Tag Archives: vote fraud

Mitch backs down … who knew?

(Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has taken back what he said about Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines’ decision to oppose a controversial Georgia vote law.

He said that big business should stay out of politics. McConnell admitted he didn’t speak “artfully” about the firms’ opposition to regulations that critics contend limit voters’ access to casting ballots.

McConnell backs away from warning businesses to stay out of politics (msn.com)

The truth is that McConnell has been exposed once again as the political hypocrite for which he has become infamous. You see, McConnell said that the Supreme Court’s decision in 2010 to allow corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of political money was, um, all right with him. The case became known as “Citizens United.”

So, it was all right for corporations to donate to GOP campaigns but not all right when they oppose GOP-friendly legislation and laws.

Don’t get me wrong. I am glad that GOP leader McConnell has switched gears on this matter. I just felt the need to put it in some context that McConnell chose to overlook.

Vote ‘reform’ based on the Big Lie

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

State legislators and governors keep yapping about “protecting the electoral process” by enacting rules that make it more difficult for millions of Americans to actually vote.

All of which makes me wonder: Against what are these officials seeking to protect us? 

I think I know. They are protecting us against a bogus affliction of voter fraud promulgated by the Big Lie that took root when Donald Trump was in the process of losing his bid for re-election as president of the United States.

You’ll recall when Trump alleged that were he to lose his re-election bid it would be the result of “widespread fraud.” That illegal voters would be able to cast ballots. That they would vote for Joe Biden.

Evidence in state after state has concluded that the voter fraud Trump said existed doesn’t exist. Has there been a scant ballot cast illegally? Sure. Is it as widespread and corrosive to the system as Republicans, led by Trump, Not by a long shot.

Indeed, the man Donald Trump hired to protect the nation’s electoral system, Christopher Krebs, declared the 2020 election to be the “safest, most secure” election in U.S. history. What did he get for doing his job? Donald Trump fired him!

Texas has joined the vote fraud amen chorus by approving voter suppression laws. Major League Baseball responded to Georgia’s restrictions by pulling its all-star game from Atlanta. This debate, as you would expect, has fallen along partisan lines: Republicans make the bogus case of vote fraud; Democrats debunk those claims and allege that the GOP is seeking to hold onto the power it has in many states by any means necessary.

I keep circling back, though, to the cause of all this tempest. It is the Big Lie, which culminated on Jan. 6 when the riotous mob of terrorists mounted an insurrection against the federal government just as it was certifying Joe Biden’s election as president.

The Big Lie continues to fester in the minds of those in state capitols who enact laws that have little to do with vote fraud but seemingly everything to do with making it more difficult for Americans to vote.

We are witnessing a disgraceful assault on a cherished right of citizenship.

Trump lost the election; Big Lie insists otherwise

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump lost the 2020 presidential election.

It has been proven, certified, codified, cast in proverbial cement. Game over. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is the president of the United States of America after being selected in a free and fair election by a solid majority of American voters.

But … the Big Lie still has plenty of life.

The Big Lie is the one promulgated by Trump, which he did once again this week in a Fox News interview. He keeps saying he won the election. He didn’t! He lost it! Bigly!

What continues to astonish me is that he has actual practicing lawyers who insist he won. One of them, Sidney Powell, is saying openly that voting machines were tampered with and made to calculate ballots in a way that would push President Biden into the White House.

Powell and other liars now face a lawsuit in the billions of bucks by the manufacturer of the voting machines. She also needs to be disbarred and prohibited from ever practicing law.

However, the Big Lie lives on. It won’t die. It must die. Maybe it will when its sources no longer are around to spread the lie.

The absolute worst element of the Big Lie is that so damn many Americans are willing to believe it. These Americans — the big liars — have disgraced the country they profess to love.

Hopes are being dashed

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My hope for a swift return to what they refer to in Washington as “regular order” in Congress is being wiped away.

The hope rested on the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States. He is a man of the Senate. He knows how to legislate, how to get those on the “other side” to join him in the search for common ground.

I guess I didn’t count on the Senate being so fundamentally remade in the image that President Biden replaced, Donald John Trump.

Man, this transition from the Trump Era to the Biden Era so far hasn’t gone quite like I had hoped.

Congressional Republicans appear dug in deeply in their mistrust of the electoral process that produced a Biden victory. They have swallowed the snake oil that Trump has fed them about the election being “stolen.” The irony is stinking rich, given that many of those congressional GOP imposters took an oath to protect the very system they now contend is corrupt.

Well, we still have time. President Biden still has time to win them over. I won’t surrender to the darker impulses that still seem to pervade politics in Washington.

But my eternal hope for a return to regular order is getting dimmer by the week.

