Democracy Has Prevailed.

December 29, 2023

And Now There Are TWO.

From The Washington Post:

Maine barred Donald Trump from the primary ballot Thursday, becoming the second state to block the former president from running again because of his actions before and during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

And from the decision's conclusion:

I do not reach this conclusion lightly. Democracy is sacred, and the highest court of this State has repeatedly recognized that “no right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live.” I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection. The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all, and my duty under Maine’s election laws, when presented with a Section 336 challenge, is to ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek.

The events of January 6, 2021 were unprecedented and tragic. They were an attack not only upon the Capitol and government officials, but also an attack on the rule of law. The evidence here demonstrates that they occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President. The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government, and Section 336 requires me to act in response. I conclude that the Rosen and Royal Challengers have met their burden under 21-A M.R.S. § 337(2)(B). They have provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate the falsity of Mr. Trump’s declaration that he meets the qualifications of the office of the presidency. Therefore, as required by 21-A M.R.S. § 336(3), I find that the primary petition of Mr. Trump is invalid.

First Colorado and now Maine.

How many other states will recognize that since Donald Trump did, in fact, engage in insurrection, it is the Constitution itself that bars him from ever being president ever again.

December 28, 2023

And This Is The GOP'S 2ND CHOICE??

From The AP:

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley was asked Wednesday by a New Hampshire voter about the reason for the Civil War, and she didn’t mention slavery in her response — leading the voter to say he was “astonished” by her omission.

Asked during a town hall in Berlin, New Hampshire, what she believed had caused the war — the first shots of which were fired in her home state of South Carolina — Haley talked about the role of government, replying that it involved “the freedoms of what people could and couldn’t do.” 

And from Politico

Nikki Haley declined to say that slavery was a cause of the Civil War on Wednesday evening, placing the blame, instead, on the role of government.

The former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor, who has seen her star rise in the first-in-the-nation primary state, was appearing at a town hall event in Berlin, New Hampshire, when a voter asked her to identify the cause of the war.

“I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run,” she responded. “The freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do. 

Here's the thing.  The AP states that the first shots of the Civil War were fired in South Carolina. That would be April 12, 1861 - The Battle of Fort Sumter. The issue had been boiling for sometime and we only need to look at South Carolina's own Declaration of Secession to see why:

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

They were upset about this:

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.  

Here fugitives=enslaved humans who escaped slavery and were seeking shelter in another state.

South Carolina said that those states had a constitutional obligation to return those "fugitives" and since they did not, " the constituted compact has been deliberately broken" and South Carolina could secede.

It was about protecting a state's right to enslave human beings. 

And this is supposed to be the GOP's "acceptable" alternative to Orange Jesus?

December 25, 2023

Christmas, 2023 (Looking Back at Christmas, 1940 and 1945)

It's December 24, 1940 and in the bottom left hand corner of the front page of the Pittsburgh Press, there was this: 

The President and Mrs Roosevelt, mindful of the Yuletide blackout in many countries abroad, devote this day before Christmas to traditional rites based on the creed “good will toward mankind.”Mr Roosevelt lights the community Christmas tree and delivers his annual Christmas greetings to the nation at 5:11 p.m. 

The Press reported that the greetings would be broadcast on WJAS – tucked between an afternoon drama and music by local bandleader Benny Burton.

This is how Roosevelt started the greetings: 

At this Christmastide of 1940 it is well for all humanity to remind itself that while this is in its name a Christian celebration, it is participated in reverently and happily by hundreds of millions of people who are members of other religions, or belong actively to no church at all. 


Sometimes we who have lived through the strifes and the hates of a quarter century wonder if this old world of ours has abandoned the ideals of the Brotherhood of Man. Sometimes we ask if contention and anger in our own midst in America are a portent of disunion and disaster. Sometimes we fear that the selfishness of the individual is more and more controlling in our lives.

When we are in those moods it is hard for us to keep from putting our tongues in our cheeks when we say "Merry Christmas"—for we think in thoughts of futility and not of hope. A few people are cynics all of the time; some people are cynics part of the time; but most people keep their faith most of the time.
That is why we must keep on striving for a better and a more happy world.

And then finally:

Let us make this Christmas a merry one for the little children in our midst. For us of maturer years it cannot be merry.But for most of us it can be a Happy Christmas if by happiness we mean that we have done with doubts, that we have set our hearts against fear, that we still believe in the Golden Rule for all mankind, and that by our works, as well as our words, we will strive forward in Faith and in Hope and in Love.

In that spirit I wish a Happy Christmas to all.

And five short/long years after President Roosevelt's last pre-war Christmas greetings, a different President addressed a very different nation in a very very different world.

The Pittsburgh Press published, in that same lowerleft hand corner of the paper this:

The sweeping, snow-covered south lawn of the White House will serve as a setting today as President Truman leads the nation in the first National community Christmas observance since 1941. Mr. Truman will light the national Christmas tree at 5 p. m. then in a nationally broadcast address, he will voice the nation's hopes and prayers at this first peacetime Christmas season in four years.

This time the speech was broadcast on all of Pittsburgh's radio stations. What followed on KQV was Captain Midnight and Tom Mix. By that point, on WJAS, Benny Burton had evidently been replaced by a juvenile serial named Cimarron Tavern.

