Sunday, July 2, 2017

Fox in the Henhouse

There is voter fraud. I know there is voter fraud.
-- Stephen Bannon

Two Million

eight hundred and sixty-eight thousand

six hundred and ninety-one.

I like to think I’m the one, there right at the end.

Two Million eight hundred and sixty-eight thousand six hundred and ninety one.

That's the number of votes Donald Trump lost the popular election by, two million eight hundred and sixty-eight thousand six hundred and ninety-one.

According to the final certification of the election*:

Hillary Clinton received 65,853,516 votes

Donald Trump received 62,984,825 votes

Meaning Clinton won the popular vote by 2,868,691.

For brevity’s sake let’s round that off to 3 million.

Now, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on circumstance and your point of view) the popular vote is not how American democracy selects a president and/or vice president. Rightly or wrongly, that’s how our Founders designed things (whether or not we should change that is a discussion for another time). Thus, Donald Trump won the White House despite the objections of nearly 3 million ... well, I was going to say Americans, but that's actually the issue here, isn't it?

That’s the whole thing, right there.

Those 3 million voters.

The President of the United States says that those people, whoever they are,  they’re not Americans.


Yes, that’s what he’s saying.

Those people, those 3 million people who didn’t vote for him, they aren’t Americans. That’s exactly what he’s saying.

You see, Donald Trump being the self-involved thin-skinned narcissistic ego-maniac that he is, he just can't accept that he lost the popular vote. He is pathologically incapable of admitting that he was beaten by Hillary Clinton – even though he ended up president anyway. 

He’s not man enough.

He’s not mature enough.

And he just can't accept it.

He can't. Q.E.D.

He's on record, multiple times, claiming that he actually won the popular vote – despite obvious and provable evidence to the contrary.


And how does he justify this discrepancy?

The same way people like him always do.


Even before the election Trump was banging the Republican Voter Fraud drum, boom, boom, boom.

Of course there’s large scale voter fraud. Serious voter fraud. Millions of people voted illegally. Voter fraud is her only hope. Voter Fraud! Crooked Hillary!

Just like any news article he doesn’t like must be fake news, anybody who didn’t vote for him must be a fake American.


These aren’t the baseless accusations of some random madman … well, OK, they are, yes, but they’re also official comments from the President of the United States of America and are now part of the national archive in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.

The President of the United States believes, or officially claims that he believes, that there is widespread voter fraud in America totaling in the millions.

The millions.

If this were true, that millions of people vote illegally in our elections, then the entire foundation for our government, our way of life, would be suspect. It would mean that more than 50 different voting systems and dozens upon dozens of widely separated state and local governments were corrupted to such a degree that millions, millions, of people routinely vote illegally in our elections.

And that would be easily provable.

But, of course, this entire thing is patent nonsense.

The most fervent believer in voter fraud after the most diligent and thorough investigation can’t produce more than one or two fraudulent voters, let alone millions. And they’ve tried. Goddamn have they tried.

This whole thing is nonsense.

Just like nearly every other position the President has staked out.

It’s the same baseless bullshit conservatives in Virginia and North Carolina and Alabama (to name just a few states) have been using as justification to disenfranchise people they don't like.

It’s the same dog whistle.

It’s the same bias and bigotry and racism.

It’s the same political agenda. The same fear. The same hate. The same goal.

Yes it is.

Trump played on this unsupported conspiracy theory of widespread voter fraud before the election as justification for why he was going to lose, and then after the election in order to claim he actually won the popular vote.

And he justifies that position by simply saying that those votes, those 3 million votes, just don’t count. So therefore he won the popular vote.

Republicans might or might not like Donald Trump, but they're plenty eager to go along with this charade. They're perfectly happy to perpetuate the ridiculous myth of widespread voter fraud and to use that fairy tale as an excuse to purge voting registers of Blacks and Muslims and Latinos and Gays and The Poors and any other supposed liberal undesirable under the pretext of weeding out alleged voter fraud.

Republicans sure as hell aren’t going to dissuade Donald Trump of this masturbatory fantasy.

No, they won’t, even though they know it's complete and total bullshit, because it plays directly to their own narrative and agenda of disenfranchisement. They might or might not believe in widespread voter fraud, but if embracing Trump’s conspiracy theory helps them purge their state voting rolls of undesirables, they’re all for it.

