To accept the validity of a US Presidential election in advance would be absurd

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Offline the leveller

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To accept the validity of a US Presidential election in advance would be absurd

Note: The squealing and posturing of liberals over Trump's refusal to give an absolute acceptance of the election result come what may is, as is the norm with liberals, based upon a lie. The lie is that US presidential elections have always been accepted without question. In fact there have been quite a few where candidates have not accepted a result immediately. Here are some of the more problematical ones including the 2000 Florida recount.

It is also true that elections in the US generally have had a mixed history, see

• Argersinger, Peter H. "New perspectives on election fraud in the Gilded Age." Political Science Quarterly (1985) 100#4 pp. 669–87[7]
• Campbell, Tracy. Deliver the Vote: A History of Election Fraud, An American Political Tradition, 1742 2004 (Basic Books, 2005)
• Fackler, Tim, and Tse-min Lin. "Political corruption and presidential elections, 1929–1992." Journal of Politics 57 (1995): 971–93.[8]
• Mayfield, Loomis. "Voting Fraud in Early Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh," Journal of Interdisciplinary History (1993) 29#1 59–84[9]
• Morris Jr., Roy. Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876 (2007)[10]
• Summers, Mark Wahlgren. Party Games: Getting, Keeping, and Using Power in Gilded Age Politics (2003)[11]
• Summers, Mark Wahlgren. The Era of Good Stealings (1993), covers corruption 1868-1877
• Sydnor, Charles. Gentlemen Freeholders: Political Practices in Washington's Virginia (1952), 18th century

• To that history can be added present day the widespread feeling that elections and politicians are are routinely bought and sold and procedures and qualification to vote adjusted to suit the political elite. .

•  Finally, there is the ample  opportunity for fraud arising from the fact that each state organises its own elections for the presidency using its own procedures.  This is perhaps particularly worrying in cases where machine voting is in operation. I don't know whether computer voter appears in this election but if it does it would be probably be impossible to discover if the programme had been rigged to favour a candidate. . 

• In these circumstances only a fool would give an unqualified promise that the result would be accepted as valid.   RH

7 Most Contentious U.S. Presidential Elections

APRIL 26, 2016 By Sarah Pruitt

From the looks of it, the 2016 presidential race will go down in the books as one of the craziest ever. For a bit of perspective, we step away from the endless news cycle to take a look back at some of the most contentious U.S. presidential elections in the nation’s history.

 As fans of the Broadway smash “Hamilton” well know, this election went down just as the nation’s first political parties were taking shape. At the time, the electoral college process was far different than it is today. Each elector voted for two candidates; the one with the most votes became president, while the runner-up became vice president. Under this system, Thomas Jefferson and his chosen V.P. pick, Aaron Burr, tied for first place 73-73 due to a communication error among Democratic-Republican electors (or a Burr-led conspiracy, depending on whom you believe). President John Adams, a member of the rival Federalist Party, managed only 65 votes. For the first of only two times in history, the election went to the House of Representatives. Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first treasury secretary, turned the tide by lobbying his fellow Federalists to throw their support to Jefferson. Though Hamilton and Jefferson despised each other, Hamilton considered him a safer choice than Burr, whom he claimed “loves nothing but himself—thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement.” The Virginian walked into the White House, Burr became vice president (he would kill Hamilton in a duel three years later while still in that office) and the 12th Amendment was added to the Constitution to specify that electors vote separately for the nation’s two highest offices.

The 6th President of the United States. (Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)
By this time, the Federalist Party had dissolved, and all four candidates for president were Democratic-Republicans. “Old Hickory” Andrew Jackson, hero of the War of 1812, won the popular vote by fewer than 39,000 ballots, and captured 99 electoral votes; Secretary of State John Quincy Adams took 84 electoral votes, with 41 going to Treasury Secretary William Crawford and 37 to House Speaker Henry Clay. As no candidate earned a majority of electoral votes, the election again went to the House of Representatives. Clay was eliminated from contention (only three candidates could be considered) but still controlled the House. After a month of back-room negotiations, Clay’s supporters largely threw their weight behind Adams, enabling him to win the House vote, as states that had cast most of their electoral votes for Jackson (Maryland, Illinois, Louisiana and Kentucky) now turned in favor of Adams. When Adams chose Clay as his secretary of state soon after his inauguration, an enraged Jackson called it a “corrupt bargain.” Quitting his Senate post, he vowed to come back and win in 1828, which he did at the head of a new Democratic Party, toppling Adams (by then leader of the National Republican Party) after only one term.

