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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16561 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-19, 10:57

"he said he returned home from work at 4 a.m. and was back at 9 a.m. "


Becky trusts me but if this were to happen often I think she would have some questions.
Ken
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#16562 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-19, 13:52

I just read some of
https://www.washingt...3d61_story.html

I could not stand to read it all.

I have been, I believe, restrained in my comments about Trump's mental make-up. I am not trained in psychology. That being said, he sounds to me like a man who is well into a complete breakdown.

I have not wished for Trump to die, I have not wished him a mental breakdown, I have wished him to be gone. I think he will be gone, but I doubt it will go easily or smoothly.

A test for us all.
Ken
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#16563 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-19, 15:14

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-19, 13:52, said:

I just reas some of
https://www.washingt...3d61_story.html

I could not stand to read it all.

I have been, I believe, restrained in my comments about Trump's mental make-up. I am not trained in psychology. That being said, he sounds to me like a man who is well into a complete breakdown.

I have not wished for Trump to die, I have not wished him a mental breakdown, I have wished him to be gone. I think he will be gone, but I doubt it will go easily or smoothly.

A test for us all.


The biggest threat we face is not from Trump but from the U.S. media. The story that Trump is pushing - the one published by the New York Post - is most likely Russian disinformation pawned off on Rudy Guiliani and now the Trump/Bannon network of tangled webs is furiously trying to get it passed off as "news". The fact that it even warranted a mention in this WaPo article is troubling as Steve Bannon himself has admitted that this type of created pseudo-scandal is not effective if it simply circulates in the right-wing propaganda world - it has to penetrate into the mainstream press to have effect. Anyone remember the Hillary's e-mails scandal?

It is enough that the Trump campaign almost assuredly cooperated in 2016 with Russian sources on how to weaponize and time the release of the Russian Democrat hacks by way of Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. This time around Russia is trying to interfere by feeding a false story to Guiliani. Let's hope mainstream media completely ignores this non-story unless they are able to confirm it themselves. It is not news just because Trump wants it in the papers.


Personally, I think once Trump is defeated he will fizzle like a balloon that has escaped a fat man's pursed lips. He is nothing but a blowhard and has no genuine guts for combat.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16564 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 08:05

I am not always a big Rahm Emanuel fan but here is a recent perceptive and intelligent column that he wrote for WaPo.

Of course by :"perceptive and intelligent" I mean that he agrees with me. Well, for the most part.
He might still need to think some things through a littler better.
Ken
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#16565 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 08:53

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-20, 08:05, said:

I am not always a big Rahm Emanuel fan but here is a recent perceptive and intelligent column that he wrote for WaPo.

Of course by :"perceptive and intelligent" I mean that he agrees with me. Well, for the most part.
He might still need to think some things through a littler better.


I happen to agree with you and Rahm, only from a slightly different perspective. My perspective is that the loss of the SCOTUS is a consequence of apathetic voters' failure to involve themselves. There are some things that can cause a backlash - a consequence - that creates a worse position. I see court-packing that way. It would simply give ammunition to the right's media circus. Better to create unassailable laws.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16566 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 09:33

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

With the election approaching, and former Vice President Joe Biden holding a large polling lead, it’s not surprising that we’re starting to see speculation about his cabinet and other administration positions. It’s also not surprising to see a backlash to those stories — I’ve seen some from Democrats upset that the media is jumping the gun when people should be focused on the election, and I’m sure we’ll see some from Republicans accusing Biden of measuring the drapes and taking voters for granted.

So the first thing to know about such stories is that it’s essential for all major-party nominees to begin working on the transition months before the election. Under the law, candidates (other than incumbents) establish a transition team separate from the campaign, and the current administration must cooperate with them as they prepare for personnel choices and policy planning. The good news? So far, at least, it appears that Donald Trump’s administration is handling this process well. As much as the campaign may want to pretend that nothing happens until Election Day, preparations are in fact underway and have been for some time.

