The burden of proof is on Trump's campaign to show evidence of election fraud that will convince courts or state legislatures, and so far they haven't done it.

However, the public is under no obligation to work under the same standards of evidence as a court, and the public has different incentives than legislators. The public sees the smoke of electoral fraud and isn't convinced otherwise by establishment cries of "debunked" or "no evidence", no matter how loudly or frequently proclaimed. If Trump's legal and political challenges fail, the burden of proof will be on the establishment to convince the rest of America that Trump's protests are faulty, and so far they aren't even trying to make that case.

Their rough consensus is that GOP voters who still support the president are either treasonous or stupid, reinforced constantly by a brittle insistence that there was "no fraud" in the presidential election. A totemic front-page declaration by the New York Times, "ELECTION OFFICIALS NATIONWIDE FIND NO FRAUD," has been repeated everywhere, mantra-like. Any claims of voter fraud or ballot-counting irregularities, whether from President Trump or the tens of thousands who marched over the weekend, are "baseless," "unfounded," and have "no evidence" behind them.

There's a palpable nervousness about the media's insistence that the election was as pure as the driven snow. Maybe they seem so nervous because they know what everyone in America knows: there was nothing pure or secure or even ordinary about the election.

How could there be? Under the pretext of ensuring "voter access" during the pandemic, Democrats, leftist nonprofits, and activist judges across the country unleashed a flood of changes to election rules in the months leading up to the vote, including an unprecedented expansion of mail-in voting, an inherently fraught method of casting ballots that removes almost all oversight from the process.

No matter. States pushed ahead, mailing ballots to outdated voter rolls en masse and recklessly loosening oversight for how those ballots could be collected and counted. Chain-of-custody for absentee ballots went out the window, along with whatever meager safeguards usually apply to absentee voting. Ballot harvesting, long a tradition of corrupt Democratic political machines in places like Detroit and Philadelphia, was introduced in some places for the first time. Take together, all these pandemic-inspired reforms presented an ideal opportunity for Democrats to flood absentee ballot-counting centers in major cities and run up the vote-count long after the polls closed on Election Day.

Despite judges dismissing the significance of hundreds of sworn affidavits, this testimony is pretty compelling to most people who are allowed to hear about it.

No wonder scores of Republican poll challengers in Michigan filed sworn affidavits claiming tens of thousands of fraudulent ballots were counted for Biden in Detroit. No wonder that in Philadelphia, poll watchers reported how they were forcibly kept from observing the counting of absentee ballots, as required under state law.

Not all the reports of ballot-counting skullduggery amount to old-fashioned voter fraud, but as my colleague Margot Cleveland has noted, they're just as important because they undermine the integrity of an election just as much as, say, thousands of dead people voting.

Trump didn't cause the division and mistrust in America -- he is a symptom of a larger social trend that won't be extinguished when he leaves office. To paraphrase Princess Leia: The more the establishment tightens its grip, the more the public will slip through its fingers.


Whether or not Trump's various legal challenges are successful one thing is clear: America's election system is garbage. Americans deserve a secure, fair, and transparent election system. I don't personally know enough to propose solutions, but South Carolina Republicans seem to be on the right track.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson discussed plans to introduce a bill that would require voter identification and establish voter fraud hotlines and nationwide cross referencing of voter rolls during a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol. Wilson was joined by Congressmen Ralph Norman and Jeff Duncan and U.S. Rep.-elect Nancy Mace. ...

"There was a large portion of voters across the country who were worried about their votes being counted, and there was a large segment of voters across the country who were worried about illegal votes being counted," Mace said.

Wilson said ballots must be received by the hour polls close, and ballots received after polls close should not be counted. Additionally, observers should be allowed to watch ballot counting within 2 feet so they can read voter signatures, and there should be laws to prohibit covering of windows to conceal vote counting.

Once counting begins, Wilson said, it must continue until all votes are counted, with no intervals of delay. ...

