Monday, January 4

Raffenspergergate!

One more media-generated hoax to add to the list of Russiagate, Convington Kid, Fine People, Ukraingate, Bleachgate. Now we have Raffenspergergate!

Scott Adams does a great job, starting 22 minutes in of his daily periscope today, of explaining the persuasion techniques used by the media to manufacture yet another hoax. The episode was called "How the fake news industry manufactures hoaxes, using today's fresh example."

https://youtu.be/rb6x0fCYD3Q?t=1320

Here is a bit of a summary for you.

  • Scott listened to the whole hour.
  • President is poorly advised: mixing in dubious claims with reasonable claims.
  • President could not get the people on the phone call to be even in the least bit cooperative.
    • But reported as a "dictator" trying to "force things through".
    • It wasn't Hitler calling. It was Karen complaining to the manager at the DMV and nobody caring.
  • Call makes it very, very clear that Trump legitimately believes it was stolen.
    • So not a Hitleresque misdirection to say in power. He legit believes.

Scott then goes on to explain the elements of a deliberate hoax by the media (to get folks excited and sell more news, while attempting to hurt Trump whom they despise, and throwing even more gas on the fire to increase division).

  1. Take a video that is somewhat longish and cut out some short clips to put them out of context.
    • Similar to Covington Kid,  Fine People Hoax, Bleach Hoax.
    • In each case if you see the whole thing you say "well, that's the opposite of what the news says". 
    • Took little clips out of context to make it seem like Trump is pressuring Raffensperger to cheat.
    • In fact, the opposite is happening: Trump is asking him to look into allegations to make sure that nobody cheated.
  2. Fake news uses "persuasion primers" - not accidentally.
    • "pressured", "find votes", "caught on tape", "exposes depth of Trump's corruption". "smoking gun", "mob boss".
    • Words used in the headlines, articles, and news reports to prime people (persuasion for propaganda purposes - a "brainwashing" technique). Some of the headlines:
      • "the President was caught on tape" - loaded phrase, signalling he is "caught" and is "guilty".
      • "the tape exposes the depth of his corruption" - primes you to imagine the parts of the tape you did not hear are even worse than the parts they release.
    • Whenever you hear the news saying things like that, you are being brainwashed.
  3. "Bernstein it"
    • "Worse that Watergate". Primes you to imagine it is very bad as the "first offer". Later, when you get more info, you're already primed. Maybe you come down a little from "worse than Watergate" to "pretty bad". 
    • Using repetition. If you hear it 100 times it makes you think there's more to it than if you hear it once.
    • They make you think past the sale. The sale is whether or not anything bad happened. Thinking past it has you arguing if it is in fact worse that Watergate or not quite as bad as Watergate. Pure persuasion technique.
    • Mind reading. Assuming you know the President's state of mind. In his mind it's not about justice, it's about a mob boss pressuring, despite all Trump's words that show the opposite, they "mind read".
    • Disappearing the Debunks: good luck finding any information like this that debunks the hoax. Big media and big tech disappears it.
  4. Follow it up with lawyer pundits debating if what Trump did was illegal.
    • "Experts say Trump broke the law by pressuring Raffensperger"
    • Maybe if Trump "pressured" him there may be some law broken? Which one?
    • But if he's just talking to him and asking for data, is that breaking the law?
    • So here's CNN acting as if a law was broken when you just need to listen and see no law was broken.
Here is lawyer Will Chamberlain debunking that last bit.

I would like to add that the phone call is leaked material released to the media for the purpose of the media manufacturing this hoax, proving at the least that Raffensperger is a real snake-in-the-grass.

Here is the full call:

Here is the transcript: FULL TRANSCRIPT

And here is the Washington Post edit:

Listen to the full call and tell me what you think.

I think one of the best parts was towards the end of the call when  Trump attorney Cleta Mitchell:

Mitchell: Mr. Secretary, Mr. President, one of the things that we have been, Alex can talk about this, we talked about it, and I don't know whether the information has been conveyed to your office, but I think what the president is saying, and what we've been trying to do is to say, look, the court is not acting on our petition. They haven't even assigned a judge. But the people of Georgia and the people of America have a right to know the answers. And you have data and records that we don't have access to. And you keep telling us and making public statements that you investigated this and nothing to see here. But we don't know about that. All we know is what you tell us. What I don't understand is why wouldn't it be in everyone's best interest to try to get to the bottom, compare the numbers, you know, if you say, because - to try to be able to get to the truth because we don't have any way of confirming what you're telling us. You tell us that you had an investigation at the State Farm Arena. I don't have any report. I've never seen a report of investigation. I don't know that is. I've been pretty involved in this and I don't know. And that's just one of like 25 categories

Listen to it all and comment. Realize that the media performs these hoaxes knowing:

  1. Most people don't read past the headlines, or only listen to the pundits on tv who assign you your opinions.
  2. Few people will even go listen to the 4 minute outtakes, those that do will have their previously primed bias reinforced and can claim "they heard it with their own ears".
  3. Very, very, few will listen to the whole tape.

Be well-informed!

