Fun times at the Michigan hearings

In case you were not aware, Rudy Giuliani is still pushing to overturn the Michigan results and there were hearings in the Republican-controlled state legislature for four hours on Wednesday where he brought in witnesses who alleged widespread fraud. One of them was someone named Melissa Carone who said that she worked as a contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, the company that manufactured the voting machines and that has been accused by Trump lawyers of working in cahoots with Hugo Chavez (who died in 2013) and the CIA to electronically switch Trump votes to Biden votes as part of their plan to turn the world Communist. Or something like that. It is hard to keep up.
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Trump’s increasingly pro-forma complaints of election fraud

It looks like Trump has decided to slowly begin the process of conceding that he has lost the election and will be leaving the White House. In a peevish exchange with reporters, he said that he will leave if the Electoral College announces that Biden has got the most votes, though he insisted that such an ascertainment would be a mistake because the election was a fraud. Of course, it dos not matter in the least that he is saying he will leave because he will have to go whether he agrees to or not.

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A real life Clayton Bigsby

There is an African American in Alabama who is an ardent supporter of the confederacy, waves its flag proudly, and opposes the removal of monuments and the renaming of buildings that honor the leaders of the rebellion. He was part of an otherwise white group of people who were interviewed when they came to protest the removal of confederacy-era monuments.

One of the interviewed individuals is a Black man named Daniel Sims, seen in the video wearing a variety of Confederacy-supporting merchandise.

“Regardless how the next person feels, I’m not gon’ take my flag down,” says Sims, who states that his family is entirely white. “If I got anything to do with it, ain’t no monument gon’ come down.”

Sims also claimed to have been taught “everything I know” from someone who fought in the Civil War, a claim that is mathematically dubious.

“My whole family is white, I went to an all-white school, lived in an all-white neighborhood,” he said. “My grandfather was white and he was the main one that fought in this war here. And he taught me everything I know.”

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When you won’t even appear on Tucker Carlson’s show, then you’ve got nothing

MAGAland has a new star. A lawyer named Sidney Powell has achieved her 15 minutes of fame as Rudy Giuliani’s sidekick, mouthing even more insane conspiracy theories about how the election was stolen from Trump without providing a shred of evidence. She alleges that somehow the Venezuelan government (yes!) and George Soros (of course!) were behind a plot that managed to co-opt vast swathes of people from the local to the national to the international level to plan and execute a massive fraud that stole an election that Trump rightfully won. Need I mention that she is also a QAnon supporter and is considered one of the ‘heroes’ of the movement? Are you surprised?
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Season finale of Last Week Tonight

The show had its last episode on Sunday before going on hiatus until February. The show’s seasons usually end with a splashy finale but given the current situation, this one was weirdly interesting. The end of it reminded me of a scene from the film Michael Clayton with George Clooney but that was not popular enough to be worth alluding to and I am open to other suggestions.

I also find it interesting that the film 2001: A Space Odyssey has had such a major cultural impact that hearing the Strauss waltz The Blue Danube no longer brings to my mind people swirling around in elegant outfits in a huge ballroom but instead suggests some kind of event on a cosmic scale is about to occur.

John Oliver examines One American News

Donald Trump and his supporters have soured on Fox News because they think that apart from Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham, the rest of the hosts were not sufficiently supportive of Trump and not enthusiastic enough is peddling his lies that the election was stolen from him. As a result they are seeking even more extreme news sources and one that is becoming popular is a cable news outfit called One America News.

About seven months ago, John Oliver took an in-depth look at OAN.

Estimating crowd sizes is tricky

The National Parks Service used to issue estimates of the sizes of crowds at various public events but stopped doing so after getting hammered on all sides, both by those who wanted larger figures and those who wanted smaller ones. So now there are no ‘official’ crowd sizes, enabling anyone to make any claim that suits their purposes. Take for example, the Million Maga March in support of Trump held in Washington DC last Sunday. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany excitedly tweeted that a million people had actually turned up, while Trump initially claimed hundreds of thousands and later said tens of thousands.
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Trump is really going bonkers

In the latest move during the current purge of people in Trump’s administration, he has fired the person who said that the recent election was the most secure in US history. (I wrote about the official expecting to be fired two days days ago.)

Trump fired Christopher Krebs, who served as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa), in a tweet on Tuesday, saying Krebs “has been terminated” and that his recent statement defending the security of the election was “highly inaccurate”.

The firing of Krebs, a Trump appointee, comes as Trump is refusing to recognize the victory of the president-elect, Joe Biden, and removing high-level officials seen as insufficiently loyal. He fired Mark Esper, the defense secretary, on 9 November part of a broader shake-up that put Trump loyalists in senior Pentagon positions.

Krebs had indicated he expected to be fired. Last week, his agency released a statement refuting claims of widespread voter fraud. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” the statement read. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Krebs, a former Microsoft executive, ran the agency, known as Cisa, from its creation in the wake of Russian interference with the 2016 election through the November election. He won bipartisan praise as Cisa coordinated federal state and local efforts to defend electoral systems from foreign or domestic interference.

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