Anyway, on that day, after all the death and destruction of the previous half decade, Truman said:

This is the Christmas that a war-weary world has prayed for through long and awful years. With peace come joy and gladness. The gloom of the war years fades as once more we light the National Community Christmas Tree. We meet in the spirit of the first Christmas, when the midnight choir sang the hymn of joy: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

It is, therefore, fitting for us to remember that the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of peace, of love, of charity to all men. From the manger of Bethlehem came a new appeal to the minds and hearts of men: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."

In love, which is the very essence of the message of the Prince of Peace, the world would find a solution for all its ills. I do not believe there is one problem in this country or in the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount.


With our enemies vanquished we must gird ourselves for the work that lies ahead. Peace has its victories no less hard won than success at arms. We must not fail or falter. We must strive without ceasing to make real the prophecy of Isaiah: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."


With that message I wish my countrymen a Merry Christmas and joyous days in the New Year.

 And yet today in 2023:

At least 68 people were killed by an Israeli strike in central Gaza, health officials said Sunday, while the number of Israeli soldiers killed in combat over the weekend rose to 15.

Associated Press journalists at a nearby hospital watched frantic Palestinians carry the dead, including a baby, and wounded following the strike on the Maghazi refugee camp east of Deir al-Balah. One bloodied young girl looked stunned while her body was checked for broken bones.

The 68 fatalities include at least 12 women and seven children, according to early hospital figures.

December 20, 2023

From The Colorado Supreme Court

Read the ruling

Some highlights:

President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three; because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot. (p. 8)

The Court held:

  • The district court did not err in concluding that the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, constituted an “insurrection.”
  • The district court did not err in concluding that President Trump “engaged in” that insurrection through his personal actions.
  • President Trump’s speech inciting the crowd that breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was not protected by the First Amendment. (p. 8)

And then there's this:

The question thus becomes whether the evidence before the district court sufficiently established that the events of January 6 constituted a concerted and public use of force or threat of force by a group of people to hinder or prevent the U.S. government from taking the actions necessary to accomplish the peaceful transfer of power in this country. We have little difficulty concluding that substantial evidence in the record supported each of these elements and that, as the district court found, the events of January 6 constituted an insurrection. (p. 100)

And this:

Finally, substantial evidence in the record showed that the mob’s unified purpose was to hinder or prevent Congress from counting the electoral votes as required by the Twelfth Amendment and from certifying the 2020 presidential election; that is, to preclude Congress from taking the actions necessary to accomplish a peaceful transfer of power. (p. 102)

Under any viable definition, the Court wrote, this constitutes an insurrection.

As an aside, there's this:

And President Trump continued to fan the flames of his supporters’ ire, which he had ignited, with ongoing false assertions of election fraud, propelling the “Stop the Steal” movement and cross-country rallies leading up to January 6. Specifically, between Election Day 2020 and January 6, Stop the Steal organizers held dozens of rallies around the country, proliferating President Trump’s election disinformation and recruiting attendees, including members of violent extremist groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and white nationalists, to travel to Washington, D.C. on January 6. (p. 107-108)
And one of those rallies was on December 12.

Guess who spoke there:


Back to the ruling:

We conclude that the foregoing evidence, the great bulk of which was undisputed at trial, established that President Trump engaged in insurrection.

Yep. He did.

In case you missed it. This is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.  

Good Morning.

December 19, 2023

More Mastriano Connections in The News...

By now we all know about the $148 million Rudy Giuliani now owes the two election workers in Georgia he defamed.

And how he was "featured speaker" at Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano's election misinformation hearing in Gettysburg in November, 2020.

Doug's connected to Rudy.

Any comment Doug?

Did you see this in The New York Times?

A pro-Trump group that organized the “Save America” rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, lied to federal officials about President Donald J. Trump’s plans to call on the crowd to march to the Capitol, where the protest over his election loss turned into a violent riot, according to a new inspector general investigation.

Nearly three years after the mob laid siege to Congress, halting the certification of Mr. Trump’s electoral defeat and injuring more than 150 police officers, the Interior Department’s inspector general on Monday released a 47-page report examining the permitting process that allowed tens of thousands of Trump supporters to gather in Washington before the violence.

The report found that Women for America First, which organized a rally at the Ellipse about two miles from the Capitol on Jan. 6, “intentionally failed to disclose information” to the National Park Service “during the permitting process regarding a march to the U.S. Capitol.”

According to the investigation, Women for America First, which is run by Amy and Kylie Jane Kremer, a conservative mother-and-daughter team, repeatedly told Park Service officials there would be no march to the Capitol while privately planning for one.

And so what was Doug's connection? 

I am so glad you asked.

I wrote about it a little more than 2 years ago.

PA State Senator Doug Mastriano was listed as among the "Important Guests" for the Women for American First rally:

As I wrote back then:

So not only was he listed as among the "Invited Speaker & Featured Guests" at the rally, he was a completely different list of event "Important Guests."

Did Doug Mastriano know that the Women for America First lied to the Interior Department?  Does he have an explanation as to why he was, apparently, important enough to be featured in both rallies on January 6?

Any comment for the blog, Doug?

December 16, 2023

That's $148 MILLION!

Let's start here, at The NYTimes:

A jury on Friday ordered Rudolph W. Giuliani to pay $148 million to two former Georgia election workers who said he had destroyed their reputations with lies that they tried to steal the 2020 election from Donald J. Trump.

Judge Beryl A. Howell of the Federal District Court in Washington had already ruled that Mr. Giuliani had defamed the two workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. The jury had been asked to decide only on the amount of the damages.

