Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

2020 Voter Fraud

First, look at the political make up the states from where all the noise of voter fraud is coming. These states have:

  • Republican legislatures as determined by Gerrymandering.
  • A trifecta (possibly) which is a Republican Governor and legislature.
  • A historical turnout of voters in 2020.
  • A higher turnout of Democratic voters than Republican.
  • A reversal of votes from Repubs to Democrats historically or from 2016 to 2020 (MI, WI, and PA)
  • Had a normal percentage of votes for Others, Libertarian, etc. candidates in 2020 as compared to 2016.

Enough people woke up to the tyranny of trump and Republicans. It is rich that each one of the states trump is complaining about is either 100% controlled by Republicans or at least has a Repub controlled legislature. Michigan has its Republican controlled legislature.  Georgia has a trifecta (Republican legislature and governor) as does Arizona. Pennsylvania has a Republican Legislature, as does North Carolina and Wisconsin. These were the states in play this election.

Nevada has had a Democratic  legislature since 2008 and has a Dem Gov. for the first time since 1994.

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Processing Center Percentages are “Not” On Time Delivery Percentages

Steve Hutkins of Save the Post Office has been live blogging and providing updates to the 12 federal district court cases filed. In the November 6, 2020 Update Steve discusses the delivery updates being filed in court and which are being used by some news outlets to show the USPS has been delivering ballots late and not on Election Day. Steve cautions against the use of this data as actual delivery dates are different than processing dates.

November 6, 2020 Update

The Postal Service’s daily reports on service performance, election mail, and late/extra trips (submitted as part of the Joint Order from the courts in RichardsonVote Forward, and NAACP) can be found here.

Steve Hutkins: One note about these daily reports on election mail. Some news reports are looking at these reports and misinterpreting the data and saying things like this:

“The data based on scans of ballot envelopes that were filed in Sullivan’s court Wednesday suggested that in South Florida, just 85.12% of the mail-in-ballots were delivered on Election Day and in central Pennsylvania, just 61.3% of the mail-ballots in the postal system were delivered on time both of which were based on the scan data in the court filing shown. In Philadelphia, slightly more than 66% of the mail-in ballots had been delivered on Election Day. In Atlanta 82.2% percent of the mail-in ballots were delivered on Election Day, the court filing shows.”

The daily numbers being reported do not indicate how much of the mail was delivered on time, i.e., within the service standard of two or three days. These numbers are  processing  scores, i.e., the percent of the ballots that went through the processing network on time. They do not encompass;

the “first mile” (the step between a voter dropping a ballot in the mail and its arrival at a processing center) or the “last mile” (from post office to letter carrier to destination).

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USPS Court Case Updates – Election Ballot Delays

Steve Hutkins on-line live blogging at Save the Post Office has been updating the progress of the “Lawsuits against DeJoy, USPS & Trump with relation to mail delays and election mail. This is the sweep ordered by the court for the USPS to perform to discover and report via the  “sweep of facilities”  how many ballots (were) are being delayed due to the USPS. The twitter link in the Afternoon Update has numerous comments on the delay by the USPS delaying the Sweep. In the Morning Update (below) there are multiple various commentary by news outlets.

More to come.

November 5, 2020

Afternoon Update: Judge Sullivan presided over another hearing today. One of the questions on the table was how many ballots may have been delivered late or are still in the system and not delivered yet. The Postal Service shared some specific numbers, as reported in a great “live” twitter thread on the hearing by @USPostOffice911.

Looking a ballots without a destination scan, the Postal Service says that in the Central PA district, there are 1524 total, and of these USPS has confidence that 979 were expedited, while 545 require further investigation.  In Greensboro, 3087 total, 1752 expedited, 1335 to investigate. In the Carolina district, 2404 total without destination scans, 1204 confidence they were expedited, 1200 to investigate. In Philadelphia, 2496 total, 1682 expedited, 814 to investigate. The Postal Service said that there is no evidence yet that the ballots in the “investigated” category were not delivered.

In a separate filing, the Postal Service provided a list of the number of ballots that were delivered Express in each district over the three days Nov. 1- Nov. 3. The total appears to be about 10,655.

The plaintiffs have presented two proposed orders, which Judge Sullivan appears to have ordered.