After the election, ballots should be cross referenced on all forms of voting to reveal those who have voted multiple times and identify co-conspirators who helped facilitate multistate voting. Anyone guilty of voter fraud should be prosecuted, Wilson said.

I'll add: paper ballots only.


Alexander Macris explains how a federal court might consider Trump's election fraud claims based on Donohue v. Board of Elections of State of New York, 435 F. Supp. 957 (E.D.N.Y. 1976). Donohue was a federal district court case in New York that isn't binding on any other district court, much less the Supreme Court, but the decision outlines some pretty logical considerations. In short:

The Donohue court has thus laid out the legal test that the plaintiff must meet. He must plead and prove

1. specific acts of misconduct,

2. involving 'willful or knowing' ballot fraud,

3. by state officials or private persons acting jointly with state officials,

4. that changed the outcome of the election.

This is a heavy burden. The Trump campaign will have to work hard to meet this test. But it is a matter of fact and evidence.

The district court ruled against the plaintiff (President Ford) in Donohue for a few reasons:

First, they didn't show that the irregularities were willful acts of misconduct by state officials. Second, the particular 'irregularity' they showed didn't really prove fraud; there were other inferences that were plausible. Third, they didn't establish that the irregularities actually were irregularities in Carter's favor! They showed a pattern of irregular votes, but didn't show that those irregular votes were for Jimmy. Fourth, they didn't offer any independent evidence to buttress their statistical analysis - no witnesses came forward to allege state officials had acted wrongly, for instance. Finally, they didn't show enough irregularity to change the outcome. So the Ford campaign lost its case on the facts, not on the law. They had a case, but didn't have the evidence.

Trump's lawyers are certainly familiar with the case law, so watch for them to build their case(s) around these four points.


I personally hope that there wasn't widespread election fraud, but if there was then we need to know about it and fix our election system so that it never happens again.

I've been avidly following the numerous statistical analyses that data experts have been performing and posting online. Statistical analysis alone isn't proof, but it's sufficient evidence to justify an investigation. Here are a few sources worth reading -- but some links may eventually be taken down by our tech overlords.

There are many other examples, but those three are representative. All together, these analysis provide a lot more public evidence to justify an investigation than we had in Florida in 2000 or that we had for "Russian interference" in 2016. The stats don't tell us exactly who may have done what, but they give us a good idea of where and when to look. Maybe it's all just statistical noise that doesn't mean anything, but it's worth finding out.

Anyway, the stats adventure has been fun! But even if you don't care about or believe in these statistics, now we've got a sworn affidavit from City of Detroit employee named Jessy Jacob who says that she witnessed and participated in election fraud at the direction of her superiors. I have a feeling we'll see more affidavits like this today.

Matthew Cochran is correct that "America Won't Trust Elections Until The Voter Fraud Is Investigated".

In 2020, the body of evidence eclipses that of 2000. Today, the confusion arises from half a dozen states rather than one. The reported incidents indicate outright fraud more than they do simple incompetence, especially since they all just happen to benefit the same candidate. Shouldn't this evidence give us even more reason to investigate the matter than we had two decades ago?

And if your memory doesn't work that far back, you should at least remember 2016. A few Russian dollars spent on Facebook during the election and a highly questionable dossier were all it took to trigger FBI and congressional investigations into President Trump for years. There is far more evidence to justify an investigation into voter fraud in 2020.

So let's see how things play out. We've got plenty of time to investigate, and smart and dedicated people from across the political spectrum who are dedicated to the truth. Right?


I don't have anything intelligent to add to the wildfire election discussion.

Is it super sus that the media "calls" states for Biden instantly, but delays calling anything for Trump until the call won't give him even a temporary electoral vote lead? Yes.

Is it super sus that states where Trump is leading decide to stop counting for a while, and promise to get back to us in a few days? Uh, yes.

