Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Republicans stole the White House yet again mostly through voter suppression

By Jack Thor

As expected, more is coming out about how Trump and other Republicans stole the White House. No, this story doesn't have much to do with Russian hacking, WikiLeaks, and FBI Director James Comey.
Though those aspects were certainly significant factors, the main method that Republicans stole the White House and why Trump was so confident that he would win before the election is through the same way they did in 2000 and 2004: suppressing the minority vote, especially in key swing states.
In Michigan alone, more than 75,000 ballots in mostly Democratic, minority-dominated precincts of Detroit and Flint were not counted, investigative reporter Greg Palast said in a report on Truthout.
Michigan voters had to fill in bubbles on paper ballots. If the bubble was not filled in completely, the vote was not counted by a machine. A systems analyst who participated in the hand recount there told Palast that she saw “a lot of ballots that weren’t originally counted because those don’t scan into the machine.”
The problem intensified in urban, mostly Democratic precincts because they contained older machines that broke down more than those in suburban and rural mostly Republican areas. Republican leaders denied pleas by officials from the Democratic sites to upgrade the machines.
In Detroit, officials also threw out ballots in which voters marked the straight Democratic ticket but wrote in a protest name like Bernie Sanders, even though the ballot should have counted for Clinton. The Detroit machines “simply invalidated the ballots with protest write-ins because the old Opti-Scans wrongly tallied these as ‘over-votes’ [voting for two candidates],” Palast wrote. A human recount would catch such mistakes.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, blocked Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s request for human recounts with nonsensical orders. The result was that recount workers were denied access to 59 percent of Detroit’s precincts, Palast reported. “It’s shocking to think that the discounting of these votes may be making the critical difference in the outcome of the election,” Stein said.
A similar situation occurred in Wisconsin, which employed the same Opti-Scan system as Michigan. Uncounted votes were concentrated in African-American strong precincts in Milwaukee, Palast noted. Stein again sought human reviews of ballots, but GOP state officials ordered Milwaukee County to run the ballots through the same machines. “Not surprisingly, this instant replay produced the same questionable result,” Palast stated.
There were other problems, such as long lines and shortened polling-place hours. Some sites were moved. Numerous voters, particularly students, were turned away due to tougher ID laws passed by mostly Republicans after their buddies on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013.
But among the most heinous pre-election suppression efforts was a system called Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck. That program involved a list of more than 7 million voters in 29 states created by Trump supporter and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in 2013. Yes, that same year the Republican-leaning U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for purging voters by gutting the Voting Rights Act. Like Kansas, most of the states involved are controlled by Republicans, including key swing states such as Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Florida.
Crosscheck’s goal is to find people with similar names and claim they had voted twice, when officials didn’t even check birth dates or Social Security numbers to verify the votes came from the same person, Palast charged. Before the 2016 election, hundreds of thousands of voters were purged from the rolls simply because they did not vote in a recent election, or they had the same first and last names as a voter in another state and did not mail back a small, colorless postcard the state sent to verify their address. For example, Donald Alexander Webster Jr. of Dayton, Ohio, was accused by the system of voting as Donald Eugene Webster of Charlottesville, Va. The Ohio Webster said he had never been to Charlottesville.
Palast’s team ran names through a computer and found that two million of the middle names didn’t match. “They had 288 guys named James Brown in Georgia, who apparently voted in another state,” Palast told The Real News Network. “How’d they know that? Because they found  ̶  believe it or not  ̶  a James Brown in Motown, in Detroit. And then they found a James Brown in Virginia. And can you believe that? They found another James Brown in Ohio.”
Almost 450,000 Michigan voters were on the Crosscheck suspect list, and at least 50,000 saw their votes discarded, he said. Trump supposedly won Michigan by about 11,000 votes.
Hundreds of thousands more were on the list in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio, and other states. Tens of thousands of those voters saw their ballots tossed. Most of the purged voters were African-Americans, Latinos, and others who tended to support Democratic candidates, especially in the 2016 election.
Trump supposedly won Wisconsin by 23,000 votes, Pennsylvania by 44,000, Arizona by 91,000, Florida by 113,000, and North Carolina by 174,000. If the unjustified voter purges had not been done, Clinton would have won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania at the very least – and thus the White House.