Typically, the transition team doesn’t leak much unless it wants to. But that doesn’t slow down the speculation. People who want jobs let it be known that they’re interested, in the hopes that party actors will support them and let the transition staff know it. Other party actors may get involved in the personnel fight by targeting personal or ideological opponents. See, for example, Kara Voght’s story at Mother Jones about progressive pushback against two potential White House chief-of-staff candidates — and acceptance of the likely frontrunner for the position, Ron Klain. And then there’s a third type of story, in which pundits speculate about names, typically for cabinet positions.

Personnel decisions are important. Biden is likely to be a mainstream liberal president, planted squarely in the center of his (liberal) party. But presidents don’t get involved in every decision, and while they may set the policy agenda, there’s still plenty of leeway for others. My suggestion in following these stories is to focus in and down: “In” as in within the White House, and “down” as in those who will head subcabinet agencies and occupy the ranks right below cabinet officials. Jobs within the White House and the “presidential branch” are critical in normal administrations — the chief of staff, director of the Office of Management and Budget, national security adviser and the top players on the White House economic team are among the most important people in the incoming administration. But executive-branch departments and agencies are important as well, and too often the focus is just on the cabinet.

Party actors who understand how agencies work and care about particular policy areas have no doubt been busy lobbying for and against various candidates for these positions, often either within the transition team itself or through their contacts on the team. And remember: Parties are permeable, so individuals and groups who have been active within the party tend to have contacts within the transition group — or are part of it themselves. “Insiders” have clout in these situations, but insiders can be a huge category involving thousands of people. And it’s not just party actors; unaligned interest groups try to weigh in as well to protect their policy preferences.

Bottom line: These stories may be annoying or feel like a sideshow when the election is still underway, but the process is extremely important — and those with a stake in policy know it.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16567 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 14:41

View Posty66 said:


Compare that with the Trump-supporting businesses that won contracts to provide postal ballots and waited until 3 weeks before the election to tell State authorities that they could not honour their commitments.
(-: Zel :-)

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#16568 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 14:43

Here's a headspinner reported by The Daily Beast:

Quote

Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani argued on Tuesday that the American public deserved to see reports based off material from Hunter Biden's laptop "even if it isn't accurate."


I see. So Rudy thinks that for gaslighting purposes all lies and Russian propaganda should be treated as "news" in order to see if the public can figure out if it is gaslighting.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16569 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 16:31

As predicted, Trump is trying to use this bullshite Russian propaganda as a weapon and urging his corrupt Attorney General to do his bidding. Since Barr has been involved in this for well over a year, he no doubt will do as ordered. The media has a problem: if the president yells and the AG starts a bogus investigation, the media will no doubt report on it - how they treat it is critical. If they continue with their bothsiderisms it will be horrible for our democracy. Treat it like what it is - utter rubbish and a corrupt DOJ.



Quote

President Trump on Tuesday called on Attorney General William Barr to "appoint somebody" to launch an investigation into his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter before Election Day, now just two weeks away.

"We've got to get the attorney general to act," Trump said in a telephone interview with "Fox & Friends" when asked whether a special prosecutor should be appointed to probe unverified allegations against the Bidens. "He's got to act. And he's got to act fast. He's got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption, and this has to be known about before the election."



As Steve Bannon himself has said, unless the mainstream media becomes involved like a megaphone, disinformation of this sort does not work.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16570 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 17:30

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-20, 08:05, said:

I am not always a big Rahm Emanuel fan but here is a recent perceptive and intelligent column that he wrote for WaPo.

Of course by :"perceptive and intelligent" I mean that he agrees with me. Well, for the most part.
He might still need to think some things through a littler better.