Will it be super sus if Biden wins by a handful of votes in the states that stopped counting overnight? Oh fo sho.

Will it be super sus if this election gets decided 5-4 or 6-3 by the Supreme Court? Yep.

These electoral shenanigans are embarrassing.

Pollsters: LOL you are terrible.

Media: LOL you are terrible.

Divided government? If Biden wins but Republicans hold the Senate, that's pretty decent.

Best case scenario: Supreme Court unanimously picks a winner.


Democrat Senator Ron Wyden is right.

"Secret encryption back doors are a threat to national security and the safety of our families - it's only a matter of time before foreign hackers or criminals exploit them in ways that undermine American national security," Wyden told Reuters. "The government shouldn't have any role in planting secret back doors in encryption technology used by Americans."

The agency declined to say how it had updated its policies on obtaining special access to commercial products. NSA officials said the agency has been rebuilding trust with the private sector through such measures as offering warnings about software flaws.

Americans are a free people, and our government must protect our natural right to "keep and bear" strong encryption.


Democrat Senator Ron Wyden is right.

"Secret encryption back doors are a threat to national security and the safety of our families - it's only a matter of time before foreign hackers or criminals exploit them in ways that undermine American national security," Wyden told Reuters. "The government shouldn't have any role in planting secret back doors in encryption technology used by Americans."

The agency declined to say how it had updated its policies on obtaining special access to commercial products. NSA officials said the agency has been rebuilding trust with the private sector through such measures as offering warnings about software flaws.

Americans are a free people, and our government must protect our natural right to "keep and bear" strong encryption.


The Conservative Treehouse writes that Trump supporters are organically routing around social controls and posts several insane videos of Trump parades around the country. I say "Trump parades", but Trump isn't at any of these events, and his campaign didn't organize them. Check this one out from yesterday in Beverly Hills, California. The crowd goes on and on and on. This is nuts.

There are dozens, even hundreds of videos like this. It's unbelievable. I know the polls show Trump losing handily to Biden, but these events make it hard to believe those numbers.

There's nothing equivalent for Biden. I wrote last week that everything points to a Trump victory except the polls, and that's more true now than ever. Crowds like this don't lose elections.

Even if Biden legitimately wins the election, the movement that Trump mid-wifed isn't going away.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Asymmetric warfare. Facebook and Twitter are The Man now, but they can't stop the signal. The Man can't censor you if he can't even follow your links.

Social Media Hider is a way to publish links to external web content to censorious social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook that they won't censor because their censorbots and employees won't see the actual link but just a cover image.

SMH looks like a classic URL shortener, and indeed it is a URL shortener, but it has an extra feature that decides whether to redirect to the target URL depending on what the IP address making the request is. If the source IP is in a subnet that the SMH operator doesn't trust then instead of returning the actual target URL it returns a decoy image or link.

So when The Man (or his AI crony) clicks your link he gets sent somewhere innocuous, but when your friend clicks your link he gets sent to your intended destination. Brilliant.

Social Media Hider is a bit technical to use right now, but just wait a week and there will be browser plug-in that handles everything automatically.


Last month I wrote that pollsters must have learned something from their humiliating failure in 2016. At this moment, it seems like the only indication of a win for Biden is media polling -- which shows a landslide in his favor. Can an incumbent president really lose when 56% of people say they're better off than four years ago?

It is an odd election season. Pretty much everyone thinks the Democrats are on their way to a crushing victory, yet it is hard to see why. A whopping 56% of Americans say they are better off now than they were four years ago, and President Trump draws large, enthusiastic crowds wherever he goes. Meanwhile, Joe Biden is a pale shell of his formerly buffoonish self. When Joe is able to get out of bed, his campaign schedules intimate invitation-only events. Supposedly this is because of COVID, but everyone knows it is really because he doesn't want to be embarrassed by his inability to draw a crowd. Probably no one outside of Biden's immediate family particularly wants him to be president.

