So, it has come to this, the central question:

Are the Trumpists and Republicans (and not-a-few Democrats) right to doubt the polls that show #Biden winning an overwhelming victory over #Trump?

Keeping all musings on this momentous occasion in this thread.
Well, here we go
These early results are not entirely as it might have been wished they would be
Bad night for the polling industry - again.
John King on CNN coming to the realisation this is happening again, though he then urges caution because ... reasons. But the echoes of 2016 are deafening now.
The fat lady is clearing her throat
The turn by the networks to the betting averages over the pollsters is one of the most sensible things that has happened all evening
CNN has the count at 192 to 108 in Biden's favour, but is refusing to award Florida to Trump; had they done so two hours ago, Trump would have been leading their Electoral College map, which seems to be the reason they didn't.
Fox has just called #Arizona for #Biden.
NYT says #Georgia is likely to end up going for #Biden. Image
Sorry: was misinformed by BBC that Fox had retracted the call of #Arizona for #Biden, which is not true.
Biden just spoke: brief statement declaring confidence that the Democrats have won.

Trump has tweeted in response, and also promised a counter-statement: Image
Trump's counter-presser is exactly as expected
That Trump speech is an absolute disgrace; it's the kind of thing that used to happen in Chavez's Venezuela before the onset of outright dictatorship, the use of lawfare and inciting mobs to "win" elections that looked to be going against the president.
Fox (and Santorum I saw on CNN, too) are being very reasonable in this situation and trying to correct the lies Trump has told about the state of play and what the legal predicament is
Man who made discouragement of mail-in voting a central theme in his campaign has questions about why so few of his supporters used mail-in voting.
One of the worst fears was that Trump would incite those of his supporters addled with QAnon-style beliefs and/or the Militias to interfere at polling places. That didn't seem to happen during voting; is now beginning during the count. And Trump continues stirring up these people ImageImage
The number of apparently sensible people who have moved straight to baseless theories of fraud, ballot stuffing, and the rest to explain trends in the vote tallies that were predicted in advance to look favourable to Trump initially and less so later is really shocking.
Just now @Acosta, after noting that the President is trying for legal shenanigans that even many Republicans are resisting, added one of the most ever-green sentences in the English language: "To make matters worse, Rudy is on the case."
If one didn't know any better one would say that the chaos is the point for Trump. Image
As ever, the conspiracy theory assumes immense competence—in this case on the part of notoriously inept Democratic city machines. And, apparently, this is a laser-like focus on Trump, since Republican Senate and other candidates are winning in these areas
#Georgia has dismissed the lawsuit by Trump campaign - AP
Joe Gloria, the Registrar of Voters in Clark County, #Nevada, trying to explain the situation to a press pack that won't listen to a bloody word.

