covid-19 Gold Standard again

As expected the weekly “Gold Standard” lottery in NSW has won a prize.

Tolerating non-zero “mystery cases” to avoid lockdowns was welcomed by the Federal government and its health advisors as “textbook” performance in Victoria to avoid lockdown.

With the media clamouring against lockdown the Victorian government delayed and attempted a limited local lockdown instead.

Naturally that failed. You cannot confine a pandemic to parts of a major city while people are still allowed to go to work.

Odd that anyone ever thought it possible. New Zealand’s success was because it went immediately into lockdown at the first case of community transmission and stayed there until the last.

But people do only learn from experience.

South Australia did learn from Victoria’s experience and locked down promptly.

The Federal and media campaign against Victoria’s lockdown was so intensive that it successfully avoided any attention being paid to the major blunder that led to it being so prolonged. That was not the (hardly unusual) blundering with Hotel Quarantine but the failure to act promptly and decisively as soon as “mystery cases” developed.

So NSW never did learn the lesson and is now repeating Victoria’s mistakes.

They got away without lockdowns despite having a small amount of community transmission and this weekly “risk management” lottery was held up as a shining example that contact tracing could make lockdown unnecessary.

Now that NSW has 30 cases in one day it is reluctantly and slowly moving towards a Greater Sydney lockdown.

But first it has to exhaust every other alternative.

They are following Victoria’s abysmally stupid example of first trying to lockdown a few suburbs.

Who knows, it might work.

But why would anybody be stupid enough to risk it?

Other States are also taking a risk by only declaring the Northern suburbs of Sydney a hotspot.

They should send a clear message by restricting travel from NSW and then limiting that to Greater Sydney once NSW has established controls protecting regional NSW and especially border regions with other States from any outbreaks in Greater Sydney.

Just after I drafted the above I heard Victoria closing border to all of Greater Sydney.

Unlike NSW there is no pretense that this might conceivably end by Wednesday.

Victoria’s expectation is that there will be more clusters outside the Northern beaches area of Sydney.

Victorian Chief Health Officer just gave clear explanation of why.

Did learn from experience. NSW did not. How could they with the Federal government and its health advisors praising their “gold standard” approach?

Notes on Trump 59 – Biden joins the Trump campaign

The media’s campaign to convince Republicans the election was rigged against them has been spectacularly successful.

Overall trust in elections has plummeted among Republicans: Prior to the election, 66 percent of GOP voters said they had at least some trust in the U.S. election system. In the latest poll, that dropped to 33 percent. Democratic trust, meanwhile, jumped from 63 percent to 83 percent.

Tracking Trust in the Fairness of U.S. Elections – Morning Consult

Simply by asserting that allegaions are “baseless” and “without evidence” in almost every paragraph, the media has been able to halve the number of Republicans who have any trust in the U.S. election system. Increasing the proportion of Democrats who trust it by a third is not much compensation.

Now President elect Joe Biden is joining in the campaign:

Joe Biden : (09:12)
Even more stunning, 17 Republican Attorneys General, and 126 Republican members of the Congress, actually, they actually signed onto a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas. That lawsuit asked the United States Supreme Court to reject the certified vote counts in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This legal maneuver was an effort by elected officials and one group of states to try to get the Supreme Court to wipe out the votes of more than 20 million Americans in other states. And to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College, lost the popular vote, and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse.

Joe Biden : (10:04)
It’s a position so extreme, we’ve never seen it before. And position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our Constitution. Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately and completely rejected this effort. The Court sent a clear signal to President Trump that they would be no part of an unprecedented assault on our democracy.

That sends exactly the same two clear messages that the media has been repeating:

  1. The USA will now have a government that treats going to its courts to dispute election results as an attack by enemies of the people – exactly like every country that has rigged elections.
  2. Thankfully, the courts can be relied on to defend the government from such outrageous attacks by enemies of the people.

Can Biden succeed in halving again the number of Republicans who still have some trust in US elections so that only 1 in 6 Republicans remain trusting? Will he feel successful if he increases the numbers of Democrats with some trust by another one third?

He can certainly try!

It would be hard for anyone who does not support his government to fail to grasp this clear message that they will have to fight.

What remains to be seen is how many who oppose Trump will join in.