So, anyway, what I’m saying here is …


What’s that?

Oh. I see.

You think I’m engaged in a little conspiracy theory of my own, do you?

You say, hey, c’mon, Jim. It’s not like that. And what’s wrong with making sure, damned sure, extra sure, that the foundation of our Republic is intact? What’s wrong with making sure that only Americans, those legally enfranchised, are the ones voting? What’s wrong with ensuring the integrity of our elections?

What’s wrong with ensuring the integrity of our elections?


If you could trust them to do it.

But you can’t.

If that’s what these people were actually up to.

But it’s not.

One of the first things Trump did as president was to set up The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity via executive order.

The problems with this commission begin almost immediately.

For example, who are these people? Who makes up the commission?

The Executive Order which created the commission is listed on the White House website, dated May 11, 2017, but it only says that the commission shall be chaired by the Vice President. The rest of the committee, which may include up to 15 additional members, will be appointed by the President.

Fifteen people and Mike Pence.

But who are those people? Those 15 commission members besides the Vice President?

Well, it’s damned hard to find out.

The membership of the commission isn’t listed in any official government record available to the public.

The official White House website lists 53 official announcements regarding Administration nominations and appointments. I went through all of them (and tedious it was), but no mention of who Donald Trump has so far appointed to this commission.

There’s a link to “Elections & Voting,” but it’s just a generic blurb about the history of voting in the US.

There’s a link to various Administration offices, but the Advisory Commission of Election Integrity isn’t mentioned.

I went through the Annual Report to Congress on White House Office Personnel (all 16 pages of it) looking for any salaried position devoted to election integrity. Nothing. Nobody. (The EO says the Commission members aren’t entitled to any additional compensation, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to check).

I attempted to contact various members of the Administration, including the Office of the Vice President, since he’s the chairman of the commission. I asked for a list of commission appointees. I got form letter responses or no responses at all (so far).

I went to Vice President Pence’s Facebook page and looked for anything on this commission. Nothing. And isn’t that a bit odd, given the supposed importance of alleged voter fraud, the supposed millions of illegal voters, the supposed dire and immediate threat to our very democracy, the concerns of not only the President but his supporters as well? I mean, from the guy who’s supposed to be in charge of the investigation?

Maybe it’s just me.

Going through media reports, I come up with seven names besides the Vice President:

Kris Kobach: Republican. Secretary of State of Kansas. Immigration ultra-hardliner. Wants a national Muslim registry. Repeatedly makes public statements insisting that widespread voter fraud in the US is a significant problem. As Secretary of State of Kansas, he implemented one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country and attempted to remove more the 20,000 registered voters from the state rolls – voters that were proved to be properly registered. Kobach was instrumental in drafting Arizona’s controversial anti illegal immigrant SB 1070 law and similar legislation in Alabama. Kobach is the Deputy Chairman of the Commission.

Hans von Spakovsky: Republican. Hardcore Conservative. Lawyer. Bureaucrat. Heritage Foundation manager for Election Law Initiative. Former “voting expert” for the Justice Department, and former member of the Federal Election Commission under George W. Bush via recess appointment. During confirmation hearings it became apparent that this guy has some serious issues with voter disenfranchisement – as in he’s all for it. Some of his ideas were compared to “Jim Crow era” poll taxes. While at the Justice Department this guy literally argued against reauthorization of the Voting Rights act. Think about that. Literally argued against reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. When it comes to voting rights, this guy is one of the most controversial figures in America. Spakovsky’s was appointed by Trump just this week and his role on the Commission isn’t clear.

Connie Lawson: Republican. Secretary of State of Indiana – under Governor Mike Pence. Nothing particularly remarkable or controversial in her background with regards to voting.

Bill Gardner: Democrat. Secretary of State of New Hampshire. His claim to fame seems to be championing New Hampshire’s “100% paper ballot” elections.

Matthew Dunlap: Democrat. Secretary of State of Maine.  He oversaw implementation of the state’s Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act – an absentee ballot update that allows military personnel and Mainers who are overseas greater access to voting.