So what is going on?

Kevin McCullough writes that the polls are wrong because Trump voters are reluctant to admit who they're voting for.

Now the "smart people" will tell you [that a Trump win is] not possible and that he lags Joe Biden in the polls by margins too big to overcome. If you only look at the selective polls listed in the Real Clear Politics average one might come to that conclusion (Just like they did in 2016).

One thing they won't tell you though is that the hesitancy to tell pollsters what they think is a real phenomenon. A little more than a month ago Bloomberg published a survey that demonstrated Republicans and Independents are more than twice as likely as Democrats to not reveal to pollsters their true thoughts.

Maybe. I think it's more likely that any significant errors stem from inaccurate demographic mixes -- that they're underweighting Trump's support among Blacks, Hispanics, gays, and others.

Mollie Hemingway points out that Trump is polling better now than he did in 2016.

So you see that Biden is averaging a 7-point lead in Pennsylvania, but Clinton was averaging a nearly identical lead there four years ago -- before Trump won it narrowly on election day. Likewise, Biden's Florida lead is very similar to Clinton's lead four years ago. Trump won Florida.

Biden is not performing as well in Wisconsin as Clinton was four years ago. Trump won that state. Biden is doing less well in Michigan, according to the polls, than Clinton did four years ago. Trump won Michigan. Biden's doing a bit better in North Carolina than Clinton did but Trump won that state by a 4-point margin.

There are a lot of people who don't put much confidence in polling, but this table shows that even according to the polls themselves, Trump's performance at this point in the election process is on track with where he was in 2016.

I'm not good at predicting elections, but I will: Trump will win re-election.


Politicians of all stripes agree: We The People shouldn't be allowed to have strong encryption. I'm generally pleased with Bill Barr as Attorney General, but his (and Trump's) demand for "backdoors" into encryption is morally wrong and politically foolish.

The US Department of Justice, in conjunction with the "Five Eyes" nations, has issued a statement asking Apple and other tech companies to effectively create backdoors that will weaken encryption strength overall to provide law enforcement access to data.

In a statement released on Sunday by the US Department of Justice, the "International Statement: End-to-End Encryption and Public Safety" is a continuation of the long-running encryption debate. In the latest salvo in the ongoing war, representatives of governments from multiple countries are demanding access to encrypted data for the sake of sexually exploited children.

The lengthy statement demands tech companies "embed the safety of the public in system designs" relating to encryption, to enable companies to "act against illegal content and activity effectively with no reduction to safety," while enabling law enforcement to do its job. This includes enabling law enforcement officials "access to content in a readable and usable format where an authorization is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight."

This demand is built on two falsehoods.

First, there's no such thing as a "safe" backdoor. Once encryption is weakened, it's weakened for all attackers, not just "good guys". Backdoors can be found. Additionally, the government has been generally terrible and protecting sensitive data, and it would only take one breach, leak, or whistle-blower to release all the backdoor keys.

Second, everyone hates the sexual exploitation of children and wants it prosecuted, but the government already has plenty of tools available. By the time law enforcement has caught a perpetrator and are in possession of his phone, they're sure to have plenty of evidence for a conviction even without decrypting the phone.

Finally, it doesn't seem to me that the government has demonstrated that it is worthy of our trust. We The People should keep our guns and our encryption.


I don't have much to say about Trump's illness and recovery, but this video cracked me up.


Well that was weird and unpleasant.

Wallace's questions were stacked against Trump overall. Wallace did ask Biden a couple of tough questions, but then let him get away without answering.

Oddly, Biden was much ruder to Trump than vice versa, calling the President a "clown" and "the worse president ever", and even telling him to "shut up". Trump interrupted a lot, which is also rude, but not in the same way. I think most viewers would have expected Trump to be ruder than Biden.

Biden didn't seem senile. He's leading in the polls without much effort. That seems likely to continue.