Voting has become an obstacle course for minorities

“For voters of color in the USA, voting has become some kind of crazy obstacle course,” Palast said. “First, don’t get purged….Then drag yourself to the single black voting station and wait for five hours. Oops! Wrong guy ID  ̶  go back home. You’ll have absentee or provisional ballots. Don’t miss the bubble or it gets thrown in the garbage.”
In Philadelphia, officials use “push and pray” machines, which can easily lose votes merely by having a electronic glitch, Palast said. “The easiest way to stop a vote count in the computer is just to unplug it…and your vote just disappears into the ether. ‘Oh, we’re so sorry. We just lost the votes on this memory card.’ It’s that simple. Jim Crow has gone into cyberspace.”
Virginia election officials estimated that about 12 percent of voters on their rolls were purged, Palast said. That was a conservative estimate, he noted.  In all of the states, more than one million votes could have been tossed out in the 2016 presidential election.
Even though voting twice in the same election was a felony, officials never criminally pursued the suspects because they didn’t want wide public knowledge of the program, Palast said. “Interestingly, they didn’t arrest them…..They just took away their right to vote.”
A Michigan Secretary of State office spokesman confirmed to Palast that he did not know of a single conviction for voting twice.  He stated officials were careful to verify identities before they tossed out votes. But Stein and others did not buy that.
Nationwide, there were only a handful of actual convictions for voting twice and each one involved a white Republican, Palast said.
Kobach refused to speak formally to Palast, but the investigative reporter tracked him down at a Kansas fundraiser in a public park. “Why are these lists so secret?” Palast asked him.
“They aren't,” Kobach replied, contradicting what his attorney told Palast.
When shown the list inadvertently sent by Virginia officials in which they purged 41,000 voters, Kobach claimed, “That is false! You know why? Federal law prohibits that.” Then he hurried off.
Democrats engaged in voter suppression techniques as well, but they were not as noticeable in the general election as Republican efforts, Palast said. They were seen more readily in the primaries, where Clinton supporters suppressed votes made by mostly progressives for Bernie Sanders, he said.
“You see progressive forces within the Democratic Party who suddenly end up short in primaries because the votes aren’t counted,” Palast said. “So the Democrats are old hands at vote suppression. And the attack on the minority voter and low-income voters. I saw the worst cases in New Mexico.”

Republicans can't back up claims that people voted twice

When Trump said numerous times during the 2016 campaign that the “election is rigged,” he was referring to people “voting many, many times,” Palast noted. Dick Morris, a political consultant who worked on voter purges, advised Trump on what to say, Palast said.
Republican officials in North Carolina claimed that they had proof that more than 35,000 people voted twice in 2012, or at least had the same first and last names and birth dates. They charged that was how Obama defeated Mitt Romney, despite Obama winning the election without North Carolina – Romney took that state by almost 100,000 votes. Obama won Florida by about 75,000 votes, Ohio by 160,000, Wisconsin by 213,000, Pennsylvania by 310,000, and Michigan by 450,000. Yet, Republicans claimed some 35,000 votes decided the 2012 election?
When Palast visited North Carolina Republicans making those claims, they couldn’t locate a single voter who supposedly cast ballots twice in 2012. Palast checked some names on their list, and those people denied they voted twice. Some said they had not ever visited the other state, and they did not have the same middle name.
Of course, Palast had seen this tale before. In 2000, Florida GOP Secretary of State Katherine Harris discarded some 180,000 ballots due to having hanging chads and other excuses. About 54 percent of those uncounted votes were cast by African-Americans, according to a report by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Gore needed a mere 538 more votes to win Florida and the White House.
Then in 2004, Ohio Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell invalidated a similar number of votes because of mostly arbitrary reasons. Some 90,000 were hanging chads, the large majority made by black voters. About 155,000 others were provisional ballots that Blackwell devised arbitrary rules so most were not counted. The majority of those ballots also came from Democratic precincts. Blackwell also took a page from Katherine Harris in using biased felony lists to purge mostly black voters. Kerry, who lost the popular vote to Bush by about 3 million, would have won the Electoral College had he obtained 119,000 more votes in Ohio.
Kerry conceded without a fight, though in later years, he claimed he was robbed. He would have had to demand a hand count of the spoiled punch cards, and Blackwell and the Supremes would likely have stopped such a count, as Harris and the Supremes did in 2000. “Kerry, realistically, didn't stand a chance,” Palast wrote on his website.

