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On Monday, December 14, while the London area worried about moving into severe coronavirus tiers on Wednesday, electors from the 50 US states voted for the next leader of the free world.

Joe Biden won the Electoral College vote 306-232 with no faithless electors, however, the vote still has to be ratified on January 6, 2021, by the new Congress.

Biden gave an acceptance speech, riffing Margaret Thatcher’s of many years ago which featured the Prayer of St Francis:

Guido Fawkes reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) acknowledged Biden’s December 14 win:

Our country has officially a President-elect & a Vice President-elect… The Electoral College has spoken… Today, I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.

Newsmax, the new network for disgruntled Fox News viewers, will now refer to the Democrat as President-elect Biden, even though reporters and presenters will continue to cover Team Trump’s election battles.

It will be interesting to see what happens on January 6:

That is what the Trump supporters’ Stop the Steal coalition hopes will happen. They said as much in their press conference after the electors voted and Mitch McConnell announced his congratulations to Biden and Harris:

McConnell doesn’t want any Republicans countering the Electoral College result:

However, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) is ready:

Brooks explained his position as follows:

I’m quite confident that if we only counted lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens, Donald Trump won the Electoral College, and we should not be counting illegal votes and putting in an illegitimate President of the United States.

President Trump is not wrong:

Would Mike Pence be ready to defend the Republic on January 6? He has that power, if he chooses to use it:

But, let’s go back to Monday. A lot happened.

Earlier that day …

President Trump’s adviser and speech writer Stephen Miller (with the dark tie below) spoke about an ‘alternative slate’ of electors:

Miller probably meant this:

I do not know if this would work or not, but former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik says:

The New York Times has a map that shows the result from each state.

In Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania, the electors’ votes went to Biden.

However, Right Side Broadcasting (RSBN) showed a different result for Nevada:

Gateway Pundit reported that Georgia and Pennsylvania — much larger votes — also voted for the incumbent (emphases mine):

Electors in Georgia and Pennsylvania also cast procedural ballots for Trump while the states continue to be contested.

Procedural ballots are cast in states where the result is contested.

Yet, as I mentioned above, the NYT map shows that Biden won those states.

Trouble for Michigan’s Republican electors

Meanwhile, appointed Republican — GOP — electors in Michigan were not allowed to vote. They could not even get in the building.

Gateway Pundit reported and included tweets:

A group of GOP electors on Monday arrived at the Michigan State Capitol to cast their votes for President Trump …

The police would not allow the Republicans in:

The electors are already here, they’ve been checked in,’ the police said as they blocked access to the Capitol.

The police told the Republican electors:

If you have a problem, you can contact the Governor’s office.

Gateway Pundit stated that a Trump elector asked for the Sergeant at Arms. The police replied that he was in a meeting.

With that, the police directed the electors to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office. She’s a Democrat, by the way:

The Republican electors explained that they wanted to vote because Michigan’s result is in dispute and under investigation (see below):

Meanwhile — Michigan: audit of Antrim County voting equipment

However, other big news took place in Michigan that day. A state judge, Kevin J Elsenheimer, ordered the release of the results of the December 4 audit of Dominion voting machines in Antrim County. (If you’ve ever visited Traverse City, famed for its annual Cherry Festival held in July, you’ve been in Antrim County.)

This is a big victory for Team Trump. As The Election Wizard explains:

The results had been shielded by a protective order, but this morning, Judge Elsensheimer removed that order, clearing the way for the audit results to go public.

The judge further ordered that the case move to the discovery phase and mentioned the case could go to trial by April of 2021.

The hearing was conducted by ZOOM and streamed live on YouTube this morning.

The release of the report is a major victory for President Trump and his supporters, who have called into question the Dominion machines.

However, the journey from December 4 to the 14th was an uneasy one for Constitutional Attorney Matthew DePerno of the DePerno Law Firm, who represented William Bailey, a member of the team who audited the county’s voting equipment.

Gateway Pundit reported that Bailey and his team looked at everything:

the 16 Dominion voting machines, tabulators, thumb drives, related software and the Clerk’s ‘master tabulator’ used in the November elections in Antrim County, MI.

The audit — inspection — resulted in a ‘collection’ and took eight hours:

With 16 CF cards (similar to SIM cards), 16 thumb drives, and forensic images of the Dominion voting machines in hand, the IT team was escorted to the local Antrim County Airport by two Antrim County Sheriff vehicles, where they boarded their jet plane with evidence in hand.

On the morning of December 5 — the following day — Matthew DePerno received a worrying phone call about a previous legal case about which he’d never had a complaint:

Mr. DePerno received a call from the MI State Bar warning him that they have opened an investigation into a case he tried over a year ago in Lapeer, MI.

In case anyone wonders if Lapeer is near Antrim County, it is in the opposite direction: south east central. Antrim County is in the north west.

The caller told DePerno that the State Bar of Michigan had requested 6,000 pages of documents related to the case that had never had a single complaint filed about it. DePerno told Gateway Pundit that the call might have been ‘an act of intimidation’ on the part of Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel.

On December 9, DePerno and his client William Bailey awaited the forensic results from the election equipment inspection. While they awaited the outcome, DePerno discovered that he was named in a legal motion regarding Antrim County. It was a protection order filed by AG Dana Nessel to prevent the results of the investigation being made public.

