This morning the Georgia State Election Board passed two new rules that will be in effect for the two January 5th Senate run off elections. I can’t seem to get a clean link from CNN but here is the gist of the matter.

The first rule extends the use of secure, monitored, drop boxes that will be available 24/7 through the Jan. 5 runoff. Voters can use these drop boxes to deliver their absentee ballots – a rule that was also in place during November’s general election. Counties are required to use video surveillance to monitor the drop boxes for security.     

The second rule will require counties to begin processing absentee ballots one week and a day before election day. While this new rule makes it clear that counties have to start scanning absentee ballots a week and one day before election day, none of the absentee ballots are tabulated until the polls close on Jan. 5, per Georgia law. Georgia’s larger counties are authorized to start processing and scanning absentee ballots two weeks in advance of Jan. 5. 

The five-member election board is chaired by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. According to his office, at least 762,000 absentee ballots have been requested for January’s Senate runoff so far.

What’s at stake: The expected twin Georgia runoff elections in January will determine control of the Senate. This will encapsulate the structural challenge facing Democrats as they battle to secure a majority in the chamber that could determine the shape of Joe Biden’s presidency.

Wisconsin had secure 24×7 drop boxes for the November 3rd election in many of its larger cities…Milwaukee included. So this wouldn’t be a change. But Wisconsin currently doesn’t allow the processing of absentee ballots until the polls open on election day…which is why Milwaukee announced a large number of votes at 3:30 AM on November 4th…causing President Trump to scream foul…despite everyone acknowledging BEFORE the election that this was going to happen. So it will be interesting to see how the second rule works for Georgia. Or will we be seeing lawsuits before then.

If it works smoothly, and why shouldn’t it, Wisconsin should consider allowing absentee ballots to be at least pre-processed before election day (preparing them to run through the machines) if not actually tabulated.

And I have to give props to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. This man has been nothing but grace under fire…a job well done…as he counts his November 3rd ballots for a third time and being distracted from getting ready for the run offs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been complaining about the Democratic House not doing anything (despite several bills sent to the Senate) instead didn’t do anything and sent the Senate home to spread the GOP Senate virus across all 50 states rather than actually helping Americans. If the Democrats had stolen the 2020 election, Mitch McConnell would be unemployed in January too.

Even given the feckless grovelling of Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Ted Cruz has become the most egregious sycophant in the Trump biosphere. This has got to be one of the biggest disappointments for the future of the Republican party as one of their staunchest supporters of conservative values has sold out the party to the Trumpers.

But it just displays in large letters that Sen. Cruz is willing to forgo professed values for power.

So, yes he took up the mantle of voter suppression by reinforcing the president’s lies about mail-in and absentee ballots. And oh my goodness has he doubled and tripled down on the president’s lies around voter fraud. He’s all over the media, publishing almost as many tweets as the president, and telling everyone that Trump won.

And of course those dastardly techies and social media sites are all out to suppress free speech and particularly conservative free speech despite the fact that he’s one the most frequent conservative voices showing up in the Blogging Blue twitter feed. This too is one of the president’s favorite side whines and grievances.

He’s just stone cold tone deaf to what he looks like and sounds like in public…why? Because it plays to the Trump base. So this is a predictable and determined effort to win over that base to Team Cruz…probably made earlier this year when it appeared that President Trump would be re-elected…but still a viable scheme despite noises around a Trump 2024 movement have already begun.

So is Senator Ted Cruz running for president in 2024? Damn straight and he expects to build his campaign on the Trump base.

P.S. The Blogging Blue Twitter feed just coughed up a reprise of a Ted Cruz presser when he re-iterated that the coronavirus would remarkably disappear on November 4th. A favorite meme of the president…meanwhile, today November 23, 2020, hospitals in Texas have refrigerated trucks in their lots to store COVID-19 victims and called in the National Guard to maintain them.

Kyle Rittenhouse was released on bail last week…2 million bucks worth. He is the 17 Year Old who was illegally sporting an assault rifle in Kenosha and killed two people and seriously wounded a third.

