NOW President Trump Should Concede [Corrected]

live_map_president

When I noted in last night’s ethics update that North Carolina’s Electoral College votes had been added to the Trump column, I was not aware that that Georgia had been called with Biden in a small but likely uncatchable lead (nonetheless, a recount is underway that will be complete on Wednesday: thanks to James Flood for the correction). Without Georgia, there is no sliver of a path for the President to be re-elected now. The Biden-Harris ticket has 307 EC votes, well above the 270 threshold required for election. RealClearPolitics, one of the very few news sources that did not display open bias and worse, a desire to push the election to a conclusion they favored, has the race marked as decided.

President Trump should make his concession speech today. He has a duty to concede as soon as possible, for the good of the country, in fairness to President-Elect Biden, and, though I doubt anyone could convince him of this (though I would love to have the opportunity to try), himself.

The President should do everything in his power to establish a clear contrast with the irresponsible conduct of Hillary Clinton after her defeat in 2016. She set out to undermined Trump from the beginning by refusing to accept that her loss was genuine and legitimate, thus setting the stage for a four-year effort by Democrats, the “resistance,” and the news media (the “Axis of Unethical Conduct”) to withhold national support of his leadership and wreck his term in office by unscrupulous and despicable means.

One reason this conduct by Clinton and her supporters was so destructive is that it created a precedent that risked being followed going forward to future elections, permanently weakening what had been a strength of American democracy. The President can go a long way toward undoing that damage. I think it is crucial to our national health that he do so, and the sooner the better.

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Friday Night Ethics Fever, 11/13/2020 [Corrected]

1. “Then they came for Professor Turley…” Jonathan Turley, who has distinguished himself throughout the Trump years and the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck with clear, unbiased, non-partisan analysis that generally correctly identifies who is the transgressor and why, was attacked by University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campus who compared his discussion of possible voting irregularities to Holocaust denial. Turley is measured, as usual, in his criticism, but he is obviously troubled by the continuing trend, writing in part,

“It is part of a wave of intolerance sweeping over our colleges and our newsrooms. It is therefore an ironic moment as someone who has been writing about the growing intolerance of dissenting views on our campuses and efforts to fire academic.  Some have been targeted for engaging in what is called “both sides rhetoric” rather than supporting a preferred narrative or viewpoint. Campos is arguing that it “would be appropriate to fire” any professor who stated that we should allow these challenges to be heard even though they have not and are unlikely to produce evidence of systemic fraud to overturn these results.  That is a view of academic freedom and viewpoint tolerance shared by some in academia.

I am not the first academic that Campos called to be terminated for his views. In the end, I would defend Campos in his posting such views. Unlike Professor Campos, I do not believe that he should be fired for holding opposing views or even calling for others to be fired. That is the cost of free speech. Indeed, Professor Campos is the cost of free speech.’

And yes, this is exactly what you voted for if you voted for Joe Biden.

In fact, it’s what Professor Turley voted for, as I suspect he did, when he voted for Joe Biden.

2. Regarding another favorite Ethics Alarms blogger…I respect and value Ann Althouse’s opinions and analysis, but boy does she epitomize what’s irresponsible about intellectuals.  There is a constant tone on her blog that it’s all just a big cosmic game, nothing really matters much, and all these intellectually inferior people are running around in circles, obsessing over base and minor matters. Meanwhile, Ann is preoccupied by the fact that there’s a “homophone for alibi,” the relative size of statues, and some local interviewer in Lincoln, Nebraska. These matters seem to concern her about as much as the means by which a President was finally taken down, the cracking of our democratic institutions, and the fact that our journalists have become no better than rumor-mongers and partisan assassins.

It’s that studied distance that academics and those over-educated egotists who are full-time frolickers in the playgrounds of the mind display that makes normal people—and me— suspicious of their motives and judgment.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: New York Time Tech Reporter Kevin Roose

Roose Tweet

“The tricky thing, for Facebook, is that some of the most viral stories aren’t strictly false….But they are feeding a stolen election narrative that is going to be hard to dial back.”

——New York Times Technology reporter Kevin Roose, after being called on referring to four accurate articles as “Right Wing misinformation.”

And there it is! We have a smoking gun regarding the insidious, growing tendency of journalists and the news media to think of information as theirs to withhold, alter, hype, hide or bury permanently for what they perceive as the public good.

“Aren’t strictly false…but.” That’s chilling. What Roose is saying is that the truth can be dangerous, and social media should only allow “good” news to be posted and shared, news items that advance narratives supporting what the Left approves of, rather than those that challenge or rebut their obliviously superior and more virtuous views and objectives.

If a factual story makes the public distrust the election results,then perhaps the election results should be questioned. The remedy is to demonstrate with convincing arguments and other facts why this is a mistaken view. When I hear someone arguing that the remedy is to bury the story, that makes me wonder why that person is trying to keep me in the dark.

