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8 hours ago, unclevlad said:

Wouldn't you love to be a fly on Mike Pence's head inside the RNC after he does some of these?

Cuz you gotta think they're feeling the same way, particularly these last couple weeks as he's gone completely off the rails.


Fixed that for ya. :D

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I feel this needs to be shared.  

The legend lives on from the Apprentice on down of the big oompaloompa called Donnie The Donnie, it is said, always has some bed head and he's friends with a loon named Giulani Wit

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23 hours ago, Hermit said:


On EVERY Front...  Poll watchers are being sent out in greater numbers this year :(




Most states have official rules for poll watchers, which include training sessions and having to be signed up in advance for whichever polling location you're working. This is mostly a holdover from the days when precincts were small enough that someone would know most of the locals and would know if some outsider is coming in to impersonate Mr. Wilson (who most people only know as the top of a head and a hat sticking up over a backyard fence).


In those places for official poll watchers, they're allowed to stand in the area behind the poll workers and to step forward to observe someone as they are handing over their voter registration card, ID (in places where ID is required), and to compare the signature that person makes on the voter roll to that which is on the registration card and ID (if applicable).


If the poll watcher thinks the registration card is a forgery, the ID is fake, or the signature is so obviously not the same that even an amateur can tell, he is supposed to wave the election judge over for the election judge to make a determination.


If the poll watcher is making a pain of himself by challenging every voter, different states handle it in different ways. I'm familiar with the system that the election judge ejects the poll watcher and the poll watcher would have to appeal to the Secretary of State in order to get readmitted (which basically doesn't happen because the Sec of State is much too busy on election day to listen to a jerk whine).


Now having said that, what Trump is referring to as "poll watchers" are people to stand around inside or outside the polling place and glare at people who are coming to vote in an effort to intimidate them (or maybe more than glare at people). Though keep in mind that both parties are out there trying to recruit legitimate poll watchers, even in this environment.


In most places I've heard of, people aren't allowed to loiter inside polling places to silently intimidate others just by being there. 


Standing outside is more dicey.


You can "campaign" outside a certain distance from the doorway into the polling place (many time something like 100 feet away but it varies from state to state). Standing there being silently glaring at people could be considered campaigning if the people are wearing campaign paraphernalia or are verbally campaigning in some form (asking people to take literature, screaming, etc.). Signage usually has the same distance limit as personal campaigning. If it's legal for a sign to be there, it's legal for a person to be there (and vice versa). The people who put up yard signs outside polling places are usually meticulous about measuring off the distance correctly and placing their signs as close as is legal.


Loitering without campaign paraphernalia or are verbally campaigning would probably not be allowed and might even be actively illegal in some places. (I've been thinking about writing up state laws on legal campaigning distance from the polling places, who to contact in each state if you see a problem and such, but it's a big task and it'll get buried on the pages if I try to do it piecemeal.) 


Wearing something incorrectly identifying you as being law enforcement would almost certainly not be legal (like wearing an ICE jacket outside a heavily Hispanic polling place).


Carrying something which could be construed as a weapon is not allowed, with the notable exception of a walking cane. People who appear obviously healthy but who carry a cane might get hassled by the police if they appear vaguely menacing but I wouldn't bet on it (everyone will have a trick knee from an old football injury). 



Loitering anywhere closer than the legal campaigning limit is probably not legal in your jurisdiction, particularly if the person is glaring at the voters. Enforcement of that again will probably be difficult because police will be busy with "real" problems. 


Reporting problems that you see should go first to the election judge who is inside. You'll probably have to interrupt one of the poll workers in order to find out who he is. He's responsible for coming outside and telling people to disperse or to move further back into the legal campaigning territory. 


If that doesn't work or he's too busy, you are supposed to directly contact your state's Secretary of State office (which runs the election in all the states that I know of). They'll probably have a special "Election Problems" phone number listed on their home page but I'd advise you to put that number on your cell phone contacts in advance. You don't know if their page will be working properly on election day.


It's probably not a bad idea to put the phone number of the county chairman of your favorite political party on your cell phone as well. He probably has back channel numbers to everyone who counts: county sheriff, city police who are on his side, sympathetic judges, and someone at the Secretary of State's office who will move your complaint to the front of the line rather than put it on the list to be addressed sometime over the next few hours. If your local party is particularly organized, it might have a tip line established for election complaints rather than having to contact the county chairman himself. 


Expect there to be problems and expect there to be Trump jerks following the president's orders to make voting an unpleasant experience. Or counter-protesters in areas which are likely to be contested.


If you want to document what they're doing with your cell phone, for G-d's sake be careful. If you're with someone, have them stand in front and film over their shoulder or around them so it isn't obvious you're filming a goon. 



Some distance-measuring apps if anyone is interested: https://techigem.com/measure-distance-apps/

I'm beyond terrible at measuring distances just by looking.

