“You’re alleging that the two individual plaintiffs were denied the right to vote. But at bottom, you’re asking this court to invalidate more than 6.8 million votes, thereby disenfranchising every single voter in the Commonwealth. Could you tell me how this result could possibly be justified?”
On Saturday, the judge effectively answered his own question by dismissing the lawsuit and saying, “this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations…and unsupported by evidence.”
The Giuliani court appearance came on the same day two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers temporarily blocked certification of votes in Michigan’s most populous county, where Biden outpolled Trump by more than 332,000 votes. Both board members received a supportive call from the President afterward. It was also the day Trump fired Chris Krebs, the Homeland Security Department cybersecurity official whose sin, in the President’s eyes, was to declare there was no sign of systematic fraud in this year’s election.
The Trump-Giuliani scenario of a rigged election, which Joe Biden actually won with a convincing electoral college victory and a popular vote margin of more than six million votes, seemed ripped from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass,” the sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” The Queen tries to persuade Alice that you can believe impossible things — and suggests that it helps if you practice. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” she declares.
“When questioned, however, about specific allegations, governing legal standards, and individual pieces of evidence, Giuliani was forced to back down in crucial ways, in part because he possessed no relevant evidence supporting his claims, and in part because he appeared unprepared and lacked command of the law and governing standards.”
Truth vs. Trump
In Georgia, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, suggested to him in a phone call that legally cast ballots could be thrown out. Raffensperger had ordered a hand recount of the vote, and on Friday, Georgia certified the results as originally projected: an upset win for Biden in the historically red state.
When Jim Kolbe first ran for Congress in southern Arizona as a Republican in 1982, he lost by less than 3,000 votes. The future 11-term congressman still remembers the painful moment when he called his Democratic opponent to concede — the step Trump is refusing to take.
The Covid-19 news could not be worse: The number of new cases around the US hit a single-day record this week, and the daily death toll is growing.
But the Covid-19 vaccine news could not be better: There are two vaccines in development that appear to be 95% effective.
Getting from the awful now to the hopeful future is a leap — and with Thanksgiving coming this week, there’s a real risk that more travel by Americans will spread the virus even faster.
“Americans sacrificed during the war, as they do today, for a wide range of reasons: altruism, food shortages, poverty, regulations, social pressure. The sort of sacrifices Americans made during WWII were, as often as not, mandatory and resented. They required not just laws but extensive propaganda campaigns, severe social sanctions, and regular exhortations that a little sacrifice on the home front would save countless lives on the frontlines.”
But on Thursday, the nation’s largest public school system, New York City, closed its school buildings and moved to fully online learning, due to a rising average of Covid-19 cases — while indoor dining and gyms remained open.
For more on Covid-19:
What Emily Murphy isn’t doing
On the day after the 2016 presidential election, Denise Turner Roth, the head of the US General Services Administration in the last years of President Barack Obama’s second term, officially “ascertained” that Donald Trump had won.
But this year, nearly three weeks after the election won by Joe Biden, GSA administrator Emily Murphy is refusing to ascertain his victory. That is stalling the transition in worrisome ways, Turner Roth wrote. “The federal government comprises some 100 agencies and some 3.5 million employees. None of them can start cooperating with a new administration until the GSA makes its official ascertainment.”
For more on the election:
Hold Trump accountable?
When the tumultuous transition is finally over, incoming President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will have to make a fateful decision: Should it try to hold Donald Trump accountable?
Barack Obama’s best seller
“Obama ran an exciting campaign on restoring equity and opportunity to Americans, but he spent most of his difficult presidency holding off one disaster after another,” Suri wrote. “His recollections of his first term in office are filled with repeated frustrations and regrets, born of the crises that repeatedly took him off track.”
“The truth is that Obama was never in a position to implement a transformative reform agenda like Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson. He lacked the legislative super majorities they had.”
Whether the Obama presidency will ultimately be seen as great in its influence on American history will depend in part on what comes next. “The alternative to his reasonable, rational, relativistic way of thinking — the alternative to the pluralistic world he seeks — is an angry world driven by people who think like absolutists and haters and zealots,” Harris observed.
“Almost overnight, he is transformed from a pensive bachelor whose sister calls him ‘Eeyore’ into a dispassionate, inconsiderate and cruel failure of a spouse,” she wrote.
“In the time-honored fashion of British poshos, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and co. manage to remain perpetually uncomfortable — physically, morally and emotionally. When they’re not trapping their children in tragic unions, they’re trudging up hills in the rain, ignoring the aesthetic disintegration of their palaces, or sacrificing loyal employees to save face. Their ingrained stiffness is matched only by the rigidity of their hair (Princess Margaret’s is the only mop that ever moves) — and by that of (Prime Minister Margaret) Thatcher, whose enormous, spherical coiffure may as well come with its own bio reading: ‘tough as the Queen, but with bigger brains.'”
The royal family’s public relations machine deserves credit for resurrecting its image in the past decade around the children of Diana and Charles — “the more accessible Princes William and Harry,” Thomas wrote. But the new season of “The Crown” is a “solid reminder that even comparatively recently, ‘The Firm’ was in a near-constant state of crisis — and begs the question of how much more controversy the family’s image can withstand.”