The jury awarded Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss a combined $75 million in punitive damages. It also ordered Mr. Giuliani to pay compensatory damages of $16.2 million to Ms. Freeman and $16.9 million to Ms. Moss, as well as $20 million to each of them for emotional suffering.

That's $148 million for spreading defamatory misinformation.

You can read the complaint here.

And regarding all those statements, Rudy did this:

Rudy Giuliani concedes he made defamatory statements about Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss in an effort to resolve their lawsuit against him and to satisfy a judge who has considered sanctioning him.

The late-night Tuesday filing from Giuliani says he doesn’t contest Moss and Freeman’s accusations that he smeared them after the 2020 election. Yet the filing says he still wants to be able to argue that his statements about voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 election were protected speech. Notably, he also refuses to concede that his statements caused damages to Moss or Freeman. 

But they did and now because he said them (continually) Rudy owes Moss and Freeman some serious $$$.

So Rudy's a big old liar when it comes to election denial.

Do I need to remind everyone that Rudy was a "featured" speaker at this hearing in November, 2020? 

At the request of Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York), the Senate Majority Policy Committee is holding a public hearing Wednesday to discuss 2020 election issues and irregularities. The hearing will feature former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. 

Does PA State Senator Doug Mastriano have any comment regarding the fact that his November 2020 hearing's featured speaker owes more than a hundred million dollars for spreading election lies?

December 14, 2023

Hey, Look Who Was On Colbert Last Night!!

Take a look:

Yep. That's western Pennsylvania's very own Guy Reschenthaler.

The Washington Post has the story:

The House Rules Committee was considering whether to advance a vote on a formal impeachment inquiry to the House floor, which it did along party lines. In the course of the debate, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) had a pretty basic question for his Republican colleagues.

“What is the specific constitutional crime that you’re investigating?” Neguse asked Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.).

“Well, we’re having an inquiry so we can do an investigation to compel the production of witnesses and documents,” Reschenthaler said.

Neguse, who served as a House prosecutor during President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, pressed again: “And what is the crime you’re investigating?”

Reschenthaler responded merely, “High crimes, misdemeanors and bribery.” It was a reference to the constitutional threshold for impeachment, not a specific offense.

“What high crime and misdemeanor are you investigating?” Neguse asked.

“Look,” Reschenthaler said, “once I get time, I will explain what we’re looking at.”

Basically, they're saying that while they have the evidence of impeachable offenses, they have to impeach in order to have the inquiry to find the evidence of impeachable offenses.


The Post has some more:

Yet even when Reschenthaler did get time to expound shortly after the exchange, it still wasn’t so clear what the inquiry was about: Was there any reason to believe anything implicated Biden?

Reschenthaler began by pointing to Biden’s effort to get Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, fired.

“We have him on tape, dead to rights, bragging about shutting off aid to Ukraine in order to get a prosecutor — who’s actually probably the one guy in that government that wasn’t corrupt — that guy going after [Ukrainian energy firm] Burisma, which his son sat on the board of Burisma,” Reschenthaler said. “Quite amazing.”


How long has this been debunked?

At least this long. This was published October 3, 2019:

whistleblower complaint centering on President Donald Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president has spurred a number of allegations and counterallegations as Republicans and Democrats jockey for position amid an impeachment inquiry.

At the heart of Congress' probe into the president's actions is his claim that former Vice President and 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden strong-armed the Ukrainian government to fire its top prosecutor in order to thwart an investigation into a company tied to his son, Hunter Biden. 

But sources ranging from former Obama administration officials to an anti-corruption advocate in Ukraine say the official, Viktor Shokin, was ousted for the opposite reason Trump and his allies claim.

It wasn't because Shokin was investigating a natural gas company tied to Biden's son; it was because Shokin wasn't pursuing corruption among the country's politicians, according to a Ukrainian official and four former American officials who specialized in Ukraine and Europe.

And so on. 

And yet there was our Guy in DC, spreading the misinformation all over again.

December 7, 2023

Um...Sen Mastriano? Anti-Semitism? Really?

Let's just start here

With a 400% increase in antisemitic incidents following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas against Israel and recent reports of antisemitism on college campuses in Pennsylvania, state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) is introducing legislation to end state taxpayer support for colleges or universities that enable antisemitism.

“State tax dollars should not be in effect subsidizing colleges and universities that enable antisemitic behavior,” Mastriano said. “My bill would end state taxpayer support for any Pennsylvania college or university that authorizes, facilitates or supports an event promoting antisemitism on campus.”

Mastriano’s bill would cut state funding for one year for any higher education institutions that participate in or otherwise support antisemitism.

While antisemitism in any form is morally reprehensible seeing something like this from PA State Senator Doug Mastriano is more than a little cringe-worthy.

First, he links to the ADL - the Anti-Defamation League - with seemingly little or no interest in some of the other things the ADL has reported.

Like this:

December 15, 2021

Gab CEO Andrew Torba claims he’s not an antisemite, but he tells a very different story via Gab’s Twitter feed and his personal Gab account. In October 2021, Torba engaged in multiple antisemitic tirades on Twitter and Gab, posting and sharing a wide array of bigoted content. These posts – which had the potential to reach millions of people via Gab’s 390,000 Twitter followers and Torba’s 3.3 million Gab followers – promoted a range of antisemitic tropes, such as Jews having dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel, that Jews are to blame for the crucifixion of Jesus and that Jews control the U.S. government.

