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#PotemkinElection but #DoNothing

More and more indicators are pointing to outcome-changing shenanigans in the 2016 US election.

The most massive issue: dumping hundreds of thousands of voters off the voter rolls. Suspiciously many of them are black, Hispanic, or poor. Greg Palast on the stealth war on voters. (Petition to release Crosscheck voter list, although petitions in our new autocracy feel like a dumbed down kabuki theater.)

Putin’s social media trolling, hacking, Wikileaking, snowjobbing of US voters. Even the NSA noticed.

Bizarre behavior by Comey, Director of the FBI, to help the snowjob effort. Data showing how Comey pushed some, enough, voters a week before the election.

None of those things will show up in the current go-through-the-motions recount in swing states. The damage was done before the election. Recounting the already fake results will just show us the same fake results.

Although there were Wisconsin counties with more votes cast than they have voters.[Update 2016-12-01. Christ take the wheel. You can’t make this shit up. Nineteen of those WI counties are refusing to provide the ballots for a recount. Which is illegal. Which obviously means zero to them. Anyway, so they have unreal numbers of voters…] 105% participation! Cool. And they say voter turnout is pathetically low in the US. Obviously they don’t get out to rural Real America™ enough. So, by all means, do a recount. Maybe it’ll uncover some further shenanigans on the day, which they really didn’t need by that point, but none of us knew that. We’re still learning this dictatorship stuff.

Because that, apparently, is what we’re trying to do. Otherwise, with all the evidence available, you’d think we’d be applying every tool at our disposal to get at the actual will of the voters. Which, I hear tell, is what democracies are about.

The Electoral College, invented exactly for the purpose of being a final bulwark against a failed election, would be showing that it was going to do its job.

The Department of Justice would be auditing the vote. Really auditing it. Including all the Jim Crow crap perpetrated by Crosscheck.

Obama would be ordering the release of relevant data from the FBI, so the people whom he serves could see just how much dirty work there had been.

But no, we’re not doing any of that. The very concept of examining the election for fakery is an unrealistic wild fringe idea. After all, if you looked squarely at our Potemkin Election, you’d first have to admit it might not be real.

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For the first time in my life I regret not being a lawyer. I don’t know who you sue to force an audit. Apparently, you can call the Dept. of Justice: 202-353-1555. Do it. Do it. Do it now. We must have an audit to see whether we need a full recount.

Update 2016-11-22: The DOJ number is reported to be busy by just about everyone, and the commenter below. I guess that’s good in a way, but it’s very frustrating. I’ve also found an email address: People are always saying calling is more effective, but I’m sure email is still better than a busy signal.

Because you know what? We have the same situation as happened only twice before: Bush-Gore in 2000 and Bush-Kerry in 2004. Look how many lives and trillions that cost us. And the junior Shrub was an elder statesman compared to the multiply bankrupt sexual assaulter who’s in line to be Head Bully now.

There is the same big, statistically unbelievable mismatch between exit polls and voting results in a few counties in a few swing states. Just enough to alter the election results.

If that kind of thing happens in, say, Kenya, the US makes stern noises about recounts.

(As it happens, Africans have kindly provided their expertise, best summarized perhaps, if you know anything about the two men involved, in this tweet: “The African Union has dispatched Olusegun Obasanjo & Thabo Mbeki to the US in effort to resolve the post-election crisis.”)

Rivest and Stark, professors at MIT and UCBerkeley respectively, have even made it easy for us by showing that a very small recount is enough to audit the results and tell us whether a full recount is needed.

Auditing surprisingly few ballots could give 95% confidence that the results are correct in every state: about 1.5 million ballots in all, a bit over 1% of the ballots cast.

We can do this.

Unless of course democracy in the US of A is not worth the tiny amount of money involved in handcounting 1,500,000 ballots.

#AuditTheVote #AuditTheVote #AuditTheVote

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In Case Anyone Wonders Why Communism Fell

[Update Nov. 9: I’ve been working on a post about free speech and its limits since forever. 2009? Anyway. There’s hardly any point now, since the limits we so desperately needed — not that I know how to implement them — we didn’t figure out in time. Freedom of lying has given us the actual Cheeto-topped Dogpile as Head Bully, so anything about free speech is even more theoretical than it was before. Oh well. I guess it’ll keep me busy and off the streets. For a while.

Where was I? Why communism fell.]

It’s called a lethal inability to question your own dogma.