GOP = voter suppression

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Honest to goodness, this is the truth, which is that I do not want to believe Republicans favor limiting Americans’ access to voting.

However, it is clear to anyone with a working brain that the GOP is aligned with those who want to restrict many Americans’ rights as citizens of this great land.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sharpened his political long knife in endorsing a Republican plan to limit access to voting while the state is fighting the pandemic. He targets one of the state’s largest Democratic leaning counties, Harris County.

The Texas Tribune reports: At a press conference in Houston, Abbott served up the opening salvo in the Texas GOP’s legislative response to the 2020 election and its push to further restrict voting by taking aim at local election officials in the state’s most populous and Democratically controlled county. The governor specifically criticized officials in Harris County for attempting to send applications to vote by mail to every registered voter and their bid to set up widespread drive-thru voting, teeing up his support for legislation that would prohibit both initiatives in future elections.

“Whether it’s the unauthorized expansion of mail-in ballots or the unauthorized expansion of drive-thru voting, we must pass laws to prevent election officials from jeopardizing the election process,” Abbott said on Monday. Harris County planned to send out applications to request a mail-in ballot, not the actual ballots.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott backs bills that restrict efforts to expand voting | The Texas Tribune

Texas is not alone. Other states where Republicans command power are taking similar actions.

“These kinds of attempts to confuse, to intimidate, to suppress are a continuation of policies we’ve seen in this state since Reconstruction,” Democratic Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. “It is a continuation as well of the big lie that’s being peddled by some far-right elements that the election in 2020 was somehow not true and should be overturned.”

What troubles me is that the phony charge of vote fraud is being used as political cover for more nefarious motives designed to prevent racial and ethnic minorities from being able to vote. My goodness, I hate thinking that is the real reason, but the actions of Texas Republican legislators — as well as Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — leave me with no choice but to assume the worst.

It sickens and saddens me.

‘Unity’ still awaits POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden’s quest for national unity keeps finding speed bumps.

He’s hitting many of the right notes, but a month into the presidency he continues to encounter Republican resistance. GOP senators aren’t exactly embracing many of his selections for the Cabinet. One of them, budget director nominee Neera Tanden, is likely to be derailed.

National unity, though, isn’t entirely based on whether a president enjoys a full-blown honeymoon with Congress. It also reveals whether the POTUS enjoys widespread support among the population. That, too, seems to be a bit of a stretch, given polling that suggests some still dark impulses among GOP voters.

Most of the GOP voting public still seems to believe that President Biden “stole” the election from Donald Trump. That really troubles the daylights out of me. Trump continues to divide the nation by perpetuating The Big Lie about the integrity of the 2020 election and it undermines any serious effort to bridge the divide between the major political parties.

So, the search for unity goes on and on.

I am pulling for the president to find the common ground he seeks with Congress. Attaining that commonality will go a long way toward uniting the nation that all of them — President Biden and the 535 members of Congress — govern together.

Donald Trump once infamously proclaimed that “I, alone” can fix the nation’s problems. I don’t believe we will hear that kind of boastfulness from Joe Biden. He knows that teamwork requires giving and taking.

As for the nagging doubt that lingers in the minds of those who voted for Trump about the integrity of the election that Biden won — fairly and squarely — the president might just have to rely on the passage of time to let their fervor subside.

Meanwhile, the quest for unity continues.

Good luck, Mr. President. I am in your corner.

A curious appointment

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hang on a second, Mr. Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Speaker Dade Phelan talked a good game about working across the aisle when he took the gavel at the start of the current Texas Legislature. Then he makes what I consider to be a peculiar committee chair appointment that seems to run counter to his hopeful bipartisan talk.

Briscoe Cain, a Deer Park Republican, is the new chair of the House Elections Committee. Why is that a head-scratcher? Well, Cain spent some time in Pennsylvania seeking ways to overturn the results of that state’s presidential vote total, which awarded its electoral votes to Joe Biden, the Democrat who defeated Donald Trump.

He was looking for evidence of vote fraud that Trump kept insisting occurred in that state and others that voted for Biden.

Briscoe Cain, who helped Trump campaign challenge results, will lead election work in Texas House | The Texas Tribune

Cain said Texans deserve to know their elections are being run fairly, legally and without bias. I believe they are run that way. What I am having trouble understanding is how someone with a known history of pursuing what I call The Big Lie about the 2020 election should be given a committee chairmanship in Texas. I am left to wonder whether Chairman Cain is going to lead his committee on similar wild goose chases looking for vote fraud that no one can prove exists in Texas.

It smacks to me of the kind of foolishness put forth by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who offered to pay someone — anyone! — a million bucks if they could find vote fraud in Texas. He hasn’t paid any money … because there isn’t any fraud to be found!

