Reading the transcript, he also consistently undermines Cleta on the call, who is both on his side and I think the only woman on the call.
posted by The Ted at 7:19 AM on January 4 [28 favorites]


Winning Georgia won't make him President. So there has to be several other phone calls to leadership in other states that we're not hearing.

Maybe not. I think there's a fairly hefty assumption amongst the Very Online right wing - and Trump is nothing if not Very Online - that even one state throwing the results to Trump will (because Reasons) be the crack in the dam that will trigger the deluge, that will inspire/require other states to do the same, whether through state legislatures or US congressional delegations or state executives.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:21 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Cult leaders... can be grifters and believe their own bullshit.

Remember that he told Lesley Stahl in 2018 that he calls mainstream journalism fake news as a tactic for discrediting them, two years after he started bashing them as such. He doesn't believe they're fake news; it's all messaging. He's perfectly aware of his own bullshit. He's not a pious fraud.
posted by fatbird at 7:21 AM on January 4 [34 favorites]


Josh Hawley must be feeling pretty good about himself this morning.
posted by Max Power at 7:23 AM on January 4


I hope on of the first things Democrats work on once back in power is a seriously look at ranked choice voting, which seems like it could reduce the far right crazies and given progressive candidates a real chance.

a) Neither party wants the latter, so good bloody luck--although,
b) Doesn't this have to be done at the state level, as Maine and Nebraska did? Could it be carried out at the federal level, or do states retain full jurisdiction over election rules?
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:24 AM on January 4


Nebraska has definitely not implemented RCV.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:29 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


I think dlugoczaj is conflating RCV with Nebraska allowing itself to split its electoral votes based on Congressional District, which is a different thing. Voting logistics and process are absolutely a state level thing, so RCV or electoral college vote splitting isn't something that Congress can will into existence.

Courtesy reminder to everyone that local and state elections matter. If you want RCV as a voting option, you need to work with your state officials to make it happen.
posted by bl1nk at 7:37 AM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Slightly more likely (though sadly still unlikely to happen) would be a split in the GOP itself, leaving a rump of authoritarian/seditious crazies, and some new more normal faction remaining committed to democracy.

I think it's becoming more likely that the Republican Party will fracture, there definitely seems to be a new center of gravity coalescing around, e.g., the Lincoln Project folks and (publicly) Mitt Romney. At least, if anything would make one of our two major political parties schism, something like this would be it.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:40 AM on January 4


Now even former House Speaker Paul Ryan has denounced Trump's efforts as "anti-democratic" actions that "strike at the foundation of our republic." Yes, far too little and far too late, and like many Republicans who make such statements, he's retired and bears no costs. But it's still notable, since he collaborated with Trump for the first two years of the administration and has been relatively silent since.

And Dick Cheney is also urging Republicans to oppose Trump. Yes, this is where we are in 2021: depending on Dick Cheney(!!!) to try to help defend democracy.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:41 AM on January 4 [30 favorites]


This call reminds me of another of one of our Mobster-in-Chief's many notable quotes: “‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” But he's now more desperate by an order of magnitude.
posted by kozad at 7:46 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


Welp, Hakeem Jeffries just gave Jim Acosta a 'Looking forward not back' answer on this being impeachable. Democrats gonna democrat.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:47 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


Why would we waste our time impeaching? We have things to do. Just toss all the files to the attorneys general of the states and Fed and move on.
posted by Miko at 7:52 AM on January 4 [35 favorites]


There definitely seems to be a new center of gravity coalescing around, e.g., the Lincoln Project folks and (publicly) Mitt Romney.

There aren't a lot of them and they have no route to power. I'd love to see the party fracture, but in the end I kind of suspect they will all vote to stay rich.
posted by Miko at 7:54 AM on January 4 [22 favorites]


Welp, Hakeem Jeffries just gave Jim Acosta a 'Looking forward not back' answer on this being impeachable. Democrats gonna democrat.

My kingdom to the first CNN talking head who follows up to an answer like that by asking if we should also be twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.
posted by Mayor West at 7:54 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


I wouldn’t be so sanguine about ranked choice voting somehow being a panacea (cf, Susan Collins). If a pretty good Dem candidate could not beat her in a year like this, with the wind at her back and a historic national popular vote margin, RCV seems - at best - only a marginal improvement, if that. The fascists and racists would also be freed to vote their id, and there are a lot of them.
posted by sudogeek at 8:05 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


He's not calling Gretchen Whitmer or the Dem gov of Wisconsin. Maybe the governor of Arizona.

yeah he called Ducey in the middle of certifying the election results & the moment where the governor recognized the "Hail to the Chief" ringtone & immediately hit "ignore" got preserved for posterity

(warning: autoplaying video)
posted by taquito sunrise at 8:06 AM on January 4 [35 favorites]


There’s no point in impeaching the guy with 2 weeks to go in the term, then taking up the Senate’s time on a doomed trial instead of confirming Biden’s cabinet and maybe if Georgia goes super-well trying to do some actual legislation.

If by some miracle you get 2/3 of the Senate to agree that Trump Should (retroactively, because he’ll be out by the time they actually meet) Go, then use that majority for something useful, like expelling Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:06 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


Raffensperger, this morning: I don't think my office can or should open an investigation into Trump breaking Georgia law, but the Fulton County DA might be interested.

Time to get in line behind the Southern District of New York.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:09 AM on January 4 [38 favorites]


Welp, Hakeem Jeffries just gave Jim Acosta a 'Looking forward not back' answer on this being impeachable. Democrats gonna democrat.

With Georgia tomorrow and the EC vote finalization later this week, I have to think Dems do not want to do or say anything that might enflame Trump's supporters enough to muck things up more than they already are. Once those are done and done, you might start hearing rumblings about legal actions.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:10 AM on January 4 [18 favorites]


BTW, Alaska has moved to a top 4 primary*, followed by RCV in the general. This is most noteworthy for freeing Lisa Murkowski from having to win a Republican primary, but they’re also using RCV in the presidential general election.


*opinions vary on whether a top 2/etc is a true primary, but I suggest “Tundra Primary” as a colloquial term

posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:10 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]




California Rep. Ted Lieu: "As former prosecutors, @RepKathleenRice and I believe @realDonaldTrump
committed multiple crimes during the phone call in which he threatened GA SoS Raffensperger to “find 11,780” votes or to “recalculate.”
Today we made a criminal referral to the @FBI"

NBC News story linked in tweet.
posted by martin q blank at 8:17 AM on January 4 [42 favorites]


There’s no point in impeaching the guy with 2 weeks to go in the term, then taking up the Senate’s time on a doomed trial instead of confirming Biden’s cabinet and maybe if Georgia goes super-well trying to do some actual legislation.

One of the possible sanctions of impeachment is barring someone from holding a public office in the future. I say go for it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:17 AM on January 4 [23 favorites]


I hate to say it, but an explicitly White Nationalist third party is probably the most likely thing to fracture and bring down Republicans at this point.
posted by benzenedream at 8:17 AM on January 4 [37 favorites]


Raffensperger, this morning: I don't think my office can or should open an investigation into Trump breaking Georgia law, but the Fulton County DA might be interested.

Yeah, honestly my first thought on seeing even the mild resistance from Raffensperger & Kemp was that there are a hell of a lot more governors and state officials convicted of various crimes than US Presidents. I don't think you can discount basic self-preservation as a motivator here - far better to decline to run again and/or get primaried out by the Repub crazies and slide into some nice cushy think tank/talking head/board of director gigs than to spend time in prison.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:19 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


Trump asks for 11,780 votes, but it's to the tune of the Rent song -- The Gregory Brothers on twitter
posted by valkane at 8:20 AM on January 4 [16 favorites]


Senators from the anti-coup, pro-sanity, pro-democracy wing of the Republican party

Who would that be, specifically?


the ones who are reptiles. Because last time I looked, reptiles have spines. Don't know what's keeping the bulk of them upright. Must be some kind of toxic gas.
posted by philip-random at 8:21 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


I don't really understand why, but I'm listening to the full audio (over 1 hour) - and I keep having the fantasy of someone, finally, responding to the toddler-like assertions of "I won by a lot!" with a similarly adamant "No, you didn't!" Why are they bothering with full sentences? It doesn't make a difference and at least contradictions would be more satisfying than an argument.
posted by jb at 8:25 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Acosta: "The White House made 18 attempts to call GA sec of state Raffensperger before Trump’s attempted shakedown over the phone Saturday, a GA state official confirms to CNN."
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:25 AM on January 4 [23 favorites]


Donald Trump is exactly who we thought he was.
posted by East14thTaco at 8:26 AM on January 4 [33 favorites]


I hate to say it, but an explicitly White Nationalist third party is probably the most likely thing to fracture and bring down Republicans at this point.

I think you'd have more luck with a breakaway centrist party (which would also fracture the Dems), because I'm not sure there's a part of the GOP that isn't an explicitly White Nationalist party at this point.
posted by kokaku at 8:28 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


That full transcript is something--like, even on a phone call with a bunch of his tame lawyers, he can't help but keep ratcheting up the lies. At one point, Trump claims 'we won every state, we won every statehouse in the country.' By the end of it, Trump's claiming he won Georgia by 400,000 votes at least, and saying that he needs less than 2,000 votes to change the Georgia results--that's like 10k fewer than the actual number, which he said repeatedly at the beginning of the call.
posted by box at 8:28 AM on January 4 [16 favorites]


Why are they bothering with full sentences? It doesn't make a difference and at least contradictions would be more satisfying than an argument.

The only reason they recorded it in the first place was likely for legal reasons. You speak in full, concise, unambiguous, non-argumentative, sentences if your aim is to have your actions defensible in court
posted by Thorzdad at 8:29 AM on January 4 [51 favorites]


by switching to membership to the only party in the USA who support respecting the results of free & fair elections: the Democratic party?

I realize he's not a senator and has been independent for the past few years but ...

Steve Schmidt: "Only the Democratic Party..."

I've said this already elsewhere and it's certainly not what I want, but if I was a betting man, far from shifting any further to the progressive edges of things, my money would be on the Democrats becoming a bigger, broader, wider, more squat tent. They're going to consolidate on a pretty basic definition of the word itself (democracy) and move slowly from there.
posted by philip-random at 8:32 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Raffensperger, this morning: I don't think my office can or should open an investigation into Trump breaking Georgia law, but the Fulton County DA might be interested.

The Fulton County DA is Fani Willis, a Democrat, who earlier in 2020 defeated a six-term incumbent to become the first woman DA in Fulton as well as the first Black woman DA. That said, she's a moderate by her own description, neither strongly reformist in the mold of Larry Krasner or Kim Foxx nor strongly conservative. She favors reforms like pre- and post-indictment diversion programs, but on the other hand she was endorsed by the police union.

But fingers crossed! It would be quite nice to see multiple state indictments against Trump unsealed on January 20th.
posted by jedicus at 8:33 AM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Democratic politicians do not uniformly support the idea of ranked choice voting. Just look at the Democratic Party machines in New York City, who have unsuccessfully sued to overturn last year’s vote in favor of implementing ranked choice here. On the ballot, support for ranked choice won 74% of the vote. But the entrenched party mechanisms don’t care. Their paternalistic arguments that it will be “too confusing to minority voters” mask their absolute unwillingness to cede any of their own power, regardless of what their so-called constituents want.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:33 AM on January 4 [16 favorites]


We have another scandal in out history that involved an "unindicted co-conspirator." There was a pattern of evidence in the Watergate scandal that seems familiar here, though with distinctly different timing, occurring midway through Nixon's second term.

The thing I always think about is that when it came to the opinions of the American people, most of the following didn't matter:
- Evidence that money from the Nixon campaign paid for burglars and wiretaps
- The Saturday Night Massacre
- The kidnapping of Martha Mitchell
- Deep Throat
- Testimony from John Dean
- Transcripts from the Watergate Tapes

It wasn't until the "Smoking Gun" tape was released that Nixon was destroyed politically. If you look at this chart, polling on whether Nixon should be removed didn't pass 50% until the Supreme Court approved the release of the Watergate tapes, and that gave the house the political will to start impeachment proceedings.

And while this is a different situation from the Watergate one, it just shows how powerful it is to hear a president in their own words commit a crime. Americans have never been fond of removing presidents, so it requires a huge level of incrimination to change minds. It would be interesting to see if the same patterns repeat here, even though Trump lost reelection and is attacking all of democracy rather than just a rival campaign.
posted by Alison at 8:34 AM on January 4 [30 favorites]


Thorzdad - that's a perfectly reasonable answer.

But I'm still fantasizing that someone, somewhere finally gets to say to his face, "No, no, no," to him and has the power to enforce it, give him no choice but to listen.
posted by jb at 8:35 AM on January 4


It would be interesting to see if the same patterns repeat here,

I don't think it will because of Fox News / OANN / Newsmax. Here's how Fox News is covering the story:

ALL SYSTEMS GO
Georgia GOP Senate candidate defends Trump's call with top state official, calls leak of audio 'disgusting'
posted by jedicus at 8:37 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


jb - I truly believe he would not be capable of absorbing and comprehending those words, no matter the scenario. Trump From The Future could show up like a Dickens ghost and tell Now Trump to his face and it would be like talking to a very petulant wall.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:38 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


The quote zerobyproxy posted is astonishing. Here's the source. One minor correction; it's not Raffensperger himself, but an unnamed adviser.
This is a man who has a history of reinventing history as it occurs ... So if he’s going to try to dispute anything on the call, it’s nice to have something like this, hard evidence, to dispute whatever he’s claiming about the secretary. Lindsey Graham asked us to throw out legally cast ballots. So yeah, after that call, we decided maybe we should do this.It's Republicans saying this. A few honest Republicans left, the poor bastards, who won't just quietly support election fraud.
I feel strongly there needs to be public consequences for these continued attempts to undermine democracy. Prosecutions for corruption, blackmail, election fraud. There won't be though, the political calculation is always whether it's worth the distraction and the time. The Biden folks will decide it isn't, doubly so on the real risk that they try to prosecute and fail. Maybe the State of Georgia can make a case.
posted by Nelson at 8:39 AM on January 4 [12 favorites]


There’s no point in impeaching the guy with 2 weeks to go in the term, then taking up the Senate’s time on a doomed trial instead of confirming Biden’s cabinet and maybe if Georgia goes super-well trying to do some actual legislation.

Both the Democrats and the GOP have both decided that nothing is going to happen in the next 17 days anyway. The House is refusing to pass anything and the President isn't submitting Biden's staff the Senate for conformation like had been custom. So a second trial will at least give them something to do to keep them out of further trouble.
posted by jmauro at 8:50 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


And if you wondered “surely this!” well of course not. The buzz on talking head Twitter is outrage that the call was recorded and “leaked” and it was obviously edited. No comment on the contents of the call. I can’t even imagine what’s happening over on Stormfront, I mean Parler.

It’s also now being reported that the White House has attempted to call Raffensperger 18 times since the election.
posted by misterpatrick at 8:59 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


It was during this phone call when Trump truly became president.
posted by zzazazz at 9:02 AM on January 4 [16 favorites]


It’s also now being reported that the White House has attempted to call Raffensperger 18 times since the election.

“... and in this episode of The Simpsons, the role of the president will be played by Gil Gunderson.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:05 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


He doesn't believe it, and the GOP isn't fracturing.

He clearly lays out what he needs, 11,790 votes, and several ways to get there; dead voters, voters with no address, etc.

Then he waits for Raffensperger to acknowledge that he understands and will act.

Raffensperger never does, so Trump tries to get him to agree to at least put the election in question to salvage some win.

The GOP is going to shift to the right and double down. That's all. The next four years will be Tea Party plus QAnon, and that's who they'll run in 2024 and 2028.
posted by atchafalaya at 9:12 AM on January 4 [53 favorites]


> Yesterday, all day, I kept occasionally flipping over to Fox News, just to see what they were saying. While MSNBC and CNN were all about the call, all day long, Fox News, as far as I could tell never even mentioned it. They seem to just be pretending this recording doesn't exist.

Well, fair enough. The leadership of the Democratic Party is going to do its best to pretend the last four years didn't happen the minute Biden takes the Oath of Office.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:13 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


The GOP is going to shift to the right and double down. That's all. The next four years will be Tea Party plus QAnon, and that's who they'll run in 2024 and 2028.

And in response the corporate wing of the Democratic party will once again say "Well, we want to capture Republican voters, too, so I guess we better shift to the right as well."

God fucking damn it.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:14 AM on January 4 [35 favorites]


The gun has emphysema and stage 4 lung cancer. What more evidence is needed? That there is a conspiracy. Anyone not calling for his immediate resignation is complicit. He has been caught, the evidence is plain.

Who wrote down that number? He seemed to pause, as he must, to read the exact number of voter fraud he'd need. Who was in his ear?

If this is allowed, we are one trifecta away from a republican dictatorship.
posted by adept256 at 9:18 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


The gun has emphysema and stage 4 lung cancer.

Wait...? Gun?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:23 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Smoking gun, get it
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:25 AM on January 4 [22 favorites]


The latest Letters from an American by the always excellent historian Heather Cox Richardson quotes two experts on the illegality:
University of Georgia Law Professor Anthony Michael Kreis told Politico reporters Allie Bice, Kyle Cheney, Anita Kumar, and Zach Montellaro that it is against the law in Georgia for anyone to “solicit” or “request” election fraud. “There’s just no way that… he has not violated this law,” Kreis said. Michael R. Bromwich, former inspector general of the Department of Justice, tweeted that “unless there are portions of the tape that somehow negate criminal intent,” Trump’s “best defense would be insanity.”
My question is: what about the lawyers who were also on the call? Did they engage in illegal acts as well?
posted by kristi at 9:26 AM on January 4 [15 favorites]


I think adept256 was trying to explain just how much the gun was smoking...
posted by Alterscape at 9:26 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]


The people of Georgia ARE angry. I’m damn furious!! I live in Fulton County and he is trying to disenfranchise my vote, my daughter’s FIRST presidential vote and the vote of all my friends. I really hope Fani Willis comes through and charges his ass. I’ll be making some calls to my representatives later today.
posted by pearlybob at 9:32 AM on January 4 [65 favorites]


I hope the government has a backup plan, because Democrats are silent and that fascist is not leaving.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:35 AM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Donald Trump could be planning Turnberry trip as Scots airport told to expect a high-flyer the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration -- The Sunday Post
posted by valkane at 9:37 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


It's almost inconceivable now, but the Republican Party once took pride to be known as the Party of Lincoln, "The Man Who Saved the Union."  It is now openly supporting outright sedition and the destruction of the republic.

