Election Reform: Now and Twenty Years Ago, A Personal Story

Diane Ravitch's blog

Republican-controlled legislatures across the nation are planning to enact legislation that would have the effect of suppressing the vote. Georgia passed a law to restrict access to voting, known by its critics as the Jim Crow law. More states in Republican hands will do the same. Republicans in the Senate are likely to block a bill passed by the House to protect voting rights.

Why are Republicans afraid of a large turnout? Twenty years ago, Republican leaders insisted that every qualified voter should vote and that every vote should be counted.

In the aftermath of the highly disputed Presidential election of 2000, which was decided by 537 votes in the state of Florida, many of our most prominent political leaders recognized the need for reform of the voting system.

A prestigious commission was created called the National Commission of Federal Election Reform. The co-chairs of the commission were former…

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Why did America’s Founders include this Oath in the U.S. Constitution?

U.S. Constitution: Article II, Section 1, Clause 8:

“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

For those that are elected to the U.S. Congress or those that join the U.S. military or a federal law enforcement agency, there is a similar oath.

5 U.S. Code § 3331.Oath of office

“An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law.”

Now, what does it mean to be a patriot or a loyalist?

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries says patriotism means “Love of your country and the desire to defend it.”  

What does it say for a loyalist?  “A person who promises support and commitment to the leader or government, or to a political party, especially during a time of change.”

If you support the Constitutional Oath, you cannot be a patriot or loyalist.

A patriot may defend his/her country but ignore the U.S. Constitution.

A loyalist promises to support a leader, the government or a political party but does not have to support the U.S. Constitution.

The mob that attacked the capital of the United States on January 6, 2021, claimed they were patriots but at the same time most if not all of them were totally loyal to one man, Donald Trump. This mob was ready to hang members of the U.S. Congress and several people died because of this assault on the U.S. capital.

What about you?

Do you support the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign or domestic, or do you consider yourself a patriot or loyalist?

Do you think you know the answer to the question that is the title of this post?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

“Running with the Enemy” was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival. The winners were honored on May 18, 2013 at a free, day-long public festival held at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco followed by a private awards ceremony that evening.

Awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival. The award ceremony was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Saturday evening, July 20.

Awarded Runner Up (2nd place) in general fiction at the 2013 Beach Book Festival. Following a free, day-long book festival and publishing seminar at the Radisson Martinque on Broadway Hotel in New York City, there was a private awards ceremony.

Awarded honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 New York Book Festival. The winners were honored at a private ceremony at the Grolier Club in Manhattan on June 21, followed by a free, day-long festival open to the public on June 22.

“Obviously drawn from the author’s first-hand experiences as a Marine serving in Vietnam, ‘Running with the Enemy’ is a … heartfelt war story. …The book is sometimes too obviously drawn from his experience. But ultimately that’s a small complaint about a book that, on the whole, is quite good and has a lot to say about the nature of that conflict and the passion for the subject matter out-shines some limitations in the writing.” – 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards commentary of anonymous judge

Running with the Enemy by [Lloyd Lofthouse]

Where to Buy

Running with the Enemy is also available through Kindle Unlimited

Republican Leader: The Election Is Over

On January 6, 2021, Trump may once again attempt a coup to take over the country. Let your members of Congress know that you will not tolerate any attempt to subvert the U.S. Constitution. We will not accept Trump under any circumstances over the U.S. Constitution. Joe Biden will be president of the United States on January 20, 2021. Trump lost the election. No matter how many times Trump repeats the word fraud, there was no fraud. Trump has lost almost 60 court cases attempting to subvert the elections in several states. Trump’s lawyers lost those lawsuits in court because they had no evidence of fraud during the 2020 election.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Trevor Potter is a Republican who was former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and president of the Campaign Legal Center. He writes here about efforts by Trump and his surrogates to promote their belief that the election can be overturned to Congress on January 6, when the Electoral College results are presented to Congress. The Trump campaign has chosen “alternate slates of electors” and will pressure Republicans to accept them, even though they do not represent the voters of their states and were not certified by the Secretary of State or the Governor.

Potter wrote in the Washington Post:

Jan. 6 is not another Election Day. Don’t let President Trump convince you it is.

What will happen then — a joint session of Congress to receive the presidential and vice-presidential election results transmitted by the states — typically occurs every four years in relative obscurity. But this election cycle…

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Don’t Give Employers a COVID Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card!

