Sunday, September 09, 2018

Dye! Plus: Why there will be no blue wave -- and why Gillum will lose in Florida

Ted Cruz thinks that tossing around a few California stereotypes will improve his chances of re-election.
"We are seeing tens of millions of dollars flooding into the state of Texas from liberals all over the country who desperately want to turn the state of Texas blue," Cruz said. "They want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair."
Hilarious! A Republican making catty remarks about dyed hair! Ted, have you taken a look at the Republican in the Oval Office lately?

Ted himself is 47, so his dark brown hair is still more-or-less credible, though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that "Just For Men" plays a role here. Now take a gander at Heidi Cruz, Ted's wife. Are those blonde locks the work of God or L'Oreal?

There are plenty of Californians (I was one of 'em) who can't stand Tofu -- and there are some Texans who love the stuff. I guess it's healthy. If only it had some flavor.

What does Cruz have against silicon? If he's talking about Silicon Valley, I can only presume that he's jealous.

More likely, he's getting desperate. Beto O’Rourke has not surpassed him in the polls, but he's only about four or five points behind and seems to have the big mo.
With O’Rourke outraising Cruz more than 2 to 1 during the past quarter, right-leaning organizations have begun routing resources to the state. The anti-tax Club for Growth, which spent millions on Cruz during his 2012 Senate bid, has started a seven-figure advertising blitz aimed at tearing down the Democratic congressman.
A handful of other well-funded groups are considering joining the effort, including the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, the Mitch McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, the newly formed Senate Reform Fund, and Ending Spending, which in the past has been bankrolled by major GOP financiers including New York City investor Paul Singer.
So why is outside money a bad thing only when Dems do it?

Blue wave my ass. That said, Cruz ain't going down, and the Senate won't go blue. Neither will the House, despite stories like this one. Why? Here's why.

Also here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here. (This one contains some genuinely new information.)

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

I could cite another hundred articles -- articles by reputable writers, not partisans or sensationalists or conspiratards. If you follow the last link, you'll see a headline which summarizes my own feelings:
Dear Media, It is irresponsible to continue PRETENDING we have a system that allows us to know whether or not our “official” election results are legitimate.
Exactly. Why are we pretending? Why do people treat me like the bad guy when I tell them that, if election fraud is real (and it is), then blue waves are mythical?
1. The TERRIBLE TRUTH is that neither you, nor I, nor any other voter knows what happened INSIDE the electronic voting machines, election management systems, and tabulators used to count our votes.

2. ALL voting machines can be hacked through the internet, even if the voting machine itself isn’t connected to it.

3. This is because “all voting machines must accept electronic input files” via a “cartridge or memory card … prepared on an Election Management (EMS) computer” that is itself likely connected to the internet from time to time.
Skipping a bit...
6. Moreover, results from the precincts are often transmitted into a central tabulator over a LOCAL AREA NETWORK, so that the “chain-of-custody of the images is not provable, and images may be manipulated in transmission by network-based attacks.”

7. Central tabulators, in turn, transmit results to ONLINE election night reporting systems creating another opportunity for internet hacking of voting machine tallies.
Skipping a bit more...
14. According to Computer Science and election security expert Andrew Appel (Princeton University), these new ES&S cellular modems make it easy for a “man-in-the-middle” hacker to alter votes!

15. Meanwhile, the New York Times recently “outed” ES&S for its past sales of remote access software for election management systems! (Election management systems are centralized computers used to program both scanners and touchscreen voting machines before each election.)
18. Regardless of what vendor you use, it is also easy to insert malware onto voting machines when they are updated. …

19. Optical scanners are very easy to hack, as they use memory cards that can be programmed without detection to +1k votes for one candidate and -1k for the other candidate (or whatever +/- number a hacker might choose).
20. Per IT expert Alex Halderman (Univ. Michigan), the ONLY way to VERIFY if an electronic tally is correct is to HAND count the ballots or to FORENSICALLY AUDIT the machines
In 2016, Donald Trump's lawyers fought against an audit in Wisconsin, even though public donations were raised to fund said audit. There is no excuse for this behavior. Impeding an audit of election machinery is a confession of vote tampering.