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Vaccine Progress

Guest Author at Angry Bear is Professor Joel Eissenberg. Dr. Joel Eissenberg is a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is probably a good person to ask questions concerning pandemics and bringing new vaccines to market. Ask questions  .  .   .  I am sure he will answer the same as he has commented in the Comments section. He also reviewed my layman’s piece on Moderna’s mRNA. I am hoping he will contribute at Angry Bear on healthcare from time to time.

The Moderna trial has reached its enrollment goal of 30,000 subjects and at least 75% have already received both injections. This is not a challenge trial, but it is expected that many subjects in the vaccine and placebo arms will be infected and these will be tracked. Power calculations suggest that only a few dozen infections are necessary to determine whether there is a benefit to the vaccine over placebo. So far, the number of infected subjects is at or ahead of what they expected. The trial lasts two years, so there is plenty of time to collect data. There is, of course, understandable urgency to push out some vaccine ASAP.

I’m in the Moderna trial, which tests the efficacy of injecting the messenger RNA for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (the surface protein that gives coronaviruses their corona) directly into muscle. The protein is made in muscle cells and then (a) secreted and (b) presented to immune cells to stimulate the adaptive immune system. Technically, it is a double-blind trial, but so far, everyone in the vaccine arm experiences the short-term vaccine syndrome of headache, mild fever, muscle and joint ache after the booster. I did, and was able to get an antibody test confirming a robust response (IgG). I’ll continue to social distance and mask as before; I have no interest in testing just how effective the vaccine is or isn’t with my own body.

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“I am Woman”

Of Australian descent singer Helen Reddy passed on September 29, 2020 largely unnoticed, at least by me an old coffee house Marine. Helen’s song “I am Woman” was the 1972 anthem and soundtrack of the women’s movement, with the opening lyrics of “I am woman, hear me roar . . . In numbers too big to ignore” turning her into a feminist icon.

In 2011, Billboard named her the number-28 adult contemporary artist of all time (number-9 woman). In 2013, the Chicago Tribune dubbed her the “Queen of ’70s Pop”.

In 2015, Helen Reddy was diagnosed as having dementia and had moved into the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s Samuel Goldwyn Center, where she was cared for by family and friends. Reddy appeared in downtown Los Angeles at the January 21, 2017 Women’s March. The march for women’s rights and unity following the inauguration of Donald Trump brought out 750,000 people. Reddy was introduced by actress Jamie Lee Curtis and sang an a cappella version of “I Am Woman”.

For Aussie singers, Helen was one of the best along with the likes of Judith Durham of “The Seekers.”

Helen Reddy Reddy died on September 29, 2020 in Los Angeles at age 78.

Helen Reddy, I Am Woman singer & feminist icon. Woman’s Agenda,

Helen Reddy, the roaring sound of feminism, The Sydney Morning Hearld

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Voting by Mail and the Next Election Meltdown – A Prophecy

Steve Hutkins at Save The Post Office, October 31, 2020

This post was written in 2016 and slightly updated on Oct. 31, 2018, exactly two years ago today. The update started like this:

According to this AP report today, alarms are already being raised about the rejection of many mail-in ballots in next week’s elections. Several of these elections are likely to be very close, and in some cases, votes cast by mail may make the difference. As the AP article notes, “nearly one of every four ballots cast in 2016 came through the mail or was handed in at a drop-off location, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.” With more and more people choosing to vote by mail, controversies involving mail ballots are likely. Back in 2016, just before the November election, we ran this article about the potential for an election “meltdown” arising from voting-by-mail issues.

Following is the 2018 update, with no further revisions for 2020. Some of the details are out-of-date and incorrect, but much of the post is more relevant now than it was then.

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Notes on South and North Carolina Politics and Zeta

Been chatting (email) with a friend based in North Carolina. I thought I would share the comments at AB.

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I had to spend a good deal of time cleaning up after the remnants of Zeta. We got 5 inches of rain and 45 mph winds. I managed to get leaves out of the ditches and culverts before the storm so what came down didn’t do too much damage to the road. I had it cleaned up the next day. Our local power company is Western Carolina University – an odd leftover from 50 years ago. My neighbor heads up the maintenance and line crews so if there are trees down along our creek I’ll bring my tractor down and help them out. It made for a couple of long days but I got some good firewood out of the deal. It also took my mind off the election.

It looks like NC is going to Biden. We have a Democratic governor so shenanigans may be at a minimum but we have places like Alamance County where the local sheriff managed to make an ass out of himself and his department today. (North Carolina Senatorial Candidate) Cunningham looks like he’ll hold on after the disclosure of his extra-marital affair. No one likes Tillis, his own caucus hated him when he was in the legislature.

