Voters, Not Lawyers, Choose the President


An Appeals Court (All 3 Members Appointed by Republicans) issue a scathing ruling against Trump.

Scathing Unanimous Decision

Please consider Trump’s Pennsylvania Appeal Rejected in Scathing Decision by His Own Appointee

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Stephanos Bibas wrote in a 21-page opinion issued Friday.

The three-judge panel noted that the campaign’s grievances amounted to “nothing more” than allegations that Pennsylvania restricted poll watchers and let voters fix technical defects in their mail-in ballots.

“The Campaign tries to repackage these state-law claims as unconstitutional discrimination. Yet its allegations are vague and conclusory,” the opinion says.  “It never alleges that anyone treated the Trump campaign or Trump votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or Biden votes.”

The court said it would not issue an injunction to undo the certification because “the Campaign’s claims have no merit.

The number of ballots it specifically challenges is far smaller than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory. And it never claims fraud or that any votes were cast by illegal voters,” the court found.

Voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide election,” they wrote.

“The ballots here are governed by Pennsylvania election law. No federal law requires poll watchers or specifies where they must live or how close they may stand when votes are counted. Nor does federal law govern whether to count ballots with minor state-law defects or let voters cure those defects.

“Those are all issues of state law, not ones that we can hear. And earlier lawsuits have rejected those claims. Seeking to turn those state-law claims into federal ones, the Campaign claims discrimination. But its alchemy cannot transmute lead into gold.”

Expected Outcome

Anyone who seriously expected a different outcome has wormy oatmeal where brains belong. 

There was no chance of a win. 

It was foolish to even present the case because it let a panel of Republican-appointed judges blast the case sky high.

Deluged by Madness

My inbox is deluged with madness: What about this? What about that? 

The questions and articles are all absurd. 

Sworn Statements

The same people refuse to believe sworn statements against Judge Kavanaugh but are willing to believe obvious nonsense here. 


It suits their purpose. 

For the record, I believe the statements against Kavanaugh were lies and I believe the same here. 

All we have is hearsay. No actual evidence was presented. 

A Word About Statistics 

Supposedly it was "impossible" for all these late ballots to be 90%+ for Biden. 

In reality, this was the expected behavior and stated in advance of the election. 

Absentee ballots could not be separated from the envelopes until after the election in many states. Republican legislatures purposely disallowed the process.

The result was a deluge of mail-in votes, overwhelmingly Democratic to start with, from overwhelmingly Democratic counties on top of it.

Once again, one has to have oatmeal where brains should be to actually believe these ballots represented fraud. 

Voting Machines

Claims of voting machine tampering keep circulating. The fact remains (and I do mean fact) that if there was machine tampering, then it would have turned up in Georgia hand recounts.

It didn't. There is only one logical conclusions: There was no machine tampering. 

That is not the same as thing there was no fraud anywhere. There is fraud, a handful of votes here and there, in every election. Call it several thousand if you prefer. 

But several thousand, even if all in one place, would not have changed a single state. 

No Evidence of Fraud

There is no evidence, none, anywhere, of any fraud. Not only was there no evidence, Trump's lawyers refused every time to allege fraud in court.

Let me repeat that so that it might sink in: Trump's lawyers refused every time to allege fraud in court.

Publicly, team Trump charges fraud. In court they refuse to do so.


There are legal ramifications of lying to a judge. 

Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal

Politico has thorough coverage of the Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal.

We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” declared Van Langevelde, a member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers, the ministerial body with sole authority to make official Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. “As John Adams once said, 'We are a government of laws, not men.' This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.”

Van Langevelde is a Republican. He works for Republicans in the Statehouse. He gives legal guidance to advance Republican causes and win Republican campaigns. As a Republican, his mandate for Monday’s hearing—handed down from the state party chair, the national party chair and the president himself—was straightforward. They wanted Michigan’s board of canvassers to delay certification of Biden’s victory. 

Anybody can sue anybody for any reason. But winning is a whole different matter. And Trump didn’t have a realistic pathway here,” Brian Calley, the former GOP lieutenant governor, told me prior to the certification vote.

No amount of @realdonaldtrump tweets or wild-eyed allegations from his lawyers or unhinged segments on One America News can change that.  But what they can change—where he can ultimately succeed—is in convincing unprecedented numbers of Americans that their votes didn’t count. 

