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I hope this message finds you well in 2020. As you know, Covid-19 has canceled a lot of events this year, including the Beach Kids Foundation's Annual Spirit of the Holiday Dinner Auction Fundraiser that we partner with our Fort Myers Beach Firefighters to put on every year. We are still collecting donations (monetary and toys) to fill Santa's Sleigh this year so our local kids and families can still get a Covid19-Safe visit from Santa being chauffeured by our amazing firefighters again this year, as well as making sure our kids and their families have food on the table this holiday season, and the whole year through.

Please view the QR Code or the below link to watch a video from our Beach Kids Foundation President Linda Beasley, Ms. Renee from Beach Elementary School and Executive Assistant Fire Chief Ron Martin.

Beach Kids Foundation Spirit of the Holiday Video 2020sm

As always, your donation to our 501c3 Non-Profit Beach Kids Foundation is tax deductible. We thank you in advance for your donation that can be mailed to:

Beach Kids Foundation
2801 Estero Blvd. Suite B
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Toys can be dropped off at the Red Coconut RV Park, the Fort Myers Beach Fire Station #31 (Estero/Donora) or you can always call us for a Covid19-safe pick up!

For questions, please call Linda Beasley at (239) 980-0661 or Deborah Groll at (239) 850-6322

Thank you for your continued support of our island kids and families!
The Beach Kids Foundation Board and Volunteers all wish you and yours a very Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Tracey Gore
Fort Myers Beach

Mr. President, there's only one way to win this now. You need proof. Hard evidence. And
witnesses who participated in the robbery.

You need to create a new reality show, "Who Wants to Be an Instant Democratic Millionaire ... and Get Full Immunity?"

That's one hell of a reality show title. That offer will be a game changer. That offer will change America's future. That offer will save capitalism. That offer will save the Silent Majority and the great American middle class.

I'll explain the details of that offer in a moment. But first ...

Three weeks ago, I made an interesting prediction on my national radio show and my social media pages. I predicted President Donald Trump would win a huge electoral victory on election night; Democrats would try to steal it away from him; we'd spend weeks or months in court and eventually wind up at the Supreme Court; we'd suffer mass unrest and riots during one of the most tough, divisive periods in America's history; and then, finally, Trump would win the presidency with a Supreme Court ruling, led by our newest hero and champion of conservatism, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Let's look at the first part of my prediction. Trump did win an election-night electoral landslide -- before Democrats apparently stole it with massive fraud in key states, in the middle of the night. As of Nov. 3, Trump seemed to have won Florida, Ohio, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and the Midwestern states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. What more do you want from the guy? Isn't that an electoral landslide? How can any Republican lose with that hand?

Plus, Trump received about 70 million votes. That's the most in history. Trump added a remarkable 8 million new votes since his victory in 2016. What more can a man do?

But he was never going to win. Not with 80 million votes, not with 90 million, not with 100 million. You name the number. It was never going to matter. Not with possible Democrat voter fraud, ballot harvesting, mail-in ballots and deadlines allowed well past Election Day. Trump and the GOP never had a chance. Not if you play it straight and the other guys are crooked.

Remember the movie "Casino"? The mafia was alone in the "count rooms" of casinos. It's no shocker the IRS got paid very little. The mafia were the only ones allowed in the room. Everyone else got screwed.

This is the political version of casino count rooms. Except these are "vote count rooms." And the Democrat Crime Family is allegedly the only one allowed in the room, which would mean they can make up any number of votes they want, with no one watching.

Just like the mafia, they do all their best work in the dark, in the middle of the night, when honest people are sleeping. They steal entire states. Now they've stolen an entire country.

Back to my solution. We can still win. But there's only one way for Trump to beat them. It's all about the Benjamins. It's all about greed. It's all about the carrot versus the stick. There's no other way to win at the Supreme Court except to bring hard evidence that the election was stolen by Democrats.

The only way to get that is to bring witnesses to testify, who participated in the scam and know explicit details.

Trump must offer $1 million each to the first 100 Democrat participants in the stealing of the election who come forward. We'll create 100 instant Democrat millionaires for hard evidence, photos, videos and testimony that leads to a Supreme Court decision overturning this election.

Along with $1 million to each of 100 witnesses, they each also receive full Department of Justice immunity. But if you don't come forward first, everyone else who participated is going to prison for life. Because the stealing of a presidency is treason.

Keep in mind $100 million is "chump change" to GOP billionaire donors. There's that much in loose change on any given Saturday night at Mar-a-Lago. Michael Bloomberg spent $100 million just to try to win Florida. What's $100 million for a group of GOP billionaire donors to ante up, in order to save America, American exceptionalism and capitalism?

Get Sheldon Adelson on speed dial.

Mr. President, do it now. This minute. Offer a reward so big it gets the media's attention and everyone's imagination. $100 million is good. Perhaps a quarter-billion is even better. The rats always desert sinking ships. The Demo-rats will come out of the woodwork to become instant millionaires. Plus, full DOJ immunity to testify where the bodies are buried.

