On the one hand …


1. I watched the launch of the Mars mission this AM.  Flawless, simply flawless.  The big Atlas 5/Centaur blasted into the sky exactly on time from Canaveral.  First Stage burnout and jettison was flawless, Centaur performed its two burns perfectly.  The first to take the bird into an earth orbit and the second to take the payload out of Earth's gravity well and send it on its way to Mars.  As one engineer said on TeeVee, "we have left the building."  Having done its thing, Centaur disconnected from the Perseverance payload and went into a parking orbit out beyond the moon where it will stay until someone may retrieve it, someday. The Mars bound spacecraft will make a few course corrections during the transit to Mars in order to land (or crash) it in Jezro Crater.   A word about the nuclear battery on the rover.  During the trip it will be supplying power to the spacecraft and its functioning life will be at least 15 years.

2.  The GDP of the US contracted (shrank) by a third in the 2nd Quarter.  This hit the markets like a ton of bricks.  Ugly.

3.  Just to make things worse Trumpy tweeted that the November election should be postponed because there is a serious chance that the mail in voting proposed in a number of states will be riddled with fraud.  firstly, the US Constitution makes federal elections the responsibility of the states.  Trump has no authority that I know of with which to postpone an election.  His desire to do so demonstrates the wisdom of the Framers.  This may be the final fatal misstep for him.

4.  Pompous the Great claims that DoJ can postpone an election?  Well, he was "first in his class" at WhooPoo.  pl


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37 Responses to On the one hand …

  1. Deap says:

    Not to worry. Trump intentionally gets Dems into a froth, while he is doing something far more important on the sidelines. A magicians trick. Assume this means the Durham report is ready to unload, while the Dems lose concentration over this election day ruse.
    C’mon, this is in the same category as the LA Teachers unions saying they won’t open schools until they get Medicare for All, free housing and food for everyone and open borders.
    Trump is just exercising the art of the deal – he just raised the Democrats one, who are trying to hold the entire nation hostage with their craven stunts.

  2. Deap says:

    Keeping in mind one point of faux outrage during the Barr hearing was the claim Trump had zero proof of mail-in election fraud.
    Trump just created national attention on this issue now, which means he already has his ducks all in a row. Flush the Democrats out, let them dig in and own their argument there is no proof of vote by mail fraud for a few more days. Then unload the mountains of proof on their sorry tails.
    Part of the art – let the opposition bury themselves under their own lies.

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    He’s gone and pinned that tweet too. Hard to see what possible thinking could have led to the idea that threatening to delay the election would improve Trump’s re-election prospects. Makes me wonder again whether improving his prospects is the real goal.

  4. EEngineer says:

    Trump is just playing the reverse logic game with the left. At this point he could say the sky is blue and they would froth at the mouth that it had polka-dots. So by saying delay them he gets them to reflexively say the opposite. Good move since some of the coronapocalypse crowd have started to make noises about doing so.

  5. scott s. says:

    “The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.”
    So two aspects to this: 1. the time of choosing electors and 2. the day that the electors vote.
    The practice had been to hold the canvass on various days, leading to controversy over claims of “voter fraud” in 1840 and more-so in 1844. This led Congress in 1845 to establish a uniform day across the country for the canvass for the 1848 election. The date in November was selected based on the need to accommodate South Carolina which required its legislature to be in session and directly appoint its electors (no popular vote in SC for US Pres and many other offices). (As an aside, it wasn’t until the election for terms beginning 1873 that Congress mandated a uniform day for election as representative.) The 1845 Act was codified as Title III Section 131 of the Revised Statutes in 1873, and Title III Section 1 of the US Code in 1948. I don’t see any provision for an “emergency declaration” allowing for a change in date. There are provisions in section 2 for state legislatures to appoint electors on a “subsequent” date. So I don’t see any presidential authority to modify section 1 date. In any event it seems pretty clear that at the end of term, if electors have not met and given their vote, neither President nor Vice President would have “qualified” under Amendment XX and section 19 would be invoked. Can you say “Madam President”?