Ken Blackwell: Republican. Former Secretary of State of Ohio. Hardline fiscal and social Conservative. Despite being African American (and the only person of color on the commission so far as I can determine), Blackwell was the target of a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party in 2004 after he established a policy widely seen as aimed at disenfranchising minority voters and in violation of federal voting law. A US District Judge ruled against the policy. Blackwell said that he would go to jail rather than comply and the case was appealed. Eventually, after a long drawn out court battle, part of the policy was upheld and part was struck down. Blackwell also oversaw the office which in 2006 accidentally published the full Social Security Numbers of 1.2 million Ohio citizens along with their business filings, resulting in a Federal class action lawsuit filed against the state. The case was resolved when Blackwell’s office removed the Social Security numbers from their website and promised to make changes to prevent such disclosures in the future. A month later, it happened again, only this time it was the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of 5.7 million registered Ohio voters (about 80% of the state’s registered voters). And then, there’s the Diebold voting machine controversy. Blackwell oversaw the purchase of Diebold Touchscreen voting machines – after being asked by state authorities to disqualify Diebold as a supplier. Turns out, Blackwell owned stock in Diebold, something he claims he didn’t know. The Diebold machines didn’t provide useable audit records and in 2006 state officials were forced to order the hand-counting of more than 18,000 paper ballots after the Diebold machines produced inconsistent results. It took days and in at least one case caused a race to be reversed. Because Blackwell had been involved in the acquisition of the Diebold machines and because he’d owned stock in the company, and because at the time he was running for governor, Ohio Democrats demanded that Blackwell recuse himself from the resulting investigation. He refused.

Christy McCormick: (Political Affiliation Unknown) Commissioner, Election Assistance Commission (appointed by Barack Obama). Civil Rights attorney, Department of Justice. US government Rule of Law in voting matters expert. U.S. Elections Expert monitoring Iraqi national elections in 2010, providing advice to the Iraq High Electoral Commission.

Eight people (including VP Pence). Four right wing extremists with controversial backgrounds with regards to voting rights, including the Chair and Vice Chair. And four more or less middle of the road moderates.

If you squint your eyes, you could say the Commission was maybe, sort of, after a fashion, possibly bi-partisan – if heavily skewed to the hard right and with its leadership tilted towards belief in conspiracy theory, but then there’s that Executive Order.

Sec. 3.  Mission.  The Commission shall, consistent with applicable law, study the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections.  The Commission shall be solely advisory and shall submit a report to the President that identifies the following:

(a)  those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections;

(b)  those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections; and

(c)  those vulnerabilities in voting systems and practices used for Federal elections that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting.

Sec. 4.  Definitions.  For purposes of this order:

(a)  The term "improper voter registration" means any situation where an individual who does not possess the legal right to vote in a jurisdiction is included as an eligible voter on that jurisdiction's voter list, regardless of the state of mind or intent of such individual

(b)  The term "improper voting" means the act of an individual casting a non-provisional ballot in a jurisdiction in which that individual is ineligible to vote, or the act of an individual casting a ballot in multiple jurisdictions, regardless of the state of mind or intent of that individual.

(c)  The term "fraudulent voter registration" means any situation where an individual knowingly and intentionally takes steps to add ineligible individuals to voter lists.

(d)  The term "fraudulent voting" means the act of casting a non-provisional ballot or multiple ballots with knowledge that casting the ballot or ballots is illegal. 

The Commission’s mandate is to identify "laws, rules, policies, strategies, and practices" that both "enhance" and "undermine" the "American people's" confidence in the integrity of the voting process used in federal elections.

Enhance and undermine.


And undermine.


look at those two sections.

Look at the definitions.

There doesn’t seem to be much emphasis on enhance, but there sure does seem to be a foregone conclusion about undermine, isn’t there? 

Especially when you remember that at least 50% of the commission are hardline fanatical believers in supposed widespread voter fraud, including the Chair and Vice Chair.

And even more especially when you remember that the president who convened this commission in the first place has repeatedly and as recently as today advanced the idea of widespread voter fraud.

But it gets better.

And by better, of course I mean worse.

The Commission requested that each state submit its voter registration databases for examination.

Under the (non-existent) authority of the Vice President, the commission sent a letter to all 50 states and Washington D.C. last week demanding that each state turn over its “publicly available voter roll data.”

“Publicly available” sounds harmless, but there’s more to it than that.

