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csziggy's Journal
csziggy's Journal
July 31, 2020

Scary exercise about what could happen with this election

Experts Game Out What Might Happen If The Election Goes Off The Rails
July 30, 20204:19 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
4-Minute Listen


SHAPIRO: Rosa Brooks, who worked in President Obama's Defense Department, is the co-organizer of the Transition Integrity Project. Last month, this bipartisan group of political operatives, academics and former government officials spent a day exploring what might happen if the election goes off the rails. Brooks told me it's fair to say all of them participated out of concern for this fall's election.

ROSA BROOKS: We had about 70 or 80 people. We put them on two teams. We had a Team Trump - a Trump campaign team, a Team Biden. We had GOP and Democratic elected official teams. We had a media team and teams representing sort of career civil servants. And we essentially did a number of exercises where we gave them each a scenario. One of our scenarios was a decisive Biden win. One was a decisive Trump win. One was a narrow Biden win. One was a period of extended uncertainty as in the election of 2000.

In each of our exercises, the Trump campaign team came right out of the gate, tried to stop the counting of mail-in ballots, tried to assert that they were fraudulent, in one case closed the post office to prevent additional ballots from reaching the ballot counters, in another case seized and tried to sequester the ballots to prevent additional counting.

In all of our scenarios, the team that feared an electoral - a ballot count loss attempted to persuade legislators, state-level legislators and governors sympathetic to them to send rival slates of electors to Congress. We had both sides attempting to mobilize street protesters. And I can say that in each of the exercises, the players playing the Trump team were significantly more ruthless and willing to play fast and loose with the truth than the team playing the Biden campaign.


I think it really shocked people out of that and made them see there's a very real chance that it won't be fine if you all sit back and just assume it won't be fine (laughter). If you want it to be fine - if you want this to be a normal, free and fair election, you need to be thinking right now about how we protect the integrity of the election and the transition.


Even in a mock scenario where people are concerned about the election going off the rails, Republicans are willing to cheat in order to win. Think of what that means in the real world with people who do not care if the election is considered fair and legitimate. This is frightening.

ETA: There is a full transcript and audio of the interview at the link.
July 5, 2020

"How I learned to relax and love Donald Trump" - not what you might think

How I learned to relax and love Donald Trump | Opinion
Posted: June 23, 2020 - 10:14 AM
Curtis Milam, For The Inquirer

I am the son of an Air Force brigadier general and served myself to the rank of colonel. Of my 57 years drawing breath, I’ve spent 51 of them directly or indirectly serving this once great nation. So, as you might imagine, I found myself on Nov. 8, 2016, more than a little dismayed at the news we had elevated Donald J. Trump to the nation’s highest office — a man so clearly unfit to lead America.

But over time I’ve come to appreciate Trump in ways I did not expect. Now, I am thankful that we elected Trump. Because Donald Trump is exactly what America needed. Trump is a mirror, a warning, and ultimately a catalyst for change. Reflected in Trump is all that is wrong with the United States: the injustice of our broken social contract, the crassness of our politics, and the cruelty of our economy. Trump is also the shock that a mature democracy needs for action. To use a timely metaphor, Trump and his supporters are a virus, and they have activated our democratic antibodies. What we are seeing in the streets is the body fighting the infection.


Beginning with Newt Gingrich in 1994, Republicans stopped trying to govern and instead began accumulating power. McKay Coppins writes in his profile of Gingrich in the Atlantic, “… few figures in modern history have done more than Gingrich to lay the groundwork for Trump’s rise.” Effective governance requires compromise, trust, and mutual respect. Gingrich’s new version of Republican had no interest in that. He destroyed the bipartisan structures for governing and even resorted to name-calling and conspiracy theories — over the line at the time, but in hindsight presaging Trumpism.

A straight line can be drawn from Gingrich’s “Contract with America” to the tea party in 2009. Another outsider movement characterized by distrust of government, expertise, and experience, the tea party helped elect a rogues’ gallery of loathsome lawmakers — I’m looking at you, Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas). Trump’s dystopian vision of America is the ultimate flowering of the outsider, populist, anti-government thinking that has metastasized in the Republican Party over the past decades.

More: https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/donald-trump-revolution-uprising-election-2020-20200623.html
July 5, 2020

Protestors Criticized For Looting Businesses Without Forming Private Equity Firm First

The Onion:

Protestors Criticized For Looting Businesses Without Forming Private Equity Firm First
5/28/20 2:01PM

MINNEAPOLIS—Calling for a more measured way to express opposition to police brutality, critics slammed demonstrators Thursday for recklessly looting businesses without forming a private equity firm first. “Look, we all have the right to protest, but that doesn’t mean you can just rush in and destroy any business without gathering a group of clandestine investors to purchase it at a severely reduced price and slowly bleed it to death,” said Facebook commenter Amy Mulrain, echoing the sentiments of detractors nationwide who blasted the demonstrators for not hiring a consultant group to take stock of a struggling company’s assets before plundering. “I understand that people are angry, but they shouldn’t just endanger businesses without even a thought to enriching themselves through leveraged buyouts and across-the-board terminations. It’s disgusting to put workers at risk by looting. You do it by chipping away at their health benefits and eventually laying them off. There’s a right way and wrong way to do this.” At press time, critics recommended that protestors hold law enforcement accountable by simply purchasing the Minneapolis police department from taxpayers.

July 2, 2020

NJow for something completely different from the recent past!

And the ultimate RR (how did I ever miss this?):

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