The following day, DePerno filed an emergency order with the aforementioned state judge, Kevin J Elsenheimer, to lift the protection order, which the judge granted on Monday, December 14.

What an ordeal.

Here’s a tweet with a summary of the findings:

Also, on the same topic:

One can only hope that Team Trump can use this information in their legal pursuits.

Georgia Dems gear up for January state run-off

Democrats in Georgia are gearing up for the state senate run-off in early January 2021.

On December 14, Newsmax reported that failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was ready:

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, now the founder of the voting rights organization Fair Fight, said that Democrats are prepared to win the Senate runoff race in January, and that 1.2 million absentee ballots have already been requested.  

“We know from the numbers that we’re in a good place; 1.2 million absentee ballots have been requested thus far,” Abrams told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “Just to put that into context, 1.3 million were requested for all of the general election.”

It is so sad that the United States has sunk this low. I never would have expected it.

Ongoing violence has its part to play

Political violence has been part of America’s urban life since the summer. Granted, it hasn’t been taking place everywhere, but it’s been endemic in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. Other sporadic outbursts of violence have occurred in other American cities, including Washington, DC, and towns, such as Kenosha, Wisconsin.

A former Democrat, who is a retired lawyer, commented on this year’s violence on a website for ex-Dems, ex-Hillary supporters. While I disagree with most of it, the first two lines reminded me of what the Bolsheviks must have thought a little over a century ago:

For violence solves nothing, so they say.

But it does change the status quo, in ways words never can

Think about that, then consider one possibility why the Supreme Court might not want anything to do with defending President Trump. This tweet comes from someone who seems to have an inside track on the election:

However, there is no need to be as senior as a Supreme Court Justice to receive threats:

Therefore, it seemed almost natural that the election would have gone to Joe Biden, because those committing the violence are like so many neighbourhood bullies. Sadly, they are much more serious.

Conclusion

For nearly a century, there has been a saying in Europe:

When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.

Good grief, please keep this corruption away from our shores. Thank goodness we have handwritten paper ballots and far fewer mail-in ballots.

Millions of us support President Trump even if we are thousands of miles away.

Politically and culturally, the whole of this year in the US has been a build-up to the mid-term elections.

I barely scratched the surface of everything I wanted to cover in this regard, so I might use that material to analyse the results in the days to come.

Two things are clear.

One: this is a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency.

Two: the Democrat Party is dying. (I refuse to write ‘Democratic’, because they do not live up to it.)

That said, it is incumbent on independents and Republicans to go out and vote on Tuesday, November 6. Here are Cuban immigrants’ views:

The US needs another monster Republican vote to overcome voter fraud.

What follows are my final thoughts before Election Day, written at the end of October.

Trump and young black conservatives

By the time you read this, President Trump will have welcomed a large group of young black conservatives to the White House:

On October 23, the New York Post reported that the first ever Young Black Leadership Summit is sponsored by Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative student organisation founded by Charlie Kirk (see tweets throughout this post). Candace Owens is TPUSA’s Director of Communications and has been pivotal in getting Kanye West to speak out about his support for President Trump.

The Post‘s article says, in part (emphases mine):

Owens, who was gaining traction as a black YouTube star with right political leanings, wanted to hold a forum for young black Americans who were “conservative curious,” as she once was, from day one.

“So my mission was always really clear when Charlie and I met. One of the first things he asked me was, ‘What do you want to do?’ And I said, really, in plain words, ‘I’d like to lead the black revolution against the Democrat Party,’” Owens told The Post.

While Owens joined the group in November, the plan to hold a conference for young black people got a shot of dragon energy in April.

Just days before he would put on the MAGA hat and pronounce his love for Trump, rapper Kanye West tweeted, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” the first online suggestion that he was more Republican-leaning.

Kirk said that West’s tweet made both Owens and Turning Point more prominent.

“And kind of gave more reinforcement to the idea of a black leadership summit because during that moment we saw hundreds of blacks across the country come out and say to Candace, ‘Oh my goodness, this is an amazing thing that you’re doing, we love you, we’re afraid to voice our mind,” Kirk explained to The Post. “Candace and I wondered, ‘I wonder how many there really are?’”

Turns out there are at least 350 to 400 young black people interested in hearing Trump speak.

Kanye was not at the conference and by Monday, October 29, had pulled away from the Turning Point organisation over a disagreement about Blexit (black exit) merchandise marketing.

That said, the crowd attending President Trump’s address to them was highly enthusiastic:

This is news bad for the Dems:

Border security

ICE have a tough job, especially as they are under-manned patrolling the southern border. That said, they rack up some incredible accomplishments, as TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk tweets:

Think about that, especially when Democrats, the media and other leftists plea for us to ‘think about the children!’

When it comes to illegal entry, there are a lot of bad, exploitative people crossing the border. When I think of the children among them, I think of the human and sex trafficking victims, exploited people.

Obama, when he was a senator, also said that the rule of law must be respected with regard to crossing the border:

The ‘caravan’

While the world still believes the Trump campaign is guilty of colluding with Russia two years ago at this time, there is little news associating the human caravan in Mexico — happening right before the election — with foreign interests.

