“They’re Doing It As We Sit Here…”

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Senator Mark Warner(left), Vice Chair and Senator Richard Burr, Chair, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

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It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we were visiting friends. But all four of us spent last Wednesday indoors, in front of the TV. We were watching Special Counselor Robert Mueller testify, first before the House Judiciary Committee, and then before the House Intelligence Committee.

We knew our vigil wasn’t accomplishing anything in the larger scheme of things, but we are all political junkies with deep concerns about the fate of American democracy, so we felt compelled to watch and listen.

And while many have faulted Mueller for his halting, weary performance and his insistence on sticking to the “four corners of his report,” much emerged from those hearings.

Most important, Mueller was quite emphatic that our democracy is under attack. When asked by Republican Congressman Will Hurd if he thought the Russian involvement was a single episode, he did not equivocate.

“No. It wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.” 

What’s more, Mueller said:

“Many more countries have developed the capabilities the Russians have done.”

We’ll get back to the implications of that statement shortly.

Here are what I felt were the most significant of Mueller’s responses:

*His report DID NOT exonerate the President.

*The finding of lack of complicity with the Russians by the President and his associates was based on insufficient evidence to reach that conclusion (and not the absence of evidence)

*The investigation into that matter was impeded—not only by those who were convicted of lying, but also by others who told “outright lies” or were “not telling the full truth.”

*Those individuals included President Trump.

When Florida Rep. Val Demings asked if the President’s written responses to Mueller’s questions about, among other matters, the Trump Tower Moscow plans, given under oath, were “inadequate and incomplete and weren’t always being truthful,” Mueller responded: “Generally.”

Many questions Trump did not answer, and when Demings asked if some of his other responses conflicted with other information the investigation had revealed, Mueller said, “Yes.”

*Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois read public comments that Trump had made about WikiLeaks— including “I love WikiLeaks” and “This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove”—and asked Mueller if any of these quotes disturbed him.

Mueller answered:
“Problematic is an understatement in terms of what it displays, giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity.”

*In a significant exchange that seemed to go beyond the “four corners of the report,” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff questioned the Special Prosecutor:

Schiff: You believe knowingly accepting foreign assistance in a campaign to be unethical?
Mueller: And a crime…under certain circumstances.

Schiff: And it undermines our democratic institutions and is unpatriotic?
Mueller: True.

Schiff: And wrong?
Mueller: True.

Schiff: And we should hold our elected officials to a higher standard than the mere avoidance of criminality?
Mueller: Absolutely.

Schiff then asked if the need to act in an ethical manner is not only a moral one but also necessary so that it doesn’t expose the individual to compromise—which can be of a foreign nature.
Mueller: Yes.

Schiff: Blackmail?
Mueller: Also true.

Then Schiff noted the President’s denials. He’d said he hadn’t done business with the Russians. He also said if he had been doing business with Russia, “That’s not a crime. Why should I miss out on all those opportunities?”

Schiff concluded:

“We are all left to wonder whether the President is representing us or his own interests.”

I won’t go through the morning session with the House Judiciary Committee concerning potential obstruction of justice, other than to note that it yielded Mueller’s important statement that Trump could, indeed, be indicted after leaving office. 

(As I mentioned in my previous post, more than 1000 former prosecutors, who worked for both Democratic and Republican presidents, signed a statement that anyone other than the President [who couldn’t be charged due to a Justice Department precedent] would certainly have been indicted based on the findings in the Mueller Report.)

Somehow, all that possible criminality—and it seems fairly evident there was a good deal of it—does not get to me on the same visceral level as the President’s apparent indifference to/encouragement of the Russians’ disruptions of our elections.

Further evidence of the Russians’ impact came the next day, when the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report, the first of several, stating that the Russians targeted the election systems in all 50 states in 2016 and actually probed the election systems of 21 states.

The report noted the Russians’ “unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure.” Though they found no evidence that any votes were changed, they observed that “Russian cyber actors were in a position to delete or change voter data” in Illinois’ voter registration database.

The report recommends that US intelligence agencies place a high priority in quickly identifying cyberattacks, and the Department of Homeland Security should develop clear channels of communication between the federal government and the states. Old outdated machines must be replaced, and paper ballots are important for backup of every vote cast.

In a statement, Committee Chair Richard Burr of North Carolina spoke of improvements that have been made “to bridge gaps in information sharing and shore up vulnerabilities” but said “There is still much work that remains to be done, however.”

