Sunday, June 26, 2022

Justice Thomas strives to release a can of worms

Justice Thomas strives to release a can of worms:

 Justice Thomas: SCOTUS ‘should reconsider’ contraception, same-sex marriage rulings - POLITICO

 A can of worms, indeed, Justice Thomas wants to release. His goals portend of years of legal, social, and political turmoil. The attempt to eliminate birth control pills, the morning after pill, same-sex marriage, and government rules regarding the kind of sex you can have are on the fanatical right-wing agenda and possible if in 2022 and 2024 Congress and the White House are in their hands. As with abortion, they want such acts and methods to be criminal and enforced by those they elect to district attorneys' offices and appointments to law enforcement leaders. The Court is lost for a generation to any reconsideration given the young age of the new members, but the permission slip they gave on June 24 was that life begins at conception, not at viability, and any interruption of pregnancy destroys a potential life. Is potential life the only priority? Does that mean birth control, a pill or IUD which stops any potential conception, is in danger, too? Or sex and marriage between those of the same sex should be banned because it does not contribute to potential conception? Thomas may have to come up with a new batch of theological and judicial reasons to argue for these issues. Fasten your seatbelts for more Court religious biased and Court power rationales for their activist edicts. The Supreme Court just destroyed the concept of settled law (prior decisions in effect for many years need to be upheld) and that works both ways. What the Court ruled on June 24 is not settled law and can be subject to reversal by a future court as well. It might just take years for such a reversal, however.

The reason we are in this situation is that elections have consequences and Trump beat Hillary and not enough democrats were elected to the Senate.... clear and simple.... to stop the appointment of three ideologically biased pro-life justices. The way we can keep the situation from becoming worse is also by elections and by electing more Democrats or like-minded to state and federal legislative bodies to formulate national and state laws that extend protections against such fanaticism. One likely outcome is there will be renewed interest in expanding the court to give it additional members with a pro-choice view, but that depends on who gets elected to Congress and who is in the oval office at the time.

MUFTIC FORUM BLOG: What happens when the Supreme Court makes unpopular decisions..

From abortion rights to Jan. 6 hearings, recapping a historic June (usatoday.com)     Good summary of this historic past week, but the Court is not done yet.    


 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The tyranny of the minority. We saw it in action in June.

 Last week, the Supreme Court issued opinions on two issues that put into effect government policy that reflected only 30% of public opinion and will.  The result is that a minority will now be able to tell what laws the other 70% are to obey. It is a tyranny of a minority. Although only 30% of the nationwide public polled wanted Roe v Wade overturned, the Court did it anyway    On the concealed weapons restrictions of New York state and in a public with 80% wanting the government to do something in the wake of years of mass killings, the Court put more guns in the hands of violent criminals on the streets in spite of what a state legislature or public sentiment had wanted.   The Court overturned prior decisions to protect 2nd amendment rights to have weapons to protect their homes, now extending that right nationwide to carry guns outside their homes with little constraint.

We allegedly live in a closely divided country, but what we are now seeing in public policy issues, where there is a consensus of more than 60% in favor, the Court has stuck it to the majority. One of the basic tenants of democracy is majority rule. The Supreme Court as now constituted has declared itself not bound by popular opinion but by the standard of conformity to the Constitution and its intent. However, its power to apply laws to their standard and to see its opinions enforced in reality depends on the respect given to it by the public and the enforcers.  If they are so far out of step with public sentiment,  the public will use other means through executive orders and legislation to contest and work around technical details. Enforcers of crimes may choose not to put the issue high on their priority list and use their limited resources for fighting murder and theft, instead of taking to court a woman who interrupted a pregnancy unintentionally because of natural causes.  You can imagine the resources that it takes to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and whether the accused intended for it to happen.  Also, unresolved is the issue of the life of the mother.   Life is life, whether the person is already born or in the womb if you want to take the argument to its conclusion.  Is potential life more important than an existing life?  The future will hold years of turmoil in the courts and in legislatures and legislators indeed heed public opinion or lose their seats.  Those responsible for determining which cases to try, district attorneys, are also sensitive to public sentiment because they are elected.  The victims will be the women who lost their privacy and control of their lives.  The Supreme Court just released a can of worms.

 The American system has a unique twist: it protects the right of the minority to be able to make their case to the public via free press and peaceful assembly and the ability to access the ballot box without discrimination in fairly run elections. The American constitution was meant to protect minority views,. It also built into the Constitution checks and balances that limited the power of the government to interfere in individual lives pursuing their life, liberty, and happiness.  That was the goal, but it was never meant to give a minority the ability to rule over the majority will as expressed of, by, and for the people at the ballot box. That is not the way it is turning out.

We still have a democracy in spite of failed attempts of a rogue president and allies to stage a coup to upend it.  We still have the ability to vote those out of office who want to upend democracy in favor of a dictatorship by a party or one person. We still have the power to vote out of office for those who do not reflect our opinions on governmental policy.  While we have it, we need to pinch ourselves and ask how is it that one party keeps losing national elections yet the mnority is winning the power to govern as if they were the majority?  How is it that when 60 to 70 percent of the public gets thwarted by the other30 percent?    While we still have a democracy, we need to seriously ask ourselves how this democracy has become so upside down.   The answers are many:  Gridlock in the Senate because of the filibuster rule requiring 60% to approve anything except judicial appointments. Gerrymandering that allows one-party rule in most state and federal legislative districts with boundaries drawn so the minority party gets more districts to elect representatives with a greater percentage of the favored representatives in legislatures... An electorate who never learned or did forget civics lessons of what American democracy is about and why it formulated a government ruled by law instead of a person..  A large segment of an electorate who go with their gut and prejudices instead of using their heads to look at facts and data. An electoral college that does not reflect one man one vote.  It is a system that weights votes to favor rural and former slave states constructed in the time before urbanization and the industrial revolution and the advent of weapons that could wipe out a classroom of kids in less than a minute. It was a system then that a man could support a family in 1950 without the wife having to work to support the family. It is not the case in 2022 and family planning made it possible for women to go to work.   It was also the result of the flow of money from special interests into a political system that requires money, money, and more money to message with expensive media platforms of television and the easy use of internet technology to spread lies and ignore reason and evidence to raise more money.    