Vice President Pence said it is being ‘financed by Venezuela’ which is a nuanced way of saying that foreign powers that own and influence the impoverished nation are behind it. The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) explains:

Announcing the migrant caravan is “financed by Venezuela” is a direct notification the Central American invasion force is being funded by Russia and China.  Venezuela doesn’t have any money to sustain its own operational government – let alone a 10,000 person convoy.  Venezuela is entirely reliant upon massive investment from Russia and China.

In fact China owns 49% of Venezuela’s state run PDVSA energy production. A collateral system where Beijing takes oil as payment for prior loans the Maduro regime cannot pay back.  With the crippling treasury department sanctions President Trump put on Venezuela last year, Trump has punched Maduro and Xi-Jinping hard.

With Mike Pence pointing a finger at Venezuela the politics behind the invasion force begin to make much more sense. The invasion objective takes on a geopolitical angle directly targeting a series of U.S. policies that are against the interests of Russia and China.

The post goes on to say that Trump and Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin have sanctioned Venezuela and limited their ability to expand state oil revenue. China cannot trade directly with Venezuela at the risk of losing access to the US banking system. China continues lending to Venezuela, which will have little chance of repaying the loans.

Furthermore, the US has withdrawn $900m in aid from Pakistan in an effort to stop them enabling extremism in Afghanistan. As China is Pakistan’s main trading partner, Pakistan looks to them to fill the aid gap, unless the World Bank decides to bail them out.

Russia is being squeezed as the US increases its influence in the energy markets in Europe. European nations that were getting their energy supplies from Russia are increasingly turning towards the US for LNG, oil and coal.

The CTH post has more details, but, from this, we see that it is entirely plausible for Vice President Pence to conclude that ‘Venezuela’ is behind the human caravan just before the mid-terms. If so, this constitutes election meddling by a foreign power.

On that note, the Gateway Pundit reported that tens of thousands of migrants are already pouring across the southern border into the United States — including Chinese citizens:

Thousands of illegal aliens are swarming the Texas border this month in advance of the migrant caravan marching through Mexico, prompting Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr., the Customs and Border Patrol Sector Chief of the Rio Grande Valley, to beg for help dealing with the onslaught of illegal aliens, gang members and drug cartel smugglers. Just on Saturday over 700 illegal aliens were caught, with over 12,000 caught in the past three weeks. In addition, safe houses have been busted and drug smugglers intercepted by the overstretched CBP in the Rio Grande Valley.

16,000 “family units” were reported caught in the last month in the RGV sector by CBP. All these illegals take manpower and resources to detain, process, house, clothe, feed, and give medical treatment.

Padilla sent out several tweets this weekend with the message, “We need “, in conjunction with video reports by on scene Fox News Channel reporter Griff Jenkins …

In his interview Sunday with Jenkins about the migrant caravan marching through Mexico, Padilla said that just the day before his sector reported 700 illegal aliens caught at the border, 8 human smuggling cases, one dead body recovered, a potential river drowning (body not surfaced yet), over 700 pounds of marijuana and 68 pounds of peyote seized–all on Saturday.

In a separate report, Jenkins noted a group of illegal aliens from China were caught.

This migration is being orchestrated. It is not a spontaneous ‘humanitarian’ movement. It is designed to provoke Trump into taking violent action before November 6.

Nationalism

Nationalism has been a dirty word for nearly 20 years, unless a Democrat uses it favourably. Then it’s okay:

At a recent campaign rally, President Trump described himself as a ‘nationalist’ in the MAGA sense. On October 23, CNN’s Jim Acosta, the son of immigrants, took him to task for it in the Oval Office. Trump replied that he is tired of seeing the US pay more than its fair share when it comes to NATO and trade. Trump’s answer is excellent and measured, especially to a journo who should have had his White House press privileges revoked last year:

Selected state races

Here is an update on a few state races.

North Dakota

On October 17, I wrote about the deleterious effect the Dems’ antics during the Kavanaugh hearings had on American voters. I mentioned North Dakota, where Heidi Heitkamp is running for re-election against Kevin Cramer. Up until the Kavanaugh hearings, she looked comfortable. Now, not so much. She also had to suspend campaigning after her team released an ad which identified victims of sexual assault:

Worse was to come. That day, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released an expose of her and her campaign team. Her campaign workers say that, if the Democrats win a majority, her political stance will move further to the left. Currently, she tries to present herself as a centrist, even refusing an appearance from Obama, so as not to offend Trump Democrats who might vote for her. However, it’s all for show:

Michigan

Another Democrat senator running for re-election is Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow. Her GOP opponent is a young veteran and West Point graduate, John James. Unfortunately, only lately has James’s campaign been getting much traction. That’s because he is a political outsider:

Here’s a short, honest advert from James. I hope he wins:

Florida

Andrew Gillum is the Democrat candidate running for governor in Florida.

He has influential money behind him, as the Tampa Bay Times reported on July 23, which was during primary season:

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s group NextGen America made waves last month when it announced it is backing Democrat Andrew Gillum in the Florida governor’s race.

This week, the group is putting some more money where its mouth is.

NextGen America is making a six-figure digital ad buy in support of Gillum, pushing two new ads on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other online platforms, according to a release obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

“We know that young voters are online, and a strong and smart digital campaign will be key to pushing Andrew Gillum across the finish line on August 28th,” Steyer, the president of NextGen America, said in the release.