89 comments:

  1. Just curious how what Scott's doing is any different from what he criticizes the media from doing. He uses loaded words like "hoax" and "Brainwash." He tries to "think past the sale" by making the debate about whether or not the media was biased. He 'mind reads' the media to identify their motives. He clearly has a goal of driving eyeballs to his video and site. Seems to me he's just a conservative version of what he complains about.

    Also seems that this tape is really just a new version of the striped dress color debate. He is just as subject to confirmation bias as those he criticizes for following the media. We mostly all see what we are disposed to seeing. In the end this is just conservative self-gratification that they have seen through the MSM's con.

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    1. That's an odd take. Scott is using his training in persuasion to explain what the media is doing. He is not deceitfully using his persuasion powers to try to convince you of voter fraud. It is the media who is using their much larger reach to persuade (using deceitful tactics) that there is no voter fraud.

      And I mean, Scott was not complimentary about Trump in his video!

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  2. Actually, I didn't mention or reference voter fraud. That is, at best tangential in that it is the topic of the call but not really relevant to the appropriateness or legal of the call itself. Scott is in fact arguing that the media is over hyping the call for its own purposes. Those purposes are clearly financial but Scott also sees political purposes involved. This is why he calls it a hoax. Fine, that's his opinion. My point is simply that he uses the same technique to make his case that he criticizes in the media. I mean, after all, it is not really a surprise that headlines are framed to sell papers and collect clicks. It's not surprising that calling something critical of Trump a hoax is more likely to draw Trump supporters to his site. Thus, it all boils down to man with "trainin in persuaion" persuading that the media is trying to persaude you, both using the same techniques. To a certain extent I have no problem with it. Fish gotta swim, bloggers gotta post. But it is hypocrtical for him to condemn the media while repeating its behavior.

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    1. Scott would surely agree with you that he uses persuasion techniques to convince you of his point of view. But does one use these techniques for good or for evil is the question.

      Scott Adams really does not need the relatively small amount of money his persuasion commentary generates. He's made loads off the Dilbert franchise, wise investing, and various startups he has been involved with.

      One needs to select those to trust as mentors carefully. The ones you select are a measure of your character. I have proudly selected Scott Adams as one of mine.

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  3. So, ultimately all of that about how the media manipulates you is really boils down eveyone manipulates you but pick me to follow. Fair enough I guess. Personally, Scott the cartoonist is funny. Scott the political commentator is a conspiracy nut. But everyone's a hero in their own story.

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    1. I don't know of any conspiracies that Scott promotes. He is usually debunking conspiracies. Which are you thinking of? Be specific.

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  4. Well, he posts regularly on the "Fake news industry" and how it manufactures hoaxes. Even if one does not like a perceived bias, the main media outlets are hardly creating hoaxes or delivering fake news. Sadly, we've forgotten where that term originated, which was with actual made up stories, not ones we just dont like.

    He recently tweeted about Kamala Harris being prepped to replace Biden in the upcoming "switcheroo"

    Obviously his election fraud stance, which I know you agree with, but does require massive conspiracy to effectuate.

    I really loved how he argued that psychologists made up narcissism and its not a real thing.

    Those are just some of the recent things coming across on his twitter feed that I can recall.

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    1. Weak soup there.

      And if you don't believe the mainstream media creates fake narratives, ask the Covington kid and his multiple court settlements, and have a look at the Fine People hoax.

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    2. Julie's Inconsistencies4 January 2021 at 17:57

      I think this is what Jed tried to emphasize with his previous comment: there is a big difference between the original definition of "fake news" ("made up stories") and Julie's definition ("fake narratives").

      Neither the liberal nor the conservative side in the U.S. engage much in the former, at least in the widely circulated media (here I include publications such as the National Review but not anonymous/uncurated content such as 4chan). Both sides do a lot of the latter: selectively report portions of facts that fit their narratives. WaPo choosing which few-minute snippet of the hour-long telephone call to highlight falls in this category. And so does Adams choosing on what to focus his similarly summarizing, "meant to persuade" discussion.

      Once we enter the land of "fake narratives", things become very subjective very fast. Object lesson: Julie condemns mainstream media's "fake narratives"; Jed points out that Julie's sources are using analogous "persuasion techniques"; Julie retreats, very quickly, to a pure value statement: "But does one use these techniques for good or for evil is the question.". So we are now in the land of fuzzy feelings on good versus evil...

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    3. Julie's Inconsistencies Inconsistencies4 January 2021 at 18:04

      It is important for humans to make value judgments. Putting Scott's commentary on the same level as the various fake news hoaxes shows very poor moral discernment.

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    4. pssst... that was me, by the way :-)

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    5. Julie's Inconsistencies4 January 2021 at 18:55

      Yes, I could tell it's you, Julie :-) (there is literally no one else arguing your side in the comments on this post at the moment). And that signature would be cute, if not for the lack of comprehension of the meaning of the word "inconsistency". Hint: you need to juxtapose at least two of my statements to show an apparent inconsistency between them. ;-) To be fair, I will sign my comments in future to give you more data to do so.

      As to arguments on the grounds of "moral discernment", I think I'll pass. I prefer to stick to facts and evidence.