Trump makes it harder for people to oppose this attack on the basic principles of democracy. Biden is doing his very best to make it easier. Anyone who cops this shit from the government will cop anything.

I thought it would be extremely difficult for the Democrats to top the stupidity of having spent years claiming that the President of the USA was a Kremlin stooge.

I was wrong. Its easy and they are likely to become even more unhinged as the inevitable results of their efforts bear fruit.

Presumably they really do believe the conservative majority on SCOTUS is on their side.

So how are they going to cope if that turns out to be wrong? What if the same courts that refused to issue emergency orders without testing the evidence end up holding trials to consider the evidence? Obviously the media will continue to simply denounce that as an “unprecedented assault on our democracy” and insisting there is no evidence. Will repeating that again be helpful?

And what do they expect, and what does SCOTUS expect would happen if courts did simply refuse to consider election disputes as demanded by the President elect.

Are they going to find it easier to govern a country where more than half the voters don’t trust the election results, or the courts?

Not a problem. In the same speech where Biden denounced a majority of Republican voters for their “unprecedented assault on democracy” he also said:

Joe Biden : (12:32)
You know, in this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed. We the people voted, faith in our institutions held, the integrity of our elections remains intact. And now it’s time to turn the page as we’ve done throughout our history, to unite, to heal.
That soothing message is bound to work out well. Can’t you just feel the uniting, the healing…

Notes on Trump 58 – SCOTUS goes slow

I added this comment to Notes 57:

SCOTUS has just dismissed Texas for lack of standing to dispute elections in other States.

That was the weakest point. Texas claimed it had an interest because of dilution of Texas votes in Senate where Vice President chosen unlawfully has casting vote.

I thought SCOTUS would take the case because otherwise they are stuck with multiple separate cases wading their way through the lower State and Federal courts.

But combined with dismissal of [emergency injunction in] Kelly v Pennsylvania this does indicate any eventual judgments will be well after Biden takes office, contrary to my expectation.

Unusually, it seems the “experts” were right. Not unusually, I was wrong.

Click to access 121120zr_p860.pdf

No idea what happens next, as I wasn’t expecting this.

Thinking about it, my assumptions now are as follows.

Certainly nothing dramatic happens before December 14 so Biden and Harris become President and Vice President elect.

I just read the Texas reply filings and it seems they were serious about wanting the State Legislatures to be able to appoint replacement electors and actually have Trump declared winner on December.

That was never going to happen and I took it as purely an ambit claim with the intention of throwing it to the House instead by just restraining the votes so that total required would remain 270 and Biden/Harris would have less than that. But perhaps State Legislatures really was the plan, which was doomed.

They also seriously tried to defend a statistical analysis rather mildly described as “nonsense” by defendants.

It was actually “completely idiotic” rather than merely “nonsense”, as clearly explained here:

More on Statistical Stupidity at SCOTUS

I also now think it is also highly unlikely that anything much will happen by January 6 or by inauguration day on January 20.

Another factor is that there were still only 126 (of 196) Republican Representatives signed on as friends of the court in a second attempt a day after the first 100. That suggests a serious likelihood that throwing it to the House would still result in Biden winning in the House (with Vice President Pence winning in the Senate). Representatives in “purple” swing States are often “moderates” to avoid alienating other voters. There could easily be enough Republicans in enough State delegations who could either vote against Trump or simply abstain so that their State delegation votes for the candidate that had the larger popular vote. Only 1 or 2 State delegations would need to swing or abstain.

The issues will end up going to trial at some point but it seems unlikely that SCOTUS intends to expedite anything at all. One case that blocked Federal trials on the substance for Pennsylvania was already listed has a response due December 28 to proceed normally:

Any eventual declarations that the elections were conducted unlawfully in enough States could still result in removal of Biden and Harris from office. Equally it could just not.

It isn’t over but I was expecting lots of drama this week and I am not expecting that now.

How things develop with lots of people believing the election was rigged and a woeful Biden Presidency remains to be seen.

I still expect a mass based right wing party led by Trump with both a parliamentary and extra parliamentary wing.

Even if a majority of GOP representatives reject Trump, most won’t be likely to survive the primaries in 2 years.

Notes on Trump 57 – Safe Harbour

Today is December 8 in Washington. Celebrated by lots of media reports as marking the end of the wave of law suits challenging the 2020 Presidential election results. Experts say (again) that it’s all over now because the certified results are now final and conclusive.