One of the bracing side effects of a Chatbot running for Prez is that people are realizing infinite blather is bad for the health of democracy. Unfortunately, it’s paired with refusing to see any workable solutions.

In this otherwise good article about how bad, fake, and gossipy reporting is undermining democracy itself, there’s this gem:

The cure for fake journalism is an overwhelming dose of good journalism.

This is in the same article, by the same author, pointing out that the number of journalists is now about half what it was in 2000 and headed lower.

The fact that there is nowhere for the onslaught of good journalism to come from is ignored. The dogma that the solution to all problems with free speech is always more free speech may not be questioned. Hell, it can’t even be articulated.

There’s another massive unspoken problem. How long has gossip and bullshit been with us? Since the dawn of time? People love the stuff. Human have been following it in herds since our vocabulary consisted of inflected grunts. The field of logic and its offshoots, rules of evidence and the scientific method, are nothing but earnest attempts to hold off the furious pleasure of jumping to conclusions.

And the well-meaning gent at the New York Times thinks that merely showing people lots of sensible work will keep them from mainlining crap. That’s a bit like assuming sermons will keep teenagers from having sex. It’s never worked before, and it won’t start working now.

But free speech dogma must not be questioned, even though it drags the whole democracy down with it.

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Urgently Required: Large Dustbin

Found on the web. Posted by unknown genius.


Oh, and also? If you can vote in the US, GO DO IT if you haven’t already.

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About this here election

You’ll notice I haven’t said much because, really, what is there to say?

It was summed up perfectly by one Twitter wit. (I paraphrase. Can’t find the original tweet, of course.)

How you can tell the unimaginable depth of sexism: This election is between one of the most accomplished candidates in a century and an orange-topped dogpile. And it’s a contest.

A list from Slate as a souvenir.

Donald J. Trump (R)

1. Said he would force the military to commit war crimes

2. Said about women, “You have to treat ’em like shit”

3. Proposed to create a database system to track Muslims in the U.S.

4. Said a U.S.-born judge couldn’t be impartial because of his “Mexican heritage”

5. Advocated assassinating terrorists’ families

6. Advocated waterboarding as punishment even if it doesn’t help gain information, because “they deserve it anyway”

7. Said women should be punished for having abortions

8. Urged supporters to beat up protesters at his rallies

9. Made fun of a reporter’s physical disability

10. Promised to deport U.S. citizens whose parents immigrated illegally, in violation of the 14th Amendment

11. Advocated shutting down mosques

12. Called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

13. Described global warming as a hoax perpetrated by “the Chinese” for competitive reasons

14. Suggested the U.S. should reduce its debts by partially defaulting on them

15. Responded to the murder of 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub with “Appreciate the congrats for being right on Islamic terrorism”

16. Fraternizes with avowed white supremacists on Twitter

17. Called Mexican immigrants rapists

18. Endorsed torture

19. Refuses to sell any of his more than 500 businesses if he’s elected, potentially creating unprecedented conflicts of interest

20. Disparaged Sen. John McCain’s military service because he was captured by the North Vietnamese

21. Defended FDR’s internment of Japanese Americans

22. Refused to release his tax returns during the campaign

23. Retweeted bogus crime statistics that wildly inflated the rate at which blacks kill whites

24. Suggested that supporters who attacked a homeless Hispanic man were “very passionate” and “love their country”

25. Blamed sexual assault in the military on “put[ting] men and women together”

26. Referred to Tiananmen Square demonstrations as a riot and said the Chinese government’s response “shows you the power of strength”

27. Repeatedly suggested that President Obama might be a Muslim

28. Claimed he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks

29. Doesn’t know how many articles are in the Constitution

30. Called an attorney who requested a break to pump breast milk “disgusting”

31. Doesn’t pay his bills

32. Proposed to change libel laws to make it easier to sue media organizations

33. Barred reporters from campaign events for unfavorable coverage

34. Praised North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un

35. Described Fox debate moderator Megyn Kelly as having “blood coming out of her wherever”

36. Questioned President Obama’s American citizenship, bringing the “birther” campaign into the mainstream

37. Said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose voters”

38. Named and threatened former students who criticized Trump University

39. Didn’t immediately disavow an endorsement from KKK leader David Duke

40. Bragged about the size of his penis during a primary debate

41. Claimed he’s donated $1 million to veterans’ groups, although none received any money until reporters began investigating

42. Didn’t know the meaning of the term “Brexit” less than a month before the U.K. referendum on leaving the EU

43. Posted a link to Facebook promoting the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration actively supported al-Qaida in Iraq