The primary facts that support the stolen election narrative is how Democrats, the resistance and the news media behaved over the past four years, making it clear that neither law, nor ethics, nor American institutions, values and traditions, nor basic fairness or common decency, would stand in the way of their obsession with removing Donald Trump from the Presidency by any means necessary.

Why, in light of all that, wouldn’t they try to steal the election?

On The Matter Of Whether There Are Valid Reasons To Suspect And Investigate Voter Fraud…

benfords-law

This article, called “Joe Biden’s Votes Violate Benford’s Law (Mathematics)” is, if nothing else, interesting. Math is not my wheelhouse, to say the least. Maybe it’s right and maybe it’s garbage, but Benford’s Law is real, and is used  to detect fraud, as this article explains.

Prof. Reynolds, who posted the link, on his blog, says that Facebook will not post the link in any form. That itself is a red flag. Why is Facebook preventing readers from learning about a process that might lend a clue to whether the current election vote totals have been manipulated or not?  What is Facebook afraid of?

The rush to conclude the election rather than examine these legitimate questions is its own red flag.

 

Saturday Ethics Review, 11/7/2020: And The Beat Goes On (Item #7 Added)

1. It’s not only the obvious hypocrisy and double standard, it’s the fact that they are so shameless about it. Of course, the average low-information voter (or the average partisan hack who likes applying double standards) cheered on Al Gore and the Democrats when they challenged the 2000 election using a shifting set of theories—remember the “butterfly ballot” that sparked the first legal challenge from Al’s lawyers? Then it was the hanging chads. The 2020 election isn’t over and the race isn’t won until every re-count is completed and there is a credible and trustworthy result. The results so far in multiple states are spiderweb thin, and even relatively small instances of voter fraud could change the winner.

As I have already written here more than once since Tuesday, President Trump has an obligation to oversee responsible investigations into questions regarding irregularities in the vote counting and mail-in voting. He is, after all, President for two more months at least. But the Axis of Unethical Conduct is, as it has from the beginning of his term, claiming that what is virtuous and justified when their favorite politicians do it is sinister when Republicans do the same. I have a complete library of asshole tweets to the effect that the latest Democratic coup attempt should be granted instant legitimacy before all of the issues are satisfactorily resolved. Here are two samples,

Tapper twt

Winslow tweet

If you have problems with my characterization of “coup” just now, sorry, I’m not retracting it. The election was not held on even ground, between the news media’s open bias and the use of the pandemic to justify early and inherently corruptible mail-in voting. It is certainly possible that Joe Biden would have won in a fair election, but we will never know that. The price of the party’s “ends justify the means” strategy is that this election can never be regarded as decisive or fair, and expect the Right to act accordingly.

The fact that a news organization or a decision desk has declared Biden the winner doesn’t mean that he is the winner, and if there are valid legal issues and voting questions to be settled, we should settle them now, because we know they won’t be addressed once the Democrats have the Presidency. I also endorse the point made in this tweet…

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Election 2020: The Appearance Of Impropriety Or Real Impropriety? Part II, An Accountant’s Analysis

Larry Correia, a perceptive blogger who approaches issues with the mind of a veteran accountant and auditor, has concluded regarding the 2020 election that “Fuckery is Afoot.” In a 3000+ word post, Correia (whose tart and blunt analysis I last featured here), begins,

I am more offended by how ham-fisted, clumsy, and audacious the fraud to elect him is than the idea of Joe Biden being president…. However, what is potentially fatal for America is half the populace believing that their elections are hopelessly rigged, and they’re eternally fucked. And now, however this shakes out in court, that’s exactly what half the country is going to think.  …In auditing you look for red flags. That’s weird bits in the data that suggest something shifty is going on. You flag those weird things so you can delve into them further. One flag doesn’t necessarily mean there’s fraud. Weird things happen. A few flags mean stupidity or dishonesty. But a giant pile of red flags means that there’s bad shit going on and people should be in jail.

Here are just some of the “red flags” that Correia identifies…

  • The massive turn out alone is a red flag.
  • The late-night spikes that were enough to close all the Trump leads are a red flag.
  • The statistically impossible breakdown of the ratios of these vote dumps is a red flag.
  • The ratios of these dumps being far better than the percentages in the bluest of blue cities, even though the historical data does not match, red flag.
  • The ratios of these vote dumps favoring Biden more in these few battlegrounds than the ratio for the rest of the country (even the bluest of the blue) red flag.
  • Biden outperforming Obama among these few urban vote dumps, even though Trump picked up points in every demographic group in the rest of the country, red flag.
  • The poll observers being removed. Red flag.
  • The counters cheering as GOP observers are removed, red flag.
  • The fact that the dem observers outnumber the GOP observers 3 to 1, red flag (and basis of the first lawsuit filed)The electioneering at the polls (on video), red flag.
  • The willful violation of the court order requiring the separation of ballots by type, red flag.
  • [The] USPS whistleblower reporting to the Inspector General that today they were ordered to backdate ballots to yesterday, red flag.
  • The video of 2 AM deliveries of what appear to be boxes of ballots with no chain of custody or other observers right before the late night miracle spikes, red flag.