Vice Chair Mark Warner of Virginia said,

“I hope the bipartisan findings and recommendations outlined in this report will underscore to the White House and all of our colleagues, regardless of political party, that the threat remains urgent, and we have a responsibility to defend our democracy against it.”

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to refuse to bring bipartisan legislation that has already passed the House to the Senate floor for a vote.

I’d like to return for a moment to Mueller’s comment that many other countries are now also pursuing ways to disrupt our elections.

One commenter noted that McConnell’s plans to keep the Republicans in control of the White House and Senate by stonewalling election system improvement funding may backfire. Iran and China, he suggested, may have other ideas about the best ways to disrupt our elections.

And I am deeply concerned that Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, who emphatically warned about the Russian involvement in testimony before Congress, and has been a target of Trump’s wrath for some time, has now “resigned.”

Trump has appointed John Ratcliffe, a Republican Congressman who strongly supports him, to replace Coats. (Senator Burr, the Intelligence Committee Chair and a Republican, has already said this nominee is unqualified.)

We know the President recently jokingly castigated Putin for his interference when they met. There is no reason to believe he will change his attitude and acknowledge and act upon this threat to our national security.

We Americans all have many important issues on our minds—pocketbook and healthcare matters, climate change and a host of others. We each have our priorities. But this is a huge issue for our democracy that I believe we must find time to act upon.

Our involvement in these matters—contacting our elected officials to urge them to fund cybersecurity measures on the state and county levels—is critically important.

Tomorrow begins the next round of debates among the Democratic candidates for President in 2020. I will be looking for those who are concerned and knowledgeable about these issues and are thinking about ways to protect our elections.

These candidates have a difficult balancing act—to show they’re tough enough to take on Trump in the general election—while not destroying one another in the primaries.

But true leadership requires strength, knowledge, character, and the ability to effectively communicate one’s vision for America.

Surely thoughtful approaches to preserving our democracy in the election in which each of them seeks to be the Democrats’ standard bearer should be a major aspect of the leadership they demonstrate to us now–when we sorely need it.

Do you agree with me about the importance of protecting our elections from cyberattacks? Polls generally say that most Americans don’t really care about this issue that much.  I hope those polls are wrong.

Annie

28 thoughts on ““They’re Doing It As We Sit Here…”

  1. I watched a little bit of each session, maybe ten to fifteen minutes apiece. Schiff conducted a good Cross examination – a tactic that chooses the witness’ words for him. This is what courtroom lawyers do with unfriendly witnesses. I watched Nunes make speeches with a tiny question added to the end.

    What I did not hear was a series of questions asking what the Russians are doing, how they are doing and through whom they are doing it. Almost every question was about Trump.

    At the outset I wondered if we would find out if people in the Trump campaign either wittingly or not cooperated with Russian operators in swaying the election. But even a team made of highly anti-Trump people couldn’t get there.

    The whole”couldn’t exonerate him” thing offends me as an attorney. We have a legal system where a prosecutor’s job is to bring charges where he can and close his file and shut up when he can’t.

    There is always a range of opinion in a case. An aggressive prosecutor may press ahead while a more balanced one may back off. Out of this team effort no charges were brought except for process crimes of lying about things not central to the main issues.

    By now everyone in the world knows that Trump is a loose cannon who shoots his mouth off and hits his foot as often as not. But he is no criminal Mastermind because he doesn’t have the discipline.

    I would love to see hearings about the Russian threat itself. I agree that it is real. But there seems to be no interest in going there if taking down Trump is not part of the deal.

    I used to think it was only Trump that attacks after every insult. I have become amazed at how Democrats fall into the same trap. While Trump and house members insult each other and their supporters who’s running the country?

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    1. JP…my friend regardless!

      I strongly suspect that Mueller’s testimony would never have taken place if Attorney General Barr had not deliberately misrepresented the Mueller Report’s findings to the public–and kept the report away from public scrutiny for so long. The Democrats felt that they had to redress those false conclusions, which had gained general acceptance. Mueller’s March 27 letter to Barr made it clear that he was distressed by the misleading statements Barr had made, stating that Barr’s summary had created “public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation.”