44. Called Elizabeth Warren “the Indian” and “Pocahontas”

45. Founded Trump University, which a salesman called “a fraudulent scheme [that] preyed upon the elderly and uneducated”

46. Advocated plundering oil from Iraq, Libya, and other oil-rich countries invaded by the U.S., in violation of the Geneva Conventions

47. Said, “It doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass”

48. Named himself as his primary consultant on foreign policy

49. Refused to take care of his children, saying that husbands who change diapers are “acting like the wife”

50. Refused to rule out using nuclear weapons against ISIS

51. Claimed he’s donated $102 million to charity, although journalists have been unable to find evidence of any substantial donations

52. Said of Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

53. Approvingly repeated a tall tale about a U.S. commander ordering the execution of Muslim insurgents with bullets dipped in pig’s blood

54. Refused to condemn anti-Semitic attacks on journalists

55. Paid campaign money to family members and his own businesses

56. Advocated withholding free public education from insufficiently studious kids

57. Suggested that he might refuse to serve as president if elected

58. Told a female contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, “That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees”

59. Proposed to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants

60. Speculated about his 1-year-old daughter’s future breasts

61. Said, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her”

62. Has repeatedly done business with figures linked to organized crime

63. Hired a suspicious number of advisers who have done work on behalf of Vladimir Putin

64. Claimed that American Muslims knew about the Orlando nightclub shooter and San Bernardino terrorists before the attacks

65. Didn’t understand the phrase “nuclear triad” during a primary debate

66. Pointed out a black supporter and said, “Oh, look at my African American over here”

67. Kept a collection of Adolf Hitler’s collected speeches in a cabinet by his bed

68. Said that “maybe” his employees should feel they have to return quickly from maternity leave or risk being replaced

69. Suggested the U.S. won’t come to NATO allies’ military aid

70. Proposed to compel Mexico to pay for a border wall

71. Praised Saddam Hussein for being good at killing terrorists

72. Threatened Amazon as payback for negative coverage in the Washington Post

73. Called for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five teenagers later exonerated of rape and assault

74. Praised the U.K.’s vote to leave the EU because a falling pound would be good for his Scottish golf course

75. Suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

76. Tweeted an image that originated on a white-supremacist account containing a star of David over a background of money

77. Read out Sen. Lindsey Graham’s personal phone number in a campaign speech

78. Subjected his then-wife Ivana to what she described in a deposition as rape, although she later said she didn’t mean the word literally

79. Quoted in a 1991 book as telling a colleague that “laziness is a trait in blacks”

80. Said that the U.S. military should withdraw from Japan and South Korea and allow those countries to defend themselves with nuclear weapons

81. Called for the construction of a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent immigration

82. Tweeted: “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”

83. Has been a plaintiff in at least 1,900 lawsuits and a defendant in 1,450 more

84. Suggested that Bill and Hillary Clinton conspired to murder aide Vince Foster

85. Believes the world would be “100 percent” better if Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi were still in power

86. Directed a female employee not to take lunch orders when visitors came to Trump Tower because he found her insufficiently attractive

87. Reportedly asked national security advisers why the U.S. can’t use nuclear weapons

88. Told his security team to confiscate protesters’ coats and “throw them out into the cold”

89. Publicly shamed a Miss Universe winner for gaining weight

90. Repeatedly claimed, falsely, to have opposed the Iraq war

91. Included the head of the white nationalist American Freedom Party on a list of California delegates

92. Sold Trump University and Trump Institute courses that relied on plagiarized materials

93. Earned millions from failing casinos by shifting the debt burden to investors

94. Filed for corporate bankruptcy four times

95. Compared his “sacrifices” as a businessman with those of parents whose son was killed in war

96. Claimed there’s “no real assimilation” of “second- and third-generation” families from the Middle East

97. Tried to set up an investment partnership with Muammar Qaddafi

98. Argued that the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub could have been prevented if patrons had been armed

99. Claimed, falsely, that President Obama “issued a statement for Kwanzaa but failed to issue one for Christmas”

100. Wished for a housing-market crash

101. Took out advertisements alleging that the “Mohawk Indian record of criminal activity is well documented” to fight competition for his casino business

102. Has insulted 239 candidates, journalists, organizations, countries, sitting politicians, and celebrities on Twitter

103. Used contributions to the Trump Foundation to buy a helmet and jersey signed by Tim Tebow for $12,000 at a charity auction