Gab, a self-described “free speech” platform, has a long history as a haven for antisemites, extremists and conspiracy theorists. Robert Bowers, the white supremacist who murdered 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, made numerous antisemitic posts on his Gab account in the weeks prior to the shooting. Three years later, antisemitic content persists on the platform, easily accessible within just a few clicks. Well-known antisemites like David DukeRick Wiles and Nicholas Fuentes maintain an active presence on the site.

And why should I bring up Andrew Torba and Gab? 

Well, there's this:

Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Pennsylvania, is facing bipartisan criticism for his ties to Gab, a far-right social media platform, and its founder Andrew Torba, over the rife antisemitic commentary that exists on the site. 


Mastriano has had a formal relationship with Torba and Gab since at least April, when Mastriano’s campaign paid Gab $5,000 for “consulting” services, according to state records first published by Media Matters for America, a left-leaning watchdog organization that has documented the relationship between Mastriano and Torba.  

This was more than 3 years after Robert Bowers slaughtered 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Bowers did so after posting some anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on, you guessed it, Andrew Torba's Gab.

But wait. There's more from the ADL:

According to Torba, the Gab founder’s public affiliation with Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano began in May 2022, when Torba officially announced that Gab would be endorsing Mastriano and PA Senate candidate Kathy Barnette. Torba claimed that this announcement was a culmination of the work he has done over the past year in order to build “a coalition of Christian nationalists at the local and state levels.”

And what did Doug get for his five large?

Well, Rolling Stone has some info

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, appears to have paid the far-right platform Gab for followers. An investigation by Huffpost found that new accounts on the website automatically follow Doug Mastriano, exponentially increasing his follower count since he paid $5,000 in “consulting” fees to the platform in April. 

What sort of “consulting” Mastriano’s campaign received is unclear, but he is gaining an audience on the Nazi-loving platform. According to Huffpost, there are only seven accounts automatically followed by new users: Mastriano, Gab founder Andrew Torba, and a selection of right-wing media outlets. Since the payment was made in April, Mastriano’s follower base has grown from less than 3,000 to upwards of 37,000. 

After Doug's ties to Gab came to light, this happened:

On July 28, Mastriano responded to that criticism, attempting to distance himself from the site and its Christian nationalist founder, who said recently in a video that Christians are “done being controlled and being told what we’re allowed to do in our own country by a 2% minority.”

In a statement, Mastriano said Torba doesn’t speak for his campaign and he rejects antisemitism in any form. He said the recent criticism of his association with Gab was an attempt by Democrats to smear him and he attacked his Democratic opponent, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. 


In case you missed it, that "2% minority" controlling Christians "in our own country" is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory from Andrew Torba. Just in case you didn't know.

But let's step away from Gab and just look at Mastriano's relationship with Andrew Torba.

With this:

In July, following fierce criticism from Democrats and Jewish leaders, Republicans among them, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano issued a statement declaring that Andrew Torba, the self-styled Christian nationalist founder of the far-right social network Gab, "doesn't speak for me or my campaign."

Days earlier, however, Mastriano — who won the GOP nomination for governor with the backing of former President Donald Trump — accepted a $500 contribution from Torba, who has frequently posted antisemitic rants and declared Jews unwelcome in his far-right movement, per a campaign finance report released Tuesday and first reported by Politico's Holly Otterbein.

Did he ever return that five hundred bucks? Why did he accept it in the first place?

After learning all that, take another look at Doug's legislation.  

Laughable. Hypocritical. Typically Mastriano.


November 30, 2023

Henry Kissinger, War Criminal, Dead at 100

Here's something I wrote about old Henry.

And here's what I want to emphasize: 

Then there's Vietnam.  Take a look at this from Hitchens, again.:

In the fall of 1968, Richard Nixon and some of his emissaries and underlings set out to sabotage the Paris peace negotiations on Vietnam. The means they chose were simple: they privately assured the South Vietnamese military rulers that an incoming Republican regime would offer them a better deal than would a Democratic one. In this way, they undercut both the talks themselves and the electoral strategy of Vice President Hubert Humphrey. The tactic "worked," in that the South Vietnamese junta withdrew from the talks on the eve of the election, thereby destroying the peace initiative on which the Democrats had based their campaign. In another way, it did not "work," because four years later the Nixon Administration tried to conclude the war on the same terms that had been on offer in Paris. The reason for the dead silence that still surrounds the question is that in those intervening years some 20,000 Americans and an uncalculated number of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians lost their lives. Lost them, that is to say, even more pointlessly than had those slain up to that point. The impact of those four years on Indochinese society, and on American democracy, is beyond computation. The chief beneficiary of the covert action, and of the subsequent slaughter, was Henry Kissinger.
Note that the peace talk sabotage took place before the 1968 election.  Nixon was still a private citizen (albeit one running for President) who had no legal authority to influence foreign policy.  In fact, it's a crime to do so.

It's pretty clear that the war was extended 4 years in order to aid in the election of Richard Nixon.  All the death and suffering in those extended years is on their hands.

Do I need to point out that Captain John McCain was captured in October 1967 and was released in March of 1973?

How much earlier would McCain have been released had Kissinger not sabotaged the '68 peace talks?  How much torture would he not have endured had the man he so deferentially reveres not, in effect, extended the Vietnam war for a Nixon's political gain?

