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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

My Las Vegas era music podcasts

Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns, and their extended tribe.
We lived in Las Vegas from 1992 through 2013. Loved it there.
Moved there from Knoxville TN when Cheryl was promoted and transferred to take up the post of QA Manager for the DOE contractor Nevada Test Site nuclear waste cleanup program. I was long out of music. But, in the fall of 2005 I was exhorted by a local bass player I'd met to "go check out Santa Fe, man. Every cat in town would kill to be in that band."
The night I first saw them at their Monday night late lounge gig at Palace Station, I was thunderstruck in the first 10 seconds. 15 top tier Vegas show musicians who did this over-the-top off-night gig for fun. Tasered.

Speechless. I could not sleep that night after what I'd just experienced. Floated into my health care analyst day gig bleary-eyed Tuesday morning—as late as I could finesse it.

I became a rabid regular. We soon became friends. Baddest cats in town, but not an once of ego within a hundred miles of them. Friendliest, nicest people I ever met. They're still going strong, better than ever.

I became their photographer, blogger, and podcaster. Eventually, I became the goto "20-feet-from-stardom" freelance photojournalist in Vegas. My stash of live performance shots is somewhere around 40,000. I never charged anyone a dime. Having been a hardscrabble road musician, and now a comfortable white collar tech guy, I just felt the need to help others promote their art. Vegas is about a dozen performers deep on every instrument and vocal type at the top, people who can just walk in and read the charts cold, but their struggles to survive is something I knew all too well, and felt compelled to support.

How blessed have I been? 
These podcasts have been offline for a number of years now (expired hosting URL). But I'm putting them back up. They need to be back up.

My Santa Fe and Friends podcast series. Turn it way up and enjoy.

  Santa Fe Podcast #1, Rochon Westmoreland on bass 
  Santa Fe Podcast #2, bandleader Jerry Lopez on guitar 
  Santa Fe Podcast #3, Here come the Fat City Horns 
  Santa Fe Podcast #4, Friends of Santa Fe, Volume 1 
  Santa Fe Podcast #5, Santa Fe band members solo projects 
  Santa Fe Podcast #6, Friends of Santa Fe, Volume 2 
  Santa Fe Podcast #7, Friends of Santa Fe, Volume 3 
  Santa Fe Podcast #8, Friends of Santa Fe, Volume 4 
  Santa Fe Podcast #9, Friends of Santa Fe, Volume 5 
  Santa Fe Podcast #10, Jerry's pal Jay Graydon, “Scene 29” licks 
  Santa Fe Podcast #11, Friends of Santa Fe, “The Edge Effect”
Still miss that pad.


Monday, November 1, 2021

"Follow the TRUTH?" Uhhh...

Maybe you might want to Follow the DISCLAIMER.
It's not going well at all. This may turn out to be Trump's fastest business failure ever. Nonetheless he'll still likely come away with s ton of investors' money via this Smash & Grab.
At the outset last fall, Trump's TMTG people put out a colorful, dutifully artsy 22-slide Pitch Deck for the incipient SPAC merger and IPO with the dubious $DAWC.

Yeah, blah, blah, blah...
Above: The short-term competition incumbency as Trump sees it (slide 7). Their combined market cap is north of $1.5 trillion. Trump's piddley-assed startup value will be a rounding error by comparison. Loose change pocket lint.
Slide 22 is the only one you need to examine carefully.

Confldentlality and Disclosures
This presentation is not intended to be all-inclusive or to contain all the information that a person may desire in considering an investment in The Company and 1s not intended to form the basis of any investment decision in The Company. You should consult your own legal, regulatory, tax, business, financial and accounting advisors to the extent you deem necessary and must make your own investment decision and perform your own independent investigation and analysis of an investment in The Company and the transactions contemplated in this presentation. This presentation shall neither constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which the offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