Gillum won the Dem nomination, but questions arose soon afterwards:

Gillum admits the following is true and that he has a ’15-year relationship’ with another influential donor:

On September 3, this appeared:

In that interview, the show’s host Chuck Todd summarised Gillum’s platform:

You ran as an unabashed progressive Democrat. You’re for Medicare for all, you talk about getting rid of ICE …

No wonder those two billionaires are supporting him. That’s exactly what they want.

On October 14, online host Bill Mitchell did a little social media stumping for Gillum’s Republican opponent:

Meanwhile, Breitbart was digging into Gillum’s background. On October 17, they gave us more information about the Soros connection (bold emphasis in the original, the one in purple mine):

Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum graduated from an Oakland, California-based training school for progressive revolutionaries that has spawned a list of activists who have gone on to become the who’s who of the far-left leadership world, with many taking senior positions at organizations financed by billionaire George Soros.

In scores of cases, graduates of the Rockwood Leadership Institute founded or directed notorious Soros-financed activist groups, such as Black Lives Matter, Media Matters for America, MoveOn.org and the Tides Foundation, one of the nation’s largest funders of progressive groups.

Soros’s own Open Society Foundations sent top staff to Rockwood for training. Notorious radicals Van Jones and Linda Sarsour are among the many famous names listed as alums.

Gillum graduated from Rockwood in 2012, yet he told independent journalist Joe Biggs (see above tweet), that he has a ’15-year relationship’ with Soros. Interesting.

Breitbart‘s article describes how Soros donates to Gillum’s campaign (emphases mine):

Soros, meanwhile, has directly donated to organizations seeking to get Gillum elected. Days before Gillum’s Aug. 28 primary, Soros joined with billionaire Tom Steyer to lead a group of donors making a $650,000 infusion into Gillum’s coffers.

Soros also contributed to The Collective, a little-known but increasingly influential political organization that says it is seeking to build a “black political power” movement. The Collective reportedly injected nearly $2 million into Gillum’s campaign, funding television and radio ads, get-out-the-vote drives, and playing a key role in helping Gillum defeat his Democratic opponents, some of whom were better-funded and had more statewide name recognition. The group announced plans to continue backing Gillum during the current general election campaign.

On October 20, Breitbart reported voting irregularities among Gillum’s siblings:

Leon County voting records show Marcus Gillum voted by absentee in the 2012 general election, absentee in the 2014 primary election, and early voted in the 2016 general election.

But the trouble is, months before he cast that 2016 ballot in Florida, Marcus Gillum, in an affidavit for an unrelated court case, swore under oath he was a resident of Chicago.

Also, according to records, Marcus Gillum is still currently registered to vote in Leon County at a home that his brother, gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, sold over three years ago. The Leon County Property Appraiser indicates that Andrew Gillum sold 5325 St. Ives Lane on February 27th, 2015.

Furthermore, Florida Department of Motor Vehicle records show that Marcus Gillum has not had a valid Florida drivers license since 2011

This information was presented to Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley. “Based on this information I will initiate an investigation into potential voter ineligibility,” Earley said.

Earley also added that fraudulent voting is actually very difficult to prevent.

“It could be that (ineligible voters) consider Leon County to be their place of residence,” Earley said. “But the reality is until they notify us that it isn’t their residence, or we are notified by a different jurisdiction we have nothing to go on to remove them as an active voter.”

But voting irregularities involving Andrew Gillum’s siblings may not be confined to his brother Marcus. Voter records indicate that Monique Gillum, Andrew Gillum’s sister, voted in Florida despite questions about residency.

Monique Gillum voted absentee in the 2012 general election, absentee in 2014 primary election, early voted in the 2016 general election, and voted in the 2018 primary election.

However, like her brother Marcus, voting records also show that Monique Gillum is still currently registered to vote at the St. Ives address. However, the mailing address she provided to the Leon County Supervisor of Elections is a P.O Box in New York City.

Public records show Monique Gillum does have a current Florida drivers license with a Tallahassee address. However, the address is different from the two provided to the Leon County Supervisor of Elections.

Also, other records, including work she did as a registered lobbyist for the Southern Poverty Law Center, indicate that Monique resided in Montgomery, Alabama from 2014 to 2016 …

Hmm.

On October 23, news emerged that Gillum’s ticket to the musical Hamilton came from an undercover FBI agent:

The Miami Herald broke the story, which also involves Gillum’s aforementioned brother Marcus:

Undercover FBI agents paid for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s hotel room and his ticket to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” during a 2016 trip to New York City, according to a bombshell trove of records that raises new questions two weeks before the Nov. 6 election for Florida governor.

Among the records released Tuesday: photos, a video and dozens of text messages between Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, former lobbyist Adam Corey and an undercover FBI agent. They appear to contradict Gillum’s explanation for the expenses, which have been made a major issue by his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis.

Gillum’s campaign has maintained — and continued to do so Tuesday after the records were released — that Gillum’s brother, Marcus, handed him the ticket the night of the show.

But text messages at the time of the trip show Gillum was told the tickets came from “Mike Miller,” an FBI agent looking into city corruption who was posing as a developer …

The campaign has not said how Marcus Gillum, who lives in Chicago, came by such a sought-after Broadway ticket, or whether Andrew Gillum asked his brother about it.

“These messages only confirm what we have said all along,”Andrew Gillum said on Facebook Live on Tuesday. “We did go to see ‘Hamilton.’ I did get my ticket to ‘Hamilton’ from my brother. At the time, we believed that they were reserved by friends of Adam’s, Mike Miller.