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    6. I was just being cute:-)
      Knowing the difference between right and wrong is fairly fundamental.

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    7. All media outlets create narratives, including ones people call mainstream and those on the extremes. Some narratives are more accurate than others. What I am calling out as conspiratorial is the idea that somehow the mainstream media conspire to create a single narrative (usually perceived to be liberal) - a complaint demonstrated by Scott and others that act as if all outlets are the same. Yes, sometimes there are common narratives, in part because they are responding to the same thing. But the idea that they are conspiring to misrepresent Trump or conservative views is a conspiracy theory. Additionally, the idea that mainstream outlets regularly create "fake" news, particularly news in service of some agenda, is conspiratorial. They will get things wrong. All outlets do. But they are far more reliable than outlets like OANN or Breitbart.

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    8. We disagree. Most of the mainstream media is heavily anti-Trump and will not cover even something as unambiguously positive as multiple Arab-Israeli peace agreements. You have your head in the sand.

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    9. Oh, I know we disagree. But surprise surprise, I read about those agreements in the NY Times and the Washington Post. They report a broad range of things. In fact, except for the more outlandish crap that OANN and Breitbart produce, I can pretty much always find the same story on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, the Times and the Post. Reading the various versions is often useful and enlightening. Yes,some outlets are more liberal and some more conservative. But there is no cabal against Trump. I find that most Trump supporters cannot accept anything negative and thus cannot distinguish between bias and objective reporting. Heck, many Trump supporters are mad a Fox because their news reporting is generally pretty neutral and they find that to be "anti-Trump" too. That and Trump is trashing Fox so the sheeple follow.

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    10. Look up the percent negative coverage of Trump versus any other President. The swamp hates Trump.

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    11. Julie's Inconsistencies5 January 2021 at 02:52

      Julie, just checking: you do know that there are two possible explanations for a higher "percent negative coverage of Trump versus any other President", right? Option A: all mainstream media conspired against him. Option B: Trump simply says and/or does more negative-news-worth things.

      Jumping from the empirical observation in your first sentence to the conclusion in the second, completely disregarding the obvious alternative explanation falls into (drumroll)
      "6. If you can't imagine any other explanation for a set of facts, it might be because you are bad at imagining things."

      Then you add in the "swamp" label and give us one more:
      "4. If your response to a disagreement is to assign your opponent a dismissive label, you have surrendered the moral and intellectual high ground to wallow in loserthink."

      Two loser-thinks in one two-line comment! You may want to reread your post on constructive debate. :-)

      As an added bonus, it might even help you understand why I was surprised to see you retreat to "good versus evil". Those concepts are just about as objective as the concept of fairness:
      "17. Arguing for fairness is loserthink because no two people will agree on what it looks like."

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    12. Yes, that was considered and discarded. Mideast peace, criminal law reform, multi-year funding for HBCU, promised tax cuts delivered, promised regulation cuts delivered, fastest growing economy ever, illegal immigration at lowest point, highest stock market ever, lowest unemployment, lowest unemployment amongst blacks, Latino's, and women, free speech in colleges and Universities, highest vote count for any incumbent president ever, no actual scandals (only hoaxes), highest approval rating for any president from own party, overall approval rating matching Obama's, polled on top as most admired man. No. Media bias seems way more likely.

      I didn't assign you the swamp label. That's just what your party is called.

      Distinguishing good versus evil is critical to humans. In this case using powers of persuasion to constructively educate versus smearing. That has nothing to do with fairness.

      0 for 3.

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    13. You state you are looking for some new topics. Well, not sure if this interests you but I'd suggest your list of accomplishments is rather suspect. I can put them into may 4 groups - those that might be technically correct but substantively wrong (all of the economic claims), those that are correct but are actually net negatives (tax cuts, immigration), those that are meaningless (approval by his own party, highest vote count) and those are generally OK (HBCUs).

      I'd be happy to go discuss any of these but given the challenges of discussions in this format I'd suggest starting with the economic claims. Those have objective data to work with. As a start, I'd challenge you to go to FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) where you can create charts of all of the indicators you referenced. Pick one, any one. Chart it from 2008-2019 and post it. Then let's check the record. I am fairly confident that for any of these you'll see that all Trump did was continue Obama's trendline. At the best, he might deserve credit for not messing up the economy he inherited.

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    14. In 2016 under Obama GDP growth was $1.7% and Obama said you would need a "magic wand" to ever achieve 3% growth rates again. Under Trump it rose to 2.3% for 2017 and 3% in 2018 as a result of tax and regulation cuts.
      https://www.thebalance.com/us-gdp-by-year-3305543

      And my point of listing his accomplishments (and the ventilators, hospital ships, PPE, and vaccines is amongst them re. COVID) is that there were certainly some positive things that emerged from his administration, with record-breaking Republican favorability numbers for him, yet that was not reflected in his media. Only 5% of stories held a positive assessment of Trump during his 1st 60 days, 42% for Obama during the same period. http://pewrsr.ch/2xVSS0f

      Anybody claiming the mainstream media was even-handed in its coverage is on potent drugs.