Since 2004, I have screamed "Election fraud is real!" Although I have not seen polling data, I'm pretty sure that most Americans now agree with that position. Yet we all feel constrained to pretend that what we know to be true isn't really true. The Republicans are fighting like hell because they need to make "victory" credible. In other words, they need to get within five points of the Dems; hackers can carry 'em over the line.

In other countries, a sharp dichotomy between the exit polls and the official tally is considered prima facie evidence of tampering. In this country -- and only in this country -- we are continually reminded of the fallibility of exit polls. If they fail so damned often, shouldn't they fail in both directions? Shouldn't the exits over-estimate the blue candidate's total as often as the red candidate's total? Yet in election after election, state after state, exit polls tell us that the blue candidate should have done better than the "official" results indicate.

Before the advent of computer voting, teevee journalists continually assured us that exit polls were accurate and trustworthy. If, like me, you're old enough to recall Chet and David and Uncle Walter, you know what I'm talking about.

Primaries are even more likely to be rigged because exit polling is rare, and because fewer people question the official results. Rigging a primary allows the Republicans to run against the candidates they choose. That's been a Roger Stone trick since 1972.

Who really chose Gillum? Let's take a look at the recent primary race in which Andrew Gillum became the Dem nominee for Florida governor. I don't dislike Gillum; he says the kinds of things I usually like to hear. But let's face facts: Going into election night, polls had Gillum in third place. The only "informal" exit poll we have for that race shows Gillum in third (maybe second) place. Yet he pulled off a surprise win.

In this environment, we should be highly suspicious of such surprises.

Why would the GOP want him to win? Because the FBI is investigating him for corruption. I fully expect bombshell charges to drop just before the general election.

Trump is based in Florida. So is Jeffrey Epstein. A Democratic governor would rescind the "sweetheart deal" that gave Epstein a slap on the wrist. A proper investigation of the case could publicize the Trump/Epstein relationship; most people don't know that Virginia Roberts was recruited by Epstein at Mar-A-Lago.

Florida arguably has the worst election security in the nation. Also see here. Is Russia involved? Of course!
One way to maybe have honest elections is to have each voter generate two identical voting ballots. Then the two are kept separate forever. all the votes are counted in two different locations, and if the two results are more than .01% different, then something went wrong somewhere. The totals would be kept silent and then revealed ala Academy Award Style.
Some international perspective: it may be that Steve Bannon has experienced setbacks in the past few days in Sweden and Britain.

In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats came third in the general election.

In Britain, Boris Johnson made a move towards the Tory leadership and prime ministership and then got pushed flat on his face. You can read the "War Book 2" "dossier", as the media call it, here.

My take is that this guy is unlikely to stand for the Tory leadership; if he does stand in the first round, he is unlikely to stand in the second; and contrary to the parroted garbage saying "he'll do well if he gets onto the members' ballot", if there's a contest there's unlikely to be a members' ballot. I don't care that he's the punters' favourite: Johnson will not become PM.

He is, however, an important figure at this time. Britain watchers should note the flavour of his accusation that current PM Theresa May is attempting to strap a "suicide belt" onto the country. That is a British analogue to the nutcase far-right line that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are Daesh. It really is that polarising and nutcase.

In Syria, bombing with white phosphorus from F-15 jets has been reported. Russia has accused the US. The US has denied it. I wouldn't be surprised if the actual culprit is Israel.
What Cruz really meant to say was "silicone" (note final e), as in boob jobs.
You may be right, Michael. But I've spent enough time in Dallas to confirm that Texans like siliconE just as much as Californians do.
That might explain why Sanders "endorsed" Gillum at the last minute.
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