“And when I got there after work, got my ticket, we went in there and saw it, assumed my brother paid for it, and so far as I know, that was the deal” …

Once a close friend of Gillum’s, Corey is at the center of the FBI’s long-running probe into corruption in Tallahassee. No one has been charged, and Gillum has said that agents assured him he was neither a target nor a focus of the probe.

Gillum has repeatedly given vague answers to questions about who paid for the New York City trip. His avoidance of a direct answer became pronounced during a Sunday debate on CNN between DeSantis and Gillum.

“Did you pay for the ‘Hamilton’ tickets?” DeSantis asked.

But there’s more. The new information raises a question over how the trip to New York was financed:

They show that undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen were working for months to get an out-of-state meeting with Gillum, and that Gillum appeared willing to oblige them.

In June 2016, Corey texted Miller, the undercover agent, telling him that he would discuss options with Gillum.

“I just want to make it a good trip and Sweets and B will be booked on something else if we don’t lock something down,” Miller replied.

“Mike Sweets” and “Brian Butler” were the two other undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen

… they met in New York, while Gillum was attending a conference on behalf of the People for the American Way Foundation, a liberal advocacy group that employed him.

Text messages show Miller paid for the airfare and hotel room for Gillum’s brother, Marcus.

“Send me the mayor and his brother’s information and I will have my girl book their flights,” Miller wrote.

Corey replied that Gillum had already booked his flight, but he would send his brother’s information “ASAP.”

“Just tell them to let me know what their flights cost and I will cover it,” Miller said.

The ethics complaint was filed against Gillum in June this year, and Gillum met with investigators in early September

Tuesday’s document dump was the type of event Democrats feared when Gillum won the party’s nomination in August but hoped would never come. Though supporters generally dismissed the significance of the texts and emails between Gillum and Corey, one Democratic consultant acknowledged that anyone on the fence about Gillum could be deflated.

The timing of the release — exactly two weeks before Election Day and on the second day of early voting — comes during a key period for the Democratic Party, when voters typically begin showing up to the polls in large numbers and making up the advantage Republicans build during absentee voting …

On October 31, Project Veritas issued a damning video of Gillum’s campaign and a written summary. Gillum is left wing, not just left-of-centre. Omar Smith, the main campaign worker interviewed, said Gillum promises things he will not be able to accomplish. Be prepared for untoward remarks about Floridians:

James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, went to follow up. Omar Smith, the main speaker in the video, has asked that these videos not be circulated. This is bad news for Gillum:

From 1968 …

In closing, this 50-year-old poster about voting helped Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew win an election in a highly turbulent year in the US (Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and the riots by radicals during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago). It’s no surprise that Republicans won that year:

It has the same message that Republicans are trying to get out today, especially taking other people along so that they, too, can vote.

Fifty years on, here is the unofficial, but no less powerful, Republican slogan circulating online:

President Trump has tweeted several times recently, including in the tweet below with a short video from his Houston rally, promising what Republicans will continue to do to shore up the US:

PROMISES MADE. PROMISES KEPT.

Last week, I wrote about Jill Stein’s divisive petitions for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — states which Donald Trump won.

Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette tweeted the following information on December 6:

Many of us were surprised no one in authority in Michigan said this in the first place. Stein got approximately 1% of the vote in every state. She never had legal standing.

Anyway:

TRO — temporary restraining order.

And:

An ABC affiliate in Michigan, WLOX, has an excellent summary from the Associated Press of what happened in the Stein recount states, some of which is referred to below.

Wisconsin

As of December 5, 23 of 72 counties have finished their recount. In those counties, Trump gained 105 votes and Hillary Clinton lost 41 votes. Overall, Trump won by approximately 22,000 votes.

On Friday, December 9, a federal judge will hear a lawsuit filed last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount.

Michigan

In addition to the tweets from AG Schuette, Trump won Michigan by approximately 10,700 votes.

This was the state’s third recount. The first two caused the delay in Michigan posting the election result for several days.

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) discusses the difficulty of counting votes in Detroit:

If anyone thought a Michigan ballot recount was going to end up being a net positive for Hillary Clinton, they are intellectually disconnected from understanding the reality of how fraudulent the most democrat precincts are in Wayne County (Detroit) Michigan.

CTH cites an article from the Detroit News that states:

Michigan’s largest county voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but officials couldn’t reconcile vote totals for 610 of 1,680 precincts during a countywide canvass of vote results late last month.

Most of those are in heavily Democratic Detroit, where the number of ballots in precinct poll books did not match those of voting machine printout reports in 59 percent of precincts, 392 of 662.

According to state law, precincts whose poll books don’t match with ballots can’t be recounted. If that happens, original election results stand. 

As to who pays for this utter waste of time and resources, although the Republican-majority Michigan legislature just approved a measure requiring candidates who won less than 5% of the vote to pay the cost of the recount, Democrats point out this measure came into play after Stein filed for the recount. They do not think she should have to pay for it. The cost would be in the millions of dollars. Stein has the money. She can pay and she should. That is why she was raising funds on Thanksgiving Day.

Pennsylvania

If Michigan’s recount is called off, it looks as if Pennsylvania’s would be, too.

