The Last Laugh …

If I were Hillary Clinton, I would be laughing and feeling pretty darned good right about now!  Sure, she won the election but lost the presidency, most likely due to some high-level hijinx.  But Donald Trump has paid her the highest compliment she may ever receive, though I doubt he realizes it yet.  How so, you ask?

For the entire six months Trump has been in office, he has not let up on his criticisms of his former opponent, Hillary Clinton.  Almost weekly there is some new empty threat or meaningless accusation from his tiny-twitter-fingers.  He simply cannot let it go, cannot seem to get her out of his small mind.  All of which tells me one thing …

Donald Trump, the man with an ego the size of Manhattan Island, feels very insecure and very threatened by Hillary Clinton.  There is simply no other possible explanation.  He won the electoral vote and thereby is now sitting with his pudgy butt in the chair in the Oval Office, yet he is still bashing Hillary Clinton, a woman who can do him no harm now and who probably only wishes she could put the ugly memory behind her.

February 15th“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”

March 20th“What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians? Also, is it true that the DNC would not let the FBI in to look?”

March 27th“Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech…. …money to Bill, the Hillary Russian “reset,” praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!”

March 28th“Why doesn’t Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton – sale of Uranium?”

April 3rd“Did Hillary Clinton ever apologize for receiving the answers to the debate? Just asking!” and “Was the brother of John Podesta paid big money to get the sanctions on Russia lifted? Did Hillary know?”

May 31st – “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC.”

June 9th“How long did it take your staff of 823 people to think that up–and where are your 33,000 emails that you deleted?”

June 25th“Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!”

July 12th“Why aren’t the same standards placed on the Democrats. Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!”

July 16th“HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”

There’s more, but you get the picture.  Donald Trump has a very unhealthy obsession for Hillary Clinton that can only stem from feeling insecure and threatened. It would be funny, were he not supposed to be focusing on the things we pay him to do, like running the country. It would be funny … if he were a 16-year-old kid who lost his best marble in a game against a girl.  It would be funny if it did not speak volumes about the mentality of the man who has the nuclear codes at his tiny fingertips.

Although there is evidence to the contrary, Trump continues to claim that “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”.  Then in March, Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, or as Trump himself refers to it, the Voter Fraud Committee. As per my July 1 post, the commission attempted to jeopardize our voting rights by requesting private information on every voter, but the majority of the states refused to comply.  The commission held its first meeting yesterday, during which vice-chariman of he committee, Kris Kobach said that due to voter fraud, “we may never know” if Hillary won the popular vote or not.  It is apparent that this commission was established, at least in part, to attempt to legitimize Trump’s unsupported claim of voter fraud, though Kobach claims otherwise.

In elections past, the losing candidate congratulates the winning candidate, then goes home to lick his/her wounds.  The winning candidate then spends his time preparing for the job ahead, learning from people already in office, reading and studying.  Then on January 20th, that winning candidate assumes the heavy responsibility that is the office of president.  His days and sometimes nights are occupied with decisions, foreign policy, budgets, policy-making, learning the ropes, etc.  But in the case of Donald Trump, he eschewed the learning process, partly because he did not understand what he was being told, and partly because he already thought he knew everything.  Then once in office, rather than knuckling down to the task ahead, he chose to spend his time ruminating on two people:  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  His own insecurities are costing this nation in ways we may never fully understand.  But to return to my initial point, if I were Hillary Clinton, I would be laughing long and loud, for even eight months after the election, he is still afraid of her!

 

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Our Voting Privacy — VIOLATED!!!

Although there was no credible evidence of major or wide-spread voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election, the person who won that election claims there was.  I see this as a smoke screen to hide the bigger issue that Russia, probably with assistance from Trump and many associated with his campaign, actually DID interfere with the election.  But the Russian interference is another story and has been much-covered already.  Donald Trump, based on his false claims of voter fraud, formed a ‘Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’ to take a magnifying glass and look for those mostly non-existent fraudulent voters. Trump established the commission on 11 March via one of his multitude of ‘executive orders’. A waste of taxpayers’ money, to be sure, but so are Trump’s weekly golf outings.

