Donald Trump

First the Good News!

David Clarke

Sheriff David A Clarke is leaving Milwaukee County and Wisconsin.

Now the bad news -- he's leaving to take a position as assistant secretary of Homeland Security. 

I am at the moment trying to imagine the working relationship between Clarke and John Kelly.  The Trump administration becomes more bizarre by the moment and continues to aim toward being dysfunctional. We'd been hearing rumors of this for month but it was hard to imagine  that this would actually happen, even with President Trump.  Perhaps, though, the county's sheriff's office will start to receive proper attention, and peole will stop dying mysteriously and horribly in the jail cells. 

Alternative to the inauguration

I know a lot of you are looking for something else to do today to avoid watching the coronation of our new president. 

a.  The Esquire Channel, if you happen to be able to get it, is showing a marathon of Parks and Recreation.

b. You can watch coverage of the protests in Washington on Democracy Now! - https://www.democracynow.org/ -- though it looks like their live feed is having a little trouble keeping up with the demand.

c.  Tell your family you love them. Tell your friends you have their back, particularly those who will need to have you stand behind them for the next four years (which means, you know, everybody). Be calm but watchful. It's not a sprint, it's a very very  very long jog ahead of us. We need each other more than ever.

d.  Go out and participate in the arts in some way. No better way to get back at an incoming administration that is considering de-funding the arts to be one of their top prioirities. See a play.  See that independent movie you've been meaning to watch. Read a book, dammit.

e. Turner Classic Movies is showing A Face in the Crowd tonight -- it's apparently totally by accident, but it's completely appropriate and a wonderful film.

f. Be good and kind - someone needs to be.

Scotty Walker sends Santa a letter

Walker and Trump

Apparently Scott Walker has gotten word that the old Obama Grinch is about ready to be replaced by a new, happy, Jolly Old St. Nick - and he's written a letter asking for presents. Lots of presents. Presents for Wisconsin. 

Lots of drug tests for people who need a hand because -- well, okay, I have to admit I just don't understand that one at all, but maybe the new Santa in town does. 

Trump supporters file suit to stop recount

This is probably not a surprising move, but groups supporting Donald Trump have filed suit this morning to stop the recount in Wisconsin. The suit was filed by numerous plaintiffs including The Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC. 

The gist of the complaint is that there is not a consistent method for determining the intent of voters on ballots that may not be decisive. They are depending on the Bush v. Gore precedent as a defense of their position. In general the argument is that there is not a standard to ensure that votes will be treated equally in different jurisdictions. There is also not time to develop and promote a standard fast enough to make the deadline of the federal safe harbor law.  Reports appear to be that the elections commission is asking canvassers to continue the recount until such time that there is a legal decision.  Fasten your seatbelts, this will continue to be a bumpy ride. 

Smoke clears, recount to begin Thursday

As you will see in the Storify article below, a lot happened yesterday RE: the recount. Please follow the links in the Storify for external documents. 

The Stein campaign made a wire transfer to the state of 3.5 million dollars shortly before the deadline.  An interesting sidelight is that somehow when tallying the estimates of all of the counties, a mistake was made, and the Stein campaign was invoiced for 3.5 million when it should have been 3.9 million.  My guess is that the esitmates were probably high (if I were a county clerk I would have decided to err on the high side rather than the low side too) so this may all come out in the wash.  In any case, the Stein campaign will be on the hook for the total recount costs, and will be given a refund if the cost is lower than the estimate, so this may all come out in the wash.  The estimate was considerably higher than anyone anticipated, so Stein is off raising more money to cover the other states in which they are issuing recount petitions.

Drama unfolded late last night as Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ruled that the Stein campaign had not met the rather strong standard in the law for requesting a totally hand recount. Therefore, individual counties will have the right to decide whether to use scanners to re-scan the votes filed by scanner ballots, or to hand count them .  In any case, all of the ballots are inspected as they are fed into the scanner. Votes made on totally electronic voting machines will be hand-counted from the paper tapes that provide an audit trail from those machines.  This is  long and laborious process - I did this as a volunteer during the last state-wide recall and it takes quite a while to count those votes and tabulate them. It is not clear how difficult it will be for the county canvasses to be completed by the deadline of 8 PM on Dec. 12, nor is it completely clear what will happen if the deadline is not met. 

The recount will start at 9 AM tomorrow morning. 

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