      As for Adam Schiff’s approach to Mueller, it was no secret that Mueller did not want to testify; he had to be subpoenaed. However, once under oath, as a man of integrity and honor, he answered truthfully. That should have been the case with everyone Mueller’s prosecutors interviewed, but it clearly was not. And it’s a fair question whether we might actually have more information about conspiracy if it hadn’t been for all the lying and obfuscation. We may still find out. There are more investigations continuing. And we don’t know whether the obstruction of justice issues involved things they were lying about that were, indeed, directly related to the Russians’ interference, but there are hints that they were.

      Your point about “exoneration” is well taken. I suspect that Mueller was not comfortable about that. I can envision that Barr insisted that the words “full exoneration” appear in the report, and that’s why Mueller’s team felt they had to make it clear that the findings did not exonerate Trump. This interesting article appeared in Time Magazine. Joyce Vance, a former prosecutor, speaks to the charges Republicans made that it wasn’t a prosecutor’s job to exonerate. She states: “But the situation Mueller faced is not one federal prosecutors typically encounter because the main tool in the prosecutor’s toolkit, bringing charges via indictment, was not an option here.” She continues that Mueller’s actions were unprecedented because he was in “uncharted territory” with a sitting president who couldn’t be indicted but tried to hide the truth during a criminal investigation. In case the link doesn’t work, the title is “This Might Be the Most Important Exchange in the Mueller Testimony”

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiTpNKI0tvjAhULpFkKHa18AQwQFjAIegQIARAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftime.com%2F5635276%2Fmueller-testimony-obstruction-conspiracy-analysis%2F&usg=AOvVaw2691HgenqpdyOjMwUBuRpi

      Mueller’s charge did not involve investigating what the Russians actually did to disrupt our elections, but we will learn more about that. Although the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report is heavily redacted, we will eventually find out more. The report just released is the first of several.

      This is a rhetorical question; I don’t expect an answer. But I believe you are an honorable man who has humanitarian instincts. You clearly have deep reservations about Trump. This is a President who many of us–hopefully most of us–believe is doing grievous harm to our social fabric and to our democracy itself. Lacking any knowledge of the Constitution, he recently announced that Article II grants him the power to do whatever he wants. It is clear that he admires dictators. Yet the Republicans in Congress and people who consider themselves conservatives do not–with the exception of Justin Amash–do anything but quiver in fear that he will denounce them and end their careers. I long to hear people of your character acknowledge the harm this man is doing beyond calling him a “loose cannon” who lacks the discipline to do real damage. I believe he’s already taken us well beyond the damage point, and his reelection will be the end of our democracy. I can’t imagine you want to be a part of that.

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      1. You asked a question and I will try to answer you. I think his erratic and unpredictable nature has hurt US credibility in certain areas – like trade and our need to address rogue actors in the world. But I think our Constitutional government can withstand him.

        The Article II business – here is what I don’t get. Trump is a fabulously inarticulate man who blathers off one stream of consciousness rant after another. He will have a general point and will make it in a way that doesn’t always stand up to thoughtful analysis – often with a showman’s exaggeration. The Article II comment is just such a thing – it was not a comment that he has thought about and issued a position paper on. It was an unfiltered brain to mouth moment that has no more significance than many of his other unfiltered brain to mouth moments. Context is key with Trump and too many ignore the context of such statements. And yet the chattering classes take these barely-formed thoughts, gasp and clap their hands to their cheeks, then pronounce that he is a dictator.

        Trump has given everyone a gift, though most have not noticed it. Whatever he might think comes straight out of his mouth. We don’t have to wait for a careless moment in front of a hot mic, it comes out all day every day. This is not always a good thing, but there are no secrets about what he thinks (although we often have to rely on our own filters to get at what he was trying to say). These kinds of wacky, undisciplined thoughts could, in a more methodical man, be something to take seriously. But Trump is mostly surrounded by normal people who keep his worst impulses in check. A saner opposition might listen to what he says and move forward with an agenda, possibly buttering him up and co-opting him into joining them. The man was famously apolitical and there was a great fear among conservatives that he would fold the minute Democrats started schmoozing with him. But they did not schmooze. They went into a massive freakout that has yet to abate, turning Trump into the promoter of conservative positions that none of us dared to hope for at the beginning.

        There is one thing I truly admire about the guy – he has the seat-of-the-pants ability to understand normal people who don’t care much about politics. He doesn’t condescend to them. (Bill Clinton was the same way. Hillary was assuredly not.) He treats them as equals and they see him as their champion. When a local library proposes a drag queen story hour for pre-schoolers, others will spout politically correct platitudes. Trump will get a funny look on his face and say “that’s just stupid.” Normal people respect plain speaking like that. If he could only exercise a teeny bit of self-discipline he would be a true game-changer (for good or ill). But he cannot and thus will not be a game changer.