Get busy, Mr. President. The clock is ticking. Time is short. You can't win at the Supremes unless you have hard evidence and testimony from the participants in the scam to steal the presidency.

Make the announcement. Scream it from the highest mountain. "Who Wants to Be an Instant Democrat Millionaire? And Get Full Immunity." Or go to prison for life. That's an offer no one can refuse.

Wayne Allyn Root

 

 

 

 

 

The historic Mound House, on Fort Myers Beach and one of Southwest Florida’s most iconic historic attractions, traces its roots back to the ancient Calusa of over 2,000 years ago! The oldest standing structure on Estero Island, the Mound House features the innovative and unique archaeological underground exhibit that showcases the Calusa Indian Shell Mound, along with a multitude of artifacts and a gorgeous location on the scenic Estero Bay, with almost 3 acres of manicured grounds ideal for a leisurely stroll.

In addition to the Mound House, the site provides an array of outdoor nature and education programs for families and visitors of all ages, including children, complete with Center for Disease Control (CDC) precautions. The Mound House, at 451 Connecticut Street with overflow parking at 216 Connecticut, is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All visitors must wear masks, with CDC and Social Distancing guidelines in place. For more information and a program schedule, call 239-765-0865 or visit www.moundhouse.org.

The Mound House, operated by the Town of Fort Myers Beach as a museum complex, offers numerous educational programs each month, including the exploration of the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound, beach walks, and kayak eco-tours. Mound House admission is $10 for ages 13 & up, $8 for students with IDs, $5 ages 6 to 12, and 5 & under free, with Town residents receiving a 50% discount.

Friday, November 13: “Sunset Kayak Tour”: Ages 12 & up, weather permitting, at 3:30 p.m.

People travel from all over the nation and world to marvel at Fort Myers Beach sunsets, but not many get to do so by kayak! In addition to catching a breathtaking sunset, explore the tidal creeks and winding mangrove tunnels that extend into the hidden backwaters of Estero Bay while experiencing the estuary’s abundant wildlife in the quiet of twilight in accordance with the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism guidelines. The Mound House provides all paddling and safety equipment, with Center for Disease Control and Social Distancing in place; all participants must wear masks on land. $45-per-person; Mound House Members $15; a maximum of 8 paddlers per tour, with private group tours available.

Saturday, November 14: “Mangroves by Kayak Tour”: Ages 12 & up weather permitting at 9 a.m.

Explore the winding mangrove creeks and hidden waters of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve as only a kayaker can on this Environmental Educator-guided tour of the ancient realm of the Calusa! Witness birds, fish, manatee and dolphins as you paddle through the natural beauty of Estero and Hell Peckney Bays in a tandem kayak. All paddling & safety equipment provided, with kayak tours in accordance with Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism guidelines. $45-per-person including Mound House admission; Mound House members $15. Advance reservations necessary; private tours available. CDC and Social Distancing guideline in place & all participants must wear a mask on land. 8 paddlers per tour.

Saturday, November 14: “Shell Mound” Outside Guided Tour, all ages; 11 a.m.

If you dig archaeology, this program is for you! Tour the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound led by the Mound House Interpretive Staff as you explore the archaeology of the site while unearthing the clues archaeologists discovered about this ancient society. All participants over the age of 6 must wear a mask. $5-per-person that does not include the Mound House admission; Mound House members free.

Tuesday, November 17: FREE “Newton Beach Park Guided Beach Walk”: All ages weather permitting at 9 a.m.

This twice-weekly free outdoor nature program is different every single time, as the “Guided Beach Walks” have a simple premise – the groups walk roughly a half-mile down the beach and back, discussing whatever you find that particular morning, with the wind and waves dictating what comes up each day. Meet at the thatched hut closest to the beach, with CDC and Social Distancing in place and face masks mandatory. In addition to your face mask, bring sunscreen, shoes to get wet, sunglasses, and hat if necessary. No reservations necessary; while free, parking is $3-per-hour, with one hour generally enough. Newton Beach Park is mid-island at 4650 Estero Boulevard.

Tuesday, November 17: “Shell Mound” Outside Guided Tour, all ages; 11 a.m.

If you dig archaeology, this program is for you! Tour the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound led by the Mound House Interpretive Staff as you explore the archaeology of the site while unearthing the clues archaeologists discovered about this ancient society. All participants over the age of 6 must wear a mask. $5-per-person that does not include the Mound House admission; Mound House members free.

Wednesday, November 18: “Mangroves by Kayak Tour”: Ages 12 & up weather permitting at 9 a.m.

Explore the winding mangrove creeks and hidden waters of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve as only a kayaker can on this Environmental Educator-guided tour of the ancient realm of the Calusa! Witness birds, fish, manatee and dolphins as you paddle through the natural beauty of Estero and Hell Peckney Bays in a tandem kayak. All paddling & safety equipment provided, with kayak tours in accordance with Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism guidelines. $45-per-person; Mound House members $15. Advance reservations necessary; private tours available. CDC and Social Distancing guideline in place & all participants must wear a mask on land. 8 paddlers per tour.