How the mighty have fallen.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:37 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]


I am old enough to remember when people were printing "Lordy I hope there are tapes" back when l'affaire Comey was supposed to scuttle this administration.
posted by Caxton1476 at 9:38 AM on January 4 [33 favorites]


My take away is this. Donald Trump SUCKS at making "an offer you can't refuse". First Comey, then Ukraine, and now this 65 minute long tape, where the first 1/4 is just him monologueing and for all that he STILL can't close the deal.
posted by mikelieman at 9:45 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


So he’s planning on flying over another loser? Turnberry has reported another year of losses.
posted by misterpatrick at 9:48 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Turnberry is a money laundering scheme, it just so happens to be a golf course as well.
posted by benzenedream at 9:52 AM on January 4 [23 favorites]


It is mystifying to me why more people don't say no to Donald Trump. It seems like it would be SO satisfying, to watch him go through his whole shtick, and then just look him in the eye, and say, "no." I would LOVE the opportunity to do that.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:52 AM on January 4 [40 favorites]


2016 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Elections and Primaries Generally
Article 15 - Miscellaneous Offenses
§ 21-2-604. Criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; penalties


(a) (1) A person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.

(2) A person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the second degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a misdemeanor under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.

(b) (1) A person convicted of the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years.

(2) A person convicted of the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the second degree shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.

(c) It is no defense to a prosecution for criminal solicitation to commit election fraud that the person solicited could not be guilty of the crime solicited.

(d) The provisions of subsections (a) through (c) of this Code section are cumulative and shall not supersede any other penal law of this state.


Huh, it's actually a state crime. Isn't that interesting.
posted by adept256 at 9:53 AM on January 4 [30 favorites]


It is mystifying to me why more people don't say no to Donald Trump

Most people will do anything to avoid conflict, to avoid being yelled at. Trump has gotten so much mileage out of this fact. Think of all those terrified republicans in the House and Senate.
posted by jabah at 9:56 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


President Donald J. Trump to Award the Medal of Freedom to Devin Nunes
In 2017, Congressman Nunes launched an investigation into the Obama-Biden administration’s misconduct during the 2016 election – and began to unearth the crime of the century.
lmao
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:58 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


We only know about Comey, Ukraine and Georgia because someone at the table went public. How many calls like this do you think Trump makes in a week?

He's a salesman; I remember back when The Art of Deal came out he bragged about making hundreds of phone calls a day. These are basically cold-calls, in the parlance, and if you make 1000 and get three sales, you're not doing too bad.

I think that's why he was such a natural at Twitter. He just pushes the bullshit out and doesn't even have to worry about the other side hanging up. And he sold enough to end up in the White House.

But like all his other business deals, this one went belly-up as well. What, this is like his 8th bankruptcy?
posted by valkane at 9:58 AM on January 4 [29 favorites]


The devil called down to Georgia
He was lookin' for some votes to steal
He was in a bind cuz he was way behind
Thought he had the art of the deal
When he came across Raffensperger
He grabbed him by the throat
Then spat out lotsa debunked of lies
And, said “Find 11,780 votes!”
posted by wmo at 9:59 AM on January 4 [96 favorites]


Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office announces 3 p.m. news conference -- Lauren Peikoff on twitter
posted by valkane at 10:03 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


I wouldn’t be so sanguine about ranked choice voting somehow being a panacea (cf, Susan Collins)

Susan Collins is maybe not a great example of the usual political dynamics. She brings in an epic fuckton of federal dollars to Maine, and she does it by leveraging her "maybe I will, maybe I won't" centrist-swing vote bullshit to get ALL the pork for her state. When people are aghast that anyone could support Susan Collins...well yeah she's fucking gross and I hate her, but she's provided a lot of money to a lot of people. (And I think employment, too.) Those people might not like her either, but they like money (and employment).

Collins isn't dumb, and she isn't trying to live up to some both-sidesy Washington ideal. She's just a savvy asshole. And given the increasing polarization of the country as a whole combined with ongoing geographical self-sorting, there are only so many savvy asshole jobs to go around. And because the Senate is so fucking anti-democratic, that's going to screw the Democrats more often than not.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:07 AM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Smoking gun, get it

I thought that said ‘gub.’
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:07 AM on January 4 [13 favorites]


I have to wonder how much of what we are seeing in GOP officials is:
  • Accepting the democratic ideals of this nation
  • Not wanting a civil war to start on their watch
  • Glad to be able to be rid of Trump and not have to actually take action to do so
I suspect the last one is providing them a lot of "courage."
posted by MrGuilt at 10:09 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


I would just like to point out that tomorrow is my birthday, which makes it a very good day for something to happen that makes Donald Trump very unhappy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:10 AM on January 4 [44 favorites]


Also, to the people moaning about how the Democrats will SURELY just let all this slide: literally the Georgia run-offs are TOMORROW. Even if they were all as blood thirsty as I currently am (very unlikely; this has apparently spontaneously turned me into a very specific sort of vampire), if they're not idiots they'll keep their mouths shut, because blood thirsty Democrats talking about prosecution are only going to motivate Trump voters. Like, come on.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:11 AM on January 4 [41 favorites]


Trump's behavior raises a thorny constitutional issue: can a criminal be prosecuted for committing crimes? -- Frank Conniff on twitter
posted by valkane at 10:11 AM on January 4 [47 favorites]


The devil called down to Georgia

In the original lyrics of that song:

The Devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat.
And he laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet.


Even The Devil conceded defeat in Georgia.
posted by adept256 at 10:12 AM on January 4 [71 favorites]


Also? All I wanted for Christmas from the universe was for Trump to fully fuck the GOP in the GA run offs and give us the Senate, House, and Presidency for the next two years while hopelessly and permanently splitting and crippling the Republican party.

Please please please please please. This would be even better than when John McCain's petulance saved the ACA on my birthday.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:15 AM on January 4 [57 favorites]


• Glad to be able to be rid of Trump and not have to actually take action to do so
I suspect the last one is providing them a lot of "courage."


They have to know they aren't rid of Trump by a longshot. He runs the GOP so long as he can keep his minions fired-up and angry. The only way they might be able to blunt his influence is to actually go along with prosecuting him and tossing him in prison. I kinda doubt any of them have the political balls to be complicit in any prosecution, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:15 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 11,780 votes that are missing."

Second verse. Same as the first.
posted by delfin at 10:15 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


Trump's behavior raises a thorny constitutional issue: can a criminal be prosecuted for committing crimes? -- Frank Conniff on twitter

Don't you mean "TV's Twitter's Frank"?
posted by deadaluspark at 10:19 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


It is mystifying to me why more people don't say no to Donald Trump

Because he makes the threat that all abusers make - that saying no will be more painful than saying yes. That's how he kept getting the banks to continue supporting him - he'd jam them up in litigation and make pulling the plug painful. (What's changed this in the upcoming loans is that the government has pointedly noted that they can make DeutscheBank's life a living hell if they say yes, so the pain threat isn't as powerful.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:22 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


Full disclosure: My membership in MeFi's MST Club has no bearing on this conversation. And it was just too good of a riff not to share.
posted by valkane at 10:23 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Donald Trump could be planning Turnberry trip as Scots airport told to expect a high-flyer the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration

We can only hope that the people of Scotland react to this in the traditional manner. (Or at least that it makes David Tennant mad enough to swear again.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 AM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Just imagine if he had put anything like this amount of work into managing the COVID-19 outbreak in America.
posted by Richard Upton Pickman at 10:27 AM on January 4 [63 favorites]


You know, I've been thinking lately about the word 'defenestrate,' and why such a specific verb exists. I don't want any wars to start, but I definitely understand the urge to just toss the assholes out of a high window and be done with it, more clearly than I ever thought I would.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:28 AM on January 4 [17 favorites]


Faint of Butt, tomorrow's my birthday, too, and I can think of a peach of a present...
posted by AJaffe at 10:30 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


I'm inclined to interpret this as yet one more performance for a specific audience. The incredulity and outrage signaled in this thread is as clear an indicator as any: you are not among the target audience.
posted by elkevelvet at 10:30 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting for Trump to call up Rob Manfred and ask him to 'find a few more runs' for Tampa in the World Series last fall, because there's obviously no way L.A. could have won.
posted by MtDewd at 10:32 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Romney is politically dead in Utah. He has to survive a primary, which is run through the party caucus, a far right hive of scum and villainy. Even if he bypasses the caucus with a signature drive, I don't see him surviving a primary election against a True Trumper (maybe recently pardoned Phil Lyman or some other buffoon). While I'm happy to have him as an antidote to Mike Lee, his fate was sealed when the voted to impeach.
posted by msbutah at 10:34 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Just imagine if he had put anything like this amount of work into managing the COVID-19 outbreak in America.

He likely did, but it was Trump's brand of "managing". I'm sure there were calls to Ron DeSantis and other governors demanding that they make the covid death numbers go down (DeSantis probably did it of his own accord like a good minion).
posted by benzenedream at 10:36 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


I listened to the call, and was pretty amazed at how he actually seems to believe what he's saying. Taking a look at the stuff he's tweeting, he's WAY more interested in the Wednesday march than tomorrow's election. Also, the angry white guy news clips switched to b-grade angry white guys living full-time in some alternate reality. I think he's going to just pretend he's still president, complete with an alternate inaugural.
posted by netowl at 10:37 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


The President has been caught breaking US election law four different times.

the first resulted in the dissolution of his foundation;
the second the jailing of his lawyer/advisor;
the third a CIA referral & Impeachment;
the fourth simply has to result in his prosecution.

--Simon Rosenberg on twitter
posted by valkane at 10:39 AM on January 4 [31 favorites]


Aw, I'm a January 5th birthday too! Fingers crossed we all get the Best Presents....
posted by kalimac at 10:41 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, I can't believe you left out these:
https://medium.com/@janeygodley_42972/i-welcomed-trump-to-scotland-cc1b34be5471
posted by scolbath at 10:43 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]


at one point, trump's berating ryan germany, and then, in the middle of it, says that he has a "nice last name."

dude's gone full Downfall Hitler-in-the-bunker.
posted by what does it eat, light? at 10:46 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


> One of the possible sanctions of impeachment is barring someone from holding a public office in the future. I say go for it.

Due to precedent, felons can serve in Congress, but many states -- including New York -- do not allow felons to hold elected offices. There's no precedent yet to determine whether felons can hold the Presidency but I'm really certain the Republican Party does not want to risk a national election to find out.

In other words, I'm feeling okay with letting the wheels of justice do their grindin' slowly here.
posted by at by at 10:52 AM on January 4


EmpressCallipygos, I can't believe you left out these:

I was spoiled for choice, honestly. (I also considered that bit where Samantha Bee asked David Tennant to read some Scottish Twitter users' reactions to Trump commenting on Brexit; but the clip I used makes me laugh every single time.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:52 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Trump’s latest tweet suggests a speech tonight. This will be fun.
posted by MrGuilt at 10:53 AM on January 4


It is mystifying to me why more people don't say no to Donald Trump.

He's always "dealing" from a position of power where he can just dictate terms. His only slip here is he thinks lame duck president with a coulle weeks to go holds more power than election officials at the state level and that turns out not to be true.
posted by Mitheral at 10:53 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Due to precedent, felons can serve in Congress, but many states -- including New York -- do not allow felons to hold elected offices. There's no precedent yet to determine whether felons can hold the Presidency but I'm really certain the Republican Party does not want to risk a national election to find out.

Being impeached and convicted does explicitly prevent the impeachee from holding public office.
posted by Mitheral at 10:56 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Fun fact: each house of Congress can, I think, refuse to seat members, or expel them. I'm pretty sure. Like I think they did this on the eve of the Civil War, because of all the treason. This is high on my list of "things I would do if I could."

Unfortunately, like a lot of the other things on that list, it probably requires nuking the filibuster, which a few Senators in the Democratic caucus won't support.

(Ok, while I have the universe's attention, please also let us pack the courts, restore voting rights, set up an anti-corruption whatsit, and add every single US territory as a state in one bill. Please and thank you.)
posted by schadenfrau at 11:09 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


The Buffalo Bills have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than we do if 2/3 of the Senate voting to convict Donald Trump, in office or out.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:09 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


I forced myself to listen to the audio of the call. I can't believe we used to call Nixon delusional.
posted by Catblack at 11:10 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Georgia election: Donald Trump's phone call fact-checked
By Reality Check team BBC News

posted by y2karl at 11:10 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Not to jinx the election, but I saw on Twitter that the betting odds had shifted in the Dems' favour.

Very much so. Sky Bet in England now has Ossoff a slight favourite, and Warnock a strong one; it's even money for both to win.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 11:18 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


They already seated everybody, but Chip Roy (R-TX) was really mad at his colleagues and made the House vote on whether to let them in. (They did; H. Res. 1)

Members can be expelled by a 2/3 vote, which happens every few years, typically when the member has already been convicted of a Federal crime.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:19 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


Something a lot of NYC Mefites have been saying since 2015, but is good to read from Trump's niece:
He is not decompensating. People have asked me that since the beginning: "Don't you see that he's deteriorated?" No, he's exactly the same person. I do not need to have seen him in 20 years. Donald is exactly the same person as he was when I was five, when I was 12, when I was writing his book for him, when I saw him in the White House in 2017. The only thing that's changed are the circumstances. Donald's under a level of scrutiny — not enough scrutiny, of course — but at least some scrutiny that he has never experienced before. He's under levels of stress he's never experienced. He's under levels of expectation he's never experienced. The distance between his competencies, such as they are, and what's required for the job are light years apart.

Nobody is going to be able to function at the same level under those changing circumstances. But Donald is the same. Now he is in a uniquely terrifying situation. This is a person who grew up with a father who considered losing the absolute worst thing a person can do. Of course, Donald's never won anything legitimately in his life. However, he's not an ethical person. Winning was more important than anything else, so therefore you did whatever you had to do to win. It didn't matter if it was legitimate or luck. It didn't matter if you lied, cheated, stole, used performance-enhancing drugs, whatever one needs to do to win. You won. That is all that matters.
Listening to the tape, this is not a person with dementia. This is a person who is morally corrupt and inept, but also living in a made-up world, where he is always the winner, regardless of the facts. Now, the fiction is about to meet reality big time, and he is desperate. On top of everything else, this tape has him committing a criminal offence in broad daylight.
I think he's heading for Scotland. He's betting that the UK won't extradite him, which is perhaps true, I have no idea. I imagine the Biden administration won't mind him leaving, it solves a lot of problems for them. In Scotland, he will have to deal with a lot of other problems of his own making, but the Biden administration can't be blamed for persecuting political opponents there.
posted by mumimor at 11:37 AM on January 4 [52 favorites]


Georgians: I know it’s tempting, but let’s not allow ourselves to be distracted today (or tomorrow or Tuesday). Let’s use our time and energy to find those friends and family who haven’t cast their ballots and urge them to do so on Tuesday. #gapol #gasen -- Stacey Abrams@staceyabrams, Jan. 3, 2021.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:40 AM on January 4 [29 favorites]


Here's a nice burn of the most recent court case by the DC Federal District Court. Judges normally don't show their contempt in such extraordinary detail.
posted by jackbishop at 11:51 AM on January 4 [30 favorites]


The Buffalo Bills have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than we do if 2/3 of the Senate voting to convict Donald Trump, in office or out.

Could be tough, sir. Buffalo wants it bad.
posted by AndrewInDC at 11:52 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Georgia election: Donald Trump's phone call fact-checked
By Reality Check team BBC News:

"An official investigation later clarified 'what was initially reported as a water leak... was actually a urinal that had overflowed'.

So there is a pee tape.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:54 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


If this is allowed, we are one trifecta away from a republican dictatorship.
posted by adept256


Yep, they have laid their cards out for all to see. Next chance they get they will go all in. No pretending otherwise any more.
posted by Pouteria at 11:56 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


o please please please don't come to Scotland.
posted by aesop at 11:57 AM on January 4 [7 favorites]


Raffensberger hasn't shown at his press conference yet, but here's the link.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:05 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Ooh - right now the only thing you can see is a huge sign pre-placed, and it looks like a chart of "Claim vs. reality" with Trump's various claims listed on the "Claim" side. The "reality" side I can't see, but I imagine I will....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:06 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Once again the ASL interpreter is my personal highlight of these things. Did I just see the sign for Zamboni? I believe I did!
posted by phunniemee at 12:14 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Romney is politically dead in Utah. He has to survive a primary, which is run through the party caucus, a far right hive of scum and villainy. Even if he bypasses the caucus with a signature drive, I don't see him surviving a primary election against a True Trumper (maybe recently pardoned Phil Lyman or some other buffoon).

He already did that though.