        So we will all be just fine. He will either lose the next election (by mostly his own fault) or he will get re-elected. We have a durable system that will work as long as it is adhered to. If you ask me what is the biggest danger to our democracy, I would argue the regulatory state that was never contemplated in the Constitution and which has run wild since the Nixon administration. But that’s just me.

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      2. I would love to share your belief that trump is just a bumbling fool who won’t do any permanent damage. A “teeny bit of self-discipline”? I think the scariest thing has been that he just does and says whatever he wants and the party once known for its conservative principles is mum. He has wreaked havoc on the legitimacy of all our institutions. As for the grownups around him, he fires anyone who tries to advise him or dares to disagree with him. There are no grownups left, as far as I can see–unless you think Steven Miller is a stalwart for our Constitutional values (and I may be wrong, but I suspect you don’t).

        As for striking a deal with the Democrats, I’m pretty sure there was a fairly large infrastructure bill on which they reached agreement, only to have trump back out when his Fox and Friends buddies said “no way.”

        The Article II business alarms me not because I think he’s a Constitutional scholar, but because he has demonstrated his love for dictators–even as he places us closer to the edge of war with North Korea (as well as Iran, where he’d love to negotiate the treaty Obama did, but get credit for it). I hope I’m wrong that he won’t go gently away, assuming he’s defeated–especially now that he knows he can face indictment and possibly jail time. This is a man who loves to stir up crowds, thinks nothing of making off-the-cuff comments that can endanger people’s lives. I obviously take his ability to do evil much more seriously than you do.

        Your regulatory position is one I understand but find inevitably leads to the law of unintended consequences. Regulations aren’t passed for nothing. We all need cleaner air and water, pajamas for kids that don’t catch on fire, etc, etc. And I won’t reiterate what I’ve already written about the need for redress of our growing economic inequality, which we shall have to reckon with as a society at some point, one way or another.

        I do fault the media for focusing on his every tweet. He is savvy enough to set the agenda for discussions. I wish the approach would be: “OK; so this is what President Trump wants us to talk about today. But the real issues are…”

        And worst of all, I see Trump as a symptom of the worst instincts of the once-proud Republican Party, which has lost many adherents during his time in office. Or maybe that’s best of all: if Trump and his minions are resoundingly rejected, perhaps more rational heads will come to the fore–or a new party will be formed espousing strong national security with an emphasis on diplomacy, reasonable trade efforts, and responsible immigration policy. And maybe, just maybe, we can then get our elected officials to compromise for the greater good.

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      3. “And maybe, just maybe, we can then get our elected officials to compromise for the greater good.”

        Oh, but they just did – by agreeing to lift the debt ceiling again – along with spending enough money to make everyone happy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. From the little I’ve read these hearings went as expected. Mueller wasn’t going to go any further than the written report despite being badgered to do so. I think JP has an excellent point with regards to the Democrat / liberal media freak out. It hasn’t changed anybody’s mind, if anything it’s just entrenched positions even further.
        Personally I’m pleased that the Trump administration has proven too inept to do much damage (particularly with NAFTA) and their time will soon be up. Rather than continue to freak out, I would think the best thing to do now would be to present a reasonable and electable alternative to the reality TV show.
        I think the root problem is profit driven media, it’s just so darn lucrative to incite people to outrage, we saw that during the Obama years and now the shoe is on the other foot.
        As always, vary your news diet and resist the incitement to freak out.
        Peace to you.

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      5. I think we’re seeing that Mueller’s testimony is having an impact. I am ambivalent about impeachment (agreeing with Nancy Pelosi’s thinking and strategy while simultaneously feeling Congress must respond to this President’s total stonewalling of its oversight function), but increasing numbers of House members have “come out” since the testimony as a result of their constituents’ pressure. Now that they will be in their home districts for recess, there will probably be more climbing aboard this train in the coming months.

        I tend to take long breaks from “profit driven media,” but my mindfulness meditation takes me only so far. I don’t think anyone is being stirred up as much as the people at Trump’s rallies and the consumers of Fox TV’s conspiracy theories.

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    1. Hi, Dennis–

      My worry is that people either don’t realize or (worse) don’t care how fragile our democracy is. This President, embracer of dictators, recently said that Article II of the US Constitution permits him to do whatever he wants. It’s hard to understand how we’ve reached this point, but we can only hope that an energized public elects leadership that “makes America greater than ever before.” (We need a better slogan than that, of course!)