Thursday, November 19: FREE “Newton Beach Park Guided Beach Walk”: All ages weather permitting at 9 a.m.

This twice-weekly free outdoor nature program is different every single time, as the “Guided Beach Walks” have a simple premise – the groups walk roughly a half-mile down the beach and back, discussing whatever you find that particular morning, with the wind and waves dictating what comes up each day. Meet at the thatched hut closest to the beach, with CDC and Social Distancing in place and face masks mandatory. In addition to your face mask, bring sunscreen, shoes to get wet, sunglasses, and hat if necessary. No reservations necessary; while free, parking is $3-per-hour, with one hour generally enough. Newton Beach Park is mid-island at 4650 Estero Boulevard.

Thursday, November 19: “Shell Mound” Outside Guided Tour, all ages; 11 a.m.

If you dig archaeology, this program is for you! Tour the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound led by the Mound House Interpretive Staff as you explore the archaeology of the site while unearthing the clues archaeologists discovered about this ancient society. All participants over the age of 6 must wear a mask. $5-per-person that does not include the Mound House admission; Mound House members free.

Gary Mooney

The law states that all votes being counted must be observed by both parties equally. If votes being counted are not observed equally, they are therefore, illegal and must be voided. Nothing more need be proven.

That means that all votes, voted in person must be counted, unless there is evidence that some are rigged. We saw how some voting machines can be rigged on National Television, by FOX however, knowing it’s possible and proving it was done, are two different matters. There must be evidence and there is!

For example, it is alleged that several voting machines in Michigan broke down, when they discovered Trump was running away with the votes…that stopped after the machines were fixed.

Also it’s alleged that ballots with ONLY Biden‘s name were found as counted ballots, 450,000 of them!

That type of evidence is devastating if true and sure is Probable Cause that there was corruption, Fraud!

So, in my opinion, a revote should take place in those last 5 or 6 States where there was cheating discovered, if that cheating has common factors. For example if the manner of cheating is common… if the time is common, if the lack of visibility is common…take your choice…then there must be a new vote…only in person, only with ID , only over 2 days, no leaks in count, and then tallied fairly, continuously with no mail in votes except only previously submitted Military votes.

If we believe, that process, is unfair, then we must also believe that the prohibition of equal ability to monitor the validity of the votes is unfair. If 190 million people voted in person and the results are for Trump or Biden that’s it, except for one thing Military votes, they are fighting to keep us safe and deserve special attention.

Military mail in votes are easier to recognize as most are allowed absentee ballots and most, not all, are mailed from overseas. That is easier to verify than 120,000 votes that were counted surreptitiously, at 3am, with no Republican observers.in several of the in question States, at 2,3,4 am with no Republican observers present!

That’s after the Democrat counters called a stop, closed up and reopened when no one was around, from the Republican side!.

Listen, folks, when I was an FBI Supervisor and working Agent, I went by the philosophy that too many coincidents make a fact! It worked every time. If the Democrats cheated and we can prove it, which we can, then they should have thought about what would happen when they got caught…well they got caught and there must be consequences. The consequences are a re-vote, not re-count, a re-vote with ID, and in-person. “What about the legal mail in vote… they and all the other mail in votes are gone.

Now try to do it honestly! If you want to vote again…follow the law or don’t show!

The evidence that there was cheating by the Democrat Vote counters is unquestionable. There is Probable Cause to obtain Search Warrants for all counting venues in all questioned States…so what is the AG waiting for…the Durham results? FBI Agents should have already confiscated all the ballots and envelopes THAT HAVEN”T BEEN DESTROYED. If they have, that’s more incriminating evidence that the election was unfair and unlawful. So if the envelopes were destroyed, accidentally, like Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails …that’s destruction of evidence that can

ONLY be remedied by a RE-VOTE in all of those states.

It is not necessary to prove that there was enough fraud to overthrow the election …only enough to show a concerted effort to corrupt the election for one person. There is only one way to see if the purported end result was corrupt and that is to revote …by the law this time with 2 days, in person only voting and fair and honest counting. NO MAIL IN Ballots except Military Absentee ballots. Period.

What’s the Democrats worried about if Biden won by such a great margin…do it again!

I believe in common sense. If 60% of hundreds of millions IN PERSON votes, vote Republican for the President, Trump, and the same for House and Senate races and the exact opposite happens for mail in votes…is that suspicious?

Just before the 2016 election, we saw on National news, probably FOX, an election official in some , I believe, mid-western state standing next to cases of voting ballots ,all filled out and ready to be processed through voting machines, some 25,000 pre-prepared votes, all for Hillary Clinton! Do we believe there was cheating by Clinton? I do, how about you?

If you heard a gunshot, heard your window break, ran outside and saw your neighbor standing there with a rifle and a spent brass casing at his feet and the barrel smoking…but you didn’t see him shoot…what do you believe…did he do it?