(Yesterday, he was assailed by the loony chanting, "The Biden crime family is stealing the election, the media's covering it up".)
An ever-more expansive conspiracy behind this coup attempt: Democratic city machines, local Democratic activist groups, maybe officials at the post office—a mere few thousand people across a half-dozen-plus states—and also Mitch McConnel and the other senior Republican Senators. Image
It is good to get some balance in the coverage by focusing on some of the good news.
Helpful summary Image
Interesting indicator from one prominent Trumpist of where things are headed - or more precisely where they believe things are headed. Image
Brief statement from Biden encourages patience and calm while the votes are tallied, says the system is working.
#Nevada is for all intents and purposes #Biden's; just need the formalities now.
The Trumpers are not happy with Lindsey Graham at all
This speech from #Trump an hour ago is at once pathetic and dangerous; a claim of electoral "fraud", which might well provoke violence from some of his supporters, based on a plaintive theory of an indeterminate and pervasive "they" working against him:
Trump explains: "They're trying obviously to commit fraud ... In Philadelphia, observers have been kept far away, very far away, so far that people are using binoculars".
This point can't be underlined enough
New York Post is among those not having this Image
Trump's spokesman says that all ballots cast on Nov. 3 must be counted in #Pennsylvania, except the votes cast that day, and postmarked that day, which arrive at the counting station days later; the administration wants them thrown out.
Probably Trump's most serious legal advocate: Image
Another indication of the way things are going:
Not what was needed from Don Jr. right now
#Trump's margin in #Georgia continues to narrow as the votes are tallied up Image
Lindsey Graham tells Hannity he's donating $500,000 of his own money to the Trump legal defence fund. Four hours ago, Don Jr. denounced Graham publicly after a Trump family-fuelled attack campaign had been ongoing all day
More Republicans signalling they will not follow the President down this road
As if the poor bloke in Nevada didn't have enough to cope with
Chris Christie says that if Trump is "gonna say those things from behind the podium at the White House, ... show us the evidence. ... If he's right, I'll be outraged and I'm sure you would be too."…
From a faction that shouts "grift" at any political enterprise they don't like ... as with so much of the Trump experience, a lot of projection at work. Image
Even on the maximalist Trumpian narrative of shenanigans to get Democrats over the line in Republican-controlled Arizona and Georgia, the fact the GOP was on a razor's edge that could be manipulated in these two states is a tremendous (as he might say) indictment of Trump.
(Obviously there is no concrete evidence of such shenanigans at this stage, nor have the Democrats officially won either; my sneaking suspicion on present trends is the Democrats win Georgia and not Arizona, but that's a total guess.)
In the end, Biden will probably have taken five states that Trump won last time. Had the ballots not been counted in this variable way, it would have presented a very different dynamic than the too-close-to-call narrative and killed most of the conspiracy theorising.
Even if Trump in practical terms "goes quietly", he will do so very loudly and without the concession - such are the premises for the post-Presidential revenue streams, after all.
This is just sad. Trump read aloud all the stage directions of his childish plot - run-up Republican tallies on Election Day by discouraging mail-in and claim fraud when the totals came in - then throw a tantrum when nobody takes his nonsense seriously.
Fox News reporter harshly rejects the suggestion from the studio host that there had been electoral shenanigans: "That's not true. It's not true. It's just not true. The poll watchers, ... Republicans, have been in that room where they're supposed to be" and admitted it in court.
The President having a positively normal one Image
Recounts simply don't overturn the kind of margin now visible in #Georgia, and it's even more overwhelming in #Pennsylvania - WITHOUT the counting of the ballots that Trump is fighting to exclude.
CNN and NBC call it for Biden ImageImage
Trump's presser in half-hour, already slated to be a little out-of-the-box, will now take place after several of the networks have called the Election for Biden. So that should bring out the best in him anyway.
Fox has also called it for Biden Image
Oh my God, they sent Rudy Image
Giuliani is claiming that he has 50+ people to testify that they were denied the ability to inspect mail-in ballots in #Pennsylvania, then mentions that courts had ruled that Republican inspectors - who were in fact in the counting booths - had to be allowed to move closer.
"There are many witnesses, a big case, not a small case" Image
"Big Democratic hack cities" - Rudy
It's all gone very Parks and Rec townhall meeting now this Rudy presser with supposed local residents of Pennsylvania that were deprived of their right to watch the vote count.
"I felt insidious fraud going on" - lady at Rudy's presser
It doesn't feel much like going out on a limb to say that if Rudy takes this (fairly low-energy) circus into a courtroom it will be thrown straight back out.
Oh, neat. They brought Corey Lewandowski to give a shouty part of the presser. Image
"This'll be a very, very strong case", says Rudy, while carefully keeping all the evidence to himself. Adds that the assembled journalists would see what he means if not for their "hateful biases". Image
Well that was an immensely strange piece of business. I would be really surprised - happy to be corrected - if even the President's supporters think that presser from Rudy helped anything.
#Pennsylvania and #Nevada called for #Biden, taking him to 290 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed to clinch the Presidency.

Still awaiting official counts from Georgia, North Carolina, and Alaska.

More and more people jumping on the Biden train
At the end of it all, this is the saddest part: the people who had legitimate problems and projected Trump as a solution; he didn't give a damn about them for a single second. Hopefully the Democrats learned the lesson, offer them a reasonable answer now.
The shock was finding Quest was still employed.
CHP (#Turkish opposition) congratulates #Biden before Erdogan's government does.
He's still going. Image
"It's always been a bad bet to bet against America. We're good people."

