Isn't it cute? Alex Jones and other pro-Trump conspiracy theorists -- the very people who spew daily nonsense about Pizzagate and Sandy Hook and God-knows-what-else -- are now screaming: "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT RUSSIANS HACKED OUR VOTING MACHINES!"
This has become their standard response, even when the grown-up are trying to have a civilized discussion of a related-but-different matter -- the Russian hacking of various political communications, such as John Podesta's emails. I always find it very revealing when every troll on the internet suddenly decides to switch the subject in exactly the same way.
That hack-job -- the Podesta/DNC thing -- has now been acknowledged as a real honest-to-goodness no-denying-it event in history, even by FBI Director Comey. Is Comey now to be considered part of the Great Clinton Conspiracy? He sure as hell had a funny way of showing it during the election.
At any rate, nearly everyone has come around on this point. Everyone not named Craig Murray. Or Steve Bannon. Or Julian Assange. Or Donald Trump.
He keeps tweeting that there is no evidence of Russian involvement. Isn't it adorable? America's nuttiest conspiracy nut suddenly feels a passionate need for courtroom-quality proof. At the same time, he says that the whole idea that Putin acted on Trump's behalf was concocted by "rogue CIA agents." Evidence? He has none.
Conspiracy theory is popular because it allows you to substitute the reality you have for the reality you prefer. (See the video embedded below.)
Team Blue snoozes. It's impossible to argue that the Democrats concocted the charges against Russia. Neither Obama nor Hillary -- nor any other leading Dems -- have put The Great Hack of 2016 to any political use.
If the situation were reversed—if the CIA concluded that Hillary Clinton won the election (but lost the popular vote) with an assist from a hostile foreign power—pitchfork-waving Republicans would be demanding that she resign for the good of the nation. Stunned Democrats, by contrast, have been leaderless, marching toward the post-inauguration abyss without a fight. Obama might have rallied them by laying out the alarming political implications of the CIA’s findings. Instead, he minimized them. It was not a reassuring performance. His refusal to acknowledge the intense alarm felt by his supporters only exacerbates it.
Why aren't Dems shouting "Lock him up! Lock him up!"?
Perhaps I should clarify: Dems should be shouting those words at Trump. However, if inaction is tantamount to culpability, the day may come when Dems will want to direct that chant at Obama as well. Heck, if I were the left-wing conspiracy freak that some take me to be, I'd spend the next few minutes cobbling together a theory in which Team Obama intentionally deep-sixes Hillary.
(Maybe Ed Klein can use that idea as the basis for one of his amusing little fictions. I just tossed you a freebie, Ed!)
“The Russians can't change us or significantly weaken us,” Obama said at one point. “They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don't innovate. But they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. They can impact us if we abandon our values. Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he's trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it's OK to intimidate the press, or lock up dissidents, or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like.”
Good lord. Those words might have been tolerable if Hillary had won. But now? Now they read like a more persuasive prophecy of disaster than any offered up by Baba Vanga.
Of course the Russians can change us and weaken us. They just did. That's the very reason why they put Trump in office!
Mr. Obama said he was committed to sending the Kremlin a message that “we can do stuff to you,” but without setting off an escalating cyberconflict.
“There have been folks out there who suggest somehow if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff, that somehow it would potentially spook the Russians,” he said. “I think it doesn’t read the thought process in Russia very well.”
The president did not reveal what steps he was considering and suggested that some of the options, if they were carried out, could remain secret. “Some of it we will do in a way that they will know, but not everybody will,” he said.
Oh, for crying out loud. Is he kidding?
A month from now, Obama won't even be the freakin' president. The office will be held by Putin's plaything, Donald Trump -- who will lift the sanctions and push forward that trillion-dollar Exxon oil deal with Russia, the largest business deal in history. The Russian economy will be stronger than ever. They will have plenty of cash to spend on their military -- which will, in turn, allow Moscow to be far more aggressive.
Methinks Obama is the one who hasn't read "the thought process in Russia very well."
But the problem goes well beyond our current president. Up and down the internet, all sorts of lefties are arguing that we should give Putin a pass on this one. This is the standard reaction from young, dimwitted BernieBots who think that their man was somehow ill-treated by the imaginary Great Clinton Conspiracy.
I like the way Brad Friedman says it, in his description of the North Carolina post-election power grab: "Repubs playing for keeps, Dems still bringing butter knives to gun fights..."
Let's now return to the allegation that the voting machines themselves were targeted by hackers -- specifically Russian hackers. Trolls, please note: NOW we have officially switched the topic. We are no longer talking about the DNC or Podesta emails. We're talking about voting systems -- and about those machines that most people never see, the ones that count the votes once you cast your ballot. Are we clear on that?