That view is a bet that SCOTUS will let such legislating happen without interference. I wouldn't be so sure. Five justices to the right of Roberts is a frightening view for progressive legislation and governing, and for small-d democracy. Four justices willing to overturn the PA supreme court on the mail-in ballots is a loud warning shot. And I am not sure most realise how impossible-to-govern the US would be without Chevron, which is a case conservatives have been aiming their fire at for quite a while.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#16571 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 17:37

View Postcherdano, on 2020-October-20, 17:30, said:

Five justices to the right of Roberts is a frightening view for progressive legislation and governing, and for small-d democracy.


Not if there are seven justices to the left of him
Alderaan delenda est
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#16572 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 03:46

Here is Slate's piece on the PA mail-in ballot ruling: https://slate.com/ne...te-ballots.html
If you look at it superficially, Slate's take is the radical extremist one, and Rahm Emanuel's the moderate sensible one. Well, sometimes the radical extremist take is the correct one.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#16573 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 07:23

I acknowledge that there is a problem. I will take on a few of the issues.

Voting: I suppose there are five people in PA, perhaps even ten, who feel they need more information before they make up their minds whom to vote for. yes there probably are more than ten who have not made up their minds, I am not denying that, but I doubt those people have thought about the matter, looked into it, and still feel that they need more info. And it takes no more time to mail the ballot today than it takes to mail it on the 3rd. I think a reasonable rule would be: Vote in person on the 3rd if you like, or use a mail-in if you like, but if you are going to mail it in have it post marked by the Saturday before the 3rd so that we can reasonably expect it to be counted promptly. If it is postmarked by Saturday Oct 31 and does not arrive by the 3rd it still counts, but hopefully there would be few of those. I see this as a practical approach. I voted two or three weeks ago and I took it to a drop box. But mailing it in this week or next is fine. Dropping it off at the post office at 11 pm on the 3rd is not fine. The pandemic has caused us all problems, I think Maryland has responded well, and now I think people need to do their part in cooperating with the plan.

The ACA: I thought the decision that let the individual mandate and penalty for non-compliance stand because the penalty was a tax instead of a fine was a bit too close to the edge. I am no legal scholar, but it seemed edgy. The entire US medical structure is pretty effed up and needs some serious thought. I hope we do it.

Abortion: I have what I think of as a conservative view on this, which is that unless we must, we do not impose our views on others. Whether this view is properly described as conservative or liberal, I think it is a view that is widely shared. Very few women treat getting an abortion lightly. So we stay out of their choice on this. I was born to an unmarried 20 year old farm girl and quite possibly I would not exist if abortion had been legal in 1938,. But equally I would not exist if they had properly used contraceptives. Just stay out of others business on such matters. And if we have to bring religion into tihs then I just talked to God and He sys I am right. Most people do not really believe someone who says God spoke to them.. So the whole matter should be presented as a mind your own business issue.

We need to get rid of Trump. And we need a Democratic Senate, although I wish I did not have to say that. I am fine with compromise, I favor it, but as long as McConnell is there productive negotiation will not be possible. Politics can be ruthless, that has always been true, but Trump and McConnell? Trump is deranged and McConnell has no regard for anyone or anything beyond his own interests. So they have to go. Then I think we can get things done.
Ken
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#16574 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 10:11

Mark Joseph Stern at Slate said:

It was a fleeting victory that portends a crushing blow to democracy the moment Barrett dons her robe.

I think he meant to say another crushing blow.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16575 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 10:11

Peter Baker at NYT said:

WASHINGTON — After the twin traumas of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal came a period of change in the nation’s capital. The system set about reinventing itself to realign the balance of power, establish new guardrails for those in high office and try to enforce greater accountability.

Two weeks before an election that will determine whether President Trump wins another term or is repudiated by voters, some in both parties are already looking beyond him to map out a similar rewriting of the rules. After four years in which the old post-Watergate norms have been shattered, the would-be reformers anticipate a counterreaction to establish new ones.

“It’s pretty obvious that Trump has, through his actions and words, exposed a number of weaknesses in the normative and legal restraints on the presidency,” said Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor. “He has revealed that there are a lot of gaps in presidential accountability and that norms are not as solid as we thought. He has revealed that the presidency is due for an overhaul for accountability akin to the 1974 reforms.”