#Biden has reached out to Republicans in this speech, tried to unify, spoken in complete sentences - call it basic but its a threshold that hasn't been cleared for four years.
And now to check in with the Left:


With Biden right up until the moment he spoke about cooperating with Americans who didn't vote for him. Image
The hotline Trump set up in Alington to collect instances of voter fraud "has turned into a nightmare ...[,] bombarded with prank calls from people laughing or mocking them over Biden's win before hanging up ... [This] has already become a trend on TikTok"…
When it is all said and done, one has to ask: will this be the era's defining moment?
There we are. Just Erdoğan to go now.
Very possibly the worst take of all: Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, whatever else might be said of him, was dedicated to enhancing the power and prestige of his country and worked tirelessly at it. Trump does not understand the concept of work, let alone on behalf of anything but himself Image
There's a very post-modern element to crowd-surfing what case you're going to take to court to challenge to an Election. And again, I cannot imagine even Trump's partisans are particularly reassured by what Rudy has done thus far. Image
#Saudi congratulates #Biden. Since #Israel has now done so, it leaves #Turkey as the notable regional exception.
Former President George W. Bush congratulates Joe Biden on winning the Presidential Election.
Trump to keep it classy as the end nears
"If Republicans don't challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican President elected again," @LindseyGrahamSC said Sunday on Fox News. "President Trump should not concede."…
"One near-certainty about Joe Biden's Cabinet: Pete Buttigieg will be in it. Biden officials have made clear to donors and party officials the question surrounding Buttigieg is not if, but where, he lands, Democrats close to Biden tell Axios."…
The best interpretation of this is that she is playing along to make it easier for Trump to stand down. More likely she's just a loony who's joined a cult. But time will tell. Image
Was a bit different last time ImageImage
As a concluding note for the Trump administration, the Four Seasons Total Landscaping fiasco had it all, a condensed version of the travelling circus that has been the last four years. @_RichardHall writes for the record:…
Oh, and Esper has been fired Image
Ah, suggests Barr is resisting Trump's effort to be drawn into this madness.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping now exists in virtual reality "complete with weathered detailing and a last-minute Trump 2020 podium. And rejoicing furries."…
I do believe we are nearing Peak America 2020 >> "Gun stocks tumble after upbeat vaccine news, lack of civil unrest"…
Trump invited OAS observers and they have "issued a preliminary report giving high marks to the conduct of last week's elections - and it criticizes President Trump for making baseless allegations that the outcome resulted from systematic fraud."…
"What are the odds, you know? Donald Trump starts out playing around with Stormy Daniels, and next thing you know, one of his final hurrahs is going to be down the street from an adult bookstore ... You can’t write this stuff."…
They interviewed the owner of the porn shop next to Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Inter alia, his customers were trapped in the shop when Rudy's travelling circus turned up since they didn't want to be filmed leaving the shop by the international press.
More and more positive signs from the Biden camp
Erdogan seems to have had a long conversation with the Office of Hedging Your Bets
More senior military officials fired by Trump
Alleged witness to voter fraud admits he lied
Even the Taliban know it's over for Trump now
At least Pompeo landed with the intended audience
In court, Trump's lawyers say something rather different to the President's Twitter feed
Again, had the counting not taken place in the manner it did, this would not have seemed close.
A very honest assessment from @Nate_Cohn on what [little] we know about the polling error in the #US Election, which was worse than 2016 despite steps taken to correct things (this isn't to say they didn't work: without them it might have been worse again)…
Karl Rove: while Trump has the "right" to legal challenges, "the President's efforts are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden’s column, and certainly they're not enough to change the final outcome [of the Election]."…
The American Right spent four years mocking the fact that a significant portion of Democrats believed the Russians had actually changed votes by hacking the voting machines, and noting how silly an idea this was. Let's see if there's any consistency now: Image
"Trump has promised to contest ... Biden's win in court. But the fine print indicates much of the money donated to support that effort since Election Day has instead paid down campaign debt" and been used to get Trump's new PAC, Save America, going.…
Final tally: Biden 306 electoral college votes to Trump's 232.