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    15. Oh my sweet summer child. Did you really think you could pick one year from Obama's term and then not include all of Trumps? I know you like your asses cherry red but cherry-picking the data is not as fun. Let's look at what your site provides a bit more fully:

      GDP % Growth
      2009 -2.5%
      2010 2.6%
      2011 1.6%
      2012 2.2%
      2013 1.8%
      2014 2.5%
      2015 3.1%
      2016 1.7%
      ---
      2017 2.3%
      2018 3.0%
      2019 2.2%
      2020 - well, for the purposes of this post I won't include this year.

      So what do we learn? First, the GDP growth rate bounces a lot. It generally in the 2% range but there is not pattern of growth continually rising or falling, except entering or exiting recessions. It's not an ideal outcome measure but we can work with it.

      Second, Trump's best year has been 3.0%. Obama's best year was 3.1%. Trump's 3 yr avg is 2.5%. Obama's 3-yr avg for his last three years is 2.4%. Not much proof that those tax cuts and regulatory cuts supercharged the economy.

      Speaking of tax cuts. I'll accep they stimulated the economy and contributed to the 3.0% growth. What happened the next year when it dropped to 2.2%?

      As I suggested earlier. There is no Trump economic miracle or supercharging. We did not hit 3% but once and weren't particularly close the other years. His record is pretty similar to Obama's overall so, at best for you, this is a push.

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    16. 2008 & 2009 were negative due to the Financial Crisis. After that, it should have rocketed back, but it didn't. Obama/Biden's recovery as truly pitiful as you can see. Trump did a pretty decent job 8 years out after the crisis was washed away to re-juice the economy.

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    17. Average for Obama over 8 years was 2.2%. trump 2.4%. trump inherited a thriving economy. Obama inherited an economic disaster. Based on pure data, nothing trump has done is anything to write home about.

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    18. After 2008/09 nothing you say matches the data. Interpreting Trump's growth, which is roughtly the same as Obama's, as good and Obama's as "pitiful" doesn't work when they have basically the same averages. Somehow giving Trump credit because it was 8 years out from the crisis but not giving any credit to Obama who took over *during* the crisis is non-sensical. If anything, 2.4% avg growth for the years 1-7 after the crisis and 2.5 avg for the years 8-10 suggest the opposite interpretation.

      But hey, at least a massive tax-cut skewed to businesses with billion in cash and the highest earners in the nation got us "pretty decent" growth. I can agree with that characterization.

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    19. That's fuzzy thinking. On the other end of a giant market catastrophe, with Trillion dollar bailouts, it's easy to have a big growth rate. Much harder when you're just at business as usual.

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    20. Uh, do trillion $ tax cuts ring any bells? I've already said GDP growth is not a great outcome measure. It has many confounding factors. I am find with that, but it was your measure and by your measure there is little difference in growth between the two. You act as if Trump had nothing favorable helping the economy but Obama did. You gave Trump full credit and implied it was much better than Obamas. You gave (cherry-picked) data to support that. When the last 3 years of Obama and first 3 years of Trump are compared there is not real difference. The first of those years is actually closer in time to the start of Trump;s term than the recession. And it is contiguous with Trumnp. Once Trump took over there was no substantive change in growth, despite a trillion $ tax cut that got us 1 year at 3.0%. Whoo-hoo! If Trump had made any kind of big difference it would have shown up in the data. It doesn't.

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    21. Tax cuts stimulate the right way. Corporate bailouts not so much. And no comparison of the size. Other metrics? Stick market? Unemployment?

      "During a PBS town hall that aired Wednesday, Obama referenced Trump's promise to bring back jobs to the United States when talking about manufacturing.

      “Well, how exactly are you going to do that? What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it," Obama said.

      "He just says, 'Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.' Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”

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    22. Trump's Policy "Magic Wand" Boosts Manufacturing Jobs 399% In First 26 Months Over Obama's Last 26

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckdevore/2019/03/11/trumps-policy-magic-wand-boosts-manufacturing-jobs-399-in-first-26-months-over-obamas-last-26/

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    23. I am happy to discuss other metrics. Let's see, for the stock market Trump has grown 63% vs 82% under Obama's first term. Not much help there.

      Unemployment is similar. It dropped more under Obama than Trump. Yes, under Trump it reached historial lows but only because it was already so low to begin with. I can provide the data but, in essence, the avg job growth, new hires, and unemployment were all better over Obama's term than Trump's. More on that below.

      Actually, I don't fault Trump for having less improvement in unemployment and smaller increases in job growth. He inherited an economy with already very low unemployment and high employment so there was a limit to how much it could improve. Unemployment is a good example of that. It has a natural floor so Trump was limited in how low he could go. But I do fault him and his followers for somehow thinking having the "Lowest ___ unemployment in history" is meaningful when starting with low rates.

      As for manufacturing, that may well be true but there are two issues. First, the 26 month time period is selective and the statement becomes false if you look at full terms or the start of Obama's term. But for the sake of argument I accept your stat - under Trump's fist couple of years manufacturing jobs increased more than Obama at the end of his term.