Use of Data
The data contained herein is derived from various internal and external sources. No representation is made as to the reasonableness of the assumptions made within or the accuracy or completeness of any projections or modeling or any other information contained herein. Any data on past performance or modeling contained herein is not an indication as to future performance. The Company and TMTG assume no obligation to update the information in this presentation.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Metrics
This presentation includes certain non-GAAP financial measures (including on a forward-looking basis) such as Adjusted Gross Profit. Contribution profit, AdJusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income. TMTG defines Adjusted Gross Margin as GAAP Gross Profit less Net Impairment. Contribution Profit is defined as GAAP Gross Profit less selling and holding costs associated with the sale of a home. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income (loss), adjusted for interest expense, interest income, income: taxes, depreciation and amortization, and AdJusted Net Income is defined as GAAP Net Income less Stock Based Compensation. Warrant Expense, Net Impairment. Intangible Amortization Expense, Restructuring costs and Other. These non-GAAP measures are an addition, and not a substitute for or superior to measures of financial performance prepared In accordance with GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative to net Income, operating income or any other performance measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to their most directly comparable GAAP counterparts are included in the Appendix to this presentation. TMTG believes that these non-GAAP measures of financial results (Including on a forward-looking basis) provide useful supplemental information to investors about TMTG, TMTG's management uses forward looking non-GAAP measures to evaluate TMTG's projected financial and operating performance. However, there are a number of limitations related to the use of these non-GAAP measures and their nearest GAAP equivalents. For example, other companies may calculate non-GAAP measures differently, or may use other measures to calculate their financial performance, and therefore TMTG's non·GAAP measures may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies,

Personnel Disclosure
All personnel listed in the deck may change from time to time, subject to no notice. Please do not rely on any personnel listed in the deck. Some personnel may or may not be in a consulting phase subject to a contractual employment agreement, there is no guarantee whatsoever that such employment agreement will be finalized. Companies are cautioned not to rely on listed personnel, nor does TMTG give any assurances regarding listed personnel.
Channeling my inner John MacEnroe: "You Cannot Be Serious!"
Down in the TRUTH End-User ToS (Terms of Service) is "non-disparagement" language reserving TMTG's unfettered "at will" right to terminate subscribers for any reason—or "no reason."

If we terminate or suspend your account for any reason, you are prohibited from registering and creating a new account under your name, a fake or borrowed name, your email address or the name of any third party, even if you may be acting on behalf of the third party.

In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress.
LOL. There are currently 27 fine print Sections in the ToS.

Their "privacy" and "data collection / usage" policies are equally dense and self-servingly one-sided. Anyone who signs up for this stuff deserves all of the adversity they are setting themselves up for.

This appears to be yet another classic Trump grift.
A representative of the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, merging with Trump’s business declined to comment on anything related to the business: “Unfortunately, at this time, we are not accepting press questions for interviews.”

There have been some hints at Trump’s role. A company press release describes him as the “chairman.” The merger agreement calls him the “company principal.” A different document refers to a “majority stockholder,” without saying who it is. A slide deck released last week really only features one person, Donald Trump, but it comes with a strange “personnel disclosure” on the final page. “Please do not rely on any personnel listed in the deck,” the fine print says. “Some personnel may or may not be in a consulting phase subject to a contractual employment agreement; there is no guarantee whatsoever that such employment agreement will be finalized. Companies are cautioned not to rely on listed personnel, nor does [the Trump Media and Technology Group] give any assurances regarding listed personnel.”

Helming a public company could be challenging for the former president, given all the rules that come with it. Trump previously led such a business, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts. Shareholders sued after he used the publicly traded company to buy a casino he personally owned at a suspiciously high valuation. Trump fought the allegations for a half decade, then settled around 2002 without admitting wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, he agreed to a new set of rules on corporate governance, including one that required a special committee to approve deals involving Trump’s other businesses.

“If Trump is really an officer or director of this company, as opposed to a licensor of his name or something like that, I expect he will be on the wrong end of a securities-fraud suit before long,” says Michael Klausner, a business and law professor at Stanford. “I can’t imagine him being any more truthful about his business than he is about anything else. Especially when it comes to size—the company, his following on the platform, crowds or other size-related facts—he just makes it up.”
No insight into a business plan and no mention of a single dollar figure

The meme-stock and SPAC phenomenon has gone to the extreme as Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, announced plans to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG).

Digital World Acquisition Corp. DWAC, -6.44% and TMTG have no revenue, no cash flows, no profits or even a clear business plan, and DWAC’s stock is up nearly 10-fold in less than a week.

Investors need to remain cautious and not get caught up in the trading fervor.