  6. Diana Croissant says:

    I am confused by the controversy over mail in ballots. Perhaps it’s because I live in a state where mailing in a ballot has been a person’s choice for some time now. Some people go to the PO or Clerk and Recorder’s off ice on the day of election to turn them in.
    I spent two years working for my County Clerk and Recorder as some of us openened the ballots and checked to see if they had been fill out properly, Others ran them through the counting machines for the parts of the ballot that could be counted by machine. Some were using an electronic system to double check the signatures to the several examples of that person’s signature on the state computer system–signatures for getting a driver’s license, for signing up to vote, and for other various reasons.
    (Usually the signatures that did not match were for college students away from home at college. The parents were called in and told if they signed for their son or daughter again, they would be charded with voter fraud.)
    I can agree that mail in ballots if not processed correctly could be used by someone with a political agenda to steer an election one way or another. That is why it’s absolutely important to have observors watching throughout the vote counting process.
    It all dempends on the honesty a n integrity of the County Clerk and Recorder in each county. Having a system of observors at all vote counting sites from both parties is probably something that should always be mandatory.
    I haven’t stood in line to go into a avoting booth to vote for several decades in my state. That was always a gruelling process, with many people forming the line all around the outside of the building, and I do remember one time standing in rain in order to vote before mail-in ballots were used.

  7. ked says:

    A Race to Mars w/ the Chinese would be a great way to buffer & redirect much of the stress of our tired Empire while giving the Chinese something useful (& expensive!) to do – aside from copying our last year’s model of a planetary exploration vehicle.
    As to the Constitution, there seem to be four major modes of thought;
    a) Originalists,
    b) Living Constitutionalists (or Loose Constructionists),
    c) Ignorists (“just a piece of paper”), &
    d) Gamers (“manipulate law, policy & people by gaming the damned thing for short-term victory”).
    I’m thinking things will clear up when fresh ones are devised for planetary states. ‘Course, their moons will argue for their own flavor.

  8. Bob Blake says:

    Point Number 2 – If you read the entire report you will find that the second quarter shrank 9.5%. Facts in this time are essential to get correct. 9.5% is still horrendous. Misinformation is not only dangerous but feeds on itself.

  9. robt willmann says:

    The Democratic primary election of 23 June in New York between Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who has been in Congress since 1992, and Suraj Patel, is still up in the air, although she is pulling ahead by mail-in ballots, also known as absentee ballots.
    I think Maloney was originally in Congress from the 14th District of New York, and she is now from the 12th District.

  10. Antoinetta III says:

    So what happens if, say half the states decide to postpone the elections, and the other half don’t? Do we have half of an election, or what?
    Antoinetta III

  11. Vegetius says:

    Trump is trolling to knock that GDP story out of the headlines.
    He’s got maybe 2 plays in his playbook but they still work, like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.

  12. akaPatience says:

    At this point there are far too many Trump tweets to remember which I thought would sink his political viability. I haven’t been right yet so I’m loathe to write him off over this latest. Anyway, it was just a suggestion, not an edict, wasn’t it? This could be yet another instance wherein he’s delighting in pushing his opponents’ buttons. Having said that, I acknowledge his behavior and that of his campaign may be reflecting there’s some truth to his dismal poll numbers. On the other hand, the very same thing occurred in 2016, so it’s hard to say with certainty. We shall see.
    I hope the $600/wk COVID employee bonus lapses, as it facilitates lingering unemployment while it also emboldens those who keep pushing for extended lockdowns, school closures, etc., etc. It’s unconscionable for people, especially bureaucrats, media and everyone else who haven’t missed a paycheck, to be so cavalier about the economic devastation their restrictions are causing.

  13. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang
    The uglier number is the number of people not working. The lockdown has decimated many small businesses. Yelp estimates that half of the businesses that list with them that are temporarily closed will not reopen.

  14. turcopolier says:

    “the damned thing” Many of us here swore to defend the “damned thing” against all enemies. Does that include you?