The greatest imbalance is the takeover of one branch of the government by an ideologically, culturally,  and religiously based minority that wants to roll back civil rights and women's rights to the 1950s, when America was their definition of greatness..  The control of the Supreme Court was the result of more than 40 years of a strategy by a minority driven by religious zeal and the use of government and politics to impose their views on those who did not share them.   Their strategy was not so much to convince the majority of their righteousness but to use the government to impose their will on others, and to keep their opponents from voting with the same ease they themselves had to access the ballot box by making it more inconvenient for certain groups to vote.

The miracle is that we still have enough of a democracy left that we can still shape our future with a vote.  What we saw unfold in the January 6 Select Committee hearings is how we almost lost our American democracy by violence, trickery, lies, and abuse of power and laws. What politicians fear the most is losing an election.  Because of the built-in imbalance, it will take greater effort to succeed than ever before.  Don't just get mad, vote.

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This segment is also posted separately as

Justice Thomas strives to release a can of worms:

 Justice Thomas: SCOTUS ‘should reconsider’ contraception, same-sex marriage rulings - POLITICO

A can of worms, indeed, Justice Thomas wants to release.   The attempt to eliminate birth control pills, the morning after pill, same-sex marriage, and government rules regarding the kind of sex you can have are on the fanatical right-wing agenda and possible if in 2022 and 2024 Congress and the White House are in their hands. As with abortion, they want such acts and methods to be criminal and enforced by those they elect to district attorneys' offices and appointments to law enforcement leaders.  The Court is lost for a generation to any reconsideration given the young age of the new members, but the permission slip they gave on June 24 was that life begins at conception, not at viability,  and any interruption of pregnancy destroys a potential life.  Is potential life the only priority? Does that mean birth control, a pill or IUD which stops any potential conception, is in danger, too?  Or sex and marriage between those of the same sex should be banned because it does not contribute to potential conception? Thomas may have to come up with a new batch of theological and judicial reasons to argue for these issues. Fasten your seatbelts for more Court religious biased  and Court power rationales for their activist edicts and more years of legal, social, and political turmoil.

 The Supreme Court just destroyed the concept of settled law (prior decisions in effect for many years need to be upheld) and that works both ways. What the Court ruled on June 24 is not settled law and can be subject to reversal by a future court as well.  It might just take years for such a reversal, however.

The reason we are in this situation is that elections have consequences and Trump beat Hillary and not enough democrats were elected to the Senate.... clear and simple.... to stop the appointment of three ideologically biased pro-life justices. The way we can keep the situation from becoming worse is also by elections and by electing more Democrats or like-minded to state and federal legislative bodies to formulate national and state laws that extend protections against such fanaticism. One likely outcome is there will be renewed interest in expanding the court to give it additional members with a pro-choice view, but that depends on who gets elected to Congress and who is in the oval office at the time.


Friday, June 24, 2022

What happens when the Supreme Court makes unpopular decisions..

 As the Supreme Court demonstrates they're being out of step with public opinion on gun safety yesterday and a Roe v Wade overturned today, their public opinion support has sunk to 25%. Expect a revolt from the public as the Court no longer gets public respect. The revolt will take the form of state legislation, executive orders, and downright workarounds. Expect this to be a hot issue in state house elections in 2022 and 2024, likely favoring the Democrats. Abortion rights could be key issue in 2022 midterms and state races (usatoday.com) Sadly, to avoid threats from those carrying concealed weapons, we will not be able to have airport-type scanners to keep wannabe killers and robbers out of our private shopping centers that ban armed visitors. https://news.gallup.com/.../confidence-supreme-court...

The right to abortion is protected by law in Colorado...one of the few places in the region. From the CPR article:"The next stage of Colorado’s abortion debate will likely involve bringing the issue directly to voters.   At the federal level, there will be another attempt to codify Roe v Wade in Congress, making it a law.   

Several groups are already collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would ban the procedure at any point in pregnancy and under any circumstances. Meanwhile, RHEA’s supporters have said they also plan to go to the ballot in 2024. Their goal is to guarantee the right to abortion in the state constitution.Coloradans have repeatedly voted to uphold legal abortion in previous ballot initiatives."

Update 6/28/2022:  James Fallows of the Atlantic on Morning Joe this morning suggested reforms that would resolve the problem of an ideological, partisan Supreme Court that has lost its legitimacy and respect and is extremely out of step with the majority of public sentiment. One would be term limits of 18 years. Currently, there is lifetime tenure, with the gruesome death watch waiting for vacancies and elderly justices with equally elderly opinions. This could give a chance for every administration to have nominees for two replacements. The other proposal he advanced was to expand the Court to 13 from the current 9 which has precedent in the past basing expansions on the number of federal appeals courts. He believes this would be constitutional.

Colorado concealed handgun law:Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) | Colorado Bureau of Investigation

Colorado is an open carry state requiring you in certain instances to keep your weapon in plain view. Colorado Gun Laws | Department of Public Safety

https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/06/gov-jared-polis-roe-v-wade-dobbs-abortion-executive-order/

//www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2022/6/25/23182868/district-attorneys-trigger-laws-abortion-ban-roe

fate of extreme laws out of step with the public willstep with public norms : tragedies and repeal

How the abortion underground is prepping for a post-Roe v. Wade world

Credibility of the DOJ helped by their going down the wackadoodle rabbit hole

The January 6 Select  Committee hearings revealed that it was not only Bill Barr's telling the president it was his opinion it was bull...t, that there was enough fraud to overturn the election.  It was helpful the Department of Justice ( DOJ) actually investigated the wackadoodle conspiracy theories, using the FBI and DHS  cyber wizards to check them out. Barr's statement was based on actual investigation and findings.  The DOJ can be criticized in retrospect for wasting taxpayer money and humoring the boss. On the other hand, while it may have failed to change Trump's mind to stop lying and/or continue with his delusions, it has value in  June 2022.  That the DOJ did investigate, they were able to say they did.   They debunked them with more credibility than if they just laughed them off. Some of the theories mentioned in testimony on June 23 were the Italians using cyber to change voting machine votes, a refrigerator semi truck with ballots, and in earlier hearings the boxes of ballots under a table in Fulton county.  That helps make the case that Trump himself wanted the DOJ to lie about their findings and conclusions so he could let his allies in Congress take it from there.  Simply lie the election was corrupt,, he asked the DOJ to do,   Jan. 6 hearing: Trump told DOJ to lieOJ officials 'just say it was corrupt, and leave the rest up to me' (cnbc.com)      What it also implies that Trump's fingerprints were all over the strategy to force the DOJ to lie so he could make his lie sound even more credible.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Character counts: January 6 Select Committee spotlights this old-fashioned value