Even with 3/4 of Mormons voting for Trump, he is not popular in Utah. Trump won Utah by 20 in 2020. Romeny won Utah by 48 points in 2012. He won his primary by 42 points in 2018. He won the general by 32 points. There are a whole lot of never-Trump voters for Romney in Utah. He's there for life.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:15 PM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Raffensperger is pretty much speaking without notes, which makes sense when you've been explaining the same goddamned talking points over and over for the last 8 weeks.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:19 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


I don't think that's Raffensperger, I think it's his deputy or something. But he's also probably had to say this stuff over and over as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:22 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


For the record, this isn't Raffensperger, it's a deputy Gabriel Sterling.
posted by Buy Sockpuppet Bonds! at 12:22 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


JFC, can we stop garbage like analyzing Kemp/Raffensbergers the morality of their past/present/future devotion to the Republican Party? What's done is done. The conversation. The recording. I can give a damn about the integrity behind the people who did it. It's done. Clearly an open showcasing of the man that can't be erased and possibly litigated down. Let's accept it as is and allow ourselves a bit of time to revel in it

Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To think otherwise is strategically inept and defeatist.
posted by goalyeehah at 12:23 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


My bad, sorry.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:24 PM on January 4


He begins with the belief, not the lie. He has a vision of the world that in his mind IS fundamentally true, and the words he uses are the ones that support that vision.

See the Trump family's long history with Norman Vincent "The Power of Positive Thinking" Peale; for example, in April 1977 Trump & Ivana Marie Zelníčková Winklmayr were married at Marble Collegiate Church by Peale, the church's senior minister from 1932 to 1984.

Now even former House Speaker Paul Ryan has denounced Trump's efforts as "anti-democratic" actions that "strike at the foundation of our republic." Yes, far too little and far too late, and like many Republicans who make such statements, he's retired and bears no costs.

Ryan isn't retired, though. Five years ago, he was the youngest Speaker of the House in well over a century. Ryan deftly and deliberately stepped out of the political spotlight during this tumultuous Administration, after it was clear Trump despised him (and probably when backers told him to go sit on the bench to preserve his reputation -- Ryan himself was featured on a leaked recording). I would like this latest tape to make a positive difference, but it seems like previous leaks only invigorated Trump's followers. Woodward's audio recording was released in September; the faithful horde still hold that coronavirus is some sort of hoax and are gathering in DC tomorrow (when that city and surrounding areas are spiking from the last bout of grandstanding, the Jericho March, aka the Stop the Steal protest, on Dec. 12).
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:25 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


That court doc linked above is a thing of beauty:
Moving on from subject-matter jurisdiction, the Court must also pause at personal
jurisdiction. Plaintiffs cannot simply sue anyone they wish here in the District of Columbia. On
the contrary, they must find a court or courts that have personal jurisdiction over each Defendant,
and they never explain how a court in this city can subject to its jurisdiction, say, the Majority
Leader of the Wisconsin State Senate. Absent personal jurisdiction over a particular Defendant,
of course, this Court lacks authority to compel him to do anything."
posted by Caxton1476 at 12:26 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


It shouldn't surprise me anymore but I can't believe that you can get as far up the power structure as Mark Meadows and still the best you've got is some used car salesman weak shit like "Help us do the thing." "We're not helping you do the thing" "So we're all agreed to do the thing?" "...no?" "Ok, we'll have your people and our people talk about doing the thing!"
posted by jason_steakums at 12:28 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


I hope on of the first things Democrats work on once back in power is a seriously look at ranked choice voting, which seems like it could reduce the far right crazies and given progressive candidates a real chance.

I feel strongly that people need to stop imagining there's a technical fix for the problem. I say this as someone who was obsessed with these forms-questions in my younger days. Parliamentary systems, stronger parties, proportional representation, reduce the senate to an advisory role, etc., etc. I thought all would help. Is there a poli-sci wonk equivalent of engineers' disease?

Forty percent of the nation is ready to stick with Trump through thick and thin--and 47% of the nation preferred him to the most anodyne, barely-left-of-center option. The outcome of pretty much any system might be the same! The USA is long term ungovernable as long as that many people are so firmly opposed to the very idea of a country that actually includes all its citizens.

I've heard some people who've studied the far right say that the one way they get truly defeated (in e.g. Greece) is when the government starts proving it can work. Obviously that's hard with our messed up system--but not harder than wholesale re-engineering of the government before you've established some national consensus on what our country should be.
posted by mark k at 12:29 PM on January 4 [63 favorites]


I'm watching this stream and the is big Anger Translator energy in the room.
posted by adept256 at 12:29 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]


"Help us do the thing." "We're not helping you do the thing" "So we're all agreed to do the thing?" "...no?" "Ok, we'll have your people and our people talk about doing the thing!"

Having just rewatched Goodfellas because it's back on Netflix, that sounds a lot more like mob boss talk to me. They are never explicit in instructions or requests.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:34 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Oh man, that HEAVY SIGH before he finds a way to nicely say "he fucking lies."

Don't you think he looks tired?
posted by deadaluspark at 12:36 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Here's a nice burn of the most recent court case by the DC Federal District Court. Judges normally don't show their contempt in such extraordinary detail.

From the Opinion:
"Yet even that may be letting Plaintiffs off the hook too lightly. Their failure to make any effort to serve or formally notify any Defendant — even after reminder by the Court in its Minute Order — renders it difficult to believe that the suit is meant seriously. Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures. As a result, at the conclusion of this litigation, the Court will determine whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs’ counsel." (emphasis supplied)
Ouch. I've been practicing for a very long time and I've made some, let's say, aggressive arguments in the zealous pursuit of justice for my clients. I have never come close to having a Federal Judge mention, sua sponte, that maybe I should be lose my license.
posted by The Bellman at 12:37 PM on January 4 [71 favorites]


Re: Norman Vincent Peale via Adlai Stevenson

Better attested is a line he gave when introduced to a religious convention during his unsuccessful 1956 campaign. Stevenson’s host remarked that the candidate had been invited merely as a courtesy and that Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking, already had instructed attendees to vote for Eisenhower. Stevenson quipped, “Speaking as a Christian, I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale appalling.” (Technically, Stevenson wasn’t a Christian; he was a Unitarian.)

Full disclosure: I consider myself a Stevenson Democrat
posted by goalyeehah at 12:37 PM on January 4 [19 favorites]


Watching the Atlanta press conference. Our AWESOME ASL interpreter is David Cowan. He’s a lovely, lovely man and has enjoyed some recent celebrity. There are some great articles about him and a few YouTube videos of him dancing at Atlanta Pride. Google if you want to get some warm fuzzies.
posted by pearlybob at 12:38 PM on January 4 [14 favorites]


that sounds a lot more like mob boss talk to me. They are never explicit in instructions or requests.

"Our friend needs to get a message to the short man in the hat."
posted by Servo5678 at 12:39 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


how long does it take, internally, for him to transition from the act of making up a lie to internalizing the lie so deeply that he believes it himself?

A now-ex-friend of mine (GUESS WHY we're ex-friends) married a compulsive liar. it seems to be very easy for them to make up shit in their heads and convince themselves that it's real. They believe it, mostly, like 95% of them thinks it's true within a few minutes as far as I can tell. Their sense of reality is....optimistic and permeable, I suppose.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:44 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]




Fox News has cut coverage of the press conference to have Jason Miller on making Star Wars references -- Acyn Torabi on twitter

Sidenote: Miller had a little twitter dust-up with Jake Tapper yesterday.
posted by valkane at 12:48 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Well look at this: Foley & Lardner has a "Firm Response to Reports of Partner Cleta Mitchell’s Involvement in Post-Election Challenges."

"are working to understand her involvement more thoroughly." Cute.
posted by holborne at 12:48 PM on January 4


"To understand her involvement more thoroughly." Cute.

Step 1: Listen to the audio.
posted by valkane at 12:49 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Having just rewatched Goodfellas because it's back on Netflix, that sounds a lot more like mob boss talk to me. They are never explicit in instructions or requests.

Honestly I think Meadows is just an idiot high pressure salesman who thinks he can just Confident White Man his way into anything. This is the particular exchange I'm thinking about and it's not so much a "turbulent priest" moment as just embarrassing
posted by jason_steakums at 12:49 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure I follow, mark k? About ranked choice voting, if 47% of voters go for the GOP, ranked choice voting would allow for, say, a progressive candidate to run without splitting the vote.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:55 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


For any of y'all out-of-state, please know Raffensperger is just as bad as any other conservative authoritarian.

“Georgia elections chief: End no-excuse absentee voting,” Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press, 23 December 2020
posted by ob1quixote at 1:07 PM on January 4 [25 favorites]


I don't think my office can or should open an investigation into Trump breaking Georgia law, but the Fulton County DA might be interested.

Then Trump could ask Governor Kemp for a pardon. Oops!
posted by JackFlash at 1:14 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Yeah, honestly I wouldn't put it past Raffensperger and Kemp to use the cover of goodwill from standing up to Trump to ratfuck things in the Senate runoffs.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:15 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Once again the ASL interpreter is my personal highlight of these things. Did I just see the sign for Zamboni? I believe I did!

I have not seen the video and while I am a student of ASL, I am a beginner and do not know the sign for “Zamboni.” I am now eager to scan a transcript, because this is so intriguing. It’s like finding a trivia book that tells you the word “microwaveable” appears twice in the First Folio.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:16 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


"To understand her involvement more thoroughly." Cute.

“Yep–we heard it, too. We have to meet to decide just how we want to shove her out the door.”
posted by MrGuilt at 1:28 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


I hate to say it, but an explicitly White Nationalist third party is probably the most likely thing to fracture and bring down Republicans at this point.

They've been warned by both sides for decades that following the "Southern Strategy" would inevitably guarantee their downfall and they pursued it anyway. Fuck 'em.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:51 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


I'm not sure I follow, mark k? About ranked choice voting, if 47% of voters go for the GOP, ranked choice voting would allow for, say, a progressive candidate to run without splitting the vote.

The most important point to me is that 47% voted for Trump, which is the root of the problem for the country.

Obviously if 47% is cap for the GOP then ranked choice means he never gets elected, but that is not the country we are living in.

* * *

And on the specifics of ranked choice voting: You can still win or lose because the wrong person ran! It depends who survives which round, but you can get some bizarre outcomes. To indulge a bit.

Scenario 1: Trump, Biden, and Romney. Romney loses round 1. Biden wins. So pretty much our reality.

Scenario 2: Warren enters the race. "I can't split the vote," she thinks, "due to rank choice voting."
  • In this election, Biden loses in the first round, losing the progressives to Warren and splitting bland centrists with Romney.
  • Biden's voters go to Warren mostly, some to Romney. Romney loses in the second round.
  • In the final round the election hinges on where Romney voters go. Lots of them had Biden #2, but they have Warren at #4 ("She's just as extreme as Trump, and at least Trump won't raise my taxes.") So Trump defeats Warren.
So because Warren ran, the outcome of the race is flipped--even though Biden would still have won a head-to-head match up. I would argue the only implausible thing here is where I pretended Warren wouldn't know this could happen.

These are the sort of messy preferences that frustrated poor Condorcet. Some nerds who talk about this even enjoy setting up scenarios where people who would've won in a landslide against any other candidate lose to fringe candidates because of ranked choice voting designs, which is quite possible.

Don't get me wrong--I'd be happy to see ranked choice voting or lists or just about anything else over what we have. But to keep hammering the point the problem in my hypothetical is the non-hypothetical part: We have *many* people who think AOC or Warren or even HRC are "just as bad as Trump only on the other side."
posted by mark k at 1:54 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


Scenario 2: Warren enters the race. "I can't split the vote," she thinks, "due to rank choice voting."
In this election, Biden loses in the first round, losing the progressives to Warren and splitting bland centrists with Romney.


I get that the outcome is shitty but in that case do you even have a Condorcet winner? Probably not.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:02 PM on January 4


I've long felt that if he were to stand on his golf course and look out to sea he should see wave upon wave of offshore windfarms stretching all the way to the horizon. Not only would it generate a lot of electricity it would infuriate him.
posted by Grangousier at 2:12 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


Just aaaaalllll over the course. A BIG one in the front. Camera ready.
posted by sexyrobot at 2:14 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]




[Few comments removed -- please think of another curse word that isn't one of the bad ones in the US. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:21 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


well other people have already started talking about reasonable objections to rcv, and have broached the idea of using condorcet’s method (i would have went to approval voting first, but wevs you do you), and also have proposed scenarios where there is no clear condorcet winner and wherein therefore elections as a method of determining popular preferences are limited, because those preferences are themselves inherently unclear.

which means that now i get to ask one of my favorite questions:

is this the new sortition thread?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:22 PM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Scenario 1: Trump, Biden, and Romney. Romney loses round 1. Biden wins. So pretty much our reality.

Scenario 2: Warren enters the race. "I can't split the vote," she thinks, "due to rank choice voting."


When I was looking at RCV I gamed out a few scenarios and found that I had a hard time producing plausible scenarios where progressives split the vote in a way that a Trump-like candidate won.

Can you give an example of vote distribution that would produce scenarios 1 & 2?
posted by justkevin at 2:25 PM on January 4


[Folks it's up to you if you want to turn this into an RCV thread, but it seems like that might be better for its own thread?]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:29 PM on January 4 [43 favorites]


Everytime I hear/read the word "sortition", I sing a version of the Dead Milkmen's "Nutrition" with slightly different lyrics...

Sortition aside, didn't Scotland announce extensive lockdowns just now?

Would the man in the red hat even be able to go there?
posted by albion moonlight at 2:31 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Donald Trump could be planning Turnberry trip as Scots airport told to expect a high-flyer the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration

Heh. That could be really interesting. Scotland has gone on full lockdown until at least the end of January. Turnberry is closed. It would be more than hilarious if he was forced to quarantine for a week at the airport.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:31 PM on January 4 [35 favorites]


here's the funny part: if/when georgia prosecutors try to nail trump with state voter fraud laws, watch repubs immediately backtrack and say vote fraud laws are unconstitutional. or maybe just if applied to the landed gentry.
posted by wibari at 2:43 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


I think ranked choice is great and generally leads to better candidates but people are used to voting strategically and not doing that and just voting based on preference is something it'll take some time for people to get comfortable with it. So I don't expect it to just sweep in and fix everything.

But I think voting is basically the root 'cause and more and better voting is generally the answer.

The fact that voting is controlled at the state level is kind of an asset here because we don't need the political will to push for one specific thing nationwide just whatever is available to expand and improve voting as much as possible where it's possible. Expanding access should be priority number 1, improving the method by whatever people in that state like that's better than what we have now is a good number 2 and that's basically it. All your wildest fantasies flow from there.
posted by VTX at 2:50 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


What if playing golf at Turnberry is just a pretext for being out of the country when he loses his presidential immunity. Presumably, by the time Biden becomes President and the international arrest warrant reaches the Scottish constabulary, he can be in flight to Russia or Saudi Arabia or wherever he expects to live out his remaining days in comfort.
posted by acb at 2:55 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a staunch Trump supporter, says the state's "elections should be decertified." Asked if that applied to her election on the same ballot, she said, "We're just talking about the President's race." -- CNN on twitter
posted by valkane at 2:57 PM on January 4 [43 favorites]


Both sortition and sedition would work nicely in re-written lyrics to "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof.
posted by PhineasGage at 2:58 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


i’m long-term peeved that irv/rcv has eaten up all of the discourse’s space on alternatives to fptp, since rcv tends to yield the same results as fptp (two dominant parties, a constellation of no-chancer parties, with the only advantage of rcv over fptp being that the no-chancers are a little less likely to sabotage the major party they’re least unlike.) if i could pick anything — and if i was constrained such that i had to pick a single-member electoral method rather than proportional representation on the one hand or sortition on the other — i really would pick approval. it’s got a friendly user interface (“vote for everyone you like!”) and it tends to yield results nearly as representative as condorcet’s method, with the advantage that you never have to explain methods of pairwise comparison / cycle-breaking strategies to the general public.

but also elections are inherently antidemocratic sortition or gtfo.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 3:00 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Notions of Trump being frog-marched to prison on January 21 are pure fantasy. By all means, take heart that Trump is leaving office, and that we might yet save this country – but don't kid yourself.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:02 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]


he can be in flight to Russia or Saudi Arabia or wherever he expects to live out his remaining days in comfort.

Given what we know of his finances, he's not actually that attractive a fugitive, is he? Normally, someone like Ferdinand Marcos fleeing for non-prosecutable jurisdictions, brings with him multi-millions of dollars that explain why you'd keep him around. Trump has been living on borrowed funds for basically ever, always keeping one deal ahead of the last set of creditors. If he flies to Russia, all he's going to find are the oligarchs to whom he supposedly owes ~$400MM that he doesn't have.
posted by fatbird at 3:05 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Yeah I keep thinking about what happens to people Putin has no use for if Trump flees there. He should avoid windows, rooftops and balconies.
posted by emjaybee at 3:16 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


(From 2014-2018, more than 30 million American voters were removed from registration rolls. We know some removals were improper, so let's fix that first.)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon fruit loop, was part of the dismissed Georgia election lawsuit. The representative turned up bare-faced to the House yesterday, kicking off a screaming match; after ejection, she returned wearing a "Trump Won" face mask only to yank it down while speaking and posing for photos. It was her swearing-in, after all.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:18 PM on January 4 [18 favorites]


If he can choose, Trump will certainly prefer to live out his days at Mar-a-Lago, pretending to run for presidency. I think he's going to Scotland to wait and see how things develop, and if there are indictments, he will want to stay in the UK, where people speak English and the current government likes wealthy tax-evaders from other countries, now even more than before. Also, he prefers to stay at his own properties, where he can have the service he is used to.
Russia and any Arab countries are last resorts, if it becomes impossible to stay in the UK for some reason. I don't think Putin or anyone else will want to kill him. They will just make sure he is bored to death, hopefully stirring up unrest in the US through parler along the way.
posted by mumimor at 3:19 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Full disclosure: I consider myself a Stevenson Democrat

I'd like to see Trump go up against Stevenson.