Mr. Goldsmith, an assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush, has teamed up with Robert F. Bauer, a White House counsel under President Barack Obama, to produce what they hope could be a bipartisan blueprint for what such an overhaul would look like. Among their ideas are empowering future special counsels; restricting a president’s pardon power and private business interests; and protecting journalists from government intimidation.

They are not the only ones looking ahead. House Democrats led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chief House manager in this year’s Senate impeachment trial of Mr. Trump, have assembled a legislative package of similar ideas, including limits on a president’s authority to use declarations of national emergencies to take unilateral action; more protections for inspectors general and whistle-blowers; and an accelerated process to resolve disputes over congressional subpoenas.

The flurry of proposals reflects the pent-up frustration on the part of Mr. Trump’s critics in both parties over his success at flouting traditions that have bound other presidents in the nearly half-century since Watergate. Mr. Trump has overtly pressured the Justice Department to go easy on his allies and prosecute his enemies while purging the government of inspectors general who exposed improprieties within his administration. He has kept his business, hidden his tax returns and defied congressional inquiries.

“He definitely underscored that a president who’s committed to challenging these norms can do it,” Mr. Bauer said. “We shouldn’t assume it won’t happen again. We shouldn’t assume it’s a one-off.”

Mr. Bauer and Mr. Goldsmith developed more than 50 proposed legislative and executive changes in “After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency,” the first book published by Lawfare Press, an imprint of Lawfare, a nonpartisan website that focuses on issues of national security and executive power.

Their collaboration was meant to bring together veterans of Republican and Democratic administrations, although Mr. Goldsmith said he became an independent after his party nominated Mr. Trump in 2016. Mr. Bauer’s involvement may be telling because he is a senior adviser to the campaign of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, and would be in position to promote these ideas with a new administration should Mr. Trump lose.

Among their ideas:
  • Provide more authority and protection for future special counsels investigating presidents or other high-level officials and have them report their findings to Congress and the public rather than to the Justice Department.

  • Prohibit presidents from pardoning themselves and amend the bribery statute to make it illegal to use the pardon power to bribe witnesses or obstruct justice.

  • Bar presidents from managing or supervising private businesses or establishing blind trusts for their financial assets and require any business in which they have an interest to file public reports.

  • Authorize inspectors general to investigate and report on reprisals or intimidation of journalists.

  • Revise the authorization of force passed after Sept. 11, 2001, to prohibit humanitarian military intervention without additional votes by Congress and limit the use of nuclear weapons to self-defense in extreme circumstances.

  • Ensure that the attorney general makes decisions on prosecutions involving the president or presidential campaigns, not the F.B.I. director, as happened during the Hillary Clinton email case.

Mr. Bauer and Mr. Goldsmith are an unlikely tandem. They got to know each other when Mr. Bauer invited Mr. Goldsmith to speak to his class at New York University School of Law and they debated the merits of the Obama and Bush administrations. They found that they shared a common concern for what they see as the consequences of the Trump presidency, prompting development of these proposals.

The historical precedent traces back to the 1970s when Congress responded to Vietnam, Watergate and C.I.A. revelations with a raft of legislation, including the War Powers Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Privacy Act, the Inspector General Act, the Civil Service Reform Act, the Presidential Records Act, the Ethics in Government Act that provided for independent counsels and updated versions of the Federal Election Campaign Act and Freedom of Information Act.

The intent was to curb abuses like those under President Richard M. Nixon and make government and political campaigns more accountable. Not all of them worked as hoped; the campaign finance system created at the time has been warped by court rulings, creative legal interpretations and the collapse of public financing, while the Independent Counsel Act lapsed after Iran-contra and Whitewater investigations soured Republicans and Democrats alike.