DWAC is a vehicle for TMTG to raise capital and has become a meme-stock target for speculators looking to prop up and cash in on Donald Trump’s social media power. TMTG will have close to $300 million in capital once the SPAC merger closes and no realistic plans on how it will operate a business. Given the stock price’s meteoric rise and lack of fundamentals and clear plans behind the business, putting capital into DWAC now is closer to gambling than investing…
"Gambling?" Can you say "multiple casino bankruptcies?" Ring any bells?
Grifter gonna grift. Ya dance wit' da one what brung ya.
to wit:
Trump Baja Ocean Resort. Trump merely licensed his name/brand for a fee and served as the pitchman. He was not the developer, not "the builder," and had no investment stake in the (ultimately bankrupt) project. That's not how he and daughter Ivanka portrayed themselves.
[Donald Trump on camera @ 1:54] “I‘m very, very proud of the fact that, when I build, I have investors that [sic] follow me all over. They invest in me, they invest in what I build. And that’s why I’m so excited about Trump Ocean Resort. It’s going to be very, very special."
"The Apprentice" and "Miss Universe." Yeah, a real Mega-Mogul. Send your checks today.
Trump Media & Technology Group was always bound to be controversial, but it's inviting extra scrutiny by keeping basic details secret and making wild promises.

Among the notable departures from industry norms:

TMTG until Monday hadn't disclosed any members of the executive management team, outside of chairman Trump, before naming outgoing California Congressman Devin Nunes as CEO. No word still on a CFO.

A pitch deck filed with the SEC does identify 30 employees, but only with first name and last initials (a LinkedIn search doesn't turn up anyone who says they work for TMTG or its "Truth Social" brand).

TMTG isn't disclosing any of the investors who it says committed $1 billion in PIPE financing, to help it go public via a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition Corp.

There also has been relatively little information on what TMTG is building, beyond some early screenshots that look like a reskinned version of Twitter, although Axios is told by a source that there is a team actively developing new products.

Among the big promises:

The pitch deck projects $3.6 billion in revenue by 2026, which would put it on par with Twitter's current business.

It projects 40 million streaming subscribers by 2026, which is roughly the same size as ViacomCBS' streaming subscriber totals today...
It's a multi-billion dollar grift attempt.

The ridicule that’s gushing down on Trump’s company from the tech and financial press is wholly warranted. Putting money into the company is “is closer to gambling than investing,” says Marketwatch. TMTG has already blown through its promise to produce a beta version of its Truth software by November and the Securities and Exchange Commission has commenced an investigation of whether Trump’s media company had broken securities laws in its formation. All this flakiness gives us a safe harbor the size of the San Francisco Bay to speculate that Trump hasn’t set out to create a viable media business as much as he has dreamed up a new fusion of politics, media and finance designed with one primary objective: To give people who like Trump an easy and legal way to give Trump money.
From a New Yorker article about incendiary right-wing radio host Dan Bongino

Trump announced in October that the Trump Media & Technology Group was developing an alternative to Twitter, called Truth Social. To finance its growth, the firm would merge with a publicly traded blank-check company (the fashionable Wall Street innovation known as a “special-purpose acquisition company,” or spac), giving the former President access to hundreds of millions of dollars. To Trump’s critics, the deal sounded like a grift to end all grifts. Within weeks, it was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. But, if Trump can hold it together, it may provide his largest step yet toward regaining a political voice in the lead-up to the 2024 election.

Several weeks after Trump’s announcement, Rumble declared that it, too, planned to merge with a spac. Then the companies announced a partnership: Bongino’s favored platform would stream the video for Trump’s app. If conservatives wanted to get out of the wilderness, Bongino told listeners, they needed to build their own “parallel information economy.” Act now. “We decide who comes in,” he said. “It’s the only way to win.”…

A fanatically loyal audience can be very profitable—and, at times, very dangerous. During a public event in Idaho in October, the pro-Trump commentator Charlie Kirk was asked by a fan, “When do we get to use the guns?” The crowd tittered, and the fan continued, “I mean, literally, where’s the line? How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?” Kirk, who seemed to sense how poorly the moment was going to play on YouTube, interrupted him. “I’m going to denounce that,” he said. “We have to be the ones that do not play into the violent aims and ambitions of the other side.” Instead, he said, Idaho should ban vaccine mandates, eject some federal agencies, and “pick and choose” what federal laws it considers constitutional. When the man asked again when violence was required, Kirk urged him to be wary of abetting his opponents’ conspiracy: “They’re trying to get you to do something that then justifies what they actually want to do.”