Abraham Lincoln circa 1846.
The presidential election of 1860 wasn’t just contentious—it tore the nation apart. Abraham Lincoln, the chosen nominee of the fledgling Republican Party and a steadfast opponent of slavery, wasn’t even on the ballot in most Southern states. While the Democratic Party went with Lincoln’s Illinois rival, Senator Stephen Douglas, as their candidate, the southern branch of the party defected, choosing sitting Vice President John Breckenridge as its candidate. Sen. John Bell of Tennessee rounded out the race on the ticket of the new Constitutional Union Party. Lincoln won only 40 percent of the popular vote but took most of the electoral votes in the North, along with California and Oregon. Breckenridge won the electoral votes in most of the South, along with Maryland and Delaware; Bell won Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, while Douglas captured only Missouri, despite finishing second in the popular vote. Just weeks after Lincoln’s victory, South Carolina voted to secede. Six more Southern states followed, forming the Confederate States of America in February 1861, with Jefferson Davis as president.

Hayes lost the popular vote to Samuel Tilden but won electoral vote in a controversial election. (Credit: CORBIS).
This one was a doozy: Democratic Governor Samuel Tilden of New York won 250,000 more ballots in the popular vote than his Republican opponent, Rutherford B. Hayes, and snagged 19 more electoral votes. But Tilden was still one electoral vote short of the required majority (185), and 20 votes remained uncounted: Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina remained too close to call, as each party accused the other of fraud, while in Oregon an elector was declared illegal and replaced, with controversial results. As the crisis mounted, threats of another civil war loomed. In an unprecedented move, Congress established a 15-member commission of senators, congressmen and Supreme Court justices (including seven Republicans, seven Democrats and an independent) to decide the election. After the swing vote turned in Hayes’ favor, he was awarded all 20 electoral votes from the disputed states, giving him the necessary 185. After the Democrats threatened to filibuster and block the official vote counting, the issue was settled in negotiations at D.C.’s Wormley Hotel in February 1877. The Democrats would accept Hayes’ victory provided that Hayes remove all federal troops from the South, among other conditions. The compromise consolidated Democratic control of the region, effectively ending Reconstruction and reversing the gains that African Americans had made during the post-Civil War era.

The 28th President of the United States. (Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)
Recently returned from the 10-month African safari he took after leaving the White House, Theodore Roosevelt found himself drawn back into politics as the 1912 election approached. After his close friend and handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, angered Roosevelt and fellow progressives by siding increasingly with the conservative wing of the Republican Party, Roosevelt challenged Taft in the primaries. Denied the nomination, he bolted with his supporters and formed the Progressive Party. In one particularly shocking moment of this wild campaign season, a fanatic shot Roosevelt in the chest during an event in Wisconsin; the self-proclaimed “Bull Moose” actually finished delivering his speech after taking the bullet. In the end, Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote, helping the Democrat Woodrow Wilson win the White House despite capturing less than 50 percent majorities in many states. Roosevelt finished second and Taft third—the last time in history that a major party candidate would fail to finish either first or second in a presidential election. In fourth place, Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party candidate, won 6 percent of the popular vote, turning in the best-ever showing for a Socialist candidate in a U.S. election.