Within that, Trump lost five states, including solid red states Arizona and Georgia.

Trump also lost the popular vote by more than five million (Biden got nearly at 78m vs. Trump at 72.6m) Image
Trump just gave a speech on the vaccine, which he says Pfizer did produce with his Operation WARP SPEED money, despite their denial, and that the vaccine will be shipped for free around the country early next year, except for New York, which something something Cuomo. Image
🤷🏼‍♂️ Image
One of the best headlines of the year >> "Accused 'dead' voter is alive and speaking out"…
Cannot describe how depressing it is to see Victor Davis Hanson assenting to the idea that Joe Biden was "installed" as President. Hanson went all-in for Trump a while ago, but he seemed to be too decent to go this far. What a shame.
"He (#Biden) won because the Election was Rigged": probably as near as we will ever get to a concession speech from #Trump. Image
Regular programming restored Image
"Rather than revealing widespread—or even isolated—fraud, the effort by Trump's legal team has so far…affirmed the integrity of the election that Trump lost … A 'dead' voter turned out to be alive. 'Thousands' of problematic ballots turned out to be one"…
The liberal press once again going through that awkward game with John Bolton: "Ignore our prior slanders, pay attention to the nice man"
In #Pennsylvania, the #Trump team have:

- dropped the major claim - that GOP observers couldn't view the counting of mail-in ballots in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh

- are pursuing a much smaller claim - that Democratic counties unlawfully let voters fix errors on mail-in ballots
Even if #Trump carried the part of the case he is now contesting in #Pennsylvania, it would affect a few hundred votes; he is losing by 60,000.

Without Pennsylvania, Trump cannot win the Election. Trump cannot win Pennsylvania.…

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he is being pressured by fellow Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Doug Collins, to find ways of throwing out legal absentee ballots in order to help Trump.…
Chris Krebs, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has been fired for refusing to lie about voting machines switching votes from Trump to Biden. So that's all nice and normal. Image
The man Trump just fired, Chris Krebs, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), had angered the President by ... refusing to lie and say there was evidence of a bizarrely specific, yet vast, conspiracy theory. ImageImage
While haters and losers try to provide evidence and legal argument in court, the Trump team has an entirely different tactic: Image
He tried ImageImage
Trump's legal team scaling down into insignificance their accusations of malfeasance and their proposed remedies when they're under oath, as against the President's mad Twitter feed, is a well established pattern by now.
Trump retweeted himself from 2012 to show, in case you doubted it, that he has been insane all along. Image
This is interesting: I have been curious whether Rudy really believes all this or not.
#OAN/#OANN says the Election was stolen from #Trump via software ("Hammer" and "Scorecard"), developed by the CIA for use abroad, then used by Democrats "as a superweapon" in 2020. Former USAF Gen. Thomas McInerney, relying on Dennis L. Montgomery, is their "whistle-blower".
Just watched the press conference Rudy gave yesterday (Nov. 19) alleging massive election fraud by a huge conspiracy - involving elected officials, judges, and trucks driving up to polling stations with votes for Biden. It's seditious in intent, and sad in execution.