The moment captured the perils of living in a nation beset by information warfare: if January 6th made anything clear, it was that some number of Americans will eventually abandon a distinction between rhetorical battle and the real thing. Bongino’s business thrives in that borderland, the realm of thinking where the best way to stay safe is to buy the shotguns and holsters that he advertises on his show…

…“The only good news about the rapid descent is we’re going to hit a bottom soon. And I promise you. . . . ” He [Bongino] squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his fists. “I promise you! I know it—the Lord will not let this country go down like that.” He stared into the camera again. “There will be an ascent just as fast, where freedom and liberty will reĆ«merge, and these people on the other side of it, the Big Tech tyrant totalitarian fascists, their liberal buddies, the Biden Administration, they will all—all—have to answer for this.”…
Yeah. Right.

Good article. Bongino is a real piece of work.



Thursday, October 21, 2021

Follow the Truth

Right. But, I don't think the "Founder" of the foregoing, Donald Trump, got the Memo.
We learn that we are separate beings in the world, distinct from what is other than ourselves, by coming up against obstacles to the fulfillment of our intentions—that is, by running into opposition to the implementation of our will. When certain aspects of our experience fail to submit to our wishes, when they are on the contrary unyielding and even hostile to our interests, it then becomes clear to us that they are not parts of ourselves. We recognize that they are not under our direct and immediate control; instead, it becomes apparent that they are independent of us. That is the origin of our concept of reality, which is essentially a concept of what limits us, of what we cannot alter or control by the mere movement of our will. 

To the extent that we learn in greater detail how we are limited, and what the limits of our limitation are, we come thereby to delineate our own boundaries and thus to discern our own shape. We learn what we can and cannot do, and the sorts of effort we must make in order to accomplish what is actually possible for us. We learn our powers and our vulnerabilities. This not only provides us with an even more emphatic sense of our separateness. It defines for us the specific sort of being that we are. 

Thus, our recognition and understanding of our own identity arises out of, and depends integrally on, our appreciation of a reality that is definitively independent of ourselves. In other words, it arises out of and depends on our recognition that there are facts and truths over which we cannot hope to exercise direct or immediate control. If there were no such facts or truths, if the world invariably and unresistingly became whatever we might like or wish it to be, we would be unable to distinguish ourselves from what is other than ourselves and we would have no sense of what in particular we ourselves are. It is only through our recognition of a world of stubbornly independent reality, fact, and truth that we come both to recognize ourselves as beings distinct from others and to articulate the specific nature of our own identities. 

How, then, can we fail to take the importance of factuality and of reality seriously? How can we fail to care about truth? 

We cannot.

Frankfurt, Harry G.. On Truth (pp. 98-101). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Consider a Fourth of July orator, who goes on bombastically about “our great and blessed country, whose Founding Fathers under divine guidance created a new beginning for mankind.” This is surely humbug. As Black’s account suggests, the orator is not lying. He would be lying only if it were his intention to bring about in his audience beliefs that he himself regards as false, concerning such matters as whether our country is great, whether it is blessed, whether the Founders had divine guidance, and whether what they did was in fact to create a new beginning for mankind. But the orator does not really care what his audience thinks about the Founding Fathers, or about the role of the deity in our country’s history, or the like. At least, it is not an interest in what anyone thinks about these matters that motivates his speech. 

It is clear that what makes Fourth of July oration humbug is not fundamentally that the speaker regards his statements as false. Rather, just as Black’s account suggests, the orator intends these statements to convey a certain impression of himself. He is not trying to deceive anyone concerning American history. What he cares about is what people think of him. He wants them to think of him as a patriot, as someone who has deep thoughts and feelings about the origins and the mission of our country, who appreciates the importance of religion, who is sensitive to the greatness of our history, whose pride in that history is combined with humility before God, and so on.

Frankfurt, Harry G.. On Bullshit (pp. 16-18). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

The jokes just write themselves. Hpw many Scaramuccis will this last?


