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JoanofArgh

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Charlotte, NC
Member since: Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:15 AM
Number of posts: 13,679

Journal Archives

Discussion in Scottish Parliament about investigating Trump's properties and their financing

https://twitter.com/MartynMcL/status/1326916581524377600?s=20


Thread: there's been interesting discussion in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon about the use of Unexplained Wealth Orders to investigate Donald Trump's deals to acquire his Scottish properties and ascertain the sources of the financing 1/


.
@patrickharvie
said there is a need to "protect Scotland's good name from association with the toxic Trump brand" and highlighted "serious and long-standing concerns about Trump's business activities," both in Scotland and further afield 2/


Those concerns, he said, include evidence to Congress citing patterns of buying and selling thought suggestive of money laundering, and which drew particular attention to the golf courses in Scotland and Ireland. 3/

"The cause for concern is still growing," Mr Harvie told the parliament. "It's now reported that the Manhattan District Attorney's office is investigating the Trump Organisation's inflation of assets, and potential bank and insurance fraud." 4/

He added: "The Trump Organisation has been accused of repeatedly reporting fraudulent financial details to the US Office of Government Ethics, while reporting a different set of figures to the UK regulators in respect of the Trump golf courses here in Scotland." 5/

Turning to the issue of UWOs - he stressed that the Scottish Government is able to go to court and ask for an order so that it can "start getting answers," but said that so far, the government has refused to either confirm or deny that an investigation is underway. 6/

He added: "Now that Trump is set to lose immunity from prosecution in the US, he may finally be held to account there. Isn't it time that he's also held to account here? Isn't it time for answers from the Trump Organisation and for the Scottish Government to go to court?" 7/

Replying, First Minister
@NicolaSturgeon
said the decision on whether to pursue a UWO against Trump is one for prosecutors, not politicians - specifically, the Crown Office, which she said operated in a "right and proper" independent capacity from government ministers. 8/

She added: "I think everybody is prob well aware of my views about the soon to be former president, and my views are probably no different to ... many people across Scotland. The idea that I'd somehow try to protect him from due accountability I don't think holds much water." 9/

For what it's worth, my understanding of the UWO process is that it's the Scottish Government that can decide to go to court, under section 396A of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The legislation doesn't seem to leave much room for ambiguity: https://legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/29/section/396A ends/

Scottish Greens UWO statement: "We can't continue to turn a blind eye to red flags that surround [Trump's] biz activities in Scotland, sending a signal to not just Trump himself but those who may be lured by our relaxed approach towards investigating possible financial crimes"

Germany's protests against coronavirus restrictions are becoming increasingly radical

BERLIN — Around 9:30 on a quiet Sunday morning late last month, a crudely made explosive device went off with a small bang and a flash in central Berlin near the building of an association of German scientific institutes. A note found nearby demanded the end to coronavirus restrictions.


The incidents come against the backdrop of a growing violent undercurrent at large-scale street demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions, including one attended by 20,000 people Saturday in Leipzig. The developments point to an increasingly radicalized movement of virus skeptics in Germany, embraced by the country’s far-right extremist groups and energized by global conspiracy theories, notably those put forth by the U.S.-born QAnon movement.

Far-right groups marched alongside the demonstrators this weekend, stoking concerns among security officials that they will gain recruits and draw more demonstrators to violence, with bomb- and weapon-making material already circulating in coronavirus-skeptic circles online.

The main organizer of the demonstrations, a group called Querdenken, or “lateral thinkers,” grew out of demonstrations in Stuttgart, where large early protests included middle-class moms concerned about vaccines. They oppose mask requirements and what they see as curbs on basic freedoms and have demanded early elections. But the demonstrations have also attracted an array of groups.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/germany-coronavirus-lockdown-protests/2020/11/12/3e9879ea-2422-11eb-9c4a-0dc6242c4814_story.html

At dinner parties and game nights, casual American life is fueling the coronavirus surge

A record-breaking surge in U.S. coronavirus cases is being driven to a significant degree by casual occasions that may feel deceptively safe, officials and scientists warn — dinner parties, game nights, sleepovers and carpools.

Many earlier coronavirus clusters were linked to nursing homes and crowded nightclubs. But public health officials nationwide say case investigations are increasingly leading them to small, private social gatherings. This behind-doors transmission trend reflects pandemic fatigue and widening social bubbles, experts say — and is particularly insidious because it is so difficult to police and likely to increase as temperatures drop and holidays approach.

The White House coronavirus task force has been urging states that are virus hot spots to curtail maskless get-togethers of family and friends, saying in reports that asymptomatic attendees “cause ongoing transmission, frequently infecting multiple people in a single gathering.”


