Ahead of recount, Wisconsin has already wiped out 5,000 imaginary Donald Trump votes (Palmer Report link): Earlier today we reported that three precincts in the Wisconsin county of Outagamie had revised their vote totals downward for Donald Trump by more than a thousand votes combined, with local officials insisting to their local ABC News affiliate that it was a mere arithmetic error. But as more revisions come in throughout the state, a total of nearly five thousand Trump votes in Wisconsin have now been taken off the official board because they apparently never existed to begin with.
At the end of election night the New York Times reported that Donald Trump had won the state of Wisconsin with a total of 1,409,467 votes, giving him a winning margin of 27,257 votes over Hillary Clinton’s total of 1,382,210. These numbers were based on what the individual counties and precincts were reporting that night. But now seventeen days later, based on various Wisconsin precincts revising their own totals, Dave Wasserman of the respected Cook Political Report has updated the totals. Donald Trump now has 1,404,536 total votes in Wisconsin, while Hillary Clinton now has 1,382,011 total votes.
Two things immediately jump out, as first spotted by critic Dave Greenwald. The first is that, even ahead of the forthcoming recount in Wisconsin, Donald Trump’s lead has already shrunk to just 22,525 votes. That means 18% of his “lead” has already vanished, based on precincts catching some of their own incorrect numbers, and internet gawkers catching others. But the second thing that jumps out is that the revisions have served to erase thousands of votes from Trump, while affirming that Clinton’s vote total was essentially correct to begin with.
Mod: Wisconsin is the first of three states recounting their presidential votes at the request of the Green Party. If it flips expect all hell to break loose. Michigan and Pennsylvania follow.
Elias’ statement said it was the campaign’s duty to see the process through to its end, including being present as recounts unfold in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. On Friday, the Green Party filed for a recount in Wisconsin. There are plans to file for a recount in Pennsylvania starting Monday, which is a county-by-county process, and in Michigan on Wednesday. Elias said they would “participate” in the recount without specifying exactly what that may entail.
Mod: Like Jill Stein, the Clinton camp is handling this in a very circumspect way. Their participation at all means they must think there is at least a possibility that this election was hacked.
Donald Trump Calls Green Party’s Wisconsin Recount Push A ‘Scam’ (Huffington Post link): U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday called a request for a recount of votes in Wisconsin a “scam” by the Green Party and said even his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton had said the election results should be accepted.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount,” Trump said.
Stein denied Trump’s claims that funds raised for the recount would be allocated elsewhere.
“For his information, this is all going into a dedicated and segregated account so that it can only be spent on the recount,” Stein told CNN on Saturday.
“He may be creating his own facts here as he’s been known to do some times in the past,” Stein said. “He himself said it was rigged election unless he won it.”
Mod: Somebody seems to be worried about something. You can only wonder what is going on behind the scenes.
Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story (Washington Post link): In assessing Donald Trump’s presidential victory, Americans continue to look away from this election’s most alarming story: the successful effort by a hostile foreign power to manipulate public opinion before the vote. U.S. intelligence agencies determined that the Russian government actively interfered in our elections.
Russian state propaganda gave little doubt that this was done to support President-elect Trump, who repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and excused the Russian president’s foreign aggression and domestic repression. Most significantly, U.S. intelligence agencies have affirmed that the Russian government directed the illegal hacking of private email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and prominent individuals. The emails were then released by WikiLeaks, which has benefited financially from a Russian state propaganda arm, used Russian operatives for security and made clear an intent to harm the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
From the Russian perspective, the success of this operation can hardly be overstated.
Mod: I cannot begin to tell you how little respect I have for anyone who fell for this.
Letters To California Mosques Praise Donald Trump, Promise Genocide (The Huffington Post link): Religious leaders in California are calling for a police investigation after identical letters were sent to local mosques hailing President-elect Donald Trump and calling for death to Muslims.
The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement asking for increased protection after the hate-filled letters were discovered at the Islamic centers of Long Beach and Claremont as well as a mosque in San Jose.
The handwritten and photocopied letters, received over the course of the week, were signed by “Americans for a Better Way.” They call Muslims “a vile and filthy people” who “worship the devil” and evoke Trump.
