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57 Years Later

November 24, 2020

Sunday marked the 57th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. For those of us who are old enough to have lived through seeing the assassination of a President unfolding on live television, it will forever be seared into our memories. Not until 9/11 was there such a traumatic moment that affected the entire nation.

That’s one of many reasons why some of us find it so shocking and appalling that loose talk of assassinating a President you don’t like has become commonplace. It’s just one of many examples of how woeful the younger generations’ history education has become.

There have been many distorted conspiracy theories about JFK’s death that have supplanted the real history, and in recent years, they’ve taken a new twist as political partisans have tried to rewrite the truth about that dark day to throw shade on their contemporary political rivals. For instance, on the 50th anniversary, liberal media outlets like the Washington Post tried to link the Tea Party with the “right-wing extremism” of the ‘60s to imply they would have killed JFK if they’d been around back then. I wouldn’t be surprised to find similar attacks on Trump supporters, if I felt like digging through the muck to look for them. So let me just give you a quick history lesson:

For years, Dallas was unfairly painted by the left as a “city of hate” because JFK was killed there. Yes, there were some nasty anti-JFK ads in the local media (imagine that during a campaign year!) But in fact, the streets of Dallas were jammed with hundreds of cheering well-wishers who turned out just to see the President drive past. That’s why the FBI had so many photos to analyze: because there were so many people who came out to get a picture.

Lee Harvey Oswald was not a Dallasite, or even a Texan, and certainly not a right-winger. He was born in New Orleans and had only recently moved to Dallas. He was also a genuine, card-carrying communist who admired Castro and Cuba and had actually defected and lived in the Soviet Union for three years. He hated JFK for his anti-communist policies.

He was also known to be a rude, arrogant, communist loser who couldn’t hold a job and was always arguing with people and getting into fights. I could make an argument that he sounds more like an Antifa member than a Tea Partier or Trump supporter. But I won’t.

The anniversary of the JFK assassination should be a time for reflection on a tragic event that affected the world and all Americans. It should also be a time for reflection on what horrors can take place when people let their political passions overrun their sense of basic human decency.

When attorney Sidney Powell said last week that she was getting ready to “release the Kracken,” there was no clue that President Trump’s legal team would distance itself from her just days later, as it seemingly has done. So, what does this mean? It depends on who’s talking. One could speculate that Powell’s claims, whether eventually provable or not, might not mesh with the team’s immediate strategy, mostly because of time constraints.

BREITBART quoted a White House source (for what that's worth) as saying “the scope of Powell’s public claims had gone beyond the scope of the evidence they had seen and believed they could prove in court.”

As THE EPOCH TIMES reported, Trump’s personal attorney and head of his re-election effort Rudy Giuliani issued a statement that “Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.” It’s not clear from this statement if she ever was a part of Trump’s official team.

Trump himself has sort-of referred to her in that way, listing her among their “lawyers and other representatives.” Even THE EPOCH TIMES’ headline was unclear, describing her as part of “their election legal effort.”

Powell appeared with the team during their big press conference of November 19. Whether or not she was officially a member at that time, it certainly appeared so.

But this “distancing” might be about something else entirely. Michael Flynn, Jr., son of Powell’s looooongtime client Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, aimed to clear it up with a message on Parler, saying, “Cannot confirm yet but I’m confident this has to do w money coming in for legal defense fund [support]. Sidney Powell has her own separate entity 4 legal donations that isn’t in conjunction with the Trump legal team. Frees SP to do her own thing...which will STILL b biblical. Give this the 24 hour rule.”

That’s what we always do. Here’s Flynn later: “Can confirm this parlay...Sidney Powell is free to focus and not be tied to having to vett everything through the campaign.”

Here's how Andrea Widburg in an opinion piece for AMERICAN THINKER dissects the story. (She does believe "epic fraud" took place, but the allegations are so huge that I'm waiting to see what Powell has.)

Powell told NEWSMAX that “we’ve got tons of evidence; it’s so much it’s hard to pull it all together.” Of course, they do have to pull it all together for it to be worth anything. As we’ve cautioned, showing that votes COULD have been changed is not the same as showing they WERE changed.

On Sunday, Michael Steel, spokesperson for Dominion, was interviewed on FOX NEWS, and he told Eric Shawn it was “physically impossible” for the machine to switch votes.

But reportedly, Steel is also a former strategist for John Boehner, Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, so what’s going on here? This strong opinion piece –- repeat, opinion –- from NOQ REPORT is highly skeptical of his defense of Dominion. I pass it along to you so you’ll have more to go on as we all try to unravel this story.

Incidentally, here’s a story from NBC NEWS about the problems with Dominion voting machines. I know, hard to believe they'd cover that, right? But it’s from 2019, when it was okay for the MSM to report such things.

