Putin on the Writs

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Jennifer
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2018, 16:29

Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 16:06
Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 15:51
Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 12:48
I hate to use the nuclear option, but you all give me no choice.

This stuff sounds like Glen Beck nonsense. Wrap some goldbug stuff around it and you'll have the full Glen Beck burrito.
[Scrolls over Taktix's links] Ah, yes: Politico, Bloomberg and Wired -- just like Glenn Beck, if they report anything which might possibly be construed as a problem with the status quo, especially if said problem would give an advantage to the political party currently in power.
None of those links provide any evidence that the Russians have done, or can do, anything of consequence. Most of this is just politicos grandstanding so they look like they give a fuck about us or journalists getting page views by rattling the doom bell. There was more evidence for WMDs in Iraq.
Eight U.S. intelligence groups -- CIA, FBI, NSA, DHS, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees -- said Russia interfered with the 2016 election. If you want to roll a Glenn Beck burrito, I daresay the idea "All eight of them were lying" makes a far better filling than sneering at a straightforward news report noting that various states have decided to forgo federal funding to secure the next election. Season the filling with a spicy and flavorful "Deep State" sauce. Mmm, that's good conspiracy theorizin'!
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Taktix®
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Taktix® » 19 Sep 2018, 18:48

Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 16:29
Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 16:06
Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 15:51
Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 12:48
I hate to use the nuclear option, but you all give me no choice.

This stuff sounds like Glen Beck nonsense. Wrap some goldbug stuff around it and you'll have the full Glen Beck burrito.
[Scrolls over Taktix's links] Ah, yes: Politico, Bloomberg and Wired -- just like Glenn Beck, if they report anything which might possibly be construed as a problem with the status quo, especially if said problem would give an advantage to the political party currently in power.
None of those links provide any evidence that the Russians have done, or can do, anything of consequence. Most of this is just politicos grandstanding so they look like they give a fuck about us or journalists getting page views by rattling the doom bell. There was more evidence for WMDs in Iraq.
Eight U.S. intelligence groups -- CIA, FBI, NSA, DHS, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees -- said Russia interfered with the 2016 election. If you want to roll a Glenn Beck burrito, I daresay the idea "All eight of them were lying" makes a far better filling than sneering at a straightforward news report noting that various states have decided to forgo federal funding to secure the next election. Season the filling with a spicy and flavorful "Deep State" sauce. Mmm, that's good conspiracy theorizin'!
And Glenn Beck would eat his sweater vests to get numbers like 1 in 3 American adults think it's possible...
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Jennifer
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2018, 19:06

Taktix® wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 18:48
Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 16:29
Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 16:06
Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 15:51
Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 12:48
I hate to use the nuclear option, but you all give me no choice.

This stuff sounds like Glen Beck nonsense. Wrap some goldbug stuff around it and you'll have the full Glen Beck burrito.
[Scrolls over Taktix's links] Ah, yes: Politico, Bloomberg and Wired -- just like Glenn Beck, if they report anything which might possibly be construed as a problem with the status quo, especially if said problem would give an advantage to the political party currently in power.
None of those links provide any evidence that the Russians have done, or can do, anything of consequence. Most of this is just politicos grandstanding so they look like they give a fuck about us or journalists getting page views by rattling the doom bell. There was more evidence for WMDs in Iraq.
Eight U.S. intelligence groups -- CIA, FBI, NSA, DHS, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees -- said Russia interfered with the 2016 election. If you want to roll a Glenn Beck burrito, I daresay the idea "All eight of them were lying" makes a far better filling than sneering at a straightforward news report noting that various states have decided to forgo federal funding to secure the next election. Season the filling with a spicy and flavorful "Deep State" sauce. Mmm, that's good conspiracy theorizin'!
And Glenn Beck would eat his sweater vests to get numbers like 1 in 3 American adults think it's possible...
The only question is, would Glenn Beck say those eight U.S. intelligence agencies with their "Russia interfered with the election" claims are members of the nefarious "Deep State" trying to undermine Trump because they hate America and don't want to see it Made Great Again, or are they all hyperpartisan Democratic shills trying to undermine Trump because they hate Republicans and don't want America to regain Greatness under their aegis [equal and opposite to Rush Limbaugh saying he'd rather see Obama fail than the country succeed]?
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Painboy
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Painboy » 19 Sep 2018, 19:28

Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 16:29
Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 16:06
Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 15:51
Painboy wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 12:48
I hate to use the nuclear option, but you all give me no choice.

This stuff sounds like Glen Beck nonsense. Wrap some goldbug stuff around it and you'll have the full Glen Beck burrito.
[Scrolls over Taktix's links] Ah, yes: Politico, Bloomberg and Wired -- just like Glenn Beck, if they report anything which might possibly be construed as a problem with the status quo, especially if said problem would give an advantage to the political party currently in power.
None of those links provide any evidence that the Russians have done, or can do, anything of consequence. Most of this is just politicos grandstanding so they look like they give a fuck about us or journalists getting page views by rattling the doom bell. There was more evidence for WMDs in Iraq.
Eight U.S. intelligence groups -- CIA, FBI, NSA, DHS, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees -- said Russia interfered with the 2016 election. If you want to roll a Glenn Beck burrito, I daresay the idea "All eight of them were lying" makes a far better filling than sneering at a straightforward news report noting that various states have decided to forgo federal funding to secure the next election. Season the filling with a spicy and flavorful "Deep State" sauce. Mmm, that's good conspiracy theorizin'!
That is not what they said at all. They said there were attempts. None of them were successful. Again, politicos grandstanding to justify their paychecks.