And Friday, someone shot eight people, seven adults and one teenager, in Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. Originally thought to be a white male in his 20s or 30s, last night police arrested a 15 Year Old boy for the shooting and recovered the handgun.

Two kids with guns…totally avoidable mayhem.

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On November 3, 2020, US Representative Gwen Moore won her 9th term to represent Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District. When this term is complete, she will have served 18 years in Washington and be 71 years old.

Now, I have nothing personal against Rep. Moore. I realize that she is an icon in Milwaukee and Wisconsin Democratic circles. I realize that she has been a ground breaking politician in a number of different arenas. I realize that she is well loved and well respected across the Democratic spectrum. And I have voted for her nine times now.

Rep. Gwen Moore (D) Wisconsin 4th Congressional District

But I am also recognizing that if the United States and Wisconsin and Milwaukee are going to grow to the next level, we need fresh voices at the table in Congress. And it’s not like we don’t have at least a dozen A list Democratic elected officials in the district who can build on Rep. Moore’s legacy…the hard choice will be selecting which one!

And of course, no Democrat in the 4th will take on the respected incumbent.

So, my suggstion is, that sometime after the new Congress is seated and the new President is sworn in on January 20th, that Rep. Moore announce that she will not run for another term in 2022. That will allow other Democrats to put together their exploratory committees, feel out their support, and put together a campaign team if they decide to pursue the seat. Let’s make sure we give everyone enough time to do this right!

 

Despite the mass shooting at Mayfair Mall yesterday, that left eight people injured, the MAGA rally advertised by the Wisconsin Conservative Digest, took place outside. David Clarke was supposed to be the featured speaker, but I haven’t seen any reports on the activities other than parades and flag waving. I didn’t see any signs that said ‘thoughts and prayers’.

I am not going to dig too deep into this topic today, but after my recent experience it becomes more and more apparent that we need a universal single payer system and that pricing for health care services is completely out of control.

Early in October, I had my second annual MRI to look for changes in my pituitary tumor. I am on Medicare.

The procedure was done in a prominent local hospital who billed my insurance company: $6,178.00. I paid a co-pay of $35, Insurance paid $280.00, I paid an additional $75, and the hospital made an adjustment of $5,787 (this may total differently because I dropped the cents involved). So the hospital just wrote off the majority of their fees. Did they lose money on the process? Does it really only cost @$400 to perform? If I didn’t have Medicare, would I pay $6,178? This is nuts.

And then there’s the radiologist who read the MRI and wrote up the report who said the stuff in my head is unremarkable (ouch that hurt!). He billed $571 and insurance paid $113 and that’s it. WTF?

I am not complaining about any of the healthcare that I have received…but the way we pay for it or don’t pay for it is absolutely nuts. Medical providers deserve to make a decent living due to the skill and education they bring into the room…and healthcare facilities are in the same boat. But really, transparency in pricing…equal expectations in responsibility…and consistent and timely payment of fees…needs to be addressed for every American.

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This is from a social media page from a volunteer at the recount site in Milwaukee County. It was posted around noon today.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin… A few minutes after the recount started today a representative of the trump campaign objected and presented a list of demands to the commission. They complained that the set up, distancing for covid, doesn’t allow observers to see the ballots. So counting is stopped. It must be completed by December 1st.

For what, I am not sure yet. But why do I suspect that? Well, I have liked his politician Facebook page since way back in the day simply because it was necessary to follow him in order to write about him here.

And although he’s been quite active on Facebook (and it seems his activity has increased recently), his posts have started popping up on my timeline again and the timeline of other liberal and Democratic friends after having been absent since he lost to Governor Tony Evers.

So, I am not sure exactly where Mr. Walker lives now but I would think he’s looking at a statewide election as opposed to a House seat or a state legislative seat. That suggests two things.

A run to regain the governor’s office from Tony Evers…not that far fetched given the swing in state elections…and a divisional dissatisfaction with Governor Evers’ handling of the pandemic.

Or he knows something that we don’t know: that Senator Ron Johnson isn’t running for re-election to the US Senate. Just what we need, a Scott Walker to add to the nattering nabobs of Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham…sheesh.

Any conjectures out there?

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