I’ve never been to the Sun, but I know it’s hot just as sure as I know that the election of Biden is illegal and very corrupt…in my opinion, there is no doubt! The question is can the President get a re-vote…there’s plenty of evidence?

therightsidejgarydilaura.com

gary small

J.Gary
DiLaura
FBI RED

Robots and their control software can be classified as a dynamical system, a mathematical model that describes the ever-changing internal states of something.

There is a class of dynamical system called high-dimensional chaos, which has attracted many researchers as it is a powerful way to model animal brains. However, it is generally hard to gain control over high-dimensional chaos owing to the complexity of the system parameters and its sensitivity to varying initial conditions, a phenomenon popularized by the term "butterfly effect." Researchers from the Intelligent Systems and Informatics Laboratory and the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Research Center at the University of Tokyo explore novel ways for exploiting the dynamics of high-dimensional chaos to implement humanlike cognitive functions.

"There is an aspect of high-dimensional chaos called chaotic itinerancy (CI) which can explain brain activity during memory recall and association," said doctoral student Katsuma Inoue. "In robotics, CI has been a key tool for implementing spontaneous behavioral patterns. In this study, we propose a recipe for implementing CI in a simple and systematic fashion only using complicated time-series patterns generated by high-dimensional chaos. We felt our approach holds potential for more robust and versatile applications when it comes to designing cognitive architectures. It allows us to design spontaneous behaviors without any predefined explicit structures in the controller, which would otherwise serve as a hindrance."

Reservoir computing (RC) is a machine learning technique that builds on dynamical systems theory and provides the basis of the team's approach. RC is used to control a type of neural network called a recurrent neural network (RNN). Unlike other machine learning approaches that tune all neural connections within a neural network, RC only tweaks some parameters while keeping all other connections of an RNN fixed, which makes it possible to train the system faster. When the researchers applied principles of RC to a chaotic RNN, it exhibited the kind of spontaneous behavioral patterns they were hoping for.

For some time, this has proven a challenging task in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, the training for the network takes place prior to execution and in a short amount of time.

"Animal brains yield high-dimensional chaos in their activities, but how and why they utilize chaos remains unexplained. Our proposed model could offer insight into how chaos contributes to information processing in our brains," said Associate Professor Kohei Nakajima. "Also, our recipe would have a broader impact outside the field of neuroscience since it can potentially be applied to other chaotic systems too. For example, next-generation neuromorphic devices inspired by biological neurons potentially exhibit high-dimensional chaos and would be excellent candidates for implementing our recipe. I hope we will see artificial implementations of brain functions before too long."

Science Daily
University of Tokyo

 Florida Republicans began the 2020 election cycle with a 23-17 majority in the state Senate, and they likely will enter the 2021 legislative session with that same advantage.

Twenty of the Senate's 40 seats were on Tuesday's ballot, and the makeup of the chamber will remain unchanged unless Republican challenger Ileana Garcia defeats incumbent Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez after a recount in their Senate District 37 battle in Miami-Dade County.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Garcia had a 21-vote lead out of 215,411 ballots cast – 48.53% to 48.52% – over Rodriguez, one of the Senate’s most outspoken and respected Democrats.

 

Garcia, who served as deputy press secretary at the Department of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump and is the founder of Latinas For Trump, benefitted from a record Republican turnout in Miami-Dade County orchestrated by the Cuban community, while Democrats failed to fully mobilize anticipated votes from south Florida’s blue precincts.

Those two factors essentially gave Donald Trump Florida’s 29 electoral votes in a 3% statewide victory and cost Democrats two Miami-Dade congressional seats, two Democratic-held Miami-area seats in the state House and, possibly, one blue seat in the still-red state Senate.

Overall, Republicans flipped five House seats and will head into the 2021 legislative session with at least a 78-42 advantage in the lower chamber and a 23-17 or 24-16 Senate advantage, depending how the Garcia-Rodriguez race in District 37 goes.

More than 11 million Floridians cast ballots in Tuesday’s elections, with turnout early Wednesday estimated by the Florida Division of Elections (FDOE) to be 77%.

If Rodriguez falls, he will be the only incumbent senator from either party to not be reelected. The most-contested Senate races Tuesday featured spirited, but failed, attempts to unseat incumbents or dominant party candidates in “purple districts.”

Democrats targeted Senate Districts 9, 20 and 39 as GOP-controlled seats they could flip in 2020. Republicans won all three.

 

In addition to Senate District 37, Republicans identified Senate Districts 3 and 29 as potentially vulnerable Democrat-held seats. Other than District 37, Democrats fended off the GOP challengers. Among prominent Senate results:

• Senate District 20: Republican Rep. Danny Burgess will assume the seat vacated by the retirement of Sen. Tom Lee, securing a near-10% victory over Democrat Kathy Lewis.

• Senate District 3: Term-limited Democratic state Rep. Loranne Ausley was expected to easily assume term-limited Democratic Sen. Bill Montford’s seat representing the Tallahassee-area district, but GOP newcomer Marva Preston gave her a run for her money, literally.