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Jennifer
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2018, 19:40

Ah, so, since there were mere "attempts," it's perfectly acceptable for states to refuse federal funding to secure the next election--and a sign of conspiratorial freakoutness to be concerned over this?

In all seriousness, it seems like ever since Trump won the election, you've gone out of your way to dismiss any criticism or concern over Trump and those connected to him as a conspiratorial freakout as opposed to, like, normal reasons for an American to be concerned that Trump might not be suited for the job he now has. I humbly suggest that being concerned about Trump's character flaws or the many many many "coincidences" surrounding Trump and his inner circle is not on par with believing Barack Obama is a Sekrit Muslim illegal immigrant out to force Sharia law down everyone's throat. THAT, I definitely dismiss as conspiracy-mongering (which Trump himself engaged in back in the day).
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Painboy » 20 Sep 2018, 14:37

Jennifer wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 19:40
Ah, so, since there were mere "attempts," it's perfectly acceptable for states to refuse federal funding to secure the next election--and a sign of conspiratorial freakoutness to be concerned over this?

In all seriousness, it seems like ever since Trump won the election, you've gone out of your way to dismiss any criticism or concern over Trump and those connected to him as a conspiratorial freakout as opposed to, like, normal reasons for an American to be concerned that Trump might not be suited for the job he now has. I humbly suggest that being concerned about Trump's character flaws or the many many many "coincidences" surrounding Trump and his inner circle is not on par with believing Barack Obama is a Sekrit Muslim illegal immigrant out to force Sharia law down everyone's throat. THAT, I definitely dismiss as conspiracy-mongering (which Trump himself engaged in back in the day).
If people were on here talking up QAnon theories I would be doing my best to disuade them as well. Everything isn't either pro-Trump and anti-Trump. Bad ideas and misinformation aren't confined to any one group. Even if Trump is hip deep in Russian influence it wouldn't change my opinion in the slightest on Russia's ability to influence an election by hacking voting machines. There are just too many eyes on these things and the obstacles are too many and too high to do anything more than what would amount to vandalism. Secretly altering voting records without anyone the wiser would require a level of skill, manpower, and coordination, that doesn't exist and likely never will.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 20 Sep 2018, 16:39

Painboy wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 14:37
Secretly altering voting records without anyone the wiser would require a level of skill, manpower, and coordination, that doesn't exist and likely never will.
Unless one is a moderately competent hacker.

Meanwhile, states such as Georgia -- which uses all-electronic voting machines with no paper records -- have decided to forgo using federal funding to make their [our] elections more secure. But, I gather, you think expressing concern over this is a sign of paranoid conspiracy-mongering?
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 20 Sep 2018, 16:51

The only thing that the Russians have ever done in our elections is fund troll farms. They've never engaged in any sort of hacking, and have certainly never let anyone use the information obtained from that hacking. So, no, there's nothing to worry about.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Ellie » 20 Sep 2018, 16:52

My understanding is that voting machines are not connected to the internet (or each other), so even when the machines themselves are easily exploited, you have to physically go to the polls to hack them, and also go around to a bunch of them to make any significant difference. Not impossible, but also not something one person can do from home in their underwear, no matter how good a hacker they are.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 20 Sep 2018, 17:03

Ellie wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 16:52
My understanding is that voting machines are not connected to the internet (or each other), so even when the machines themselves are easily exploited, you have to physically go to the polls to hack them, and also go around to a bunch of them to make any significant difference. Not impossible, but also not something one person can do from home in their underwear, no matter how good a hacker they are.
That would be a sane and sensible way to handle electronic voting, wouldn't it? Alas, "sane and sensible" is not how our country does things.

Result of a half-ass Google search just now:
...DHS said Russian hackers had probed websites in the 21 states looking for vulnerabilities, and in at least one state—Illinois—they found a vulnerability in a server that hosted the state’s voter registration database, allowing them to access 90,000 voter records. But the Russians were apparently unsuccessful in finding vulnerabilities in other state election sites and evidently never bothered at all with servers in Georgia, according to the agency.

This was odd because around the same time the Russians were targeting other states, a security researcher in Georgia named Logan Lamb discovered a serious security vulnerability in an election server in his state. The vulnerability allowed him to download the state’s entire database of 6.7 million registered voters and would have allowed him or any other intruder to alter versions of the database distributed to counties prior to the election. Lamb also found PDFs with instructions and passwords for election workers to sign in to a central server on Election Day as well as software files for the state’s ExpressPoll pollbooks—the electronic devices used by poll workers to verify voters’ eligibility to vote before allowing them to cast a ballot.

