#1176  
Old 07-12-2017, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

I’m not surprised that people are talking about treason charges now (for instance, Tim Kaine [warning: autoplay video] mentioned the T-word today); as people may recall, I predicted this less than two months ago. I am surprised that it happened this quickly, though.

The election itself pretty much scrambled everything I thought I knew about politics. However, I’m surprised at how many of my suspicions regarding this administration’s conduct have been accurate, and I’m even more surprised at how quickly they’ve been made public knowledge. This administration is far more incompetent than I ever suspected possible, but other than that, they’re behaving more or less exactly how I predicted they would.

At this point, I think it’s clear that very nearly the president*’s entire administration is complicit in far more than obstruction of justice. I’m not a lawyer here, so take what I say on this with a grain of salt, but I see a justifiable case for at least espionage charges (even the Rosenbergs were apparently executed for espionage rather than treason; I don’t believe anyone has been convicted for treason in this country absent a declared state of war); the case for obstruction is also cut-and-dry and there are quite a few other offences that will probably also be proven, not least of which is likely to be money laundering for the Russian mob. Pence seems to be a serial perjurer, and I’m pretty sure at least Ryan and McConnell are guilty of various forms of collusion and conspiracy. This is almost certainly why they are attempting to stonewall investigations going forward, but given the apparent incompetence of very nearly everyone in the president*’s orbit, I don’t expect their collusion to go uncovered anymore than I expect the president*’s to.

I do have a couple of questions, though. Charlie Pierce adequately sums up one: what, exactly, do the Russians have on the president*? There’s good reason to believe that the president* doesn’t even want the job. So why the fuck did he run? The only explanation I’ve heard that makes any sense is Russian blackmail. They certainly have a lengthy track record of this kind of thing, and it certainly would be terrifying to be the victim of it, given how many whistleblowers against Russian actions have wound up dead. There’s substantial evidence suggesting that the president* is in hock up to his eyeballs for Russian loans. Again, I posted about this a few months back. The report made so little of a national impression that I wasn’t even aware of it for a few months after it came out, but I’m certain Mueller and Schneiderman (NY AG) know a lot more than was in Horton’s report.

The second is: Were the 2016 results even legitimate? I honestly never fully bought them. When it was revealed that the Russians tried to penetrate our electoral systems, I wasn’t surprised. Our electronic voting machines are heinously insecure, and some don’t even leave paper trails; IT professionals have been warning about this for decades. If I were going to try to undermine faith in the integrity of American elections, I could think of no better way to do this than by tampering with voting machines.

We have no proof that the Russians successfully tampered with our voting machines. But we have no proof that they didn’t, either. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that it has not run an audit on voting machines to ensure they weren’t tampered with, and given the nature of some of these machines, they very likely can’t. There are some data security principles such as non-repudiation, authentication, integrity protection, and so on that can be used to safeguard electronic storage to a certain extent, but these machines appear to have employed few to none of those principles, and when they did employ them, they seem to have done so poorly. And many of these machines leave no paper trail. So in several crucial states (including Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia), what we have, essentially, is a collection of 1s and 0s. There is little to nothing that can be done after the fact to ensure that these 1s and 0s have any resemblance to actual vote tallies.

So again, I ask: what assurance is there that Clinton even lost in 2016? Indeed, given the president*’s long, established history of accusing political opponents of doing things he himself either was already guilty of or proceeded to do in the future when he had the opportunity, the fact that he continually accused the election of being rigged in Clinton’s favour seems like a smoking gun. He is essentially psychological projection incarnate. Maybe he was accusing the election of being rigged for Clinton because he knew it was rigged the other way ’round.

So if it’s true that 2016’s results weren’t legit, what gets done about it? Do we hold a new election and remove the fraudulent victors from office? There is no mechanism in the Constitution for invalidating a past election, because it was simply taken for granted that elections wouldn’t be given on fraudulent grounds.