In other news today:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he’s suing Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin directly in the U.S. Supreme Court, accusing the battleground states of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to illegally enact last-minute changes to mail-in voting rules.

Paxton, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, claims the states “flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots” and ignored rules for how mail-in ballots were to be counted, according to a press release announcing the litigation. The allegations echo those made by Trump and his allies in dozens of lawsuits filed in the same swing states following President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
“These flaws cumulatively preclude knowing who legitimately won the 2020 election and threaten to cloud all future elections,” Texas said in a motion seeking high court approval to file the suit. “Taken together, these flaws affect an outcome determinative numbers of popular votes in a group of States that cast outcome-determinative numbers of electoral votes.”The suit comes on the “safe harbor” deadline for states to certify their slates of electors but before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14. Paxton, who is seeking an order that would block electors from the four states from participating, requested an expedited briefing schedule requiring the defendant states to file briefs on Wednesday and oral arguments to be heard on Friday. If the court fails to act before the electors vote, “a grave cloud will hang over not only the presidency but also the republic,” he said.

Here is the Texas press release with link to the actual filing:

That 154 page filing is not yet listed on the docket of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

Meanwhile in further news today, here is the response, just filed at SCOTUS, to petition disputing election in Pennsylvania election:

Click to access 20201208090425848_20A98%20Response%20in%20Opposition%20efile.pdf

Opens with:

Petitioners ask this Court to undertake one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the Republic. No court has ever issued an order nullifying a governor’s certification of presidential election results. And for good reason: “Once the door is opened to judicial invalidation of presidential election results, it will be awfully hard to close that door again. . . . The loss of public trust in our constitutional order resulting from the exercise of this kind of judicial power would be incalculable.” Order, Wis. Voters All. v. Wis. Elections Comm’n, No. 2020AP1930-OA, at 3 (Wis. Dec. 4, 2020) (Hagedorn, J., concurring).”

That is EXACTLY the ludicrous media bleating I quoted from the 4-3 judgment in Wisconsin in Notes 56:

But this time the menacing undertone is made explicit:

They make that request without any acknowledgment of the staggering upheaval, turmoil, and acrimony it would unleash. In issuing equitable relief, this Court rightly seeks to avoid inflaming social disorder. So to say that the public interest militates against Petitioners would be a grave understatement. Their suit is nothing less than an affront to constitutional democracy. It should meet a swift and decisive end.

…[many pages of obscurantist lawyerisms with no suitable media quotes]…

Finally, granting an injunction would sow chaos and confusion across the Nation while inflaming baseless concerns about electoral impropriety and ensnaring the Judiciary in partisan strife. This case reaches the Court against the backdrop of
unfounded claims—which have been repeatedly rejected by state and federal courts— that wrongly impugn the integrity of the democratic process and aim to cast doubt on the legitimacy of its outcome. Given that context, the Court should not plunge itself into a firestorm by issuing the first ever judicial order decertifying the results of a presidential election.

This banana republic intimidation is clearly designed as fuel for the media campaign rather than at convincing SCOTUS. There is nothing in the 52 pages that a media report could even attempt to convey other than the intimidation.

SCOTUS docket 20A98 Kelly v Pennsylvania is available here:

On December 6 the due date for a response to the application (20A98) was brought forward by Justice Alito to Tuesday, December 8, by 9 a.m.

Originally due following day. Brought forward to “safe harbour” date so theoretically an order could be issued the same day

Coincidentally my Notes 56 about the implications of “safe harbour” day – “Serendipity and SCOTUS”, was also on December 6 at around 2230 AEST. Well before change of date Washington time. It explained why I expect an order issued after “safe harbour” to have more impact.

Here are four articles from others speculating about the original date, its relation to the “safe harbour” date and the switched date:

If the date was brought forward in the hope that the respondents might raise some issue regarding “safe harbour” so that SCOTUS could justify a pronouncement about it, the respondents did not do so.

Here is the media’s talking points on the date having been moved forward.

“Experts” all agree that “safe harbour” deadline today sets the results in stone. Actually it only prevents Congress, not SCOTUS from overturning State returns. The experts are also convinced that SCOTUS won’t intervene at all, before or after today. There’s no sign of them even thinking about the issues I raised as to WHY the Republicans might prefer delays until after today and why they have not even filed cases for Wisconsin and Michigan at SCOTUS so far.