As new daily cases in the United States surpassed 145,000 on Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced a 10-person limit on gatherings in private homes, calling them a “great spreader.” Similar restrictions have been imposed in states including Ohio; Utah; Connecticut; Colorado, where one recent cluster involved seven people infected while playing the dice game bunco; and Rhode Island, whose governor has pledged to fine violators. Oregon last week announced a “pause” in hard-hit counties on most groups larger than six people. “Earlier in the outbreak, much of the growth in new daily cases was being driven by focal outbreaks — long-term care facilities, things of that nature,” said Nirav Shah, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Maine, where cases have soared in the past two weeks. “Now, the kitchen table is a place of risk.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/11/12/covid-social-gatherings/




https://twitter.com/chrislhayes/status/1326918112160178178?s=20

Trump's election challenge looks like a scam to line his pockets "It's a straight up bait & switch"

President Trump isn’t really trying to overturn the election. He’s simply running one more scam before he leaves office that would enable him to enrich himself.


“They’re trying to STEAL this Election,” declared one such Trump campaign fundraising missive from “Donald J. Trump, President of the United States” on Wednesday afternoon. “I promise you my team is fighting the clock to DEFEND the integrity of this Election, but we cannot do it alone. We need EVERY Patriot, like YOU, to step up and make sure we have the resources to keep going. … Please contribute ANY AMOUNT RIGHT NOW to DEFEND the Election.”

But at the provided link to the “OFFICIAL ELECTION DEFENSE FUND,” the legalese at the end says something rather different:
Sixty percent of the contribution, up to $5,000, goes to “Save America,” Trump’s newly created leadership PAC. And 40 percent of the contribution up to $35,500, goes to the Republican National Committee’s operating account, its political (not legal) fund. Only after reaching the first maximum would a single penny go to Trump’s “Recount Account,” and only after reaching the second maximum would a penny go to the RNC’s legal account.

“It’s a straight-up bait and switch,” Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, tells me. Such email solicitations target small donors, so for the “overwhelming majority of people contributing … none of their money will end up in recount accounts” or be used for otherwise challenging the election.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/11/trumps-election-challenge-looks-like-scam-line-his-pockets/

PA AG - There is no legal mechanism for state legislature to appoint electors. None

https://twitter.com/JoshShapiroPA/status/1326655676505075712?s=20


There is no legal mechanism for the state legislature to act alone and appoint electors. None.


@ThePlumLineGS
· 58m
No, the "hail mary" plan for Trump isn't going to work. I tried to boil down the scenario in which a GOP legislature sends its own electors to make it as simple as a "Dick and Jane" story.

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro's office explained it all to me here:
https://washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/11/no-hail-mary-plan-trump-isnt-going-work/

Evidence suggests several state Senate candidates were plants funded by dark money (FL)




MIAMI – Why would candidates for Florida Senate seats do no campaigning, no fundraising, have no issue platforms, nor make any effort to get votes?

Local 10 News has found evidence to suggest three such candidates in three Florida Senate district races, two of them in Miami Dade County, were shill candidates whose presence in the races were meant to syphon votes from Democratic candidates.

Comparisons of the no-party candidates' public campaign records show similarities and connections that suggest they are all linked by funding from the same dark money donors, and part of an elaborate scheme to upset voting patterns.

In one of those races, District 37, a recount is underway because the spread between the Democratic and Republican candidates is only 31 votes. The third party candidate received more than 6300 votes. That third party candidate is Alexis Rodriguez, who has the same last name as the Democratic incumbent senator Jose Javier Rodriguez. The Republican challenger is Ileana Garcia. Alexis Rodriguez falsified his address on his campaign filing form last June. The couple who now live at the Palmetto Bay address say they have been repeatedly harassed since then by people looking for Rodriguez, who hadn’t lived there in five years.

https://www.local10.com/news/local/2020/11/11/evidence-suggests-several-state-senate-candidates-were-plants-funded-by-dark-money/

Georgia's recount is a risk limiting audit

https://twitter.com/KimZetter/status/1326549391075799041?s=20

NOTe: This is a risk-limiting audit. It’s NOT a recount being done to appease Trump. It was always planned that Georgia would do a risk-limiting audit of one statewide race this election. It makes sense that the chosen race is the presidential one.

https://twitter.com/KimZetter/status/1326551144911368195?s=20

Journalists, if you’re going to write about this, please understand the difference between a recount and an audit. A risk-limiting audit does not recount all the ballots. Officials manually examine only a PERCENTAGE of randomly chosen paper ballots in such an audit.


n this particular case, GA will manually audit ALL of the ballots in the presidential race because of the type of risk-limiting audit they’ve chosen to do and because they chose the presidential race to audit. In risk-limiting audits, the percentage of ballots examined...

is based on margin of victory in race. The smaller the margin, the more ballots you audit. Because margin in presidential race in Georgia is so narrow, state would have to randomly select more than a million ballots to audit. It’s cheaper/more efficient to just audit all of them.

Another reason why what they're doing in GA is an audit and not a recount - because Georgia's election law says that a recount is done by having a scanner read a QR code printed on each ballot. It does not involve a manual count unless the scanners are shown to be untrustworthy.

It's hard to convey this in brief tweets, but what I'm trying to say is that GA was set to announce this morning which race it would use in its risk-limiting audit. The initial plan, as I understand it, was to do a down-ballot race and not the presidential race. That changed.

