Biden Administration

Transition Teams Assemble!

As the Biden-Harris campaign transitions to the Biden-Harris transition, they announce who will help staff the administration.

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The Trump Administration may not be willing to acknowledge that Joseph Biden will be the next occupant of the White House, but that has not stopped the Biden-Harris Transition from moving forward. This week, they announced transition teams for cabinet-level agencies and key issue areas.

The list of "agency review" teams is available here. Some of the lists are quite interesting.

As we're mostly law professors here, it's interesting how many law professors are on the various lists. The Department of Justice team is headed by Duke Law's Christopher Schroeder, a veteran of both the Clinton and Obama Administration's at DOJ. Other law profs on the Justice team are Dawn Johnsen (Indiana), Pam Karlan (Stanford), Richard Lazarus (Harvard), Marty Lederman (Georgetown), Barb McQuade (Michigan), and Christina Rodriguez (Yale).

The DOJ team may have the largest representation of legal academics, but other law professors are sprinkled throughout the other teams. For instance, Kevin Washburn (Iowa) is heading up the Interior Department team, where he is joined by Bob Anderson (Harvard) and Amanda Leiter (American). The Treasury Department team includes Lily Batchelder (NYU) and Mehrsa Baradaran (UC Irvine)(who is also on the Federal Reserve team), and the Environmental Protection Agency team includes Cynthia Giles (Harvard), Joe Goffman (Harvard), and Ken Kopocis (American).

It is also interesting that Leandra English, who temporarily headed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after Richard Cordray stepped down (and until she was removed by President Trump), will head the CFPB's agency team.

One final tidbit: Jones Day is unlikely to be shut out of the Biden-Harris Administration, as there is one Jones Day partner on the DOJ agency team.

NEXT: "Seditious Conspiracy" Is Still a Crime

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  1. If you have seen enough from the Republican Party to be ready to switch registration, Prof. Adler, I not only would personally deliver a change-in-registration application to you but also could put in a good word with the Biden team concerning a transition posting.

    That I would bring some beer if making the trip is obvious, I hope.

    1. This isn’t over — even if Biden is seated, wait for him to be impeached. Harris too — this really is worse than Watergate…

  2. “Jones Day is unlikely to be shut out of the Biden-Harris Administration, as there is one Jones Day partner on the DOJ agency team.”

    Or perhaps leaving Jones Day would be perceived to be redemptive by a magnanimous Biden team?

    1. Maybe this is a good place to point out that Jones Day lawyers donated $90,000 to the Biden campaign and $50 to the Trump campaign.

      I’m not sure why they would be regarded by anyone as ineligible to participate with Biden’s team.

      1. I get the impression that Trump didn’t figure out fast enough that, while lawyers might reliably work for their paying client in most fields, when it comes to politics you need to hire lawyers who want you to win, to make sure they don’t deliberately do a bad job.

        1. Brett, lawyers are trained to always want to win. To do otherwise is unethical.
          It’s not hard to lean on one’s competitive side to get there even if you’re not excited about cause.

          It’s not always sabotage by bad faith embedded liberals.

          1. “Brett, lawyers are trained to always want to win. To do otherwise is unethical.”

            LOL! And we all know lawyers are never unethical!

            1. Here’s a suggestion for Brett : Rather than claim sinister forces in the Deep State undermined Trump, why not consider other possibilities?

              1. Trump’s lack of self-discipline
              2. His attention span, which is barely that of a toddler
              3. A White House poorly run and roiled by chaos
              4. A revolving door of personnel, hired&fired by childish whim
              5. A deterioration of personnel quality over time
              6. Policy “objectives” that were never more than cartoon theatrics

              Why postulate shadowy sabotage when all the above is true in spades? what would William of Occam say?

              1. The thing is, you don’t even have to accept these criticisms of Trump to grasp that he very likely was just defeated. He won four years ago losing the popular vote and barely winning the electoral college, he then proceeded to do very little sustained effort at broadening his appeal then had a major crisis unfold in the year when he ran for re-election and has now apparently lost again the popular vote and a much tighter electoral college defeat. There’s just nothing remarkable or unbelievable about this outcome. I mean, save your conspiracy for something that does invite deep skepticism.

              2. Sheesh.

                I keep saying this: In 2016 Trump beat the entire Republican field like a drum, then won the general election while being outspent 2-1, and with hostile media.

                Even if he did lose this year, it was while being out-spent substantially again, with an even more hostile media, and it came down to a few tens of thousands of votes in a handful of states.

                This is empirical evidence contradicting your claims 1 and 2. Most of the rest of that list is just the usual trash talk Democrats can’t seem to resist where it comes to Trump, too.

                That said, I do blame him for his political naivete, which has bit him on many occasions.

                1. It’s not trash talk, Brett. It’s all accurate, whether you admit it or not. Which of grb’s points do you dispute? Which of QA’s?

                  hostile media.

                  You mean like the NYT, which devoted acres of space to Clinton’s emails, and a few square inches to Trump’s manifold scandals?

                  And be blunt. Do you honestly believe Trump only lost because of fraud, or because of some deep conspiracy against him by his lawyers and political allies?

                  If so, you need help.

                  1. Yes, I understood: You’re committed to the idea that a moron with the attention span of a toddler beat Clinton, and nearly beat Biden.

                    This is a starkly amazing level of self-delusion. Serve the Koolaid, Bernard, don’t drink it yourself.

                    I understand your subjective impression was that the press were far more hostile to Clinton than Trump. That’s not what objective numbers say.

                    Figure 1. Both of them had negative coverage, Trump’s was worse in the general election, averaged a bit better over the entire campaign. That latter is to be expected: The media routinely identify a plausible Republican loser during the primaries, and promote them until they get the nomination, then turn on them. In 2016 they just picked the wrong “loser”.

                    Figure 2. Pretty much a wash, the media didn’t think either of them was qualified. Well, on an absolute scale, I’d have to agree with that.

                    Figure 5. Trump got most of the coverage, due to the media spending all their time attacking him.

                    Figure 9. Trump’s best outlet, Fox, ran 3-1 hostile stories vs positive stories about him. They didn’t favor him, they just attacked him a little less viciously than other outlets.

                    Figure 13. Fox was more hostile towards Clinton, though. But almost all media outlets were less hostile towards Clinton than Fox was towards Trump, and Fox was Trump’s best platform!

                    Yes, Hillary did get a lot of scandal coverage. Unavoidably, because she had scandals to cover. Maybe she shouldn’t have had a private email server, and then wiped it while it was under a preservation order?

                    1. Winning what’s sort of a popularity contest doesn’t imply much about one’s intelligence.

                      Also, as you say, your ‘objective numbers’ come with some mighty subjective spin (when the numbers indicate that over the entire campaign Clinton’s numbers average more negatively you just put a conspiracy spin on it).

                      Even if you just focus on the general election a 77-64 difference is hardly some juggernaut of media hostility allocated to aid one side…

                    2. I was responding to Bernard’s denial that Trump had faced hostile media. He obviously did, even if most of it was during the general election campaign.

                      “Winning what’s sort of a popularity contest doesn’t imply much about one’s intelligence.”

                      Denial, that’s all that is.

                    3. You’re committed to the idea that a moron with the attention span of a toddler beat Clinton, and nearly beat Biden.

                      I’m committed to the idea that Trump is a great self-promoter, and not much good at anything else. He was able to sell himself as a business genius, facts notwithstanding, to a lot of people, and he does know how to play on resentment. Aside from that, yeah. he’s a moron.

                      she had scandals to cover.

                      And Trump didn’t? Trump University? Multiple bankruptcies? Stiffing creditors?

                      Of course, she didn’t use great email practices, but then, neither have a lot of Republicans, and Trump, while in office, himself was using an insecure cellphone for a while with no complaints from you or any other of his admirers. So pardon me if I don’t think your evaluation is an honest one.

                    4. I think you missed something:

                      Week after week, Trump got more press attention than did Clinton. Overall, Trump received 15 percent more coverage than she did. Trump also had more opportunities to define Clinton than she had to define him. When a candidate was seen in the news talking about Clinton, the voice was typically Trump’s and not hers. Yet when the talk was about Trump, he was again more likely to be the voice behind the message. “Lock her up” and “make America great again” were heard more often in the news than “he’s unqualified” and “stronger together.”