  15. ked says:

    Col, Absolutely! & No Question About It.
    Instilled in me from the get-go by example, not indoctrination. Dad had deep but quiet devotion to Country (joined prior to Dec 7), it’s opportunity, worked hard, cared for his airman (grd crew & pilots) + scrupulous ethics. Very few were aware he’d been awarded 2 DFC’s,13 Air Medals, 6 Battle Stars & assorted Campaign, Victory & Service Medals over two wars & a revolution.
    I cannot not give a damn for the Constitution, formal oath or not.
    I’ve mentioned before I’m a relativist, contrarian & realist. I have “evolved” to have little regard for ideology – they are analytical tools – not the thing itself – misused in the hands of the unskilled and dishonest. We probably disagree about fewer things than we agree about (such as Jefferson … a warrior of the mind more than the field). I truly appreciate your tolerance for my seeming / being a smart ass (has to be the Irish side, not Dad’s Welsh) and especially your dedication to run SST as you have since I discovered it during the reign of Bush the 2nd. Please push through your memoirs – it will be a hit & of real value to the nation you love. The kids need perspective. All-the-best,

  16. J says:

    The one does not look good. Seems that the ANTIFA State of California aka ANTIFA-Land, are now confiscating legally owned firearms because a person’s Constitutional Right To Keep and Bear Arms offends the ANTIFA crowd.
    Police Confiscate Man’s Firearm After Anonymous “Antifa” Members Accuse Him of Being a “Racist”

  17. TonyL says:

    “firstly, the US Constitution makes federal elections the responsibility of the states. Trump has no authority that I know of with which to postpone an election. His desire to do so demonstrates the wisdom of the Framers. This may be the final fatal misstep for him.”
    Trump does not know that he has no authority in this matter. That’s the problem. What we see is what we get with Donal Trump. It is not 5-D chess like a few commenters here seem to think he is capable of.
    Personally, I hope not to see that he will really be pushing for this “fatal misstep”. Because it is a dangerous move on his part, where he could lead us to a constitutional crisis and chaos.

  18. turcopolier says:

    Before Christmas. you will find it odd. I was formed by the example of my family as much as anything else.

  19. Leith says:

    Regarding Pompous the Great, or Pom-Pom as I call him. In testifying before Congress, when questioned about troops being redeployed from Germany to elsewhere he stated: “This is personal for me. I fought on the border of East Germany when I was a young soldier>”
    Fought? Where was the fighting against East Germany when he was there in the late 1980s & early 90s? There was none. If there had been it would definitely not have been at Merrell Barracks in Nuremburg where Pom-Pom was stationed, which BTW is 50 or 60 miles from the Czech border but nowhere near the East German border. Sounds like a case of stolen valor. He never served in the Gulf War either, although there were claims at the time of his nomination that he had.

  20. Deap says:

    Here is how “vote by mail” works in California, along now with same day voter registration and provisional voting ballots.
    The result is vote-harvesting, where partisan operatives, mainly pubic sector union agents, go to skid rows or senior homes and “help” people fill out their “provisional” ballots or any mail in ballots they may still have laying around. They virtuously call this “increasing voter participation.
    Plus in our last primary we had an extra ballot for those who were registered in one party who wanted to vote at the last minute for another party on election day to influence the other party’s, not their own party’s, primary choices. Registered Democrat voting now temporarily in GOP primary sort of thing.
    The partisan thugs then “harvest” these ballots and are are allowed to drop them off by the hundreds at the polling places – no in person voting at the polls necessary.
    Because many of these last minute registrations and provisional ballots are faulty, the final counting now takes weeks, while partisan government workers sift through the mountains of ballots received at the last minute that must each be checked, instead of just counting the ballots received on election day.
    If you have ever worked at a polling place, there are so many ways to defraud the system even with F2F ballots. Just overwhelming the system with now thousands of provisional ballots and last minute registration is fraught with error.
    For the record, many GOP candidates “won on election night, but ended up losing after all the “provisional” and late count vote by mail ballots finally got counted weeks later. It feels pretty slimy.
    But no protests are allowed because that means we are denying people their right to vote. They are just trying to make it easier for everyone, including their own partisan victory laps. One more reason California is deep ink blot blue.
    BTW: our voter turnout has not improved even though they claim the changes were necessary to increase voter turn out .Too many people have simply given up in this state, and now far too many offices run with zero opposition – as a result of all our voter reform in California – you just can’t beat the teacher union thugs in this state when they gang up against you.