I mean, look at what he did to Tate.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 3:20 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


David Perdue plays down Trump trying to bully the Georgia secretary of state into helping him steal the election: "I think POTUS was having a conversation about a negotiation ... there are supposed irregularities that are of such magnitude that give us pause about what happened" -- Aaron Rupar on twitter

I was just speculatin' about a hypothesis about negotiatin' that cheatin', I reckon.
posted by valkane at 3:24 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


I think Bin Salman currently holds Trump's ~$400M note, which he bought from a Russian oligarch in the form of the Salvator Mundi bogus Da Vinci.
posted by jamjam at 3:25 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Full disclosure: I consider myself a Stevenson Democrat.

You’d love the huge Stevenson/Sparkman campaign button I got from my mom. She was a big supporter.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:25 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Notions of Trump being frog-marched to prison on January 21 are pure fantasy. By all means, take heart that Trump is leaving office, and that we might yet save this country – but don't kid yourself.

A realistic goal, however, is NY DA Letitia James' civil litigation seizing enough assets to really hurt. I suspect it wouldn't take much to impede Trump's ability to service outstanding debt, and I hear Russian "bankers" aren't very forgiving when you owe them over 40 billion rubles.
posted by mikelieman at 3:40 PM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Yeah I keep thinking about what happens to people Putin has no use for if Trump flees there. He should avoid windows, rooftops and balconies.

And underwear.
posted by The Tensor at 3:44 PM on January 4 [13 favorites]


please think of another curse word that isn't one of the bad ones in the US.

That's fine, but you do realise I didn't just pluck that one out of the air? I was referring to a specific incident.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:45 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Yes. Still not ok.
posted by jessamyn at 3:45 PM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Yeah I keep thinking about what happens to people Putin has no use for if Trump flees there.

if all my Cold War espionage reading has taught me anything, it's that Russian intelligence (which is where Putin came from) goes to great lengths to NOT betray its foreign agents, it extracts them if they're blown, it gets them safely "home" to Russia ... and then allows them a relatively comfortable retirement. It's a necessary component of The Game.
posted by philip-random at 3:46 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]



If he can choose, Trump will certainly prefer to live out his days at Mar-a-Lago, pretending to run for presidency. I think he's going to Scotland to wait and see how things develop, and if there are indictments, he will want to stay in the UK, where people speak English and the current government likes wealthy tax-evaders from other countries, now even more than before.


My roommate speculates that he's going to lay low in Scotland for a while, and at some point come back amid much fanfare and proclamation that "I'm coming back to save the country!" and get his fanbase fired up again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:47 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Hi Paul Slade - an American here - yeah, that c-word is really considered vile over here, and tw*t is also not really casually used here in the same way it is over there, something I have stumbled over among (thankfully) friends.
posted by PhineasGage at 3:49 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


...Russian intelligence (which is where Putin came from) goes to great lengths to NOT betray its foreign agents...
I think that only applies to agents who know they are agents.
posted by MtDewd at 3:49 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Plus there's that agreement he signed that says he can't actually live at Mar-a-lago. He'll have to renegotiate that. Probably after Ivanka becomes governor, or primaries Rubio, or whatever.
posted by valkane at 3:50 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


re-written lyrics to "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof.

Who, day and night, must make the big decisions?
affect the lives of children, daily show they care?
and who has the right, as master of the House,
to have the final word in law?

Some randoms! Some randoms!

Sortition!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 3:51 PM on January 4 [10 favorites]


How’s he going to Scotland with a lockdown on? Presumably for COVID reasons, but he had let it slip he was going ...
posted by Countess Elena at 3:54 PM on January 4


I think I started the RCV derail, but sounds like there are wonks much more knowledgeable than me on the subject.
Changing media consumption might be more effective for the 47% still supporting trump, but I do wonder if RCV could have help coalesce oppesition to trump in 2016
posted by CostcoCultist at 4:02 PM on January 4


Trump isn't going anywhere but Mar-a-lago the night before the inauguration where he will run his shadow presidency via Twitter. At some point he'll go after Marco Rubio and Desantis as RINO's especially since Ivanka seems to want a political office to use as a grifting scheme. He will fight every subpoena and investigation with every lawyer he can hire until his tiny black heart finally gives out.
posted by photoslob at 4:03 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]


David Perdue plays down Trump trying to bully the Georgia secretary of state into helping him steal the election: "I think POTUS was having a conversation about a negotiation ... there are supposed irregularities that are of such magnitude that give us pause about what happened" -- Aaron Rupar on twitter

"You know, like you give me fake votes to overturn a state's election results and I won't sic my most militant supporters on you, just a good old everyday negotiation!"
posted by jason_steakums at 4:03 PM on January 4


Wouldn't Trump (both pre- and post-inauguration) be surrounded by a bunch of Secret Service agents, ostensibly for his own protection, but would also be reporting their location up to their own superiors? He doesn't seem like a man who is capable of doing anything secretly.
posted by meowzilla at 4:10 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't Trump (both pre- and post-inauguration) be surrounded by a bunch of Secret Service agents

What happens if a former president moves abroad? I mean, this is another unprecedented thing, but are there rules, did someone think of this?
Some time ago, several anti-muslim provocateurs and genuinely threatened people moved to the US and were told they could not get the protection they were used to in Europe. It worked out fine. But how would it work in reverse?
posted by mumimor at 4:29 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


He only gets a million a year in SS protection once he becomes _former_ president Trump. Hw pretty much decides how to spend it. Living out allowances for SS agents are going to cut into that budget a lot. Melina gets half a million. His family with the exception of kids under 16 get nothing.

He can waive SS protection and IMO it's 50/50 he does. Most of that million would go to SS agent salaries and not Trump rent a cart fees. The paltry amount he can grift via SS protection may not be worth it to him considering the crimp it'll put on his crime family activities.
posted by Mitheral at 4:35 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]




ITMFA now. Indict later in multiple states, but ITMFA now.
posted by Dashy at 4:39 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


As he himself foretold in Nov. 2019, he's now trying to escape down a dead-end hidey-hole, wearing a suicide vest, whimpering, crying and screaming all the way.
posted by panglos at 4:43 PM on January 4


State charges on Proud Boy Enrique, so no pardon available. He's a prior felon and he had high-capacity mags on him, so buh-bye.
posted by valkane at 4:43 PM on January 4 [23 favorites]


In theory, the Secret Service detail assigned to a former president is still under executive branch control, and if there were cause from say, a court order they could simply be ordered to stand down in the face of a legal extradition or criminal proceeding. Plus, like Mitheral says, there's a limited budget for those SS agents, and they can probably be ordered to testify if they see anything illegal happen. The Secret Service isn't going to stop anything that goes through the right legal channels. He can waive protection or not, but it's not going to matter much in that regard. 50/50 if he refuses protection, probably depends on how much money he actually has left for a private detail.
posted by mrgoat at 4:45 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


I was always under the impression that they would not only be told to stand down, but they would assist in an arrest.
But I know nothing....
posted by MtDewd at 4:55 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


State charges on Proud Boy Enrique, so no pardon available

Proud Boy Enrique's charges are in the District of Columbia. Sadly, it is still not a state, so they are not state charges, and are subject to federal pardoning.

DC takes its gun laws very seriously, though, and the DC Metropolitan Police Dept (MPD in local parlance) are still a little pissed that the US Supreme Court overturned what used to be a near blanket ban on handgun possession. Those high-capacity magazines, which were completely legal in Virginia where his plane landed? Just holding those inside of DC is a pretty significant felony, even without ammunition or a weapon that they work with.

MPD is not going to show a lot of restraint towards folks (even white folks) openly carrying (illegal in all of DC) or carrying concealed (illegal unless you have a DC-issued permit, and are carrying a DC-registered weapon -- which nobody from out of town has).
posted by toxic at 4:57 PM on January 4 [23 favorites]


> Then Trump could ask Governor Kemp for a pardon. Oops!

In Georgia, it's not the Governor that grants pardons, it's the state Board of Pardons and Paroles (I just learned this on Ari Melber's show tonight.)
posted by smcameron at 4:58 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Sadly, it is still not a state, so they are not state charges, and are subject to federal pardoning.

Ah, thanks toxic.
posted by valkane at 5:01 PM on January 4


I can't believe that Georgia is the only disputed state the White House tried this on. Since we haven't heard from the rest, then one or more of them capitulated, gave Trump access to their ballots, and agreed to his demand for secrecy.

My prediction: The big revelation on January 6th is a pile of convincing-looking "evidence" for voter fraud based on those ballots, such as signature mismatches.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 5:35 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]


can't believe that Georgia is the only disputed state the White House tried this on.

I refuse to look directly at Trump's Twitter, but I would be interested in seeing what other states he has tweeted about. I am sure he and his goons are going the flood the zone with more BS, but given the contents of this call, we can guess how good the evidence is.
posted by CostcoCultist at 7:11 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


> How’s he going to Scotland with a lockdown on?

Anyone with sufficient clout can dodge quarantine restrictions. Trump wouldn't be the first person for whom the rules would be selectively waived.
posted by at by at 7:27 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Since we haven't heard from the rest, then one or more of them capitulated, gave Trump access to their ballots, and agreed to his demand for secrecy

The capitulation-and-access part seems unlikely to me. This would have been highly irregular, involved non-loyalists to make it happen, and leaked very quickly.

And we *have* heard from others to some extent. He called the Michigan legislators to the white house for a meeting, phoned the speaker of the Pennsylvania house, and so on. I don't doubt that there's a lot more bad behavior, but I think the specifics vary from state to state. Georgia was very close so there it makes sense to keep haranguing the guy who counted the votes.
posted by mark k at 7:27 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Just checked in to see what condition my election was in
posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:35 PM on January 4 [44 favorites]


I can't believe that Georgia is the only disputed state the White House tried this on.

Eh, it's the place where he has the most clout with the remnants of the GOP; McConnell didn't give a shit about Michigan, but he sure as hell cares about the Georgia runoffs, so Georgia is where Trump has the most leverage.
posted by aramaic at 7:38 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


And we *have* heard from others to some extent. He called the Michigan legislators to the white house for a meeting, phoned the speaker of the Pennsylvania house, and so on.

Seeing AZ's gov Ducey ignore Trump's phone call while signing off on election results certification while cameras were rolling was a hell of a thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:02 PM on January 4 [28 favorites]


On the plus side, after the votes are certified and Pence declares Biden the winner on Wednesday, we will only have two more weeks before Biden's inauguration of "conservatives" declaring that Trump should simply disregard that, physically remain in office, surround himself with armed "Patriots" and dare anyone to try to do anything about it.

And then a few more years of conservative fanfics of Irrefutable Proof of Corruption surfacing, Trump returning in triumph and everyone he hates being locked up.

And that's just from the GOP congresspersons.
posted by delfin at 8:12 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


"Accountants". Trump uses the word several times in connection with counting the votes.

He sees this like a crooked real estate tycoon sees business accountancy: find some way to shift or reclassify the numbers, quasi-legally, so a net loss can be made to look like a profit. After all, that's how a Trump hotel project might keep investors strung along, even though it's really headed for bankruptcy.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 8:25 PM on January 4 [34 favorites]


Kind of makes me worry all over again about exactly how many elections the Republicans have stolen over the last few decades
posted by Jacen at 8:49 PM on January 4 [31 favorites]


Pence is planning on leaving the country right after the certification. He doesn’t wanna have Trump anywhere near him while the tantrum is happening.
posted by azpenguin at 8:59 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


In terms of Trump as a fugitive, it's worth remembering that the Russians have a long tradition of taking care of their foreign agents. Even the ones that failed. Which makes sense. If you want people to betray their country for you in the future, you have give them guarantees that they know will be kept.

If you're looking for a direct precedent in Russia, just look at exiled former Ukrainian President Yanukovych who lives in luxury somewhere near Moscow. I like the thought of Trump being his neighbor. Would make for a great hateful sitcom about neighbors who despise each other, and yet keep getting into various hijinks.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 1:04 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


In 2015 Victor Yanukovych's son, Victor Jr, "drowned" in Lake Baikal, which happens to be the deepest freshwater lake on Earth.
posted by runcifex at 1:15 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


I think the topic about Trump's life in exile neglects the one pertinent fact that the Unites States is more than capable of shielding his criminal life and criminal clan from consequences.

But if we're at it, and let's assume that Russia is a valid refuge, it will be in the interest of Russia to keep him safe, protected, and docile in exile, simply because he's a valuable asset for screwing up the fabrics of the American society.

But meanwhile, his debts are due, and maintaining a large crime family in exile is expensive.
posted by runcifex at 1:24 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


(Note to Paul Slate: wankstain, from your link, is evocative of the essence of 45 without being banned—I believe—from the blue.) It makes perfect sense to me that Tucker Carlson‘s response to the Georgia call was essentially, ignore that, that’s not the important part.

It’s easy now to make a list of R politicians and pundits who have publicly demonstrated that they are actively working against small-d democracy. As an old person, I am here to say that it used to be more of a challenge. Not hard, exactly, but harder.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:15 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]




I can't believe that Georgia is the only disputed state the White House tried this on.

WI/MI/PA all have Democratic secretaries of state.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:35 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


No doubt Trump’s team (why are the media still calling it a campaign?) has tried the same schtick elsewhere, but of all the states he lost, Georgia hurt Trump the most.

Georgia hasn’t gone blue since ’92 and the campaign was so confident of winning it they rejected calls to send more money and staff there. Having the distinction of being the sitting Republican president who lost Georgia after almost three decades is a humiliation that’s been gnawing away at Trump’s insides for weeks.
posted by theory at 4:46 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


I can't believe that Georgia is the only disputed state the White House tried this on.

WI/MI/PA all have Democratic secretaries of state.


There you have it: suppose they “found” 12K votes in Georgia. “Clearly the Democrats are hiding similar corruption. We just happen to have a True Patriot in Georgia to defend democracy.” Basically, it’s the original question turned upside down.

It’s not about convincing people who believe the election was fair. It creates a fig leaf for everyone who questions the overall outcome.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:21 AM on January 5 [24 favorites]


My theory about Trump's supposed pre-innaugural fleeing to Scotland is that, in his ego-addled brain, he somehow believes that if he isn't present to hand-off power, Biden cannot take office. He hasn't voiced this, of course, but it fits with the logic of the rest of his (and his team's) various reasonings.

As for the Federal attorney resigning...I have to wonder if he wasn't being pressured by Trump to bring Federal charges against Kemp and Raffensperger and refused. Similarly, the (also Trump-appointed) US Attorney for Middle Georgia abruptly resigned in December, and I wouldn't be surprised they weren't being similarly pressured.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:26 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


Officially unwelcomed here.

@BBCJamesCook:
Scotland's First Minister @NicolaSturgeon warns @realDonaldTrump against skipping Joe Biden's inauguration to golf here saying: "We are not allowing people to come into Scotland," unless essential and "coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."
posted by Buntix at 5:33 AM on January 5 [45 favorites]


I should correct my earlier post: Trump, et al., wouldn’t say “defend democracy;” he’d say “defend the Constitution.” Democracy is an ideal to attain that goes beyond the letter but spirit of the law. The Constitution, in Trump’s eyes, is a legal contract he can finesse, find loopholes, and otherwise hack to get what he wants. Hell, he won in the first place based on such a technicality.

His supporters get this as well: “we’re a republic, it a democracy.” At least until they want to make sure their vote is counted.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:57 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


That no man's land Snowden occupied in the Moscow airport could use a new, permanent (p)resident.
posted by riverlife at 6:14 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


So, Georgia votes today. Because the runoff happens after the new Congress has started, Perdue is actually out of office right now (his seat is vacant; it’s 51-48). Loeffler’s seat term runs through 2022, so she stays in until the results are certified, then both new Senators get sworn in unless there’s some controversy that causes the Senate to not seat them right away. (The Senate has the sole power to judge this.)

Certification looks like it’ll be on the 15th or 22nd.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:44 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


'Yes Mr President, the Dominion people were here. I remember it well because one of them appeared to have a tail, like a lizard's tail. Then they replaced the internal parts of the voting machines with human organs. They offered us some pale white babies that looked like they'd never seen the light of day. We refused, and they said to make sure we get our 5g vaccine before they slithered into a storm drain. We all thought it was very odd, do you think they were doing voter fraud?'

I realize the whole point of the recording was to CYA legally, so their half of the conversation had to be ready for a courtroom. But it could have been fun to confirm some of the wildest shit on 4chan for him. I like to think they were at least making the wanking gesture while he bleated on about his fantasies.
posted by adept256 at 7:02 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Roll Call is reporting via Twitter that Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Senate president pro tempore, says he and not Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the certification of Electoral College votes, since "we don't expect him to be there."
posted by photoslob at 7:21 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Certification looks like it’ll be on the 15th or 22nd.

So, almost two weeks for the conservative twitterverse to work hard and reach even higher summits of batshit insanity? I have full faith my fellow Americans will be up to the challenge.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:22 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Roll Call is reporting via Twitter that Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Senate president pro tempore, says he and not Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the certification of Electoral College votes, since "we don't expect him to be there."

God, this will probably lead to a bunch of claims that the certification is invalid and that Trump is still president. Pence is a coward.
posted by jedicus at 7:25 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Roll Call is reporting via Twitter that Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Senate president pro tempore, says he and not Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the certification of Electoral College votes, since "we don't expect him to be there."

Wait what the fuck
posted by saturday_morning at 7:25 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


That's already now being contradicted and walked back on Twitter.

Not that I want these jerkwads to succeed, but gods, the sheer bumbling incompetence of the last four years has been exhausting in its own way.
posted by stevis23 at 7:27 AM on January 5 [14 favorites]


A Grassley spokesman clarifies that the senator does not "have any indication Pence won't be present." Grassley, he said, was just trying to explain that at president pro tempore of the Senate, he would fill the chair if Pence does not show or steps out at points for a break -- Nicholas Fandos on twitter
posted by valkane at 7:40 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Shades of Al Haig.
posted by valkane at 7:41 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Pence is planning on leaving the country right after the certification. He doesn’t wanna have Trump anywhere near him while the tantrum is happening.
How large is Air Force Two? I mean, could it fit a couple of extra people? Asking for the entire United States of America.
posted by dannyboybell at 7:43 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Centrist Democrats are finally getting their wish, albeit with a monkey paw twist:
Tyler Applonie, 37, voted for President Trump but was not terribly discouraged when President-elect Biden won. He said he supported Mr. Trump’s policies but was leery of the sense of chaos he had stirred up in the country.