So far, Trump’s lead there has shrunk by about 20,000 votes. He now leads Clinton by 44,000 votes. The margin is still enough to avoid a recount of the entire state. If such a recount had to proceed, it would probably not be finished in time for the Electoral College vote on December 19.

Pennsylvania law states that one must have concrete evidence that voting irregularity occurred. Stein merely stated that the state’s election system is ‘a national disgrace’. Well, anyone can say that. The recounts in certain counties went ahead, however, based on petitions from Pennsylvanians about their local districts.

The Billy Penn site reports that little changed in Philadelphia’s recount:

The great Philadelphia recount has ended, and Hillary Clinton got five more votes than she had in her previous total …

Donald Trump’s number stayed the same, as did the totals for Independent candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein after the City Commissioners Office recounted votes in 75 of Philadelphia’s more than 1600 voting divisions. The recount had been launched by 250-plus Philadelphia residents answering the call of Stein, who asked for three petitioners in each of Pennsylvania’s voting district to file recounts to assist in her attempts to get a statewide recount through a Commonwealth Court and then Federal Court lawsuit.

Stein’s camp had planned on using the district-level recounts as possible evidence for hacking or fraud. The recount turned up no instances of fraud or hacking here, City Commissioner Al Schmidt said, emphasizing the difficulty of hacking voting machines that aren’t connected to the internet …

The five extra votes for Clinton, he said, came from paper provisional or absentee ballots that were undetected by the optical scanner that counted votes in the days following the election. Schmidt said this can happen when people don’t mark their choices clearly on paper ballots or, ridiculous as it sounds, use a green highlighter instead of a pen or pencil …

On Monday, December 5, Stein announced in front of Trump Tower that she was going to file a federal lawsuit for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. This will be heard on Friday, December 9. The Michigan decision might well have an impact on the result in the Pennsylvania hearing. However, if Stein wins the case, a statewide recount would begin.

Nevada

The Independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente, who finished in Nevada with under 1% of the vote, has paid $14,000 for a partial recount, mostly affecting Las Vegas’s 92 precincts. The other eight precincts are elsewhere in the state.

If the total recount shows a 1% discrepancy for De La Fuente or Clinton, a statewide recount goes ahead. The partial recount is expected to be complete by the end of the week.

————————————————————————————

I’ll provide a final update when it becomes available.

time detroit 09

October 5, 2009 cover, courtesy Dewey from Detroit

On Monday, August 8, 2016, Donald Trump reiterated his economic plan in Detroit, Michigan, before an audience of 1,500 members and guests of the prestigious Economic Club in a ballroom of Cobo Hall.

I say ‘reiterated’, because much of what he said went public last autumn and has been on his website for months. However, he added more specifics.

Detroit then and now

Using Detroit as an introductory backdrop, he compared what Motor City was to what it is now (emphases mine):

Detroit was once the economic envy of the world. The people of Detroit helped power America to its position of global dominance in the 20th century.

When we were governed by an America First policy, Detroit was booming. Engineers, builders, laborers, shippers and countless others went to work each day, provided for their families, and lived out the American Dream.

But for many living in this city, that dream has long ago vanished.

When we abandoned the policy of America First, we started rebuilding other countries instead of our own. The skyscrapers went up in Beijing, and in many other cities around the world, while the factories and neighborhoods crumbled in Detroit. Our roads and bridges fell into disrepair, yet we found the money to resettle millions of refugees at taxpayer expense.

Today, Detroit has a per capita income of under $15,000 dollars, about half of the national average. 40 percent of the city’s residents live in poverty, over two-and-half times the national average. The unemployment rate is more than twice the national average. Half of all Detroit residents do not work.

Detroit tops the list of Most Dangerous Cities in terms of violent crime – these are the silenced victims whose stories are never told by Hillary Clinton, but victims whose suffering is no less real or permanent.

In short, the city of Detroit is the living, breathing example of my opponent’s failed economic agenda. Every policy that has failed this city, and so many others, is a policy supported by Hillary Clinton.

Those policies came about once the city’s residents began voting overwhelmingly for Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s.

Democrats’ policies are destructive. In 2013, Dewey from Detroit explained:

the point remains: Detroit has been served exclusively by Democrat leadership since 1962Coincident with that 50 year period the city began a steady state of entropy that culminated in the bankruptcy filing yesterday

This is Dewey; reminding you that if Obama had a city, it would look like Detroit.

Detroit is, for the moment, an outlier. However, other cities are crumbling, poised to follow.

Expect more Detroits if Hillary Clinton gets to the White House in January 2017.

My visits

I’ve been to Detroit four times: thrice in the late 1960s as a child and once in the late 1970s as a university student visiting friends.

My mother knew the city well from previous trips in the 1940s and 1950s. She loved it and could hardly wait to see it again.

My parents and I first saw it in August 1966. It was bustling and busy: traffic and people everywhere. We were just passing through then on our way elsewhere, but saw the automotive and automotive accessory plants, the nearby neighbourhoods as well as the nicer parts, e.g. Henry Ford’s home and other mansions.

The next time was in 1967 or 1968. It might have been early springtime, because it was cold. My mother and I went by train, where we met up with my dad, who was working away from home at the time. It was a weekend for all of us to get together away from home and have fun.

