Yesterday's Big Stories That Will Have Lots Of Follow-Through In Coming Weeks And Months

The electoral college cast their ballots and Trump lost, as was the will of 81,268,867 voters (51.3%), as opposed to the 74,216,747 morons who voted for Trump (46.8%). No hitches in the electoral college balloting and Biden got 306 votes to just 232 for Señor Trumpanzee. Trump will be insisting his fake rump electors are legitimate and Congress will have to decide. That should also decide the future careers of many Republicans in Congress, one of whom, Rep. Paul Mitchell, a super-conservative from Michigan, resigned from the GOP and registered as an independent. Although he won't be part of the 117th Congress, he still gets to vote whether or not to accept the findings of the electoral college when some jackass like Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz or Paul Gosar challenges the results.

I wonder when the DNC, DSCC or DCCC will beg the anti-Choice, anti-gay, anti-family, pro-gun Republican to run for something as a Democrat. This is the letter Mitchell sent to RNC Chair Ronna McDaneil, Trump House asswipe Kevin McCarthy and Michigan Republican Party chair Laura Cox:

The weeks since the 2020 General Election have been traumatic for many in our nation, both voters and those of us who took an oath to serve this nation.

As you well know, my voting record in Congress over the past two terms has been in line with President Trump and the administration's policies more than 95 percent of the time. Further, I voted for President Trump in the 2020 General Election despite some reservations about four more years under his leadership. I felt that many policies achieved during the Trump administration had been positive for our nation, whereas the policies espoused by the Democratic Party were too radical and did not reflect my principles.

I have also worked hard to support each of you and your efforts. Ronna, you may recall that I spoke with you several times as you considered undertaking the role of RNC Chair. It was my strong belief that you could help lead our party and support its core principles, and I encouraged you to undertake the position. Kevin, I worked diligently with you as part of the Republican Leadership Team for both the 115th and 116th Congresses. I fervently whipped votes for our policies during both terms on some tough issues.

As an active supporter of the national GOP, the state GOP, the NRCC and individual candidates, I raised almost $800k in just 2 1/2 years for the NRCC to support Republican candidates supported by leadership. I have contributed personal funds, not simply PAC funds, to innumerable candidates at the Federal and state levels.

I agree that there have been some disconcerting aspects to this election. With more than 155 million people voting, both administrative errors and even some fraudulent voting likely occurred. Steps must be taken, by each state, to audit election results, validate ballots and process and report findings to ensure that every legal vote counts. Michigan clearly needs to do that, not just Wayne County. However, the president and his legal team have failed to provide substantive evidence of fraud or administrative failure on a scale large enough to impact the outcome of the election.

Ronna, you know Michigan politics well. President Trump did not lose Michigan because of Wayne County, but rather he lost because of dwindling support in areas including Kent and Oakland County, both previous Republican strongholds. In the 2020 election, President Trump lost Michigan by 154,000 votes, compared to 2016 when his margin of victory was slightly more than 10,700 votes.

I have stated publicly numerous times that when entering the political arena, a person must be willing to accept winning and losing with grace and maturity. Having personally experienced both winning and losing, the latter can be brutal.

Any candidate, including the president, is entitled to request recounts and pursue legal challenges they believe are appropriate if they possess evidence of wrongdoing. President Trump has undertaken or supported both of these options. Recounts have failed to significantly alter the vote outcome in any state and dozens of court cases have been summarily dismissed in both state and Federal courts across our nation.

It is unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third- world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote. Further, it is unacceptable for the president to attack the Supreme Court of the United States because its judges, both liberal and conservative, did not rule with his side or that "the Court failed him." It was our Founding Fathers' objective to insulate the Supreme Court from such blatant political motivations.

If Republican leaders collectively sit back and tolerate unfounded conspiracy theories and "stop the steal" rallies without speaking out for our electoral process, which the Department of Homeland Security said was "the most secure in American history," our nation will be damaged. I have spoken out clearly and forcefully in opposition to these messages. However, with the leadership of the Republican Party and our Republican Conference in the House actively participating in at least some of those efforts, I fear long-term harm to our democracy.

The stability and strength of our democracy has been an ongoing concern for me. I expressed strong concerns about the president's response to Charlottesville, the anti-immigrant "send them back" rhetoric, and even the racist comments of my own colleagues in the House.

I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support the "stop the steal" efforts, which is extremely disappointing to me. As elected members of Congress, we take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States," not to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation.

As a result, I am writing to advise you both that I am withdrawing from my engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level. I will support, contribute to, and fundraise for individual candidates who reflect the principles I hold dear. Further, by copy of this letter I am also advising Ms. Laura Cox, Chair of the Michigan GOP of this decision.