And perhaps more importantly, how do we ensure future elections aren’t rigged? There is still precious little being done about these machines. I’ve written about this, too, before (quite recently, in fact), but people still aren’t discussing it much. Even if the Russians (or other malign actors) didn’t successfully infiltrate our voting machines this time, that doesn’t mean they won’t try in the future; indeed, various authority figures from James Comey to Richard Clarke have warned that this will likely recur. We ignore their warnings at our peril.
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  #1177  
Old 07-12-2017, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
So in several crucial states (including Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia), what we have, essentially, is a collection of 1s and 0s. There is little to nothing that can be done after the fact to ensure that these 1s and 0s have any resemblance to actual vote tallies.
Eh, SC was out of reach. And the results in Georgia and Florida were in line with what the polls were saying. And in Pennsylvania, it matches the pattern in other similar states, and at any rate, you need at least FL + PA/GA to get to a win.

After the election, during the Jill Stein recount, the quants were saying that there was no correlation between the type of voting machine and the swing, once you account for other factors.

For example, people tried to make something of the voting machines in Wisconsin. I don't remember the exact details, but the correlation was eliminated once you accounted for other demographic factors (it was something like Milwaukee is one of the only places in WI that uses paper ballots or something like that), and the results in Minnesota which uses paper ballots statewide and has a Democratic governor were very consistent with what we saw in states like WI and PA.

I'd certainly be in favor of an audit of the machines used in 2016, and in particular, beefing up the security of our voting systems and ensuring that we have a paper trail or other physical record. But there is at least statistical evidence that the type of voting machine was not correlated with the results, and that suggests that the vote tallies were not hacked.
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So again, I ask: what assurance is there that Clinton even lost in 2016? Indeed, given the president*’s long, established history of accusing political opponents of doing things he himself either was already guilty of or proceeded to do in the future when he had the opportunity, the fact that he continually accused the election of being rigged in Clinton’s favour seems like a smoking gun. He is essentially psychological projection incarnate. Maybe he was accusing the election of being rigged for Clinton because he knew it was rigged the other way ’round.
This, however, totally makes sense.

After all, just days after getting these emails and being told that the Russian government was interfering on his father's behalf (a revelation he received so nonchalantly that it suggests that Donnie Jr already knew about it) and then meeting with a Russian, Donnie Jr went on TV to say that the notion that Russia was helping daddy's campaign was nonsense.
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  #1178  
Old 07-12-2017, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

Currently we're just trusting that the voting machines are basically safe, ironically, partly based on the technological ineptitude and disorganization of the election, making very few single attack vectors useful on a majority of electronic polling machines because everyone's doing things a bit different.
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  #1179  
Old 07-12-2017, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

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Originally Posted by erimir View Post
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So in several crucial states (including Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia), what we have, essentially, is a collection of 1s and 0s. There is little to nothing that can be done after the fact to ensure that these 1s and 0s have any resemblance to actual vote tallies.
Eh, SC was out of reach. And the results in Georgia and Florida were in line with what the polls were saying. And in Pennsylvania, it matches the pattern in other similar states, and at any rate, you need at least FL + PA/GA to get to a win.

After the election, during the Jill Stein recount, the quants were saying that there was no correlation between the type of voting machine and the swing, once you account for other factors.

For example, people tried to make something of the voting machines in Wisconsin. I don't remember the exact details, but the correlation was eliminated once you accounted for other demographic factors (it was something like Milwaukee is one of the only places in WI that uses paper ballots or something like that), and the results in Minnesota which uses paper ballots statewide and has a Democratic governor were very consistent with what we saw in states like WI and PA.

I'd certainly be in favor of an audit of the machines used in 2016, and in particular, beefing up the security of our voting systems and ensuring that we have a paper trail or other physical record. But there is at least statistical evidence that the type of voting machine was not correlated with the results, and that suggests that the vote tallies were not hacked.
Given the margins in several of these states, the vote tally wouldn’t have to be altered much to change the outcome of the election. Have the WI machines even been audited? I was under the impression that the attempted recount got shut down before that happened. If that’s the case, then it’s entirely possible they rigged the electronic totals and didn’t even bother fixing the paper trail. Why bother if they won’t be audited?

(I should note that paper trails aren’t infallible, either; one could be swapped out after-the-fact. I realise there are observers on Election Day that would prevent this, but it’s been months since the election. The odds that there would be impartial eyes on the ballots 24/7 for months after the election to prevent this are pretty slim.)