Moving to another question, since this is civil litigation, what kind of evidence is needed? Mark Levin, on Sunday’s LIFE LIBERTY & LEVIN (which was recorded before the latest on Powell and has little to do with her claims), said filing a civil complaint requires “a reasonable basis in fact and law. Allegations can be made on information and belief.” A motion to dismiss assumes everything in the complaint is true --- interesting --- and then asks if relief can be granted for that complaint.

I would add that, of course, this has to do with what form the “relief” takes. If it means canceling out millions of votes, the complaint would have to be serious indeed.

Levin finds it troubling that some cases brought by Trump’s team have been dismissed when they shouldn’t have been. (Of course, when this happens, the media don’t question it; they just say Trump lost another case.) The threshold should be fairly easy to reach that allows the case to go forward and lets the plaintiffs seek “expedited discovery.” Since time is of the essence, he said, “discovery can be ordered immediately.”

In civil litigation, he said, “unexplained significant deviations from expected results --- mathematical inconsistencies supported by experts --- should be more than sufficient to establish a reasonable basis to file a complaint and justify fast discovery.”

Aha –- we definitely have mathematical inconsistencies, very big ones, supported by experts. This should be enough to advance a civil case. Those who say “there is no evidence” are wrong.

It seems to me that judges, in dismissing these cases, are cutting Trump’s team off at the knees before they can go forward with discovery to gather the evidence they'd need to take to trial. Such rulings prevent the lawyers from fact-finding, and that might be their purpose.

Levin reminds us that the Trump team has collected “hundreds and hundreds” of affidavits, sworn under penalty of perjury (meaning jail, unless you’re on Team Hillary), from “election workers, state officials and civilians."

We also have the question of who makes election laws. The Constitution says state legislatures do this, not governors or state supreme court justices. This distinction will come into play in Pennsylvania, and that’s why Justice Sam Alito ordered Pennsylvania to keep late-arriving ballots separate, pending future rulings.

Dershowitz has maintained this is a strong Supreme Court argument for the Trump team, as well as equal protection, as he said on FOX NEWS. Still, he believes that the strongest case, “if they have the evidence,” is the one about voting machines turning hundreds of thousands of votes.

Recall that in the months before the election, Democrat lawyers such as Marc Elias (of Hillary law firm Perkins Coie) brought over 300 lawsuits to change voting rules in various states, all with the result of making fraud easier if not downright institutionalized. JUDGES made these decisions, when the Constitution says state legislatures are supposed to do it. Some of these changes call into serious question the accuracy of the vote count.

Levin says the legislatures in these states should have issued resolutions early on, stating that THEY had a duty to ensure Article II of the Constitution is upheld, that THEY make the election laws and that THEY declare these judges’ rulings null and void. If they had, they would've headed off all kinds of chaos. But they didn’t.

Powell may have gone “a bridge too far” in her claims, but we shall see. She has a sterling reputation, and her determined, measured handling of the Flynn case makes it hard to believe she’s saying things she can’t back up or isn’t confident she’ll be able to. As I've said, this seems startlingly out of character for her, so much so that we suspected there was something about it we just didn’t know. But now we have an idea what that might be.

While the presidential race is spinning into surreal territory, the down ballot races are getting less attention, but they carry serious national implications as well. For instance, there was the “blue wave” that didn’t appear (Republicans were supposed to lose House seats, not retain and flip so many that they came close to retaking the majority, which AOC apparently thought they did.)

Another monumental story that’s been largely overlooked was the election results for state legislatures, where redistricting lines will be drawn that will shape the House for the next decade. Democrats were salivating over grabbing that power, but Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com points out that not only did Democrats not flip a single state legislative chamber, Republicans shocked them by flipping both the House and Senate in New Hampshire. Now Republicans have a huge advantage over redistricting. He wrote:

“Republicans are set to control the redistricting of 188 congressional seats — or 43 percent of the entire House of Representatives. By contrast, Democrats will control the redistricting of, at most, 73 seats, or 17 percent.”

Of course, legislators aren’t supposed to draw districts to their parties’ advantage, but it happens. That’s how we get Congressional districts that look like a chalk outline drawn around a dead centipede. When Republicans do it, it’s called “gerrymandering,” and when Democrats do it, it’s called “fairness.”

Can we pay AOC to stay home?

November 21, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared that to stop the coronavirus, we need to pay people to stay home until the coronavirus goes away. Except that if everyone stays home and hides from it, then it will never play itself out, as all viruses eventually do (all we’ve done with these draconian lockdowns is delay the spread, not stop it), and we’ll be paying people to stay home and do nothing until there's either an effective vaccine that everyone will take or the economy collapses and the government is $100 trillion in debt.