      Good to hear from you!
      Annie

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  2. I think that comment above about “hate the sin but loving the sinner”, just about sums up the current situation with Teflon man. It seems no matter what he says, or does or is guilty of, people just shrug. Shocking behaviour has become the new norm. I wonder exactly what it would take to get people to sit up and take notice. I think part of the problem is a lot of people don’t care about politics period. As long as things are good for them, good jobs and strong economy, they can ignore the rest. They think it doesn’t affect them. I grew up in a family who discussed politics and world news at the dinner table. But every summer we used to visit my Michigan relatives – this was the late 60’/early 70’s when I was a young teenager, and during that volatile time of civil rights and Vietnam protests and Nixon/Watergate, and I do not remember them ever once discussing US politics, or world politics or any politics. They were just absorbed in their own little world, working at the car plant, life is good in suburbia etc. Of course, there are plenty of people in Canada who are disinterested too – esp, younger people. I was the oldest person in my workplace before I retired, the rest were in their 20-40’s, and not one voted in the last federal election! I was just disgusted, this is your civic duty. Is it just a self-absorbed world now, if it doesn’t directly affect me, I can ignore it? Do we want to become one of those countries where corruption becomes the new norm – people need to wake up! As for hate the sin/love the sinner. It has puzzled me for a long time, how people especially women, can vote or stand up for the Trumpet because of his boorish sexist behaviour. I recently read an op-ed by someone who reviewed the culture of the 80’s (when he was 36yr old) and that kind of bad/boy behaviour was accepted and women just had to put up with it, and the author made a comment about the women who voted for and stand up for him, and that sort of explained it. She said they were stuck in the 80’s when his kind of chauvinistic behaviour was acceptable, and closed with the comment, ladies (and men), you need to re-examine your opinions every few decades! I can provide the link to the article if I can find it again, if you are interested, but reading it really made me thing how times have changed in the past 30 years, but not for some people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with everything you said, Joni, and I thank you for enriching the discussion with this bit of historical perspective. If you do find the article, I’d like very much to see it.

      It’s disturbing to me that you speak of the apathy of young people in Canada. That’s been the case in the US in the past, but it seems that the gun horrors and climate change have aroused what I hope will be a powerful new force for good. The new generation—with obvious exceptions—also seems to be far more advanced in their acceptance of each other without regard to the differences among all the categories that divide us—and that trump uses to stoke fear of “the other.”

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree the issues of race and other cultures do not bother younger people as much here either, as we are a fairly multicultural society now, especially in the bigger urban cities. More exposure to different races and cultures brings better understanding. I never even saw a non-white person until I went away to university in Toronto in the 70’s, being a product of a small rural farming area, but when you work with people of all races you get to the point you don’t even think about it. I wonder if that is part of Trumps problem – lack of exposure in his golf club world? We don’t have as big an issue with guns here, although climate change is a hot topic. Here’s a link to the article on feminism in the 80’s. I am around 60ish and rememeber the Hanes ads – now no one even wears pantyhouse and if they do, they sure don’t wear them for men! I also remember Anita Hill, and when watching the hearing of that new judge whose name escapes me right now, I thought that nothing had changed there either! The article is from a site called Medium, which I am not familiar with, but the person who shared it was upset that they are now charging people to publish long reads. https://medium.com/s/story/gen-x-remember-when-men-preferred-hanes-and-you-were-an-uptight-bitch-6ba6db0feb80

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      2. I think that’s a fair conjecture about women and Trump. That’s a strong, persuasive article—albeit a bit raw in style. I looked up Medium and it seems to be a communications conglomerate of sorts. Thanks for sending.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. PS. We had the same thing going on here in the spring with Trudeau and the SNC/Lavalin corruption scandal, so the corruption issue is not just in the US. Trudeau who had based his whole election platform on being a champion of women’s rights, until one disagreed with him, and he demoted her. The female justice minister resigned over the scandal, she was being pressured by the PM’s office to let SNC/Lavalin (a big company in Quebec accused of corruption), off the hook, and everyone just shrugged. There was of course denial by the PM’s office, some advisers resigned and a feeble attempt at an investigation, but it was all covered up. Then three months later, he’s back up in the polls again as if nothing happened.

