February 22, 2022

Obama's '13 Voting Commission & Jena Griswold

So let’s review the remarkable ascent of Colorado Sec of State Jena Griswold in light of the presidential commission on voting that Obama launched in 2013. 

The 2012 presidential election was presumably a closer call than Obama would’ve liked so only a few weeks into his second term he announced a committee to examine voting difficulties and voting technology. 

Obama’s panel was bipartisan in that it included Ben Ginsberg, a Republican lawyer who had just submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage. He was a Romney guy and as establishment Republican as establishment Republicans get.  

The team also included Tammy Patrick, the “compliance” officer for notorious Maricopa county. She was not in the compliance role in 2020 but Maricopa is the poster child for non-transparency and lack of vote-custody. Not a confidence-builder.  Also included are Larry Lomax from Nevada and Christopher Thomas from Michigan which means AZ, MI, NV - all swing states, two trending red - got represented.

Larry Lomax is noteworthy for seeing the key issue (unsure if he saw it 2013 but he certainly at some point). He says: 

 “The core problem for our fragile elections framework is secrecy: withholding from the public the evidence needed to authenticate whether results are true.”

In other words, we have an un-auditable system. 

He started an election watch website here.  (Naturally, Google search results have scrubbed blackbox voting from its results.  It’s the top hit for duckduckgo with term: “larry lomax blackbox voting”). 

Now just as the commission was starting its work Gov. Hickenlooper created a new position for Obama’s “voter protection” attorney Jena Griswold.  She was appointed as a “liaison to the federal government” and moved to D.C.

Hickenlooper likely became close with Obama when he was an executive member of the 2008 Dem convention hosted in Denver.  Hickenlooper didn't lack shyness in his partisanship. Wikipedia has it: “In a controversial move decried by critics as breaching partisan ethics, the Hickenlooper administration arranged for the DNC host committee, a private nonprofit organization, to get untaxed fuel from Denver city-owned pumps.” 

Griswold worked as liaison and then, according to a Colorado Democrat article, “work[ed] as outside counsel to a company she wouldn’t name and work[ed] on public policy issues as part of her firm, Griswold Strategies.”

Her juice, even as a 32-year old, must’ve been impressive (Obama-influenced?) because:

“The first-time candidate is one of two Democrats in the race to replace Williams but enters with the support of more than 20 current and former party officials, including Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, former House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, House Majority Leader KC Becker, former U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey and former Lt. Governor Gail Schoettler.”

So it wouldn't be difficult to imagine that Obama wanted, going forward, a more comfortable Democrat vote advantage and the route to that was understanding the machinery in order to leverage any advantage they could find (later: Zuckerberg dropboxes!).  Towards that end, Obama not only inaugurated a presidential commission but perhaps asked Hickenlooper to create a D.C. job for Griswold, his former voter protection lawyer, for mentoring and seasoning to prepare her to be the chief overseer of elections in the state of Colorado. 

February 20, 2022

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trump

Joe Oltmann mentioned recently that he voted for Obama in '08 so there's been quite a political evolution for him.  To a lesser extent I had one too since I was anti-Trump in '15 and '16.  I wondered if I could pinpoint the moment I red-pilled and discovered: "Ah...so Trump is more sinned against than sinning. And he's not been bad with his judges and policies." Perhaps my experience is representative of the millions who didn't vote Trump in '16 but did in '20. 

I would've guessed the turn came when the "empty vault" Mueller report came out but it looks like it was well before then mainly due to the combination of Trump having decent policies and the shock and awe of a corrupt press / intel services that didn't give Trump a chance. 

A singular moment seems to have been the Kavanaugh nomination.  It basically hit both points simultaneously: conscienceless Democrats on the Judiciary combined with the perseverance of Trump in sticking with Kavanaugh. 

But the Russia collusion collapse - which occurred essentially late 2017/early 2018 when we learned the Steele dossier was a joke and that Strzok and Page were also a joke - really opened my eyes and was a huge civics lesson. No one teaches in school - yet! - about the fourth branch of government.  

(And I feel "better" about that to some extent simply knowing how it came to be, i.e. that intelligence became god when digital became king. See these paragraphs from above link:)

"Once you accept the digital-era intelligence apparatus of China, Russia, Saudi-Arabia, The United States and Israel, are now the primary national security mechanisms for stabilization of government; then you accept the importance of those intelligence operations.

Once you understand how foundational those modern intelligence operations have become for the stability and continuity of those governments…… then you begin to understand just how the United States intelligence community became more important than the government that created it."

But, moving back to 2017 and 2018, here was my evolution which was heavily influenced by media and Comey: 


Electing Trump seemed like a turd sandwich but I do find it refreshing that someone isn't playing by the media handbook: Republicans generally act like eunuchs before the liberal media masters, but Trump sure has blown that up, sometimes for good, sometimes ill.  Falling Trump poll numbers are a puzzlement. He seems same Trump to me. If people expected him to change, then my approval rating of them (not Trump) sinks. 