Ausley garnered 137,435 votes to defeat Preston 53.4% to 46.6% but not before the race evolved into one of the most-expensive and high-profile state Senate races in Florida.

Senate District 9: Republican Rep. Jason Brodeur will keep this Brevard County district in Republican hands after securing a narrow 2% victory over Democrat Patricia Sigman.

Brodeur won election to the Senate with a 50% to 48% tally over Sigman, who the state’s Democratic Party recruited late last year to make the run for the seat vacated by term-limited Republican Sen. David Simmons.

Senate District 39: Republican Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez defeated Democratic Rep. Javier Fernández in the race for this Miami-Dade/Florida Keys district being vacated by term-limited Republican Sen. Anitere Flores.

Rodriguez garnered 123,499 votes, securing a 55.6% to 42.8% victory over Fernández, despite being outspent three-to-one.

Senate District 29: Democratic Rep. Tina Polsky will take this Palm Beach County seat being vacated by term-limited Democrat Sen. Kevin Rader. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, she led Republican challenger Brian Norton, 56% to 44%.

John Haughey

The Center Square

The Dominion Voting Systems, which has been used in multiple states where fraud has been alleged in the 2020 U.S. Election, was rejected three times by data communications experts from the Texas Secretary of State and Attorney General’s Office for failing to meet basic security standards.

Unlike Texas, other states certified the use of the system, including Pennsylvania, where voter fraud has been alleged on multiple counts this week.

Dominion Voting Systems, a Canadian company headquartered in Denver, is one of three companies primarily used in U.S. elections. The others are Election Systems and Software and Texas based-Hart InterCivic.

 

The Dominion system was implemented in North Carolina and Nevada, where election results are being challenged, and in Georgia and Michigan, where a “glitch” that occurred reversed thousands of votes for Republican President Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden.

While Biden declared victory Saturday in his U.S. presidential race against Trump, the Trump campaign is launching several challenges to vote counts in states across the country, alleging fraud.

Dominion’s Democracy Suite system was chosen for statewide implementation in New Mexico in 2013, the first year it was rejected by the state of Texas.

Louisiana modernized its mail ballot system by implementing Dominion’s ImageCast Central software statewide; Clark County, Nevada, implemented the same system in 2017. Roughly 52 counties in New York, 65 counties in Michigan and the entire state of Colorado and New Mexico use Dominion systems.

According to a Penn Wharton study, "The Business of Voting," Dominion Voting Systems reached approximately 71 million voters in 1,635 jurisdictions in the U.S. in 2016.

Dominion “got into trouble” with several subsidiaries it used over alleged cases of fraud. One subsidiary is Smartmatic, a company “that has played a significant role in the U.S. market over the last decade,” according to a report published by UK-based AccessWire.

Litigation over Smartmatic “glitches” alleges they impacted the 2010 and 2013 mid-term elections in the Philippines, raising questions of cheating and fraud. An independent review of the source codes used in the machines found multiple problems, which concluded, “The software inventory provided by Smartmatic is inadequate, … which brings into question the software credibility,” ABS-CBN reported.

Smartmatic’s chairman is a member of the British House of Lords, Mark Malloch Brown, a former vice-chairman of George Soros’ Investment Funds, former vice-president at the World Bank, lead international partner at Sawyer Miller, a political consulting firm, and former vice-chair of the World Economic Forum who “remains deeply involved in international affairs.” The company’s reported globalist ties have caused members of the media and government officials to raise questions about its involvement in the U.S. electoral process.

In January, U.S. lawmakers expressed concern about foreign involvement through these companies’ creation and oversight of U.S. election equipment. Top executives from the three major companies were grilled by both Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on House Administration about the integrity of their systems.

Also in January, election integrity activists expressed concern “about what is known as supply-chain security, the tampering of election equipment during manufacturing,” the Associated Press reported. “A document submitted to North Carolina elections officials by ES&S last year shows, for example, that it has manufacturing operations in the Philippines.”

All three companies “have faced criticism over a lack of transparency and reluctance to open up their proprietary systems to outside testing,” the Associated Press reported. In 2019, the AP found that these companies “had long skimped on security in favor of convenience and operated under a shroud of financial and operational secrecy despite their critical role in elections.”

 

In its third examination of Dominion systems in 2019, Texas officials once again rejected using it after identifying “multiple hardware and software issues that preclude the Office of the Texas Secretary of State from determining that the Democracy Suite 5.5-A system satisfies each of the voting-system requirements set forth in the Texas Election Code.”

The examiners raised specific concerns about whether the system “was suitable for its intended purpose; operates efficiently and accurately; and is safe from fraudulent or unauthorized manipulation.”

They concluded that Dominion systems and corresponding hardware devices did not meet Texas Election Code certification standards.

Last December, a group of Democratic politicians sent a letter to leaders of private equity firms that own the major election vendors asking them to disclose information including ownership, finances and research investments.