He voted for the Republican candidates on Tuesday mainly because he did not want Democrats fully in charge. He said he worried about the more liberal wing of the party taking over, and that it mattered more than the candidates.

“It almost feels radical to be in the center,” said Mr. Applonie, who works in sales for a technology company. “I think it’s important to find the good in both ideologies.”

Truly the dumbest timeline.
posted by Ouverture at 7:43 AM on January 5 [27 favorites]


"bumbling incompetence"

I'm not holding my breath on that one. Perhaps a few years of hindsight and I'll be happy to revile these people for their clownish ineffectiveness, but I'm not comfortable dismissing it all as such at this time. Hindsight, and convictions.

For all the incompetence I struggle to predict where the f**k this is all headed. People certainly seem distracted with all the hot-takes, Twitter updates, breathless analysis of every little angle. A lot of time has been devoted, on this thread, to how specific rules might be applied depending on circumstances and I think the whole point of this is that the rules don't matter. The rest is spectacle.
posted by elkevelvet at 7:44 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


METAFILTER: a great hateful sitcom about neighbors who despise each other, and yet keep getting into various hijinks.
posted by philip-random at 7:55 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile the 2017 server wipe of 2016 election data from the Georgia Election at Kennesaw College has not been resolved: A computer server crucial to a (2017) lawsuit against Georgia election officials was quietly wiped clean by its custodians just after the suit was filed, The Associated Press has learned.

Russian Ambassador Kislyak visited Kennesaw College in April 2016.

I can't find the cite, but somewhere I read that Kennesaw took over Georgia elections administration the year that war hero Max Cleland lost his Senate race.

As someone said upthread, what if Georgia elections had been rigged for a long time, perhaps decades? That November 2020 is the first clean election in 20 years? That would illuminate the current Republican outrage and phone calls to change vote tallies.

It's unnerving. Also makes me wonder what's going on in voting administration in South Carolina and Kentucky.
posted by jointhedance at 7:59 AM on January 5 [27 favorites]


Trump not allowed into Scotland to escape Biden inauguration, Sturgeon warns -- Independent

"Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose." says Nicola Sturgeon.
posted by valkane at 8:04 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


Was going to say, there is no way in this hell or the next that Nicola is gonna let Trump take any kind of refuge in Scotland, covid or no covid
posted by runincircles at 8:09 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


the sheer bumbling incompetence of the last four years has been exhausting in its own way.

the sheer bumbling got me through the the first three years and about two months of Trump's term, there being an underlying sense that whatever evil schemes he may have in mind, he (and his crack team) lacked the competence to achieve any of them, leaving us with what amounted to a long running reality show with black comedic elements. Unnerving for sure but comparatively harmless when contrasted with the war crimes of the previous Republican administration. But then Covid-19 came along ...
posted by philip-random at 8:09 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


A Test for Congress’s Commitment to Democracy, New Yorker, Jeannie Suk Gersen, 1/4/2021:
...the real focus of Trump’s phone call was who will be declared the elected President of the United States this week in Congress. The outcome is not nearly as open and shut as it should be, given the clear results at every stage of the process: the states’ popular votes, the states’ certifications of those results, the Electoral College’s votes, and courts’ resolutions of scores of meritless lawsuits challenging Biden’s win. More than half of Republicans in the House and nearly a quarter of those in the Senate—including two prominent senators who clerked on the Supreme Court, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley—have said that they intend to challenge the counting of swing states’ electoral votes for Biden on the floor of Congress, on January 6th. This means that the day’s proceedings will not be perfunctory. Real conflict may ensue. While some of these Republicans have acknowledged that the effort will fail to result in Trump’s reëlection, lawmakers who do not support the effort to challenge votes will need to keep their wits about them.

According to the Electoral Count Act [Wikipedia, CRS pdf], the fact that states certified their elections and appointed their electors by December 8th, six days before the meeting of the electors, means that those determinations “shall be conclusive.” But what does that mean? There has been little to no occasion for courts to interpret the statute since it was enacted, in the nineteenth century.

Republicans could try to object to counting the electoral votes of each state in which Republicans have challenged Biden’s win by claiming fraud, irregularity, or unlawful election procedures. If Republicans were to attempt to drag out the January 6th joint session by objecting to individual states’ electoral votes one by one, and thereby triggering the two houses’ separate, hours-long debates on each of them, then it is possible, though unlikely, that the business of counting the votes wouldn’t be concluded in five days, at which point the Electoral Count Act says that the recesses for debating objections to votes must end.

At that point, the electoral votes that have been officially counted for Biden might not yet have reached the threshold of two hundred and seventy votes. At such a juncture, it is possible that some Republicans might attempt a maneuver to abuse the process provided in federal law, by insisting on reverting to the Twelfth Amendment’s provision that, if no candidate has a majority of electoral votes, “the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.” This amendment says that, in the House, “the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote”—that is, each state casts its vote as a delegation. That could well result in Trump’s reёlection, because there are more Republican than Democratic state delegations in the House, even though Democrats have a majority of representatives there....
It could be a wild day tomorrow.
posted by cenoxo at 8:24 AM on January 5


In case anyone is wondering: if Trump skips out on the inauguration, it will be the first time in 152 years a president has been peevish enough to do so. The Adams, father and son, both sulked rather than go to Jefferson’s and Jackson’s respectively, and Andrew Johnson was, to quote Wikipedia, “angrily conducting a cabinet meeting” rather than go to Grant’s. (Two more since then, but not tantrum-based: Wilson’s health kept him from Harding’s, and Nixon missed Ford’s, as he had already fled Washington.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:32 AM on January 5 [15 favorites]


Honestly, I kind of actually want Trump to attend Biden's inauguration, just to be treated to images of him sitting there fuming like a child in his self-imposed humiliation. That, or to watch him try to interrupt the proceedings and be manhandled away by the Secret Service. That said, yeah, it's a sick dream and we're definitely better off if he just stays far, far away.

Any rumors on whether he might try and have his own "alternative" inauguration streamed somewhere else? That seems like something he'd love to do.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:44 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


The law in the preceding section defines the houses meeting separately as the Senate “withdrawing”. They are not in recess; they are meeting. The limit on recesses is meant to prevent them from running out the clock, not make it easier.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:45 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Trump not allowed into Scotland to escape Biden inauguration, Sturgeon warns -- Independent

"Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose." says Nicola Sturgeon.


Nicola Sturgeon is awesome:
Ms Sturgeon said: "I have no idea what Donald Trump's travel plans are, you'll be glad to know.

"I hope and expect that – as everybody expects, not everybody necessarily will hope – that the travel plan immediately that he has is to exit the White House.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:47 AM on January 5 [27 favorites]


Yes, this law professor also disagrees with the New Yorker's interpretation. In a nutshell, even if the Republicans object to each state certification, one by one, all they will achieve is Acting President Pelosi.
posted by Major Clanger at 8:52 AM on January 5 [14 favorites]


Any rumors on whether he might try and have his own "alternative" inauguration streamed somewhere else? That seems like something he'd love to do.

$50 says he'll be at Mar-a-Lago hosting an "alternative inauguration" that is somehow also his 2024 "campaign launch". I don't think he's capable of either attending the inauguration or keeping out of sight.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:56 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Any rumors on whether he might try and have his own "alternative" inauguration streamed somewhere else? That seems like something he'd love to do.

Mar-a-lago or a private airport somewhere in S Florida. I'm not sure why anyone thinks he's going to flee the country when he has plenty of friendlies in Florida that are going to embrace him with open arms. South Florida is a grifter's paradise and he'll hold court for years to come.
posted by photoslob at 8:56 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I can't find the cite, but somewhere I read that Kennesaw took over Georgia elections administration the year that war hero Max Cleland lost his Senate race.

As someone said upthread, what if Georgia elections had been rigged for a long time, perhaps decades? That November 2020 is the first clean election in 20 years? That would illuminate the current Republican outrage and phone calls to change vote tallies.


2002 is also the year that every citizen of Georgia began voting on the Diebold black box machines with no paper record. It is not a coincidence. I firmly believe that our elections have been tampered with for 18 years, and oddly, Sec of State Raffensperger has attempted to run a much more fair election than any of his predecessors. If you're interested in learning more about the debacle that is Georgia elections in the 21st century, there has been great coverage for years from several excellent journalists, including Victoria Collier (reprint of a Harper's article), Jennifer Cohn, and Greg Palast.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:57 AM on January 5 [29 favorites]


Winter is coming

> "alternative" inauguration streamed somewhere else? That seems like something he'd love to do.''

from the "winter white house", the seat of power of the United States of the Southern Border of America. California will be invited to Join or Die in these New Roman Times.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 8:57 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


The limit on recesses is meant to prevent them from running out the clock, not make it easier.

Keep in mind that recess is a slippery concept. The supreme court has ruled that some of Obama's recess appointments were invalid because the senate conducted pro forma sessions with one or two members even though all of congress was on vacation for a couple of weeks.

The Supreme Court ruled "The Senate is in session when it says it is, provided that, under its own rules." So conceivably McConnell could send everyone home for five days, maintaining pro forma sessions, and at the end saying "Sorry, time is up. The electors failed to select a president."

I'm not saying this is what will happen but there are no norms anymore.
posted by JackFlash at 9:22 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I kind of actually want Trump to attend Biden's inauguration, just to be treated to images of him sitting there fuming like a child in his self-imposed humiliation. That, or to watch him try to interrupt the proceedings and be manhandled away by the Secret Service. That said, yeah, it's a sick dream and we're definitely better off if he just stays far, far away.

Hoping Trump shows up is like deliberately inviting a feuding alcoholic relative to your wedding. Trump works on pro wrestling logic, as long as getting dragged off is good for grifting the rubes he'll do it.
posted by benzenedream at 9:27 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


And in response the corporate wing of the Democratic party will once again say "Well, we want to capture Republican voters, too, so I guess we better shift to the right as well."

God fucking damn it.


I wish this weren't true, but it so obviously is. Centrism doesn't stand for anything other than the idea that somewhere between wherever the two most popularly acceptable extremes currently are is better than either, because it must be. It is a fudge that only exists in relative terms, a nothing that cannot improve an environment where the allowable extremes are both just degrees of toxic.

And why would the Republican party split when more people just voted for Trump than any other Republican-badged politician in history? It's those that trail after him, holding up his least nauseating scabs as proof that they're a moderate who can compromise - those who think that this is some kind of alternative to his sickness - who ensure there will never be any need to be an alternative.
posted by onebuttonmonkey at 9:29 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


I believe you have this absolutely backward. He begins with the belief, not the lie. He has a vision of the world that in his mind IS fundamentally true, and the words he uses are the ones that support that vision.

you're both wrong. it is a terrible, terrible mistake to believe that he has even enough principle to have a consistent ontological order of lie/belief.
posted by what does it eat, light? at 9:33 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


you're both wrong. it is a terrible, terrible mistake to believe that he has even enough principle to have a consistent ontological order of lie/belief.

Yes. Trump is fundamentally a bullshitter, as defined by Harry G. Frankfurt's excellent essay On Bullshit:
It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.
TL;DR: Trump says whatever he thinks is most useful to him in the moment, with no consideration of whether it is true or not.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:39 AM on January 5 [37 favorites]


Historians condemn Trump for ‘brazenly sabotaging’ the electoral process, New York Times, Peter Baker, 1/5/2021.

Politico has a PDF of the historians’ four page letter that opens with:
HISTORIANS’ STATEMENT ON CONGRESSIONAL CERTIFICATION OF THE 2020 PRESIDENTAL ELECTION

As historians and constitutional scholars as well as citizens, we deplore the effort to disrupt Congressional certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Never before in our history has a president who lost re-election tried to stay in office by subverting the democratic process set down by the Constitution. That is what President Trump has been doing since November 3, when a strong electoral majority of Americans chose Joseph R. Biden to be the 46th President of the United States.

Unable to accept his defeat, President Trump and his collaborators have falsely charged massive electoral fraud in several states while failing to provide credible evidence to back up their claims. They have tried to defame state officials, including governors and secretaries of state, along with the thousands of conscientious citizens who actually conduct our elections, simply for upholding the law. They have concocted and spread falsehoods that inflame Americans against their own government, and against each other...
It’s co-sponsored by Douglas Brinkley of Rice University and Sean Wilentz of Princeton University, with twenty signatories.
posted by cenoxo at 10:11 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


If you're interested in learning more about the debacle that is Georgia elections in the 21st century, there has been great coverage for years from several excellent journalists, including Victoria Collier (reprint of a Harper's article), Jennifer Cohn, and Greg Palast.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:57 AM on January 5 [4 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


That is fascinating! I had no idea. And actually it helps me make a lot more sense out of Trump's words. If Georgia has been stealing the elections for nearly 20 years, why is he the first Republican president not to get his share of the cake? And it makes perfect sense that he thinks Raffensperger can "organize" stuff for him. And that he and Kemp are scared of Stacey Abrams, because why else would they not do what Georgia politicians normally do?

A thing I've been thinking a lot about is how everything Republicans accuse the Democrats of is something they actually do (we discussed this endlessly, nothing new), and that means they must be talking quite openly about it all the time, at fundraisers -- think of Romney's 40 %, at conferences and at party cruises. It is really surprising that so little of this leaks out. Probably one thing to blame is that the US has far less career staffers than other Western democracies.
posted by mumimor at 10:14 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


I suppose it's possible that the Georgia Republicans have been secretly and undetectably cheating like crazy (in a non-standard voter suppression way) for 2 decades (but not before then?) without ever being caught, and that only now that their old cheating machines finally wore out does it reveal what we knew all along, that with a historically-unpopular president there is an overwhelming Democratic majority of like 11,000 voters in a state of 10 million that was hidden away this whole time.

Or Georgia might be like all the states around it (hi!), and all the states around those, where most of the white people vote for Republicans and almost all of the Black people vote for Democrats but even though southern states have a much higher proportion of Black voters than the country as a whole there haven't typically been enough to win statewide elections.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:28 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


2002 is also the year that every citizen of Georgia began voting on the Diebold black box machines with no paper record. It is not a coincidence. I firmly believe that our elections have been tampered with for 18 years, and oddly, Sec of State Raffensperger has attempted to run a much more fair election than any of his predecessors. If you're interested in learning more about the debacle that is Georgia elections in the 21st century, there has been great coverage for years from several excellent journalists, including Victoria Collier (reprint of a Harper's article), Jennifer Cohn, and Greg Palast.

Investigations into McConnell flipping deep blue counties in Kentucky to win over Amy McGrath and anomalous up / down ballot voting, Lindsay's Graham's 10% margin in South Carolina and Susan Collins' handy win in Maine are warranted. Kentucky, South Carolina and Maine use Election Systems & Software (ES&S) machines, along with Texas, Iowa and Florida.
posted by jointhedance at 10:48 AM on January 5 [13 favorites]


I wonder if it might be in Trump's psychological frame to issue a "fuck you I quit" memo and turn it over to Pence to be the Loser of Record? Easier for his internal landscape, and he can run in 2024 without having to have witnessed or even acknowledged his successor taking over - he maintains an illusion of control over his story.
posted by Rumple at 10:49 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]




Huffy Puffy, I would normally agree with you, but did you read the articles?
Maybe I believe the basic premise of these articles because I have always thought that electronic voting machines are idiotic. I cannot find one good reason for using them (and I have read all the arguments, as I have stated this many times here on the blue and other places). I was an early user of computers -- our 8th grade teacher in 1978 was convinced they would be what they are today. I have high hopes for technological development. But voting needs to be handheld and easy to document.
posted by mumimor at 10:51 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


you're both wrong. it is a terrible, terrible mistake to believe that he has even enough principle to have a consistent ontological order of lie/belief.

No no no. You have misunderstood me. I think Trump just thinks shit and then says it. When I said "lie" I meant "what is obviously a lie to people who are not Trump or Trump supporters."
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:54 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


It’s the same old Diebold speculation paranoia from 2004 with a bonus Hugo Chavez appearance (which I am not making up).

Could could could. Sure. But no evidence of an enormous criminal enterprise (or even better a bunch of separate criminal enterprises!) that has allegedly rigged a bunch of elections in red states that were red before and mostly still look red now.

My county has been trying to buy new voting machines for over a year. Missed the primary. Missed the general. Still can’t get the election commission (who are wrong) and the county commission (who are right) to agree. Still using touch screens in the meantime. (And still not using RCV in our city council races, even though the city charter has been amended to provide for it.) On the plus side I can early vote anywhere in the county and it will pull up my specific races.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:07 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


@AndrewFeinberg: "I bet Dominion Voting Systems International Hotel will be a pretty nice place to stay in DC"
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:11 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


From the article posted by jointhedance:
Lindsey Graham’s race in South Carolina was so tight that he infamously begged for money, yet he won with a comfortable 10% lead—tabulated on ES&S machines throughout the state. In Susan Collins’ Maine, where she never had a lead in a poll after July 2, almost every ballot was fed through ES&S machines. Kentucky, South Carolina, Maine, Texas, Iowa and Florida are all states that use ES&S machines. Maybe the polls didn’t actually get it wrong.

When Trump says “look over here” at Dominion voting machines, maybe we should look at ES&S machines instead. When Republicans spout unfounded claims that Democrats stole the election, maybe we should be looking at Republican vote totals instead. And when Trump calls this the most fraudulent election in our history, maybe he knows of what he speaks.
posted by mumimor at 11:14 AM on January 5 [36 favorites]


Trump's mirror. One should assume the louder and longer he screams about a particular state, the more election bullshit was perpetrated by the Pubes.
posted by notsnot at 11:21 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


No no no. You have misunderstood me. I think Trump just thinks shit and then says it. When I said "lie" I meant "what is obviously a lie to people who are not Trump or Trump supporters."

agreed.

thirteen ways to look at trump:

1) a glob of metastatic cognitive cancers.