The true insanity was saved for Detroit. By early afternoon on Wednesday, hundreds and hundreds of Republicans had descended on the TCF Center, responding to an all-hands-on-deck missive that went out from the state party and was disseminated by local officials. Cox, the party chair, tweeted out a video of her comrades standing outside the locked-up downtown building. “Republican poll challengers blocked from entering the TCF Center in Detroit! This is egregious!” she wrote.

Truly egregious was Cox’s dishonesty. At the time of her tweet, several hundred of her party’s poll challengers, attorneys and representatives were already inside the TCF Center monitoring the count. By law, Republicans were allowed to have 134 challengers in the room, one for each tabulation table. In reality, the GOP had far more than that, according to sworn testimony from nonpartisan poll watchers inside the TCF Center.

“The people outside that room were doing exactly what the law says you would eject people for doing—they were disrupting the election,” Thomas said. “Everyone else in the room—the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the ACLU, the nonpartisans—they all still had a full complement of challengers in the room. And the Republicans, by the way, had far more challengers in the room than they were entitled to.”

As conspiracy theories proliferated across the right-wing information universe—Sharpie markers disenfranchising Trump voters in Arizona, a marked Biden/Harris van unloading boxes full of ballots in Nevada, suspicious turnout patterns in Wisconsin—Detroit held a special place in the president’s heart.

Trump alleged that Republicans had been “denied access to observe any counting in Detroit” and that the windows had been covered because “they didn’t want anybody seeing the counting.

All of this was a lie. Republicans here—from Ronna Romney McDaniel to Laura Cox to federal and local lawmakers—knew it was a lie. But they didn’t lift a finger in protest as the president disparaged Michigan and subverted America’s democratic norms. Why?

There is little cause for optimism. If the majority of GOP politicians couldn’t be bothered to do the easy work of debunking crackpot conspiracy theories, how likely are they to do the hard work of hardening our democracy?

A lot of our leaders in this country ought to be ashamed of themselves,” said Thomas, the nonpartisan elections guru who kept Michigan’s governing class guessing his political affiliation for the past several decades. “They have propagated this narrative of massive fraud, and it’s simply not true. They’ve leapt from some human error to massive fraud. It’s like a leap to Never Neverland. And people are believing them.”

Critical Thinking

A long-time reader today accused me of lack of critical thinking. 

This same reader sent me crackpot theories about Venezuela, statististics, voting machines, poll watchers, and sworn statements.

He believes all of them, even the ridiculously wild claims of Attorney Sidney Powell.

This is despite the fact that Sidney Powell Fired was for Being Too Conspiratorial Even For Trump.

This is also despite the fact that Trump not once presented a case in court alleging fraud.

And it is also despite the fact Chris Christie Calls Trump's Legal Team a National Embarrassment. 

Critical thinking, where the hell is it?

Accurate Flashback Prediction 


We saw the result today with the second scathing rebuke of Giuliani. 

Supreme Court Thesis 

My "critical thinking" reader also believes there is some sort of reasonable chance the Supreme Court will come flying in like SuperGirl teaming up with SuperMan Trump to preserve Truth, Justice, and the American way.

Indeed, many delusional people still believe the Supreme Court will save the day for Trump.

Amusingly, this is despite the second scathing rebuke of Rudy Giuliani and Team Trump by Appeals Courts. 

Judge Disembowels Trump's "Frankenstein" Pennsylvania Lawsuit

In case you missed it, please consider Judge Disembowels Trump's "Frankenstein" Pennsylvania Lawsuit.

With these rebukes it is highly unlikely the Supreme Court will even hear these cases, let alone decide them for Trump. 

I discussed this on November 24 in Universal Realization That Trump Lost the Election. 

As I suggested all along, the Supreme Court is unlikely to even hear most of these cases if any at all ... on the basis that the controversy does not make a difference in the ultimate result.

What I describe above is called denial of writ of certiorari because the case is moot, that is, the Supreme Court will refuse to take the case because decision will make no difference in the outcome of the election.

The fact remains Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Nevada have all certified the election for Biden.

No court is going to overturn that.

Trump Cult Syndrome 

Feel free to believe whatever delusions you want. 

Just be aware that if you do, you have a clear case of Trump Cult Syndrome (TCS), belief in anything Trump says, no matter how preposterous or contradictory.