"The voting machine lobby, led by the biggest company, ES&S, believes they are above the law,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Intelligence Committee and co-signer of the letter, said. “They have not had anybody hold them accountable even on the most basic matters.”

ES&S Chief Executive Tom Burt dismissed the criticism, telling NBC News that it was “inevitable and impossible to answer,” and called on Congress to implement “greater oversight of the national election process.”

“There are going to be people who have opinions from now until eternity about the security of the equipment, the bias of those companies who are producing the equipment, the bias of the election administrators who are conducting the election,” Burt told NBC News.

“What the American people need is a system that can be audited, and then those audits have to happen and be demonstrated to the American public,” Burt said.

Burt argued last year in an op-ed published by Roll Call that national regulatory oversight was needed, including requirements for paper backups of individual votes, mandatory post-election audits and additional resources for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

NBC News examined publicly available online shipping records for ES&S and found that many parts for U.S. election machines, including electronics and tablets, were made in China and the Philippines. When it raised concerns about the potential for technology theft or sabotage, Burt said the overseas facilities were “very secure” and the final assembly of machines occurs in the U.S.

The AP also surveyed the election software being used by all 50 states, the District of Columbia and territories. Roughly 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide were using Windows 7 or an older operating system in 2019 to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts, the AP found. Windows 7 reached the end of its operational life in January 2020.

After Jan. 14, Microsoft stopped providing technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, making Windows 7 easy to hack unless U.S. jurisdictions paid a fee to receive security updates through 2023, the AP found.

According to its assessment, multiple states were affected by the end of Windows 7 support, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, many counties in Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Bethany Blankley

The Center Square

The role of the journalist is to ask questions from those who have the answers.

It’s not to shut down a point of view as it's being expressed, but to challenge it after it’s been expressed.

Let's think about this today, after The Associated Press and the networks one by one declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday morning and ahead of what President Donald Trump vowed would be a fight to the finish. The Center Square vows to stay with this story until the end.

 

Journalism cannot be practiced fairly or ethically if we silence the newsmakers – whether their opinions jibe with the truth or our own beliefs of what is truthful.

It should be more than a bit concerning to all Americans – regardless of their political leanings or affiliations – that the national legacy news media are shutting off direct access to a seated president days after the most intensely contested election of our lifetimes.

ABC, CBS, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC each cut away from a live feed of Trump speaking from a podium Thursday in the White House about alleged instances of voter fraud. USA Today dropped its online feed.

“President Trump, without evidence, claimed the presidential election was corrupt and fraudulent. We stopped the livestream of his remarks early and have removed the video from all our platforms. Our job is to spread the truth – not unfounded conspiracies,” Nicole Carroll, editor in chief of USA Today, the country’s widest-circulated daily newspaper, said.

The networks offered similarly worded explanations and justifications for their actions.

Without question, Trump can be vitriolic and hyperbolic, but he’s the president and more than 70.6 million Americans appear to have voted for him. It’s the second-highest vote total for a president in U.S. history, and more than former President Barack Obama received in 2008. The 74.8 million votes Joe Biden has been credited with thus far in Tuesday’s election stands as the highest vote total. Keep in mind that votes were still being counted Saturday and both totals will change.

Americans have every right to scrutinize election results, and to be skeptical of them in an election such as this, amid a global pandemic, when virtually everything about our lives is slightly off or different from what we remember as normal. Pandemic aside, it would be reasonable to seek answers in these election results – simply because they are so very different in the volume of returns, the expansion of mail-in votes, counting method and tabulations than any election of our time.

Biden, who had run for president three times previously in a 47-year career in politics, who until 2020 never before won the nomination, whose candidacy for this year’s race started in obscurity and proceeded through perhaps the most low-key presidential campaign of the past 70 years, just scored the most votes in U.S. presidential history – more than 4 million more votes than Obama secured 12 years before.

Precincts in some cities are reporting turnout via ballot return or onsite votes cast above 90%. It’s been reported that some precincts have been above 100%, though that’s not verified. There is so much noise on this front that still needs to be reported accurately. Regardless, that should suggest to an objective media that something outside the norm has occurred, and it should be pursued – regardless of how outlandish any individual claim of voter fraud may sound.

The means by which those votes came in, trickling in via mail-in ballots whose counts are equally unprecedented, is new territory for all of us to observe and process amidst the backdrop of COVID-19. Voting and trust in voting protocols may never be the same. I write this from the shadows of Chicago. Voter fraud is not a fairy tale. 

The Americans who voted for Trump, who were so enthusiastic about early results Tuesday evening, watched as Trump's lead dripped away in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania because of massive numbers of mail-in ballots. They also watched as Arizona was called for Biden earlier in the night, probably prematurely, in a race that remained open and still was counting ballots as of Saturday.

While the high totals of mail-ins were anticipated, and delays in declaring state winners had been forecasted throughout the campaign, the sheer size and impact of these ballots could not be adequately foretold by the media covering the election.

Therein lies the rub.