                      Trump’s dominant presence in the news stemmed from the fact that his words and actions were ideally suited to journalists’ story needs. The news is not about what’s ordinary or expected. It’s about what’s new and different, better yet when laced with conflict and outrage. Trump delivered that type of material by the cart load. Both nominees tweeted heavily during the campaign but journalists monitored his tweets more closely. Both nominees delivered speech after speech on the campaign trail but journalists followed his speeches more intently. Trump met journalists’ story needs as no other presidential nominee in modern times.

                      IOW, a good self-promoter.

                      And all your complaints suffer from your assumption that the candidates were entitled to the same amount of positive and negative coverage, and that it’s somehow unfair to treat one more negatively than the other.

                      Not so. Besides the items above, there was the Trump Foundation, which came under scrutiny in 2016. So it’s entirely reasonable – I’d say accurate – to claim that Trump fully deserved more negative coverage than Clinton, because there was vastly more basis for it.

                2. Brett Bellmore : “This is empirical evidence contradicting your claims 1 and 2”

                  Hilarious! I’d love to see “empirical evidence” that shows Trump was more interested in digging into policy details & objectives rather than golfing, tweeting, and binge-watching Fox News during his expansive “executive time”.

                  But lets review things from the opposite perspective. Probably the two dearest policy areas for Trump and his cult were immigration and trade. On immigration, most of Trump’s initial efforts were on the travel ban, which was originally supposed to be an interim measure of three months while new security protocols were researched & put in place. Well over a year later, Trump was still battling for his ban long after the supposed justification expired. It was never more than a scam.

                  Then there’s the wall, which Trump ignored for two years while he had an (indifferent) Republican congress. At the end of his second year, Trump announced he supported a wall-less spending bill in the morning, took harsh criticism from Coulter & Limbaugh in the afternoon, and reversed his position overnight. The result was a useless government shutdown, less wall funding after the election, and misappropriation of congressionally mandated funds following. All because Trump panicked after being flamed by Ann Coulter. The wall was never more than a scam.

                  And trade? Scattershot actions, no strategy, no real objectives, policy by headline, declaring “victory” for specious reasons : No results as a result.

                  There was no eleventh-dimensional chess from this White House and sabotage had nothing to do with its failures. Trump thought he could run the country like he ran his TV show, as a branding exercise based on huckster theatrics.

                  1. The empirical evidence is that he won. The fact that he beat your candidate in 2016, and came this close in 2020, means your trash talk is objectively stupid.

                    1. Again, it’s a very bad argument to say a winner of any election must be intelligent, well mannered or whatever. They were more popular with voters, that’s all that implies.

                    2. Who the said anything about “well mannered”?

                      And, yes, practically everybody in politics, (Excepting Hank Johnson, of course.) is smarter than the average bear. It may be primarily social intelligence, rather than the capacity for geometric logic or verbal wordplay, but they’re all very intelligent.

                      It’s not like the candidates were chosen at random, they fought to be the candidates. Stupid people don’t win that fight.

                    3. Right. Louis Gohmert is an absolute genius.

                      Are you kidding me? Lots of morons running around.

                  2. Trump did get a lot done. Almost none of it was on the bipartisan legislation front.

                    Of course, when you have an event like losing a Presidential election by razor thin margins, there can be thousands of “but-for” causes of that event. The chattering about this will go on for decades.

                    I see Trump as more focused on driving his message home, and selling it, to the country and the world. Far more than any actual achievement or implementation. In fact I suspected that’s how this would go from the beginning. Someone commented from the start that he would be the guy that gets us finally thinking and talking about important things, but not the guy that would enact the reforms. I thought that seemed right and repeated this view to others. And I think Trump was a smashing success in this, and time will bear that out. Just as one example, the Republican Party will never be the same.

                    I disagree with many things Trump did and some of his policies, but I suspect he will go down as one of the most consequential presidents of the last 60 years and maybe the next 60, even if he has one term.

                    1. What message? Thinking and talking about what important things? The primary example is immigration, as I note above. There Trump was no different than the hucksters who created the Know Nothing Party of the early Nineteenth Century. Then the “existential threat” was Catholics, Irish and Italians, but the phenomena was the same. Politicians with low shrewd cunning stoked the mob and rode their anger until the movement fizzled and died. Did you notice that Trump barely emphasized immigration this past election? That wasn’t because he effected any major difference his only term, but because it no longer roiled the crowds as it did before. The moment has already started to pass.

                      The only thing “consequential” about Trump was style. The reason the cult worshiped him was style. The only thing “unconventional” about Trump as politician was style. He was a carnival barker and kept his devotees entertained, full stop. There’s not a lot of consequence to be found in that.

                    2. Trump lost because he ran as a Jim Webb Democrat but governed as a Freedumb Cockup Republican…so Trump’s biggest supporters from 2016 support things like Obamacare and $15 minimum wage and union pension fund bailouts from the federal government.

                3. I voted for Biden (for what that’s worth) but it is, well, interesting that we have heard no complaints this election about how money in politics poisoned the election or electoral process.
                  We know with absolute certainty that if Trump had won with the money advantage that Biden had we’d see all sorts of stories about how money is corrupting our democracy.
                  Trump is a small time conman and was an embarrasment to the office. We’ll survive this ugly little man. But the hysteria about the little twit has been absurd. And the corruption by major news media outlets who abandoned basic principles in order to defeat him is simply unacceptable. Or should be.

                  1. An astute observation.

                    Could anyone have imagined 10 years ago that big corporate money and Wall Street would be uniformly on one side, and that the left would be on that side?

                  2. SteveMG : “the hysteria about the little twit has been absurd..”

                    Really? Moments after Trump was sworn in as president he was telling grotesque lies about his “crowd size”. The day following he was to address CIA employees in a ceremony for agents killed in the service of our country. Instead he spent the entire event whining about his crowd size. Fast forward almost four years later and he’s peddling repulsive bullshit that Obama had Seal Team 6 secretly killed.

                    In-between, there hasn’t been a week passed when Trump hasn’t shown contempt for the office he was entrusted with – the most important and respected political office in the land. Imagine that a normal politician (or normal human being) had told a quarter of Trump’s lies. How would they have been covered? How do you say Trump should have been covered?

                4. I keep saying this: In 2016 Trump beat the entire Republican field like a drum

                  Well, actually, he lost to the Republican field, getting one of the lowest vote percentages (if not the lowest) in the primaries of any nominee in modern primary history.

          2. Brett’s comment is pretty illustrative of where the GOP base is and has been for a while: it’s more important to have someone who tells you what you believe is true than people who are really good at their jobs do a job for you because experts are always up to something and everything is political. They really have become the party of Andrew Jackson.

            1. It’s important, when you pick a lawyer, to pick one who’s genuinely working for you, not the other guy. I blame Trump for not realizing that this was a major issue when you’re in politics. (It’s much less of an issue in business, where lawyers tend to stay bought.)

              And I’ve been through a divorce, you’re never going to persuade me that lawyers are particularly ethical. I know better from personal experience.

              1. You don’t have to believe lawyers are particularly ethical to believe that they are going to try to win their cases. Simple market logic ought to tell you that.

                Pitchers with 6.00 ERA’s don’t get fat free agent contracts.

              2. Trump hires the top law firm to push his flimsy, shifting allegations of a massive state spanning corruption fraud racket but now you’re arguing the law firm itself is in on it. You’re stacking conspiracy theory on top of conspiracy theory on top conspiracy theory. Are you this conspiracy theory prone or you do need this guy in office that badly?

                1. ” Trump hires the top law firm ”

                  The top firm? Was it Cravath . . . or Skadden?

                  More important, look to Trump’s longstanding choice of accountants . . . some guys working above a Payless Shoe Store in Hoboken or Trenton or someplace similar.

                  Trump doesn’t hire the best — in anything. He tends to hire sycophants he can manipulate or small fries he can dominate (if not both). In the context of political lawyers, I sense that the McGahns and Franciscos were using Trump as much as he was using them. They were associated with Trump solely because they perceived an opportunity to advance their movement conservative aspirations. He used them because he couldn’t get the work done with his usual collection of cats and dogs and because others, who liked them, were paying the bills.

                2. He’s that conspiracy theory prone. His answer to everything is that people were acting in bad faith. Despite the fact that 320 million Americans saw the GOP roll over and play dead for Trump for the past five years, Brett is convinced that really they were all trying to sabotage the guy.

              3. Brett, I said from the beginning Trump was blowing his Executive Branch appointments. I have to give McGhan a lot of credit for infiltrating Trump’s inner circle and then pushing Trump to surround himself with other Bush loyalists…the Deep State is very real.

            2. “They really have become the party of Andrew Jackson.”