It doesn’t make sense for these experts to be saying what they are saying if they don’t actually believe their own delusions. If they were rational they would be at least preparing public opinion for the “possibility” that SCOTUS might “outrageously” intervene. But they are so wrapped up in their Trump Derangement Syndrome that they really are quite confident that a Supreme Court with 6 conservative and 3 liberal justices is about to do what they want.

I’m no “expert” so I’m not as certain as they are. But I would be surprised if these experts were not wrong – as usual.

While staying up waiting for this response I had another look at the links provided in Notes 49 concerning whether Pelosi could end up as President:

As far as I can see the majority of the House withdrawing from the joint sitting on January 6 would still leave Pence presiding over a joint sitting together with Republican House members. Kicking Pence and the Senators out of the House chamber would not change the constitutional provision that the Electoral College vote count would be completed at that sitting and the result announced by Pence.

Then if no candidate had 270 votes the Senate would presumably elect Pence as Vice-President. Perhaps not, if some Republicans prefer Harris but that seems unlikely. Then the Vice-President elect would become President if the House had not picked a President when the current term expires on January 20.

Nevertheless the Democrats could claim that Pelosi had become President by insisting that:

  1. The majority of the House refusing to participate in the joint session they are required to participate in by law prevented it completing the count and therefore there is no basis for either the House to choose the President or the Senate to choose the Vice President, so both positions became vacant on January 20 and the Speaker of the House became acting President (until the deadlock is resolved).
  2. The Democrat Senators refusing to attend the Senate session they are required to attend by law prevented a two-thirds quorum and so prevented the Senate choosing the Vice-President by an absolute majority of votes.

SCOTUS could decide not to rule on such a political dispute.

But with both Pence and Pelosi purporting to take oaths of office as President by January 20 SCOTUS would end up having to decide.

The quicker the fat lady at SCOTUS sings the fewer people would get killed while shouting at each other.

At present more people are dying from covid-19 EVERY DAY than were killed on 911. So life has become cheap in the USA and SCOTUS could just let things drag on. I doubt it.

Since there is in fact no mood for civil war both sides would end up accepting the SCOTUS decision, as would the armed forces, including the Praetorian Guard.

Whatever SCOTUS decided would still be untenable as either House could deny funds to the Executive in a situation where they don’t accept the outcome.

Eventually I still think they would need to agree, together with the States, on a constitutional amendment for fresh elections.

Whatever they do, Trump will still be leading a large mass based right wing populist party.

Notes on Trump 56 – Serendipity and SCOTUS

What can the Supreme Court of the United States do to minimize bloodshed about a disputed election when half the population already regards each other as enemies?

Contrary to media fantasies it cannot just join the chant of “nothing to see here”. But it isn’t easy to see what could avoid inflaming the situation.

My guess is that full bench of SCOTUS will grant a stay or an injunction preventing completion of at least the Pennsylvania election.

This would be seen as vindicating Trump. So more of the justices would have to write detailed opinions than for a usual stay. That could result in some delay but is unlikely to change the impact.

Emergency appeals: Stay requests

Meanwhile I expect the Court will have quite a bit of other work to do before the December 14 Electoral College vote so the stay/injunction could effectively settle the issue for PA by preventing any PA votes in the Electoral College pending a final decision.

That might not stop Democrat Electors certified by Democrat Governors from forwarding their votes to be counted by the Electoral College before a session of both Houses on January 6. But it would stop Vice President Pence in charge of the session from counting them.

It would also stop the PA legislature from choosing Republican replacements. As the lower court that made the original order to delay completion agreed, the Republican plaintiffs request for that “relief” would be an “untenable” result of the (Republican) legislature having ignored the PA Constitutional provisions explicitly restricting absentee voting when it legislated unlimited postal voting. Such an outcome would also be “untenable” for other battleground States for more political reasons.

SCOTUS simply cancelling enough postal votes to reverse the outcome in any State would be even more untenable. Due process obviously precludes doing that since the postal votes were cast in reliance on the laws enforced at the time of the election.