 The outcome of the 1948 election looked clear: President Harry S. Truman was on his way out. In the midterm elections of 1946, both houses of Congress had gone Republican for the first time in nearly 20 years, and opinion polls showed only 1 in 3 Americans approved of Truman’s leadership. Though Republican challenger Thomas Dewey was a strong candidate, having lost a close race to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman’s biggest struggle was opposition within his own party. His own commerce secretary quit to run against him on the Progressive Party ticket, while Truman’s public support of civil rights for African Americans lost him southern, conservative Democrats, who walked out of the national convention and formed their own States’ Rights Party, known as “Dixiecrats,” behind South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond. Truman campaigned hard throughout the fall, however, making several “whistle stop” train tours across the country in order to make the case that a do-nothing Republican Congress was blocking his proposals and a Republican successor would repeal the New Deal programs that had saved the country from the Depression. Gallup’s last pre-election poll, which showed Dewey beating Truman by five percentage points, went public on Election Day, even though it had been taken in mid-October. After Truman went to bed that night believing he had lost, his Secret Service agents had to wake him at 4 am to break the news of his victory. In a famous photo, a grinning Truman held up a copy of the Chicago Tribune’s morning edition, which went to press earlier than usual due to a printers’ strike. The headline? “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

Bush faced Al Gore in the 2000 elections, in an extremely close race that ended in a long recount. A decision by the Supreme Court ended the recount with Bush ahead in electoral votes. (Credit: Reuters/CORBIS)
It was the election that went on forever—or at least that’s what it seemed like. In the race between Al Gore and George W. Bush, it all came down to the outcome in Florida: TV networks initially announced the state had gone in Gore’s favor, then said it was too close to call before finally calling it for the Texas governor. With just a few hundred votes separating the candidates in Florida, the lawsuits and recounts began in full force, including heated disputes over confusing or improperly punched ballots, missing names on voter rolls and multiple requests for ID from minority voters. Five agonizing weeks after the election, the U.S. Supreme Court had the final word, ruling by a narrow majority to stop the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court on the grounds it violated the constitutional principle that “all votes must be treated equally.” Bush, who won 30 states (counting Florida) and maintained a razor-thin five-vote majority in the electoral college, would be the first candidate in 112 years to win the presidency without prevailing in the popular vote (he trailed Gore by more than 500,000 votes).


Donald Trump is tapping into something real: a lot of Americans hate Hillary and will never accept her as president

•Joshua Neicho

20 October 2016 • 12:36pmMixed reactions after Trump says he may not accept result Mixed reactions after Trump says he may not accept result Play! 02:00

Donald Trump's declaration twice in last night's debate that he might not accept the result of the presidential election if he feels it is rigged against him - that “I will look at it at the time... I will keep you in suspense" - will have left most UK viewers as aghast as Hillary Clinton.

Isn't this the stuff of tinpot dictatorships, not the world's oldest constitutional republic? Surely any sane Republican would feel, as Clinton said last night, nothing but "appalled" that their party's nominee should be besmirching American democracy in this way?

‘Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered... I tell you one other thing. She's guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run. And just in that respect I say it's rigged’Donald Trump, on his belief that the US election is rigged

As experienced election observer and member of the Austrian parliament Christine Muttonen wrote earlier this week, casual allegations of electoral fraud "can have a dangerous effect, creating an atmosphere of tension and mistrust".

Such a reaction is partly to misunderstand the showboating and outrage which is a key plank of Trump's appeal, from his storming of the Republican primaries to his continued ability to make waves despite alienating massive swathes of the electorate. Time and again, the Donald refuses to be bound by facts or decency.Trump speaking to the media after the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, US, on September 26 2016

Trump speaking to the media after the first presidential debate Credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg Finance LP

But more fundamentally, it fails to account for the fact that a substantial part of the US electorate is so opposed to Hillary Clinton that they will never be comfortable with her as President, and in their receptiveness to Trump's line that "she’s been proven to be a liar in so many different ways” are open to doubts about the probity of her campaign.

They hate her guts.