At the June 21 January, 6 Select Committee hearings were three profiles in character, as well as profiles in courage.   At their own physical risk and in the face of violent or powerful pressure, they did not buckle under Donald Trump's attempt to get them to lie and cheat about the outcome of the November 2020 elections.  Some suffered personally from threats of violence and fear for their lives or loss of any political future.. The contrast of their character with Trump's actions and words defined the meaning of the opposite of character: "transactional".    That reminded me of a conversation I had with a business friend who had supported Trump in November. Well before January 2021 and shortly after the November 2020 elections, he justified his support of Trump with, "well, I knew he was an a.........hole, but I liked his tax policy".. Character did not trump  Trump, in his mind.  What we know from the hearings on June 21 is that others came to different conclusions than he did. .  In Georgia, the down-ballot Republicans got 30 thousand more votes than the head of the ticket, Donald Trump. There were those in Georgia who could not bring themselves to vote for Trump the person and left unchecked that presidential line in the ballot, yet supported those in their party who were not him. 

 It was not that we were warned about Trump being a "transactional " personality, or what got his priority was the best deal he could get. After all, he was the art in "The Art of the Deal". We took it to mean that he was a hard-nosed businessman so he could get the best deal for America in trade with China. Being transactional, a tough negotiator was seen as an asset.   What is emerging is that morals, honesty, good data, religious belief, and reason were secondary or not important to winning the "deal" in politics, as well. What has become obvious from the June 21 January 6 hearing, is that "transactional" regarding Trump meant he was devoid of adhering to any moral or ethical standard or what we call " character'.  The "art of the deal" meant to him he could and did use every tool, even threats to a person's future or personal safety,  without conscience because by being transactional, he had no conscience or moral concerns or behavior constraints or a higher belief system to which he had to bow.. The means justified the end, and the methods he used were anything he could get away with. These means, including threats to a life or jail time or a threat of supporting primary opponents or terrorizing and harassment,  lies, or willful ignorance of facts, were just tools in the toolbox to get the deal that benefitted his own status, position, and power.  Oaths mean nothing. He just ignored the reasons those who refused to go along with his scheme on the basis they had taken an oath to support the Constitution or their state laws or their belief in God.. when they were sworn into office.   They were just words to be glossed over. : Laws and the Constitution were only a challenge to get around or ignore. Loyalty to him the person was absolute; including demanding that those who feared him or wanted his support for their own purposes be willing to break the law or even go to jail. (He did and said publicly he would reward those who stayed loyal through such a consequence of breaking the law with a presidential pardon..as he did with Paul Manafort, and did not do with Michael Cohen)  Using violence and terror tactics have always been considered legitimate tools in his history in politics. In addition to his role and actions revealed in the hearing, it should have been of no surprise, given his political history.,   What is also clear from the actions of Trump and his most loyal co-conspirators and " yes" person allies that a great deal was extended to them regardless of the personal suffering or diminution of power he inflicted on them. The personal pain his actions caused was of no concern.  Failures were losers. Losers were of no use to him. and were left to save themselves in spite of a record of past absolute loyalty to him. Trump's own words are sparking speculation that John  Eastman, the architect of the fake elector plot legal theory, will become the Trump scapegoat. The plot failed. What is also clear is that the winners of his deal were not always the same as the majority viewpoint of those he governed.  . The deal winner was him and those who also benefitted so long as those who benefitted from his policies, forgave his behavior because they liked his policies more,  and voted for him in large enough numbers that were sufficient to keep him in power.

House Jan. 6 committee focuses on "fake electors" and threats to public servants amid Trump pressure campaign (cbsnews.com

Trump ready to throw John Eastman under the bus, claims he "barely" knows him: report | Salon.com

) thinker: With transactional thinking, you interact with people solely on the basis of what you can accomplish, completely ignoring them and their goals and needs. Your thought becomes one of “How can I take advantage of this?” one     What Is A Transactional Personality? (readersfact.com)

I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’ with Trump. His self-sabotage is rooted in his past. - The Washington Post

Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’ - The Atlantic

Trump, in Taped Call, Pressured Georgia Official to ‘Find’ Votes to Overturn Election - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Trump Threatens Rusty Bowers With Audio Tape: He Said 'Election Was Rigged' (newsweek.com)



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Should Trump and his MAGA wing of the GOP be called fascists?

 After three January 6 public hearings, Joe Scarborough, MSNBC Morning Joe host, has dropped the softer term of accusing Trump of being an autocrat and instead called Trump and his MAGA followers fascists.  If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.  With the January 6 hearings, Scarborough has good reason to call Trump and his MAGA loyalists fascists and can do it with less backlash.The January 6 Select Committee hearings to date certainly provide a vivid visual comparison with the rise of Hitler as the closest parallel. There are similarities: Instead of violent brown shirts terrorizing an existing, though weak democracy, there were the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, as well as elements of neo-Nazi marchers chanting actual German fascist slogans in Charlottesville.. Like Hitler, Trump's oratory can inspire violence, and he has a history of often supporting violence as a way to reach political goals. That he has dog whistled racism in his statements and oratory is not debatable.   He demands total loyalty to himself and ordering and expects his lieutenants or those he believes ought to be loyal to him, to break laws. He openly promises that if they go to jail and stay loyal to him, he'll pardon him if and when he was president or will be president again.

Is Trump a fascist, and are the MAGA loyalists fascists, too? I have come to that conclusion sometime aga because he and they fit the mold, but that is a political hot potato that needs to be treated carefully because of the extreme horrors of the Hitler era history.  There are other models of less extreme fascist leaders of the 1930s.  Nonetheless, the thug-like violence of January 6 and his overt appeal to racism and  White Nationalists militia involvement begin to resemble the Hitler variety more than ever. 

