FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiMonday, November 28, 2016
ubochit@hotmail.de
Bonn, Germany

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FACTORS WHICH DETERMINED THE 2016 UNITED STATES' PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION'S (3)

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Continued from Part 2

The road to tyranny, we must remember, begins with the destruction of the truth (Bill Clinton)

The clock is ticking and Mr. and Mrs. Trump should not be measuring the White House curtains just yet (International Business Times).

I could think of no worse example for nations abroad, who for the first time were trying to put free electoral procedures into effect, than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential election, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box (Thomas Jefferson)

Can a miracle make Hillary Clinton the president?

his part of the article will go "off-point", as there's something going on, and if it plays out, as some people are planning, it will be a political tsunami never experienced before. It may never happen, but if it does, it will mean that this year's election wasn't a normal one, as the outcome and events after it will be proving that assertion right. In my last article, before this serial, I wrote of a remote possibility that Hillary Clinton might still become the president, despite losing the electoral vote and the election to Donald Trump. Now, the possibility is no longer farfetched.

First and foremost, it seems that the whole electoral process was compromised by a foreign power bent on seeing Donald Trump elected the president, that it used all means to undermine Hillary Clinton and her candidacy. Russia may have also hacked the results of the election, as some people are requesting for recounts in some states. It has been reported that Russia surreptitiously used propaganda to demean Hillary Clinton before the American voters, and that helped in getting her opponent elected. What Russia did here, if it's proven, was a violation of the law, although America is also guilty of the same offence, as it has influenced the outcome of elections in so many other countries. In an election its result surprised so many people, this alleged Russian involvement should be investigated, and if found that it really influenced the election, then the result can be challenged, only that time is running out for such a move.

Experts, according to The Washington Post, claims that Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during the election, as independent researchers, who tracked the operation, said that the flood of "fake news" this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump, and undermining faith in American democracy. According to the news, "Russia's increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia. Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House".

Although the news said that there is no way to know whether the Russian campaign proved decisive in electing Trump, but the "researchers portray it as part of a broadly effective strategy of sowing distrust in U.S. democracy and its leaders. The tactics included penetrating the computers of election officials in several states and releasing troves of hacked emails that embarrassed Clinton in the final months of her campaign. They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests".

And now, Computer scientists have urged the Clinton campaign to challenge the election results, claiming that Clinton's tallies fell 7% shy of expectations in counties that used electronic voting machines. According to Digital trends, computer scientists and election lawyers revealed "persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked." Yahoo News wrote, on Thursday, November 24, that "The researchers, including prominent names, described two possible scenarios. In one, electronic voting machines are simply off - "systematically wrong". Researchers noted significantly fewer votes for Hillary Clinton from electronic machines than in nearby counties with paper ballots. Beyond that lies the potential for hackers to have targeted the machines, a potential given concerns throughout the election cycle that Russians were involved in various efforts to hack servers and influence voters. A researcher asked, in a Medium post on Wednesday, November 23: "Could anyone be brazen enough to try such an attack? A few years ago, I might have said that sounds like science fiction, but 2016 has seen unprecedented cyberattacks aimed at interfering with the election."

Before moving on, I would want an explanation on how America has been turned into a Third World country, as such that its election can be so easily manipulated or compromised by a foreign power, assuming that all the allegations are true? What brought America to such a low level? How's the mighty falling? Things might get nastier; there might be a constitutional crisis building up, and where it will all end, will be anybody's guess. Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential campaign says it will be joining with Stein to participate in the Wisconsin recount. And that might be the beginning of other recounts. But, Trump is afraid, and has said that Jill Stein was conducting a "scam" and is "trying to fill her coffers with money" after winning "less than one percent of the vote overall."

But, what we are sure of, by now, is that Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump, in popular votes, by more than two million votes, and more votes are still been tallied across the country. According to International Business Times "David Leips Atlas of U. S. Presidential Elections indicated on 23-24 November 2016 that Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton got 64,394,094 votes, against Republican candidate Donald Trump's 62,310,486 votes - more than any other Republican Presidential candidate in history. No congratulations for Mr. Trump from one half of the United States on his achievement and very many Democrats have not yet come to terms with his election by way of securing more Electors in the Electoral College. Moves are still afoot to try to overturn the Republican's victory. This, long after his opponent, Hillary Clinton, graciously conceded defeat".