Publicly available doesn’t actually mean the information isn’t controlled and can just be released to the public (see Ken Blackwell and Ohio up above).

The Commission is being deliberately disingenuous.

Look here, in 2016 there were just under 219,000,000 Americans who were eligible to vote.

Out of those 219,000,000 potential voters, only about 146,000,000 were actually registered to vote – and thus could legally vote.

Let’s round that off: 150,000,000 registered voters.

150 million.

Now, the commission wants a list of those names. 150 million names.

And they intend to examine that list, all 150 million names, for evidence of voter fraud.

Eight people.

Eight people are going to go through one hundred and fifty million names.

Now, let’s say that’s actually even possible … oh, hell, let’s not. It’s not possible. They’re going to have to hire somebody to process the data. Obviously. It’s impossible otherwise.


Who are those people? What’s that agency? Who has the resources to go through that data, 150 million names?

Well, conveniently, one of the Commission members, newly appointed, just happens to be a lawyer for the Heritage Foundation – a ultra-conservative think tank with deep, deep pockets and plenty of resources to crunch those numbers into any shape you like.

Perhaps Hans von Spakovsky’s role on the Commission isn’t so undefined after all.

I digress.

So, 150 million names of registered voters. And you suspect millions of them are frauds.

How do you determine if each person on that list is a legitimate American citizen who meets the criteria for voting in a federal election?

I mean, you’re gonna need more than just the name, right?

You’re going to have to have enough information about each person on that list, in detail, that you can ensure they each meet the legal criteria for voting.

And that’s not nearly as simple as it sounds (assuming it sounded simple to you).

See, voting is not spelled out in the Constitution.

In fact, the Constitution doesn’t mandate voting at the citizen level at all.

Voting is a state’s responsibility, not a a federal one.

As such, voting requirements for registration vary depending on the state. For example some states let convicted criminals vote, some don’t. Some let convicted criminals on parole vote. Some let those on probation vote. Some states don’t allow those who were convicted of a felony to ever vote again. Kentucky is one of those states, but unlike Florida and Virginia, in Kentucky an ex-con can petition the state for restoration of voting rights after completion of certain rehabilitation programs.  Some states have specific restrictions on homeless people and how they can register (establishing residency is problematic when you don’t have a residence), some don’t. People move. People change states (Me for example, I moved from Alaska to Florida during an election year and had to change my voter registration). Each state has different requirements for ID. And so on. Then there’s the Voting Rights Act which contains special provisions which apply only to certain former states of the Confederacy.

And what about the primaries?


I mean, if you’re looking at the election process from the standpoint of “enhance” and “undermine,” don’t you have to examine the whole thing? Start to finish? Including the primaries? After all, that’s where the candidates are selected. That’s the the part Trump keeps yelling about, that part where the Democratic National Party supposedly illegally colluded with Hillary Clinton to screw Bernie Sanders – something a significant fraction of liberals believe too.

So, if you’re concerned about the integrity of the election, don’t you have to look at the whole election process? All of it.

And the criteria for who can vote each state’s primary is different from the general election.

What I’m saying here is that it’s not as easy as looking at a name.

Times 50 states.

Times 150 MILLION registered voters.

So, the Commission will have to have enough detailed information about each voter to be certain that they are actually who they say they are and that they are actually qualified to vote in their registered district.

The Commission requested not just a list of registered voters, but "dates of birth, political party, last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information."

And that’s a lot more than just publicly available information.


You’re with me? You understand what I’m saying here?

Good. Remember this, because we’re going to come back to it.

Now, naturally a number of states have balked at turning over their voter rolls to a presidential commission that has no Constitutional authority and no legal justification for asking in the first place.

Eight states have out and out said they simply will not comply, will not provide any information.

Sixteen states said they will provide some information, but only actual public information, nothing sensitive or controlled.

In Ohio, the Secretary of State, Jon Husted, a Republican, said the state will not provide confidential information to the commission:

"Voter registration information is a public record and is available online. The confidential information, such as the last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number or their Ohio driver license number, is not publicly available and will not be provided to the Commission.”

In New York, the Governor, Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said flat out that the state would not provide any information of any kind to the commission. Cuomo went further and tweeted,

“NY refuses to perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election."

Responses from other states, some Red, some Blue, were similar.

Naturally President Trump, being Trump, was incensed at this revolt.