104. Said, “Refugees are trying to take over our children” by telling them “how wonderful Islam is”

105. Called the decision to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill “pure political correctness”

106. Said that Black Lives Matter activists are “looking for trouble”

107. Called Rosie O’Donnell a “big, fat pig”

108. Proposed a 35 percent tax on Mexican-made cars and trucks, in violation of NAFTA

109. Greeted a Miss Universe contestant with a kiss on the lips, which she called “gross” and “inappropriate”

110. Proposed to abolish gun-free zones

111. Falsely claimed there have been calls for a moment of silence for Dallas shooter Micah Johnson

112. Defended then–campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he physically grabbed a female reporter

113. Falsely claimed that Ferguson, Missouri, and Oakland, California, were “among the most dangerous [places] in the world”

114. Proposed to have China assassinate Kim Jong-un

115. Claimed that “the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton in 2008”

116. Threatened to “spill the beans” about an unspecified scandal concerning Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi

117. Attempted to court Jewish voters with anti-Semitic stereotypes about money, influence, and dealmaking

118. Pre-emptively questioned the legitimacy of the election

119. Attempted to seize and bulldoze the home of an Atlantic City, New Jersey, widow under eminent domain

120. Said that Hillary Clinton “got schlonged” by Obama in 2008

121. Tweeted “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

122. Claimed a federal spending bill “funds ISIS”

123. Pretended to be his own publicist

124. Proposed to appoint himself U.S. trade representative

125. Accused Hillary Clinton of “playing the woman card”

126. Called Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine “so smart”

127. Believes that he would “get along very well” with Vladimir Putin

128. Included two anti-Sharia cranks on a list of five foreign-policy advisers

129. According to Chris Christie, he would seek to purge Obama-era civil service hires

130. Said, “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS … the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president”

131. Repeated a supporter who called Ted Cruz a pussy

132. Said, “I think Islam hates us”

133. Praised conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, telling him, “I will not let you down”

134. Tried to entice Ohio Gov. John Kasich to be his vice presidential candidate by saying he’d let him control domestic and foreign policy

135. Kept journalists in restrictive “press pens” on the campaign trail

136. Said he “can relate” to victims of racism because “even against me the system is rigged.”

137. Said he doesn’t “have the time” to read books

138. Proposed to charge American allies for military defense

139. Suggested that Gold Star mother and Muslim Ghazala Khan remained silent because she “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say”

140. Said Mitt Romney would have “dropped to his knees” for an endorsement

141. Referred to 9/11 as 7-Eleven

142. Joked about Second Amendment advocates shooting his opponent or her judicial appointees

143. Proposed a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports

144. Praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s brutal response to an attempted coup, giving “great credit to him for turning it around”

145. Likened the killing of a 21-year-old woman by a drunk-driving undocumented immigrant to ritualistic child sacrifice

146. Falsely claimed he “100 percent” owns “the largest winery on the East Coast”

147. Claimed he saw nonexistent footage of money airlifted from the U.S. to Iran

148. Said Khizr Khan “has no right to claim I have never read the Constitution”

149. Claimed that the U.S. is being “ripped off” by its fellow members of NATO

150. Employed a butler who said President Obama should be “hung for treason”

151. Called sexual harassment allegations against Roger Ailes “totally unfounded”

152. Picked convention speakers who called for his general-election opponent to be imprisoned

153. Questioned Hillary Clinton’s religion

154. Launched at least 15 business ventures that went on to fail

155. Said Gold Star father Khizr Khan attacked him for being tough on terrorism

156. Falsely accused Clinton of rigging the general election debate schedule

157. Called Obama and Clinton the founders of ISIS

158. Said women who are sexually harassed at work should “find another career”

159. His wife, Melania, plagiarized her convention speech from Michelle Obama, then campaign operatives lied about it

160. Praised an adviser who called for Clinton to be executed

161. Questioned Ben Carson’s Seventh-day Adventism

162. Sued a former campaign aide for $10 million for breaching a confidentiality agreement

163. Characterized the theme of his administration as “America First”

164. Appeared not to know about Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea

165. Questioned Ted Cruz’s evangelical faith

166. Entrusted his health to a doctor who described his test results as “astonishingly excellent”

167. Proposed to deport his opponent, an American citizen

168. Asked advisers if he could get out of picking Mike Pence as his vice presidential candidate after he’d offered Pence the job