      But Obama had more total job growth. Over the last two years of Obama's term about 5.7 million jobs were created (I picked the last two years since that matches your source). Over the first two years of Trump about 4.6 million jobs were created. So that means Trump grew one sector of the economy more but the others less. I find total employment to be more important than employment in a single sector. I suspect the majority of workers would agree.

      So, again, at best, Trump can be credited with continuuing what he inherited. He had less improvement but for some measures, particularly unemployment, that was to be expected no matter who was in office so it's not really a criticism. But neither is reaching the lowest levels in history a success when you start almost there.

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    24. I think if you compare the direction at the last year of Obama's administration to the turnaround we saw with Trump, that is the strongest point in Trump's favour.

      At any rate, perhaps we compromise and say they both did a good job on the economy. And if you say yes, that will be the first positive thing you will have said about President Trump, so interested if you can bear to do that :-)

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    25. Yeah, not really. I won't bother arguing the point. I know you spend a lot of time on this blog but take a few minutes and visit FRED. Chart any metric you want for the last 10 years. Then look at the chart and ask yourself if you can see, in the trend line, a shift when Trump was elected or soon thereafter. Look for the "discontinuity" and see if you can find it. I am sure there are some. But I am also on most major indicators there are none. Give it a try.

      As far as complimenting Trumnp, I already said as much. Twice.

      End of my second post I said basically what you just wrote - "His record is pretty similar to Obama's overall so, at best for you, this is a push"

      I also noted, in my first post that of the things you listed, there is a group that are "generally OK (HBCUs)."

      So more than once I've noted he has done some good things. As a former conservative, turned moderate, I find good on both sides, or least I used to be able to do that. Also, I follow the data and I will, and have, adjusted my thinking to match it when necessary.

      Unfortunately, Trump is not a conservative and has coopted the philosophy and the balance for him is overwhelmingly negative. But, yes, I agree that even he has not been wrong on everything.

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  5. Gabriel Sterling shot down every Trump point - again - with actual facts. I hope you heard him, Julie.

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    1. I heard the whole thing. I refer you to the sum up I quoted in my blog from Mitchell. Where are these investigations? Where are the reports? Why don't they release the data they have? Why don't the allow Trumps team access? What are they hiding?

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    2. Laughs. Hiding nothing. Why won't Trump and his fans accept the obvious?

      Some of what Sterling said was explanation of how conclusions were reached. For example, we investigated that thousands of dead people voted and found that 2 people tried that, not thousands. Or, ballots allegedly with PO Box addresses were actually residence addresses in apartment/condo buildings.

      Some was common sense. For example, if 18,000 ballots had been counted multiple times, there would be a huge discrepancy between matching and hand counts. There was virtually none. Both Sterling and a commenter on your prior post explained why a batch of ballots might be fed into the machine multiple times. Accept it or not, but the facts are the facts.

      You choose to accept the rumors and conspiracy theories. So be it.

      This spanking blog has sure turned into something else which is your right. Perhaps you should rename it.

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    3. I'm not taking what they say at face value anymore than I take what Trump and team say at face value. They should show us the reports of the investigations and allow the opposing team access to the data they request. Simple.

      It's easy to spot the spanking posts from the political posts, but you personally seem more drawn to the latter!

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    4. This is the problem. It doesn’t matter what is said or done, you people won’t believe it. And even if a theory is debunked it won’t be good enough and there will simply be another to be debunked. The truth is it is easier to come up with lies and create doubts than it is to debunk them. I listened to the entire call myself and simply heard an angry, desperate, bully, trying to use whatever power he has left to hold onto the presidency. Of course the media sensationalizes everything, it’s how they get paid. But don’t talk about a decisive media when you support a name calling bully of a president. If you don’t like the media pursuing profit then it needs to be regulated, but then then we get into the tyranny of censorship. If we make the media non profit it won’t aggressively go after stories. If we make the media government run no one will trust it (as they shouldn’t). There is no perfect solution. The average person doesn’t have the time or access to be informed. You say you don’t believe this is a giant conspiracy and yet with so many people involved in counting, recounting, auditing, it would have to be. No... this is just PLS (poor loser syndrome). Also, I second the idea of you creating a second blog for political content. You could call it Strict Julie Thinks (conspiracy theories are real).

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    5. You are not listening. Show the report of the investigation. Allow the other side access to challenge. That's it. That would satisfy me. It's a very reasonable position.

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    6. You really can’t say that unless you see the report. Ultimate the report will not be on your side (we already know that), so what other reason do you have to see the report than to poke new holes in it? Even if it is good enough for you it wouldn’t be good enough for Trump. That would cause Rudy to create new propaganda for you to consume (BTW: consuming propaganda is not doing your own research) which in turn would no longer make it good enough for you. Unless of course it shows Trump wins then all is good. All good conspiracies start with something completely reasonable. I’m listening, but not hearing anything new. Just refusal to accept reality.

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    7. You are arguing against the most basic principals of justice, but you do you.