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Nevada's law is 100 feet from the entrance of the building or structure where the voting is taking place, with the exception of private residences or businesses that are within 100 feet. It expressly forbids anyone asking how someone voted or will vote, as well as trying to tell someone how to vote. Campaign materials are also not allowed, including buttons and apparel. I've seen someone in a previous election waiting line be asked to remove their hat*, or leave the immediate area. 





*Three guesses what the red hat said.

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The South Carolina Senate race just took an interesting turn. 


Senator Linsay Graham refused to be tested for COVID after having contact with Trump while he was probably contagious so a debate with his Democrat challenger was cancelled. Graham decided to do a forum instead.


At his own event, as he appeared to be arguing that race is not a barrier to success in South Carolina, he said, "I care about everybody. If you're a young African American, [or] an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state. You just need to be conservative, not liberal." 


The background he chose to have behind him appeared to be deliberately reminiscent of the Confederate flag.




1954 wants its talking point back.


Unfortunately, that one isn't a parody. The next one however....

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Overwhelmed White Nationalist Militia Spread Way Too Thin Plotting Attacks Against Everyone Trump Wants


“So, just looking at what President Trump would like from us right now, we’re supposed to kidnap several congresswomen in Washington, run over some protestors in Louisville, and blow up a mosque in Minneapolis—how is it possible for a handful of guys to do all that?” said Dennis Blanchard, commander of the Badger State Brigade, who stressed that his five-member pro-Trump vigilante group was still very committed to the ideal of a white ethnostate, but had really overextended itself by trying to oust 10 state governments at the same time. “Look, I’m a motivated guy, but if I’m locked and loaded and en-route to CNN headquarters in New York, don’t tweet about something that’s going on in California, because I just can’t be there. We’re exhausted enough as it is. We’ve already got training camps to run, weapons to stockpile, polls to watch, online recruits to groom. It would really help us out a lot if the president could stay focused.”



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2 hours ago, archer said:

The South Carolina Senate race just took an interesting turn. 


Senator Lindsay Graham refused to be tested for COVID after having contact with Trump while he was probably contagious so a debate with his Democrat challenger was cancelled. Graham decided to do a forum instead.


At his own event, as he appeared to be arguing that race is not a barrier to success in South Carolina, he said, "I care about everybody. If you're a young African American, [or] an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state. You just need to be conservative, not liberal." 





Reminds me of the right-wingers who told same-sex marriage advocates that they can marry whomever they want, so long as that person was not of the same sex. Condescend much, Senator?

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On 10/10/2020 at 3:49 AM, archer said:

But Texas' governor proclaimed early in the month that most already-existing drop off boxes for ballots around the state had to be removed and that no county could have more than one. (Understand that some counties in Texas are larger than the state of Delaware and a heck of a lot of them are larger than Rhode Island.)


In addition to that, in order to put a ballot in the drop off box, you had to show ID and sign a document stating that you were dropping off your ballot.


In Houston, there were lines which were hours long *for the ballot drop-off box*. There had been twelve drop off boxes in that country before the governor ordered eleven of them removed because doing that would (among other things) "limit voter confusion".


Anyway, a federal judge overturned the governor's order...pointing out that Texas had multiple drop off boxes in previous elections with no signs of voter confusion or voter fraud.




Sadly, I heard on All Things Considered yesterday that a three-judge appelate panel overturned the judge's order and restored the one-box-per-county rule. All three judges are Trump appointees.


There's not even a pretense of judicial independence here, so I no longer see any reason not to pack the courts if Dems can manage the trifecta. Or start legislatively firing and replacing judges as was done in Poland. Then make micro-states out of the District of Columbia to pack the Senate, so Republicans will never be in a position to do the same, and say, "We win."


Dean Shomshak

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My biggest concern is, of course, Trump wins;  if that happens, the chance that the Republicans lose the Senate seems nil.


But, my second biggest is that it'll hardly matter.  If Trump loses, it'll be due mostly to his utter incometence, and his massive talent to alienate broad swaths of the country.  But that's not sustainable.  We've got to have serious doubts about Biden for a second term, for age reasons if nothing else, and the anti-Trump push will likely dissipate.  So, in 4 or 6 years...we'll be right back in this mess, with regard to a massively stacked judiciary.

ESPECIALLY if the Senate doesn't flip.  There's absolutely no reason, IMO, to think anything but utter gridlock if that happens.

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News outlets decline to send staff to travel on Air Force One with Trump to his campaign events over lack of coronavirus precautions:

New York Times

Washington Post

The Wall Street Journal

BuzzFeed News


Hearst Newspapers


Flight attendants, Secret Service agents, and White House staffers not wearing masks aboard the plane. Administration staffers accused of returning to work before the end of two-week quarantine periods following infection or possible exposure to coronavirus.



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Trump was a catalyst, but the recipe for this condition had been simmering in American politics, and society, for a long time. I believe Trump, or someone like Trump, was needed at this time to make it boil over, so everyone could see it and feel it. Like the civil rights movement, the Great Depression, the Civil War, sometimes it takes frightful events to force a nation to course-correct. I'm hoping it doesn't get as bad as those, but the precedents are frightening. Yet they're also hopeful, because after each crisis America has emerged better.

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