Saturday, April 24, 2021

Election 2020: Arizona Audit, Off Again and On Again

We're celebrating the weekend with a large, and disparate lot of links. Starting with the Officer Sicknick lie sage, the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 04.23.21 turns us onto Brian Joondeph, at Am Think who thinks Liar Liar, Media Pants on Fire

U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died in early January after the Washington, D.C. Capitol rally. Despite not knowing anything, the media was quite certain as to the cause of death.

On Jan. 9, the forensic pathology experts in the New York Times newsroom assured readers that: “He dreamed of being a police officer, then was killed by a pro-Trump mob.”

The normally sensible New York Post was certain in their headline: “Video shows Capitol rioter hit officer with fire extinguisher.” The video showed some police officer, identity unknown, being hit in the head, but the Post was quite sure the officer was Sicknick, as they reported, “Who died at a hospital Thursday after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the melee.”

CNN, also now experts in forensic pathology, told their audience: “Brian Sicknick died after he was injured while physically engaging with pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol.” If CNN reported it, then it must be true. After all, they are the self-proclaimed “Most trusted name in news.” That’s a whopper on par with President Obama’s claims, “If you like your insurance/doctor, you can keep them.”

This reporting served as a basis for Trump’s impeachment, accusing the president of “incitement of insurrection.” In a pre-trial memo, Democrats claimed: “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”

The lies worked. Trump was impeached again with the reliable assistance of a few linguini-spined Trump-hating so-called Republicans, and the accusations sent the rest of the GOP hiding under their beds rather than supporting Trump in his electoral fraud claims and standing up to fake news. They might have well just said Trump himself whacked Sicknick with the fire extinguisher.

It turns out, now revealed when it makes no difference, that Officer Sicknick died of natural causes, specifically a series of strokes the day after the attack, with zero evidence of him being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher. But the damage was done, and the media is now happily driving by to the next story, having accomplished their mission of tarnishing their political nemesis, Donald Trump.

Alex Nitzberg at JTN, Government anticipates at least another 100 people will be charged over Jan. 6 Capitol attack "That figure comes on top of the more than 400 people already charged over the episode." At Da Caller, ‘You Are Traitors’: BLM Protesters Storm Into State Capitol To Protest Law Protecting Motorists From Rioters. Am Mil News, Oklahoma drivers now have immunity from hitting rioters in streets under new law signed by Gov. Stitt. Breitbart, 

Maxine Waters: GOP Criticizing Me to Distract from ‘Domestic Terrorist Insurrection Led by Trump’ Nice Deb from Twitter:

Business Insider has a big scoop everyone... "Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of 'actively encouraging riots and violence' ... See, the takeaway isn't that Waters incited violence- it's that a Republican called her out for inciting violence. 

Fair is fair. At Front Page, FBI Keeps Stonewalling Over Bernie Supporter Attack on GOP Congressmen. At WaEx, Byron York's Daily Memo calls it An outrage from the FBI

The unanswered question in all this is why the FBI, at the time under the leadership of Acting Director Andrew McCabe, did what it did. Even at that time, the bureau was warning Americans of the danger posed by domestic terrorists. And yet the FBI refused to publicly recognize a clear act of domestic terrorism. Was some sort of Trump-era bias involved? Was it bureaucratic infighting? Something else? It's time the victims in the case -- and also the country as a whole -- got some answers.

Well, that was fast. Sundance at CTH, Arizona Democrats Sue to Stop Maricopa County 2.1 Million Strong Ballot Audit and Re-canvassing – UPDATE, Judge Pauses Audit Effective 5pm Today, Until Monday, then UPDATE: Maricopa County Audit Back On Track – Democrats Refuse to Put Up $1 Million Bond For Weekend Pause. More or less at ET, Maricopa County 2020 Election Audit on Track After Democrats Refuse to Pay $1 Million. Will we be able to add another asterisk to President Biden*?

So of course, Richard Hasen at NYT whines (via Hot Hair) that Republicans are now threatening the integrity of vote counting itself. Ilya Shaopiro at WaEx (H/T Insty), The voter suppression lie

Sorting out fact from fiction is not only important for this particular law, the fallout from which has already reached Major League Baseball and some Hollywood productions, but to understand the general debate over election regulation in America.

The Georgia law limits ballot drop boxes to places they can’t be tampered with (such as early voting sites), standardizes weekend voting hours, and asks people to write a driver’s license or Social Security number on absentee ballot envelopes.

Jim Crow was “literacy tests” and poll taxes, having to guess how many bubbles are in a bar of soap, and battling billy clubs and police dogs on the way to the voting precinct.

The Washington Post gave Biden “ four Pinocchios” for his claim that SB 202 was “ Jim Crow in the 21st century” for limiting voting hours and otherwise “deny[ing] the right to vote to countless voters.” That paper, not exactly a right-wing house organ, reported that “experts say the net effect was to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.” MIT elections expert Charles Stewart III found that “it indicated an expansion of hours, especially in rural counties.”

SB 202 does indeed improve voting access for most Georgians, entrenching the new opportunities to vote early and absentee (by mail and drop-off) introduced during the pandemic. For example, during a generous, at least compared to blue states such as New York and the president’s own home state of Delaware, 17 days of in-person early voting, voting locations have to be open at least eight hours, with county officials given leeway to adjust the times to suit their constituents. Election Day voting hours are even longer. The window for requesting absentee ballots, which can be done online, is reduced to a “mere” 67 days, starting 11 weeks and closing 11 days before an election, to allow time for the ballot to be mailed out and returned. . . .

Attempts by progressive groups and Democratic politicians to tie SB 202 to the era of segregation and systemic racial disenfranchisement are thus remarkably dishonest. Even the bizarre attack on the provision purportedly limiting the distribution of water to voters waiting in line is all wet. Many states have similar anti-electioneering (or anti-vote-buying) rules, which, as colorfully detailed by Dan McLaughlin in National Review, make it illegal to send “people in National Rifle Association t-shirts and MAGA hats to hand out free Koch-brothers-financed, Federalist Society-branded pizza to voters.” To again pick on the Empire State, New York explicitly prohibits giving voters “meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or provision” unless the sustenance is worth less than a dollar and the person providing it isn’t identified. To be perfectly clear, under the new Georgia law, poll workers can still provide water to voters, and anyone can donate food and drink for election workers to set out for those waiting in line.

As for voter ID, SB 202 simply adds a requirement that voters provide the number of their driver’s license or (free) state identification card to apply for a ballot, the same as California, New Jersey, and Virginia, and one of those (or the last four digits of a Social Security number) when returning it. Surely, applying a numerical voter-verification requirement to absentee or mailed ballots is better than the inexact science (to say the least) of signature-matching. Colorado, now a solidly blue state that votes entirely by mail, rejected 29,000 ballots last fall (about 1 in 112) because the mailed signatures didn’t match those on file. That doesn’t count the 11,000 who were allowed to “cure” the issue by texting in a picture of a — gasp — photo ID. Illustrating the point further, the Tampa Bay Times just came out with an amusing article about how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s signature has changed over the years, apparently leading to his ballot being tossed in a 2016 primary.

Brad Slager at Red State Poll Shows After Coke CEO Poured on Outrage at Georgia Election Law, Public Support Goes Flat

That's only about a quarter of their US market. 

Fence sitters sit together, of course, Capt. Ed at Hot Hair, "In a heartbeat": Manchin pledges campaign support for Murkowski in 2022

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest.

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