              Good. Jackson Democrats were the leading party for 30 years.

              1. They also ran a pretty terrible government, but I’m realizing that’s not much of a concern of yours, having power is all there is for types like you.

                1. Uh, Texas, Florida, and California are the Jacksonians most important accomplishments. The Founding Fathers were really the Founding Woosies and America needed someone with the ballsack to do what needed to be done—sea to shining sea!

        1. https://twitter.com/Popehat/status/1326302165271416832

          There’s some meaty philosophical questions there.

          1. My take is simple. If they have a serious case, with evidence and serious arguments, OK. But most of this doesn’t seem to be that. Filing meritless lawsuits is a bad idea in any case, but it’s especially awful here, where they provide fodder for those who want to claim the election was fraudulent. Obviously, that is harmful to the country.

            So I don’t think the firm should get off on grounds that “Trump is entitled to representation too.”

            I’ll go further and say that efforts to undermine the election results with legal bullshit, like the PA arguments deserve contempt also. It is fundamentally an effort to disenfranchise legal voters. Not good.

            1. Many of the lawsuits that have been filed so far have been frivolous, both in terms of lack of factual support and lack of legal justification. And the lawyers/firms who have filed them deserve professional sanctions and public criticism. What they do not deserve is to have their phone number tweeted out so that thousands of people can call and harass them. Nor do they deserve to have their other clients harassed until they drop these lawyers.

              And even if they did “deserve” it in some karmic sense, it’s a very bad precedent. You do not want to establish the principle that lawyers who represent unpopular people or causes should be harassed. I assure you that it won’t end well for causes you yourself care about.

              1. David,

                I do not disagree with your comment, though I do suspect that the professional sanctions you talk about will be effectively trivial, if they are levied at all.

                Lawyers are very good at making excuses for other lawyers.

          2. You may want to read some of the coverage here.

            Also, the guy in PA who claims ballots were backdated has recanted, and turns out to be not the most reliable individual.

            1. It’s tribal warfare in microcosm: Nutpick an awful person or unprincipled argument and paint the culpability with the broadest brush you can find. You tar a lot more innocent bystanders than intended targets, which to committed tribalists is A-OK.

              It’s why I object to answering Islamic terrorists who kill cartoon-drawing blasphemers with more of the same cartoons. Arrest the attackers, punish them severely, and sure, by all means ridicule them. But don’t try telling me you can’t find a way to ridicule a murderer without also insulting a billion people who had nothing to do with the murders.

              Jones Day has thousands of lawyers and several times that many support staff. These Lincoln Project attacks probably hurt more people who share their objections to Trump than ones who believe in the virtue of the frivolous election challenges. And now some Jones Day employees are being doxxed? I love what Lincoln Project contributed to the campaign, but here they lose me.

              1. It’s why I object to answering Islamic terrorists who kill cartoon-drawing blasphemers with more of the same cartoons. Arrest the attackers, punish them severely, and sure, by all means ridicule them. But don’t try telling me you can’t find a way to ridicule a murderer without also insulting a billion people who had nothing to do with the murders.

                I agree with much of what you say in this comment, but reject this framing. We’re not talking about insulting Muslims. We’re talking about violating their religious tenets despite not being members of their religion.

                1. I suppose it depends on the intent.

                  I have zero problem with people spending their Saturday dancing, singing and eating spare ribs. But if they start making a practice of doing it right in front of a haredi shul, I’m going to suspect there’s an insult intended. And despite not being shomer Shabbat myself, I’m going to take it personally.

                  My sense with the Mohamed cartoons is that for most of the people who do it the insult is the point. Maybe it’s only aimed at the murderous thugs, but it’s foreseeably felt way beyond those targets.

                  Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how it looks to me.

            2. Uhhh, no he hasn’t. He has appeared – in person – and has repudiated the charge that he has recanted. Funny, isn’t it, that the hoax recantation story was widespread but his denial of it gets little traction.

              1. Funny, isn’t it, that the hoax recantation story was widespread but his denial of it gets little traction.

                Not funny at all. The guy signed an affidavit recanting his story, and now those lying fucks at Project Veritas come out with a video recanting the recantation.

                Yeah. That’s credible. Weren’t there people running around offering money for “proof” of election fraud? I don’t suppose that influenced Hopkins’ decision.

          3. Bravo Ken White! As usual.

  3. Hmm, the usual suspects. We’ll see if they can crush us, as is their wonted vow.

    1. Crush you? But you seem so tough!

  4. Trivially, winning an election isn’t necessary to create a transition team. Running for the office isn’t even necessary. Anybody can put together a transition team.

    At this point, following precedent established by the Clinton administration in denying funding to Bush, the GSA isn’t cutting loose any transition funding. In 2000, because Gore hadn’t conceded, Bush didn’t get any official funding or cooperation until December 14th, when the Electoral College voted. (Gore really waited until the last minute, or day anyway: He didn’t concede until the day before the EC voted.)

    That aside, I’m unclear why Jones Day would be cut out of a Biden administration, after that stunt they pulled with the NYT. Seems they might as well already be on the payroll.

    1. Gore, unlike Trump, had legitimate claims.

      The two situations are not comparable, except in the minds of Trump worshippers.

      1. Pfft. Gore stopped having any legitimate claims long, long before December 14th. I’d say a month earlier, but certainly by Thanksgiving.

        1. Gore ended up with more votes than W Bush pursuant a constitutional recount. But you won and got your wishlist to come true when Bush became president and slaughtered babies in Iraq, shipped millions of manufacturing jobs to China, and made millions of Mexicans into Americans!! And if you wish upon a star tonight I am sure your stickiest wettest dream of all will come true in a few years—President George P Bush! #MASA!! Make America Shitty Again!!

          1. I voted for Harry Browne that year. I’ve never seen a Bush I’d want in office.

            1. So strange that in the last several years I never come across any W Bush voters…I wonder if they all died?? Such a head scratcher. 😉

              1. I suppose there are people who lie about it. But I’d been a libertarian activist since the 70’s. It was actually the Browne 2000 campaign that caused me to finally cut my ties to the LP, but only after the election.

                1. For me, that moment came when I met Michael Badnarik. What an arrogant ass.

          2. Every recount I saw by the local paper, using various chad categories, showed W winning.

            But my memory is 20 years old so perhaps you have a reference?

            1. Those were unconstitutional. The University of Chicago did a recount of undervotes AND overvotes and Gore won by 5 of the 6 standards. An overvote is where an elderly person fills in Gore’s oval and then for some reason wrote Gore’s name in the “write-in candidate” section…voter intent is very clear. 😉

              1. So, by “unconstitutional”, all you really mean is, “weren’t done the way I wanted”. Doesn’t actually have anything to do with the Constitution.

                1. Do you really doubt the vote of someone who filled in Gore’s oval and wrote his name in?

                  1. What I think is that the Constitution mandates that electors be chosen in the manner dictated by the state legislature. And if the state legislature dictates that double voted ballots don’t count, then, constitutionally, they don’t count.

                    You don’t like that, get the legislature to write different laws.

                    Anyway, for some reason it didn’t occur to either Gore’s legal team or the Florida supreme court, that the counting should be conducted in such a fashion. I wonder why?

                    1. Besides, most “overvotes” have two names punched, not a name and a write-in. Gore’s team wanted to count Gore + Buchanan (on otherwise Democrat-leaning ballots) as votes for Gore. The moral of the story is to appeal to voters who are intelligent enough to request a fresh punchcard to replace the spoiled one.

                    2. Well, there might be a moral about democratic principles that might trump the one you offer…

                    3. Sebastian was saying it was “unconstitutional”, not “immoral”. If he’d said the latter, I’d class that as at least arguable; The legislature is legally entitled to write the rules, but they should have written better rules. And then you can get into the arguments about the morality of upholding rules you think less than ideal, vs violating them when you’ve sworn to up hold them. An interesting discussion.

                      But he said it was “unconstitutional”, and that’s exactly what it wasn’t.

                    4. “The moral of the story is to appeal to voters who are intelligent enough to request a fresh punchcard to replace the spoiled one.”

                      I recall at the time an interesting discussion of a trick you can do with punch card ballots. You take a stack of already voted ballots, 10-20 of them at a time, and jam a stylus through the position for your candidate.

                      This has no effect on ballots that had been voted for your candidate. It turns ballots that had left the office your candidate ran for into votes for your candidate. And it turns votes for other candidates into overvotes, invalidating them.