Trump was combative and aggressive, which I assume is what he was going for. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't as funny or effective as he often is.

I think Michael Brendan Dougherty is right about Trump's biggest tactical weakness:

By far Trump's most self-defeating habit in these debates is to refer to stories rather than tell them. He speaks as if he's talking to people who, like himself, spend hours a day watching Fox News and have a shared folklore of scandal stories that can be referred to in shorthand. He refers to events, like ballots found in a wastepaper basket, but doesn't tell the story of where they happened, or why they matter.

Most people won't get these references and may think Trump is just blustering.

Both sides are spinning this as a win, but surprisingly to me 2/3 of Telemundo Spanish-language viewers gave Trump the victory. I presume all the crosstalk couldn't be translated in real-time, so maybe that helped Trump come off stronger?


Said Judge Amy Coney Barrett in 2019. Erika Bachiochi writes about as a new feminist icon.

In recounting how she decided to go through with their second adoption, Barrett said: "What greater thing can you do than raise children? That's where you have your greatest impact on the world." And when a justice of the Supreme Court showcases this truth by her very life, this long-abandoned insight can finally begin to reemerge across our culture.

When greater numbers of us understand the cultural priority of caregiving, a movement will grow strong enough to challenge the dominant market mentality that disfavors family obligation for both women and men. Ginsburg's brand of feminism will give way to something new, a society in which we will no longer fight over abortion because it will have become irrelevant.

Barrett's feminism is inspiring to me as the primary earner of my family and as the father of four daughters.


Every time a Supreme Court seat opens up the ensuing political fight reminds us that the Supreme Court shouldn't be so important.

The point isn't whether the Court got the questions right. The point is that it decided these important [political] issues and, having done so, took them off the table for democratic politics. When Congress decides an issue by passing a law, democratic politics can change that decision by electing a new Congress. When the Court decides an issue by making a constitutional ruling, there's no real democratic remedy.

That makes the Supreme Court, a source of final and largely irrevocable authority that is immune to the ordinary winds of democratic change, an extremely important prize. And when extremely important prizes are at stake, people fight. And get hysterical. ...

So to break it down: All the hysteria about a Ginsburg replacement stems from the fact that our political system is dominated by an allegedly nonpolitical Court that actually decides many political issues. And that Court is small (enough so that a single retirement can throw things into disarray) and unrepresentative of America at large.

I'm actually not against "packing" the Supreme Court. There's no reason it needs to have exactly nine justices. Pack it out to 100 and we might gain two advantages: first, higher throughput for our court system; second, less political fighting over SCOTUS nominations. Reynolds suggests that each state governor nominate a justice:

In an earlier article, responding to Democrats' plans to "pack" the Court with several additional justices whenever they get control back, I suggested going a step further, and add fifty new justices, one each to be appointed by every states' governor. My proposal wasn't entirely serious, being meant to point up the consequences of opening the door on this topic. But on reflection, maybe it was a better idea than I realized.

Sounds like a fine plan to me. Put some power back in the hands of the states.


The headline writer says, "Unconscious learning fosters belief in God, study finds", but that's wrong in a very significant way. The study only demonstrates a correlation between a belief in God and an ability to predict complex patterns.

People who unconsciously predict complex patterns are more likely to hold a strong belief in God -- a god who creates order in an otherwise chaotic universe -- according to research published Wednesday.

"Belief in a god or gods who intervene in the world to create order is a core element of global religions," Adam Green, an associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University, said in a news release.

"This is not a study about whether God exists, this is a study about why and how brains come to believe in gods," said Green, who also serves as the director of the Georgetown Laboratory for Relational Cognition. "Our hypothesis is that people whose brains are good at subconsciously discerning patterns in their environment may ascribe those patterns to the hand of a higher power."