You have – at the very least – the optics of a potentially stolen election, and fraud claims from a president whose leads in states critical to his reelection chances diminished by what is arguably the least-secure voting process we’ve ever allowed as a nation.

In the moment when Trump makes this claim to the American people, the networks – acting independently, but in unison – turned off the feed.

This did nothing but disenfranchise voters, stoke divisiveness and ramp up mistrust for the media. It’s absolutely the wrong approach. We should all be fighting for transparency and openness, integrity and truth.

And you cannot get that without allowing what is nearly half of the electorate to hear from their candidate and then determine the relevance of what has been said.

In the jeers and insults hurled each other’s way during the first debate, many more of them authored by Trump than Biden, it was Biden who said, “Will you shut up, man?”

But for media to willfully shut up a seated president, considering all the angst around this election, is reckless and dangerous. 

When that silencing is done in what appears to be an act of unison, or comfort within a pack – as was the case Thursday night when the networks dumped the Trump feed – it further feeds the notion that media is a team sport rather than races run by individual, free-thinking journalists.

Americans have a right to hear from the president and the former vice president who may be our next president, uninterrupted, and to consider their words before journalists report on them in whatever way they may choose to interpret the news. Media cutting the cord and then taking the news wherever they’d like is not journalism. It’s censorship. It’s elitist. And it’s wrong.

When media companies say they are sparing their readers or viewers from the news, they’re taking a position that is not theirs to hold. Journalists are not arbiters of the truth. Live-action fact checking is not fact checking. It’s quite literally interference. It’s an attempt to control what is being said rather than reporting on what’s being said.

Look, we’ve watched the frustration that journalists have had in covering the Trump presidency. The flip side of that is that at least 69 million Americans have watched the president’s frustration with the media covering his presidency.

But what is our responsibility as an industry?

I look at it this way: Media silencing a president is a sin as great as – if not greater than – a president attempting to silence the media. Journalists must rise above not being appreciated, liked or respected and do a difficult job that this country needs to be done.

Chris Krug

The Center Square

 

Friday, 06 November 2020 07:19

Trumpism Lives On!

Donald Trump may end up losing the 2020 election in the Electoral College, but he won the campaign that ended on Nov. 3.

Democrats had been talking of a "sweep," a "blowout," a "blue wave" washing the Republicans out of power, capturing the Senate, and bringing in an enlarged Democratic majority in Nancy Pelosi's House.

They visualized the ouster of Trump in a defeat so massive and humiliating that it would serve as an eternal repudiation of the man. And, most intoxicating of all, they believed they would be seen by history as the angels of America's deliverance.

It was not to be.

The American electorate failed to perform its designated role in the establishment's morality play. Indeed, Democrats ended Tuesday night terrified that America had again turned its back on them and preferred Trump to the leaders and agenda they had put forth.

By the campaign's end, Democrats were freezing the ball and running out the clock.

Consider the immense burdens candidate Trump had to carry.

Early in his reelection year, the nation was struck by the worst pandemic in a hundred years that, by Election Day, would kill nearly a quarter of a million Americans and cause an economic collapse to rival the Great Depression.

Trump had to endure daily the near-universal hatred and hostility of the nation's academic, media and cultural elites. How hostile is this city to President Trump?

He lost D.C.'s three electoral votes by a margin of 20-1.

Yet, even so burdened, Trump won 3 million more votes in 2020 than he had in 2016, and, as of midnight on Election Day, he seemed headed for victory in the Electoral College.

Giving the energy and effort he put into his campaign -- a dozen rallies in the last three days -- and the enthusiastic response from the huge crowds, Trump has much to be proud of.

Trump may lose the presidency, but Trumpism was not rejected.

Nor was it repudiated by the people if, by Trumpism, one means "America First" nationalism, securing our borders, using tariffs to bring back our manufacturing base, bidding goodbye to globalism, staying out of unnecessary wars and swearing off ideological crusades.

And if Joe Biden becomes our 46th president, the tenure of office of this visibly frail and enfeebled leader is likely to be among the more abbreviated in American history, and bereft of high achievement.

For Democrats appear to have lost seats in Nancy Pelosi's House, and, instead of sweeping to power in the Senate to make Chuck Schumer the new majority leader, Senate Democrats appear to have gained only a single seat. As of now, Sen. Mitch McConnell is set to be the gatekeeper to any passage of the Biden-Harris and Sanders-AOC agendas.

Good luck getting something enacted that Mitch McConnell doesn't like.

As of today, the 2020 election has restored to Senate Republicans veto power over any and all administration legislation, be it liberal, progressive or socialist. This election may have made McConnell the most powerful congressional leader since Lyndon Johnson.

With McConnell leading a GOP majority, Democrats would be unable to end the filibuster or pack the Supreme Court, and the GOP majority would have the power to kill the Biden tax plan, "Medicare for All" and the "Green New Deal." There will be no statehood and two senators for Puerto Rico or D.C., and no reparations for slavery. Mayors and governors seeking blue state bailouts to avoid defaulting on overdue debts will need McConnell's blessing.