Leaving aside the part where I don’t think Trump actually understands the phrase “very distinguished,” note where he begs the question:

What are they trying to hide?

Because obviously, any state that moves to protect its own Constitutionally guaranteed rights and the personal information of its citizens must be hiding something. Something criminal. Right? Now, again, I want to you to remember this. Because we’re going to come back to it in just a moment, along with those other troubling points I asked you to remember up above. 

In fact, we’re going to come back to them right now.

Earlier this week, the Commission’s vice chair, Kris Kobach, was interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered by Ari Shapiro.

SHAPIRO: Why are you requesting this information about voters around the country?

KOBACH: Well, this is publicly available information. It's just the voter rolls that any person on the street can walk into a county election office and get. It's not sensitive information at all. And the reason we're requesting it is to understand issues of voter registration fraud and things like that. You actually have to have the voter rolls.

Note Kobach apparently believes any citizen can walk into any county election office and get information on any voter to include birth date, address, phone number, criminal record, places that person has lived and been registered to vote, military status, etc.  Makes me glad he’s not my Secretary of State. Just saying here.

Note Kobach’s implied assumption: so we can understand the [foregone] “issues of voter registration fraud.”

Note Kobach makes no mention here (or anywhere in the interview) of seeking information that might enhance the public’s confidence in the integrity of our election process. Only “issues of voter registration fraud.” And things like that.

Wait. What things like that? 

What things like that?

When a politician talks about “things” and waves his arms around vaguely, you’d better pay attention (put your hand on your wallet). Especially when he’s taking about something as important as voting rights.

So, keep this “and things like that” comment front and center, because it’s important.

Shapiro acknowledged Kobach’s assertion that none of the information requested by the Commission was private in and of itself (a statement that is demonstrably not true, but Shapiro let it go).

Then, given that instead of being sequestered in 50 plus state and regional databases, all of this voter registration data would be compiled into a single federal database in some standardized form,

and given that this database would be a list of every single registered voter in the country, their names, their addresses and phone numbers, their political identities, their employment, their Social Security numbers, their criminal record, their military status, etc,

and given that this information is the highly sought after target of malicious agencies both foreign and domestic (not to mention political parties, commercial marketing firms, research organizations, and … well, you get the idea),

and given that as of this moment there is no line item in the federal budget for funding such a database, populating it (you’re going to have to compile data from at least 50 different database formats comprising at a minimum 150,000,000 records into a single coherent and useable data structure), hosting it on federal servers, managing it, analyzing it, and so on,

Shapiro wanted to know how the data would be protected. 

KOBACH: What people need to be concerned about and rightly concerned about is the security of the actual database itself because the database itself that each state has does have some sensitive information in it that is not publicly available. We're not asking for that. But one of the things the commission will study is how well-protected are the states' voter rolls against someone who's trying to hack and modify those records? And that's something the public desperately needs to know because of course there were allegations that Russia attempted to try to get into the voter rolls, that other private individuals may have tried to get into the states' voter rolls.

Note that Kobach didn’t actually answer the question.

Note that Kobach in point of fact outlined the very threat Shapiro was asking about and by definition admitted that compilation of the data into a single point of failure makes the threat orders of magnitude worse.

Note that one of the members of the Commission is the same guy who was responsible for the “accidental” disclosure of more than 6 million voter registration records including their Social Security numbers – TWICE.

Note again that one of the members of the commission, newly appointed, just happens to work for a think tank that could, conveniently, host that database and has a political agenda that would benefit greatly from such a boon.

Then once again note that Kobach didn’t actually answer the question of how the information would be secured or who would be responsible for it. Or if it would be disposed of when the Commission is disbanded (if it is disbanded).

But I digress. Again.

Shapiro then asked how Kobach would reassure people who are concerned that the federal government would use this information to “restrict, deter or otherwise disenfranchise legitimate voters from accessing the polls?”

Kobach’s reassurance?

“Well, I don't even understand the argument because how is it that taking publicly available information and just analyzing it restricts your access to the polls?”

The very first mission statement of the Executive Order is those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections.

Enhance the people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting process.

Enhance the people’s confidence.


And the guy charged with that commission doesn’t understand the argument?

Think about that. Take all the time you need. It’ll come to you.