What happens if or when the Democrats in Congress make a deal with the corrupt, corporate loving GOP devils?

GFBrandenburg's Blog

This is by David Sirota and Julia Rock, published in The Guardian.

“Support from Democratic lawmakers for the liability shield legislation comes after the same healthcare lobby group that drafted New York’s law has poured more than $11m into House and Senate Democratic Super PACs.

“The party, though, doesn’t seem to want its own voters to know the details of the deal it is cutting with the Republican party: in a comically on-the-nose attempt at a bait-and-switch, the Democratic senator Joe Manchin touted the legislation as only financial aid for communities – leaving out the fact that it includes a liability shield for corporations.

“US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the few Democratic lawmakers to spotlight what’s really going on. Last week, she tweeted: “If you want to know why Covid-19 relief is tied up in Congress, one key reason is that Republicans are demanding legal…

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The Guardian Endorses Joe Biden

Why Trump and Trumpism must go.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This editorial was published yesterday.

Donald Trump’s presidency has been a horror show that is ending with a pandemic that is out of control, an economicrecessionand deepening political polarisation. Mr Trump is the author of this disastrous denouement. He is also the political leader least equipped to deal with it. Democracy in the United States has been damaged by Mr Trump’s first term. It may not survive four more years.

If the Guardian had a vote, it would be cast to electJoe Bidenas president next Tuesday. Mr Biden has what it takes to lead the United States. Mr Trump does not. Mr Biden cares about his nation’s history, its people, its constitutional principles and its place in the world. Mr Trump does not. Mr Biden wants to unite a divided country. Mr Trump stokes an anger that is wearing it down.

The Republican presidential nominee is…

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The Most Important Radical Rightwing Group You Never Heard of

The real shadow government that wants to take away the freedoms the U.S. Constitution protects, supports Donald Trump in every dirty way possible. Let’s call them Trump’s Swamp Creatures.

Diane Ravitch's blog

In this post, Bill Moyers conducts an important interview with investigative journalist Anne Nelson, who talks about her new book, SHADOW NETWORK: MEDIA, MONEY, AND THE SECRET HUB OF THE RADICAL RIGHT.

Read this and you will understand the dark forces that are undermining our democracy and our democratic institutions, including our public schools.

BILL MOYERS: Let me begin with the most current part of the story, which comes just a little bit after your book is published when the conservative movement is facing a very decisive encounter with the very forces it’s been trying to defeat now for 40 years. How do you think the shadow network reads the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court? What are they making of it?

ANNE NELSON: Well, I think that they consider it a great triumph and a kind of culmination of 40 years of effort. And…

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What is Russia doing to get Traitor Trump reelected in 2020?

When I Googled this topic, why were the first two sources VOX and the BBC? Why not the New York Times and other major traditional American news sources? To be fair, the NYT and the Atlantic was mentioned on the first page of the search but they were near the bottom of the page.

VOX is a general interest news site and in 2019, readership was estimated to be 33.4 million visitors to its website, less than 10% of the US population. Vox is an American news and opinion website owned by Vox Media. The website was founded in April 2014 and is noted for its concept of explanatory journalism. Media Bias/Fact Check rates VOX as Mostly Factual for its reporting, a bit lower than the BBC’s rating.

The BBC’s global reach is 468.2 million people a week and it is one of the most trusted news sources in the world, but it is based in the UK, not the US. Media Bias/Fact Check rates the BBC high for factual reporting.

VOX.com reports, “Yes, Russia is interfering in the 2020 election. It wants to cause chaos again. But it’s also learned some lessons from 2016”

… “Discrediting democratic institutions, including free speech and freedom of the press, is all part of Russia’s election interference playbook. Yet PeaceData offers an intriguing glimpse into how Russian election meddling is evolving. The trolls and bots of 2016 are being replaced by outsourced writers, including, in this case, Americans. Obviously, fake news is being swapped out for articles with a particular slant or point of view.”

“Mueller’s team investigated the ties between Trump campaign officials and Russia. Mueller and a sweeping Senate investigation both documented numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians linked to the Kremlin, but ultimately did not find evidence of conspiracy or coordination.

“Yet the Russia investigation, and Trump’s assault on it, helped transform a foreign adversary’s attack on US elections into a partisan issue, and has muddled the core fact that both Republicans and Democrats initially agreed on: that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and had designs on 2018, 2020, and beyond.” …

The BBC reports: “US election 2020: Who do Russian, China and Iran want to win?”