golfThis commission has now, however, crossed a line.  On Wednesday, all 50 states were sent letters* from Kris Kobach, the vice chair of the commission, requesting information on voter fraud, election security and copies of every state’s voter roll data. The letter asked state officials to deliver the data within two weeks, and says that all information turned over to the commission will be made public. The letter does not explain what the commission plans to do with voter roll data.  The data they requested would include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Party affiliation
  • Last four digits of social security number
  • Voting history from 2006 thru present
  • Information regarding felony convictions
  • Information regarding military status

kobachThe first three on the list are not atypical and not of particular concern, though I do not wish John Q. Public knowing my address.  And even party affiliation is easily accessible, as most states make this information available to political campaigns … for a fee.  What is disturbing, however, is the request for social security number, even though it is only the last four digits, that number is the key to everything about us and should be safeguarded.  And the most disturbing item on the list is the request for ten years’ voting history!  This blows to shreds the theory of a secret ballot, the theory that nobody should know how we voted unless we choose to share that information, and in this case we are not being given that choice.

The notation that the information will be made public is potentially a disaster, and very concerning, since obviously little or no consideration of privacy rights has gone into this. Unfortunately, many may have failed to even notice this story because all the headlines have been focused on Trump’s ugly, sexist tweets against a member of the media.  Did he do that as a smoke screen?  It’s too bad that we automatically question his motives every time he opens his mouth or engages his tiny tweeting fingers, but history has shown us to trust nothing he says or does.

Some states and civil rights groups were not pleased by this letter:

“I have no intention of honoring this request. Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia.” – Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

Connecticut’s Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, said she would “share publicly-available information with the Kobach Commission while ensuring that the privacy of voters is honored by withholding protected data. [Kobach] has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas … given Secretary Kobach’s history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this Commission.”

“The concern is that this is going to be used to justify regressive and disenfranchising federal law. Why does a random member of the public . . . need to know when you last voted and what your political party is? I think that access to this data in the wrong hands could always leave the opportunity for mischief. In this particular instance, I’m worried about harassment as well.” – Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the democracy program at New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice

Vanita Gupta, chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and former head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said on Twitter that the letter is “laying the groundwork for voter suppression, plain & simple.”

“You’d think there would want to be a lot of thought behind security and access protocols for a national voter file, before you up and created one. This is asking to create a national voter file in two weeks.” – Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola University School of Law and former Department of Justice civil rights official.

My concerns are multi-fold.  First, of course, is the plan to make this information public — a move that could compromise our personal security.  Second, and of perhaps in the long run of even greater concern, is that I do not trust Donald Trump.  He claims that the Democrats and the press are engaged in a conspiracy against him, so … if given easy access to our political affiliation and our voting record for the last ten years, what mischief might he perpetuate against those who are registered Democrats, or who voted for someone other than Trump last year?  And third, there is Kobach himself.

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This picture in itself makes me distrust Mr. Kobach!

Kris W. Kobach serves as the Kansas Secretary of State, a position he has held since 2011.  He is known for his hardliner views on immigration, as well as his calls for greater voting restrictions and a Muslim registry. Kobach regularly makes claims about the extent of voter fraud in the United States that several nonpartisan studies have shown are unsubstantiated. I would almost call him a conspiracy theorist. He has implemented some of the strictest voter ID legislation in the nation and has fought to remove nearly 20,000 properly registered voters from the state’s voter rolls. He was also a part of Trump’s conspiracy over the faux ‘birther’ issue, questioning President Obama’s place of birth.

Kobach did, after much time and money wasted on researching voter fraud, successfully secure convictions in nine cases of voter fraud … the nine individuals were not illegal immigrants but rather most were older registered Republicans!

Last October, a federal judge ruled that some of Kobach’s proposed ID requirements constituted a “mass denial of a fundamental constitutional right.” And earlier this month, a Judge James O’Hara fined Kobach $1,000 for presenting misleading arguments in a voting-related lawsuit.  This man sees illegal voters behind every tree, it seems, and apparently has no qualms about disenfranchising thousands with his restrictive voter I.D. laws.

The chairman of the commission is none other than Mike Pence, who seems to be taking a backseat and letting Kobach run the commission. So, to recap, the three main people involved with collecting our data and using it in ways that we are not being told, then making it publicly available, are Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Kris Kobach, each of whom are proven racists, and highly untrustworthy individuals.  I call on every state official who may be involved in the decision, to decline to accede to the demands of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.  We The People do not trust the members of this commission and do not want our information shared with them.  Okay, folks, time to start sending those emails and making those phone calls again!

Update:  As of this writing, at least 3  5  25   27 states are refusing to comply!

* Copy of Letter Sent to All 50 States