The Purcell principle: A presumption against last-minute changes to election procedures

As the lower court noted, there are other options available to a court of equity. Delay to avoid an “untenable” outcome is an obvious example of a wise court impartially doing equity.

Due process and election administration

The least untenable options to either accept or nullify the election in each of the States where it was not conducted lawfully are to decide that the issue has become moot (as the State courts have tried to do to accept the results, and as SCOTUS could more successfully do to nullify them since it gets the last say as to what is or is not yet moot).

Avoiding an untenable result might be done most smoothly by preventing completion to enable weighty deliberations that will be concluded sometime after December 14 (perhaps including the initiation of some “forensic audits” as demanded by Trump).

Meanwhile, delaying PA completion until after December 14 would be a neat response to the Supreme Court of PA having refused to hear the case on the due process grounds that the Republican plaintiffs had delayed complaining about the unconstitutional legislation for a year until after losing an election (having previously ruled that they would have no standing to complain before the election!).

That would leave SCOTUS free to rule either way after considering the implications of other cases.

We are now almost at the “safe habour” deadline after which Congress is required to accept the credentials of any Elector votes certified by the Executive (Governor) of each State, unless both Houses separately object.

Serendipitously, after that deadline, December 8, it becomes unambiguously clear that ALL the 538 certified Electors have been “appointed” so the total number of votes required on December 15 to elect a President and Vice-President at the joint sitting on January 6 is 270.

If some of the certifications had been nullified before “safe harbour” it could be argued that Biden still had a majority of the votes of the appointed Electors.

If however sometime between “safe harbour” and the Electors meeting on December 15 (separately in each State) it becomes necessary for SCOTUS to decide whether a lawful election was in fact held in one or more States then it would also be necessary to issue emergency orders to preserve the status quo by ensuring that no purported votes from such purported Electors could be cast, transmitted or received until a decision about their status.

Serendipitously, that would also avoid the possibility of any State Legislature appointing Electors itself since it had chosen the method of election by the people and that had not yet been nullified by any Court holding that a lawful election had not been held and the appointments were therefore nullified. So there are no vacancies to be filled by the State Legislatures.

I think that could be the way a SCOTUS dominated by conservative strict textualists could deal with the problem that the plain text of the Constitution and legislation would otherwise clearly produce the “untenable” situation of SCOTUS appearing to do Trump’s bidding by allowing Republican legislatures to pick the Electors that were rejected by a majority of voters in their States.

I am not a lawyer, let alone an expert on US electoral and constitutional law, entwined with the history, politics and judicial personalities of the United States. But that’s my best guess. There are of course a vast array of other options available.

Only two more battleground States (other than Nevada) need to be prevented from voting on December 14 to throw the election to the House of Representatives voting by State delegations.

Starting with PA might be considered sufficient to discourage future rigging. But it could also just be a first step that gets people used to the idea that the media does not decide whether an election was conducted lawfully.

I cannot predict how far SCOTUS will go but Wisconsin and Michigan strike me as the most likely to accompany PA if SCOTUS needs to deprive Biden of a majority in the Electoral College with minimal bloodshed. Nevada only has 6 votes so there would still need to be two other States as well as PA. Arizona and Georgia had Republican administrations counting the votes. It is a lot more plausible that elections were rigged against Trump in Democrat run cities like Detroit MI and Milwaukee WI (as well as Philadelphia PA).

Here for example is what a 4-3 majority of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin just came up with:

“Once the door is opened to judicial invalidation of presidential election results, it will be awfully hard to close that door again. This is a dangerous path we are being asked to tread. The loss of public trust in our constitutional order resulting from the exercise of this kind of judicial power would be incalculable.”

Click to access 2020AP1930-OAfinal-12-4-20.pdf

Not only is there “nothing to see here” but it is “dangerous” that a candidate for President has disputed whether an election was conducted lawfully by petitioning a Court. That is pretty much EXACTLY what the media has been bleating continuously.

If SCOTUS did accept that Banana Republic judicial logic, the “loss of public trust” in the “constitutional order” would be a lot more “incalculable” than the rather mild dissent from the Chief Justice and two others of that court:

“It is critical that voting in Wisconsin elections not only be fair, but that the public also perceives voting as having been fairly conducted.