From what I can see, the fault lies with the writer of the headline, not the study authors. Any of these four possibilities could be true:

  1. Belief in God leads to the ability to make better predictions
  2. The ability to make better predictions leads to believe in God
  3. Both belief in God and the ability to make better predictions are caused by some third unidentified factor
  4. The correlation discovered by the study is anomalous

The first three possibilities are all interesting.


I'm interested in political polls but don't know much about their inner workings. My assumption is that pollsters must have learned something from their failures in 2016, and that 2020 polls showing Biden leading Trump are more accurate than the polls in 2016 that showed Hillary easily defeating Trump. I have no real basis for this assumption, except that people don't like to look foolish twice in a row.

But this voter registration data from Pennsylvania is more concrete than a poll, and hard to dismiss.

The GOP has added almost 198,000 registered voters to the books compared to this time four years ago, whereas Democrats have gained an extra 29,000. Though Democrats still outnumber Republicans by about 750,000 voters in the state, the GOP has seized on their uptick in party members as a sign that Trump is on track to win this critical Rust Belt swing state a second time. ...

Overall, registered Democrats now make up 47 percent of the state's electorate, down from 49 percent in September 2016. Republicans comprise 39 percent, up from 38 percent four years ago. Many party officials credit Trump himself for narrowing the gap.

Obviously Republicans claim this trend in registration is significant, and Democrats claim it isn't.

"It's one of the reasons why I am very bullish on Donald Trump's prospects in Pennsylvania. I think he will win again, and I think he will win by more votes than he did in 2016," said Charlie Gerow, a Harrisburg-based Republican strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns in the state. "Trump is doing what Ronald Reagan did 40 years ago, which is moving a lot of traditional Democrats into the Republican column." ...

"It probably means less than meets the eye," said J.J. Balaban, a Democratic consultant in Pennsylvania. "There's reason to believe the shift is mostly 'Democrats' who haven't been voting for Democrats for a long time, choosing to re-register as Republican."

Republicans and Democrats agree that former Democrats are registering as Republicans, but disagree about the significance of this fact. I guess we'll find out in a couple of months.


According to Rasmussen, Trump has the support of 27% of Black Pennsylvanians.

Worrisome for the former vice president is his 67% black support, low for a Democrat, with the incumbent earning 27% of the black vote in Pennsylvania. Trump leads among whites and other minority voters.

That's a tremendous showing for Trump. If he is able to attract more than ~15% Black support nationally his re-election is almost assured.


This is surprising. At least hundreds of Trump supporters parading on the freeway in Portland.


Democrats are floating another trial balloon to test which way the winds are blowing: would voters let Biden get away with not debating Trump?

She explained she did not think "the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody should, and has any association with truth, evidence, data, and facts," and as a result, any debate with him would just be an "exercise in skullduggery" by Trump.

"I wouldn't legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States," she said, though she acknowledged that the Biden campaign had a different view on the debates. Pelosi called Trumps's conduct during his 2016 debates with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton "disgraceful."

So far Biden is staying committed to debating the President.

Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said Biden would continue to take part in the debates. The campaign would "certainly agree with Speaker Pelosi on her view of the President's behavior. But just as she has powerfully confronted that behavior in the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room, Joe Biden looks forward to doing the same on the debate stage."

Asked later Thursday on MSNBC about Pelosi's comments, Biden said "as long as the (Commission on Presidential Debates) continues down the straight and narrow as they have, I'm going to debate him."

"I'm gonna be a fact-checker on the floor when I'm debating him," he said.

Biden has to appear 100% committed until and unless he decides he can get away without debating, in which case he'd have to flip immediately and give a good explanation for his decision. Any wavering on a decision like this would be devastating.

Personally, I don't think a candidate could win without debating in this day and age. It's certainly fair to wonder whether or not debate performance is a useful indicator for governing ability, but that's beside the point. Presidential debates are more like trial-by-combat, and there's something very primal about the ritual. Something deep inside us knows that you don't get to lead the tribe if you won't even fight for it.

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