“These questions are on the minds of the US intelligence community in the run-up to November’s vote. An assessment from a top official warns foreign powers will use “covert and overt influence measures” to try to sway US voters, singling out Russia, China and Iran.

“The three should not be compounded, as each, in the view of US intelligence, has their own goal and their own capabilities.”…

“Last month a Republican-led Senate panel gave further support to the view Russia wanted Trump to win, concluding his campaign was an easy target for foreign influence but stopping short of alleging criminal conspiracy.” …

“What do the candidates say? Joe Biden recently warned there would be a “price to pay” if Russia continues to interfere, calling Russia an “opponent” of the US.

President Trump has frequently downplayed allegations of Russian interference, putting him at odds with his own intelligence experts.”

Concerning China and Iran, the BBIC reported that the U.S. intelligence community says these two countries don’t want Trump elected again because he represents chaos and uncertainty, the same thing Putin’s Russia wants.

Curious I Googled Fox News to find out if it was reporting on Russia’s meddling in the 2020 election and found this: “Wray: Russia ‘very active’ in efforts to influence election, ‘denigrate’ Biden. FBI director says Russia has sought to ‘sow divisiveness and discord’

Note that FBI Director Wray was nominated by President Donald Trump on June 7, 2017 to replace James Comey, who Trump fired. Why did Trump Fire Comey?

Why isn’t this factual news about Russia’s meddling in our 2020 election being reported everyday on prime time TV news and the front pages of every reputable newspaper in the United States?

*******

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005). He is the award winning author of several books.

My Splendid Concubine

“Packed cover to cover with intriguing characters and plot, a must read for history fans and a fine addition to any collection on the genre.” – Midwest Book Review, May 8, 2008
 
Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival

2012 London Book Festival

The New York Times: Trump Is “the Worst American President in Modern History”

“The lesson of the last four years (and the recorded history of his always failing businesses) is that Trump cannot solve the nation’s pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

The New York Times published this editorial for its Sunday edition, accompanied by articles detailing the multiple failures of Donald Trump. This is my favorite line: “the lesson of the last four years is that he cannot solve the nation’s pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem.” The title of the editorial is: “End Our National Crisis: The Case Against Donald Trump.”

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.

Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives…

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ProPublica: How the Trump Administration Tried to Destroy the CDC

How Trump set about destroying the CDC, the world’s best organization for stopping pandemics from breaking out.

COVID deaths in China where the pandemic started = 4,634 or 3 for every million population

COVID deaths in the US under President Donald Trump who set about politizing the CDC and destroying its ability to protect the country and the world from pandemics.

224,084 deaths in the US from COVID-19 or 676 for each 1 million in population. The USA has had more COVID-19 deaths than any other country. India is in 2nd place with 114,064 deaths.

This is all thanks to a malignant narcissist, sociopath, and mass murder by the name of Donald Trump. He doesn’t care how many Americans die on his watch that he will not take responsibility for.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A government agency that has long been trusted as nonpartisan relies on public trust for the information it releases. When that agency is the Centers for Disease Control, public trust is essential to persuading the public that its advisories represent the work of scientists, unaffected by political considerations. This article by ProPublica describes how the Trump administration persistently interfered in CDC guidelines in an attempt to convince the public that the pandemic was no big deal and that the administration was doing a fabulous job in handling it.

It begins:

At 7:47 a.m. on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Dr. Jay Butler pounded out a grim email to colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Butler, then the head of the agency’s coronavirus response, and his team had been trying to craft guidance to help Americans return safely to worship amid worries that two of…

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How to stop a Coup

GFBrandenburg's Blog

I am more and more certain that Trump and his racist gangs of violent thugs will attempt a coup when the polling results come in after November 3.

A racist coup d’etat (or armed overthrow of the government) has, in fact, happened before here in the US: Wilmington NC, in 1898. Look it up. There was also an unsuccessful attempt by bankers to overthrow FDR in 1934.

Here are some ideas from one group on how to stop a coup.

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10 Things You Need to Know to Stop a Coup

1. Don’t expect results Election night.

Election season 2020 is shaping up to be very unusual. Many mail-in ballots may not be counted until days or weeks after Election Day. Since Democrats are expected to use them more frequently than Republicans, voter tallies are expected to swing towards Democrats post-election night (they call it a“blue shift”)…

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