This is the third time that a case filed in this court raised allegations about purely legal questions that concern Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) conduct during the November 3, 2020, presidential election.4 This is the third time that a majority of this court has turned its back on pleas from the public to address a matter of statewide concern that requires a declaration of what the statutes require for absentee voting. I dissent and write separately because I have concluded that the court has not met its institutional responsibilities by repeatedly refusing to address legal issues presented in all three cases.”

Although mild, that “I dissent” was not the more customary “I respectfully dissent”.

If that refusal of institutional responsiility gets past the US Court of Appeal for the Seventh Circuit I would expect Barrett J, supervising that circuit for SCOTUS to issue an emergency order with an equanimity bordering on enthusiasm.

There is a slightly menacing undertone in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin majority adoption of Democrat warnings about a “dangerous path”. If Democrats were not so wimpish about the right to bear arms it might be hinting at “incalculable” civil unrest.

More plausibly “loss of public trust” in the “constitutional order” could result in the House of Representatives majority claiming to act on behalf of the majority of voters defending against a judicial blow against an election that everyone has been repeatedly told was entirely free and fair by every TV network.

Lots of interesting things could then happen in early January since the House of Representatives majority has powers over the credentials of its own members and could prevent any President or Vice-President being elected before the current term expires on January 20.

Serendipitously that could end up with President Pelosi since as Speaker of the House she is next in the line of succession of officers of the United States legislated in accordance with the Constitution (followed by Secretary of State Pompeo) as mentioned in Notes 48. SCOTUS could avoid any suspicion of being motivated by animus against the Democrats when they reject the inevitable Republican claims that Pompeo should be next in line because the Secretary of State is an officer of the United States Executive whereas the Speaker of the House is only an officer of the House.

With no mandate, no funds from the Senate, and no confirmed cabinet officers, President Pelosi would have to agree with both parties and the States on the necessity for constitutional changes to enable fresh elections as soon as possible after ending martial law to deal with the overwhelming of US hospitals by covid-19. I may return to that sheer fantasy speculation later.

I’ll also leave Michigan and the actual facts about excluding observers while rigging votes till later.

Notes on Trump 55 – Nearly half US voters see each other as America’s biggest enemy

National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters

Conducted November 29-30, 2020
By Rasmussen Reports

[Question] “Who is America’s biggest enemy as 2020 draws to a close – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Trump voters or Biden voters?”

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Voters See Each Other as America’s Enemy

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

U.S. voters now regard each other as a bigger enemy than Russia or North Korea and just as dangerous as China.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 24% of Likely U.S. Voters think Biden voters are America’s biggest enemy as 2020 draws to a close. The same number (24%) see China as enemy number one.

Nearly as many (22%) regard Trump voters as the biggest enemy, while 10% view Russia and seven percent (7%) North Korea as the largest threat to the United States. Eleven percent (11%) are more wary of something else. …

A deeper dive finds that 37% of Republicans feel Biden voters are the biggest enemy, just edging the 34% who feel that way about China. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats think Trump voters are the biggest threat, far and above the danger posed by all the others.

Voters not affiliated with either major party rate China, Biden voters and Trump voters all equal as threats.


  1. Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear election dispute by 4-3. Referred to lower court.
  2. Georgia recount confirmed Biden by similar tiny margin.
  3. Kelly v Pennsylvania explained in Notes 54 and comment is still not on SCOTUS docket. Presumably today’s conference of Full Court will decide how to handle it. Pennsyvania Supreme Court won’t and has issued order refusing stay of its lifting of injunction imposed by lower court preventing completion of Pennsylvania election to decide what to do about likely unconstitutionality of postal voting.

Pennsylvania VBM Certification Challenge

  1. Trump made important 45′ video on election rigging – mainly re postal voting. Speech and media reaction likely to significantly increase hostilities. No mention of Kelly v Pennsylvania. But if, as I expect, SCOTUS does prevent completion of Pennsylvania election pending hearing it will be widely seen as support for Trump’s claims of rigged election, assisted by media reaction to it.

So far 628K views, 128K comments, 296K shares

Some (partisan) background on overall conflict over postal voting:

  1. Michigan legislature oversight committee is holding video hearings of “non-existant” evidence from Giuliani’s witnesses to fraud. Some flaky, some convincing. 5 hours of video.

It looks to me highly likely that the numbers of voters who consider each other to be the biggest enemy of their country will continue to increase.