Even if we assume they left the states whose machines have paper trails alone, FL and PA combined come out to about 160,000 votes. It’s my understanding both states’ totals could be within the polling margin of error and still have been hacked. It’s likely that, if the results were altered, they’d have been altered as little as necessary to get the desired outcome in order to avoid notice. Obviously, a margin of 3 votes would also be suspicious (and trigger an automatic recount in most states), but you’d also want to stay within the bounds of polling. So I’d expect vote totals only to be altered by ~1-2% per state where there were shenanigans – that’s within the margin of polling error as I understand it.

(Also, am I reading the numbers wrong? If I’m doing the maths right, flip FL and PA and the election goes to Clinton; that’s 49 points. Clinton would have 276 EV, and you need 270 to win.)

Finally, of course, voting machines aren’t the only point of attack. People could be purged from the voter rolls as well, thus invalidating their votes. (I believe there’s an apocryphal Stalin quote saying that who votes matters less than does who counts the votes.) From what I understand, DHS hasn’t confirmed that this didn’t occur either.
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Last edited by The Man; 07-12-2017 at 03:04 AM.
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  #1180  
Old 07-12-2017, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

I meant Florida and either Pennsylvania or Georgia. PA+GA is not sufficient.

I mean it's possible, but there is statistical evidence against it. I just mean that you shouldn't view it as being no evidence either way. If they did it, they were very subtle and it would've been very close either way.
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  #1181  
Old 07-12-2017, 03:11 AM
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Well, that’s sort of what I was saying in my previous post, I think: you’d want to be subtle if you actually wanted to get away with changing the results. If the results diverge from polls by 20 points, a lot of people won’t believe they’re legit. If they diverge by 1, it’s unlikely they’ll notice. “Results are within polling margins of error” doesn’t prove that the election isn’t rigged; it simply proves that it isn’t blatantly rigged. And given how close the margins in several states were, it doesn’t need to be blatantly rigged to be decisively rigged.

I dunno. Maybe I’m reading your argument wrong, but I think we’re basically in agreement: if the vote totals were tampered with, the tampering was done with a light touch. But I don’t see why anyone would try anything but a light touch – that’s crucial if you actually want to get away with it.

I guess how much tampering you do depends whether you want to undermine faith in the process or whether you want to change the outcome. We know Russia wanted to undermine faith in our democratic outcome, but we also know they wanted the shitgibbon elected president. If we assume the latter is their primary motivation, then results within poll margins aren’t particularly convincing evidence against a rigged outcome.
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  #1182  
Old 07-12-2017, 03:17 AM
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I'll just post links to these massive monsters.
I liked the monsters.
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  #1183  
Old 07-12-2017, 04:03 AM
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Well, that’s sort of what I was saying in my previous post, I think: you’d want to be subtle if you actually wanted to get away with changing the results. If the results diverge from polls by 20 points, a lot of people won’t believe they’re legit. If they diverge by 1, it’s unlikely they’ll notice. “Results are within polling margins of error” doesn’t prove that the election isn’t rigged; it simply proves that it isn’t blatantly rigged. And given how close the margins in several states were, it doesn’t need to be blatantly rigged to be decisively rigged.

I dunno. Maybe I’m reading your argument wrong, but I think we’re basically in agreement: if the vote totals were tampered with, the tampering was done with a light touch. But I don’t see why anyone would try anything but a light touch – that’s crucial if you actually want to get away with it.

I guess how much tampering you do depends whether you want to undermine faith in the process or whether you want to change the outcome. We know Russia wanted to undermine faith in our democratic outcome, but we also know they wanted the shitgibbon elected president. If we assume the latter is their primary motivation, then results within poll margins aren’t particularly convincing evidence against a rigged outcome.
Yes, but the fact that the results are consistent with what we saw in states/jurisdictions where you're suggesting that vote tampering didn't occur (because of the use of paper ballots) suggests that it would have to be even lighter than the baseline of "consistent with the polls".

Basically I'm saying you have two lines of evidence (the polling and results in similar jurisdictions) that suggest nothing strange happened. The polling is weaker evidence because it has a larger margin of errors, whereas you can run a demographic regression with many counties.