  21. FakeBot says:

    Hello Diane,
    Did you observe any of the ballot harvesting that was alleged to have taken place in the 2018 mid-terms? That is perhaps what drives the paranoia that the mail-ins will be susceptible to fraud.

  22. rho says:

    “The GDP of the US contracted (shrank) by a third in the 2nd Quarter.”
    In the USA, the convention is to report the GDP numbers in an “annualized” fashion. That means you take the quarterly change and then extrapolate it over a whole year to report how much GDP would have changed if the same growth/contraction had continued for a whole year.
    The actual quarter-by-quarter change in GDP is roughly 1/4th of it, i.e. US Q2-2020 GDP is about 9 percent lower than Q1-2020 GDP.
    That is actually pretty good, the hardest hit European countries are expecting GDP declines of 15 percent (non-annualized) this quarter, that would be (0,85^4)=0,52, i.e. GDP “shrinking into half” if you annualize it in the way you are accustomed to in reporting in the USA.
    Annualizing the numbers is really silly in this case, because nobody believes that the growth trend of the past quarter will persist over a whole year because of the lockdowns that happened in Q2-2020. In our current situation, it makes much more sense to look at quarter-by-quarter comparisons without annualizing anything.
    Please keep this in mind when you read the statistics, it is very easy to get mislead with these GDP numbers.

  23. Barbara Ann says:

    “Before Christmas” is good news indeed.

  24. turcopolier says:

    Thanks. Very enlightening.

  25. turcopolier says:

    Is a puzzlement! It sounds like he has gone mental. This is worrisome since he has such a bloody minded desire to play soldiers everywhere.

  26. Jack says:

    So the Ghislaine Maxwell revelations reveal our elites are a bunch of weirdo crooked perverts blackmailed by an intelligence asset. Does anyone really need documents to realize this?


    Allegations against Dershowitz –
    Not only did Dershowitz abuse the minor, but he helped draft a non-prosecution agreement that gave Dershowitz immunity.

    The Epstein case is so egregious. The FBI does not come across as anything but a political organization coming down with a hammer on those without political connections while obfuscating and protecting well connected depraved child rapists.
    Why should this institution with Hoover’s legacy continue to exist?

  27. ked says:

    Very good to hear that! For odd times, odd memoirs may be best. I’ve noted familial grace as a force in your life. Family & ancestors endure when nothing else bears the load.

  28. James Doleman says:

    As the Colonel knows I’ve been following this site for years, so hopefully it’s ok to make an observation as a foreigner (I live in Scotland)
    The number of self-styled “Libertarians,” who now support Federal miltary intervention in states, and the possible postponement of elections is very striking.

  29. turcopolier says:

    James Doleman
    There are no “federal troops” being used to suppress violence. The people you see battling rioters in Portland, etc. are policemen, not member of the armed forces. Why would Libertarianism extend to allowing anarchists and marxist revolutionaries size control of cities? Libertarianism is not a suicide pact.

  30. J says:

    I often wonder how the Dems look upon their American serfdom they want to create, do they look upon us peasants as Bednyaks, Serednyaks, or Kulaks?

  31. randal m sexton says:

    Starting in 2000 I and my wife worked elections here in california, I as a Judge, my wife as an Inspector. All the people I ever worked with took the integrity of elections very seriously. We even take an oath before we opened the polls to that effect. An oath. It is deeply offensive that people will casually state or assume that accuracy of an election can be compromised so easily. The people who volunteer to work polls are Americans who understand and value what that is and means and what it takes to preserve it. I have had the same feeling working on the two elections I volunteered for as well, that it is dishonourable to ‘win’ an election by cheating, and that feeling was echoed by everyone involved in the campaigns I worked for. I call B.S. on this talk of the election being rigged, its being a sore loser, or preparation for something worse. Really its kinda simple, if you wreck the economy and get hundreds of thousands of your citizens killed, you are not going to get reelected.