Conditions still ideal for populist demagogue building right wing mass based party.

Worth taking the time to understand what is happening.

Notes on Trump 54 – Heating Up

As expected things are starting to heat up.

  1. Pennsylvania constitution restricted absentee votes to limited categories. Legislation established unlimited postal votes.
    Lower Court ordered emergency delay to consider. Higher State Court allowed certification to proceed. SCOTUS now asked to nullify. Not on SCOTUS docket yet but here’s documentation so far:

Pennsylvania VBM Certification Challenge

Click to access Kelly-v.-Commonwealth-Final_Emergency-Application-for-Writ-of-Injunction.pdf

If Justice Alito issues the emergency injunction the Full Court would need to deal with the issue immediately to decide whether Pennsylvania electors participate in the Electoral College vote.

Lots of sound and fury for the next week at least.

Current situation is fairly clear. Election result was determined by votes not permitted by State Constitution.

Pennsylvania appeal court says that even if so, it was raised too late to justify nullifying the election.

This will presumably be considered together with allegations that credentialled observers were prevented from actually checking whether postal votes were being counted fraudulently.

I would be surprised if there are Pennsylvania electors participating in the Electoral College vote.

I would be astonished if there is not a lot of simultaneous screaming that this is an outrage and of reassurance that it won’t affect the final result.

In other news:

  1. US Attorney General has announced that well before the election a special investigator with similar powers to Mueller has been appointed to investigate the whole Russiagate exploding heads phenomenon with notification of this delayed until after the election. I expect more outrage, with more liberal exploding heads, further consolidating a mass right wing party in the USA.
  2. Georgia election official has warned of serious death threats and danger that somebody could get killed.

I think that is very real. I haven’t seen any plausible indications the Georgia result could be overturned and certainly no risk of civil war. But things are already hot enough to expect some deaths on both sides.

  1. Vaccine approvals being rushed through very shortly after December 8 deadline for election disputes. Cold storage shipment facilities already being organised by airlines and military for 20 million or so by the end of the month and year. I would be surprised if Trump fails to do a grand tour inserting his branding into the event.

covid-19 Quarter Baked Half Time

This is not just a half baked, but rather a quarter baked article on the current situation with covid-19.

My guess is that Australia is about half way through the state of emergency that began in mid-March.

Current indications are that a vaccine will start to be available here from about March or April, with full availability and likely herd immunity by the end of next year.

Victoria is now perhaps the safest State in Australia. Despite relaxing restrictions more rapidly than planned Victoria has been far more successful at eliminating “mystery cases” than I expected.

The prompt response to a recent outbreak in South Australia suggests that lessons have been learned and the long delay that resulted in a second wave in Victoria won’t be repeated anywhere. So there is a pretty good chance of only occasional sporadic outbreaks, especially after priority vaccinations reduce the risk of escape or leakage from quarantine or from hospitals.

Public Health authorities are correctly warning that it isn’t over. That is especially important for people more vulnerable.

But it looks like the risks of becoming severely ill as a result of happening to get infected before a sporadic outbreak is detected are now similar to those for any other accident that can be mitigated by taking sensible precautions.

That should mean Australia goes to the back of the queue for vaccination. There is currently no urgent need here and major disasters elsewhere, so it should take much longer than the end of next year to vaccinate Australia.

But its far more likely the poorer countries that are likely to eventually get hit very hard will come last and Australia will be in the middle. I would be surprised if the production plants in Europe and North America divert supplies from the disaster unfolding around them until they have that under control. So the initial vaccinations here could also be later than March and April.

Anyway there is plenty of time before next March to analyse the recent news re vaccines.

A lot more information will be available in a few weeks so I am not attempting to analyse this further now. The disasters in Europe and North America are still unfolding and far worse is to come in the rest of the world, but it will be a lot easier to analyse in a few weeks than it is right now.

I am just dashing this off quarter baked because I expect to be paying more attention to US politics over the next few weeks.

There’s only a week or so until an important deadline in the US electoral process and I expect things to heat up a lot before then. The December 8 deadline could be the end of it or could result in things remaining very hot right through to early next year.

It is impossible to follow the numerous court cases, some of which I expect to end up in the Supreme Court very shortly:

Some aspects were covered here:

I expect to be looking at other aspects before returning to the pandemic.