Any of those things would be enough to trigger an audit in the normal world.This many flags and I’d be giggling in anticipation of catching some thieves…This is going to the courts.

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Ethics Observations On President Trump’s Press Conference

P conference

The transcript is here.

1. This was pretty close to Donald Trump at his worst, if we don’t count episodes like his performing mocking imitations of journalists or insulting women’s appearances. It was also predictable. Even as bad as it was, I would rate the press conference as superior to Richard Nixon’s infamous concession speech when he lost his attempt to become Governor of California in 1962 (“You won’t have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore…”). There was no self-pity in Trump’s rant, just anger and indignation. Anger and indignation are appropriate and justified in this case.

2. He should not have given the press conference at all. Some Presidents could under these circumstances; this one can’t, and he should know that. All he could do is stir up division, or worse. Trump has no ethical bearings, so he feels (I’m sure) that since Hillary Clinton and the Democrats worked to undermine the legitimacy of his election in 2016, he is justified in doing the same to Biden. That’s not ethical, but that is how he thinks. So do a majority of Americans.

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Election 2020: The Appearance Of Impropriety Or Real Impropriety? Part I, Georgia On My Mind

Georgia vote Count

I woke up this morning to find that overnight (at about 4 am) Georgia, a state President Trump had to must win to wend his way through the tiny window now open to his re-election (Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania) had flipped to the Biden side with a less than a thousand vote edge to the ex-VP. This now makes three crucial states (the others being Wisconsin and Michigan) that switched leads in the dead of night…possibly a coincidence, but not a good look for Democrats, or the nation.

Of course this is substantially the result of mail-in ballots, which the Democrats championed. Anyone capable of thought could figure out that the system was a recipe for fraud, manipulation and chaos, so it is basic logic to presume that this is what the Democrats (and their allies, the news media) wanted. As I have read in maybe ten places this morning alone, the longer and more convoluted a process is, the easier it is to rig it. That is true.

See the tweet above? It appears that Democrats in Georgia organized to “get out the vote” after the election. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation, but 1) you can’t blame people for being alarmed 2) there are no such tweets from the Republicans.

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Emergency Fake News Alert!

Map 2020

I have now seen several reports that Joe Biden is certain to be elected. This is fake news—a lie—and needs to be debunked immediately, not that it’s difficult. Many are pushing the narrative: Chris Wallace, who has pretty much outed himself as a biased, anti-Trump hack this election cycle, stated as fact that if the former VP wins Nevada and Michigan, he’s the next President. Apparently Chris can’t add.

I can, at least better than Chris. The President at this point has 214 electoral votes, fewer than Biden’s 253. he is certain to win Alaska’s 3 votes, making his total 217.

Even Nate Silver, CNN and MSNBC have conceded today that it looks like Trump may pull out a win in Arizona, winning 10 more electoral votes there. That makes 227.

By the way: good election night state-calling there, AP and Fox News.

Trump has to win North Carolina and Georgia, where it is close, but he is leading in both states with only 5% left to count. That’s 31 more in the Electoral College, giving him 258.

At that point, Pennsylvania, where the President is also leading, would give Donald Trump re-election with 8 votes to spare.

This is far from a certain scenario, but it isn’t unlikely either. And we’re not even considering whether the suspicious vote totals in Wisconsin and Michigan stand up to scrutiny.

Carry on.

Day After The Day After Updates And Observations On The 2020 Election

Thanksgiving hangover

1. I had written some time ago that the best possible outcome ethically would be a Trump landslide, and the worst would be a Trump win in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote. Somehow I missed the obvious worst scenario, which is what we are getting: a mega-2000 mess, with multiple states in doubt for various questionable factors, resulting in litigation by both sides, stretching on into December.

This was one more example of how the false and biased polls interfered with legitimate analysis.

2. I have frequently praised Richard Nixon for passing on the opportunity to challenge the results in Illinois, Texas and other states after the 1960 election, and saying that it was more important to respect the process and not throw an election into turmoil. Of course, based on what we know about Nixon. That may have been a ploy and virtue signaling: while there was certainly some voting shenanigans, notably in Richard Daley’s notoriously corrupt Chicago, Nixon maybe have been told that he would lose anyway, and that challenging the results would make it harder for him to come back and win in ’64 or ’68. Nonetheless, Nixon set the norm, and Al Gore broke it in 2000. Now it seems insane for a party to not to challenge a close election if there seems to be any question about the legitimacy of the result.

That shift is also a reflection of the widening chasm between the two parties. There wasn’t much difference philosophically between the Democrats and Republicans in 1960, nor between Nixon and Kennedy. (There wasn’t much difference between their ethical instincts either, but we didn’t know that at the time.) Today there is every reason to believe that for a party to just shrug off the possibility that a Presidency has been stolen in the best interests of the nation is a breach of duty and a betrayal of the public trust.

However, a party (like the Democrats since 2016) or a candidate (like Hillary Clinton) continuing to deny the results after they have been validated is unforgivable and destructive.

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