  32. turcopolier says:

    randal M Sexton
    “if you wreck the economy and get hundreds of thousands of your citizens killed, you are not going to get reelected.” A fine statement of the Left’s propaganda line. Trump actually did neither of those things, but people are stupid enough to buy your story so I hink you lefties are going to take over. BTW, why do you spell this word as “dishonourable?”

  33. Fred says:

    Did you also register people to vote, via ensuring the accuracy of applicants for driver’s licenses in that state, as current law requires automatic registration to vote of all applications in California? Were all of the votes mailed in handled by you as election judge, or were they sorted by precint to be counted by each precinct in which the voter lived as it is done in Michigan?

  34. J says:

    I hope the lefties don’t take over. The far left aka Communist Wing of the Democratic Party will be running the show if Biden puts Harris in the VP driver’s seat.
    I seem recall quite a few voter fraud cases on both the West and East coasts as well as other parts of the U.S., or is my memory failing me? With software becoming more the mainstream in running elections, comes voter flipping and mega vote fraud. Best I recall, there are over 1000 plus proven voter fraud cases in the U.S..
    With mail-in comes hazards, without rigid safeguards to prevent fraud, voter intimidation, and misuse, absentee ballot fraud, has already affected the outcome of elections in counties and states across the nation. North Carolina was overturned by their state election board in 2018 in their congressional race. The mayor of Gordon Alabama was removed from office for absentee ballot fraud.
    Absentee ballots compromise the secret ballot process.
    Without the supervision of election officials, voters are vulnerable to intimidation and pressure tactics. This applies to all campaigns.
    Vote thieves look upon the absentee ballots as their tool of choice.
    With absentee ballots comes the problem of misdirection or just wind up plain missing in past elections.
    Electronic signatures are too easily duplicated.
    Residence where voters have moved, their automatic ballots are not necessarily thrown out by the new residence occupants. Third parties frequently canvas neighborhood looking for ‘extra ballots’. Some of the new residents are tempted to cast the extra votes.
    Vote harvesting should be banned and not allow those with a ‘stake’ in the elections outcomes to collect voter absentee ballots.
    Verification of the voter must be confirmed, before they are allowed to vote. If a voter requests an absentee ballot they should be required to use a signed form that can be authenticated.
    Election officials must coordinate with the Postal Service, and coordinate with Federal, State, and local prosecutors, and quickly enforce Federal and State laws regarding voter/election crimes.

  35. J says:

    Both Parties Approve a Bill that Includes “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation Orders for Military Personnel

  36. J says:

    Congress really screwed all who are subject to the UCMJ with their latest Red Flag Gun Confiscation Order attack on the 2nd Amendment Rights of Military Personnel that’s included (H.R. 6395 — a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would allow ex parte “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation Orders that’s buried deep) within the NDAA 2021. Trump has threated to Veto it, but a coalition of House Dems & Republicans claim they’ve made it Veto Proof. The NDAA still has to pass the Senate. The Houston Courant article really expounds on the damage it poses to all military personnel.
    Please expound on it for your blog readers.

  37. Jack says:

    The far left aka Communist Wing of the Democratic Party will be running the show if Biden puts Harris in the VP driver’s seat.

    Kamala sent black moms to jail for minor offenses as AG in California. Tulsi destroyed her on the primary debate stage for her hypocrisy. She’ll use the black card for the election but that’s not who she caters to. Like all of them she’s a corporatist. Biden is just a front for Obama, who is best pals with the Davos billionaire class. They’ll have some token “marxist” identity politics shtick but the bulk of their program will be back to neoliberal & neocon program.

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