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    8. I would be, if the state of Georgia gave no evidence to back up their claims and were proven wrong in a court of law (not 8chan). I’m not claiming that people don’t have the right to see evidence against them but that doesn’t give you the right to see your accusers social security number. Rudy gave Trump’s side and Georgia gave theirs, the judge sided with Georgia. That is the end of legal challenges. A president, famous for being vindictive against people who slight him, calling the Secretary of State personally to imply that the Secretary and his lawyer are committing crimes by knowing “this stuff” is beyond that. It is frightening that Trump has moved the Overton window so far that people don’t see that as a huge problem. If you have to divine what a president thinks in order to decide if a crime has been committed we are already in a bad place. You are arguing for conspiracy theories, not the rule of law, but you do you.

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    9. Lots of words. Please link me to the investigative report produced by Georgia and show me where Trump's team was allowed access to the data. Justice in our system occurs in an adversarial setting where each side has full access to the data and can mount a case and a defence. Nothing remotely like that has gone on.

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    10. And enough on this topic. If you care to comment on media creating hoaxes, or you dispute that in this case, then please comment.

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    11. I thought you were a rule of law person. Justice has spoken, the courts have decided. Like I said. It’s never enough...

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    12. No courts have spoken on other than procedural issues. You know that.

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    13. They were dismissed for lack of evidence. Not procedural errors. Even if they were dismissed for procedural errors, ask yourself. If someone makes procedural errors in such serious matters do they even have a case that merits a hearing? The answer is no, they dont. They neither have evidence, nor any merit to their cases.

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    14. Sighs patiently. Most were rejected for lack of standing or rule of laches. Some were dismissed because the evidence presented could not justify the court imposing the remedies requested (not within their purview). In no case did they find the evidence presented to be false. Zero cases.

      This whole talking point is foolish, and does not address the real evidence that exists. It seems to be the one thing low-information citizens latch onto like a dog with a bone.

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    15. Evidence is what a court decides it to be. We cant call anything evidence. You maybe using that word colloquially but it sends the wrong message. The only case rejected for standing is the Texas lawsuit. Others were rejected for lack of evidence (as defined by a court of law).

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    16. You're playing semantic games. Evidence is stuff that is offered in support of an assertion. Such as sworn witness testimony. In a legal setting it is that which you put in front of a court, and the court can decide it's weight versus other evidence presented.

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    17. We will get a properly audited election with representatives from both sides and the Presidential teams or we shall have civil war.

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    18. I don't think so. There will be unrest and protests, but nobody in the US really wants a civil war, so therefore unlikely to happe, thank goodness. The games will continue and at the rate Dems are going, they will first lose the house in 2022 then the White House in 2024 with their insane lefty policies.

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    19. That's not how this works. If the Repubs split (by far most will be Trumpers) then while they will win some seats, the Democrats (unless they split too) will have the advantage. Without enough people voted in at local elections, there won't be any pressure to change their bad or corrupt electoral systems, and we won't have any reason to trust the National Election won't be stolen again. Sorry, Julie, but 70 to 90 million people without a political voice is a powderkeg.

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    20. Maybe the MAGAs can take over the Republican Party from the inside? Primary out the swap creatures? Wishful thinking, I know.

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  6. Sorry to disagree, but trump needs to understand he lost the election. Every courtroom he has appealed to has essentially rejected all of his claims out of hand, even the judges he has helped appoint. And yes, I also think it was improper to beg for changing of properly cast and counted votes.

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    1. He believes there was impropriety, as do many others, he has every right to fight it out with all legal means at his disposal.

      The main point of this blog was the manufactured phone call hoax. What do think of that?

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    2. Yes, every candidate is entitled to the same protections under the law. At this poin it would seem Trump has exhausted his legal means, both through the courts and through recounts and appeals, and is now looking for other options.

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    3. No court has yet taken up an election case. In Georgia they've so far delayed multiple weeks in even appointing a judge. No semblance of adversarial justice system has yet been seen.

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    4. That splitting hairs so fine they don't actually exist. You know he's been to court. You know he's lost. That most of the loses are "procedurual" does not change that fact. You might want a different approach but that is the law - first team Trump needs to establish the actual right to sue in the particular case (and they've failed that many times) and they have to establish the courts have a legal remedy available, which also is often lacking. Those are the legal options he has. That's exactly what you said he should avail himself of, and I agree. But now you want to go beyond what the courts and laws allow.

      Of course you might check out today's decision out of DC. Not only did team Trump lose its 61st case, the judge indicated after all was settled the court would consider referring the lawyers for possible sanction for filing afrivilous suit. You can read both the original complaint and the order here:

      https://www.democracydocket.com/cases/district-of-columbia-trump-election-challenge/

      BTW- you might look at page 23, section 44 of the original complaint where team Trump states the case did allege fraud. That's part of a pattern in which they allege fraud in public but not in court. That makes your claim about not getting their hearing doubly problematic.

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    5. I agree the courts are not the right place to adjudicate this. It is in the State Legislatures and Congress, and I would like to see such bodies carry out a proper investigation followed by an adjudication with both parties presenting. All the rest is noise.

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    6. Legislatives bodies have oversight functions but not really investigative powers. Those belong to the executive. In the current situation they are effectively powerless.