We are not just talking the cartoon extremes of Confederate flag-waving inbreds, pro-life zealots and conspiracy theory weirdies. Last week, I travelled around the Midwest speaking to Republican voters, particularly women, who have proved more resistant to his electoral charms than men.A Republican volunteer in Allen County, Ohio

A Republican volunteer in Allen County, Ohio Credit: Joshua Neicho/-

While almost all accepted Trump had "humongous" flaws, they were prepared to overlook these because of their fundamental distrust of and disdain for Clinton. They are convinced that her destruction of her email servers shows she has something to hide, that she and Bill have corruptly sold access and enriched themselves through the Clinton Foundation, and that she should be held responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

‘It’s funny, but it’s also really troubling... He is talking down our democracy. And I am appalled that someone who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that position’Hillary Clinton, on Donald Trump saying he may not accept the election result

These views come in toxic combination with a contempt for her loyalty to and career elevation through her husband, and a sense she has achieved more for herself than for the country or the minority groups she purportedly champions. She is seen as being the very heart of a corrupt Washington establishment, whereas Trump represents change.

"The immorality and crookedness are just too much for me to bear" one woman in her 80s said. "She has no conscience. She will do anything that puts herself forward". There is a belief, beyond the cranks, that the sexual assault allegations against Trump are a set-up - "an obvious attempt by the Democratic Party to affect the outcome of the election" as one young woman told me.

'Such a nasty woman' - Trump hits out at Clinton 'Such a nasty woman' - Trump hits out at Clinton Play! 00:29 

I also spoke to Republican women who said they had looked at the evidence carefully and been convinced that the scandals surrounding Trump were much worse than those around Clinton - and besides, that his economic policies don't add up and will inflate the cost of government further. But they admit that for many of their peers, a switch from Trump to Clinton may be a step too far - sitting out the election or voting third party may be more likely.Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Credit: -/Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

Meanwhile veteran journalist Godfrey Hodgson captures a "pervasive feeling" among Americans across the political spectrum that Clinton remains "a strangely arbitrary choice for the Democrats. Many who are delighted to see a woman so close to the White House still wonder why this particular woman should have been chosen ahead of more than 117 million other adult American females." Young and minority voters who were enthused about Bernie Sanders may not turn out on election day; red in tooth and claw Republicans who loathe Clinton describe their respect for Sanders.

Since the start of the month, Trump has been haemorraging support among more groups of voters and virtually all the polling evidence suggests that he will lose. That isn't the key issue any more. On November 9, there will be a very large number of Americans who believe the worst about Hillary Clinton and will feel even more embattled than they have over the past eight years. For them, Clinton may hold the office of President, but she will never be their President. That may cripple her from the start.

Capital and Conflict

20 October 2016

The single biggest risk in the market right now (it’s not Trump)
Dear Reader

 How about that? Portfolio managers think the disintegration of the European Union is a bigger risk to stockmarkets than the bond bubble or Donald Trump! That was from a survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch that showed portfolio cash balances are at their highest percentage since 9/11. Maybe those managers surveyed have seen Tim Price’s new presentation on what ails the European banking system!

 A Trump victory is more likely than some people in the media bubble would like to admit, I’ve argued in this week’s cover story for MoneyWeek magazine. But even if the Donald goes down in flames to Hillary Clinton, his attacks on central bankers will cross the Atlantic to have an impact in French and German elections next year. Trump’s parting shot may hit the European Union dead centre.

 Speaking of which, prime minister Theresa May will make her first appearance at the European Council when she travels to Brussels for a meeting today. Brexit is not officially on the agenda. But you can bet it will be on everyone’s hearts and minds. The negotiations to leave, which haven’t officially begun, are poised at an interesting point.

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The ‘cashless dictatorship’ is coming


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But, according to fund manager Tim Price, the country is now “sleepwalking into a dictatorship”.


This is not a political development, but a financial one... and it will make you realise who really controls your money.


Find out how to protect your savings from Britain’s ‘cashless dictatorship’ here.

 The EU has so far presented a united front. But how long will that last? The longer Brexit looks like it hasn’t done any damage to the UK economy, the more appealing leaving may look to other countries. Pressure will be build. And with elections in France next spring and Germany next autumn, the driving force between EU integration may be a lot weaker this time next year.

 Meanwhile, back in Westminster, it’s clear that some parliamentary forces have decided that the referendum is a suggestion and that Brexit requires official action by Parliament. Will this resistance to the Brexit result become more overt? Will it provoke a legal challenge? A constitutional crisis?