In point of fact, it is almost certain that a hack occurred. I can offer a lengthy argument to that effect, but for the nonce, let's bring it all down to one question: If the vote were clean, why would Trump spend so much money in an effort to stop the recount?
He sent out an army of lawyers to PA, MI and WI, and they used every means, fair or foul. If Trump were innocent, he would not have acted like a guilty man.
The vulnerabilities of the American electoral system don’t stop at email hacks as, Reuters reports, following the Nov. 8 election the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the very federal agency that is charged with testing and certifying state voting systems, was itself hacked. The hack was discovered by a cybersecurity firm that detected someone selling logins to the Election Assistance Commission on the black market. The Russian-speaking hacker had more than 100 logins for commission employees and was attempting to sell them for as little as a few thousands dollars to Middle Eastern countries.
In case you still don't understand the possibilities, this Slashdot piece will turn on a few more lights:
The commission that is responsible for ensuring the integrity of voting machines was itself hacked. The hacker gained access to non-public reports on weaknesses in voting machines. The hack occurred after the election, so it is unlikely that this hack resulted in changing the result. However, if one hacker can break in, how does anyone know that there was not a prior hack? The hack used an SQL injection flaw to gain access to usernames and passwords which were then cracked.
Researchers have discovered that a Russian-speaking hacker broke into the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) systems, and has been trying to sell stolen access credentials -- including admin-level -- on the underground. On December 1, researchers with Recorded Future discovered internet chatter that appeared to relate to an EAC breach. A hacker, called "Rasputin" by Recorded Future, was discussing the sale of more than 100 EAC access credentials to a middle-eastern government broker. The hacker claimed to have accessed the systems via an SQLi vulnerability, which Recorded Future was able to locate and report. EAC said Thursday that was aware of the "potential intrusion" and was investigating the incident.
My suspicion? The EAC was hacked before the election. The Russians made use of the information gleaned in that raid to rig the election itself in three key states. Then, after the election, they deliberately flaunted the weaknesses of our system.
Why? Here's one possibility: They seek to undermine our faith in the very idea of democracy. They seek to pave the way for Trump's coming seizure of total power.
Just spitballin' here. If AJ can do it, so can I.
A final note: A couple of readers were kind enough to inquire about my health. To be honest, there have been issues, perhaps serious enough to prompt a return visit to the ER. I'll give it another day.
Putin is less relevant when it comes to the Electoral College Electors voting without James Comey first having a press conference where he answers questions from the media about his Oct. 28, 2016 press conference. Still no discussion about the NRA and Russia connection.
Kudos for the use of "for the nonce". I thought I was the only one.
posted by Hoarseface : 7:29 AM
Both western and Arab media are keeping remarkably quiet about the Mossad assassination in Tunisia two days ago. Tunisia is said to have arrested five suspects.
You can bet they weren't all travelling on Israeli passports. Some of them may even have been travelling on real passports of other countries.
There is presumably some horse-trading going on.
How about the release of five thousand Palestinian prisoners? Or lump-sum payments to all Palestinian widows and orphans?
For the moment, very little reporting indeed. Not like with previous Mossad assassinations in Lillehammer, Amman, or Dubai.
posted by b : 8:17 AM
b, regarding the machinations out of Tel Aviv:
""Tattaglia's a pimp. He never coulda outfought Santino. But I didn't know until this day, that it was Barzini [read: Bibi?] all along."
The dominant world order based on US dollar hegemony is threatened by the BRICS movement.
Of Putin, it may be said he 'hit us back first.' The affair in Ukraine further boxed the bear into a corner. A cornered animal can be relied upon to do what, again?
While we can condemn Russian interference in our electoral system, we should also consider the context in which it occurred. The 30,000 foot vantage point reveals a most complicated situation.
posted by Anonymous : 10:26 AM
When I voted it was in a super market(early voting). I remembered I looked down at the machine on the floor from the screen. It looked like a small suite case and I said to myself that's not safe. It could be switched at any point between voting and counting. The whole voting experience was the weirdest I have had. Even the primaries was more well executed and secure than the general. I had a bad feeling about it
posted by Anonymous : 10:50 AM
According to Tunisian media, the arrested people are Europeans. That doesn't mean they were travelling on European passports. Whichever countries the passports were from will be involved in negotiations.
The procurator general's office says four people have been arrested and another who is abroad will be interviewed as soon as possible. Earlier reports in the Zionist media (Channel 10) said the number of arrests was five. A ransom has probably been paid for one.