      They can influence future elections. Sadly, the Legislative response will probably be a massive effort to restrict voting as much as possible in GOP led states.

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    7. Legislatures can subpoena and investigate, or DOJ can appoint a special counsel. One for this, one for Bidens.. Wouldn't that be ironic?

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  7. Maybe you should start a second blog?

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  8. Julie's Inconsistencies4 January 2021 at 18:45

    Julie, you closed the comment thread on your Georgia election post without actually responding to my question: what was (previously "qualified", recently "cowardly") Amy Barrett afraid of, when she voted to dismiss the Texas case? And, no, as far as I'm aware, Amy Barrett is NOT the same person as John Roberts (your previous response to the same question was a peculiar non sequitur about Roberts' child adoption blackmail).

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    1. Sorry, must have misread. Am aware of no conspiracy theory re ACB. In my opinion (we cannot know for sure), I speculate the court was afraid that a judgment in either direction would prove unpopular and undermine their authority, or the mob would make their personal lives hell. Not unjustified, but cowardly IMO.

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  9. I think it is interesting that you consider a comic artist more of an authority on the election in Georgia than the Georgia and US Supreme Courts, the FBI, the GBI, among others. I think the title of Scott's latest book says it all - "Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter". Trump uses all of the methods Scott talks about to try to convince people of his point even though the facts don't match, and having the bully-pulpit of the presidency, unfortunately he is having some success. Every single thing that Trump said on that call has been debunked multiple times by multiple sources. I wish you would stick to spanking and erotica - that you are good at, factual analysis of US elections, not so much...

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    1. No, you are confused. Scott is an expert on persuasion. That was the subject of his entire Periscope (and many others).

      If it's been refuted where are the investigation results and why are they not allowing Trumps team access to the data? Don't be gullible.

      And if wishes were fishes...

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    2. Heard a fun joke today

      Two Republicans die and find themselves standing before God in heaven.

      One of the men looks at God - "Can I ask a question?"

      God says "Yes, of course."

      "Why did you let the democrats rig the 2020 election?" he asks.

      God replies, "It wasn't rigged."

      The man turns to the other man and says "Wow, I never knew it went so high up."

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    3. Funny 😁 We are a skeptical folk.

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  10. Conspiracy Theorist: One who questions the word of known liars ...


    -Craig

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  11. Its a crime to solicit election fraud. Georgias only worth 16 electoral votes anyway. He still loses and he’ll probably tip the senate for the democrats. He’s dumb as a rock. Looking forward to the Republican Party splitting in two.

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    1. Based on that call, you think Trump did that? Is English your second language?

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  12. Hey - I'm starting to not publish the tiresome troll comments anymore. If you have something interesting to say that has not been covered back and forth three times, happy to publish.

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  13. As an outsider looking on to all these comments back and forth about the 2020 USA election, especially in Georgia, I wonder why there is so little said about the need to reform the election process. If even a fraction of the ‘irregularities’ have occurred, and the available evidence suggests that indeed some irregularities have occurred, then it is probable that they occurred on both sides of politics in 2020 and possibly every election before it. My suggestion is, if that is in fact true, then the people of USA need to focus on the future, not the past, which looks like it won’t be changed. This could involve forming a bipartisan commission of inquiry into the USA election process that is given powers to make changes that provide the people of America with a more transparent, a more rigorous and a more trustworthy election process.
    In regard to that, can someone explain why USA does not have compulsory voting? Compulsory voting would dramatically change the election process and virtually eliminate the possibility of voter fraud in the way that is has been claimed to have occurred by Trunp supporters.

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    1. Agreed! Either go back to straight paper ballots on election day with limited mail-in, or develop a traceable system with blockchain or whatever for remote voting.

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  14. You stirred up another hornet's nest with your conspiracy theories. Machines don't double-count votes. Why? Because each mail ballot has a serial number. It records that number when it counts the votes on the ballot. If the ballot goes through the machine again, it will either reject it and not count the votes on it a second time. This has been true on all ballot counting systems for over a decade.

    In my opinion, the reason most of us think Trump is the worst president in American history is simply because his main concern from the day he took office was to secure his base. He almost exclusively concentrates on his image and his reelection.

    That's why we have one of the world's highest per-capita COVID death rates. That's a fact. I could go on. Let me leave it with the simple fact that the New York Times and other top-tier publications work hard to report the news and not invent it. I spent more than a decade with CBS News and I can say that the level of fact checking and responsible reporting is very high.

    You seem to have a lot of passion about this. Why?

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    1. The problem is that in Fulton county about 94% of the scanned ballots were rejected by the machine as not being readable and needed to be adjudicated manually. In many cases they were printed off their registration marks. During adjudication the original ballot image is overwritten by a generated one. That is why the physical ballots need to be examined.

      You are mind reading when you impugn that Trump's motives for doing good things for the country is ONLY his own image and reelection. I would think all Presidents are interested in their own image and reelection.