So why didn't Clinton push harder for a recount?

Gore, Kerry, and Clinton’s concern about their reputations, legacies, and careers likely played roles in causing them not to push too hard for recounts, or question the integrity of the American voting system too deeply, Palast said. Even though Gore fought for a month, he still had legal options after the Supremes stopped the counts.
Kerry was fighting a more uphill battle than Gore since he did not win the popular vote, and he needed more than 100,000 votes to catch Bush in Ohio.
As for Clinton, a story in The Hill says that Obama himself called Clinton early Nov. 9 to urge that she concede. She reportedly did not really want to at that time, but she finally agreed. 
Clinton faced a bigger climb to win the Electoral College than Gore in 2000 or Kerry in 2004. She needed to overturn results in three states in which the margin was as great as 44k. That would have been difficult under the best of circumstances. As we saw, Trump and Republican officials did all they could to oppose Stein's recount effort. If it got to the Supremes again, the Repubs had that vote as they did in 2000. I'm not sure she really conceded because she didn't want to rock the boat that carried her too much, though that could have been a factor. It may have been more that she knew she was not likely to prevail with all that was against her. And she may have been tired of it, as I think Kerry was in 2004 when he decided not to seek a recount of Ohio.
As Palast noted, exit polls were right based on votes cast but did not account for the thousands of votes discarded. Exit polls also showed Kerry winning Ohio in 2004 and Gore winning Fla in 2000. They don't account for voter suppression. This is something that still has not been adequately addressed by the mainstream media or anyone in power.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Clinton's 2.9 million popular vote win was larger than percentage margin of EIGHT other U.S. presidential elections

Trump and his minions are claiming somehow that they took the White House in a landslide; nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Clinton won the popular vote by a larger margin than in eight other U.S. presidential elections, as the following chart shows:

Won popular vote    Year    Percentage point margin    Won Electoral College

Hillary Clinton          2016                 2.1                               Donald Trump
Jimmy Carter           1976                  2.06                             Carter
James Polk                1844                 1.45                              Polk
Grover Cleveland  1888                    0.8                            Benjamin Harrison
Richard Nixon       1968                     0.7                             Nixon
Cleveland               1884                     0.6                             Cleveland
Al Gore                   2000                     0.5                             George W. Bush
John F. Kennedy   1960                     0.2                             Kennedy
James Garfield     1880                      0.1                              Garfield

Sources: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections

Put another way, Clinton won the popular vote by a larger margin than in eight of the other 57 presidential elections in U.S. history. Remember how mad many of us were in 2000 when Gore won the popular vote and the White House was stolen from him? He only won by a larger margin in two other races.

Since Trump is on twitter, I am tweeting this post to him on a daily basis just to remind him and his supporters they didn't come close to winning. Trump is the epitome of an illegitimate president - thus he should rightly be called a bastard. 

Here are some of my tweets to Trump:
 Another facet is Gregory Palast's reports on the recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and PA. If they were fair, Trump would not be in the White House. See Palast's reports here.

Feel free to send this out yourself.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The #GreatResistance to Trump begins full-force

Now that the Electoral College has proven to be a total farce with few electors having a backbone, #TheResistance starts in full gear.

For starters, read Marianne Williamson's Huffington Post story here. She is hosting a conference called Sister Giant in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 2-4, 2017. The event will feature speakers talking about effective ways to politically resist Trump, as well as deeper understanding of our predicament.

There is also the Women's March on Washington slated for Jan. 21, 2017, in D.C. Organizers hope to have a million people or more marching in the capital. You don't have to be a woman to participate, BTW.