                      But it does have a deplorable tendency to cause hanging and pregnant chads towards the bottom of the stack…

                    5. Craig, you are wrong, the overvotes in some precincts were very easy to discern voter intent.

                      Brett, the Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision stated that the recount numbers most people point to are the result of an unconstitutional recount. Btw, you must be OUTRAGED that the GA Sec of State is doing exactly what Harris in FL refused to do—take charge and do a statewide recount. Now granted at the time there was not a law on the books for a statewide recount but she was the obvious person to lead a county by county statewide recount. She dragged her feet because she was a Republican and Bush led initially so she wanted to run the clock out.

                    6. Craig Johnston : “Gore’s team wanted to count Gore + Buchanan (on otherwise Democrat-leaning ballots) as votes for Gore”

                      There were three kinds of overvotes in the Florida 2000 election. First were as you describe, primarily where the infamous butterfly ballot was used. Perhaps you’re right and Gore’s team tried to make a case for them. I don’t know one way or the other, and it doesn’t matter anyway because the other two types of overvotes were completely unambiguous : One kind was were a voter marked or punched a candidate’s name, and wrote that name as well. The second kind was when a voter crossed out a choice, and wrote the candidates name.

                      Those two (and very clear) kinds of overvotes would have put Gore over the top. There was a hearing scheduled to establish rules for counting/not counting overvotes when the Supreme Court intervened to install Bush as president.

              2. “Undervotes” as in the person seemed to favor Democrats but chose not to vote for Gore. This divining intent stuff is “constitutional” how?

                1. Everyone knows punch ballots have an error rate.

                  1. Which is why Maryland sold that crappy system to Florida and got themselves some fancy touch screens.

        2. Huh? The Supreme Court decision stopping the recount was December 12. Gore conceded the next day.

        3. No one knew how Bush v. Gore would go, Brett, don’t be ridiculous.

          1. Nobody knows how “Trump v. Biden” will go, either.

              1. No, you just think you do. You haven’t heard the arguments, seen the evidence, listened to the justices’ questions. You’ve got no data to go on at all, except the assumption that, if a Democrat wins, the election must have been clean.

                1. There’s pretty good reason for not taking the allegations seriously given that the person ultimately making them clearly and repeatedly has made mendacious/stunningly ignorant statements about what constitutes fraud. He’s said counting mail in votes the day after election is fraudulent, that press outlets calling elections is some new thing, etc., Also, he only claims rigging when he fell behind, and, of course, claimed rigging even before any votes were cast…

                  1. “given that the person ultimately making them clearly and repeatedly has made mendacious/stunningly ignorant statements about what constitutes fraud. ”

                    I suggest you go over to Politifact. Biden’s piled up a good collection of lies according to them, and they’re not very fond of noticing that Democrats lie.

                    1. I suggest you read the complaint in the Pennsylvania case. Their argument is patently ridiculous. But you never know, Trump and McConnell put a lot of Republican hacks on the bench. They might get lucky.

                2. What arguments, Brett?

                  The cases are getting thrown out right and left.

                  Your “witnesses” are recanting.

            1. Maybe not in Can’t-Keep-Up, Idaho, or Even Dumber, South Carolina, or wherever it is that birther-class clingers separate themselves from modern, educated, reasoning, successful America these days.

              But competent adults in the reality-based world understand that Joseph Biden is Pres.-elect and Donald Trump is Pres.-eject.

              While searching for the fraud that would upend this year’s election, perhaps you will finally find the evidence that Pres. Obama was born in Kenya; that the moon landings were hoaxes; and that Ted Cruz’ father killed JFK. Keep us posted on your important work.

              1. And if you were one of the actual competent adults, you would know that a candidate does not become the president-elect until after the vote of the Electoral College. The news media land smug assh—–es don’t make that determination.

        4. Oh bullshit.

          The FL Supreme Court ordered the recount on Dec. 8. The next day SCOTUS Republican majority, in what was possibly the most shamelessly partisan decision in the court’s histry, \ruled that counting all the votes would do irreparable harm to Bush, because it might cause him to lose.

          Bush v. Gore was argued on Dec. 12.

          You didn’t like Gore’s argument? Too bad. Get over yourself.

      2. But that does not matter, bernard11.

      3. Gore, unlike Trump, had legitimate claims.

        That doesn’t matter for factual claims that we are losing valuable transition time right now.

        Either transition time is important in November or it isn’t. If it is, then that’s an argument against Gore pursuing a recount and Clinton backing him.

        More likely, it isn’t important, and what liberals are really upset at (Trump not bowing down to the liberals’ candidate) isn’t consistent with what they are saying (we are losing valuable transition time).

        Having said all that, there’s a point at which transition time will become important, and the litigation needs to stop before then.

        1. Like I said, if he doesn’t concede by December 14th, when the EC votes, you’ve got a reasonable complaint.

        2. It’s not entirely clear why transition activities can’t go on in parallel with litigation. Isn’t a lot of it just communication between incoming and outgoing staffers who aren’t involved in the litigation?

          Showing someone where the bathroom is, or how the computer system works, doesn’t seem like a big deal.

    2. A more apt comparison is the Obama-Trump transition, which was made official by the GOA the day after the election. Other then 2000 (when there was a legitimate dispute of only a few hundred votes) all new administration were given the GOA transition letter very quickly after the election.

      1. Where “very quickly” means, “As soon as your opponents concede, or the EC elects you, whichever comes first.”

        1. Day or so after election. The law was not written with the idea that there would be a cry baby in the White House blocking it.

        2. Your formalism remains damaging for the republic.

          1. Your anything goes is more damaging. “Formalism” is what people who don’t like having rules call the rule of law.

            They’re still counting votes. There are recounts coming, lawsuits initiated, and no vote totals have as yet been certified. No matter how obvious it seems to you that Biden has won, the lead runner in the race doesn’t actually win until he crosses the finish line.

            1. Nothing to do with the rule of law, Brett.

              There is nothing stopping Trump from cooperating in the transition except the fact that he’s an asshole.

              If something very strange happens and he stays in office the transition work can be halted. But the chance is vanishingly small, and the time lost by delaying bringing in Biden’s team is costly to the country.

              Basically, he’s just throwing a tantrum, and people like you, and the Republicans in general, are behaving disgracefully by not calling him out.

              1. He could cooperate in the transition “just in case” he doesn’t win any court cases challenging the vote, while stating this doesn’t imply a concession on his part. That’s what someone who’s actually concerned about the country and its future would do.

            2. Your anything goes is more damaging. “Formalism” is what people who don’t like having rules call the rule of law.

              Bullshit, Brett. Do you even think before you write this crap?

              There’s no law that says the transition can’t start. Trump clearly has the option to begin cooperating immediately.

              Not a question of “formalism” or “rule of law.” It’s Trump being an irresponmsible asshole, to absolutely no one’s surprise.

        3. “your opponents concede”

          Fun fact, one can “concede” and if the final certified account is in your favor, you still win!

          1. Yes, but once your opponent concedes, they cut loose the transition funding. I really don’t know if they make you give it back if your concession turns out to have been in error.

            1. That’s only for president. Nobody else gets such an elaborate transition

      2. MollyGodiva

        Perhaps Trump should make the transition GOA official immediately, but also spy on the Biden campaign, conduct surprise FBI interviews of top officials even after it was recommended probes of those individuals be closed, and then prosecute them for lying even after the interviewers didn’t think they were lying?

        1. Probably no one here takes anything ML says seriously, but in case they do we should review the facts :

          (1) Mid-December and 29 December : Michael Flynn holds multiple conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The latter day is after Obama retaliates for Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Flynn speaks five separate times with Kislyak on the subject of the new sanctions. Since the Russian’s communications were monitored, these calls are recorded

          (2) 29 December to 15 January : Michael Flynn lies to multiple members of Trump’s future White House, including directly to the future Vice President. On the basis of Flynn’s assurances, Pence goes on national TV and says there have been no discussions on sanctions. The FBI knows different.

          (3) Now we need to take a step back & recall how truly sleazy Flynn is. After going private sector, Flynn had whored his services to a really ugly clientele. For the Saudis, it was trying to relax national security restrictions so they could buy sensitive nuclear tech. For Turkey, first it was lobbying against the Kurds. Then came two meetings where Flynn discussed kidnapping a Turkish dissent living in the U.S. & smuggling the captive out of the country. The second meeting was to discuss Flynn’s fee, which was 15 million. The first meeting was at the 21 Club in New York and included Erdogan’s foreign minister and energy ministers (the latter also the Turkish president’s son-in-law). Please don’t forget : At the time of these kidnap planning sessions Flynn was already Trump’s pick as National Security Advisor. It was just a little action on the side.

