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Democracy

A lawyer explains why Trump's legal case falls flat in an entertainingly informative Tik Tok

A lawyer explains why Trump's legal case falls flat in an entertainingly informative Tik Tok

Welp. Here we are, America. Exactly where millions of us expected we would be if President Donald J. Trump didn't the win an election that he wanted, expected, and thought he was entitled to win. His refusal to concede, alleging fraud and cheating without any solid evidence, is not the least bit surprising. Heck, he told us himself that it was coming. If he lost, this was the plan all along—deny the results, claim fraud, and don't back down.

That doesn't change the fact that it's effing insane, of course, and the fact that we're sitting here watching a sitting president undermine a free election in America should be deeply concerning to every American.

Instead, we have arguments like this:

"But what about all the fraud and the stealing and the..." NO. No thank you to all of that. These are the deluded musings of a malignant narcissist who is literally incapable of admitting defeat and should not be entertained or enabled.

"But don't you care about having a fair election, with legal votes counted and illegal votes not counted?" Yes, of course. The idea that we should only count legal votes and throw out illegal votes is not some great epiphany that needs to be stated—that's literally just an election. Our states' voting systems are set up with checks and safeguards and fail-safes to make sure that that's what happens, and those system generally work as they should.

That being said, there are always some irregularities and tallying issues that pop up in every election, which is why we have processes in place to check for them. We just don't usually put a microscope-of-doubt on the process as it chugs along. That microscope has resulted in people seeing only bits and pieces of the process, which leads to erroneous assumptions at best and baseless accusations at worst. And when those assumptions and accusations are broadcast from the supposed leader of the free world, it leads to chaos, confusion, and crisis of democracy.


This is where we are. Good times.

The one thing we should all agree on is that a candidate does have the right to legal challenges if they truly do see issues that aren't being caught by the normal process. If Trump wants to throw his or his supporters' money at lawsuits, more power to him. But those lawsuits have to have actual evidence to back them, as attorney Joanne Molinaro pointed out in a viral TikTok video this weekend.

Most of us who aren't lawyers yawn at legalese, but Molinaro's entertaining and informative explanation of how this actually works is fabulous.

"Let's talk about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure!" Molinaro begins. "First, Rule 8 and the Supreme Court requires that all complaints include FACTS, not legal conclusions. Next, let's talk about Rule 9(b), which says that fraud complaints are SPECIAL! In order to survive dismissal, a fraud complaint needs to allege who did the fraud, the date and time they did the fraud, where they did the fraud, and how they did the fraud. So general allegations like 'how could he get that many votes when no one came to his rallies?' is just not gonna cut it, honey. It also has to allege damages, i.e., enough votes were affected that it would actually change the results."

"And finally I bring to you my favorite rule!" she continued. "Under Rule 11, when you file a complaint you are making a representation to the court that the facts contained in your complaint actually have evidentiary support. If a complaint doesn't have evidentiary support or if it's unlikely to lead to evidentiary support, it will not only be thrown out, you'll be subject to sanctions!"

While holding a piece of her hair, which might just be the best part of the video, Molinaro explained, "While it's true that Rule 11 rarely gets enforced, when a lawyer starts talking 'But Rule 11??' what they're actually trying to say is that the complaint is full of sh*t."

A lack of evidentiary support is why Trump's lawsuits so far haven't gone anywhere. Many have been dismissed outright, in fact. And today The Wall Street Journal reported that the 28-member delegation of international observers invited by the Trump administration has given high marks to the way last week's elections were conducted and is criticizing President Trump for his baseless allegations of systematic fraud.

Again, the notion that the outcome of the election is illegitimate is nothing but the rantings of a man who can't handle losing and the sycophantic enablers who enjoy the power they receive in his orbit. Unfortunately, that man is the president of the United States and his words and behavior matter.

Thankfully, that won't be the case for much longer.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

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Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

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Pop Culture

YouTube star MrBeast sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery to help them see again

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up."

YouTube star sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery

Blindness touches people's lives around the world and YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, more popularly known as MrBeast, is trying to do something about it. Donaldson made it his mission to help 1,000 people regain their eyesight with the help of Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida.

Levenson has been operating a program called "Gift of Sight" for over 20 years. The program provides free cataract surgery to uninsured people who are legally blind for free, so long as they meet certain criteria. Levenson had never heard of Donaldson, and he almost hung up on him when the YouTube star called to ask about a partnership.

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up," Levenson told CNN.

After figuring out that Donaldson was indeed a real person who wanted to help others, the duo called around the Jacksonville area to determine the people who needed help the most. They got their list of clients from free clinics and homeless shelters, which covered the United States portion of the surgeries.

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A mom makes sensory sand by putting Cheerios in a blender.

A parenting influencer who goes by the name @ellethevirgo on TikTok has shared a brilliant hack that can turn a simple box of Cheerios into a fun sensory sand experience. The great part is that the sand is edible, so you don’t have to worry if your child puts some in their mouth, which they will inevitably do.

The recipe for Cheerios sensory sand is pretty simple:

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Gaël Monfils makes tennis a must-see.

Tennis isn't always the most entertaining sport to watch, especially if you're not particularly interested in seeing a ball get slapped across a net at 1,000,000 mph approximately 17,000 times. You could probably get whiplash or eye strain if you focused too hard on it. While some people love the sport, others need a little more than grunts and sneaker sounds to capture their attention.

If you're in the group of people who need to be entertained, look no further than Gaël Monfils, a professional French tennis player that has earned the nickname, "The Entertainer." Monfils turned pro in 2004 and has multiple championship matches under his belt, and yet he still takes the time to be...extra while playing.

In a compilation video uploaded to TikTok, we see the 36-year-old tennis player dancing after hitting the ball across the net just out of his opponent's reach. But of course, he also doesn't hit the ball like your average player, either. In one part of the video, Monfils jumps up extremely high and bicycle kicks as he hits the ball with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

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