Others are planning to sue Trump's minions at every opportunity. You don't have to engage in big protests or lawsuits to make a difference. Creating actions that get publicity and Trump's goat can make a difference. One is the website Send Trump Pussy started by some high school students. They pledge to send lollipops in the shape of vaginas to Trump's New York business headquarters.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fight Pence's Plan to Do Away with Medicare, Social Security

As we rightly focus on Trump, Pence has quietly emerged as the real power in the new administration.

If the recounts don't work, we really need to fight these bastards on two fronts. Pence wants to do away with Medicare and Social Security, and Trump will likely let him do so since he spends much of his time on Twitter.

Get involved in AARP and other groups like the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare - our future depends on it.

For some good reading on Pence's history of trying to eradicate SS and Medicare, see this story.

 #TrumPenceLand #SaveMedicare #SaveSocialSecurity

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Clinton's lead in popular vote over 2 million, recounts planned in Wis., Mich., Pa.

A lot of people get on Jill Stein's case. I don't think she was as big a factor in Clinton not getting as many votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as much as other factors, like Russian hackers, Comey, and Hillary's lack of being able to connect to working-class voters.

Stein is the one pushing for recounts in those swing states, not Clinton, who conceded despite being up by 2 million in the popular vote. That is four times what Gore won the vote by in 2000.

Trump claims Clinton is behind the recount. He and his idiot campaign manager are bringing back the "Sore Loser" slogan that Republicans painted Gore with during the 2000 recount. Newsflash: You lost Trump. Damn straight we need recounts when your Russian friends likely hacked the vote for you.

This is about the integrity of the voting process, as Stein says.

If you want to donate to the recount effort, go here.

Bakker says God will punish Clinton-winning counties with earthquakes

If there is a positive in having a narcissistic wannabee dictator to the right of Limbaugh and Rev. Sun Moon as president of the US, it’s that it's fashionable to make fun of televangelists again.

Jim Bakker is as loony as they get.  In one of his latest videos, he claims that earthquakes will level LA and other cities simply became more people voted for Clinton there. 
So under the scenario, Dallas – the center of Bush and Cheney company that rejected Trump by 61 percent - will get it, but somehow surrounding counties that supported Trump like Tarrant, Collin, Denton and Ellis will be spared. Bakker also claims Trump is surrounded by more people of God than any other WH occupant. I guess God likes men who refer to women as “fucking cunts.” 
The video is here.

So looks like not only Dallas residents but those in Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, and Houston better take heed. You too, Little Rock, Ark. And Charlotte, N.C. And Charleston, S.C. And Nashville and Memphis. And Albuquerque. And especially you heathens in D.C., NYC, LA, SF, Boston, Philly, Chicago, Atlanta, Portland, Denver, Seattle, Santa Fe, Richmond, Va., and other areas where Clinton attracted more than 70 percent of the vote.

But if you live in places like OKC, Green Bay, Colorado Springs, Knoxville, and even Phoenix, you are safe. For now, until a bunch more people start moving there from Clinton counties after the earthquakes start.... 
While some are boycotting companies that contributed to Trump like Paypal and Yuengling Brewery, we can also boycotts cities and counties that voted substantially for Trump. If it was close like in Phoenix I might give a pass. But if it was a ten-point or more advantage, I will try not to spend money in those counties.
So when visiting Dallas, I will spend money in Dallas County, rather than nearby Collin or Denton. And if I’m in Colorado, I’ll try to stay in Denver or Boulder rather than Colorado Springs.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rage Against the Trump Machine [an original poetic anthem for our protest campaign against The Donald]

The yyyyuuuuggeee protests against The Donald inspired me to pen this poem. May it become among our anthems to mark our campaign against Trump....