Latest information from The Hill is that the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was not ready to concede the election to President-elect Donald Trump in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 9, until President Barack Obama called urging her to, a yet-to-be-released book will reveal. What's wrong with President Obama?

Ms. Jill Stein, the Green Party Presidential candidate, has been raising money to request for recounts in those three key swing states where Trump won. Jill Stein believes that Hillary Clinton was shortchanged somehow, and has taken it upon herself to personify the grievances of so many voters who still can't understand how and why Donald Trump won the election. The CNN wrote that Jill Stein's bid to seek a vote recount in three key Rust Belt states is gaining steam as pressure builds among liberals to challenge the presidential election results. The Stein campaign said it needed to raise over $2 million by Friday, November 25, to pay for recounts -- a goal it quickly met. The fundraising goal was then upped to $4.5 million, which it also met. The current goal is $7 million. Stein, the Green Party nominee, and others, are seeking an audit and recount of the November 8 voting results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, following reports that voting security experts alerted Hillary Clinton's campaign to the possibility of hacks in key counties in those states. Stein campaign manager, David Cobb, said in a video posted to Stein's Facebook page, on Wednesday, November 23, afternoon, that "Over the last 48-72 hours, reports have come in from experts, cyber experts, who are reporting to us some very troubling news about the possibility of security breaches in voting results across this country". The loss of those states played a large part in Clinton's downfall; her lead in the popular vote has continued to grow. She now has close to 2 million more votes than Trump -- and pressure has been mounting among liberals for an investigation into what happened on Election Day".

But who's Jill Stein, and what does she want? She wants recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three battleground states where "voting anomalies" have been alleged, and where Trump won. CNBC wrote that Stein's campaign here did not point out any specific evidence of fraud or irregularity, but cited reported hacks into voter and party databases that it says are "causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable." Prominent cybersecurity experts have recently said that although the chances of the election results being tampered with are slim, a recount would be the best way to ensure that results are valid. A recount would not change the outcome for Stein, who finished fourth behind the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump. Stein received a little less than 1.4 million votes overall. Still, there is a tiny chance that the states where she's asking for recounts could possibly flip to Clinton with enough votes. Clinton would need to win all three states to obtain the necessary electoral votes to overcome Trump. The combined cost of requesting all three recounts is expected to surpass $2 million. The filing fee in Wisconsin alone is about $1.1 million, Stein's campaign manager said. The fees in Michigan and Pennsylvania are $500,000 and $600,000, respectively. Wisconsin's deadline to file for a recount is Friday. The other two states' deadlines are next week. In Michigan, Trump won by 9,500 votes. He won by 22,500 in Wisconsin and 69,700 in Pennsylvania. Stein won 1.1 percent of the vote in both Wisconsin and Michigan. In Pennsylvania, she received only 0.8 percent of all votes cast".

Stein said the campaign intends to "restore confidence" in the voting system by checking the accuracy of machine-counted vote tallies. The campaign's website is asking Stein's supporters for help in raising the money, opting to go with "the people, and not big-money corporate donors." In her words: "After a divisive and painful presidential race, in which foreign agents hacked into party databases, private email servers, and voter databases in certain states, many Americans are wondering if our election results are reliable," Stein said. "That's why the unexpected results of the election and reported anomalies need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified."

Latest is that The Wisconsin Elections Commission agrees to Presidential vote recounts, as it announced Friday, November 25, that it will hold a statewide recall of the presidential vote at the request of third-party candidate Jill Stein, who said that Wisconsin will precede a recount petition in the state of Pennsylvania, and probably, more will follow.

Another scenario would be for the members of the Electoral College, who would meet, on December 19, to elect Donald Trump as the 45th president, to dump him. This is a bit complicated, but that's how the American constitution works. For the IBTimes, "Many of Hillary Clinton's supporters, however, are trying to "persuade" members of the Electoral College, who should cast their vote in favour of Mr. Trump in accordance with the outcome of his winning States' electoral vote, to "dump Trump". Asking these same Electors to cast their vote for Mrs. Clinton ("Faithless Electors") might be too much and could meet legal challenges, but if a sufficient number of them were to "abstain", likely still not enough to defeat the President-Elect, but could damage the Electoral College sufficiently so that in future, Presidents (and Vice-Presidents) would only be elected by gaining a majority of the turnout".