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    1. Some good points there, we had wondered how long sunny ways would last once they got down to the messy business of actually governing. I would suggest that Wilson Raybould was looking at a very grey situation in black and white. Having working in International Engineering projects for 25 years I would have been more shocked to find out SNC were NOT paying bribes. In some parts of the world that’s just how it’s done, anybody working in those areas is doing exactly the same thing. Luckily I work for a European company that chooses not to play in that sandbox.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree Doug D. I think Wilson-Raybauld was naive and perhaps inexperienced in the ways of politics and the third world, and yes there was a gray area which she for whatever reasons refused to acknowledge. What she considered interference, they considered the art of persuasion. Most of those countries run on corruption, I suspect having to bribe someone would be the normal way of doing business. I see she has a book coming out, but wonder as it seems to have been written before the scandal so doubt if she will address any of it. What did she accomplish by resigning? Nothing. She took a stand on principle, which I suppose is admirable as so few people do, and feels justified she did the right thing, but I wonder, she has no power to effect change now. I’m not a big fan of Trudeau (brand recognition, but never thought he was smart or experienced enough ), but don’t like Andrew Schleer either – we have poor choices. That’s what happened in the US – two poor choices and you get a country in chaos.

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  4. Annie,
    Seems the results of the Mueller hearings didn’t tell us anything beyond what we already knew- maybe just emphasized points that the House Intelligence (oxymoron) people thought should be brought out again.
    You’re correct in that the general voting populace probably could care less and opinions are already set, unless some impeachable offense shows up.
    Trump keeps saying whatever he feels like and it’s just Trump being Trump. What will he say next? Does it matter to most- those who haven’t been outraged by now likely won’t be by his next tweet.
    Dems need a really strong candidate that they can all support when the debates are over and they stop hassling each other.
    Don

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    1. Don,
      Potentially impeachable offenses (plural) have already shown up. Mueller’s Report cites a number of them, and the 1000 prosecutors who signed a statement saying Trump would surely be indicted if it weren’t for the Justice Dept. ruling saying a sitting President couldn’t be made that point quite clear.

      How compelling the House impeachment investigation proceedings will be and what impact they’ll have is something we’ll just have to wait to see. I think the decision whether or not to bring impeachment charges was fraught in both directions.

      By the way, despite your parenthetical oxymoron, I found the Democrats well-prepared, thoughtful, polite, and –yes, intelligent–during the Mueller testimony. I won’t go into detail about the difference in demeanor between them and their Republican counterparts.

      I emphatically agree with your final statement. It’ll be tough, but it’s essential that the candidate be sufficiently inspiring to not only unite the Democrats, but also attract independents and Republicans who have had their fill of Trump.

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  5. This is all so disheartening. I realize I’m late to this discussion but at least have had the benefit of all these fine comments. Annie — you have an intelligent following, which is no surprise given your strong lead. I agree with your findings and especially the hope, expressed by a few here, that the Dems settle on someone capable of inspiring support from all corners. I’m not sure we can take even a day more of this guy let alone four more years.

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  6. This is all so disheartening. I realize I’m late to this discussion but at least have had the benefit of all these fine comments. Annie — you have an intelligent following, which is no surprise given your strong lead. I agree with your findings and especially the hope, expressed by a few here, that the Dems settle on someone capable of inspiring support from all corners. I’m not sure we can take even a day more of this guy let alone four more years.

    Like

  7. This is all so disheartening. I realize I’m late to this discussion but at least have had the benefit of all these fine comments. Annie — you have an intelligent following, which is no surprise given your strong lead. I agree with your findings and especially the hope, expressed by a few here, that the Dems settle on someone capable of inspiring support from all corners. I’m not sure we can take even a day more of this guy let alone four more years

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I suppose you really couldn’t do it in the U.S. since you vote for so many different positions on Election Day – that a computerized form is faster.

    But in the recent Alberta provincial election, we still use the old fashioned piece of paper where you mark an X next to the candidate of your choice with a pencil and drop it in the ballot box.

    Then all the ballots are counted by hand with observers from each party present at the particular polling booth after the polls close.

    Such a system is not subject to computer hacking.

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    1. That is precisely one of the important recommendations of all the groups concerned about election integrity: that having backup paper copies of each ballot is essential.

      But those who are happy about foreign intervention: to wit, the Senate Majority Leader now angry that he’s being called “Moscow Mitch,” is unwilling to allow a vote on legislation to provide funding.

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