          (4) Of course Flynn also whored himself to Putin, collecting almost 50K to be the “American general” siting at Vladimir’s side during a lavish public event.

          (5) Now, this kind of whoring is legal as long as you disclose your status as a foreign agent and any payments received. But Flynn ignored these requirements. No one knew exactly how much he’d broken the law until Mueller’s investigation, but it was already clear he had by the flurry of retroactive registrations following his appointment.

          (6) So the FBI knew Flynn had several contacts with his former employer, the Russian government. They knew he had lied about those contacts to multiple officials, including the Vice President. They knew he hadn’t followed the laws of transparency while acting as a foreign agent. So it’s pretty understandable they decided to interview him. Flynn lied to them too.

          (7) And yes, they did note the brazen “sincerity” of Flynn’s lying, but remember : They had presonally listened to multiple tapes of the conversations in question. They knew he was lying to their face.

        2. M L honestly, at this point I would take that.

    3. Can I be on your transition team?

  5. it’s interesting how many law professors are on the various lists.

    Heaven help us.

    1. On this, we agree. Oy vay!

    2. In all seriousness, what is this practice of putting lawyers in non-legal policy-making positions? Don’t you want people familiar with the area?

  6. It’s nice to see competent adults returning to the Executive Branch.

    1. Like the people who put together healthcare.gov. It must be nice to live in a total fantasy world; it save ever having to think, doesn’t it?

      1. They achieved great things, providing insurance to millions who didn’t have it before. Republicans, not so much.

        1. providing insurance to millions who didn’t have it before.

          For suitably flexible definitions of “insurance” and “millions,” I suppose. Or did you just misspell “Medicaid”?

          1. Do you mean Medicare?

            But the exchanges (not Medicare) covered millions of new people in the first year, and continued to increase that coverage throughout the Obama admin.

            You don’t get your own facts just because you’re hostile to an initiative.

            1. Yeah, I suppose you’ve never actually tried to get health care (not the same as insurance) with those plans, have you?

              And how many of those millions of new people were covered through subsidies?

  7. I put in my application for the Biden transition team today. I’m going for Secretary of State.

    1. 1) Only adults, who think before they speak.
      2) No haters.

      Sorry . . .

      1. Hate the game, not the player.

        1. No, it’s the player.

    2. You’re going run into a problem then, since the current Secretary of State has stated that “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

      1. Well I would prefer to work for Trump so that sounds good to me.

        1. Pompeo looks like a hefty guy to me, Jimmy. You might have trouble shoving him out of the way.

    3. You can be on my transition team.

      Technically I am still in the running since electors haven’t voted yet. And even when they do, they could fail to choose a President and I am eligible. Congress could pick me.

      1. In our new banana republic anything could happen so count me in!

  8. What’s Trump’s team makeup? Need that to see that to make a good comparison.

      1. Wrong, as usual. It appears Trump’s fake tan is supplied by the Bronx Colors line of fake facery . . . Boosting Hydrating Concealer. (Shade: orange.)

        Which is most fake — Trump’s tan, Trump’s hair, Kayleigh’s hair, Ivanka’s hair, Melania’s figure, Ivanka’s figure, or the Two Corinthians?

  9. You know, I hope I’m wrong, but I am extremely nervous that Trump just fired a Secretary of Defense who said the military should not intervene in elections, and has his Attorney General investigating claims of voter fraud that state election officials of both parties have already found to be groundless. This smells like laying the groundwork for an attempted coup. Further, the Republicans, whose commitment to democratic elections has never been all that great, keep enabling him.

    And even if my fears turn out to be groundless, one of the things that distinguishes Trump from every president before him is that it’s entirely believable that he just might try a military coup. No one doubted that Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and GHW Bush would leave quietly once the voters had spoken. Had they lost re-election, so would Reagan, Clinton, W. Bush and Obama. Trump is the first president we’ve ever had as to whom there is serious ground to wonder if he’ll abide by constitutional governance or not.

    1. The Joint Chiefs are very much not fans, and Trump can’t pull anything without them.

      Though yeah, watching the GOP’s commitment to being a democracy evaporate in real time has been not great.

      1. What…counting votes is a symptom of evaporating commitment?

        1. It’s quite clearly not about counting the votes – just read what people on here are saying.
          It’s about the profoundly undemocratic idea that Republicans win because of their merits and Democrats only win by cheating.

          There are strong precedents in this direction that applied in vastly closer elections.
          And for important reasons. Trump doesn’t care, and it turns out neither does the GOP.

          1. I certainly don’t believe that.

            Both parties have merits in the eyes of people who agree with them.

            And I’m pretty sure both parties cheat where they think they can get away with it.

            I generally have a low opinion of politics in general.

            1. Weird how often you point to liberal infiltration and sabotage whenever it appears a conservative has made a bad choice, then.

              But fine, hide behind your cynicism and your formalism.
              Since it turns out to be an excuse for the exact same postulates about cheating, you’re in the same bad boat.

            2. Couldn’t tell that from your comments.

        2. You can’t keep up with a line of reasoning this complicated, Commenter_XY. You shouldn’t try.

          The military? Tweet-fired defense secretary? Counting votes? Illusory fraud? Silly litigation? Evaporation? Evolution? Some people just aren’t equipped to handle that level of complexity.

      2. “GOP’s commitment to being a democracy evaporate ”

        So, so melodramatic!

        “Aug. 26, 2020, 7:44 AM EDT
        By Rebecca Shabad

        WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton said in a new interview that Joe Biden should not concede the 2020 presidential election “under any circumstances,” anticipating issues that could prolong knowing the final outcome.

        “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances, because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” Clinton said in an interview with her former communications director Jennifer Palmieri for Showtime’s “The Circus,” which released a clip Tuesday.”

        1. Bob, not only is this what-aboutism, it’s completely irrelevant what aboutism. Why would Biden concede when he appears to have won?

          1. Did he appear to have won on August 26th?

          2. “he appears to have won”

            Did you see the date? She was giving advice before the election in case he appears to have lost.

            Trump just took her advice

            1. I did not notice the date. Which makes it an incredibly dumb thing for her to have said since no one had any idea on August 26 what the election returns would look like. That said, though, I continue to be mystified by your apparent view that as long as you can find someone on the other side who said or did something similar, that justifies your guy doing whatever bad thing we’re talking about. Do you similarly excuse bad behavior by Democrats so long as a Republican can be found who said or did something similar?

              1. It was an incredibly dumb thing for her to say, since the left should try to hide what they really think, just in case anyone is still fooled.

                1. Because Hillary of course speaks for the entire “Left.”

          3. It’s even more irrelevant given Hillary Clinton is not the nominee or even an official of the national Democratic party. This is like saying that whatever Romney says should be taken as an excuse for the Democrats to do something. I don’t know what’s more sad, that the people offering this as some sort of justification really think it’s a good one or that they’re just arguing in bad faith.

        2. Bob agrees with Hillary then?

          Also, I guess he thinks Romney is representative of the current GOP.

          1. “Bob agrees with Hillary then?”

            On this sure, why not. Trump apparently does.

            1. Hillary the crook who should be in jail is your and Trump’s go to on how best to handle this.

              Sure.

              1. “Hillary the crook ”

                Yes, as an expert crook, she can be counted on to know how crooked elections are.

                1. One has to marvel at your post-modernism.

        3. So you quote one individual, who holds neither elected office nor an official position in the Democratic Party, and Bellmore-like, you use that to defend the behavior of Trump and almost all GOP members of Congress.

          Besides, the main issue is not whether Trump makes a concession speech. I personally don’t give a ff. If I never hear him saying anything again it’ll be fine with me. The issue is whether we are going to have a sensible transition, or whether Trump is going to undermine the normal processes out of spite.

          He can stomp around and file pointless lawsuits all he wants. That’s no reason not to proceed with the transition.

          Look, Bob. This guy is a jackass. He’s a destructive, toxic, asshole, and he’s acting like it. Why anyone defends it is beyond me.

          1. “If I never hear him saying anything again it’ll be fine with me.”

            The 2024 campaign is going to kill you then.

            “Why anyone defends it is beyond me.”

            Well, he beat Clinton. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.

            He also delivered on policy in the last 4 years.

            Plus, it drives you crazy.

            1. He also delivered on policy in the last 4 years.

              And there are almost 250,000 corpses to prove it.