169. Proposed to try U.S. citizens in Guantanamo Bay military tribunals

170. Urged supporters to patrol polling places to combat “election fraud”

171. Hired the editor of white-nationalist website Breitbart as his campaign chief

172. Said he’s “starting to agree” that his opponent should be imprisoned

173. Responded to a murder with: “Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”

174. Doesn’t allow contributors to cancel recurring donations on his website

175. Ejected a baby from a rally

176. Called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails

177. Told black voters, “You’re living in poverty; your schools are no good; you have no jobs”

178. Falsely claimed San Bernardino neighbors saw “bombs all over the floor” but failed to act due to political correctness

179. Falsely claimed Chicago police brass told him crime could be ended if they were allowed to be “much tougher”

180. Boasted of “employee childcare programs” that are really for hotel guests

181. Ran a modeling agency that hired models working illegally in the U.S.

182. Repeatedly called a deaf actress “retarded” and sexually harassed her on the set of The Apprentice

183. Said he wanted to hit Democratic National Convention speakers who criticized him

184. Suggested a reporter who accused him of sexual assault wasn’t attractive enough to assault

185. Would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions on Russia

186. Named the person who made up “death panels” to his economic team

187. Falsely claimed his opponent wants to admit 620,000 Syrian refugees

188. Told two 14-year-old girls, “Wow! Just think—in a couple of years, I’ll be dating you.”

189. Threatened to pull the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization

190. Falsely claimed his opponent’s plan would provide Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants

191. Posted a tweet urging voters to “check out [a critic’s] sex tape,” then denied it during a debate

192. Screwed over the USA Freedom Kids, a group of preteen girls who performed at Trump events

193. Falsely claimed his opponent was “seen laughing on two occasions” at a 12-year-old rape victim

194. Employed campaign operatives who scrubbed language supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression from the GOP platform

195. Called his opponent “unhinged” and “unbalanced”

196. Falsely claimed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency endorsed him

197. Falsely claimed the U.S. economy is experiencing its slowest growth since 1929

198. Threatened to fund a super PAC campaign against his defeated GOP primary rivals if they run again

199. Hired a former Christie staffer implicated in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal

200. Confused Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, with Tom Kean, Republican governor of New Jersey in the 1980s

201. Falsely claimed he won “every poll” after the second presidential debate

202. Falsely claimed the Iran nuclear deal made Iran rich

203. Falsely claimed Bill Clinton “had to pay an $850,000 fine” to Paula Jones after she accused him of sexual assault

204. Said, “When you’re a star, [women] let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab them by the pussy.”

205. Said veterans who suffer from PTSD aren’t “strong” and “can’t handle it”

206. Said not paying income taxes “makes me smart”

207. Continuted to insist the Central Park Five are guilty of murder, despite DNA evidence exonerating them

208. Referred to a Hispanic Miss Universe as “Miss Housekeeping” and “Miss Piggy”

209. Said “we’re going to have to see” about whether he would accept a victory for his opponent as legitimate

210. Repeatedly sexually assaulted women

211. Promised to jail his opponent if elected

212. Illegally raised funds through his foundation without the proper license

213. Mocked his opponent stumbling leaving a 9/11 memorial event after she was diagnosed with pneumonia

214. Claimed government officials are letting illegal immigrants “pour into the country so they can go and vote”

215. Repeatedly walked in on pageant contestants, including teenagers, while they were changing

216. Accepted $150,000 in 9/11 recovery funds to “repair” a building that wasn’t damaged in the attacks

217. Spent $258,000 from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits related to his businesses

218. Illegally contributed $25,000 to the PAC of a prosecutor who was considering legal action against Trump University

219. Said of a 10-year-old girl, “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”

220. Spent $20,000 in contributions to the Trump Foundation on a 6-foot-tall painting of himself

221. Called poor people “morons”

222. Suggested his opponent cheated on her husband

223. Claimed the Commission on Presidential Debates “rigged” the debates

224. Vowed that Iranians who provoke U.S. sailors with “gestures” will be “shot out of the water”

225. Brought on alleged serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes as a campaign adviser

226. Said his opponent “could actually be crazy”

227. Took credit for giving away other people’s money

228. Claimed nearly $1 billion in business losses in a single year

229. Repeatedly cited false unemployment statistics

230. Claimed he “lost hundreds of friends” on 9/11

Hillary Clinton (D)

1. Poor email server management [quixote note: No. Not even that. State Dept. email policies were hopeless at the time, and she just followed the same system as Colin Powell so she could get her work done. Except she, at least, did not simply use a throwaway AOL account. She used her own secure server, which did not get hacked, unlike the State Dept. servers.]

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