Comments (94)
No. 1-37

I'm starting to think that Rudy isn't a particularly good lawyer


From what I've read on ZH and other places, the central issue seems to be a disbelief that anyone could vote for Biden, let alone 80M people. What they're not considering is that many of those voters probably disliked Trump more than they thought Biden was a good candidate.

The MAGA crowd spent the last few years in an echo chamber (like most people do today, unfortunately) so they can't fathom seeing Biden as a lesser evil. They've lost touch with a lot of the country, much like ivory tower elites on the coasts lost touch with them.

They're in total denial, so Sidney Powell has to be correct. Anyone who gets in her way, like Tucker, has to be thrown overboard. They should have accepted their rude awakening three weeks ago, but instead this will continue until January. Even after the electoral college votes for Biden on 12/14, they'll still be promoting fantasies that Trump won't vacate on 1/20. Even after that, I'm sure there will be predictions that Trump will be back any day, like Napoleon's return from Elba.


There's another Pennsylvania case that should get settled today. The one that hit Wednesday. I fully expect Trump's side loses but still looking for it


Mish: you have a typo- “The fact remains Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Nevada have all certified the election for Trump.”

I think you meant Biden.

Of course, the TCSers will claim this as just another proof the election was stolen from the Orange man.

[Mish Note: Thanks Much. Fixed]


Mish, I agree with you on most things but you can't go against statistics. This election was cooked.


In addition to failing to prove fraud or even allege it in court Trump is on a fool's mission to challenge the voting rules. That ship has long sailed. There's an important decision known as Purcell which says voters have a right to know what the rules are and the time to challenge rules is before an election. Finally judges do not like to nullify votes or disenfranchisement voters


Van Langevelde is the decisive hero of the election. Had more moral fortitude, conviction and courage than any Senate Republican. He recognized his role , its importance and honored it.

It was his action that precipitated GSA Emily certifying the transition so Biden could get GSA funds, begin clearance. meet Whitehouse staff and be ready for January 20th. Trump just rolled over after that


There are way, way too many insane people on the loose in this country.


...allegations are vague and conclusory....

The kraken lawsuits in Georgia and Michigan by Sidney Powell will be dismissed for exactly the same reason.

The same bunch of conspiracy stupidity (based on redacted interviews), unrecognized "authorities", and hearsay evidence from people loosely connected to ballot processing--all vague and seriously lacking in solid evidence of anything, but, for their purposes, justifying the over-turning of an election.

Saying something is true, doesn't make it so.


Trump was/is just dumb enough to think that the Republican judges would be as partisan as the Senate was when they voted along party lines to not impeach him, in the face of decent evidence that he was guilty.

But sitting judges, thankfully, are not all as willing to trade their ethics and their duty to curry favor with a sitting president. Part of that is the nature of the judicial appointment....they are not running for office.

I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to subvert the US federal judiciary.....but federal judges don’t serve at the whim of the president the way an AG does....

I’d say Sydney Powell thinks the same way as Trump....she just hopes she’ll get a sympathetic judge in Georgia state court who will rule for her because Republicans all need to stick together and screw the Democrats because......that’s the program, after all.

Trump will go at some point. Even he can see now that it isn’t going to work......just because he didn’t like the election results, they aren’t going to be overturned....

We are fortunate that he isn’t getting four more years....because in that time frame he might come up with some better scam to make himself President-for-Life....which is obviously what he’d like to accomplish.


Excellent article, Mish. I do agree with your writer on one point: there is a lack of critical thinking out there. It doesn't take much critical thought to reach the conclusion that if Trump had evidence of fraud, he would have presented it, and the fact that he hasn't presented any evidence is de facto proof that he has no evidence of fraud.

Had Trump shown evidence of fraud, we would have all wanted to see it considered. No one wants to see fraud. However, he didn't have any evidence of fraud, so I will side with those saying that this was the most secure election in history.

One-armed Economist
One-armed Economist


Turn off the life support on TCS people, they're wasting valuable electricity as a pulse does not mean the brain is alive.


Apparently Trump will appeal this to the Supreme Court. I have faith in the Justices to art in an impartial matter, and decide the case based on the merits. The best possible scenario would be a swift 9-0 decision. That would go a long way towards restoring the faith of the people in the independence of the court.


Where to start, I'm just debunking here for the sake of it:

"The fact remains (and I do mean fact) that if there was machine tampering, then it would have turned up in Georgia hand recounts."

It's not that simple, tampering with the machines can also be used to hide or fit other activity, for example.