This appointment by the shiny new speaker of the House also makes me cringe just a bit that Speaker Phelan isn’t quite the seeker of bipartisanship that he told us he would be as the Man of the House.

I want Speaker Phelan to disprove my fear. This appointment doesn’t do much to assuage my concern.

Note: A version of this blog post was published initially on KETR.org.

Dobbs cancellation signals a dramatic new turn

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Fox News’ decision to cancel Lou Dobbs’ evening gab show didn’t raise much of a stink in our house.

We don’t watch him. I haven’t watched or listened to Dobbs since he turned sinister with his Barack Obama birther conspiracy nonsense and then became a Donald Trump suck-up while working for Rupert Murdoch’s unfair and unbalanced news organization.

But … Fox’s decision to yank Dobbs off the air might signal a dramatic new turn in the ongoing struggle to present truth and avoid lies.

Dobbs has been hit with a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit over his repeating lies about so-called “rigged” voting machines.

As the New York Times reported: Smartmatic, a voter technology firm swept up in conspiracies spread by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies, filed its defamation suit against Rupert Murdoch’s Fox empire on Thursday, citing Mr. Dobbs and two other Fox anchors, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, for harming its business and reputation.

Lawsuits Take the Lead in Fight Against Disinformation (msn.com)

I am not yet sure what this means for Pirro and Bartiromo, and whether they will follow Dobbs out the back door of Fox News.

What this portends apparently is a realization from the network that truth must remain the first and last line of defense in any kind of lawsuit challenging media credibility.

Perhaps the biggest surprise might be that it took this long for someone to say “enough, already!” to the lies that keep drawing breath because of phony commentators such as Lou Dobbs, who fomented the lies about vote fraud, just as he kept yammering about former President Obama’s place of birth and his constitutional eligibility to seek and hold the office of president.

At a certain level, Lou Dobbs symbolizes the degradation of honest journalism. I used to watch him when he reported on business news while working for CNN. Then he switched networks, which by itself is fine.

Then he flew head-first off the rails, into the ditch and became a leading spokesman for the Liar in Chief during his tenure as president.

I cannot predict how this lawsuit will end up. I’ll just suggest that I foresee some kind of major settlement in the making. Smartmatic stands to make a bundle of cash.

And it should.

Big Lie just won’t die!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

We can thank social media for continuing to breathe life into the Big Lie.

Yes, it is social media’s fault that the Big Lie has more lives than any thousand cats you can find. The Big Lie is being pitched by fruitcakes, traitors, seditionists and, yes, even a former U.S. president.

The Big Lie draws deep breaths on social media outlets that continue to give Big Lie purveyors a platform from which they spout their treasonous nonsense.

It is that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump … the aforementioned ex-president. The Big Lie continues to insist that all 50 states and the District of Columbia, where public servants all certified the results of the election as accurate and secure, cannot be trusted.

Wow! My head is spinning. I am trying to catch my breath, trying to keep my balance as I listen to The Big Lie being repeated not just on social media but also on right-wing TV and radio media outlets that give them an audience to soak up the lie they keep hearing.

Social media have been — at the very least — a mixed blessing. It does plenty of good. It connects people. It allows folks to make new friends and keeps old friendships alive and well. It also serves as a conduit for lies big and small.

It’s The Big Lie that needs to die a quick death. If only social media would pull the plug.

Trump testing faith in strength of U.S. Constitution

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump is testing my resolve, my belief in the strength of the U.S. Constitution.

I don’t expect that faith to collapse. I do not expect the defeated president to prevail in his effort to undermine, subvert and destroy our democratic form of government.

I say all that, though, while expressing concern about the course this post-election fire fight is going. It’s making me nervous.

Seventeen states joined the moronic Texas lawsuit that seeks to overturn the election results of four states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden. They’re all states that voted for Trump. They all are governed by those with the same imbecilic view that the election was stolen from Trump by “widespread vote fraud.”

Dammit to hell! There was no such thing! Joe Biden won a free, fair and honest election. Fair and square! If the U.S. attorney general, William Barr — who’s served as Trump’s water carrier — says so, then it must be true. Isn’t that right?

Donald Trump is making a shambles of this transition, which historically has been done without malice, with no outward anger. Not this time. Trump is clinging desperately to an illusion and he’s making a mockery of our sacred political institutions.

Moreover, he is embarrassing the nation he was elected in 2016 to govern. Our allies are laughing at us; our foes are relishing the confusion and discord he is sowing.

This likely will end OK. Joe Biden will take the presidential oath on Jan. 20. He will get to work. I am less confident today than I was a few days or weeks ago about the outcome of this protracted battle. I retain my faith in the U.S. Constitution and the sturdiness of the framework that our founders built.

But … dang! Donald Trump is making it harder to maintain my eternal optimism.