And something else about Henry:

 Then there's the massacre of East Timor.  In 1975, East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in December of 1975. Hitchens, writing in The Nation in 2002:

Kissinger, who does not find room to mention East Timor even in the index of his three-volume memoir, has more than once stated that the invasion came to him as a surprise, and that he barely knew of the existence of the Timorese question. He was obviously lying. But the breathtaking extent of his mendacity has only just become fully apparent, with the declassification of a secret State Department telegram. The document, which has been made public by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, contains a verbatim record of the conversation among Suharto, Ford and Kissinger. "We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action," Suharto opened bluntly. "We will understand and will not press you on the issue," Ford responded. "We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have." Kissinger was even more emphatic, but had an awareness of the possible "spin" problems back home. "It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly," he instructed the despot. "We would be able to influence the reaction if whatever happens, happens after we return.... If you have made plans, we will do our best to keep everyone quiet until the President returns home." Micromanaging things for Suharto, he added: "The President will be back on Monday at 2 pm Jakarta time. We understand your problem and the need to move quickly but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned." As ever, deniability supersedes accountability.
Long Hitchens short, Kissinger gave Indonesia the OK to invade East Timor.

 Where tens of thousands were slaughtered.

Henry Kissinger, Dead at 100.

November 29, 2023

What Mike Pence Told Jack Smith

 From ABCNews:

Speaking with special counsel Jack Smith's team earlier this year, former Vice President Mike Pence offered harrowing details about how, in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, then-President Donald Trump surrounded himself with "crank" attorneys, espoused "un-American" legal theories, and almost pushed the country toward a "constitutional crisis," according to sources familiar with what Pence told investigators.

The sources said Pence also told investigators he's "sure" that -- in the days before Jan. 6, 2021, when a violent mob tried to stop Congress from certifying the election -- he informed Trump he still hadn't seen evidence of significant election fraud, but Trump was unmoved, continuing to claim the election was "stolen" and acting "recklessly" on that "tragic day."

Pence is the highest-ranking current or former government official known to have spoken with the special counsel team investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election. What he allegedly told investigators, described exclusively to ABC News, sheds further light on the evidence Smith's team has amassed as it prosecutes Trump for allegedly trying to unlawfully "remain in power" and "erode public faith" in democratic institutions.

Some details:

Sources said that investigators' questioning became so granular at times that they pressed Pence over the placement of a comma in his book: When recounting a phone call with Trump on Christmas Day 2020, Pence wrote in his book that he told Trump, "You know, I don't think I have the authority to change the outcome" of the election on Jan. 6.

But Pence allegedly told Smith's investigators that the comma should have never been placed there. According to sources, Pence told Smith's investigators that he actually meant to write in his book that he admonished Trump, "You know I don't think I have the authority to change the outcome," suggesting Trump was well aware of the limitations of Pence's authority days before Jan. 6 -- a line Smith includes in his indictment.

Christmas Day, 2020. 

Sometime ago, The NYTimes reported on Trump's "pressure campaign" to convince Pence to halt the count. It included this:

By Jan. 4, Mr. Pence and Mr. Jacob were sitting in the Oval Office with Mr. Trump and Mr. Eastman. At the meeting, Mr. Jacob recalled, Mr. Eastman admitted in front of the former president that his plan violated the Electoral Count Act.

Still, Mr. Trump and Mr. Eastman pressed on, continuing with meetings and calls the next day. Mr. Jacob took notes. On Jan. 5, Mr. Eastman told him directly: “I’m here to request that you reject the electors.”

But as they discussed the legal arguments, it became clear Mr. Jacob had the law on his side. Mr. Eastman admitted his theories would fail 9 to 0 before the Supreme Court, Mr. Jacob said.

January 4, 2021. 

So, reporting suggests that the Smith investigation was so "granular" that it was asking for an explanation about where the correct comma placement should have been in Pence's explanation to Trump that the Vice President has no authority to change the outcome of a presidential election. And yet Trump persisted in his pressure on Pence.

They're really digging into the details.

That being said, do you think they dug into this?

That's the record of the White House switchboard the day before Trump's mob stormed the Capitol. At 10:10pm on that day Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano called Donald Trump. According to the record, the call lasted 4 minutes after which, Trump told the operator that Mastriano will be calling Pence.

Do you think Jack Smith will be asking about those conversations?

Does Doug Mastriano think that Jack Smith will be asking about those conversations?


November 28, 2023

Meanwhile, Outside

Some actual climate science from the actual climate scientists at NOAA:

The October global surface temperature was 1.34°C (2.41°F) above the 20th-century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F), making it the warmest October on record. This was 0.24°C (0.43°F) above the previous record from October 2015. October 2023 marked the 47th-consecutive October and the 536th-consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th-century average. The past 10 Octobers (2014–2023) have been the warmest Octobers on record.

And, of course, there's a graph:

Then there's a "year to date" section:

The January–October global surface temperature ranked highest in the 174-year record at 1.13°C (2.03°F) above the 1901–2000 average of 14.1°C (57.4°F). This surpassed the previous record from January–October 2016 by 0.08°C (0.14°F). According to NCEI's statistical analysis and data through October, there is a greater than 99% chance that 2023 will rank as the warmest year on record.

But probably cooler than what's coming.

It's getting warmer out there.

November 13, 2023

Plans Trump Has For His Second Administration

First, let's look at what The Washington Post reported:

Donald Trump and his allies have begun mapping out specific plans for using the federal government to punish critics and opponents should he win a second term, with the former president naming individuals he wants to investigate or prosecute and his associates drafting plans to potentially invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office to allow him to deploy the military against civil demonstrations.