Here is a critical look at possible exploits

and they have a latest article on mismatch of mailed out vs mailed in, might be dud or not.

Similar questions at

90% vote from certain regions by mail, what ghettos or something ? If the votes were first sorted and added together later then maybe, but I really don't think so... who knows.

" He can't change the result, but he's going to get wilder as he becomes increasingly more desperate." ... I mean we've had several years of hearing this.

Supreme court, who knows - it depends on the quality of the evidence.

Voters decide not lawyers - obviously, but lawyers present facts to courts which decide if voters had decided, or if they have found evidence of fraud.


All great lawyers lose in the lower courts as a way of getting to the Supreme Court. They also hide their evidence until the final case. Come on! This is law school 101


I think what you may be dismissing is the facade of impartiality in the Supreme Court has been removed and it is now as political as the other 2 branches. This could be decided on a strictly political, not legal, basis. Sad.


This may be another reason why Rudy has worked so hard to take down Joe Biden

Giuliani is "probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency," he says. Rudy Giuliani - there's only three things he [needs] to make ... a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11. -Joe Biden


MSNBC contributor - nuff said.

brian henry
brian henry

Cheat, fraud chose President ! easy as prisoners could get unemployment benefits !

brian henry
brian henry

Voter integrity was not included in choosing US President.
Fraud, cheat work for prisoners who got 50K unemployment benefits when
they could apply via mail. So were votes !

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Hi Mish. After 4, 8, 12 or even 16 years of the Biden-Harris administrations would you move back to the Chicago area, figuring everything there will be better without President Orange Hitler?


The US seems so divided on this issue, that UNLESS this goes to the highest authority in the land (as I understand it) and UNLESS they make a strong pronouncement one way or the other, the nation will remain divided. I would like to think that if the Supreme Court, having looked at all the angles, comes down heavily in Biden’s favour, then the Trump supporters would at least accept the situation and albeit with reluctance will move on. I do have faith in human nature.

We’ve seen it here in the UK with Brexit where the early groundswell in favour of ‘remain’ and who initially kicked up a monumental fuss are now largely resigned to the situation. That was thanks in part to a couple of subsequent elections that gave the leave campaign a strong mandate. Not to say that there are not die-hards, but their voice is now very weak.

I honestly think that is the only way this situation is going to be resolved with any degree of certainty. A strong Supreme Court ruling. At the moment, Biden’s task - should his status indeed become confirmed - is utterly hopeless. And if the Supreme Court ducks out, the situation will only become worse. Courteously, HV.


Whether Democrats or Republicans, the Establishment, demure, politically and socially correct as they are (or what they smugly think of themselves) want Trump out of the way, that's all !


What do we want in a president? Seems like anyone who might be good at the job gets weeded out during the primary. The real scandal is despite the incredible amount of water-carrying for Biden the popular vote was this close. This should have been a Carter vs Reagan result.


Diaper Don just will not stop lying. Just randomly checking his tweeter feed... The latest item is the following:

Which is just another blatant lie:

Just how some people think this is acceptable behavior from a leader of a nation (well, one which considers itself an advanced democracy anyway) is beyond me.


Mish just wanted to say I have been reading you for 13 years now and I have always admired what you have to say. I have been gratified to see you be willing to admit the ridiculousness of trump when before you were at least a lukewarm supporter. This reflects very well on your critical thinking skills. Not that you now dislike Trump just that you were willing to reconsider and to so publically.

Just curious going back to 2016 would you have still preferred Trump over Clinton?


It is interesting the creepy-crawly things of conspiracy therorists that come out when you turn over the rocks of the election and the pandemic.

A computer guy who confuses vote totals in Minnesota with votes in Michigan is the "bedrock" of the current crop of crazies and the kraken suit in Georgia.

The problems with his affadavit...