His performance at the press conference was the stuff of wonder if only because he's taken authenticity and casualness to a new level.  Casualness with the truth, for sure, but also casualness as far as just being himself, not putting on airs, just acting like he wasn't at a press conference but at his backyard barbecue.  Only he was frying reporters, not burgers.  It's no small thing to be the first casual president. 


The way I've been lately looking at it is Trump is entitled, so to speak, to be fallible. That I have to put up with him as president just as my wife has to put up with me. Not to overlook flaws certainly but at least to understand he has them and thus write them off to some extent. "He's just being Trump," I think. 

I have to say I love the way Trump thinks outside the box as far as skipping things other GOP folks would take for granted: like getting abused at liberal White House Correspondent's dinner (basically a commercial for liberalism given comedians are almost always lefties).

I think it never occurred to other GOP'rs because they have a case of Stockholm Syndrome and like getting abused by their media captors.


I'm amused by the just desserts ol' Trumpenstein is receiving. Be careful what you wish for - in this case, the presidency.  It still rankles me that he brought up birtherism as a way to insinuate him into the hearts if not minds of primary voters, but anyway...

More to the point, he naively and blithely went into the election with things to hide (obviously) and figured his man Jeff Sessions would protect him from all harm.  Sessions doesn't play the game and recuses himself, opening the way for Comey to take over, leading inexorably to Trump firing him, leading inexorably to a special prosector, or for Trump a special persecutor.  That Trump would still be harboring an obsession against Sessions defies belief since no one cares about Sessions except Sessions' family (and Donald).


With the Trump nomination, Republican primary voters finally got exhausted with the long project of trying to go along by getting along, by buying into the Democrat premise that Republicans needed to do better on diversity, racial accord, political correctness, such as how Romney could scarcely defend himself from charges he was involved in a war against women, which later was “confirmed” by stray comment showing his dedication to the Democrat ideal of patronizing women and minorities by saying he had “binders full of women” on his short list for some office. 

There comes a time when even conservationists no longer want to conserve the current environment. I thought Trump was a mistake until I began to marvel at a world in which a Republican president felt free enough to speak his mind with such candor (if not with overly much truthfulness). It was a modest revelation and a guilty pleasure. Trump reminds me of the citizen legislator who isn’t there for a career and is wiling to be unpopular. 


Am enjoying the fix Trump is in way, way too much. He put himself into quite a pickle, one that money and power can''t free him from.  The wheels of justice are turning.  Character usually gets revealed, but rarely so quickly as in the case of Trump after he fired Comey and now wants to fire Sessions.  The anger at Sessions is a "smoking gun" inasmuch as Comey probably deserved getting fired while Sessions did nothing but do the honorable and customary thing and recuse himself given the conflict of interest. Even Breitbart and Limbaugh are troubled by his throwing Sessions under the bus. The country may get the best (and underserved) deal of all - neither Trump or Shrillary but Pence for much of the 4-year term.  


I told Ron that Trump’s first year has been a pretty decent one. I may have to eat my words about my anti-Trumpism pre-presidency.  Especially since I don’t care about Trumpian tweets and I wish the media would just ignore them.  Of course still three years left, an eon in politics. But he’s proving anyone can do that job.  


Read book with a clip in it about how Justice Scalia liked Trump run in ‘16, seeing it a refreshing turn of events in our heavily scripted, politically-correct time.

Indeed for me, the best thing about Trump is what upsets so many others - his candor, including the comment on “sh-thole countries”.  What bothers me is that he lies repeatedly, to put it mildly.  It’s ironic that from Trump you’re more likely to hear the truth or lies, compared to the lukewarm boilerplate of “real” politicians. 


I continue to find nothing to listen to in morning politics - Morning Joe horrible, Fox and Friends boring.  Been listening to Breitbart radio some; sort of refreshing to hear something where Trump isn’t the lovechild of Hitler and the Devil.  I was very open to the whole Russian collusion thing and possibly throwing Trump out, but now I’m done and I think the country needs to move on and do four years with Trump. 


Interesting summary from Ron’s friend on what looks like a scam: "All this Russia collusion is an attempt to cover up the fact that the Obama administration, the intelligence community, the DNC, along with the mainstream media used our nations surveillance as a political tool to try to get Hilliary elected President. This makes Watergate look like a kindergarten play."


My feelings on Trump hardened early by a steady diet of National Review and Morning Joe.   (Although in fairness to me, the thing that initially turned me against Trump was his birtherism, which pre-dates the negativity from National Review & MJ. ) But there’s no doubt that hearing only the case against Trump was an imbalance that I’ve since tried to rectify in very small doses, by reading parts of positive books about Trump and his voters.  The plain fact is that I appear captured by the media.