The orange vulgarity not only plans to target President Biden. Take a look:

In private, Trump has told advisers and friends in recent months that he wants the Justice Department to investigate onetime officials and allies who have become critical of his time in office, including his former chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and former attorney general William P. Barr, as well as his ex-attorney Ty Cobb and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley, according to people who have talked to him, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Trump has also talked of prosecuting officials at the FBI and Justice Department, a person familiar with the matter said.

Of course, there's no evidence of any criminal wrong doing but apparently to Donald Trump it is enough of a crime to criticize Donald Trump.

There's more:

To facilitate Trump’s ability to direct Justice Department actions, his associates have been drafting plans to dispense with 50 years of policy and practice intended to shield criminal prosecutions from political considerations.

And also invoking the Insurrection Act to quell any protests after he's seized power.  

The NYTimes has some details:

Mr. Trump intends to bring independent agencies — like the Federal Communications Commission, which makes and enforces rules for television and internet companies, and the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces various antitrust and other consumer protection rules against businesses — under direct presidential control.

He wants to revive the practice of “impounding” funds, refusing to spend money Congress has appropriated for programs a president doesn’t like — a tactic that lawmakers banned under President Richard Nixon.

He intends to strip employment protections from tens of thousands of career civil servants, making it easier to replace them if they are deemed obstacles to his agenda. And he plans to scour the intelligence agencies, the State Department and the defense bureaucracies to remove officials he has vilified as “the sick political class that hates our country.”

And there's also this from The NY Times:

Former President Donald J. Trump is planning an extreme expansion of his first-term crackdown on immigration if he returns to power in 2025 — including preparing to round up undocumented people already in the United States on a vast scale and detain them in sprawling camps while they wait to be expelled.


And Mr. Trump would try to end birthright citizenship for babies born in the United States to undocumented parents — by proclaiming that policy to be the new position of the government and by ordering agencies to cease issuing citizenship-affirming documents like Social Security cards and passports to them. That policy’s legal legitimacy, like nearly all of Mr. Trump’s plans, would be virtually certain to end up before the Supreme Court.
A Supreme Court where three of the nine Justices were appointed by Trump himself.

As Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

One last note.

The AP reporting of this story has been posted at Triblive:

A mass deportation operation. A new Muslim ban. Tariffs on all imported goods and “freedom cities” built on federal land.

Much of the 2024 presidential campaign has been dominated by the myriad investigations into former President Donald Trump and the subsequent charges against him. But with less than a year until Election Day, Trump is dominating the race for the Republican nomination and has already laid out a sweeping set of policy goals should he win a second term. 

And so on... 

Why do I point this out?

Well there's this from The Times:

Mr. Vought and Mr. McEntee are involved in Project 2025, a $22 million presidential transition operation that is preparing policies, personnel lists and transition plans to recommend to any Republican who may win the 2024 election. The transition project, the scale of which is unprecedented in conservative politics, is led by the Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has shaped the personnel and policies of Republican administrations since the Reagan presidency.

And this from The Post

Clark’s involvement with Project 2025 has alarmed some other conservative lawyers who view him as an unqualified choice to take a senior leadership role at the department, according to a conservative lawyer who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private talks. Project 2025 comprises 75 groups in a collaboration organized by the Heritage Foundation.

Do you see where I'm going? Long time readers of this blog will remember the many many blog posts pointing out the many many deep financial ties between then Trib's owner, Richard Mellon Scaife (1932 - 2014) and The Heritage Foundation.

It's been almost a decade since Scaife shuffled off his mortal coil but it's safe to say that The Heritage Foundation would not be what it is today were it not for Scaife's financial largess. And now it's The Heritage Foundation that's part of Trump's projected attack on the federal government.

Given that history, shouldn't the current owners of The Trib (whoever they are) at least comment on their news source's past connections to the guy who funded the foundation that might, just might, dissolve our current system of checks and balances?

November 10, 2023

Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Repost

 From a few years ago:

Happy Birthday, Stanley Tucci, Lee Haney, Demi Moore, and Calista Flockhart.

And of course, a Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut who wrote this:

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.
All music is sacred.

So it goes.

PS Today's also the anniversary of Jerome Kern's passing.  Having said that, I can think of nothing more sacred than this:

November 8, 2023

A Pretty Solid Night For The Democratic Party

Results in a few bullet points:

Oh yea, and this happened just next door:

Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that ensures access to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care, the latest victory for abortion rights supporters since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

Ohio became the seventh state where voters decided to protect abortion access after the landmark ruling and was the only state to consider a statewide abortion rights question this year.

“The future is bright, and tonight we can celebrate this win for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights,” Lauren Blauvelt, co-chair of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, which led support for the amendment, told a jubilant crowd of supporters.

In Ohio.

And then in "ruby red" Kentucky:

Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear fended off a challenge Tuesday from Trump-backed opponent Daniel Cameron, winning praise from Democrats who view his victory in the ruby red state as a potential proxy for the 2024 presidential election.  

Since 2003, Kentucky's gubernatorial races have been a consistent bellwether for presidential elections and Democrats are hoping the trend will hold in 2024. President Joe Biden phoned the Kentucky governor shortly after his victory was announced to congratulate him, the White House said. 

Beshear, who is among the most popular governors in the country, leaned heavily into key Democratic issues during the campaign, including abortion rights and Biden’s achievements on jobs and infrastructure.  