WestinBookCadillac.jpgWe stayed at what was then called the Sheraton Cadillac — now the Westin Book Cadillac. My mother thought it looked a bit down at heel, but I was impressed. I was in primary school at the time. Wikipedia describes the decor:

embodies Neo-Classical elements and building sculpture, incorporating brick and limestone. Among its notable features are the sculptures of notable figures from Detroit’s historyGeneral Anthony Wayne, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, Chief Pontiac, and Robert Navarre along the ornate Michigan Avenue façade and copper-covered roof elements.[2]

The hotel was very busy, and she and I met a celebrity of the day in the lobby, with whom we had a lengthy and friendly exchange.

Before Dad arrived, Mum and I went to Hudson’s Department Store, which my mother spoke of often, particularly in the run-up to our trip. It was just as huge as she had promised. In fact, it was second in size only to Macy’s in New York City.

I loved Hudson’s, especially the toy department, but my mother was disappointed. There were kids running around unsupervised, and she thought the merchandise and layout needed a refresh.

Once my dad arrived, we went to dinner at a gorgeous rooftop restaurant with a view that overlooked the Ambassador Bridge and a stunning Windsor, Ontario. We went to Mass on Sunday in a beautiful church, St Aloysius. A lot of people attended, all in their Sunday best. We had brunch and then we checked out, Dad to return to his work assignment and the two of us to go back home.

The last time I went was in the late 1970s to spend time with friends. By then, the new Renaissance Tower was the talk of the town, and our hosts were eager to make sure we not only saw it but toured the public space and stopped for a drink. The Renaissance Tower was emblematic of new hope for the city, which was in decline and already making national news for that reason.

I noticed when one of my friends was driving us there that there were gaping empty spaces in the downtown area, which hadn’t been there a decade before. Hmm. My friend tried to brush this off as ‘change’ and ‘progress’ which had to take place. Nothing to see here, move along!

We were also told time and time again, ‘Look, we’re going to a night spot which is a 20-minute drive away. Make sure you go to the bathroom before we leave my parents’ house and before we leave the nightclub. It is too dangerous to stop in between the two. Is everybody clear?

Later developments

My friends in Detroit did not wish for me to think anything bad about the place they and generations of their family considered home, so, during the 1980s and 1990s, any negatives were clearly dismissed and the conversation changed quickly.

Their denial didn’t really help when one could see what was happening from the news!

J L Hudson’s flagship store

The aforementioned Hudson’s department store was Detroit’s the Midwest’s jewel in the retail crown.

A fascinating article from 2015 in the Detroit Free Press recaps its history:

For generations, it was as synonymous with Christmas and fashion as it was Detroit.

The Hudson’s department store at Woodward and Gratiot avenues was absolutely massive, evolving with the Motor City until it became the tallest department store in the world. By the time it finished growing, the store’s size almost defied belief.

That’s why they called it the Big Store.

The building was 2,124,316 square feet, making it second in size among department stores to only Macy’s in New York. The store was spread out over 32 floors, and at 410 feet, Hudson’s was the tallest department store in the world. Hudson’s featured more than 200 departments across an incredible 49 acres of floor space, and it featured about 600,000 items from 16,000 vendors. Twelve thousand employees, 100,000 customers came each day at its peak. In 1954, Hudson’s had sales of more than $163 million (an astronomical $1.28 billion today, when adjusted for inflation).

A number of factors contributed to the decline of Hudson’s Big Store: the construction of the massive freeway system in and around Detroit, the move to the suburbs and the rise of malls in those areas. People also felt less safe travelling into the centre of town. And why pay for parking downtown when you could get any variety of spaces for free in the suburban mall?

In 1983, after 90 years of business, Hudson’s closed its flagship store. It still retained offices there for 1,200 company employees working in management and administration.

Hudson’s moved out in 1990. A company from Windsor, Ontario, bought the building. Unfortunately, what was the Big Store lay derelict, attracting trespassers and window-breaking vandals. For whatever reason, various plans for redevelopment were shelved.

On October 24, 1998, a sad event took place. And it even saddens me to watch this, the destruction of the J L Hudson Department Store:

The site has served since then as an underground parking garage.

Discussions are still taking place on renovating the site above ground.

I see the Free Press does not allow readers to see the 34 comments on this article and 9 from the one cited earlier. I bet there were some gems there.

You can get an idea of the store’s iconic status in these historic photos from The Detroit News.

Michigan Central Station

This railway station was a temple of transport — so awe-inspiring, so beautiful. When it opened in 1914, it was the tallest railway station in the world.

Amtrak services stopped serving Michigan Central in 1988 and continued at a nearby platform instead. A new station opened several miles away in Detroit’s New Center in 1994.

Once closed, Michigan Central became an attractive target for vandals and delinquents. A number of photographers have taken pictures of the interior and exterior since closure. A 2013 photo shows all the graffiti marring the majestic waiting room. A series of photos shows the architecturally Beaux Arts classical exterior and all the broken windows.

The best, however, is French-Canadian Jean-Pierre Lavoie’s 360 degree panoramas of the the Michigan Central train station — a must-see. As Dewey from Detroit described it in 2009:

It feels like a nerve unsheathed, it looks like a malignant menace. It is the face of a city waiting for salvation, it’s worthiness unclear.

Societies require care and selfless leadership to survive, let alone thrive. Detroit has had neither for nearly 40 years. I mention this simply as a cautionary tale.