Lawyer-twitter: if you rely on an expert to support your litigation claims, make sure he [in this case] is qualified, AND that his conclusions are based on the facts of your case. 1/17

In the recent Georgia lawsuit (Case 1:20-cv-04651-SDG), plaintiffs filed an from Russell Ramsland, who claims to be an expert on cyber security. 2/17

The affidavit was intended to support plaintiff’s claims of voting irregularities in Georgia. 3/17

There are some problems with the affidavit that make it untrustworthy. 4/17

First, the affidavit cites alleged anomalies in Michigan, not Georgia. 5/17

Second, Ramsland concludes “at least 19 precincts where the Presidential Votes Cast compared to the Estimated Voters based on Reported Statistics exceeded 100%.” (¶ 11). He provided neither the # of votes cast or # voters. 6/17

Ramsland claims to use data “obtained from the Michigan Secretary of State” but it is not clear what data; it certainly wasn’t the precinct names.7/17

A fact check with the Wayne Co clerk’s records, had he done it, would have confirmed the names in ¶ 11 are not precincts in Michigan. 8/17)

The Michigan Townships Association database shows the twps identified are not in Michigan; every one of the “Precinct townships” in ¶11 are in Minnesota, not Michigan. (Yes, both start with M, & both are in the upper Midwest, but they are, in fact, different states.) 9/17

Worse, the Minnesota townships ID’d ¶11 are not even all in the same county: Benville Twp is in Beltrami Co; Bradford Twp is in Isanti Co; Kandiyohi & Lake Lillian Twps are in Kandiyohi Co; 10/17

Hokah & Houston Twps are in Houston, County; Brownsville & Champion are Twps in Wilkin County. & Etc. Minnesota. Not Michigan. 11/17

Third, the basis of his Wayne Co. (¶17) conclusions are demonstrably wrong. Ramsland stated “46 out of 47 precincts/townships display a highly unlikely 96%+ as the number of votes cast, using the Secretary of State's number of voters in the precinct/township; 12/17

"and 25 of those 47 precincts/townships show 100% turnout.” Wayne Co. has more than 47 “precincts/townships”: The official results reported by the Wayne County Clerk shows the City of Detroit alone has 503 precincts. 13/17

He calculated the turnout percentage by comparing the # of registered voters in 25 precincts to the # of votes cast in 25 named precincts, none of which are in Michigan. At least 3 - Detroit Lakes, Walworth, and Frazee are in Minnesota. Not Michigan. 14/17

because he apparently compared the number of Michigan registered voters to Minnesota vote totals (apples to oranges), or vice versa, he could not have “reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case” as required by FR 702. 15/17

In short, the “anomalies” Ramsland flags rely on incorrect data: comparing one state's registered voters to another state's vote totals resulted in invalid conclusions. 16/17

TL;DR: When you use an expert in litigation, make sure their conclusions are based on relevant facts you can confirm. fin


When 'Whataboutism' and TCS' join, any thing is possible including Earth is flat. It is beyond hopeless!

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

The Fed is “loaning” another $2,000,000,000 to the State Of Illinois via the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF, not to be confused with a MILF). Enough already! We need President Joe to send the full $200,000,000,000 with no strings to bailout all the state, muni and teachers government pension funds.


I think everyone just needs to buy a few pounds of Au and Ag instead of complaining about Biden.


I think the Kavanaugh analogy is a poor one. A sworn statement about an incident 35 years ago where the person swearing (1) can't even give a specific day or event and (2) has a clear political motive is FAR different than attesting to a crime that happened a few weeks ago and is being made by some people who are democrats - the opposite party of Trump.

I'm shocked at how far Mishs standards have fallen over the last year. If he thinks that sending out hundreds of thousands of ballots that were NOT requested and don't require any sig matching (PA) doesn't lead to massive fraud, he's being deliberately obtuse and is suffering TDS himself. I lived in Chicago for 15 years and ran for office three times as a libertarian. If you think Machine politics and fraud don't exist in big dem cities, I seriously question your IQ. Mish HIMSELF lived in Illinois forever and watched it happen. He's either deluded himself or sold his website to someone who has


I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles
Such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

  • Paul Simon

trump is attempting to resurrect jim crow laws by disallowing hundreds of thousands of votes cast by blacks in Democratic cities Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Madison. He initially had DeJoy sabotage postal equipment in black/democratic voting areas to prevent timely delivery of ballots. Nothing subtle about his racist strategy and campaign tactics appealing to Proud Boy types. The more this election is dissected the more evil will be found in this profoundly flawed person.

brian henry
brian henry

Faked voters decided the election as faked workers(inmates) got unemployment benefits. California showed it. And, one Vietnamese American vote counter/examiner who took 50K to swap Trump's votes to Biden's got shot to death as the court appearance on Dec 02, 2020.
He decided to report to the authority about the illegal payment he git to swap votes, so he was shot to death. Check San Jose court fir his appearance on Dec 02, 2020 and the coroner office for his death record. The Vietnamese community knew the facts and reported the news on Facebook but got blocked!

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