      3. Sarcastr0 : The Joint Chiefs are very much not fans, and Trump can’t pull anything without them.

        Here’s the question though : Who believes Trump gutted the military’s top civilian leadership and stocked the positions with craven toadies just to create the appearance he could use the military – however minuscule the odds?

        Who thinks that’s how Trump’s criminal mind works? I’m honestly not sure about this; it seems a bit much even for Trump. But it’s definitely a possibility.

    2. I’m not worried.

      The Secret Service has the responsibility to physically remove Trump from the White House if he’s still there after 1/20/21, 12:00 pm.

    3. “and has his Attorney General investigating claims of voter fraud that state election officials of both parties have already found to be groundless.”

      I thought the normal order of things was “Investigate, THEN announce conclusion”?

      ” one of the things that distinguishes Trump from every president before him is that it’s entirely believable that he just might try a military coup.”

      Basically anything is “believable”, depending on the premises and reasoning of the person whose beliefs are in question. That you find something “believable” tells us about your internal mental state, not something objective about the world outside your head.

      At this point no state has certified their election results. All the states are still counting. Recounts are going to happen in several states. And court fights are starting up.

      To conclude that the President would engage in a coup just because he doesn’t concede while the votes are still being counted is pretty absurd.

      Now, if he doesn’t concede by December 14th, you might have a basis for this fear.

      1. When Brett reaches for the ‘what, really, is truth?’ you know you’re in birther-esque lands.

        1. They are still counting the votes. It isn’t the stuff of banana republics and military coups to refuse to concede while the votes are still being counted!

          As I said, if he refuses to concede when the EC votes, you’ve got a valid concern. Any time short of that? Nope.

          1. On the subject of Brett beating his wife, I thought the normal order of things was investigate, THEN announce the conclusion?

            (Just kidding Brett, I’d never make such a brazenly false charge against you, unsupported by the slightest evidence)

        2. There’s truth, and then there’s the half-baked fiction that you claim is “truth”. That’s not philosophical nonsense. It’s stating the obvious.

          1. It’s ‘half baked’ to note that Biden’s lead in these states would only be overcome by very improbable breaks for Trump in the ballots remaining to be counted?

            What makes this all the more pathetic is that it isn’t like there’s some existential crisis to admitting Trump’s apparent defeat. Against the seeming odds the GOP will keep the Senate and the SCOTUS is favorably aligned to them. Biden’s administration will be able to accomplish very little. Instead of a collective ‘whew’ on the part of conservatives though there is this streaming of sad and angry tears because their Orange Daddy might not be there as the All Caps Twitterer in Chief. It’s a cult of personality.

            1. “It’s ‘half baked’ to note that Biden’s lead in these states would only be overcome by very improbable breaks for Trump in the ballots remaining to be counted?”

              No, that’s not half baked at all. On election night I expected to see Trump slaughtered, and I still expect he will eventually lose, though narrowly.

              But that doesn’t change that he hasn’t lost YET. And it is both absurd and obnoxious to portray a candidate who still might win, (No matter how long the odds.) as a potential coup leader just because he doesn’t concede.

              1. it is both absurd and obnoxious to portray a candidate who still might win, (No matter how long the odds.) as a potential coup leader just because he doesn’t concede.

                Not just because he won’t concede, not at all. The concession is a minor issue, since it has no legal force anyway.

                The issue is the rest of his behavior, not least personnel changes, policy changes by Barr, frivolous lawsuits, extravagant claims, etc.

              2. I asked whether you think it’s half baked to think Trump has lost this election. It’s not, it’s the smart money. He’s behind by tens of thousands of votes in several states. The only way Trump would win is, as you note below, a partisan legislature decides to throw out the votes that the state election officials tell them are correct and a partisan House ignores the will of the people and chooses Trump. Again, if all you care about is ‘winning’ or having Trump specifically in office is that important to you I guess you’d be fine with that. Otherwise that would be both pathetic and tragic.

      2. Brett:

        You are correct that technically it’s not over until the electoral college votes. Actually, it’s not over until Congress certifies the results in January. But that’s not the point.

        The country is desperately in need of unification, not someone throwing more gasoline on the inferno. At this point, almost no reasonable person believes Trump pulls off the election. He lost. Full stop.

        And he could do the country a world of good by putting his own selfish interests behind those of the country, and urging his supporters to accept the results and work toward unification. That’s what Ford, Carter and the first Bush did. That’s an important function of a concession speech — the country needs to move forward, and it needs a president facilitating that, rather than just making the hostilities worse.

        1. You are correct that technically it’s not over until the electoral college votes.

          Full stop.

          1. Commenter_XY, can you provide a scenario that is both plausible and legal under which Trump wins this election? With emphasis on “plausible”.

            1. “Plausible” is too subjective.

              The most likely scenario for a Trump win at this point is that late arriving military absentee ballots pull it out for him in one or more states that are close now, and sufficient fraud is identified in Pennsylvania that the election results can’t be certified, and it goes to the House to decide because nobody got to 270.

              The House votes by state, each state having one vote which is cast according to a majority vote of that state’s representatives. It’s the incoming House that votes.

              Republicans did fairly well in the House races, and have majorities in a comfortable majority of House delegations.

              So if it goes to the House, there’s a good chance Trump is, fully legally and constitutionally, reelected.

              1. Just like natural born citizen is too subjective.

              2. That may be the most likely scenario. If there are multiple scenarios with a 0% chance of happening, and one scenario with a 2% chance of happening, it’s true that the 2% one is the most likely.

                Which is why I focused on plausible. And plausible, it ain’t.

                1. “Which is why I focused on plausible. And plausible, it ain’t.”

                  Not only is it not plausible, it’s catastrophic.

                  He admits that the literal endgame (which he elided somewhat) is for:
                  1. SCOTUS to rule that state legislatures get to change election rules whenever they want. Despite state law. This would allow, for example, Pennsylvania’s GOP to change the election law despite having a Democrat elected as Governor, and as Secretary of State, and the election law already being clear.

                  2. Then for the GOP legislature to decide to change the results of the will of their voters because …. they feel like it.

                  3. Then for the House to vote straight party-line (by state) in order to overturn the popular and the electoral vote, in order to keep Trump in power.

                  This would be beyond a constitutional crisis. It’s an open invitation for civil unrest.

                  1. 1. Look, your game has been to have courts and executive branch officers simply up and violate the laws the legislature enacted. Like in Pennsylvania, where even the court agreed that it was illegal to count ballots arriving after the third, before ordering that it be done anyway.

                    But my scenario doesn’t involve any changes to the law at all. All it requires is that the Court decide that enough fraud had been proven that the election result could not be certified. That IS a normal thing to do when enough election fraud is demonstrated, and the ballots are commingled. It’s just not usual for it to happen in Presidential elections.

                    2) Because fraud was proven.

                    3) Like it or not, that’s the process actually called for in the Constitution, making it the precise opposite of illegal.

                    1. 1. No, you completely don’t understand what is going on, do you? That’s a rhetorical question.

                      First of all, this isn’t “my game.” This is how election law normally works. In an uncontroversial way. Election laws are passed. Election officials (and sometimes boards) administer the laws and the elections. Judges handle disputes. But suddenly, we have a few members of SCOTUS say … wait, it’s up to the “Legislature” of each state. Which is interesting, because SCOTUS previously construed that term broadly. Kind of similar to how the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law,” but it’s not just … you know … Congress.

                      But the “Court” (SCOTUS?) isn’t going to determine this. There is no giant fraud case. The hope in Pennsylvania is for the LEGISLATURE to decide not to certify, or to provide improper electors, contrary to law.

                      So either you’re lying, or you have no knowledge of what’s going on. Pick your poison.

                      2. Uh huh. See above.

                      3. Yes. And for lame-duck President to order an invasion of Canada right now with his CiC power is not ILLEGAL. But as I wrote, for Trump to attempt to steal the vote (ahem) and the election would plunge the country into chaos. Which you would know, if you paid any attention whatsoever.

                    2. Pennsylvania, where even the court agreed that it was illegal to count ballots arriving after the third

                      No, just the opposite. They agreed that enforcing the statutory deadline under the circumstances would disenfranchise voters in violation of the state constitution. When a statute contradicts the constitution the constitution wins, so not extending the deadline would have been illegal.

                    3. 2) Because fraud was proven.

                      When?

                      Did you read this?

        2. ” desperately in need of unification”

          So, so melodramatic.

          Its not “desperately in need of unification”.

          A divided electorate is normal. Some doddering fossil ain’t unifying anything anyway.