Ross Douthat in the NYT said that the Barrett interview with Trump reportedly went horribly (a credit to Barrett, ha) and Douthat said it’s not surprising to him that Trump and a devout Catholic mother of seven didn’t get along too well.


France has been an interesting inversion of the Trump phenomenon. I started out in love with Pope Francis and now struggle to like him, while with Trump an initial strong loathing has become an acceptance of his faults.

They don't care what others think. Ultimately when you ain’t got nothing (meaning no love or respect from elites with Trump, and none from more “conservative” cardinals and bishops with Francis) then you got nothing to lose.


Listened to more Morning Joe this morning and it occurred to me part of the issue is the criminalization of politics, how these senators don’t want a Trump pick on the Court and therefore want endless investigations to delay and destroy. They’re desperate to unseat Trump similarly by endless investigations. If you can’t get your way via the ballot box then the thinking is to use the court system or Justice department.  

I’m certainly on the Trump train now given the alternatives. I’d been skeptical of the notion that Republicans like McCain and Romney had been patsies by passively accepting the liberal media environment because it seemed a realistic strategy.  Live with the bias and try not to  “provoke the beast” and reap a whirlwind from those who buy their ink by the barrel, to mix metaphors.  But the problem with that is that it’s like paying protection money to a mafia goon - eventually they keeps upping the price. 

But Trump has shown “the art of the possible”, that it is possible to win the presidency without begging for crumbs of praise and recognition from Andrea Mitchell.  


I think Trump has been the best president we've had since Reagan (low bar). I think so far he's been far superior to W. Bush, Clinton, Obama. And broken promises don't bother me that much since I didn't expect them to be fulfilled (like the wall). 

Heard interview with Glenn Beck and how he found his way to Trump in '20 after rejecting him in '16. He said plainly that he had no record to go on with Trump before the first election and therefore was able to change his opinion as the Trump term went on. Seems Trump's actions with respect to Israel in late '17 and early '18 helped change his mind. Likewise his plainspokenness on abortion, etc... And, of course, the combination of someone in the GOP having a spine versus the radicalization of the Dem party made '20 an easy choice for him. 

February 13, 2022

Joe Oltmann on Susan Rice

I’d read that Susan Rice was dangerous and not to be trusted and so I was relieved when she wasn’t picked as VP.  Probably doesn’t matter given her influence is probably greater than Kamala’s now. 

Here is Joe Oltmann’s take:


“Here is something I know very well to be true. Susan Rice is a bad bad person. While at the UN after then Sudanese President Al Bashir slighted her attempts to interfere with the sovereignty of their nation, created the story of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Darfur, Sudan. That westerner story led to the development of Save Darfur, th sham organization that centered around saving what does not exist. To the tune of billions of dollars. It led to an ICC indictment for state sponsored genocide. An indictment that was ultimately dismissed, until… they could finally topple a nation with massive natural resources. Susan Rice is at the middle of many of the international fables that have led to death and destruction of millions of innocent people and the narratives designed to steal resources and rule over other nations. She is a demon among demons and was once described to me as a sociopath with no limits on what she would do for power. Fast forward to today… there is talk that Susan Rice is behind the Biden shell of a man. There is also talk of unity with Susan Rice. I cannot imagine a more demonic person.

Sanctions in Sudan led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese. Sanctions that were based on wars with South Sudan over the Christians verses Muslims battle, that was largely non existent. Sanctions over a lie in Darfur. Many do not know the truth… but I do. I was there. I spoke up then, I wrote white papers, I traveled without a passport, I was there under the mission of sharing Jesus. Yet that is not what I was doing… I was learning truth.

I wrote a paper on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and another on whether or not their was ethnic cleansing and genocide in Sudan. I included information about the nearly 50 Darfurian rebel groups, the Janjaweed, Chadian rebels, Libyan army… and the tribal conflict of the region. I wrote a paper that said there was no ethnic cleansing. There was no state sponsored genocide. But the narrative in the US… set by the intelligence or lack there of. A CIA linked journalist said to me, “why can’t you respect the institution of government?” Well… I’ve seen them lie about everything and seen them kill children. I’ve seen them enact strategies that literally caused commercial planes to fall out of the sky killing innocent people.

So back to Susan Rice. She’s a very bad person. The institution of the deep state does not differentiate Republicans and Democrats… it is a cabal thirsty for power and money. Wings of the same bird…

Once you understand you are an inconvenient necessity for the institutions of power, you will understand that God is in complete contradiction to who they are and what they represent.

Become the person who chooses to stand against the establishment and with your fellow Americans. Choose God first, choose courage and choose to stand with each other in the gap and hold these evil terrorists responsible.”