Oh, Sidney Powell is actually much worse than Rudy. Her very first words at the Nov. 19 presser were: "What we are really dealing with here ... is the massive influence of Communist money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China in the interference with [American] elections"
Good God, she really did tie in the Dominion voting machines that are apparently controlled by Communist Venezuelans to Soros. Had she just openly blamed "Judeo-Bolsheviks" it would not have been any less insane.
So Sidney Powell expanded the network behind rigging the Election against Trump from Communists in Venezuela to Soros and ANTIFA. The machines were apparently rigged to count Trump votes as 0.75 and Biden votes as 1.25 and this was only detected because Trump won a landslide 🤷🏼‍♂️
This is Sidney Powell's peroration to her opening statement yesterday - an unhinged attempt to incite rebellion in a constitutional republic, which either makes her a true #QAnon believer, or an evil cynic - being tweeted by the official GOP
After Rudy and Sidney Powell, the final statement at yesterday's presser was Jenna Ellis, who attacked the press for refusing to report the open lies of the Trump legal and messaging teams as if they are true, or could be true.
A big theme explicitly from Rudy and Jenna Ellis, implicit from Sidney Powell, was that the presser yesterday was meant to make up for the media not reporting the "evidence" of election fraud from the affidavits. It seems very unlikely the presser helped.
Put it this way: it is difficult to believe the more serious pro-Trump advocates, who are trying to find a "respectable" way of saying the election was stolen, were helped by being tied into defending a narrative and legal strategy this blatantly insane
Maybe it's Smartmatic run by Chavez/Maduro, or maybe both Smartmatic and Dominion? It's all getting a bit blurry with Rudy now. There's a Soros connection in here somewhere, too, and I think the ANTIFA connection is that Soros supposedly funds ANTIFA.
Rudy suggests the FBI might need shutting down.
Sidney Powell says: "In terms of the level of corruption ... we have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates in any state ... paid to have the system rigged", which sounds like a threat to GOPers who won't go along with this Trump strategy.
Sidney Powell says that the election fraud was carried off by "massive interests of globalists" using Dominion machines and Smartmatic software. "Everybody's against us except President Trump", says Powell, and even Rudy laughs at this.
Rudy moves on from attacking the American election system to attacking the judicial system, says all judges who don't accept the Trump arguments are political "hacks" . Then slyly says if Biden isn't in on the conspiracy it's only because he's "unaware" (senile).
In #Georgia a Trump-appointed judge threw out the #Trump team's effort to stop the certification of #Biden's win after no evidence was presented. And a hand count of the paper ballots showed a match with the Dominion machine count.
Shortly after the Rudy/Sidney Powell presser alleging election fraud via a Venezuelan Communist-Soros axis, Tucker Carlson said Powell had been invited on the show and would have been given the whole hour, but she got angry when asked for evidence, refused
Quite notable that Tucker says nobody else in the Trump administration has seen evidence from Sidney Powell of massive voter fraud. Tucker has a direct line to the President, so it's at least suggestive when it comes from him.
Sidney Powell systematically shredding her credibility, even with the kookier forces on the Right
#Biden's margin of victory is now above six million votes: 79,784,165 votes (51.0%) as against #Trump's 73,763,979 (47.2%) - @CNN
Sidney Powell says the Justice Department and Bill Barr have been subordinated to CIA, which is behind the Dominion machines that rigged the Election.