If we only had the polling to go on, the somewhat larger than typical polling error in the Midwest would make it more suspect.
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  #1184  
Old 07-12-2017, 04:34 AM
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I'll just post links to these massive monsters.
I liked the monsters.
Was on my phone. I like them too.
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  #1185  
Old 07-12-2017, 04:51 AM
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  #1186  
Old 07-12-2017, 07:54 AM
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  #1187  
Old 07-12-2017, 08:02 AM
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'Life Is Hard; It's Even Harder When You're Stupid' <-- false, btw

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  #1188  
Old 07-12-2017, 08:27 AM
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Ed had a bad day.
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  #1189  
Old 07-12-2017, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

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Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
Trump the Lesser tweets his emails to defend his good name.

I'm posting this mostly for the :whygod: of the NYT reporter's tweet misery at the end.
Here is the relevant section of Standard Form 86 (that was filled out by Jared Kushner) that has Don Jr. in so much trouble:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Standard Form 86
20B.6 Have you or any member of your immediate family in the past seven (7) years had any contact with a foreign government, its establishment (such as an embassy, consulate, agency, military service, intelligence or security service, etc.) or it's representatives inside or outside the U.S.?
Mr. Kushner has submitted an "updated" form that now lists 100 such contacts in section 20B.6.

100 fucking contacts with foreign governments or their agents in the last 7 years that he failed to disclose initially. That is not an accident, that is willfully omitting information that he knew could jeopardize his ability to gain security clearance. It is lying on a NSA form.

I can see forgetting something small that happened 7 years ago, but the meeting with Sergey Lavrov happened DURING the 2016 campaign. If his memory is that fucking bad he shouldn't have security clearance to begin with. So either Jared is suffering from memory loss or he is a fucking liar.
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  #1190  
Old 07-13-2017, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

Trump's crusade against Qatar isn't about terrorism - it's revenge for a failed business deal | The Independent

Lines up with the revenge needs.
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  #1191  
Old 07-13-2017, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

Trump people audition to be the next Kermit the frog voice...

:kermit:

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  #1192  
Old 07-13-2017, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

So, some prominent Republicans (for example, Joe Scarborough) have been complaining that the modern Republican Party has lost its way, and that "it's no longer the Party of Reagan". Well, they have nobody but themselves to blame.


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  #1193  
Old 07-13-2017, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

By the way, I reject Scarborough's claim that "this is not the Party of Reagan." The modern Republican Party is exactly the Party of Reagan.

After all, it was Reagan who proved that a platform based on racism, anti-intellectualism, demonization of the poor, demonization of the "Liberal Media," demonization of "Big Government," and overt favoring of the interests of the wealthy over those of everyone else -- could be a winning political strategy.

As such, Trump and the modern Republican Party are simply the logical result of nearly 40 years of following the path that Reagan blazed.
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  #1194  
Old 07-13-2017, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post
Twitter's insane threading leaves me with no idea what's going on, which is presumably why people usually screenshot tweets they want to show - no guarantee of them seeing the same thing otherwise, or whether it'll be there the same day.

So, I remain mystified, but there was this, which may help in these trying times.
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  #1195  
Old 07-13-2017, 08:31 PM
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I have trouble believing that someone who forgot Australia's a Western ally destabilized the Middle East as some subtle masterstroke to fuck with Quatar. He likes to make life miserable for business competitors, and only knows business warfare, where the consequences are liquidation, not extermination. Playing the same tactic at a political level sends a very different message.

This is a good object lesson on why asshole hardball politics haven't, can't, and won't solve the middle east...
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  #1196  
Old 07-13-2017, 10:27 PM
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Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Threatens Stranger in Emails: ‘Watch Your Back , Bitch’ - ProPublica

Classy.
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  #1197  
Old 07-13-2017, 10:55 PM
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That man seems to suffer from poor impulse control! I can't imagine what Donald Trump would see in someone like that.
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  #1198  
Old 07-14-2017, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

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Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
I can't imagine what Donald Trump would see in someone like that.
Someone who's not going to get paid.
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  #1199  
Old 07-14-2017, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel - The Washington Post

One thing's for sure, it wasn't going to be Putin's back channel.
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  #1200  
Old 07-14-2017, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Good King Trump

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Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
Can someone with a stronger level of attention than me explain why they've done this? It seems like caving in to Trumpster. Or actively supporting, given who they are.
And now it's making about as much sense as the UK election results.
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