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Keepin' it classy, as always


Monday, October 11, 2021

U.S. Presidential Elections and the "Independent State Legislatures Doctrine"

Article II, Section 1
  1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

  2. Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

  3. The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

  4. No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

  5. In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

  6. The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

  7. Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Subsection/Clause 2 is the focus of the "Independent State Legislatures Doctrine." Sixteen "shall" directives and one (curious) "may." Notably absent is any constitutional language authorizing a state to set (or rescind) an election's procedures post hoc—once an election result is known and Electors' tallies have been submitted to Congress. Are we to believe the Framers intended to provide state legislatures carte blanche? "Original Intent / Textualism" is no help here.
This once-obscure theory — known as the Independent State Legislatures doctrine — had been a stealth effort in right-wing legal circles. But recent election-related litigation in state supreme courts and the federal courts, much of it related to the "Big Lie," has accelerated its prominence and highlighted its dangers. 
Here's what the Independent State Legislature doctrine argues: The U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the sole authority to set all election rules — including the assigning of Electoral College votes — independently, and immune from judicial review. Taken to its natural extreme, it holds that election laws set by state legislatures supersede any rights guaranteed in state constitutions or even initiatives passed by voters. It effectively concludes that there can be no possible checks and balances on state legislatures' authority when it comes to election law.
Yesh, but "immune from judicial review" implies that even SCOTUS has no standing in this regard.** OK: ARTICLE III, Section 2: In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.
The 2020 election is lawfully concluded. All 50 states had certified prior to January 6th, in the wake of dozens of fruitless challenges in "battleground" states.

States' legislative authority with respect to future election processes (in advance of them) is a separate issue. But, you don't get a Mulligan once your state has Certified but you are miffed at the outcome. You Snooze, You Lose.
** The right of citizens "to vote" (exact words) is explicitly set forth in the 14th, 16th 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments. I'm not buyin' that SCOTUS could not act to strike down any states' legislative enactments that abrogated it. Seriously? Uhhh... ARTICLE III, Section 2, anyone?
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors…”
"In such Manner" that otherwise comports with the "supreme Law of the Land."
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. 
SCOTUS now has a 6-3 "conservative" majority, four of whom—Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Thomas—have already expressed affinity for the "Independent Legislatures" concept. So, we could perhaps see an eventual 5-4 vote in its favor should they opt to take it up. 
"The Rule of Five."
After the November 3rd election, "White House lawyer" John Eastman circulated a 6-pg "confidential memo" (pdf) articulating his proposed process for overturning the apparent Biden win and re-installing Donald Trump for a second term summarily. It begins and ends thus:
January 6 scenario

Article II, § 1, cl. 2 of the U.S. Constitution assigns to the legislatures of the states the plenary power to determine the manner for choosing presidential electors. Modernly, that is done via statutes that establish the procedures pursuant to which an election must be conducted.

…The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power [to decide a presidential election] to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind. [And, never mind the otherwise “plenary power“ of the states.]


… I have outlined the likely results of each of the above scenarios, but I should also point out that we are facing a constitutional crisis much bigger than the winner of this particular election. If the illegality and fraud that demonstrably occurred here is allowed to stand—and the Supreme Court has signaled unmistakably that it will not do anything about it—then the sovereign people no longer control the direction of their government, and we will have ceased to be a self-governing people. The stakes could not be higher.
It's worth yet again noting that “illegality and fraud,“ while asserted ad nauseum to have been "demonstrable," were never confirmed, notwithstanding protracted, withering scrutiny—inclusive of more than 60 failed court challenges.
"The Supreme Court has signaled unmistakably that it will not do anything about it." But, but, but... oh, never mind—"ultimate arbiter," anyone? Was not the VP's action "arbitration?" C'mon. Pence was the "ultimate arbiter" until he was not?

This is what passes for constitutional analytic sophistication at the Claremont Institute these days.
[John Eastman] “prepared a six-page memo for Pence, arguing that Pence had broad powers to stop the Electoral College–vote counting in the Senate. Eastman asserted that the vice president had the authority under the Twelfth Amendment to determine on his own which Electoral College votes were valid and to count only those, thus giving the election to Trump. This theory does not hold up to basic scrutiny. Applying originalism to interpret the Twelfth Amendment, Derek Muller, a professor at the University of Iowa and a prominent conservative election lawyer, explains that the vice president lacks any authority other than to announce the votes that have already been counted by Congress. Indeed, in 2000, Eastman himself argued that Vice President Al Gore did not have power over the counting, because only both houses of Congress possess such authority. If Gore lacked the power to challenge the counting of Electoral College votes he disputed to deprive then-Governor Bush of the presidency, so too did Pence with regard to Trump.”