Still, even though it’s a flawed plan, I will personally agree to pay AOC $25 a week to stay home instead of going to Congress. I’ll bet we could get that even higher with a GoFundMe page.

Dumber than rocks

November 21, 2020

If your kids attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, you might be interested to hear what they plan to blow a big chunk of your tuition money on.

School officials want to remove a large black boulder from Observatory Hill after a black campus activist group and a campus newspaper declared it a racist rock (and no, “Racist Rock” is not an old ABC afterschool series.)

Its name since 1926 has been Chamberlin Rock, after geologist and then-campus president Thomas Crowder Chamberlin. But showing that at least someone there is studying history, the activists discovered that in the first half of the last century, such rock formations were sometimes called by the racist name, “'N-word'-heads.” And this rock was once referred to by that term, albeit in quotation marks, in a newspaper article…in 1925.

So of course, it has to be removed because black students might feel oppressed by it. The estimated cost is between $30,000 and $75,000, which would pay for a nice scholarship for a promising black student. But removing the rock that was referred to by a racist name one time 95 years ago is far more urgent.

The removal will require the okay of the Wisconsin Historical Society, which notes that the boulder is a “Pre-Cambrian era glacial erratic that is an iconic representation of Wisconsin glaciation period.” FYI: the Pre-Cambrian period stretched from 4.6 billion years ago to about 541 million years ago. That’s how long the rock had been sitting there minding its own business before anyone decided it was racist and had to go.

The most shocking part of this story isn’t that the school’s administrators are actually planning to blow $75,000 of desperately-needed school funds on removing a rock that’s been there since the dawn of time because someone called it by a racist term 95 years ago. The shocking part is that we pay these people to teach our kids when they are apparently dumber than a box of Pre-Cambrian rocks.

On Friday, we reported that Dominion Voting Systems had backed out of a scheduled meeting with Pennsylvania officials regarding the use of their equipment in the 2020 election and that they appeared to have lawyered-up. As this was a developing story, the plan was to provide a more detailed account on Saturday.

The story is developing more slowly than that.

New details are hard to come by right now. Here’s a local news blurb from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

It seems intended to offer a brief defense of Dominion for not showing up. “Dominion addresses [the software issue] and other questions on its website," it says, "disputing what it says are fraudulent claims. It says it is a nonpartisan, American company, its results are 100 percent auditable, and there were no glitches in its software.”

Well, that’s good enough for me! It’s right there on their website. So why should they bother to attend any hearings and answer any questions, even if they had agreed to do so?

Here’s what they post on their website as of November 17 –- “setting the record straight,” as they put it –- that it seems they’re reluctant to say face-to-face in a Zoom call with state officials questioning their claims.

Anyway, the Harrisburg story continues: “Multiple fact-checkers say there’s no evidence that Dominion Systems switched any votes from Trump to Biden.” Actually, some have gone farther than that, to say definitively that Dominion systems DID NOT switch any votes. But the conclusion that there was no vote-switching is still open to legitimate question. It would be more accurate to say something like, "If there is evidence, it has not been made public."

It is true, at least at this point, that we have NOT seen conclusive evidence that this happened, only statistical anomalies suggestive of it. (Also, note that the specific wording in the Harrisburg story still allows that someone else besides Dominion might have done it.) Let me make it very clear, I am making no accusations about the voting machines or the software or what anyone did; I’m just saying that it’s something that should be looked into, like just about everything else surrounding this chaotic election. The lack of curiosity in the media about these issues and the desire to shut down all questions is amazing.

"The federal agency that oversees election security says the election was secure,” the story also says. Ah, well, I guess that’s that. But this statement conveniently glosses over the problems with that agency’s conclusion.

The agency is CISA, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which was headed by Christopher Krebs until President Trump unceremoniously (as in, by tweet) fired him, after CISA issued a statement saying this election was “the most secure in American history.” As you saw if you visited the Dominion website, the outrageous assertion that got Krebs in hot water is the very one quoted there.

The FEDERAL NEWS NETWORK says “CISA works with the state and local officials who run U.S. elections as well as private companies who supply voting equipment to address cybersecurity and other threats while monitoring balloting and tabulation from a control room at its headquarters near Washington.” What it doesn’t say is that two of those private companies happen to BE Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic. And at the time CISA issued their statement, this information was not disclosed.

Again, we haven’t seen evidence that Dominion machines and/or the election software were used to commit voter fraud. It’s also true that we’re not legally entitled to see such evidence before it’s presented in court, so we can’t conclude it doesn’t exist. That applies to the fact-checkers as well; just because they haven’t seen it doesn’t mean there isn’t any. And we sure can’t count on the media to uncover it and show it to us. So right now, we can’t do much more than wait while the attorneys assemble their case.