2) a hobbesian leviathan, except instead of people, it's 8chan memes

3) pizza the hut

4) an antisocial contract. (it's all fine print)

5) a gelatinous cube with lower charisma

6) don't look at him. shield your eyes against the soulrotting orange tommyknocker glow.

7) an anti-tulpa--not a thought form; a form made by unthought

8) an uninteresting, average sociopath

9) a salad of rot

10) a diet of worms

11) "If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything" (Kierkegaard)

12) that same Kierkegaardian ale, but skunked

13) the whiteness of a beached and molding whale
posted by what does it eat, light? at 11:30 AM on January 5 [22 favorites]


There has been so much sketchy shit about American voting machines going at least as far back as the year 2000, and yet I cannot remember the last time I heard a Democratic politician say one word about it in public. This isn't to say that absolutely nobody has, but to me it seems like another case of high-level Democratic leadership either not caring because their seats are safe or magical liberal thinking (i.e. "one day everyone will finally understand that we're nicer and vote for us, so it doesn't matter if the machines are compromised").
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:37 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


McConnell and Graham were ahead the whole time. Maine is an upset, but Maine also uses a different voting system than other states and has to use computers to count anyway, and had already voted for Susan Collins on 4 separate occasions.

Anyway, HR1 from the last Congress, the “For The People Act of 2019”, requires a voter-reviewable paper ballot. I’m sure a similar requirement will be in the bill they pass this year, too.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:41 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


You might recall Election Systems & Software (ES&S) from such headlines as "The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine" (NYT, Feb. 21, 2018), "US senator grills CEO over the myth of the hacker-proof voting machine" (Ars Technica, March 6, 2018), or "Voting Machine Makers Are Finally Playing Nice With Hackers" (wired.com, Aug. 5, 2020; After years of secrecy, one major election tech company is giving more hackers a look under the hood...).

From the Ars Technica link:

ES&S officials told the NYT Magazine that none of its employees had any knowledge of company machines being sold with remote-access software. The article, however, leaves little doubt that in at least some cases ES&S employees arranged for the equipment to come pre-installed with the software or for it to be installed after purchase. The practice has serious consequences for the security of the equipment, since anyone who can obtain login credentials or exploit vulnerabilities in the software can gain control over systems and potentially alter voting tallies.

AP Exclusive: New election systems use vulnerable software (July 13, 2019) An Associated Press analysis has found that like many counties in Pennsylvania, the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts.

That’s significant because Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on Jan. 14 [2020], meaning Microsoft stops providing technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit. In a statement to the AP, Microsoft said Friday it would offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023.

posted by Iris Gambol at 11:44 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


even if the Republicans object to each state certification, one by one, all they will achieve is Acting President Pelosi

If Republicans do not respect the existing body of law about acknowledging already-certified electoral votes, it seems an open question that right-wingers would respect the procedure that grants the right of succession to Pelosi, in that case.

The root of the problem is that Republicans think they are all above the law, that norms do not apply to them. How do we solve that?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:45 AM on January 5


Apply norms to them. Like prison and actual consequences.

Cults either break by schism, mass suicide, or by imprisoning the founder and showing the cult members the founder is not actually God.
posted by benzenedream at 12:04 PM on January 5 [17 favorites]


The confirmed, undeniable way Georgia runs lousy election elections is not tampering with machines but by making it harder for black people to register, stay registered, and vote. Abrams probably would have won against Kemp had there been an impartial secretary of state in office.

I tend to look at the state Republicans in Georgia as (in their minds) "cheating fair and square." They are using marked cards. Trump is trying to get them to announce they have five aces, all natural. Of course they're insulted, it'll mess with there much more sophisticated scam.

Lindsey Graham’s race in South Carolina was so tight that he infamously begged for money, yet he won with a comfortable 10% lead—tabulated on ES&S machines throughout the state.

This to me is the mirror image of Trump's "how could I lose?"

I mean, candidates mismanaging money are a horrible proxy for how close an election is. If you based your belief on a close election on that, that's on you. You being wrong isn't evidence of cheating. Even polling is so based on models of likely voters and weighting demographics and response rates that the obvious explanation of a discrepancy is that the pollsters got it wrong, not that the election did! Pollsters adjust their models to election results--don't think you should adjust election result to pollsters' predictions!
posted by mark k at 12:06 PM on January 5 [21 favorites]


And when Trump calls this the most fraudulent election in our history, maybe he knows of what he speaks.

It's what I've been saying for a while. That's what's driving them so crazy, they know for a fact "everyone" cheats. So why can't they find any evidence the Dems did it? (without incriminating themselves)

Maybe Trump's not making shit up about election fraud. He just over-extrapolated from what he was briefed on, and he's the world's worst secret keeper.

So maybe we should look into some states Trump won. In the meantime, until there's some actual evidence of that, I'm going to not buy into what "they" want me to: the destruction of confidence in our elections via unfounded conspiracy theories. Evidence. We've been saying it to them, goes just as much for us.
posted by ctmf at 12:07 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Investigations into McConnell flipping deep blue counties in Kentucky

Senate Democrats introduce bill requiring paper ballots amid election cybersecurity concerns

The Protecting American Votes and Elections Act of 2019, spearheaded by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, would prohibit internet-connected voting machines and would direct the Department of Homeland Security to set security criteria for voting machines, voter registration databases, electronic voter check-in tools and election results websites, according to the bill.

In computer science, information security is a solved problem. We can make stuff as secure as you like. It can be as simple as unplugging the modem. I can't think of any practical reason a voting machine needs internet access, so why even include a modem?

Some of these machines actually do have modems. That sounds like a problem, and this bill would have got rid of them.

So what happened to that bill? It's in McConnell's graveyard. If you think it's weird that voting machines have internet connections, blame Mitch.
posted by adept256 at 12:24 PM on January 5 [23 favorites]


Don't know if this is the place for all election fuckery, but:
Republican majority of the Pennsylvania State Senate just removed @JohnFetterman from the chamber. President Pro Temp Corman is presiding instead. Fetterman refused to recognize a motion that would have prevented a duly elected Democratic senator from being sworn in.
Corman did this so he could refuse to swear in the certified winner of the 45th district.

Thread from Abraham Gutman.

They are refusing to swear in a winner. Government by the person that shouts loudest. And precedent for the next time.

(Edit add side story: John Fetterman is awesome and is trolling Texas's Lt. Gov to pony up the reward for proving election fraud, by a GOPer)

Fuck.
posted by Dashy at 12:53 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


On a brighter note - several people on Twitter are pointing out that one bright spot about the elections in Georgia today is "Hey, we get to see Steve Kornacki and the white board again!!!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:58 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


From outside the country, its all very flabbergasting that none of this is resulting in a media uproar that would bring down the government literally anywhere else in the world. Are his revengeful trolls SO powerful that none dare stand against them? For the most powerful country in the world to be so powerless against this nonstop attack at democracy and fair & just elections is an eye opener.

BRUSSELS — President Trump’s extraordinary, wheedling telephone call to state officials in Georgia seeking to overturn the election results there has shaken many Europeans — not so much for what it reveals about Mr. Trump himself, but for what it may portend for the health of American democracy.
[...]
Patrick Chevallereau, a former French military officer now at RUSI, a defense research institution in London, said that the Trump call “shows that the current president is in a mind-set to do anything — absolutely anything — before Jan. 20. There is zero standard, zero reference, zero ethics.” He added: “Everything else than himself can be destroyed and collapse, including us.”

[...]
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, a former diplomat and the former president of the International Crisis Group, asked on Twitter: “Should we be reassured on U.S. democracy when 10 former defense secretaries warn against use of the military to dispute election results, or terrified that they believe taking a public stance has become necessary?”

The Chinese

Apart from the political offensive, rumors over a possible "military coup" are also spreading. On December 21, the Atlantic reported that the current president has been "scheming about a possible coup in the Oval Office with his innermost team of advisers: Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani."

While it is highly unlikely that a military coup will be successfully staged, it would still be astonishing enough for the idea to be even thought about. This is undisguised challenge to the US Constitution.

All 10 living former US defense secretaries, including Former secretary of defense Jim Mattis, have declared that the US presidential election is over in a forceful public letter published in The Washington Post on Sunday. This letter stresses that the US military must not become entangled in any election disputes in the coming days. "The time for questioning the results has passed," the letter read.

Such a letter is rare even in US history - it is enough evident how serious the crisis the US is facing.


US breaks all rules in international politics - Kremlin

"Our colleagues in the United States have caused such lawlessness in international politics that they just broken all the rules,"

posted by infini at 1:03 PM on January 5 [21 favorites]


Probably a dumb question but what would Trump gain from winning Georgia at this stage?
posted by Dragonness at 1:03 PM on January 5


If he can convince his followers that he won Georgia, it will be all the easier to convince them that he won the other swing states too.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:08 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


And no one has a better idea that isn't conceding.
posted by VTX at 1:11 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


How Trump and the 2020 US Election Are Helping Authoritarians’ Domestic Causes

It is more challenging, however, for autocrats to convince the public that long-standing democratic institutions can also be as fragile, vulnerable, and easily exploited as those under their own rule. Trump’s refusal to concede power and continuous attempts to blame his loss on a stolen election suddenly afford autocrats such evidence. And many authoritarian governments quickly took advantage of this chance to emphasize that elections in a long-standing democracy can be as easily manipulated as those under their rule.

US politics in reality ‘more interesting than House of Cards,’ entertains Chinese amid pandemic
When Chinese people became bored while staying at home most of the year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the farces of the US election in 2020-21 have provided a great amount of entertainment and there continue to be endless updates streaming in about the current US political situation and the presidential elections to Chinese social networking platforms.

The farces of the US election are not going to end so soon since Donald Trump's supporters and some Republicans are still trying to make certain changes before the final result will be confirmed by the Congress. They have launched massive new rallies and protests in Washington DC, with officials and police in DC warning residents to "leave your guns at home," Reuters reported on Tuesday.

posted by infini at 1:16 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Probably a dumb question but what would Trump gain from winning Georgia at this stage?

Basically, it would provide “proof” that the there is voter fraud on a scale that impacts the outcome. If Georgia, whose election officials are mostly Republicans, say no fraud occurred, it’s hard to apply it elsewhere. If they say there was fraud on that level of magnitude, he can more easily push the narrative that it exists elsewhere, but “the Dems” are in on it.

Basically, it would be a fig leaf for any congresspeople to take action in his favor tomorrow, and his supporters beyond that. Not that they need one–they will act without it. It just moves some folks in the fence to their favor.
posted by MrGuilt at 1:18 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


I'm in PA (in Allegheny county) and have been following this PA state senate thing on the PA subreddit for the past few hours. I was unaware that there was any issue with the state senator, but I'll admit I hadn't been watching the news closely.

It seems the democratic state senator won by 67 votes. His challenger disputed 300ish mail in ballots where the date wasn't written on the outside envelope of the ballot. (For all I know, mine could be in there, though I'm pretty sure I filled mine out correctly.) The district in question straddles part of Westmoreland county too. In Allegheny they chose to count those ballots, but ones without a proper date on the outside they would throw out in Westmoreland. So the challenger too it to court, and the state's supreme court ruled that the state law is that the counties handle how they do their elections, and so the challenger lost. The state certified the election.

So today the republican majority in the state senate refused to swear the winner in. The state senate is presided over by a Lt Governor (a democrat), so they voted to eject him. All the other state senators were sworn in, even the democratic ones.

So I think that's a summation of what's happened. Of course there's also this little nugget of fuckery: PA State Senator Doug Mastriano states that memos attempting to overturn election results were written "at the request of the President"
posted by Catblack at 1:36 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


> (Edit add side story: John Fetterman is awesome and is trolling Texas's Lt. Gov to pony up the reward for proving election fraud, by a GOPer)

@macrotargeting: Why does Fetterman, the largest of the PA elected officials, not simply eat the GOP senate delegation?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:44 PM on January 5 [23 favorites]


Has anybody seen the PA stuff covered on national tv? There's so much going on, I've been flipping around trying to find info and see coverage, and have seen nothing. Today is a crazy day, with the PA stuff, the Jacob Blake officer not getting charged, this call, the GA election generally, Trump having lunch with Pence pressuring him for tomorrow, Covid, Trump people showing up in DC, just a mess.
posted by cashman at 1:57 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


...what would Trump gain from winning Georgia at this stage?

In his own mind? Losers don’t win. Trump must constantly remind himself (and be reminded by others) that he’s a winner. If he appears to lose, someone, anyone else is to blame.
posted by cenoxo at 2:00 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]






Quick, and overly kind of them to let her resign rather than being fired for cause. Though I suppose there may be endless complications around that when she was a partner.
posted by bcd at 2:52 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't think there would have been any consequences for Ms. Cleta Mitchell if the audio hadn't leaked. I mean the law firm was probably celebrating having even a nutcake president as a client.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:57 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Attorney who assisted Trump on call with Georgia officials resigns from law firm (CNN) Cleta Mitchell's out at Foley & Lardner, LLP.

Probably a dumb question but what would Trump gain from winning Georgia at this stage?
Narrative progression to aid an uninterrupted cash flow. Trump Reaps $207.5 Million After Loss as Donors Answer His Fury (Bloomberg, Dec. 10, 2020); Trump raised $200m from false election claims. What happens to the money now? (The Guardian, Dec. 19, 2020) The money flooded in but most of it will go nowhere near fighting the outcome of an election that is already settled. Some was used to pay off Trump’s campaign debt, and 25 cents in every dollar goes directly to the Republican party. The remainder is paid to Save America. (CNN noted in November, when the PAC was established: ... the legal fine print on each shows that a new Trump fundraising arm, Save America, actually will get the first cut of any money that comes in. And because spending rules for leadership PACs are so loose, campaign-finance experts warn that Save America could easily become a political slush fund for Trump and those close to him.) Scandal, investigation and pandemic impact reduced NRA fundraising and money-laundering.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:58 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Has anybody else noticed how McConnell has put the emphasis on the Electoral College? I found it weird really except when I realized that he absolutely does not want a presidential election based on popular vote because the assholes in the GOP would never ever get elected that way (and have only once in the last thirty years). I wish the Dems would go after the EC but alas I am not optimistic.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:59 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I am hoping that casinos are taking prop bets on whether any House member tomorrow will use the words "Soros," "Chavez" and "Kraken" in a single statement of objection.

With a parlay for its being Gohmert.
posted by delfin at 3:00 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Mitchell’s resignation came after the law firm on Monday issued a statement saying it was “concerned by” her role in the call. The firm noted that as a matter of policy, its attorneys do not represent “any parties seeking to contest the results of the election.” (WaPo)

Call me skeptical about this law firms principles.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:04 PM on January 5


Also, a lifetime ago I commented in one of the mega election posts that it would be the ultimate irony if Kamala Harris is the tie breaker in an evenly split senate. That would be delicious.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:06 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


If any of the objection votes in the Senate come even close to 50/50, it will be time for the pitchforks and torches. Enough Republican Senators have stated clear condemnations of Trump's post-election circus that, should any of them turn out to have been lying through their teeth, they should have to start running and not stop until they hit Canada, Mexico or an ocean. The choice of direction is theirs.
posted by delfin at 3:11 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Attorney who assisted Trump on call with Georgia officials resigns from law firm

Apparently she was a partner in the firm. I wonder how many millions it is costing the firm to push her out.
posted by JackFlash at 3:21 PM on January 5


This gave me a smile, the latest comments from Fetterman in PA: Lt. Gov. Suggests Trump Committed Election Fraud In Pennsylvania.
“I know [Trump] made similar calls to Republican leadership in Pennsylvania. And it doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to change it. That’s the thing. This is a mathematical certainty. All this sound and fury is going to end with Joe Biden being inaugurated on January 20th. We’ve rebutted this line by line. They’ve been shredded from every court from the Supreme Court on down. And they don’t just shred them. They pile on unanimously. Like, what team in American history has ever been 1 in 59 and still try to strap it up and act like they’re not the biggest running joke since the New York Jets.”
posted by PhineasGage at 3:25 PM on January 5 [22 favorites]


Haven’t the Jets suffered enough?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:31 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Truly the dumbest timeline.

I was looking up some stuff for a piece I wanted to write about how Republican reaction to Biden's win is really just the latest stage of evolution for their tendency to reject any Democratic candidate's win at any level because they really and truly believe that no "Real American" agrees with the D platform.

And I came across a site with an article about the illegitimacy of the "usurper" (one of the nicer things they called him) Obama, with a claim that a criminal complaint had been submitted to the US Secrete Service about the DNC fraudulently installing him as a candidate and then as President.

It wasn't a one-off typo. The piece went on to repeat US Secrete Service several times.

And I just couldn't even. Goddamnit so much.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:33 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


> Republican majority of the Pennsylvania State Senate just removed @JohnFetterman from the chamber. President Pro Temp Corman is presiding instead. Fetterman refused to recognize a motion that would have prevented a duly elected Democratic senator from being sworn in.
> Corman did this so he could refuse to swear in the certified winner of the 45th district.