MUFTIC FORUM BLOG: Trump fans the flames of violence, yet calls himself the champion of law and order

MUFTIC FORUM BLOG: Why I have changed my views on whether Trump is a fascist: he is

Donald Trump: Pardons Likely for MAGAs Guilty of Jan.6 Riot If Re-Elected (businessinsider.com)

Border invasion to grooming children: How GOP uses 'dangerous' words (usatoday.com)


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Midterms: Democrats must link protecting democracy with family economics

 To win in the midterms,  Democrats need to link protecting democracy with protecting family economics. The two are connected and can and should be linked.   The two campaign issues, protecting democracy and the economy, are being positioned as weighing choices between two separate unrelated values. The campaigns are shaping up as  Democrats are for democracy, and the January 6 hearings showed "there is a clear and present danger," but GOP is against inflation and high gas prices.  If that is the way the campaigns are conducted, Democrats are doomed. " It's the economy, stupid" is and always has been the winning line.  Voters may get the point that the future of democracy is at risk, and this is a bad thing. They can agree that concerns about both democracy and the economy are true at the same time, but the hard reality is a kitchen table and pocketbook pains trump other considerations in urgency and palpable impact.  How can Democrats position both issues in a way that makes the link and connection and seize the high ground on both?.   One way is to go on the attack as well as to be the defense. Democrats can paint MAGA opponents as being ideological fanatics hung up on cultural issues (CRT, don't say gay,, anti-vaxx, anti-choice, anti-gun constraints) that do nothing to fix family financial pain. Griping about it is all they offer on the economy.   They need to be challenged at every opportunity when they air their grievances.  Biden's point is "this is a choice between two alternatives", but so far, he has only made part of the equation,  a case that "the economic pain isn't his fault" and defending what he has been able to do that has not been enough. That is not a very strong campaign strategy, even if it is true.  He could make the additional point to tie the midterms to House and Senate races,  that he could do more with help of more Democrats in Congress than the gridlock we have now with the " just say no GOP" offering no will or way to fix the attack on democracy or the economy. 

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Polls give some hope to Democrats in swing states whose opponents are Trump supporters.  If a generic question is asked: Democrats v GOP, Democrats are behind slightly (44 to 41%) underwater, per a recent poll, but if Trump or a supporter of Trump is the candidate, the Democrats get a big advantage. .  This poll does not reflect the impact of  January 6 public hearings. Pitting a Democrat v a MAGA  supporter, the Democrats were 37% v the MAGA candidate at 30%.  The generic" Democrat got 11% of GOP voters who picked the Republican in the generic ballot question and 32% of third-party voters who initially went with the GOP contender".. ‘Persuadable’ Voters Favor GOP Over Democrats – Until Trump is Mentioned: Poll | Elections | US News         






Friday, June 17, 2022

The January 6 hearings are teaching us what democracy is not

We have heard much of what our constitutional democracy is about. The January 6 committee's public hearings are a great civics lesson of what Democracy is not.      The first three January 6 select committee House hearings present examples of the anti-democratic forces at work that threaten the continuation of our democratic form of government.  The litany of what is American democracy has become a series of cliches: majority rule, free and fair elections, the balance of powers with three branches checking on the power of each, and a whole series of amendments that protect citizens from being depowered by government, the rule of law and peaceful transfer of power when replacing the old administration or with a new one.  The participants in the January 6 riots and Trump's circle of advisors claimed they were the true protectors of democracy and the Constitution, even using some of the same fine words.. What they were advocating and what actions they planned and executed were not democracy in form or in, spirit, or words.  A highly respected conservative justice testified the attempt of the Trump approach on January 6 and its applications to future elections was   "a clear and present danger" to democracy. Jan. 6 hearing: Trump remains 'clear and present danger' to American democracy, retired GOP judge tells panel (cnbc.com)

Here is what we learned from the hearings so far, Note: testimony was given by those on Trump's staff, cabinet, family, and loyal supporters during sworn depositions and live hearings:  Videos of the rioters and their own words were also used in the hearings.

Democracy is not about one person determining the winner of an election.  Pence was pressured by Trump and others to be that person.  A law professor, John Eastman, outlined a legal case in which he claimed Pence had the power to reject a slate of electors or to send the issue back to state legislatures. Even Eastman admitted to White House attorneys it would be declared unconstitutional on a 9-0 vote, but he sold it to Trump, and Trump then attempted to pressure Pence and failed. .

Democracy is not about ignoring, subverting, or failing to comply with the rule of law.  It is not about loyalty to a person, but it is about complying and obeying the rules set forth by a representative democracy. Trump expected being loyal to him meant even breaking the law on his behalf, urging Pence to violate the law in certifying the election. He asked a Georgia election office to "find" the exact number of votes to change the state's vote for Biden, even though there was no evidence of fraud. (This is similar to forcing his attorney to break the law to cover up a pay-off for an evening with Stormy Daniels or to tell a president of Ukraine to find dirt on Biden's son if he wanted his needed anti-tank missiles, though prior investigations found no evidence. ) The implied ask is to lie about what they know it is not true and face legal consequences on his behalf while indicating a pardon if they are loyal and get caught.

Democracy is not about using violence and terror to determine the winner of an election. These laws and the Constitution are rules of behavior needed to make democracy work as it was intended. January 6 was about the use of violence and terror to keep Trump in office by upending the rules. The violent militias like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are not about democracy but about terrorizing others to bow to their goals of establishing a dictatorship of one to whom they pledge allegiance. No amount of chanting and flag waving disguises their attempt to end democracy.  Here is what testimony on June 16 revealed. By January 5, Pence had told the President he would not go along with Trump's plans, either to refuse to accept the official slate of electors or to refer the issue back to the states. He did not have the Constitutional power to do it. When the rioters smashed through the Capitol doors,  Pence took it as if they meant to do him bodily harm.  Subsequent testimony of an FBI embedded informant, the January 6 leaders of the riot revealed they indeed intended to kill Pence because he did not follow Trump's orders to decertify the election. Some of those rioters interviewed at the Capitol on January 6 thought they were there under Trump's orders to be violent. Yet to be determined if Trump intended the rioters to go that far, but in the midst of the violence, he did nothing to call off his Trump banner waiving, "hang Mike Pence" screaming rioters for hours, expressing an opinion Pence deserved to be hung and later praised the terrorists as patriots.  Pence wisely trusted no one on January 6 except his chief bodyguard and refused to get in an escape vehicle driven by even the Secret Service,  per his chief of staff's testimony. He did not trust the driver to obey his desire to stay at the Capitol and to continue the count.  For a running chronicle of Trump's view of the use of violence, see  MUFTIC FORUM BLOG: Trump fans the flames of violence yet calls himself the champion of law and order. In fact, the preamble to the Constitution puts domestic tranquility as one of the purposes of its establishment.  The use  and threat of violence to subvert the democratic process is now common as selection officials at all levels, federal, state, and local. Federal law enforcement is now taking action. Nebraska man pleads guilty to threatening Colorado's Jena Griswold | Courts | gazette.com