Rage  Against the Trump Machine

By Jack Thor

Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Do not go gentle into that dark cloud
Rage, rage against bigotry all around

Do not go gentle into that police line
Rage, rage against Making America White Again

Do not go gentle into that concentration camp
Rage, rage against the votes that did not count

Do not go gentle into that draining swamp
Rage, rage against the Koolaid-drinking tramp

Do not go gentle into that nuclear mist
Rage, rage against the lies that make us pissed

Do not go gentle into that flawed White House
Rage, rage against the tyrant who is a louse

Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Copyright 2016 by Jack Thor

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Jack Thor - the Right's Worst Nightmare - Reporting Back for Duty

It's been an eventful eight years since Bush left. I admit some complacency. But after the Repugs stole the White House for the second time in 16 years, I had to get back out here.

I'm back and even more radical than ever.

A bit about me if you don't know me: Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh once called me a "liar" on his show. I think that was in reference to calling Limbaugh the biggest lying, Dominican Republic-underaged-girl-screwing sack of shit that ever got on the air. I wear his "insult" like a badge of honor.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said I should suffer and initiated an investigation of me after I wrote how he was screwing guys - literally and figuratively. I own that, as well.

I have broken key stories on the net. Those include Dick Cheney continuing to live in his Texas home after he claimed to have moved to Wyoming and selling the home to a big Republican donor who already had a mansion in the same neighborhood. I was the last writer to interview Margie Schoedinger, a Texas woman who filed a sexual assault lawsuit against George W. Bush and died via a gunshot wound that was ruled a suicide a few months later.

When conservatives claimed that not even liberal types would defend actor Chevy Chase calling Bush a "dumb fuck" in public, I did just that, showing how Bush and Cheney had used profanity in public repeatedly. My reports on Schwarznegger and others were so revealing that the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and others called to follow up. I also penned the definitive book on on Bush, Cheney, Rove & Co's cheating history called Born to Cheat: How Bush, Cheney, Rove & Co. Broke the Rules - From the Sandlot to the White House.

Besides writing, I have been a longtime activist for social causes and liberal political issues. In 2003, I organized a petition drive to oust former hard right-winger Tom DeLay from office and presented copies of the petition signed by several thousand fellow Americans to the offices of leaders of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. Others did likewise, and the efforts helped lead to DeLay's ouster and conviction. 

So I'm ready to get back here and take on the Donald. He is worse than Bush, a bigger liar with a more sordid past. There is a lot of work ahead, but we need to make it fun. We need to come up with creative ways to oppose his fascist policies. We can't sit back and take the Repugs stealing the White House again. They would never take that had they lost that prize on a technicality twice in 16 years. It's fucking ridiculous.

I mean, the last time before 2000 that a presidential candidate lost the electoral college while winning the popular vote was 1888! That's fucking 112 years! And the repugs have done it twice in the last 16 years??? You don't think that is fishy?? Their suppression efforts and cheating are off the charts!

So to start, check this story on how much Clinton won by - more than two million votes. It's something you won't hear much about because most mainstream media reporters have gone on to other things like where Donald likes to play golf. Hats off to these NY Times reporters for staying on the job.

Yes, Clinton is likely to win the popular vote by more than two million votes and more than 1.5 percentage points. She will have won by a wider percentage margin than not only Al Gore in 2000 but also Richard Nixon in 1968 and John F. Kennedy in 1960.

The story is here .

She won by more than Nixon and she conceded! Why? At least Gore strung it out for a few weeks. And he only won by about 500,000 votes. Clinton looked tired and like she didn't want to battle anymore. Who could blame her? Those right-wingers and Trumpites are the nastiest bullies on the planet. You can bet there will be a special place in Hell for those major league assholes. They will join Scalia and Dulles and Hoover and LBJ and the rest. Karma is real, and it will hit them like a sledgehammer.

So, there are protests of Chump going on. If you can, join one. There is one at the White House Saturday. Many more all across the US are scheduled here .  These are important to keep it in people's minds that Trump is not legitimate. He didn't win. There was MAJOR voter suppression in key swing states that I'm investigating and will get out soon. All that shit will come out. 

And don't get too down or give up hope. You might remember how bleak it seemed in 2000 after Bush stole the WH. But we got through that time without too much damage and elected the first African-American president in history, and one of the best presidents ever. 

We're going to get these evil, fat bastards again. Count on it.