I would like to be talked down from worrying that this is among other things a practice run for Presidential inauguration fuckery. Honestly I know that most of these right-wingers are acting out of self-interest or merely taking pleasure in making others suffer. But on the other hand Trump has not conceded the election yet either and lord knows that if he can't stay in office he'll do whatever he can to make his backers believe that the incoming administration is illegitimate. Not because he thinks this will benefit him, it's just to destroy as much as he can while he goes.
posted by at by at 3:36 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


5 Reasons to Avoid the January 6 Pro-Trump Marches in DC, Washingtonian, Andrew Beaujon, 1/4/2021 (headers follow, see details in article):
  1. The Proud Boys will be back [*]
  2. The events reflect an apocalyptic mindset among Trump fans
  3. Downtown will be very difficult to navigate
  4. Many would-be protesters hope to defy DC’s gun laws
  5. The public-health dimension
*Judge bans Proud Boys leader from Washington, D.C., after arrest — The order bans Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 36, from entering the District of Columbia, with very limited exceptions to meet with his attorney or appear in court., NBC News (Associated Press), 1/5/2021. A judge has banned the leader of the Proud Boys from the nation’s capital after he was accused of vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church, and found with high-capacity firearm magazines when he was arrested [on Monday, 1/4/2021].
posted by cenoxo at 3:45 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


also the pout boys will reportedly be incognito, so we'll have no idea who it is that is chanting about blood and soil.
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:01 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


5. The public-health dimension
Is there, like, a bus or portal something I can take to that dimension? Asking for a friend.
posted by Horkus at 4:06 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


you can take the a-(s)train
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:07 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


the Republicans, as they have been doing for 50 years, are playing the long game - even when they lose this fight, they'll still have degraded things just a bit more, shifted the Overton window a little bit more, normalized the despicable just a little bit more - and the next time they'll get what they want or move things closer to getting what they want

Trump as president was a complete policy failure, except that he got them 2 Supreme Court justices and stacked the federal courts with conservative lackies - that's a win for them
posted by kokaku at 4:07 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Even with that. We can beat them...
posted by Windopaene at 4:12 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


More on Cleta Mitchell being out at Foley & Lardner.

For context, Foley & Lardner is one of the 100 biggest law firms in the US. Firms that size have rules about when and how new clients get taken on -- like, firms can get in serious, thrown-off-a-major-case shit for representing people on both sides of a dispute without proper clearance. Further, the rules are there because new clients for firms like that result in boatloads of politics, because what if you bring in somebody that's a competitor to a company that's been a firm client for 50 years?

So every time somebody wants to take on a new representation, either for pay or on a volunteer, pro bono basis, it's supposed to run through the Process, so that it can be approved in accordance with policies approved by the firm's malpractice carrier.

Based on other articles about Mitchell, it sounds like she is a long-time GOP lawyer, and Foley would've known that bringing her in, but there's a line in this article mentioning how as a matter of "policy" they don't do election contesting.

My bet is that Mitchell tried to bring the matter to Foley, was told that the firm didn't want to touch with a 50 foot pole, not only because of Trump's payment issues, but because of internal firm politics and reputational damage and they got burned earlier this year on representing Maduro annnnnd the sheer batfuckery that has led even fucking Jones Day to quit the election-contesting stuff. If I know my law firm executive committees, she would've been told that if she stayed involved in representing the GOP, she needed to be real fucking careful and keep a low profile and not fucking get in trouble and make real clear in any calls that she did not represent Trump in his coup attempts.

[narrator voice: SHE FAILED TO DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS]
posted by joyceanmachine at 4:16 PM on January 5 [31 favorites]


I would like to be talked down from worrying that this is among other things a practice run for Presidential inauguration fuckery.

Meanwhile over in IL-14 the perpetually defeated Jim Oberweis is back, claiming that his loss (by 5,374 votes out of 401,052 cast) to Lauren Underwood is "irregular" without, of course, any actual proof.

I don't think it's practice fuckery, but they're definitely starting to copy each other. And go fuck yourself, Jim.
posted by JoeZydeco at 4:21 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


It's called Conflict Checking. And it's crazy complicated. Wrote law firm accounting software for 6 years or so, if you had to access the Conflict Checking tables/access procedures, you were going to be sad/confused.
posted by Windopaene at 4:22 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Regarding the ontology of Trump, the (paraphrased) quote that comes to my mind is:

"Those are all good points, but the problem is, they don't result in me getting [what I want]."

As a parent to small kids, there really is almost nothing that Trump does that I don't recognize from my daily life. The whole phone call with Raffensperger was basically our house every night when it's time to brush teeth.
posted by bjrubble at 4:31 PM on January 5 [25 favorites]


With est. 10% counted, nothing reporting from Atlanta, both Democrats are leading by ~7%.

Just wanted to say good luck, we're all counting on you.
posted by saturday_morning at 4:39 PM on January 5 [25 favorites]


LIVE NOW: #StopTheSteal Coalition Pre-Rally in DC at Freedom Plaza

It's a live stream : both scary and pathetic.
posted by bluesky43 at 4:41 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


both Democrats are leading by ~7%.

I'm seeing closer races. Things must be shifting rapidly.
posted by pracowity at 4:44 PM on January 5


I'm seeing closer races. Things must be shifting rapidly.

Yeah, whoops, they definitely are. But the big cities still seem not to be reporting yet at all.
posted by saturday_morning at 4:48 PM on January 5


"The Post estimates 19% of votes cast have been counted here."

Too soon to unclench.
posted by pracowity at 4:53 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


God this is stressful. Still feels like 2020 up in here, eh?
posted by sucre at 5:12 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Like the president, 2020 refuses to concede.
posted by njohnson23 at 5:21 PM on January 5 [16 favorites]


Given the deluge, I'm not sure if it's come up before, but Cleta Mitchell chairs the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF*/Pilf); election fuckery is right in her wheelhouse. Example, Thousands at risk from rightwing push to purge eligible voters from US rolls, Conservative groups such as Pilf publish voters’ details online in what experts say amounts to ‘insidious modern-day intimidation’ (The Guardian, Sept. 23, 2018) In June last year, Luis, a resident of Virginia, was astonished to discover that his name and personal details, including home address, had been posted on the internet by a group known as the Public Interest Legal Foundation (Pilf). Luis’s data had been released by the group, along with hundreds of other names, as an appendix to Pilf’s two-part report called “Alien Invasion”. The front cover showed a UFO hovering ominously over a billboard on which the famous tourism slogan “Virginia is for lovers” had been photoshopped to read: “Virginia is for aliens”.

In lurid language, Pilf claimed that it had uncovered proof that “large numbers of ineligible aliens are registering to vote and casting ballots”. It warned its readers: “Your vote is at risk. New alien voters are being added to the rolls month after month, and swift changes must be made to ensure that only Americans are choosing American leaders.” The only problem was that Luis, in common with dozens of other Virginians on the list posted by Pilf, was not in fact an “alien”. He was born in Los Angeles and has always enjoyed US citizenship, with full rights to vote since the age of 18. He also happens to be a federal employee of the US immigration service.

*"Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections."
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:22 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Still feels like 2020 up in here, eh?

So long as it's not the whole decade--the "Terrible Twenties" would be too much to bear.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:22 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


So Democrats not only have to win elections in spite of propaganda and massive odds against them (Senate, Electoral College, gerrymandering), but they have to... fend off Republicans to be seated once they get elected, then overcome those odds again to legislate.

What is it going to take to kill the GOP? Voting them out of office is not enough. What’s their next move, violence?? Honestly I will do everything I can to make this party obsolete.
posted by ichomp at 5:23 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


like they’re not the biggest running joke since the New York Jets.

Fetterman usually has things like that to say against the Browns, except the Browns are in the playoffs since...geez forever.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:32 PM on January 5


How to Get Away With Gerrymandering
Another look into Cleta Mitchell's work. She didn't suddenly turn evil.

So Democrats not only have to win elections in spite of propaganda and massive odds against them (Senate, Electoral College, gerrymandering), but they have to... fend off Republicans to be seated once they get elected, then overcome those odds again to legislate.

Yup. That's it, plus much, much more. And the weird thing is how long it has taken for Democrats to realize this, let alone act on it.
posted by mumimor at 5:32 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Holy shit the numbers so far Ossoff and Warnock might actually pull this off.

Manchin has got to be crapping himself right now.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:34 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Crapping himself? More like creaming himself. He'd be king of the hill.
posted by saturday_morning at 5:35 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]




Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity.

Yeah, a scamming 501(c)(3) which means it is a public charity and that donations to it are both anonymous and tax deductible. Public charities are supposed to be prohibited from political lobbying but PILF has been active, for example, in lobbying Florida to prevent ex-felons from voting. Since donations are tax deductible, it means you as a taxpayer are helping to fund their odious activities. This kind of bullshit is supposed to be illegal but the IRS is lax on enforcement, especially after the Tea Party kerfluffle a decade ago.
posted by JackFlash at 5:38 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


oh my god if Trump killed the GOP Senate Majority I might lose my fucking mind

I don't know how to be that happy
posted by schadenfrau at 5:39 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


So Biden and Harris have to deal with a pandemic, half of the government refusing to legislate or even be SANE, and a low-grade Civil War.

Even if I don’t agree with Joe on everything, I am gonna help the guy.
posted by ichomp at 5:40 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


Crapping himself? More like creaming himself. He'd be king of the hill.

It's a poison chalice because going against the caucus risks committee assignments and basically getting nothing. If anything, this might be the time we see Manchin switch parties and there's no going back from there.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:42 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


oh my god if Trump killed the GOP Senate Majority I might lose my fucking mind

I don't know how to be that happy
posted by schadenfrau at 8:39 PM on 1/5


Eponysterical!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:44 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


I suspect that those Republicans calling for a boycott are going to have a 1 or 2% success rate and give the election to the Democrats.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:50 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Temper expectations.
Do not live and die by The Needle.
Prepare for results to drift well into tomorrow.
Rest well tonight.
Keep the spirit of General Sherman in mind, but this time tell him to burn down everywhere BUT Atlanta.
posted by delfin at 5:55 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


New Stacey Abrams ad urges Georgians to confirm status of Senate runoff votes (AJC, Jan. 5, 2021) The 30-second ad from Fair Fight features Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, pointing Georgians toward Peachvote.com to confirm the status of their vote – and find out if they need to correct signature discrepancies or confirm their eligibility by Friday so their ballots can be counted. “Don’t wait. Your vote has the power to determine the future of Georgia and our country,” she said. “It’s time to make certain your voice was heard. Let’s get it done.”

More than 900,000 Georgians have cast mail-in ballots so far in the Jan. 5 Senate runoff election, but a small number, about 3,400, have been rejected by local election offices because of problems with signatures or other issues that require correction if they are to be counted. Voters have until Friday to “cure” their ballots by submitting photo ID or other documentation to validate their identities.

posted by Iris Gambol at 6:04 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


Yeah ok delfin but just lookit that last needle update: "The race now leans toward the Democrats. There's a long way to go and it's close, but thus far the Democrats have done better than they need, even if narrowly, across all vote methods and in all regions. The Republicans will need to do better in what's remaining than we would expect based on how well they've done so far, particularly in the Atlanta area, where virtually no election day votes have been counted." (What's that thing we're supposed to say? TTTCS?)
posted by daisyace at 6:05 PM on January 5


ALL OF YOU PROJECTING GEORGIA RESULTS RIGHT NOW GO TURN AROUND THREE TIMES AND CURSE AND SPIT
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 PM on January 5 [31 favorites]


5 Reasons to Avoid the January 6 Pro-Trump Marches in DC, Washingtonian, Andrew Beaujon, 1/4/2021 (headers follow, see details in article):
1. The Proud Boys will be back [*]


That is the number one reason I want to go.
posted by nushustu at 6:11 PM on January 5


If anyone sees evidence of Republican tears please feel free to post them
posted by schadenfrau at 6:17 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


It's a poison chalice because going against the caucus risks committee assignments and basically getting nothing. If anything, this might be the time we see Manchin switch parties and there's no going back from there.

Meh. I think Manchin gets more power by threatening to withhold his vote than by sitting on committees (or by actually switching parties). He can essentially dictate Biden's agenda, from legislation to judicial and executive appointments. Remember the time Joe Lieberman killed the public option? He got re-elected despite a successful primary challenge, and Manchin would have more trouble in a Republican primary fight than in a Democratic one.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:18 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Biden needs to put Stacey Abrams in charge of vaccine distribution.
posted by Dashy at 6:27 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


I can't believe it's 3:30AM and I'm watching Atlanta, Georgia, local news. And either I'm just tired and worried, or they are playing a TV newsified version of an old Echo & The Bunnymen song over their commercial breaks.
posted by pracowity at 6:28 PM on January 5


He can essentially dictate Biden's agenda, from legislation to judicial and executive appointments.

That's when you start bribing Collins with ridiculous federal dollars, I guess

I mean, whatever, lots of people will pull power play bullshit, but Democratic control of the Senate is still the best possible timeline
posted by schadenfrau at 6:29 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I mean, whatever, lots of people will pull power play bullshit, but Democratic control of the Senate is still the best possible timeline

Oh don't get me wrong, I very much want this to be our problem
posted by saturday_morning at 6:30 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Hi! Home after working the polls in a Georgia, in a Republican heavy district. It’s the same place I worked in the general election.

A lot of people voted in person in the runoff, more than the general I think, so keep your expectations realistic.

Me, I’m going to bed after a 15 hour day and logging 8 miles on the pedometer. I’ll look at results in the am.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 PM on January 5 [82 favorites]


From NYT:
13 minutes ago
Nate Cohn
The race now leans toward the Democrats. There’s a long way to go and it’s close, but they have done better than they need across all vote methods and in all regions.
posted by medusa at 6:39 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Brandon, THANK YOU for being a poll worker. THANK YOU.

Sleep well.
posted by kristi at 6:42 PM on January 5 [19 favorites]




So Biden and Harris have to deal with a pandemic, half of the government refusing to legislate or even be SANE, and a low-grade Civil War.

And if those calamities aren’t worrying enough, toss in a 9-11 style threat on the U.S. Capitol:
Breach of air traffic control sends chilling threat as revenge for killing of Iranian general, CBS News, Jeff Pegues, 1/5/2021 [with audio link]

Multiple air traffic controllers in New York heard a chilling threat Monday in audio obtained exclusively by CBS News: "We are flying a plane into the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani will be avenged." The threat refers to Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed last year in a U.S. drone strike ordered by President Trump. It was made on the one-year anniversary of Soleimani's death, for which Iranian officials have long vowed revenge.

It's unclear who sent the threat. While the government does not believe the warning of an attack is credible, it is being investigated as a breach of aviation frequencies, CBS News has learned...
Sources told CBS News a message was sent to air traffic controllers on Tuesday reminding them that any threat or a plane deviating from its flight path should be reported immediately.
posted by cenoxo at 6:45 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


And I came across a site with an article about the illegitimacy of the "usurper" (one of the nicer things they called him) Obama, with a claim that a criminal complaint had been submitted to the US Secrete Service about the DNC fraudulently installing him as a candidate and then as President. It wasn't a one-off typo. The piece went on to repeat US Secrete Service several times.

And I just couldn't even. Goddamnit so much.
posted by lord_wolf


Obama was OBVIOUSLY a counterfeit president.
posted by skyscraper at 6:45 PM on January 5


TV newsified version of an old Echo & The Bunnymen song

If there were any question that algorithmic recommendation systems are still part of our national problem - one of the suggestions Youtube gave me after watching Echo is a video from Giuliani himself which he demands I watch before Jan 6. Sorry Rudy, not a chance.
posted by wordless reply at 6:47 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Omg, Ibuprofen has never looked so good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:49 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


From Phil Quin, a very-well informed (on US politics) New Zealander, on Twitter: Fancy being the richest woman in a Southern state and losing to a radical liberal Marxist Black pastor.
posted by vac2003 at 7:03 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


Right now, WaPo has the Republicans winning both races.
posted by mumimor at 7:07 PM on January 5


Warnock would be the first ever Black Democratic US senator elected in the South.
posted by theory at 7:07 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


In the event that Jon Ossoff should actually win, he would be the youngest Democratic Senator since Joe Biden.

(538 liveblog comment: “By this logic, look for Ossoff to be elected president in 2064.”)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:07 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Multiple air traffic controllers in New York heard a chilling threat Monday

Folks. ATC basically runs on AM radio. A time-traveler from the 1930s could have sent the message. I'm guessing it's a prank.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:09 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Right now, WaPo has the Republicans winning both races.

Those are raw vote totals, not projections.
posted by mrnutty at 7:09 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Mumimor, the remaining votes are heavily from Democratic leaning counties. Right now, both Democrats are on a path to win, but not by much, so it isn't a sure thing.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:11 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Right now, WaPo has the Republicans winning both races.

Those are raw vote totals, not projections.


And DeKalb county, for instance, is running about 80-20 D, with 37% counted.
posted by stevis23 at 7:11 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Right now, WaPo has the Republicans winning both races.

NYT has Dems winning, even though Rs currently have more votes. About 700k ballots are left to be counted; we may need to wait a few days until final tallies are available.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:12 PM on January 5


we may need to wait a few days until final tallies are available.
Yes, that was what I wanted to say, but I made the point clumsily by quoting WaPo's raw data. I just can't deal with hope right now.
posted by mumimor at 7:14 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]



Seth Abramson
@SethAbramson
BREAKING NEWS: Cook Political Report Calls Race for Democrat Raphael Warnock; Other Media Outlets Awaiting Further Results From Heavily Democratic DeKalb County (GA)
posted by bluesky43 at 7:20 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


The Economist's data dude just called a dual D win but then clarified that that was his personal call, not that of his employer's.
posted by Dashy at 7:32 PM on January 5


This is beautiful.
posted by ichomp at 7:34 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I just really want good things to happen tonight that's all

And also for every person who has aligned themselves with the GOP for the last 4 years to have terrible anxiety shits

that's all
posted by phunniemee at 7:36 PM on January 5 [24 favorites]


When can I stop holding my breath?
posted by Pouteria at 7:38 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I want Mitch McTurtle to get sucked into his own vacuum of an oxygen free black hole, in a galaxy far far away. He cannot vaporize fast enough.
posted by Dashy at 7:39 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


When can I stop holding my breath?

Best case scenario? January 21.
posted by MrGuilt at 7:40 PM on January 5 [26 favorites]


Generally, breathe again once you see a white light and see deceased relatives beckoning to you.
posted by delfin at 7:44 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Trump calls it: "Looks like they are setting up a big “voter dump” against the Republican candidates."

