Daily Archives: October 18, 2018

Newsweek cover story: Here’s How Russia May Have Already Hacked the 2018 Midterm Elections

The cover story of Newsweek this week is a lengthy investigative report by David Freedman into Here’s How Russia May Have Already Hacked the 2018 Midterm Elections. Here are the opening graphs using Bucks County, Pennsylvania as an example:

It’s not easy to get in to see Diane Ellis-Marseglia, one of three commissioners who run Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Security is tight at the Government Administration Building on 55 East Court Street in Doylestown, a three-story brick structure with no windows, where she has an office. It also happens to be where officials retreat on election night to tally the votes recorded on the county’s 900 or so voting machines. Guards at the door X-ray bags and scan each visitor with a wand.

Unfortunately, Russian hackers won’t need to come calling on Election Day. Cyberexperts warn that they could use more sophisticated means of changing the outcomes of close races or sowing confusion in an effort to throw the U.S. elections into disrepute. The 2018 midterms offer a compelling target: a patchwork of 3,000 or so county governments that administer elections, often on a shoestring budget, many of them with outdated electronic voting machines vulnerable to manipulation. With Democrats on track to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and perhaps even the Senate, the ­political stakes are high.

Russian hackers were notoriously active in the 2016 election. Although President Donald Trump disputes it, evidence suggests that they were responsible for breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s computers, according to U.S. intelligence reports. They ran a disinformation campaign on Facebook and Twitter. They also attacked voter registration databases in 21 states, election management systems in 39 states and at least one election software vendor—and that’s only what the government’s intelligence services know about.

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Unhinged Martha McSally doubles down on accusing Kyrsten Sinema of ‘treason’

It appears that Martha McSally is fully invested in her “closing argument” smear that her opponent Krysten Sinema is guilty of “treason.” Martha is completely unhinged.

The Arizona Republic reports:

Meeting for the first time since Monday’s fiery Senate debate, Republican Martha McSally doubled down on her assertion that her Democratic rival, Kyrsten Sinema, supported “treason” in a remark made 15 years ago.

McSally, a retired combat pilot, appeared on the verge of tears at one point – such an actress – as she noted that Sinema had remarked in 2003 that it was “fine” if the radio host asking a hypothetical question wanted to join the Taliban.

What Sinema Actually Said

As part of her effort to publicize a February 2003 antiwar protest in Patriots Square Park in Phoenix, Sinema appeared on the radio show of a local libertarian activist. The host, Ernest Hancock, laid out a rambling hypothetical situation — difficult to follow at times — and concluded by asking Sinema if she would be okay with him joining the Taliban.

“If I want to go fight in the Taliban army, I go over there and I’m fighting for the Taliban. I’m saying that’s a personal decision,” host Ernest Hancock said.

“Fine, I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead,” Sinema replied, before adding: “What we’re talking about here are two different things. When you say, ‘We owe something to the world,’ my definition of owing something to the world does not involve war and destruction.”

She then added that she wanted to get back to discussing her antiwar position.

If you listen to the audio of the interview, it is even less than you might imagine. This is Sinema effectively saying “Yeah, whatever Dude, do whatever you want. Can we get back to talking about what I want to talk about?” No reasonable person could take away that Sinema was advocating for the Taliban.

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Barack Obama is done with people’s lame excuses for not voting in midterm elections

The Huffington Post reports Barack Obama Brutally Shuts Down People’s Lame Excuses For Not Voting:

Barack Obama is done with people’s lame excuses for not voting in the upcoming midterm elections this November.

So, in a new “Get Out The Vote” video from media company ATTN, the former president amusingly picks apart seven common reasons people give for not bothering to exercise their democratic right to cast a ballot.

“You can’t use Google to figure out which candidates on your local ballot think that the earth is flat and climate change is a hoax?” Obama asks at one point, as he tackles some people’s claims that they’re not informed enough to make a decision.

And for those folks who don’t bother voting in the midterms because they are “boring,” Obama delivers this takedown: “You know what’s boring? Scrolling through endless photos of your dinner on Instagram.”

Check out the full clip here:

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 8.26.42 AM

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Mitch McConnell: Republicans are coming for your healthcare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Believe them. (Updated)

Republicans were supposed to run on their tax cuts. Instead, they’re running away from them. Only the Chamber of Commerce (naturally) is running ads thanking Republicans like Martha McSally for making permanent the deficit busting corporate welfare tax cuts for wealthy plutocrats that did not benefit the average American taxpayer. Republicans stunned to learn voters understand exactly what their tax cut did:

The reality is not in dispute. Around two-thirds of the benefits of the tax cuts went to those in the top quintile of taxpayers, with about 20 percent of the benefits going to the richest 1 percent. By 2025, when the cuts are fully phased in, the top 1 percent will get 25 percent of the benefits. (See details here.) The centerpiece of the plan, furthermore, was a gigantic corporate [welfare] tax cut. Republicans promised that this cut would produce a wave of investment and wage increases for workers, but so far the only wave that has resulted is a tsunami of stock buybacks benefiting wealthy shareholders, which is exactly what liberals predicted.

Those facts are available to anyone who might seek them out, but most people aren’t going to. What people do notice, however, is that their paychecks didn’t look much bigger after the tax cut. Maybe they’re getting a few more dollars a week, but it certainly wasn’t life-transforming.

Tax cuts are actually tax expenditures that are paid for by borrowing money. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves, despite the GOP’s insane adherence to faith based supply-side “trickle down” economics. All it does is explode the federal deficit. Republicans like to claim they are “deficit hawks” when a Democrat is in the White House, but the truth is they are actually deficit peacocks who really don’t care about the federal deficit, especially when a Republican is in the White House.

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AZ Daily Star endorses Democrat Congresswoman Krysten Sinema for U.S. Senate

The Arizona Daily Star editorial board endorsed Democrat CD 9 Congresswoman Krysten Sinema for the open seat in the Arizona U.S. Senate, over Republican CD 2 Congresswoman Martha McSally. The article appeared today in the Star, page A 10, and here’s the online version:

https://tucson.com/opinion/local/star-opinion-kyrsten-sinema-for-the-u-s-senate/article_0cbc550b-d24e-5f06-a57f-89bd794f929b.html

Sinema is a 3 term Congresswoman.  This U.S. Senate seat is currently held by Republican Jeff Flake, who is stepping down after one term.

LD 9 Congresswoman Krysten Sinema

Vote wisely on or before Nov. 6, 2018.

Voter registration totals for Arizona to date (from Secretary of State’s website):

Democrats 1,111,580; Republicans 1, 264,295; Other 1,218,716.




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