Democracy is not about one news outlet, and one alone, providing their version of his" truth".. FOX News refused to carry the January 6 hearings on opening night, but when 20 million viewers tuned into the hearings, it will be interesting to see how they cover it and which spin they give it.  They called in partisans (though the GOP had turned down a bipartisan independent commission earlier), and two federal judges had upheld the special committee legitimate.

Democracy is not about those who believe theories that have no evidence and facts to back them up yet claim they are truth and reality.  When laws rule, just execution of those laws demands evidence and proof.  Over 60 federal and state judges found there was not enough evidence of fraud to change the 2020 outcome.  Attorney General Bill Barr's testimony that the 2020 elections were fraudulent was bull..t. He then resigned in part because  Trump still promoted:" stop the steal" when he had been told it was not true.  Others from the Department of Justice reported in testimony they investigated the various conspiracy theories, bags of ballots, dead bodies voting, and more what-ifs and still found no there there. The President, who continued to promote the fantasy,  raised a quarter of a billion d.ollars on the promotion of the lie for an election defense fund that did not exist but was used the money to support allies' funds and to pay for use of hotel facilities he owned.  Trump then tried to install an unqualified loyalist as Attorney General to declare the election was stolen, but so many  Department of Justice threatened to resign that he backed down. 

Democracy is not about one leader claiming his version or the truth reported in the media or the interpretation of the law is the only one credible and to be trusted. Trump and his staff coined the term "fake news" for reports he did not like or called them lies.  Democracy requires respect and access to various views and rebuttals to them so voters can make their own judgments of who is lying and who is not..   

Democracy is not about using the active military to intervene in civilian matters and domestic politics. General Milley took that reading of the Constitution to heart in the aftermath of his being forced to participate in Trump's bible-waiving propaganda walk in Lafayette Square.

Democracy is not about ignoring the will of the majority of people expressed through the ballot box and not permitting a partisan loyal to one ideology, party, or person to pick and choose which votes should be counted.  That was the issue at the heart of the fake elector slates strategy, to let a person choose which slate was to be counted...   Democracy is not about only one party being allowed and given access to count ballots or counting only ballots they assume support them. 

Democracy is not about preventing those in the minority from peacefully expressing themselves individually or in a group.  This is not an absolute right. It is extended to the peaceful nature of the protests and demonstrations., Individuals or groups yelling fire in a crowded theater or calling for a violent revolution are not speech that is protected in a  democracy.  Nonetheless,  those in the Trump camp called acts of violence on January 6, exercising their right to free speech.  Calling "hang Mike Pence" in the midst of an out-of-control riot is not protected free speech. 

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The Preamble to the Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."



Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Donald Trump will go down in history as a master con man, but do his victims care?

Donald Trump will go down in history as a master con man, but do his victims care?

In the 1970s,  I spent almost seven years as head of a Denver and multi-five county District Attorney's investigative unit into white-collar crime. Near the end of that period, I helped enforce the new Colorado Consumer protection act with civil authority. If anything, my antennae go into overdrive when I smell con artists, Donald Trump fit the profile of con artists I have known..  Puffery, exaggerations, lying, and hyper-pressure sales technique are some of the marks of confidence fraudsters and con artists. They depend on "a sucker is born every minute" to succeed. The January 6 committee this past week shined a light on a potential criminal charge against Trump for knowingly lying about whether the 2020 election was stolen, alleging he used money he raised by promoting the lie (2020 election was stolen by fraud) after he was told it was a lie. His sales pitch was money raised would go to carry on the fight in court. The money was to go into a fund, which appeared to be non-existent  Per the hearings, the fraudster involved was Trump himself, not his political opponents. Instead of his sales pitch, the $250 million raised paid for his own property's usage benefitted political loyalists post administration employment in a political action organization and an elected official's nonprofit. Those defrauded have not yet complained. Do they care? Perhaps they are willfully blind, have not been following the hearings, or they are OK with what he did with the money even if t was not in the way it was promised because it was still used for 'the cause" of his continued political influence. Victims of fraud, I have found, are often afraid to admit to themselves or to others they were conned, either because they are embarrassed or are in denial. Sometimes they will try to justify their foolish actions and even support the perp. Nonetheless, there is value in prosecution or lawsuits, either as a deterrent and warning to others or to get restitution even for those who do not know they were ripped off. The purpose of criminal prosecution, theft by deception,  is to punish and deter further action or others contemplating doing it.. Civil litigation can result in victims getting some money back.  It will be interesting if some state attorney general or DA files criminal charges or files a lawsuit per enforcement of state laws. Trump has a history of being sued or prosecuted for similar fraudulent practices, such as in Trump University and his charitable foundation, resulting in penalties and millions in refunds to his victims.  It has not deterred him so far,  but the saga is not over.

  Proof of intentional deception is the element we needed to file criminal charges. We looked for volume and patterns of criminal or civil fraudulent behavior in the complaints we received.   The criminal statute we were authorized to investigate and to enforce as "theft by deception". Not all con artists get caught, sued, or go to jail, by a long shot. Donald Trump did get caught in his Trump University for operating a fraud, and his family's charitable foundation resulted in his family being forbidden to participate again in such a "charitable" foundation, money used to benefit himself..  . His tax and evaluation of the worth of his properties are under investigation even now. The Consumer Protection Act in various states gives state  Attorneys General civil authority to recover missed money for consumers, and the element of proving criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt is not required. The burden of these civil powers is not so hard to prove, just needing the "preponderance of evidence", meaning the balance of evidence is sufficient, not requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt to get a criminal conviction.. . The other issue is the use of "fraud by wire," which may be involved in fueling criminal charges. It is not unlike the use of mail to commit a fraud under which the post office can trigger criminal prosecution.     The other issue in a criminal prosecution that the Department of Justice must consider is should they be in the business of criminally prosecuting a former president. It sets a dangerous precedence for the next regime to do until their political enemies who served before them. For that reason, the civil approach to recover money on behalf of victims makes more sense to avoid that dilemma. One thing is clear, Trump has a history of being a successful con artist until he got caught, losing legal action that cost him millions, in or out of elected office, yet he was never deterred from doing something similar again and again.  