          1. Bob, you’ve admitted given up on unity, democracy, not lying, and principles long ago.
            So your analysis doesn’t really come from a place that holds any weight.

            1. Oh noes, Gaslito doesn’t value my opinion. Oh dear, how will I cope.

              1. By lying, like you always do.

                1. Oooh, such a biting response.

                  Oh dear, how will I cope.

                  1. How will you cope?

                    You keep asking that, Bob. You don’t cope now! You just blather, troll, and lie. The mistake you keep making is when you think people will take you seriously.

                    You know what was funny? When you got all offended that I completely dismissed you the other day. Because you thought you were making a good point or something.

                    You make no good points. Your opinions are as valuable as Jimmy the Dane and Aktenberg.

                    1. Damn…are you still saucy about that?

                    2. You are right, I did get mad because you were rude when I for a change wasn’t being snarky with you.

                      A mistake. I forgot you were Kirkland Part II but more long winded.

                    3. Again, Bob, you are known for who you are.

                      How will you cope with that? Living with your well-deserved reputation?

                      Oh, sorry, I don’t care. Cope away!

                      (It’s so cute that your good friend Jimmy “N Word” Dane showed up to defend you. Perhaps you two, and Aktenberg, can get together for your usual Klan rally?)

                    4. Damn Loki you ARE still butthurt, wow.

                    5. I pointed out to Bob what a great opportunity the Biden Administration offers him. He’s no longer shacked to a politician who lies between every inhale & exhale of breath. Free of the wearying task of defending Trump’s bullshit, Bob can finally live an open honest life. Surely his disagreements with Biden allow him to stay on the side of honesty & decency while objecting?

                      I expected Bob to be happy & grateful upon realizing this. Sigh. Not our Bob……….

          2. Unification is precisely the opposite thing that we are desperately in need of.

            We are desperately in need of disunification.

        3. “The country is desperately in need of unification, not someone throwing more gasoline on the inferno.”

          The the Democrat/media complex should stop opposing the investigations into vote fraud and help get to the bottom of things. The sooner the better.

          But of course the Democrat/media complex is NOT interested in unification, except by crushing and eliminating all dissent. Their idea of “unification” is North Korean style.

          1. ” stop opposing the investigations into vote fraud”

            You misspelled ‘desperate, flailing, shifting baseless allegations put forward to deny an unpleasant reality.’

            1. I usually misspell that too. And spellcheck almost never catches it…

          2. The relevant state election officials, both Democrat and Republican, all seem to have determined there is no evidence of fraud.

            1. Of course there was massive fraud, heck Trump and many conservatives saw the fraud *before* any votes were cast. It was all on a plan on an Ukrainian server kept in the Chinese lab where Corona was created to be loosed on the world as part of the plan of the demon possessed pedophile Democrats and Bill Gates to have Trump defeated so they can eat babies for dinner. It’s plausible to obvious!

              1. Hmmmm….. Both your name and QAnon begins with “Q”

                Coincidence? I don’t think so!

        4. “The country is desperately in need of unification”

          Which is something only the Democrats are allowed to call for, and cannot possibly attempt themselves because orangemanbad.

          1. Right, where was this push for “unification” over the last 4 years by the Dems?

            1. Yeah, I agree the talk about desperate need for unification is silly. The country is split over real differences over really important matters. Instead what I think is needed is a step away from this attitude that every moment involves an existential crisis. We’ve got divided government, very little is going to happen unless is is broadly popular. That’s a good thing for a country split like we are, not a bad thing.

    4. Yeah Trump is a fascist dictator. He is going to use the military to stay in power then declare himself president for life. How do I know? The media told me so! They have been beating that drum as of two years ago so they must be right. But I won’t let things like reason or common sense stop me from making alarmist posts such as this. I’ll just wildly speculate, without any real evidence or factual support, that Trump is a dictator and 200+ years of constitutional governance is out the window because of, well, some reasons.

      1. The media also told you Trump might refuse to concede after an obvious defeat. I forget, did you believe them?

  10. Just as a reminder-

    In 2016, Clinton lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by a combined 107,000 votes. Trump currently trails those three states by approximately 210,000 votes.

    Clinton called the night of the election to concede the race (technically, the next morning, November 9, 2016, right after the race was called). Clinton also gave a concession speech.

    The same day, November 9, 2016, Obama announced that he had spoken with President-elect Trump and invited him to come to the White House the next day- that very day, the various agencies began full cooperation with the incoming administration, including the sharing of the President’s Daily Brief.

    On November 10, 2016, Obama and President-elect Trump had a joint press conference.

    ….that is how transitions work, even in close elections.

    For those that say that Trump is entitled to pursue his “moon shot” remedies; why not. Let him continue to fund raise off of the rubes. But remember that people were devastated on the other side (just like you are now) about the 2016 election.

    There were serious concerns about interference, about hacking of certain paperless systems, there were claims that elections results were altered. And the Clinton campaign did have lawyers and data analysts investigate those claims. They did look into recounts and legal challenges, and the ability to contest and audit the results. They did have observers watching the post-election canvasses (where the states look for anomalies and where the math is checked again).

    And yes, when Jill Stein (remember her?) demanded recounts, the Clinton campaign participated, but in doing so announced that even the closest margin of the closest state at the time (which was Michigan) exceeded the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.

    In other words, the Clinton campaign behaved professionally, like adults, and with respect both for the process, for the people that voted for her, and for the norms and laws that govern this great nation. And Obama, like his predecessors of all parties dating back to Washington, continued not just the actuality of the peaceful transfer of power, but strove to maintain the appearance that the office of the President is not beholden to pettiness, partisanship, and entrenchment, when it comes to the most important duty the President has in our system; the orderly and peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another in keeping with our system of laws and norms.

    It’s funny, because the last four years have produced so many bizarre moments, I think people have become truly inured to just how wrong all of this is.

    1. “In 2016, Clinton lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by a combined 107,000 votes. Trump currently trails those three states by approximately 210,000 votes.”

      Indeed. I mean, it’s somewhat incredible that conservatives are so easily falling into the ‘it must have been fraud!’ line of thinking when it’s the facts that Trump barely won last time and, according to them, has had four years of hostile media, was outspent and faced a difficult challenge in the Covid-crisis. Yeah, only a conspiracy could explain his slight loss this time around!

      If anything you’d think the Democrats would be hollering about vote conspiracies given their Senate and House candidates underperformed the polls and models so much.

      1. “If anything you’d think the Democrats would be hollering about vote conspiracies given their Senate and House candidates underperformed the polls and models so much.”

        The difference is that, for the most part, Democrats still believe “in the system.” They still believe that, while the GOP is doing terrible things currently, they will eventually do the right thing, because, you know, we are all Americans.

        The GOP, on the other hand, doesn’t believe that the Democratic party has any right to any elected office, and that any result that allows a Democrat to be elected is prima facie evidence of fraud.

        This doesn’t end well.

  11. I wonder if the right will go after the American Constitution Society as the left went after the Federalist Society.

    BTW, Prof. Adler, in the past you stood up for attorneys when attacked for representing clients. I wonder if you will do the same now that your comrades are going after Trump attorneys?

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/11/10/biden-must-denounce-the-lincoln-projects-dangerous-targeted-harassment-of-lawyers/

      1. The link didn’t work for me, so I assume you were pointing to the interesting twitter threads of Orin Kerr and Popehat.

        It’s a tough issue. First, I categorically agree with Popehat that there is something different with criminal defense work (defending yourself against the power of the state) that civil litigation. (Alleged) Criminals, by their nature, will be accused of terrible things; imputing the the crimes of the alleged criminal to the attorney defending them against the awesome power of the state is the mark of totalitarians everywhere.

        But when it comes to civil litigation, you don’t have that issue. The question of the attorney’s advocacy becomes more … nuanced. Attorneys can, and do, decline work because their client are trying to advance cases that have no merit, or are solely to harass. Or because they profoundly do not agree with the underlying case. On the other hand, there is the danger that imputing the underlying (civil) cause to the attorney can result in meritorious causes that are unpopular for temporal or geographic reasons (think civil rights, 1920s, South, for example) being denied appropriate representation.

        On the THIRD hand, any practicing attorney knows that you can leverage your skill, and your firm’s prestige, to draw out frivolous cases. To exact penalties from the other side, even when there is no cause. Sure, it is unethical, but how often does an attorney really get called out for it? But for public censure, there is no real drawback. And the attorneys can sleep at night, if not comfortable with their morals, comfortable with the number of zeroes in their bank account.