 These are all political questions. As such, they’re beyond the reckoning of markets and prices. That’s a point Tim Price made yesterday when he conducted the quarterly strategy conference call for subscribers to The Price Report. You can use bond yields and exchange rates for proxies on what markets have to “say” about political events.

 But a vote is not a price. Political decisions are driven by a host of emotional variables that markets simply can’t measure. The result is that markets can get stuck in limbo until the political situation clarifies. And the longer the political situation remains uncertain – with Brexit it could be years – the harder it is for markets to move with conviction (in either direction).

 In a fascinating twist, British oddsmakers have now moved Donald Trump’s chances for victory from 11-2 to 4-1. And here’s the really interesting bit: the betting patterns on the US presidential election are looking awfully familiar. The “smart money” is on Clinton. But the “weight of money” is on Trump. What do I mean?

 Bookie William Hill reports that 71% of the total value of bets is on Clinton. But 65% of the total number of bets are on Trump. Are a few big players in the betting markets trying to create the impression of an inevitable Clinton win? Maybe. But probably not.

 I suspect what’s going on is exactly what happened with Brexit. The “insiders” – those in the media, politics, and your basic big city elites – have convinced themselves that no right-thinking person could vote for Trump. And given how deplorably Trump is reported to have behaved with women in the past, it seems like a pretty comfortable conclusion to reach.

 But remember, pollsters, the media and political elites have been consistently out of touch with the social mood in the last three years. I blame quantitative easing (QE) for this. As asset markets have powered higher on low interest rates, the world looks and feels different for those who benefit from financial repression.

 On the outside of the bubble – where ordinary people have to deal with the consequences of open borders, free trade, bureaucratic overreach and low growth – QE has created a cauldron of discontent. Trump has tapped into the victims of financial repression. And if he were anybody but himself, he might find himself with a commanding lead just a few weeks before the election.

 Here’s the flip side: a Clinton win and signs of inflation in the US and UK could trigger a big rally in stocks and commodities in November. All that cash on the sidelines could storm out of short-term bonds and into growth stocks. Or, dare I say it, commodities!

 “We have seen early signs of markets rebalancing,” says BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie. Iron ore prices are up 35% year-to-date, he reports. And metallurgical coal (used in steelmaking) has tripled. Could the long nightmare of oversupply and tepid demand be over? Have a look at the chart below.


 The current line being peddled by central banks is that they need to run inflation “hot” in order to combat the forces of deflation. Those forces are well known: excessive debt (which makes growth hard); demographics (declining consumption in the West); and automation, technology and globalisation (all putting pressure on wages and prices). Higher-than-expected inflation is just fine with Janet Yellen and Mark Carney because they believe it will take some doing to overcome the natural desire of the planet to deflate.

 Keep your eye on commodities, then. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB got the year off to a dismal start. Then it rallied from early February to early June. Once Brexit looked possible, and once politics overwhelmed markets, the index slid. Now, it’s in a rising trend and looking to make a new high by the end of the year.

 My prediction: this kind of inflation will be welcome at first and look encouraging. Traders in commodities could make some nice profits. But be afraid. Be very afraid. Inflation is like fire. It gives heat and light. But get too close and it burns.

 Central banks never manage to engineer “just a little” inflation. They are convinced that QE can be wound down without leading to a collapse in bond prices or unleashing inflation in the real economy. But this entire monetary era is experimental. It’s your money, your retirement and your portfolio they’re experimenting with. And central planners have a poor track record when it comes to defeating market forces.

 All this will be in the mix next week in Australia. I’m travelling there on Friday to speak at a conference next week on “The Great Repression”. I’ll be joined by old friends and colleagues from Melbourne. And some of the keynote speakers – Jim Rogers, Jim Rickards and Satyajit Das – will no doubt have a lot to say about Trump, the dollar, commodities and the battle between central banks and markets.

 Until tomorrow!


 Dan Denning
 Publisher, Capital & Conflict

« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 11:02:40 AM by the leveller »

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