The Jan. 6 panel says the Trump campaign misled donors using election lies : NPR

Donald Trump investigation reveals new details of alleged fraud - BBC News

Donald J. Trump Pays Court-Ordered $2 Million For Illegally Using Trump Foundation Funds  | New York State Attorney General (ny.gov)

"The big ripoff": Jan. 6 committee lays out how false election claims fueled Trump fundraising - CBS News

 Judge finalizes $25 million settlement for 'victims of Donald Trump's fraudulent university' - ABC News (go.com)

In 2016, he was already a con man   A link to my blog posting calling Trump a con man in 2016

Felicia Muftic is the author of The Colorado Consumer Handbook, 1982,  available in the Library of Congress 

HC107.C73 C635 

  and in the Denver Public Library Call Number: C640.730978 M891co....It is long out of print.



 







Trump the Con man in 2016

Monday, June 13, 2022

The gun safety compromise contains a clause that could have prevented a family trauma

While I had hoped Congressional action on gun safety would have banned the sale of weapons of war to those under 21 years of age, if passed, it still addresses the issue in a broader way. The compromise on gun safety legislation that appears to have been made over the weekend has an element that would possibly have prevented a tragedy in our own family and in a friend's family as well.  .  The element: concerned requiring an enhanced background check on those under 21 years of age buying a gun of any kind. and a pause in the purchase until the check is completed.  The element includes reporting any juvenile records as well. While mass shootings are usually committed by AR15s and weapons of war, there are still shootings that involve 18-year-olds legally buying shotguns.  While the use of weapons of war makes it possible for a shooter to wipe out a whole classroom, there are school shootings that involve shotguns, as well.  In Colorado, only those over 21 years can purchase handguns, thanks to a law dating to prior years.  

 A granddaughter was in the next classroom in a Denver suburb, Centennial, when a school shooter at Arapahoe High took his own life.  It was then I became acutely aware the survivors of gun violence have wounds, too. Some never heal. She has been seeking professional mental health services ever since and was diagnosed with PTSD.  So has her mother, a teacher in the Columbine school district, who witnessed her daughter in another suburban district led by police officers out of the school building. Both had  part of the mental health professional services paid by the county sheriff's office because they were considered victims of a crime.  The wounds of survivors and their families can last a lifetime.   The Arapahoe High School shooting did result in a law passed in Colorado to hold the school responsible for taking action when they knew or suspected a student was a potential danger, as it was in this case, but the law had flaws.  School Administrators Unsure How To Protect Students Under New Law | Colorado Public Radio (cpr.org) 

 Report: Arapahoe High School staff ignored warning signs before 2013 shooting - CBS News

     Kendrick Castillo's parents sue STEM School Highlands Ranch over 2019 shooting in possible first test of Claire Davis Act (denverpost.com) (The Castillo case also had a personal connection. A friend of mine's daughter's boyfriend was the person the shooter intended to kill, but Castillo's actions that took his own life prevented the shooter from reaching his goal.)  

More thoughts on weapons of war


Arapahoe High shooting reports detail 3 major failures in procedures – The Denver Post

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Lessons from Uvalde, Buffalo, and Boulder: extreme gun permissiveness mean and warped

 On a social media FB, I just saw an example of the rationale extremists use to promote denying any sensible gun legislation. It depicted the report of a  woman who had a pistol in her purse putting down a wannabe mass killer with a AR 15. She was lucky she was not in Uvalde or in Buffalo, or in Boulder. In Colorado, you can get a concealed weapon permit, and if local city/county laws permit it, open carry. You can defend your home under the "castle doctrine".  But why should she or anyone have to have been put in the position to have to defend themselves against a war weapon, anyway? In Uvalde, cops refused to pull their pistols on a mass killer armed with weapons of war.; in Buffalo, the guard pulled his pistol and was shot dead by the mass killer armed with a war weapon.  In Boulder, a police officer's first response was shot dead by a war weapon armed shooter who went on to take 9 more lives.  Those opposing any constraints on the purchase of weapons of war weapon are extreme and mean, with warped priorities, pitting their absolutist versions of their rights against the rights to life of kids, shoppers, concert, movie, and churchgoers. .  .Here was my response to that FB posting:

The warped minds are the extreme gun rightists. They want no restraints on guns, period.  Their unrestricted rights are more important than kids and supermarket shoppers. . That is mean and extreme with very warped values and priorities.  Rights to gun use are not unlimited, and state, local, and federal case laws restricting access have been ruled and upheld in courts when are challenged  Heller, the Supreme Court ruling, does only protects handguns and shotguns to protect home It is no blank check to permit every right to own and use guns, no matter what the NRA says. Nothing is likely to pass Congress that would keep someone 21 and older from buying non-weapons of war. Colorado has some of the most stringent controls in the nation, but it does not forbid purchases of weapons of war by those 18 and older because all neighboring states are an easier purchase where rules are laxer. The age limit is a federal matter for that reason and is useless in Colorado alone.  I support the federal age limit raised to 21 for gun purchases for that reason. FYI. I am a gun owner.

.  However, when law enforcement is outgunned by school shooters and will not sacrifice their lives to save kids in a classroom, that is both a moral and practical dilemma, but why put law enforcement in that bind, anyway?. To argue forbidding their 18-to21-year-old son or an older guy on the way to settle a score with a doctor just as he would stop by McDonald's, no background check, no waiting period, then that too needs to be addressed both locally and federally. To give the reason for permitting kids 18 to be able to buy a AR 15 to kill praise dogs instead of shotguns,. and not caring about mass killings of people and kids is an example of outrageously warped priorities. The use of a weapon of war as the only way to get rid of varmints is not essential.  Shotguns have served that purpose for years out here in the West. 