And now some commentary from Talkingpointsmemo:

A pretty solid night for the Democrats. Looks like they hold the Virginia Senate and retake the House of Delegates. Bad night for Youngkin. Abortion referendum and pot legalization referendum both win in Ohio. Huge D wins in New Jersey. Gov Beshear wins and wins big in Kentucky. There are other races but that really tells the story. Solid Dem night.




November 7, 2023


A word of advice (for whatever it's worth):

When you're voting, keep in mind the party of the person on the ballot. Usually, this might not be much of an issue but as long as Donald Trump is running the GOP, it's a big fucking deal.

No matter what a republican candidate might say about Trump, that candidate is still in Trump's party.

Your vote for that candidate would, even in some small incredibly indirect way, go to support the orange vulgarity currently facing 91 charges.

Our system of government and our freedoms are at stake.

October 27, 2023

The News Today, Oh Boy...

From The Onion

LEWISTON, ME—In the hours following a violent rampage in Maine in which a lone attacker killed at least 16 individuals and injured numerous others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Wednesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Idaho resident Peter Carter, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this individual from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”

And so on.

October 25, 2023

Doug Mastriano's "Senior Legal Advisor" Pleads Guilty


From The New York Times:

Jenna Ellis, a pro-Trump lawyer who amplified former President Donald J. Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud as part of what she called a legal “elite strike force team,” pleaded guilty on Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors in Georgia.

Addressing a judge in an Atlanta courtroom, she tearfully expressed regret for taking part in efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election.

Ms. Ellis, 38, pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting false statements and writings, a felony. 


“If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these postelection challenges,” Ms. Ellis told Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court. “I look back on this experience with deep remorse. For those failures of mine, your honor, I’ve taken responsibility already before the Colorado bar, who censured me, and I now take responsibility before this court and apologize to the people of Georgia.”

Um, so I am guessing that among those failures of hers, for which she has "deep regret" is this:

President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election stretched into a more desperate phase on Wednesday as he phoned into a conspiratorial public hearing on voter fraud headlined by Rudy Giuliani and Republicans in Gettysburg, Pa.

The remarks from the president came virtually, as Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis — seated beside Giuliani in a Wyndham hotel ballroom — raised her phone to the microphone at their witness table, allowing Trump to participate in the hearing from the Oval Office. 

In case you didn't know, that was Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano's hearing:

See that picture on the right? The woman sitting next to Rudy Giuliani?

That's Jenna Ellis, who just pleaded guilty in Georgia to spreading some of Trump's big lies about the 2020 election. There she is in Pennsylvania, spreading some of Trump's big lies about the 2020 election. 

And this is what Sen Mastriano said about that meeting:

There is election fraud in Pennsylvania and denying it won’t make it go away.

The day before Thanksgiving, along with Senator David Argall, I hosted the Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing in Gettysburg where hours of testimony was presented, reviewed, and vetted.


After the hearing, I introduced a measure that would allow the Pennsylvania legislature to exercise its Constitutional authority of appointing presidential electors. For the legislature to pass the resolution, Governor Wolf needed to call a special session and he refused.

See that? Why was it important? This is why:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, on the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Pennsylvania...[Emphasis added.]

That was the opening of the "certificate" Pennsylvania's fake electors signed. Doug evidently introduced the legislation that would have allowed those fakes to be recognized as real in Pennsylvania.

Then there's this:

Doug Mastriano, Pennsylvania’s Republican nominee for governor who has pushed Donald Trump’s election lies, said Monday that he had appointed Trump’s former campaign lawyer as a senior legal adviser to his own campaign.

The lawyer, Jenna Ellis, endorsed Mastriano in the state’s contested Republican primary, campaigned with Mastriano and hosted Mastriano on her podcast, where he once discussed how to overturn Trump’s defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Ellis, who also promoted Trump’s election lies, was with Mastriano the night he won his gubernatorial primary and, speaking on her podcast last month, said, “I like to say that Doug Mastriano is the Donald Trump of Pennsylvania.” 

Yep. That's what Jenna Ellis, who declared remorse for her post-2020 election dishonesty said about Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano.

ANY comment for the blog, Doug?


October 21, 2023

How 'Bout THIS? Can Someone Ask Mastriano About THIS TOO?

From The NY Times:

Kenneth Chesebro on Friday became the second lawyer in two days to plead guilty in a criminal racketeering indictment that also named Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Chesebro also agreed to cooperate with state prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga., who have accused him, Mr. Trump and 17 others of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. On Thursday, Sidney K. Powell made a similar deal and said she, too, would cooperate with the prosecutors.

Mr. Chesebro was accused of conspiring to create slates of fake electors to support Mr. Trump in Georgia and several other states won by President Biden. His lawyers had argued that he was merely offering legal counsel to clients.

One of those "other states" was Pennsylvania. 

Back to The Times:

As part of his deal, Mr. Chesebro agreed to “truthfully testify” against the remaining co-defendants, as had Ms. Powell and Scott Hall, an Atlanta bail bondsman who was the first to accept a plea deal in the case in late September. Mr. Chesebro also agreed to turn over documents and other evidence relevant to the case.


Mr. Chesebro is the first person with inside knowledge of the wide-ranging plan to create fake slates of pro-Trump electors in states that Mr. Trump actually lost to have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the authorities.

Pennsylvania was one of those "states that Mr. Trump actually lost" doncha know. 

This is what Count 13 of the Georgia indictment looks like:

And now we get to the curious case of the Pennsylvania "fake electors."

Five of the seven states with "fake electors" tried to submit certificates that started with this text:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of...