She is about three or four days from calling Trump a "sell-out" and inciting rebellion against him, too
I am not competent with these technical things, but Sidney Powell's line that Americans voted for Trump in such a massive "landslide" that it "broke the algorithm" of the Dominion machines that rigged the Election ... does this make sense even on its own terms?
Digging up these insane moments from the Left over the last four years - whether it's Russiagate nonsense, the Stacey Abrams fiasco of 2018, or the Great Post Office Panic of 2020 - it is not making the point the Trumpkins think. It is only highlighting the depths they've sank to ImageImage
Noticed this, and they really do not seem to understand how it sounds.
Statement from Rudy, posted by @JennaEllisEsq, repudiating Sidney Powell. It is entirely unconvincing, but it does suggest even the Trump team has had enough of Powell's escalating crazy. Image
The Trump people going to drag this out in Georgia
More breaks in the Trump coalition
Statement from Sidney Powell accepting the Trumpian distancing, while saying she won't be letting the "Republic ... be stolen by communists from without and within or our votes altered or manipulated by foreign actors in Hong Kong, Iran, Venezuela, or Serbia". So that's fine. Image
So, the President having "distanced" from the lady lawyer who said the Venezuelan Communists controlled American politics and the voting machines, we turn now to Trump's new attorney ...

... who says Fox News has also fallen to the Communists and wants the GOP to lose the Senate ImageImage
Just the President's lawyer insinuating that Biden is responsible for the pandemic Image
"The General Services Administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden that the Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from Administrator Emily Murphy sent Monday [Nov. 23] afternoon"…
Kind of a concession from Trump Image

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More from @KyleWOrton

4 May
Liverpool University is removing the name of William Gladstone from one of its buildings because the Prime Minister, the great liberal exemplar, had a father who benefited from slavery. The building will be renamed for a Communist, Dorothy Kuya.…
Dorothy Kuya was no idealistic "private" Communist, incidentally: she was a lifelong member of the CPGB, a creature entirely controlled by the KGB, which worked to destroy Britain down to the last day of the Soviet Union.
Annoying @TheTimes uses the Communists' self-description of "anti-racism campaigner", a cynical label adopted by Soviet operatives for political warfare purposes. As regards slavery, the Soviet Empire re-introduced it to a country that had abolished it on a scale unprecedented.
Read 4 tweets
25 Jan
Exactly 365 years ago, on 24 January 1656, a physician and farmer from Portugal, Jacob Lumbrozo, landed in #Maryland, becoming the first documented #Jewish resident of the state. He only lived in the New World for about a decade, but it was quite interesting <THREAD>
Jacob Lumbrozo, the first documented Jew in Maryland, was a successful doctor and businessman in America, given a commission to trade with the Native Indians in 1665, not long before he died, and had trade relations to England and the Netherlands. He did run into trouble, though.
In 1658, Jacob Lumbrozo, the first documented Jew in Maryland, was charged under the state Toleration Act, passed in 1649, three months after King Charles I was executed, for blasphemy, i.e. denying the divinity of Christ.
Read 9 tweets
22 Jan
This is the crux of the problem - diplomatic/political and humanitarian. Any "solution", even a halfway solution, is the same as a call for regime-change. While Bashar al-Asad remains in "power", or at least fronting for an Iranian-Russian occupation, there is nothing to be done.
Here's the other problem: the regime is not going to negotiate its way out of power; sanctions, even in theory, are not going to achieve what a total war did not. And in practice, Asad can load the pain of the sanctions on the populace while his secret police remain intact.
If the sanctions on Asad's state held out the hope of, for example, releasing people from the GULAGs or even just improving their conditions, they would be so much easier to defend. As it is, it is unclear what the sanctions have achieved, or could achieve.
Read 5 tweets
17 Dec 20
Yesterday, Dec. 16, was 104 years since the State Duma of #Russia's Imperial government closed for the last time. Opened in April 1906 as part of the reforms after the 1905 rebellion (triggered by the war loss to Japan), it was a shocking infusion of liberalism to the Tsardom.
So many what-ifs with Russia, even up to the end. If Nicholas II had not taken direct control at the front in September 1915, or if somebody had murdered Rasputin earlier - which might have stopped Nicholas going to the front (he did it partly to get away from Court intrigues).
The political reforms in #Russia after 1905 were serious, and on the economic side the industrialisation of the country was even more successful - it's one of the reasons the Germans were content with war in 1914; it would have been impossible to win by 1917 or perhaps 1916.
Read 6 tweets
20 Nov 20
100 years ago on Nov. 17, the last major component of the counter-revolutionary White Guards led by General Pyotr Wrangel left Crimea in steam ships, essentially marking the triumph of the Bolsheviks, three years after their coup, a disaster the world still hasn't recovered from. Image
The Allies supported the White Guards in #Russia from 1918 primarily as a means of pressuring the Bolsheviks into re-opening the Eastern Front against Germany, meaning the incentive collapsed once the Armistice in the Great War was signed, except with Winston Churchill.
Most of the Allies failed to recognise that the Bolshevik regime was a menace in and of itself, one far worse than the Kaiser, and thus the support for the White Guards was limited and listless. By the end of 1919, the counter-revolutionaries were in disarray.
Read 7 tweets
24 Aug 20
#OTD 1572: On the eve of St. Bartholomew's Day, the Catholic leadership in #France decapitated the Protestant elite in Paris, and initiated a wave of mob slaughter throughout the country. The Roman Pope had medals and art made to celebrate this as part of the Counter-Reformation. Image
The most immediate Protestant target of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572 was Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, despised by key elements of the Catholic leadership for personal as well as sectarian reasons dating back a decade to the origins of the Wars of Religion. Image
Historian Barbara Diefendorf pieces together the situation in Paris on the eve of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre: a Catholic population primed with an essentially genocidal fury at the presence of Protestants, awaiting the slightest signal to act: Image
Read 5 tweets

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