The Mouroun family, local billionaire industrialists, purchased Michigan Central and are slowly refurbishing it. In February 2016, they had replaced all 1,050 of the station’s windows on time and on budget by enlisting the services of a glass and metal company in nearby St Clair Shores. The Mourouns have spent several million dollars on other improvements to electrics and the elevator shaft.

Although the building’s new purpose is unclear at this point, at least this is a move in a positive direction.

Other ruins

Some people look at a decayed city and say, ‘So what? Everything changes.’

An ad man from Britain opined on the planned redevelopment of the Old Port in Marseille and said the same thing to me a few years ago.

Dewey from Detroit has photographs from other former Detroit icons: the Vanity Ballroom where all the Big Bands from the 1940s played, the Lee Plaza Ballroom, the stunning cathedral-like organ screen from the abandoned United Artists theatre and the tragically abandoned Ford River Rouge Plant.

In that 2009 post, he explained what had happened over the years to put Detroit on her deathbed:

Photographers keep showing up and taking pictures that people can emote over for a few minutes, and then they go about their business. But keep ignoring the path our country is on and soon you, too, will have no business to go back to.

here a taste of what the Great Society [Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson, mid-1960s] has wrought on a once prosperous and proud city.

Get up close and take a look into the abyss that 40 years of elite liberal East Coast driven social policies have created.

And spare me the litany of other factors that contributed to Detroit’s decline; they contributed, they didn’t create. Only government policies that suck the souls of its citizens dry of any personal responsibility and self-respect can so effectively kill the motivation, drive and ambition of people. Only multiple generations of people born into the entitlement mentality of government provision and care can kill the soul of the people, and with them their city

Detroit may just be beyond redemption. The rest of the country is still our call.

Too right.

Seven years on and no one really cares, including millions of American citizens carping about the state of the country! Because it’s so much easier to sit at home and complain rather than to start educating ourselves about the reality of the situation then going out to vote for a candidate who can reverse this tragic trend!

I’ve said it here before and I will say it again: 2016 is America’s last chance for survival.

People know what to do, so why don’t they get on with it? I do not know.

Detroit in the 21st century

Today, Detroit is best known for its declining automotive industry and, oddly enough, a huge pawn shop, American Jewelry and Loan, as seen around the world in the television series Hardcore Pawn.

If Hardcore Pawn reflects the reality of today’s residents of Detroit — and, heaven forbid, the rest of the country’s major urban areas — America is doomed.

This show is amazing, and not in a good way. It must be seen to be believed. A more vulgar, incoherent group of customers I have never seen, where ‘going to work’ unabashedly means ‘going to the casino’. Scary.

Back in 2009, the idea was mooted that Detroit be turned into farmland. Detroit has one of the largest square mile urban areas in the United States. The population is now just over 800,000. Dewey has a helpful graphic and puts it into perspective:

Consider an interesting fact about Detroit: it’s huge, even by city standards. 140 square miles. Manhattan, Boston and San Francisco could all fit comfortably within the borders of Detroit and still have room left over.

Outside of the centre, most shops have closed. Huge swathes of open space exist, beautiful houses long gone — burnt to the ground or razed:

On its face the urban farm concept for a city as deeply scarred as Detroit holds a great deal of poetic appeal. After all, the city was built on rich, arable farm land that still lies beneath the structures. The once fertile fields were gradually annexed and filled with housing stock to meet the needs of a growing urban population that congregated around the industries that built America into the most powerful industrial giant the world had ever seen. 

He has another post, ‘Feral in Detroit’, which shows more tragically spacious lots and abandoned homes. Again, some may say, ‘So what? It was probably not a populated neighbourhood to begin with’.

st cyril detroit 2008There they would be wrong. Dewey gives us an aerial cutting from a 1949 map of the neighbourhood of the now-demolished St Cyril’s Catholic Church and school. The whole area is full of houses, with no vacant space. By 2003, most of those homes were destroyed. There is a lot of vacant space. I am borrowing a picture from his post, taken by Robert Monaghan, to show you what the area around St Cyril’s looks like today.

Mr Monaghan’s photographs of Detroit are well worth looking at and remembering.

The story of Detroit resident Marabel Chanin describes the eeriness of life there. She died alone in a lovely house in 2008. She had outlived her friends. Dewey says:

When Marabel moved into the house on Robinwood Avenue in 1964 it was a beautiful neighborhood of 1920’s era brick bungalows, stately trees and neat gardens. The northwest Detroit neighborhood was adjacent to the exclusive Palmer Park Golf Course and Country Club. A serene, safe and attractive community. Forty five years later, it had turned into a dump.

Robinwood, like countless streets in Detroit, had turned into a block of abandoned carcasses. Burned out, boarded up falling down houses littered the block, and served as gathering places for drug dealers, users and thieves. Marabel lived out her life a prisoner in her own home, fearful of gunshots, burglary and worse.

Conclusion

Detroit might still have a lifeline somewhere at some time.

However, its government has been continually corrupt over the past 50+ years.

Detroit’s newish mayor Mike Duggan might be able to make a difference. I certainly hope so. Even then, the city will never recapture its former grandeur.

As Dewey says, ‘Let this be a cautionary tale’. It can happen to your city or town, too.

Get out and research your local, state and national candidates this year. Instead of complaining, start listening to what the various presidential candidates are saying in full, rather than relying on television or radio soundbites.

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