        So … I don’t know. I am torn on this. I don’t have any issue, if, for example, Jones Day prosecutes meritorious cases honestly and drops frivolous cases. Eh.

        1. Yeah, that’s where I am as well. I think I come down on everyone getting a lawyer, and mocking lawyers based on their arguments, not on their clients.

    1. Harassment is, of course, for election officials, not lawyers, amirite?

  12. As I’ve mentioned, I assume that voter fraud and other election rigging is fairly common and occurred in this election, and I think this is about as reasonable as assuming that people were breaking the speed limit on my street today and cheating on their taxes this year.

    It’s probably been common since Tammany Hall. That bit of history was taught in middle school, and would be enough to make the premise undisputed that voting should be in person with an ID, if we were not continuing to plumb new depths of bad faith and ignorance.

    It appears that for several decades until recently, it was generally widely admitted that Democrat machine cities committed quite a bit of fraud. Blagojevich of all people has called it a “time-honored tradition.” But in the last 10 years or so a campaign has ramped up sharply to assert that there is never any fraud or other malfeasance of enough volume to effect any outcome. And therefore, the implication goes, we don’t need to worry about making systems more secure (whether systems are actually meaningfully secure, or everyone is just acting honorably, is a shifting target obscured by rhetorical sleights of hand). But one wonders, then — why do most European nations have much tighter election security and voter ID requirements to protect the integrity of their vote?

    Similarly, but on a microscopic time frame, there was a sudden shift regarding mail-in ballots. A short time ago, publications such as the New York Times admitted a wide bipartisan consensus that mail-in ballots were highly susceptible to fraud and coercion. Now, with Trump in office, our elections systems were suddenly completely transformed, with a pandemic providing a convenient but inadequate excuse. And the effort to reverse previous acknowledgements regarding mail in ballots has been strenuous and continual this year.

    Finally, as I’ve mentioned, there are statistical reasons to assume this year saw a lot of election rigging. I’ve yet to see an explanation for why Biden’s advantage in mail in ballots could legitimately be 60% in PA and 4% in FL (and this applies other states as well). Assuming there was quite a bit of wrongdoing, which would encompass everything from cash-paying ballot harvesters to tossed ballots to fraudulent ballots, I doubt that much of it can be detected and proved in a matter of months. So I think that the results as they appear now will not be changed by a significant enough EV margin to make Trump the winner. Of course, any of my assumptions could end up being wrong.

    The main point of all this, for me, is to illustrate something that would be illustrated whether Trump won re-election or not. It shouldn’t matter this much who wins the Presidency, because the President and the federal government should not have as much power as they do. People should be allowed to choose the type of government and policies they want to have, but in a more localized jurisdiction. If we had a system that remotely resembled what the founders intended to set up, that’s how it would be.

    1. “I’ve yet to see an explanation for why Biden’s advantage in mail in ballots could legitimately be 60% in PA and 4% in FL”

      I don’t know if your numbers are correct, but what comes to mind immediately is that Florida Republicans had little incentive to choose to wait until election day (in fact quite the opposite), the mail in votes are counted as they come in there. Different story in Pennsylvania.

      1. Building on what you said-

        The primary difference between states goes to the following:

        A. When does the state count? Some states (Florida) count mail-in ballots early (pre-processing), others for stupid reasons (ahem) don’t, and those results came in after the in-person votes were done. Which is why you had the entirely predictable red- and blue-shifts in certain states.

        B. Comfort/experience. Florida, and other states that you normally think of as Republican (like Arizona) has long had absentee (mail-in) voting, which were long used by seniors and used to be reliably Republican. After the 2000 election and due to reforms, certain states like Florida moved to so-called “no excuse” absentee voting. For those reasons, certain states (Florida and Arizona being notable) have mail-in ballots that reflect the overall voting population more than other states.

        C. Focus of parties. It is hardly a novel surprise that the Democrats have, for months and months, focused heavily on mail-in ballots and get-out-the-vote by mail. The first time I realized what a huge different was happening was in a primary where I am located, when a local race that everyone expected to go to a run-off was instead won outright by a candidate due to overwhelming Democratic mail-in ballots. (Thus was lucky for that person, as the county ended up going slightly red in the general). So the repeated mantra that Trump has been developing that mail-in is fraud is nothing more than a rehearsed attempt to throw out Democratic-leaning voted.

        D. Except … well, except that in certain areas (such as Florida) Trump and the local GOP establishment didn’t parrot that line, and encouraged mail-in ballots.

        This is all blindingly obvious, if you’ve been paying attention.

      2. Thank you both for offering attempts to explain. It helps, actually. You can see the updated numbers at the following link and on the NYT website, where these numbers are taken from. On important qualification is that it appears these numbers are not fully reported yet. The numbers as they stand are still pretty suspect.
        https://twitter.com/yinonw/status/1326191622825111553

        PA 59.1
        MI 37.9
        OH 16.3
        GA 5.8
        MN 4.9
        AZ 4.7
        NC 4.7
        FL 4.3

  13. “Will you urge your supporters to stay calm while the vote is counted, and will you pledge not to declare victory until the election is independently certified?” asked Wallace of Biden at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio.

    “Yes,” answered Biden.

    Biden, however, has done nothing of the sort, as he has since carried on as if he is president-elect, promising that “we’re going to get right to work,” as he seemingly ignores the fact that the 2020 presidential election has not yet been independently certified.

    The former vice president has also since urged all Americans to “wear a mask,” insisting that the “election is over.”

    1. You just spouted a bunch of lies in the past thread, and now you are ignoring history.

      You really need to get out more, M L.

      Here’s a hint- if someone has been crying wolf for more than four years, and there hasn’t been a wolf, and then you say, “Hey, we really need a wolf investigation” then you’re the mark.

      1. Bingo. It’s not hard to understand why Trump’s allegations are not serious. He cried fraud when he seemed behind in election and particularly where and when he started to get bad results. He’s like a coach who says ‘the refs are going to be bad to us’ for weeks before the game then when he starts winning says nothing about the refs but the moment the other team starts a comeback he goes back in on the refs. You have to be some kind of fan or mark to not be suspect of the claims in that situation.

        Also, of course, you have the fact that Trump has expressed an objective ignorance or worse about election law many times.

        Then add to all that that the results here are hardly remarkable and especially so if you take Trump at his word on other things (he says the media is out to get him, Covid is bad for him, that mail in voting period gives a big boost to the other side, etc).

        It’s bizarre to see so many be either so gullible, dishonest or needy to be anything other than skeptical of his claims given that so little is at stake (with a hostile Senate there’s not much a Biden administration can hope to do).

      2. “You just spouted a bunch of lies in the past thread”

        Whoa, wait, what? Link?

        Not sure what you are getting at. The simple observation here is that Biden said he wouldn’t declare victory until results are independently certified, and then declared victory before results were independently certified. This is hardly worth mentioning, except to show that Biden is a politician. “Politician says one thing and does another” is basically “Dog bites man.” I don’t know why you two should be worked up about this.

        1. Your arguments boil down to speculation about what you’d bet people would do and have done but not gotten caught at.

          That’s not actually an argument that engages with reality.

          1. What does this have to do with Biden stating he would not declare victory prior to independent certification, and then declaring victory prior to independent certification?

            1. There’s always a fresh set of rules to justify Trump’s brat behavior. Did you notice Right-wing world’s rage that the networks called the election the same way they’ve done for decades? Five states have been conducting elections almost exclusively by mail, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, but suddenly the practice is an evil plot. We’ve never had a final count on Election Night, but now that commonplace is “suspicious”.

              All Trump has to do is spout a few and his dupes line up in a row, heads nodding in unison. Why does anyone want to be in a cult anyway? Can you give us some insight on that, ML?

      3. “if someone has been crying wolf for more than four years, and there hasn’t been a wolf, and then you say, “Hey, we really need a wolf investigation” then you’re the mark.”

        Worked pretty well for “Russia!!!!!” Plenty of rubes went for that one.

        1. Presumably that’s the same Russia!!!!! that was the subject of three separate Senate Intelligence Committee reports, all led by a GOP majority. Quote :

          “We found irrefutable evidence of Russian meddling,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement, directly refuting President Donald Trump’s repeated assertions that Russian interference was a “hoax” perpetrated by Democrats”

          Of course a buffoon huckster’s “repeated assertions” are good enough for a dupe like you, eh Jimmy?

          https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/18/senate-intelligence-committee-russian-interference-2016-election-report/

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