If the electors turn out to be "faithless electors (rejecting Trump)," their votes could narrow Trump's margin-of-victory over Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College. Clinton's popular vote victory continued to grow as millions of ballots remained uncounted, according to the latest ballot tally published by the Cook Political Report. She has secured nearly 2 million more votes than her opponent, billionaire Donald Trump, despite an Electoral College vote in his favor. Trump managed to secure well over the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency, but Clinton appears to have soundly won the popular vote by an ever-expanding margin. Clinton's lead has already exceeded the 540,520-vote gap former Democratic candidate Al Gore maintained over former President George W. Bush before the former conceded in the 2000 election. This year's election results roll in as protests continue to erupt throughout the country. Students have been staging walk-outs against Trump's divisive campaign and vitriolic rhetoric, and millions have circulated online petitions demanding the Electoral College vote in conjunction with the popular vote as "faithless electors."

Trump might still claim the presidency, but he will surely be rattled, as many people, even those who voted for him, still can't come to terms with him as the president-elect, and now, just as the IBTimes noted, at least six electors, members of the Electoral College, whose votes will elect the President, have vowed to cast their ballots in an attempt to block Donald Trump from winning an Electoral College majority. The voting is scheduled to be held when the Electoral College meets on December 19. One elector, Michael Baca, said in a statement he wouldn't vote for Trump. In his words: "The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College as the last line of defense, and I think we must do all that we can to ensure that we have a Reasonable Republican candidate who shares our American values". Another elector involved in the anti-Trump campaign, said "the controversy and the uncertainty that would immediately blow up into a political firestorm in the U.S. would cause enough people - my hope is - to look at the whole concept of the Electoral College." Earlier this month, fans of Clinton urged voters of the Electoral College to go rogue and vote for Clinton over Trump in a Change.org petition. The petition, named "Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on Dec. 19," has crossed over 4.5 million signatures. "Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scape-goating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic," part of the petition reads. "Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President."

Aggrieved Americans are reaching out to people from different political parties to make sure that Donald Trump will not smell the White House, but that might be medicine after death, and CNN puts this into perspective, when it wrote that democratic electors are launching one last bid to block Donald Trump from taking the White House -- reaching out to their Republican counterparts with the plea they break rank and support another Republican candidate. Democrats are working with a group that's lobbying electors from states Trump won to get them to vote against him. The effort is just the latest dive into the mechanics of American democracy by Trump's opponents, on the left and right, and is astronomically unlikely to the point of being virtually impossible. Polly Baca, an elector from Colorado, said that Trump is not technically President-elect until the electoral votes have been compiled by the Electoral College. Hear her: "Nothing's ever a done deal. Quite honestly, Mr. Trump is not the President-elect". Baca, a Democratic elector and former state senator from Colorado, said she has been working on Republican electors since she joined the effort the day after the election and she admits, "I'm like Don Quixote."

How can this stop Trump? According to CNN, "To block Trump, the group would have to convince 37 electors to break with the results from their states and either abstain from voting for Trump or select someone else. They have until December 19, when electors gather in statehouses across the nation to formally record their votes for president. They call their effort Hamilton Elector after Federalist Paper #68, in which Alexander Hamilton wrote that the Electoral College would stand as one more check on power -- part of the movement, at that time, to win ratification of the Constitution. Hamilton's argument was that the College would prevent against selecting a president with poor judgment or under the influence of a foreign government. Ryan Clayton, a volunteer with the project to stop Trump and veteran liberal activist said: "If you read Federalist 68, it literally reads like a list of attributes for Donald Trump". If they can succeed in denying Trump the 270 electoral votes needed to win, the decision would then go to the House of Representatives, where delegations of representatives from each state would decide whom to support".

The CNN then summed it up by noting that there have been cases of electors breaking from their state's popular vote tallies before -- so-called "faithless electors" -- but they have been scattered and unorganized. Michael Baca, a Colorado elector, who is unrelated to Polly Baca, then said: "I don't think this year is a normal year, it's been a very divisive campaign and I'm reaching out to Republican electors, Democratic electors, searching for a unity Hamilton candidate to really unite this country. It's not impossible to convince the electors to switch. It can be. It's within the rules, it's within the law".

As it looks, will IBTimes advise be timely words; that "Mr. and Mrs. Trump should not be measuring the White House curtains just yet"? The next few weeks will tell!

To be continued!

TIT BITS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pFbkywr6UA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4T9Z4-Bk7k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ffSiIyXVkI

THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!

Continued from Part 2

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IMAGES IN THE NEWS