South Carolina may surprise some people. The area around Charleston has turned quite Blue over the last few years with a tech boom. Columbia is also shifting. (Jamie) Harrison has given Graham a run for his money. He’ll run at least three or four points behind Trump which may be just enough to get Harrison in.

It looks like the Republican appointed judiciary is all in on screwing things up. The most recent lawsuit in Travis County is an absolute joke yet a Federal District court is going to hear it (Jennifer Fleck lost the July runoff in District 47 to Justin Berry by more than a thousand votes). But Fleck claims the election results in Travis County are not reliable.. The 5th Circuit has become a mini-version of the John Birch society

Overall opinion; I am cautiously optimistic but the Republicans have demonstrated a willingness to shamelessly cheat. I suspect a free and fair election would be an absolute blowout but this one is going to be tighter than it should.

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Hopefully, he is wrong with his prediction and this is an overall blowout of what is so obviously wrong with the nation.

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“What we needed was real leadership to address this issue at hand”

What you just Heard from Senator Graham is what we get
The discussion of what is going on in Washington D.C.
I do not care what is going on in Washington D.C.
Because right now, Rome is on fire right here in South Carolina

Part of Jamie Harrison’s opening statement (above)

– Jamie gets the stats right and focuses on the people
– Lindsey focuses on liberal and conservative ideologies.

If you have not heard Jamie Harrison speak before, here is an opportunity. He make Lindsey nervous. The debate starts at the 15 minute mark.

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Stop Girdling the Post Office

Mark Jamison, Retired NC Postmaster at Save the Post Office, October 29, 2020

In forestry the practice of tree girdling is well known. Although there are some circumstances where this can be a useful practice, in most cases the technique is used for nefarious ends. Girdling involves removing the bark and layers below the bark, usually around the trunk of the tree. The cut, when it includes the entire circumference of the tree, makes it impossible for the tree to heal itself and everything above the cut will eventually die. In forests where logging is limited to dying or diseased trees, loggers will girdle healthy trees to kill them and make them available for harvest.

For at least the last fifty years, the right wing has been girdling the post office and the postal network in the hope of undermining its health and thereby reaping a financial harvest. The very people who have been charged with caring for and sustaining the Postal Service have instead repeatedly cut services, saddled the institution with requirements that undermine its ability to function, and denigrated the value of the network.

Louis DeJoy and Robert Duncan are the latest in the long line of postal girdlers. But they have taken their game to a higher level and for what are clearly political reasons. Both are products of the president that appointed them and both evidence their benefactor’s outright mendacity. They have made it clear that regardless of the law, public necessity, or public opinion, their goal is to cut postal operations. The recent OIG report reviewed here at STPO  demonstrates that clearly.

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DeJoy’s 57 Varieties of Cost Cutting: What’s in the new OIG report—and what’s not?

Steve Hutkins at Save The Post Office, October 26, 2020

In response to several inquiries from members of Congress, the Office of Inspector General has issued a report on “Operational Changes to Mail Delivery.” The report discusses the Postal Service’s plan to eliminate 64 million work hours — the equivalent of 33,000 jobs — by implementing 57 cost-cutting initiatives. As discussed in this previous post, the plan represents one of the largest downsizing efforts in the 50-year history of the Postal Service.

These 57 “Do It Now FY Strategies” include restrictions on overtime, late and extra trips from processing centers, and all the other cost-cutting measures that have caused the delivery delays we’ve seen since July. They also include numerous other changes to postal operations that have not received much, if any, attention.

The report criticizes postal leadership on several counts. First, the Postal Service “did not complete a study or analysis of the impact the changes would make on mail service prior to implementation.” Second, “documentation and guidance to the field for these strategies was very limited and almost exclusively oral.” That caused “confusion and inconsistency” and “compounded the significant negative service impacts across the country.”

The IG also criticizes management for a third major failing: The Postal Service did not “fully respond” to questions and document requests from Congress and did not share information about the plan beyond what the Postmaster General was specifically asked in his testimony before the House and Senate.

As a result, Congress was not informed of the existence of the Work Hour Reduction Plan and the “Do It Now FY Strategies” before or during the Postmaster General’s testimony to Congress. The plan is not mentioned at all in Senator Gary Peters “Failure to Deliver” report or his update report. It’s very likely that Congress has yet to receive a full accounting of the plan.

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