It made sense for them to choose the presidential race instead of a down-ballot race, since that is the most controversial one. But because the margin in the presidential race is so narrow, they would have had to pull more than a million random ballots for the audit.

In an RLA, a computer randomly picks which ballots to audit. One ballot from a batch at this precinct, two ballots from a batch at that precinct. It's extremely time-consuming because workers in every county have to locate these ballots and prepare them to be examined.

It requires strong chain-of-custody to track those ballots and pull the correct ones. In a normal RLA, you might pull several hundred ballots to audit, possibly a couple thousand. But in this presidential race, because of the number of ballots cast and the close margin

it would require staff to pull more than a million ballots and then carefully return each ballot to its proper batch. That's why the state has chosen to just manually audit all of the ballots - you just pull all of them and it's less taxing and time-consuming for staff.

The Georgia SoS has called this an audit, a recount and a canvas. Georgia law states a recount is done by optical scanners, not by manually examining ballots. The machine in fact scans a QR code on the ballots to recount them.

Georgia law allows for manual recount only if machines are shown to be untrustworthy during tests. So calling this a recount would be contrary to what Georgia law says a recount is. In essence this will indeed now be a manual recount of the ballots...

but it's more of a hybrid between an audit and a recount. In Georgia, an audit involves a manual review of ballots, a recount does not, except under certain circumstances. So in manually counting all of the ballots in this case, Georgia is doing a combination audit/recount.

What is great about what GA is doing, is that this will finally put a spotlight on need for mandatory post-election audits that involve manually examining paper ballots. This would add important missing integrity check for elections, as I point out here

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2020/11/02/one-big-flaw-in-how-americans-run-elections-1333232


Bottom line is GA is doing a quasi-audit, but not risk-a limiting audit because of how GA will conduct it (no randomly chosen ballots). It's also not a strict recount because of what GA law calls a recount - a machine reading QR codes.



Whatever. They chose the Presidential race because it'll please Trump.

Trump's longstanding history of calling elections rigged

On election night in 2012, when President Barack Obama was reelected, Trump said that the election was a "total sham" and a "travesty," while also making the claim that the United States is "not a democracy" after Obama secured his victory. Trump even wrote on Twitter, "We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!"

When he ran to become the Republican Party nominee in 2016, he attempted to cast doubt on the election process. Trump said he did not lose the Iowa caucuses in 2016 to then candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, because he "stole it."

"Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!" Trump wrote on Twitter at the time. He also wrote, "Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified."


In October 2016, just weeks before the general election, Trump wanted to cast doubt on the results by tweeting, "The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD," without providing any evidence for the claim. Even after the election ended and it was clear that Clinton had lost and conceded victory to Trump, the president didn't stop lamenting over the election he had won. He quickly made the claim that he also won the popular vote over Clinton, which is something that did not happen. "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," said Trump.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-longstanding-history-calling-elections-rigged-doesnt-results/story?id=74126926

Biden World Fears Trump Will Bring 'Weird Shit' to Their Inauguration

President-elect Joe Biden’s team is confronting a logistical headache as it prepares for his formal inauguration on January 20, 2021: How can you hold a mass-attended event in the midst of a pandemic while also preventing it from becoming a Trumpist counterprotest?

At issue is a potentially combustible mix of complications owing to the likelihood that both COVID-19 and President Donald Trump’s hurt feelings will persist into the time when Biden is scheduled to be sworn into office.

Officials who have been involved in talks around inauguration planning said public safety would be top of mind. Over the course of the campaign, Biden consistently downscaled events or went entirely virtual to ensure no risk of COVID spread on his behalf. The expectation is that mindset won’t change for his inauguration.

But the questions being confronted by inauguration planners are now twofold. How do you actually keep attendees away? And if wannabe revelers decide not to show up, will you be left with a mass gathering of Trump supporters in their place? “What do you do if our people don’t show up and his do?” asked one official involved in inaugural preparations. “They probably will and the last thing you want is a MAGA rally on the Mall when Joe Biden is sworn in as president…. I think [Trump] would want to make it as much of a shitshow as possible.”


https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-world-fears-trump-will-bring-weird-shit-to-their-inauguration?ref=home

"This is unsustainable"- senior WH official

https://twitter.com/GeoffRBennett/status/1326519553208295426?s=20


Frustration is building within the White House at President Trump’s refusal to concede defeat. A senior White House officials tells
@PeterAlexander
, “This is unsustainable,” referring to Trump’s unwillingness to accept the election’s result.


https://twitter.com/GeoffRBennett/status/1326519884860239872?s=20

This official says the president will keep amplifying his unsubstantiated claims of fraud and says they “do not expect him to concede.” More likely, this top aide says, “He’ll say something like, ‘We can’t trust the results, but I’m not contesting them.’” - via
@PeterAlexander


https://twitter.com/GeoffRBennett/status/1326520012438446087?s=20


Reacting to the Biden senior counsel Bob Bauer’s comments that Trump’s longshot lawsuits are “theatrics,” this officials admitted, “It’s not wrong for the Biden team to call it theater.”

This official says many members of the White House staff are actively looking for new work.
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