I've put on the Indigo Girls and am thinking how happy they'll be.. TTTCS
posted by joeyh at 7:47 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


I am sitting here in DeKalb County, watching MSNBC. I want to reach into the TV and shake Rachel Maddow. THERE IS NO "L" IN DEKALB!!!!

Also, we are on pins and needles.
posted by donpardo at 7:48 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


If things continue to go well, I am thinking about queuing up a GA dance party - REM, B-52s, Gnarls Barkley, who else should we put on this playlist?
posted by PhineasGage at 7:51 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


OutKast!
posted by argybarg at 7:52 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


Widespread Panic?
posted by Snowishberlin at 7:53 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Also some guy named James Brown.
posted by argybarg at 7:53 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


james brown. naught else will do.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:54 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Gladys Knight.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:54 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


Little Richard, Otis Redding, Allman Brothers, Ray Charles, TLC, Arrested Development, Pylon.
posted by donpardo at 7:56 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


David Lowery (1/2).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:00 PM on January 5


Out of Athens, the Elephant 6 bands.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:01 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Trump has any idea how ridiculous that tweet makes him look, days after begging GA officials for just enough votes to overturn the results
posted by theory at 8:03 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Damn, a lot of essential music has come out of Georgia.
posted by argybarg at 8:03 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Need I remind you that Trump always accuses others of the exact crap he pulls himself? (Or, in this case, wants to pull).
posted by argybarg at 8:05 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I have this constant radiostation in my head, and these days it is running an all Georgia playlist. I can't complain.
posted by mumimor at 8:05 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Damn, a lot of essential music has come out of Georgia.

I just read on Twitter that Tag Team is also from Georgia, so...
posted by Snowishberlin at 8:07 PM on January 5


A good thing that happened today is that I learned how to pronounce "DeKalb County".

I am too traumatized to feel like this is going to go the way I want it to go, but things sure look hopeful. Go Georgia! You can do it!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:08 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Indigo Girls
posted by joeyh at 8:08 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I’ll add Vic Chesnutt and Drive-by Truckers to that GA playlist...
posted by jilloftrades at 8:09 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


At this time the NYTimes needles are calling it a >95% chance for Warnock and 92% chance for Ossoff.
posted by splitpeasoup at 8:10 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]




For the many of you that are asking: yes, I'm confident in the Ossoff call. The statistics are very, very clear on the Dem advantage in Nov -> now shifts for both in-person and early votes. The writing is on the wall. We're only waiting for the networks to realize it too. -- G. Elliott Morris on twitter
posted by valkane at 8:15 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Ok, all y’all need to TTTCS.
posted by susiswimmer at 8:15 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


THERE IS NO "L" IN DEKALB!!!!

I mean it's right there.

THERE. ARE. FOUR. LIGHTS.
posted by The Tensor at 8:15 PM on January 5 [21 favorites]


At this time the NYTimes needles

Those needles fucking owe us some good news
posted by medusa at 8:15 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Charlotte Clymer [Twitter]:
"When Stacey Abrams declined to run for the Senate and focus on voting reform and mobilization, there was a LOT of skepticism in response. But she had a vision, she knew what her state needed in this moment, and she followed through on it. Thank goodness. A leader of leaders."
As many are pointing out, tonight's results also validate Abrams view that the key to winning is not persuading swing voters, it's mobilizing Democratic voters and getting them to the polls.
posted by theory at 8:15 PM on January 5 [75 favorites]


At this time the NYTimes needles are calling it a >95% chance for Warnock and 92% chance for Ossoff.

This means we get comprehensive voting rights legislation, gang. Think of what that means going forward.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:16 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Need I remind you that Trump always accuses others of the exact crap he pulls himself?
Republicans. It's been their playbook for decades. Their psychology is based on projection.
posted by stevis23 at 8:17 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Oh, and we get to take that fucking gavel out of McConnell’s hand.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:17 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


As many are pointing out, tonight's results also validate Abrams view that the key to winning is not persuading swing voters, it's mobilizing Democratic voters and getting them to the polls.

...and that means leaning to the core Democratic voter, which means more progressive policy.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:19 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Decision Desk HQ Projects @ReverendWarnock (D) has won the Georgia Special Senate Runoff Election

Race Called: 11:13PM EST 01.05.21
posted by valkane at 8:21 PM on January 5 [20 favorites]


This feels even better than November
posted by theory at 8:27 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


I'm going to propose that [your favorite artist here] singing "Georgia On My Mind" is also valid for the Georgia playlist, based on the fact that when I was phone banking for Georgia, our group pre-call Zoom chat featured Special Celebrity Guest John Legend, who did a little "yay volunteers" talk and then sang "Georgia On My Mind" for all of us a capella.

(Although actually - that wasn't the coolest thing about that call. The coolest thing was that John gave most of his time over to asking some of the volunteer phone bankers about who they were and why they were volunteering. And it turns out they were all like 14 and 16 years old. This whole phone-banking call was full of teenagers from all over the country - California, Michigan, all over - committed to taking on climate change and voting rights and systemic racism and the future of democracy. I mean, those were their actual words. John Legend was great and all, but I was so excited to get dialing when I heard those young people. It was awesome.)
posted by kristi at 8:30 PM on January 5 [40 favorites]


Drudge Report leading links:

DEMS TAKE TOTAL CONTROL!
FLASH: WARNOCK PROJECTED TO WIN
FLASH: OSSOFF PROJECTED TO WIN; GIVING DEMS SWEEP
posted by philip-random at 8:31 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Ok, all y’all need to TTTCS.

THERE. ARE. FOUR. LIGHTS.


I am gonna turn four times... I might fall over if this brandy is doing its job.
posted by albion moonlight at 8:31 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Also, it's "Al Binny" not "Albany".

And, just to head it off, Taliaferro is pronounced "Tolliver"
posted by donpardo at 8:32 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I'm feeling a Globetrotter vibe: Sweet Georgia Brown.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:33 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


DDHQ is now showing Ossoff barely trailing with 98% votes in. Shit.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:36 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I'm going to propose that [your favorite artist here] singing "Georgia On My Mind" is also valid for the Georgia playlist, based on the fact that when I was phone banking for Georgia, our group pre-call Zoom chat featured Special Celebrity Guest John Legend, who did a little "yay volunteers" talk and then sang "Georgia On My Mind" for all of us a capella.

There was also this lovely zoom rendition From Broadway stars to GOTV
posted by Mchelly at 8:36 PM on January 5


But the remaining early in-person votes in DeKalb, alone, will give Ossoff the kind of lead that Biden had in the final count, and there's a lot more for him beyond that. So there may not be a call there tonight, but it's not serious doubt -- Nate Cohn on twitter
posted by valkane at 8:38 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Wait until Trump calls the Georgia Dem winners a hoax and fraud. Then we’ll know for sure.
posted by cenoxo at 8:39 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


So there may not be a call there tonight, but it's not serious doubt -- Nate Cohn on twitter

I will believe it is so when two Democrat senators from Georgia literally physically take their seats in the Senate.

Until then, I hold my breath.
posted by Pouteria at 8:42 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


I’ve never seen anyone carried around the Internet on people’s shoulders before but tonight, damn, @staceyabrams
just went by. -- Chris Savage on twitter
posted by valkane at 8:45 PM on January 5 [23 favorites]


Republicans should be glad they lost the Senate. If they won an election they said was rigged against them, they’d look like real idiots
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:46 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Soundtrack has to be Ludacris.

Move, Mitch! Get Out Da Way!
posted by nicoffeine at 8:47 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


Damn, Stacey Abrams is competent. No way to put her in charge of a nationwide post?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:47 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Y’all back off. We are keeping Ms. Abrams for Governor!!
posted by pearlybob at 8:49 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


Soundtrack has to be Ludacris.

But when it comes to the ATL, the GOP has been outcast
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:50 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


SPIT SPIT SPIT TURN

put the turtle on a spit and turn that shitstain
posted by lalochezia at 8:51 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Omg, Ibuprofen has never looked so good.

Let it be said you earned that NSAID.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:57 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Dear Ask Metafilter, What would be a non-creepy and extremely legal method for me to marry Stacey Abrams?
posted by medusa at 9:00 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]




Thanks again, Hugo Chavez.
posted by JackFlash at 9:01 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Perdue's lead now under 2000 votes.
posted by medusa at 9:02 PM on January 5


It's cold outside but excuse me - it's definitely time to TATTAS
posted by speug at 9:04 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I've seen enough. @ReverendWarnock and Jon @ossoff have been elected to the US Senate.

When VP Harris is sworn in on Jan 20, Democrats will take control of US Senate. -- Marc E. Elias on twitter
posted by valkane at 9:06 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Stacy Abrams writes romantic mystery novels under the name Selena Montgomery. I have no idea where she finds the time, but I've heard the books are good. If you want to say thank you to her, and you like romances, you should pick one up.

I did, and I'm not even a fan of romances, but I thought her books were worth a try.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:07 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


Warnock would be the first ever Black Democratic US senator elected in the South.

What the actual fuck
posted by medusa at 9:07 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


I need a live feed of Mitch McConnell's face right fucking now
posted by schadenfrau at 9:08 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


Is this a sign of the end of the Southern strategy?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:10 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


valkane, what's your source?
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:10 PM on January 5


Proud Boy Update:

Proud Boys in DC tonight have absolutely zero street experience, no gear, and no situational awareness of police tactics. They keep walking into obvious kettles and getting maced and arrested by the cops -- Chad Loder on twitter
posted by valkane at 9:10 PM on January 5 [41 favorites]


Nancy Lebovitz, I link to them in my posts.
posted by valkane at 9:13 PM on January 5


538:
Perry Bacon Jr.
Jan. 5, 11:46 pm
Mitch McConnell has been perhaps the most important person in the U.S. government since 2014, particularly with Trump often so disengaged from policy issues. So if he is no longer the Senate majority leader, as seems likely right now, that is of course a huge, huge shift. He stops bills that a majority of senators support from going to the floor. He singlehandedly blocks Democratic priorities. He really controls the agenda in the chamber. A Senate where Joe Manchin is the 51st Democratic vote is not a liberal Senate, but it’s well to the left of one where McConnell decides what gets voted on in the first place. Loeffler and Perdue have been fairly unremarkable senators. But their votes to make McConnell the majority leader were hugely important.

I'll wait until it's official to break out the "Ding, dong, the witch is dead."
posted by medusa at 9:15 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


The problem with zombies is not that they're cunning or swift. It's that there are so many and they're relentless. While I'm glad these Proud Boys are apparently inept - there are just so many people who are like them. I really hope that the threat of violence doesn't come to fruition.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 9:15 PM on January 5


put ray charles, born in albany, georgia, on that playlist. good for both georgia on my mind and hit the road, jack(ass)
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:16 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


valkane, the tweet you linked to is no longer available.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:16 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


While that Elias tweet is gone, Wasserman had also posted something similar.

"I've seen enough. Jon Ossoff (D) defeats Sen. David Perdue (R) in GA's other Senate runoff. #GASEN

Democrats win control of the Senate."
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 9:20 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I'm very pleased at how this is turning out, and have been glued to the internet for the last couple of hours.

I also GREATLY resent how invested I have become in the politics of a minor province in a foreign country. Because the fate of the world is tied up in the governance of that country and rest of us are hostage to it. It must have felt like this to be in a minor allied kingdom with Roman troops on the border.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:20 PM on January 5 [30 favorites]


Looks like he deleted it? Try this one: Marc E. Elias says basically the same thing
posted by valkane at 9:21 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Hey Mitch, here's what you can do with your 600 dollars.
posted by Beholder at 9:22 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


About 1200 votes separate Ossoff and Purdue now (according to MSNBC tv broadcast)
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 9:22 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


darkstar has posted a new Georgia Election Thread
posted by valkane at 9:26 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]




Is there any chance this will be called tonight? Are all the counties still counting or have a lot of them suspended counting until the morning?
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 9:31 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


The remaining votes are mostly in DeKalb, Chatham and Fulton counties, I think the only thing in question is whether Ossoff clears the 0.5% margin for avoiding an automatic recount.
posted by axiom at 9:40 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: “Just happened to have found another 4000 ballots from Fulton County. Here we go!”

I too find it implausible that a large number of ballots would be found in a vote-counting center on election night
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:47 PM on January 5 [17 favorites]


*briefly wakes up and scans news reports*

It won’t be decided tonight, Chatham County has gone home and will finish tomorrow.

But hot damn, things are looking good!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:58 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


A few minutes ago the Idjit in Chief tweeted (no links for him):
If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency. Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be). Mike can send it back!
Apparently that's the play, in Trump's mind anyway, but I don't think even Pence at his most lapdog-ish is actually going to touch that. Sure is going to make him persona non grata in the Trump Party though.
posted by bcd at 10:26 PM on January 5


Just how excited should I realistically get about Democrats controlling all three branches, especially on fixing our broken healthcare system?
posted by Beholder at 10:39 PM on January 5


Abrams writes romantic mystery novels under the name Selena Montgomery. I have no idea where she finds the time

Teegeeack AV Club Secretary, Abrams last published under that pen name over a decade ago. (Wikipedia: She wrote her first novel during her third year at Yale Law School and published her most recent book in 2009.) I have no idea where she found the time to write "Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change" (2018), "Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America" (2020), or the suspense novel "When Justice Sleeps," due in May (and published under her given name).
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:47 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Just how excited should I realistically get about Democrats controlling all three branches, especially on fixing our broken healthcare system?

Forgot Judicial branch, which is about to replace Mitch as the newly invigorated roadblock to progress. Also: Manchin still exists.
posted by benzenedream at 10:52 PM on January 5


Just how excited should I realistically get about Democrats controlling all three branches, especially on fixing our broken healthcare system?

With a 50-50 Senate (+1 for Warren as tie breaker) Biden will likely get his preferred cabinet and will be able to get his judicial picks confirmed, but without 60 votes to override a Senate filibuster the Democrats will have trouble passing even mild proposals like a public option for health care and great difficulty passing something like Medicare for All. Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests the following health policies that Democrats likely can accomplish with their narrow Senate majority:
  • Making the suit against the ACA moot,
  • ACA premium help,
  • Aid to states and incentives to expand Medicaid,
  • Government drug price negotiation,
  • No cost-sharing for COVID treatment.
posted by RichardP at 10:54 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


50/50 is the difference between Republicans having to go on record voting against useful, productive and popular bills and those bills never coming up for a vote in the first place.

So... I'll take it.
posted by delfin at 6:09 AM on January 6 [14 favorites]


With a 50-50 Senate (+1 for Warren as tie breaker)

You mean Harris, right? Or is there something about Warren I'm not understanding?
posted by joannemerriam at 7:26 AM on January 6


I think RichardP is from Earth1974 where Warren holds the VP spot and rolled ice cream is the most popular form of delicacy. Anyway, they better nuke the filibuster or turtle man still gonna turtle.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:28 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Thanks, OnTheLastCastle.

Next steps: for those of you who write postcards, here are two postcard campaigns from Witness at the Border (if you do them all, it's just 12 postcards): Never Again Child Detentions (4 postcards, mailing now through Friday) and The World is Watching (4-8 postcards, mailing Jan 19-22).
posted by joannemerriam at 7:30 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Watch live online Electoral Vote Count coverage today at ABC News Live, CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, PBS. The joint Congressional session begins at 1:00 PM ET.

Any suggestions for good live blogging?
posted by cenoxo at 7:44 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]




Puts crying babies in perspective. [Video]
On a plane from TX —> DC flight attendants are struggling to control a plane full of Trump supporters as they display a pro-Trump projection and harass others passengers bound for DC.

posted by Mitheral at 8:09 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


From The Independent’s YouTube stream of today’s Save America March in Washington, DC, Trump addresses the crowd (he’s introduced at 1:52:30). Their running news article about today’s events is here.
posted by cenoxo at 10:16 AM on January 6


You mean Harris, right?

Absolutely. This is a case where during proofreading I read what I thought I wrote, not what my fingers actually typed. I didn't notice until after the edit window closed.
posted by RichardP at 11:05 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Moments ago, I announced that I am officially joining the Republican Party. Now more than ever, the Republican Party is in desperate need of leaders that know how to fight. I know how to fight. -Rep. Vernon Jones of Georgia, four hours ago [Wikipedia: Vernon Jones is an American politician who has served as a State Representative in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2017, and previously from 1993 to 2001. A former member of the Democratic Party, Jones was Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, Georgia, from 2001 to 2009.]

Trump sent a mob to the Capitol building in DC to interrupt the Electoral College vote; it's been emptied, and Pence needed to be escorted out by Secret Service via tunnel. In Georgia: Militia members have gathered outside the Georgia Capitol. Brad Raffensperger and senior staff have been escorted out to safety. - WaPo reporter Amy Gardner 20 minutes ago
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:43 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Republicans should be glad they lost the Senate. If they won an election they said was rigged against them, they’d look like real idiots

But wait: Trump insisted the 2016 election was rigged and... oh. I see.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:38 PM on January 6


TWITTER HAS LOCKED HIS ACCOUNT! I'm not *expecting* it, but I won't be surprised if he's removed tonight
posted by cyndigo at 4:10 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]






You know what? We trash talk America, but the fact that a black preacher from the Deep South and a Jewish documentary filmmaker can win election against two of the richest people in Georgia, makes me want to stand up and salute the flag.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:50 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


That is a good point and Adam Serwer--who has a Jewish father and Black mother--had a couple tweets on this that made me feel briefly better:
A Black man and a Jew winning election to the US Senate in the deep south is evocative of the old civil rights alliance in a way I find ... emotionally resonant.

I wish I could tell my paternal and maternal grandmothers that Republicans did the whole rootless cosmopolitan and radical black preacher shtick in Georgia and still lost.
posted by mark k at 9:12 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]


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