And yet Pennsylvania's "fake electors" certificate started with this:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, on the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Pennsylvania...

For some reason (gee, what could that reason be?) Pennsylvania Trump-electors added this text to the original:

... on the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are ultimately recognized as...

All the other text was identical. I can only guess they did it to give them some legal, if not political cover.

But that leads to the question: why would they feel the need for such cover?

In any event, despite the added differences in Pennsylvania, the source of the documents was Chesebro.

From The January 6 Committee report:

Despite the fact that all major election lawsuits thus far had failed, President Trump and his co-conspirators in this effort, including John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, pressed forward with the fake elector scheme. Ultimately, these false electoral slates, five of which purported to represent the “duly elected” electoral college votes of their States, were transmitted to Executive Branch officials at the National Archives, and to the Legislative Branch, including to the Office of the President of the Sen- ate, Vice President Mike Pence.

The fake electors followed Chesebro’s step-by-step instructions for completing and mailing the fake certificates to multiple officials in the U.S. Government, complete with registered mail stickers and return address labels identifying senders like the “Arizona Republican Party” and the “Georgia Republican Party.” (p.43) [Emphasis added.]


And now Kenneth Chesebro has agreed to testify about his plan on submitting fake Trump electors. And there were fake Trump electors in Pennsylvania.

And from The NYTimes we learned in 2022:

As they organized the fake elector scheme, lawyers appointed a “point person” in seven states to help organize those electors who were willing to sign their names to false documents. In Pennsylvania, that point person was Douglas V. Mastriano, a proponent of Mr. Trump’s lies of a stolen election who is now the Republican nominee for governor.

Ok, so I'll ask it again:

Will someone please ask Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano about his participation in Donald Trump's "fake elector" scheme?

October 20, 2023

Can Someone PLEASE Ask St Sen Doug Mastriano About This??

We'll start here:

Sidney Powell, one of 18 co-defendants in former President Donald Trump's election interference case in Georgia, has taken a plea deal in which she has agreed to testify in the case.

She is pleading guilty to six misdemeanor charges, according to the agreement read in court Thursday. She will get 12 months of probation for each count, as well as a $6,000 fine.

As part of the agreement, Powell must "testify truthfully about any co-defendants" involved in the case and "provide all documents to the district attorney's office" relevant to their case against the other co-defendants, according to Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee.

And this:

Though the original seven felony charges against Powell focused only on her role in a breach of election equipment in a Coffee County, Ga., elections office that occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, the terms of Powell’s plea require her to turn over any evidence or documents requested by the district attorney’s investigators and to testify truthfully at any related trials in the broader racketeering case.  

And so why should someone ask Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano about this?

This is why:

A nonprofit organization run by former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, who filed a series of lawsuits last year attempting to overturn presidential election results in Arizona and other states, contracted the company that’s now counting 2.1 million ballots from Maricopa County to conduct an election audit in a rural Pennsylvania county, according to records obtained by the Arizona Mirror.

Wake Technology Services, Inc., co-founder Gene Kern and Fulton County’s elections director, IT director and one member of the three-person election board signed a document on Dec. 31 stating that Kern was requesting to check the county’s voting machines and mail-in ballots from the general election. At the bottom of the typed document are handwritten notes stating that Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano set up the audit and that Wake TSI is contracted with Defending the Republic, Powell’s 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. County clerk Lisa Mellott-McConahy said the county’s elections director, Patti Hess, identified the handwriting as belonging to Kern. [Bold Italics added.]

Take a look:


Fulton County, Pennsylvania.

Take a look at what happened in Fulton County - as per the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Middle District:

The Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth decertified certain voting equipment that Fulton County acquired from Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. (“Dominion”) in 2019 and used in the 2020 general election. The Secretary decertified the voting equipment after learning that, following the 2020 election, Fulton County had allowed Wake Technology Services, Inc. (“Wake TSI”), to perform a probing inspection of that equipment as well as the software and data contained therein. The Secretary maintained that Wake TSI’s inspection had compromised the integrity of the equipment. Fulton County and the other named Petitioner-Appellees petitioned in the Commonwealth Court’s original jurisdiction to challenge the Secretary’s decertification authority generally and as applied in this case. During the pleading stage, the Secretary learned that Fulton County intended to allow another entity, Envoy Sage, LLC, to inspect the allegedly compromised equipment. The Secretary sought a protective order from the Commonwealth Court barring that inspection and any other third-party inspection during the litigation. The court denied relief. The Secretary appealed that ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which entered a temporary order on January 27, 2022, to prevent the inspection and to preserve the status quo during the Court's review of the Secretary’s appeal. Months later—and with no public consideration, official proceedings, or notice to the courts or other parties to this litigation—the County allowed yet another party, Speckin Forensics, LLC to inspect the voting equipment and electronic evidence at issue in this litigation. Upon learning of this alleged violation of the temporary order, the Secretary filed an “Application for an Order Holding [the County] in Contempt and Imposing Sanctions.” The Supreme Court found Fulton County willfully violated the Supreme Court's order. The Court found Fulton County and its various attorneys engaged in a "sustained, deliberate pattern of dilatory, obdurate, and vexatious conduct and have acted in bad faith throughout these sanction proceedings." Taken as a whole, that behavior prompted the Court to sanction both the County and the County Attorney.

Um, that's bad, right?

Can someone please ask Doug Mastriano what he knows about Sidney Powell, Wake Technology and the Fulton County voting machines?