One area where Mr. Bauer and Mr. Goldsmith disagreed may presage a larger debate if Mr. Trump loses — whether he should be prosecuted. In that, too, there is a 1970s precedent in President Gerald R. Ford’s decision to pardon Mr. Nixon rather than have a former president stand trial, an act that may have cost Mr. Ford the 1976 election but has since won him praise as an act of courage in the national interest.

Mr. Goldsmith argued that investigations of any actions by Mr. Trump that occurred before he became president should be allowed to continue but warned against criminal prosecution of acts that he took while in office.

“I just think it’s going to make everything worse for everyone on balance,” he said. “It will continue to be a spectacle. It will consume the next administration. It will not be easy to pull off. It will look politicized.” And, he added, it would set “a terrible precedent for the country” by encouraging the expectation that a new administration would routinely investigate its predecessor.

Mr. Bauer acknowledged the point. “We wouldn’t want anyone to have the impression that this was victor’s justice or vigilante justice or anything like that,” he said. But he argued that any investigation of Mr. Trump should be allowed to work its way toward a conclusion and only then, after the facts have been established, should the next president consider a pardon or commutation.

Otherwise, Mr. Bauer said, presidents would be shielded from prosecution while in office by Justice Department policy and then shielded from prosecution after leaving office by the political desire to avoid a spectacle. “We have to signal that there is going to be some accountability for presidential misconduct,” he said.

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#16576 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 10:27

Concerning court packing.

The history of the United States has been one of progress - but it has lurched back and forth and sideways in that effort to move forward. That is the nature of our Republic. We have once again reached a point in history where we will once again lurch backwards. There is no one to fault about this but ourselves. We let this happen. It is natural to want to have an immediate remedy for this consequence of our apathy toward government. But it would be wise to recall what happened the last time Democrats had control of the Congress and the White House and were shellacked in the midterms for forcing through the ACA without compromise.

It is critical to play the long game here. Immediate gratification can have awful consequences. Remember, the SCOTUS has no power unless an appeal is made - and whoever makes that appeal must have standing. It is up to Congress to write and pass bills, signed by the president, that negates the SCOTUS of intervention.

It is only after trying the right way to accomplish goals and being thwarted by an obviously partisan and biased SCOTUS that packing the court should be attempted. Without a huge majority in favor, the backlash to court packing is likely much worse and much longer than the next 50 years. Besides, there is always the remedy of impeachment rather than packing. Finding and proving lies during the confirmation hearings would go a long way toward justifying such a remedy.
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#16577 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 10:28

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-21, 07:23, said:

I voted two or three weeks ago and I took it to a drop box.

How would you have felt if you found out that the drop box was a fake put out by your local GOP and they had simply placed your absentee ballot in the trash, or worse, opened it and used the information to update their voter database?
(-: Zel :-)

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#16578 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 11:32

I would worry that kb voted illegally in California.
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#16579 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 11:50

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-21, 10:28, said:

How would you have felt if you found out that the drop box was a fake put out by your local GOP and they had simply placed your absentee ballot in the trash, or worse, opened it and used the information to update their voter database?


Well, I wouldn't like it. Just as I would not like it if someone put sand in my gas tank or dumped trash in my yard. But I am not understanding the purpose of the question. What have I missed?
As near as I can tell, everything has been done legitimately here. We were given an opportunity to vote without standing in line, I'm 81 and appreciate the opportunity although from what I have been hearing about problems that even the young have been having from covid I think I would have voted in the same way if I were 31.
I'm just not seeing what you are getting at. The sort of thing you describe surely is illegal, I object if someone harms me in a legal manner and I expect action to be taken if someone harms me in an illegal manner. same for everyone, I suppose.
So I don't get it.
Ken
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#16580 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 13:10

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-21, 11:50, said:


As near as I can tell, everything has been done legitimately here.



The dop boxes that the GOP is placing in California are absolutely NOT legitimate.

California has pretty strict rules regarding steps that need to taken in order to collect ballots for third parties.
Alderaan delenda est
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