Hours after the assassination, the head of Tunisian state security resigned.
One commentator says that Tunisia may release video footage as Dubai did after a Mossad killing there. He probably knows little about the Arab world! But there may be video from the airport(s).
posted by b : 12:14 PM
Joseph-your on a roll today.LOL
Still NO evidence of voting machines being hacked.
Your evidence-Trump wanted to stop recounts. Well of course he wanted to stop recounts.Voter fraud happens during recounts to. By the way-although i have no proof it looks to me like Detroit had plenty of democratic voter fraud.
Also wisconsin Did have a recount. except for Milwaukee it was mostly hand recounts. Even Dane was the same.
the progressives also said Trump could not have had the margins in the red areas of Wisconsin-yet he did. They were all hand recounted.
You still have not offered no actual Proof that voting machines were hacked.
How about this. If Hillary Clinton thought voter machines were hacked why didn't she ask for recounts.
I am a Troll-but i agree Alex Jones is a nut case.
posted by gerry-troll : 1:32 PM
@gerry-troll - Some "nutcases" are much better paid than most trolls. You should form a union.
posted by b : 2:40 PM
"Also wisconsin Did have a recount. except for Milwaukee it was mostly hand recounts."
That is inaccurate. Though I suspect you may not care.
"If Hillary Clinton thought voter machines were hacked why didn't she ask for recounts."
Because she either doesn't think they were hacked or she, like John Kerry, is a coward. But what does that have to do with We, the People being allowed to oversee our own elections so we can know who actually won or lost a Presidential election?
Glad to see today's post as it means you are not in the Hospital.
Anyway, I am confused about a few things and I am sure you guys will set me straight quick.
As far as Russian hacking election to get Trump elected, I'm pretty sure they didn't add votes to the machines but even if the DID reveal emails showing corruption, don't we have the right to know about that stuff? or do we not have the right to info obtained illegally even if it is true. You know, like the New York Times would not post Trump Tax Return obtained illegally. Wait, they what?
Continuing this assumption about the Russians...I remember Obama going to the UK to speak and trying to influence the Brexit vote (It was no secret) and why does Hillary think Putin holds a grudge against her? Wasn't she poking her nose into Russian election business back in 2011. Do you need more examples of how the US has tried (and succeeded) in influencing elections around the world to make sure we have "The Right Guy" in charge of a Country. This stuff happens all of the time. How come this is only a HUGE issue right now in this particular election? The reason is everyone knows this stuff always happens but if it can somehow make Trump look bad, let's discuss this for a few Months.
Unrelated FYI info: I heard so many horror stories from people like Whoopi and even Trump saying my Obamacare premiums would skyrocket (Trump) or be cancelled (Whoopi) but to my surprise, I just got my new premium bill and it dropped 25%. I must be the ONLY guy this happened to because NOBODY is talking about that. Even if I am the only guy it happened to, that is all that matters to me :)
To say I'm disappointed with Obama is to vastly understate the issue. He simply does not grasp that not everybody thinks like he does. He went to the Republican leadership and asked them to issue a joint statement, before hsthe election, asking them to denounce the Russian hacks. To think they care about the country more than money and power was lunacy. Why he felt compelled to appoint a Republican to head the fBI is incomprehensible. The notion that governing by compromise, after compromise has been shown not to work, is insane. The Republicans come to power and immediately start investigating Democrats, he is in power and refuses to go after Republicans. People are looking for a leader like FDR and get Trump (or Putin).
I copied the following quote for anonymous to read
Wisconsin’s official election website has logged which counties have decided to do a “Hand Count” or an “Optical Scan.” Sixty of the seventy-two counties have are indeed doing a hand recount (or a hand and machine recount), while just twelve counties are only doing a machine recount.
Dane county the second largest did a hand recount also
Milwaukee did a machine recount
60 of 72 counties seems like MOST to me
posted by gerry-troll : 9:58 PM
"The Russians (...) are a smaller country", says Obama. Lol! Russia is almost twice as big as the United States.
posted by b : 8:23 PM
Isn't it adorable how stupid this posts sounds...sorry, just trying to make the comment fit with the style of the post :)
Anyway, my real comment is you mention Trump, Jones, etc...saying the election itself was not hacked but they are stupid because it was.
How about Obama's year-end news conference on pretty much same day this post was written:
Obama himself clearly states he met with Putin in person in SEPT and told him "Cut it Out" and nothing has happened since then...watch it and listem.
Why are you not pointing out what a big retard Obama is for saying such a lie (proven here at cannonfire).