"John Eastman now rejects ‘coup memo’ he wrote for Trump: ‘Anybody who thinks that that’s a viable strategy is crazy’."

Poignant. Where do they find these people? "Anybody who thinks that's a viable strategy is crazy."

Like, uhhh..., say, these dim bulbs?

I call the Eastman 'coup memo' "accessory to incitement of insurrection."

"Why isn't the January 6th Unselect Committee of partisan hacks studying the massive Presidential Election Fraud, which took place on November 3rd and was the reason that hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington to protest on January 6th?" Trump asked, even though his claims of fraud were long ago debunked.

"Look at the numbers now being reported on the fraud, which we now call the 'Really Big Lie.' You cannot study January 6th without studying the reason it happened, November 3rd," Trump argued, attempting to claim that those debunking his lies are the ones actually lying.

"But the Democrats don't want to do that because they know what took place on Election Day in the Swing States, and beyond. If we had an honest media this Election would have been overturned many months ago, but our media is almost as corrupt as our political system!" Trump argued, though even Fox News has accurately reported Trump lost the election.


As Vice President Mike Pence hid from a marauding mob during the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol, an attorney for President Donald Trump emailed a top Pence aide to say that Pence had caused the violence by refusing to block certification of Trump’s election loss.

The attorney, John C. Eastman, also continued to press for Pence to act even after Trump’s supporters had trampled through the Capitol — an attack the Pence aide, Greg Jacob, had described as a “siege” in their email exchange.

“The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened,” Eastman wrote to Jacob, referring to Trump’s claims of voter fraud…
See also The Guardian.

‘A roadmap for a coup’: inside Trump’s plot to steal the presidency

Wikipedia to John Eastman: "We are out of fucks to give."
In a world of inequality, we are well accustomed to rich, powerful, connected people getting preferential treatment, whether a good table at a restaurant, admission to a selective college for their offspring or a torn-up speeding ticket. Despite its countercultural tendencies, the digital world has wound up in a quite similar place. On large platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, the most important, newsworthy users are given VIP treatment. Their voices are amplified; their misdeeds are excused; they are, up to a point (see: Trump), freed from the automated policing that the rest of us have to endure. The notable exception is Wikipedia. There, VIPs have been shouting “Do you have any idea who you are dealing with?!” for years, only to be told either, not really, or, don’t care, and then instructed, as Eastman was, to take their objections to a Talk page where the community can weigh in…

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;-The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;-The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President-The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
See also the Electoral Count Act of 1887, 3.USC.15. Neither of which—notwithstanding the protracted, acrimonious pushback—get you to constitutional justification for nullifying the 2020 vote count certification on January 6th.

Abstract: In this essay, and in light of the controversy that arose in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, we explain the constitutional process for counting electoral votes. In short, every four years, the Twelfth Amendment requires the President of the Senate (usually the Vice President of the United States) to open certificates provided by state presidential electors and count the votes contained therein. The Constitution allows no role for Congress in this process, and thus, the provisions of the Electoral Count Act purporting to grant Congress the power, by concurrent resolution, to reject a state’s electoral votes, is unconstitutional. Further, the objections raised to two states’ electoral votes on January 6, 2021, were not proper within the terms of the Act, and therefore, even if Congress has the power specified in the Act, congressional action rejecting states’ electoral votes would have been contrary to law. While state executive or state judicially-ordered departures from the requirements of state election laws in presidential elections might violate the federal Constitution’s requirement that electors be chosen as specified by state legislatures, determining whether this has taken place is much more complicated than simply examining the language of state election statutes. We suggest that making this determination requires a careful examination of state interpretation traditions that we decline to undertake in this brief essay on the constitutional process for counting electoral votes.
Again, you don't get a Mulligan when you don't like the presidential election outcome but can't prove outcome-changing fraud (particularly in light of the myriad administrative, legislative, and judicial reviews comprising the 2020 election challenges).

From the conservative Bulwark.

Trump's Electoral Forgery/Fraud: The smoking guns are all around us

Connecting the myriad incriminating dots.