“There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims,” the letters read. “He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”
Mod: What is it about wanna-be Hitlers and their love for Donald Trump?
GOP cuts in Medicare may be next after dismantling Obamacare (The Fiscal Times link): The pledge by President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act beginning early next year has dominated the national policy debate since Trump, and the GOP swept to victory in last week's election.
With potentially 20 million or more Americans threatened with the disruption or loss of their Obamacare insurance coverage in the coming years, Trump and GOP leaders are coming under mounting pressure to explain precisely how they would replace Obamacare once they pass legislation early next year to dismantle key elements of the program.
However, practically overnight the Republicans have substantially raised the stakes in their drive to reform the government health care system and cut costs. House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) told reporters on Thursday that the House GOP will likely push next year for major changes and cuts in Medicare, the premier health care program for 57 million seniors that has been the bedrock of retirees' health coverage since the mid-1960s.
Mod: Some so-called "Patriots" are going to be mightily surprised when their government funded medical benefits such as Medicare are suddenly taken away.
Enter Mike Pence, whose lawyers have launched a battle to prevent his own inconvenient emails from ever being made public. That distant wailing you just heard was irony dying.
The [Pence] administration is fighting to conceal the contents of an email sent to Gov. Mike Pence by a political ally. That email is being sought by a prominent Democratic labor lawyer who says he wants to expose waste in the Republican administration.
But legal experts fear the stakes may be much higher than mere politics because the decision could remove a judicial branch check on executive power and limit a citizen’s right to know what the government is doing and how it spends taxpayer dollars.
The Pence administration email in question was in regards to Pence going behind the backs of the Indiana government to hire a private lawfirm to help him file a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama as a publicity stunt. The total expense of this stunt has never been made public. Democrats in the state were hoping to learn more about this government waste by analyzing Pence’s emails surrounding the decision. Instead, they hit a brick wall built by Pence’s lawyers.
Mod: The man known as the "Human Q-Tip" does seem to have a certain flair for self-immolating hypocrisy.
Ann Coulter: It's 1928 All Over Again! (Crooks And Liars link): Boy, is Ann Coulter dumb. In addition to having her facts wrong, does she really want to point to the start of the Great Depression as the last time Republicans held the White House, the House and the Senate? Really?
Just for the record, Republicans had all three from 2002-2007. And more to the point, when they held all three from 2002-2007, the Great Recession happened.
You see a pattern here? If I were Ann Coulter, I wouldn't be trumpeting those associations.
Mod: I'm not too sure that Herbert Hoover would be pleased by this, either.
Made in the shape of a miniature red hat like the one Trump wore at numerous rallies, the ornament is advertised as brass with gold trim and sells for $149. Purchases constitute non-refundable contributions to a Trump fundraising committee, as well as the Republican National Committee.
Like Trump himself, the ornament has sparked widely divergent reactions. The reviews section on retailer Amazon.com instantly became a forum for people to register their feelings about the president-elect, his policies and persona.
“Every time I try to hang it on the branch, it yells 'WRONG!' No matter which branch I try, it's 'WRONG!'” a reviewer wrote. “I woke up and there was a wall around my tree,” another wrote.
“Millions of Americans and I ordered the 'Stronger Together' ornament. Imagine our disappointment when this is what we got,” another wrote.
“Let's make America great again ornament has liberals in the corner sucking their thumbs holding onto a blankie. My ornament is proudly displayed on my Christmas tree where we say, God Bless America and Merry Christmas,” said another reviewer.
“This is a great ornament! So excited to ring in a new year with Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence at the helm! God Bless America,” a reviewer posted.
“Unfortunately this has turned out to be as disappointingly and frustratingly repugnant as the BREXIT ornament,” another posted.
Advertising for the ornament proclaims “It is sure to make any tree stand out” and “President-elect Trump loves Christmas and makes a point of proudly saying ‘Merry Christmas’ every chance he gets.”
“Of course, like most things bearing the Trump name, this was mass produced in China,” a reviewer posted.
Mod: I'm not surprised about the "Made In China" origin of such tackiness. There isn't much that Donald Trump (Я -Moscow) won't do to make an easy buck.