SHAPIRO: If states do not comply with a request, does your commission have any authority to force them?

KOBACH: The commission does not have the authority to force. It's simply an ask. And frankly, if a state like Kentucky or California apparently won't provide publicly available information, one has to ask the question, why not? I mean what are they trying to hide if they don't want a presidential advisory commission to study their state's voter rolls?

And there it is again.

What are they trying to hide?

There it is again, begging the question. I told you we’d come back to it.

What are they trying to hide? And the obvious unspoken implication is that those states are hiding something. And the only thing they could be hiding is 3 million people who voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. Right? I mean, California, right? That’s what we’re talking about here. That’s what Trump is talking about.


And so, we come down to it.

All those points come together right here. Remember who’s talking, remember how that Executive Order was worded. Remember what Trump has said, what Kobach has said, remember who is on the Commission, remember who they work for, remember “and things like that”:

SHAPIRO: Finally, this commission was created after President Trump claimed without evidence that millions of people voted illegally thereby depriving him of a popular vote win. Do you believe that that is what happened?

KOBACH: I don't know. The commission's purpose is not to prove or disprove what President Trump said back in January or February. The purpose of the commission...

SHAPIRO: Every objective observer has said there is zero evidence of millions of people voting illegally. It seems striking that as one of the leaders of a commission on voting integrity, you're not willing to say the same.

KOBACH: Well, I guess it all depends on what you define as evidence, right? So you know, you don't have hard data, but it is certainly something that we may be able to see some evidence. I seriously doubt we'll have a definitive answer, but at least - why not collect evidence and just get the facts on the table? That would be a good service to the American public - period.

Do you see it?

Do you see it?

It irritates the hell out of me that Shapiro didn’t pounce, didn’t follow up, didn’t press Kobach to the wall. But such is the state of journalism in this country.

Because that’s it. That’s it right there. That’s the proof. That’s the smoking gun.

Do you see it?

That’s what the sons of bitches are up to, right there, in Kobach’s own words.

There’s no indication of a crime.

There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Hell, there’s not even evidence of voter fraud on a minor scale to any degree that is even vaguely statistically relevant, let alone in the millions – and it would have to be in the millions. 

There is only Donald Trump’s repeatedly debunked and totally unsupported conspiracy theory.

There is only the Conservative Dog Whistle perpetuated by fanatics such as Kris Kobach.

And there it is, right there. Right there:

I guess it all depends on what you define as evidence, right?

So you know, you don't have hard data, but it is certainly something that we may be able to see some evidence.

I seriously doubt we'll have a definitive answer, but at least - why not collect evidence and just get the facts on the table? That would be a good service to the American public - period

It all depends on what you define as evidence. Remember you’re dealing with creationists here, and their understanding of “evidence” isn’t any better than their understanding of science – especially when they use cavalier dismissals such as “I guess it all depends on what you define as evidence” hi ho hi ho. Evidence is whatever they say it is.

Why not collect the information? Why not just let the cops – or better yet, the local random militia – kick in our front doors without a warrant or legal authority and search through our homes? Sooner or later, they’re bound to find some evidence of something, right?  Especially if they think you’re guilty to begin with. Especially if you’re black, or poor, or Muslim.

This commission?

It’s nothing but a goddamned fishing expedition.

In Kobach’s own words, it’s nothing but a goddamned fishing expedition.

Voting is the responsibility of the states, not the federal government. Ironic then that these small federal government and states rights conservatives would attempt to interfere in the rights and responsibilities of those self same states.

Ironic peculiar, I mean.

But irony is lost on fanatics.

Listen to me: This is the United States of America.

Our republic is based on democracy. Our very way of life depends on it.

Those who truly believe in this country, in freedom, in democracy, in justice, in truth, well, those people would be working to increase enfranchisement, not restrict it.

But this president? His political party and their cronies? These small, selfish, petty sons of bitches? They care only for their own power. And they figure if they can just get all the data in one place and if they can go through it, sorting by race and employment and political affiliation, if they can shape the data into some bogeyman of their own fevered creation, then they can find something to further their agenda of stealing this nation away from its people.

And their agenda is clearly spelled out.

In their own words and by their own actions.

They don’t think you’re an American.

They are coming for you.

And you’re looking right at it.

* US Federal Election Commission, Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results (PDF)