In times past, there was often comity between the parties, or at least an attempt at comity. In mid-August of 1974, after he took office, President Gerald Ford went before Congress to declare: "I do not want a honeymoon with you. I want a good marriage."

It was not to be. And in the ideological divide and poisoned politics of this city, there is little likelihood of compromise -- or even civility.

Biden faces other troubles, too.

The worst of the COVID-19 crisis, in terms of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, may be ahead of us. And Democrats will not be able to blame Trump indefinitely. And if their answer is, as Joe Biden has at times indicated, a national "shutdown," a Biden honeymoon is unlikely to last.

Bottom line: Joe Biden is not going to be the "transformational" president of his imagining. Nor is he going to be the "most progressive president since Roosevelt" as some Democrats have been promising.

And the reasons are obvious.

FDR had massive Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress throughout the 1930s. And he won the presidency in 1932 by capturing 57% of the vote and 42 of the 48 states of the Union. In 1936, he carried 46 of 48 states, losing only Maine and Vermont.

Biden has no such mandate and no such power base, and he lacks the natural gifts of FDR. Sorry, but there is no new "Era of Good Feelings" in store for America. To the contrary.

 

patrick buchanan small

Patrick J. Buchanan

President Donald Trump on Wednesday began taking legal steps to challenge election counts in certain states, filing a lawsuit against Michigan, intervening in an existing Pennsylvania case and seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

Former Vice President Joe Biden held a 248-214 electoral vote advantage over Trump as of Wednesday afternoon, according to The Associated Press, which called the race in Wisconsin on Wednesday afternoon.

While races in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina remain undetermined, Biden said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference that he had a clear path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

"When the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners," Biden said.

Biden pulled ahead in Michigan on Wednesday morning after Trump led the state after midnight. Trump still led in Pennsylvania Wednesday afternoon, but that lead was shrinking.

At issue in both states was mail-in ballots.

"This is the most important election of our lifetime, and President Trump made clear our path forward last night: ensure the integrity of this election for the good of the nation," Justin Clark, Trump 2020 deputy campaign manager, said in a statement.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday morning that hundreds of thousands of votes still need to be counted but officials hoped to finish by the end of the day. With 99 percent of the vote counted in Michigan, Biden led by about 60,000 votes, or about 1 percent.

But Bill Stepien, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, said the campaign hasn't been given access to all counting sites in Michigan, so it filed suit to halt the count.

“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law," Stepien said. "We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”

In Pennsylvania, predictions that it might take the Keystone State several days to sort through an unprecedented number of absentee ballots appeared to be coming true.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the state's top election official, said Wednesday that the state still needed to count 1.3 million mail-in ballots, out of 2.6 million that were sent in by voters.

Trump still had a sizable lead in Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon, with a margin of more than 315,000 votes, giving him a 52-47% advantage. But onlookers noted that the mail-in ballots that had been counted so far were favoring Biden by a margin that, if it held up, would allow the Pennsylvania native to catch up to and surpass the president and claim the state's 20 electoral votes, which would be devastating to Trump's chances at reelection.

Trump's campaign said Boockvar, in collusion with the state Supreme Court, illegally allowed for mail-in votes to arrive and be counted well after the election.

"The United States Constitution is clear on this issue: the legislature sets the time, place, and manner of elections in America, not state courts or executive officials," Clark said. "As the President has rightly said, the [U.S.] Supreme Court must resolve this crucial contested legal question, so President Trump’s campaign is moving to intervene in the existing Supreme Court litigation over the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s unlawful extension of the mail-in ballot receipt deadline."

The campaign said the law was on the president’s side: "as the Eighth Circuit just said, to change the ballot receipt deadline is in fact a change of the time, place, and manner of the election – and only a state legislature or the United States Congress can do that under the Constitution."

The Trump campaign also said it will sue the state of Pennsylvania to, similar to the case in Michigan, "stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers – observers whose only job is to make sure every valid ballot is counted, and counted once."

In Wisconsin, with 99 percent of the vote counted, Biden led Trump by about 20,000 votes, enough for The Associated Press and other media outlets to call the race there.

Trump's campaign team said it would seek an immediate recount in the state after claiming irregularities with the vote count.

"Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been razor thin as we always knew it would be," Stepien said in a statement. "There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubt about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so."

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said about 200,000 absentee ballots remained to be counted and the state hoped to have those done this afternoon.

In North Carolina, between 100,000 to 200,000 absentee ballots still needed to be counted.

Votes in Nevada, an expected Biden win, and Alaska, an expected Trump win, were also still being counted Wednesday and no winner has been declared in either state.

If the contests in Nevada (6 electoral votes) and Alaska (3) finish as predicted and Trump wins in the states he's currently leading in, including Pennsylvania, the president likely still needs to win in Michigan to be reelected or win a recount in Wisconsin.

Trump so far has been declared the winner in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Biden won Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

​Dan McCaleb

The Center Square