What is s true in Colorado, there is a cooling-off period in buying a handgun, but not in buying weapons of war that can decapitate a child in one blast.  One of my first jobs was in a Denver DA's office, leading an investigative unit into cases of white-collar crimes in the 1970s.  There had been a rash of murders of individuals by those who bought a pistol in a fit of the passion or hate and killed a spouse or a rival shortly thereafter. The DA at the time, Dale Tooley, went on a crusade against these "Saturday night specials," and sales became locally regulated and later State regulated: purchasers must be 21 years old and subject to background checks. Denver bans the sale of weapons of war and the size of clips, with stricter requirements than some of the State laws. One of my second jobs was as Denver's city clerk, who sat through city council meetings and heard testimony from law officers who complained they were outgunned by weapons by gang members that used large clips  Large clips over 15 rounds are now banned in the state and in Denver.  My sympathy was and is with the cops. All of this gained new urgency personally when a grandson was in the closest school to Sandy Hook and spent the hours under his desk sheltering in place. The following is also included in a June 13 posting)  It became even more urgent when a granddaughter was in the next classroom in a Denver suburb, Centennial when a school shooter at Arapahoe High took his own life.  It was then I became acutely aware the survivors of gun violence have wounds, too. Some never heal. She has been seeking professional mental health services ever since and was diagnosed with PTSD.  So has her mother, a teacher in the Columbine school district, who witnessed her daughter in another suburban district led by police officers out of the school building.  The wounds of survivors and their families can last a lifetime.   The Arapahoe High School shooting did result in a law passed in Colorado to hold the school responsible for taking action when they knew or suspected a student was a potential danger, as it was in this case, but the law had flaws.  School Administrators Unsure How To Protect Students Under New Law | Colorado Public Radio (cpr.org)  Report: Arapahoe High School staff ignored warning signs before 2013 shooting - CBS News     Kendrick Castillo's parents sue STEM School Highlands Ranch over 2019 shooting in possible first test of Claire Davis Act (denverpost.com)

Arapahoe High shooting reports detail 3 major failures in procedures – The Denver Post

Excellent source of Denver and Colorado gun laws: Gun Laws in Colorado And The City of Denver (What Is Legal?) (denvercocriminaldefenselawyer.com)

Source of Colorado gun laws     :9 questions about gun laws in Colorado, answered | Colorado Public Radio (cpr.org)       including recent laws passed in 2022 in the wake of a super market mass shooting in Boulder "Colorado has passed a number of laws within the last decade aimed at addressing gun violence, often in response to mass shootings. Voters in the state chose to close the so-called ‘gun show loophole’ after the Columbine massacre in 1999, requiring background checks for purchases at trade shows.......Colorado does not have a waiting period for gun purchases. It also does not have any specific age restrictions and instead defaults to the federal rules: A person must be at least 18 years old to purchase rifles and other long guns, and 21 to buy handguns.

Coloradans 21 years and older can get a permit for concealed carry, issued through the local sheriff’s office; the state does not require gun owners to give a reason for wanting one. It also honors permits from most other states. No permit is needed to carry openly, although some cities, like Denver, ban it. State law bans the creation of any sort of firearms registry by the government.

The state has a ‘castle doctrine’ allowing people to use deadly force in their own homes, without a duty to retreat..

Suspect Charged With 10 Counts of Murder in Boulder, Colo., Shooting - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

More recent gun laws in the Colorado include:

July 9, 2022 update:  The role of hate speech in fomenting violence and mass killings is explored in this  USA Today article:

Friday, June 10, 2022

No wonder FOX did not want their audience to hear the January 6 Committee hearing broadcast..

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time".
Abraham Lincoln(attributed)   as well as PT Barnum
Quote Details: Abraham Lincoln: You can fool some... - The Quotations Page"

FOX did not carry the June 9 hearings of the January 6 Committee. No wonder FOX did not want their audience to see this. Some viewers may realize they had been fooled by both FOX and Trump and FOX feared that. The videos and sworn testimony of witnesses June 9 spoke louder than a thousand words that pundits, reporters, or politicians could ever write, orate,  or opine. 

Their audience would have heard AG Bill Barr's sworn testimony that in December, he told Trump there was no evidence of fraud. The election was not stolen,  To claim otherwise was bullshit. Another staffer in charge of analyzing the vote agreed.  After being told that, Trump doubled down on his message that the election was stolen. That is one reason Barr said he resigned. The importance of that was that Trump knowingly lied as he continued to say the election was stolen.  No wonder FOX did not want their audience to see the video and capitol police testimony that this was no peaceful demonstration. Testimony by a surviving police officer was riveting, as she slipped on the blood of her fellow officers and saw combat while she herself was wounded. No wonder FOX did not want their audience to learn 250 Proud Boys were in place at the Capitol, ready to commit violence hours before the Stop the Steal Rally, and sprang into action when the Rally attendees arrived at the Capitol to provide the mass they needed to become violent. No wonder FOX did not want their audience to learn that it was Pence who called Gen. Milley to send in the National Guard because Trump was AWOL during the riot and unresponsive to calls by his family and staff to stop the riot    

FOX and their like-minded base their reasons for not carrying the public hearings because they do not agree it is legitimate.  That is their BS opinion but not the court that ruled. on the RNC complaint. On May 1, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that none of these concerns were enough to stop the committee's work. The ruling was made by Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee.

Kelly wrote that concern over the numerical divergence was "not an unreasonable position,’" but he added that the court "must give ‘great weight’ to the House’s own actions," including two occasions in which House Republicans failed to challenge the committee’s underlying legitimacy before casting votes related to the committee" PolitiFact | The legitimacy of the Jan. 6 committee, explained"

Jan. 6 Capitol riot arrests climb as Select Committee hearings start (usatoday.com)


Monday, June 6, 2022

What to look for in the Jan.6 public hearings

Jan. 6 hearings hit primetime TV this week : NPR 

The general public is about to get an ear and an eye full. Bits and pieces have dribbled out ever since the Jan 6 committee was constituted.  So far, what the public has heard is that there were many trying various ways to keep Trump in power, some of which may have been criminal and some just dirty tricks and some violated the  spirit and intent of the Constitution,  

1.  Was there an effort to intentionally overturn election results to keep Trump in the White House? 

  2.  If so,  what  were they and who led these efforts.

   3. What was wrong about the goal and efforts and what failed and what damage do they do?

 4;/. What role did Trump play? 