I am also requesting that the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives change my party affiliation to Independent for the remainder of my term in office. While admittedly symbolic, we all know that symbols matter.


Paul Mitchell

Member of Congress

Mitchell bought his seat in 2016 after spending $3,575,867 of his own money in 2014 and then $3,067,287 of his own money two years later. He represents Michigan's "thumb," northeast of Detroit, a safe white-flight Republican district (R+13), with most voters living in Macomb, St. Clair and Lapeer counties. It was once a battleground district but Democrats have completely given up on it. Romney won the district with 55.3% and then Trump cleaned up with 63.8% in 2016 and did even better this year with 64.2%. The Republican taking over for Mitchell, Lisa McClain, outperformed Trump by 2 points in the district winning 66.3%.

CNN reported that "Despite so many of his colleagues throwing in with those undemocratic efforts [the failed amicus brief to the Supreme Court last week], Mitchell has been outspoken in criticizing the various evidence-free GOP attacks on the election and standing up for voters and facts. 'Oh my God,' Mitchell tweeted last month, '@realDonaldTrump Please for the sake of our Nation please drop these arguments without evidence or factual basis. #stopthestupid.' Following Trump's vow to 'keep going' in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday morning, Mitchell tweeted: 'Courts have heard the evidence provided of fraud and found it unsubstantiated numerous times.Continuing this circus is just ... so damaging ... so unproductive ... so narcissistic...what about our country?'"

The other big news was Barr's the long-promised resignation will become reality of December 23. "Barr’s resignation," reported Katie Bennet for the NY Times, "allows him to avoid any confrontation with the president over his refusal to advance Mr. Trump’s efforts to rewrite the election results. Barr and Trump seem to have worked out a detente and neither attacked the other. It remains to be seen if Trump will grant him a blanket pardon for all the criminal acts he participated on on Trump's behalf.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will become Acting AG. Trump is demanding the appointment of partisan special counsels to investigate Hunter Biden and his spurious claims of election fraud.

Barr brought the Justice Department closer to the White House than any attorney general in a half-century. Defying the distance that federal law enforcement officials have typically maintained from campaign politics, Mr. Barr spent the months leading up to the election echoing Mr. Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. He also told an interviewer that the country would be “irrevocably committed to the socialist path” if the president were not re-elected.
But he backed off the warnings of voter fraud after the election, saying little publicly for weeks until he said that the department had received no evidence that would overturn Mr. Biden’s election. “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Mr. Barr told the Associated Press.
That departure from the president was a rare step for Mr. Barr, who had worked to undermine the most significant conclusions of the Russia investigation. Weeks after taking office, he released a summary of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, that a judge later called distorted and misleading, and he held a news conference just before the full report was released where he described it in the best possible light for Mr. Trump.
Mr. Barr appointed a special prosecutor, John H. Durham, to inspect whether the inquiry was wrongfully opened and he sought the withdrawal of the prosecution of Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser. He overruled prosecutors who requested a tough sentencing recommendation for Roger J. Stone Jr., one of Mr. Trump’s longtime advisers.
Mr. Trump also handed him sweeping declassification powers to learn about any intelligence gathered in 2016 about Russia’s election interference, giving Mr. Barr leverage to root around at the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies.
His tenure prompted a handful of career prosecutors to publicly criticize him, highly unusual actions that flouted Justice Department rules prohibiting employees from publicly discussing sensitive internal matters.

In a brief statement, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said that Barr "has done tremendous damage to the Department of Justice and to the American people’s very faith in our justice system. Barr has repeatedly used the DOJ for the benefit of President Trump-- protecting Trump’s friends and allies, attacking his perceived enemies and furthering his personal interests and agendas. Barr has shown again and again that 'law and order' for this administration is anything but equal, benefiting those who are white and well-connected while endangering others. It is beyond ironic that Barr seems to have been pushed out for not going quite far enough to abuse his position for Trump’s benefit, however unconscionably far he did go. The reason may be ridiculous, but good riddance."

And pushed off the front pages:

  • Neoliberal California Governor Gavin Newsom is likely be recalled for being an all-around dipshit.

  • And speaking of dipshits, neo-fascist Michigan state Rep. Gary Eisen bragged that he was part of a group working to undermine the presidential election and was promptly ousted from his committee positions in the legislature. His state House seat, by the way, is in St. Clair County, so within Paul Mitchell's congressional district.

  • And that leaves us with... another 198,647 confirmed cases of COVID yesterday, bringing Trumpistan nearly to 17 million total cases, a number we will cross by noon today. Also 1,619 new deaths, California and mask-free Florida getting the worst of it. Also big new case loads in California, Arizona, Texas and Tennessee.