      US ranks 12th in per-capita death rates behind Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia, Macedonia, Peru, Moldova, Czechia, UK, Bulgaria, and Spain. Hungary is gaining fast. If it weren't for such horrible nursing home policies (not under Trump's control), things would have gone better. US is one of the most connected countries and has a high rate of obesity that must be taken into account as well. To simplify number of COVID deaths to one variable, the country leader, is absurd and misleading.

      I have a passion for the truth, and I believe the world is turning pro-leftist and anti-classical-liberal and that Trump was a bullwark against that, despite his flaws.

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    2. You are correct in saying that the world is turning pro-leftist and anti-classical-liberal (who are really just right wingers anyway atleast in the modern sense). And that is why I always tell people that regardless of who comes to power, culture will ALWAYS move left. Its just the way of the world. On that note I disagree that trump is a bullwark against that - trump neither represents the world, nor was able to stop even the US from moving left culturally (the US is more leftist today than it was in 2016 for example).

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    3. Bulwarks often fail, I agree, but it does tend to slow the thing down, and hopefully allow people to come to their senses.

      Trump's greatest attempt, that was successful, was in response to Universities effectively shutting out conservative speakers. It was to sign an executive order that would remove federal funding unless they implemented free speech policies. That was a good one, you must admit.

      Trump also declared Antifa a domestic terrorist organization. Again, good because it was mainly Antifa inciting the violence at those events.

      It's also Trump who is trying to stand up against social media censorship with his rhetoric around reforming Section 230. It definitely needs it in light of what we have seen recently with social media abusing their censorship powers.

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    4. A lot of those things are trying fixing a non existent problem. Regardless it wont have an effect. Universities simply wont invite conservative speakers as a matter of policy instead of barring people explicitly, people will simply stop calling themselves antifa and still protest and section 230 wont be struck down, as we just saw.

      Nothing will slow down and the more trump like characters stand up, the more left culture will become. The best way to step left wing culture is to adopt a more moderate stance like Joe Biden.

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    5. I dont understand your fascination with repealing section 230. Dont you realize its dangerous for you? For example, if blogspot is going to be held liable for content posted on its platform (currently it is not, because of section 230), then they will remove any post regarding election fraud for example because it is disinformation. Or they could remove any fb post by someone who complains their boss is being racist or sexist. So your blog or posts may get shut down. That is no freedom of speech. This will also make these big social media companies even more powerful by choosing what appears on their platform, because now, they literally are liable for EVERYTHING posted on there. Exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

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    6. The moderate Dems are aging out and have been pressed so far left and "woke" that it's gotten silly. Can I hear an AWOMEN?

      Repealing 230 is Trump's opening position. Art of the deal. He always does that. Then he backs off to what he really wants: changes to it to guarantee more free speech like stuff, clear TOS, clear and transparent adjudication, and so on.

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    7. Yeah I am a social liberal but that Awoman stuff was just hilarious. But regardless of that, you are absolutely correct and it is also the reason why culture and politics will keep moving left. I mean in another 15 years, millennials will be the ones in power, followed by Gen Z (who will be like AOC today). You are looking at left wing culture for the foreseeable future. Of course there will be some version of conservatism too - but it will mostly be economic, not social.

      Whatever he does, he cant take away from content moderation, which is really the issue here. Left wingers claim that right wingers push conspiracy theories and right wingers claim that there is a left wing bias. Content moderation however has nothing to do with section 230 and companies are liable for it even today anyway. So again nothing will change.

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    8. I don't know, I think there's a big contingent of pretty based kids. Here's hoping.

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  15. You can always tell who is anti-liberal and anti-Democracy: They don't want to wait for full or transparent audits with both sides represented before declaring the winner of this election. They don't know which cases Trump actually brought or what his arguments are, they don't care that something that will lead to violence and possibly civil war has been mostly shut out of even being heard in the courts, and they love to chant 'conspiracy theory' at the aggrieved 70 million plus Trump voters when these motherfuckers spent four years screeching that Trump was a traitor that was either installed by Russia, or at least somehow controlled by them. With next to no evidence. They ruined (with their tantrums, their 'resistance' , their faux 'investigations' -every single person on Team Mueller was anti-Trump, meanwhile Hillary gets 'investigated' by her friends such as Strzok, or when she was being 'investigated' for Benghazi it was by Republicans who would be almost as implicated as she was so of course they'd find nothing wrong) Trump's ability to actually conduct his Presidency. All I want is a simple transparent audit of the election results, and let the chips fall where they may. Deny me this and you've taken my ability to vote away from me. I won't forget it and I won't forgive.

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    1. No Dude. You've just been listening to Fox News, Trump is an irredeemable lying child molesting Russian spy. That's MY truth. And he was totally impeached and the way you talk about "transparency" you must be a Nazi. Prove to me you aren't a Nazi! Reeeereeeeeee!

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  16. Hey Julie a black man and a jew just won the senate and now your beloved republicans are powerless. A new green deal and better healthcare for the working class. How’s it feel?

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    1. No problem at all that he is black. That he is crazy is a problem. And I'm half Jewish myself, what are you suggesting?

      I feel very sad for your country. Civil liberties are at grave risk. You will reap what you've sown.

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