          Did he give orders, gave a wink and a nod, or did he not know what was done. or was about to be done?  The old Watergate drill is valid here:  What did he know, when did he know it..and how, and what did he do about it.  

Much has been made of Trump's style of operation which resembles a mafia boss.  If so, if he is a good mob boss, he will let his lieutenants take the fall for the idea, formulate the plan, and the execution of the plan. He has a record of acting like this.  Michael Cohen said he never gave a direct order, but instead gave an indication of what he would like done, but left it up to those loyal to him to figure it out and then do it.  Trump expected his minions to take the fall and stay loyal if they got caught, with hints of promises he would reward loyalists with pardons..  Ask Cohen how that worked when Cohen did not comply in the Stormy Daniels matter/  Ask ask Manfort who pleaded guilty, suffered a bit, and then was pardoned in the Russian campaign interference issue..  There are many more who fit the Manafort model than the Cohen ones.  Nixon was caught red-handed with the famous tapes, but will Trump, who did not use technology that would trip him up or come to haunt him?  There may not be the "smoking gun" but the stench of those around him testifying what they heard and saw may be enough to shape public opinion and destroy any of his future political ambitions...or not.


Stormy Daniels who's who: Cast of characters in Michael Cohen scandal (usatoday.com)

Trump Pardons Roger Stone, Paul Manafort And Charles Kushner : NPR



coh


         



          What did he know; when did he know it and what did he do about it?


Friday, June 3, 2022

Democrats' messaging still floundering. :.Why not just call the GOP mean and extreme?

 Democrats' messaging is still floundering.  The last attempt from the White House was to brand the GOP as "ultra MAGA".  That lasted a day when the MAGAs embraced the' ultra' because they saw it as a badge of honor.   The Biden camp is still trying to find their message that attacks the GOP being taken over by the radical Trump wing  Why not just call the GOP mean and extreme? Not only are the MAGA positions extreme, but they also hurt people. The key to Democrats making a decent showing in November and in 2024 is turning out the middle, the suburban moms and others who voted for Obama and then Trump, and are wondering who really gives a fig for them and what bugs them. . The problem is finding an overarching theme that addresses their problems and puts the message in short, snappy words.  Until now, the Democratic message has been: here are the ways we help you. Then they list them until the listener zones out.  All well and good, but there needs to be an attack message that draws the contrast and shows the harm the MAGA policies do.  The issues and opportunities are emerging.  MAGAs support policies that the vast majority do not, such as ending Roe v Wade and opposing common sense gun policy.  They cry inflation and oppose any relief to the struggling middle class,.  They give safe haven to white nationalists who gin up hate and fear that fuels more violence and conflict.  They try to make it more inconvenient, difficult, and fearful to vote if you live in an area the GOP believes most of you will vote for Democrats.  These are extreme positions but they are also mean ones that hurt people.

Attack ads could run like this: X candidate supporting ending Roe v Wade is mean and extreme, forcing women to lose control of their lives, to work, to afford to care for their family, and to have children who are the product of rape and incest or even could cause their own death.  X candidate is mean and extreme because he/she opposes common sense gun legislation and wants to keep easy access to guns of war. X  candidate is mean and extreme because he/she opposes any proposals that would help middle-class people cope with family finances  (i.e child tax credit, pre-school education, student debt, etc)).  

Thursday, June 2, 2022

RNC leaks show their 2022 and 2024 strategy is a threat to fair elections

Leaked RNC recordings show their 2022 and 2024 strategy is a threat to fair elections. Let us be clear about this: the goal is not about election integrity. It is election manipulation, setting up employees of the local election authorities to harass and frighten away only those voters in swing districts who would vote for the Democratic party. This is not supporting voting integrity...because if so, these targeted precincts would be equally distributed to GOP leaning districts, which is where the cheaters have been found in 2020. After nearly two years, those prosecuted for voting dead bodies and other violations have been white Republicans, not Democrats or African Americans. . It is against the law to harass voters no matter if it is to be done by poll watchers (volunteer observers) and poll workers, employees of the county or state election official. . It is important to hold local election supervisors, county clerks' feet to the fire to play their election duties straight and to make sure their employees are pledged to support the rules and the laws that ensure that supervision is equally applied and that the staff is also bi-partisan. The greatest threat this RNC approach is to get only election officials who are loyal to one candidate or their party, and not to the fair election process.


Exposing this strategy in advance of the actual elections gives Democrats a chance to develop a counter strategy and it also provides a platform for the public to vote for elections officials who are pledged to follow the rules and play it straight., with staffing elections with neutral or bi-partisan employees.

(Felicia Muftic is a former Denver county clerk and president of the city and county election commission.)

 Update: Facebook posting June 15, 2022

This is the first step in the primary in Colorado this year. The next steps I will follow closely. My paper ballot was dropped in a drop box, and I got confirmation by email it was received to be counted as it hopefully should be. There is a plan afoot to subvert the county and tabulation process at county levels. https://www.politico.com/.../gop-contest-elections-tapes... As the home state of the poster child of a Trump loyal county clerk, Tina Peters, now under indictment and forbidden to manage elections in another county, I will be focusing my beady eyes on the counting and certification. Her defense is partially funded my pillow guy. For those who yawn their way through county clerk elections, awake and ask county clerk candidates if they believe "stop the steal" and election integrity. That is where the sand will be thrown to wreck the gears of democracy. Peters is now running for Secretary of State for Colorado, in charge of state elections process, and received the end of support of Colorado Republican Party delegates at the May convention. She has a primary opponent. Tina Peters goes to Mar-a-Lago, home to Trump’s endorsements (coloradosun.com)

A major attempt by Trumpster county commissioners to refuse to certify an election has just ended up in the New Mexico Supreme Court which ordered them to certify by Friday, June 17.. One commissioner laughed it off. Another commissioner was at the January 6 riot. It will be interesting to see if they defy the order and the result. N.M. Supreme Court intervenes after GOP commission refuses to certify primary results (nbcnews.com)

The weirdness of these two county election officials, Otero in NM and Mesa in Colorado, is that both counties voted heavily for Trump in 2020.

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