The unpatched and misconfigured server had been vulnerable since 2014 and was managed by the Center for Election Systems, a small training and testing center that until recently occupied a former two-story house on the Kennesaw State University campus. Until last year, the Ccnter was responsible for programming every voting machine across the state, raising concerns that if the Russians or other adversaries had been able to penetrate the center’s servers as Lamb had done, they might have been able to find a way to subvert software distributed by the center to voting machines across the state.

But Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who was the only state election official to refuse security assistance from the Department of Homeland Security prior to the election, has insisted for more than a year that his state’s voting systems were never at risk in the 2016 election, because DHS told him the Russians had not targeted Georgia.

This changed on Friday, however, when the Justice Department unsealed the indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers who oversaw an operation that, the department says, included targeting county websites in Georgia.

On or around Oct. 28, 2016, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev and Aleksandr Vladimirovich Osadchuk, both officers in the Russian military assigned to Unit 74455, allegedly conspired with others to hack into computers involved in U.S. election administration, according to the complaint. This included scoping out the websites of unidentified counties in Iowa, Florida and Georgia to identify vulnerabilities they could use to access back-end servers. The indictment doesn’t state directly, but implies, that the servers were part of infrastructure for county election offices....
Brian Kemp, the [Republican] man who can't be bothered to secure my new home state's voting machines, is the same guy who tried to shut down seven out of nine polling places in a majority-black district.

I do not know if I can suggest he was trying to engage in suppressing voters likely to vote against his party, though, without being accused of unreasonable paranoia. What say you, Painboy?
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 20 Sep 2018, 17:23

So all that the Russians could do is prevent people from voting, but they couldn't, to our knowledge, change vote totals. So what are you worried about? They've never done any hacking, all they've ever done is troll farms.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 20 Sep 2018, 17:31

You need to remember that the US and its allies also have capabilities. For instance, Western intelligence services have hacked security cameras in GRU facilities, and if the rooms that they're monitoring were used to hack into the DNC for the purpose of hurting a political candidate, the US would know about it and retaliate with sanctions. Even Trump would enforce sanctions if something so blatant were to happen. So I don't see why you're getting so worried. Our government has the capability to see what they're doing, and if they were to try anything the US would most definitely respond.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Ellie » 20 Sep 2018, 17:31

I'm not saying you can't cause problems if you fuck with voter rolls, but I can't imagine that you could have THAT many people showing up on election day and being turned away, enough to affect a national election, and not make it immediately obvious that something was amiss. (As opposed to being able to hack into a bunch of voting machines themselves and delete thousands of votes, when no individual person could ever prove that their vote was one of the ones that got deleted. Outside Grylliade I think that's what most people envision when they talk about hackers influencing an election.)
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 20 Sep 2018, 17:36

All this talk of voting machines and hacking makes me feel like a yokel, what with us Canadians relying on primitive paper ballots.*

(*OK. I shouldn't snark. We almost never have more than one position to vote on at any election and referenda are very rare.)
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 20 Sep 2018, 17:42

Ellie wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 17:31
I'm not saying you can't cause problems if you fuck with voter rolls, but I can't imagine that you could have THAT many people showing up on election day and being turned away, enough to affect a national election, and not make it immediately obvious that something was amiss.
There are roughly 4800 precincts in Michigan, a state that Trump won by roughly 11,000 votes. Knock out an average of 3 likely Democratic voters in each precinct (and you might be able to identify them if you hacked a candidate's get-out-the-vote operation and you have their list of prospects) and you've got something equal to the margin.

Now, of course, you can't know which state will have a close margin and which will have a REALLY CLOSE margin, but that's why this should be part of a broad portfolio of efforts. You'd also want to do things like hack into campaign or party organizations and dig up damaging information. Of course, no such illegal hacking ever happened. The only thing that ever happened was some troll farming.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Kwix » 20 Sep 2018, 18:12

Ellie wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 16:52
My understanding is that voting machines are not connected to the internet (or each other), so even when the machines themselves are easily exploited, you have to physically go to the polls to hack them, and also go around to a bunch of them to make any significant difference. Not impossible, but also not something one person can do from home in their underwear, no matter how good a hacker they are.
What about without underwear? I'm asking for a friend.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Ellie » 20 Sep 2018, 18:23

If it's two male hackers naked, tell your friend I'll happily finance his democracy destruction / porno.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Painboy » 20 Sep 2018, 20:10

thoreau wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 17:42
Ellie wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 17:31
I'm not saying you can't cause problems if you fuck with voter rolls, but I can't imagine that you could have THAT many people showing up on election day and being turned away, enough to affect a national election, and not make it immediately obvious that something was amiss.
There are roughly 4800 precincts in Michigan, a state that Trump won by roughly 11,000 votes. Knock out an average of 3 likely Democratic voters in each precinct (and you might be able to identify them if you hacked a candidate's get-out-the-vote operation and you have their list of prospects) and you've got something equal to the margin.

Now, of course, you can't know which state will have a close margin and which will have a REALLY CLOSE margin, but that's why this should be part of a broad portfolio of efforts. You'd also want to do things like hack into campaign or party organizations and dig up damaging information. Of course, no such illegal hacking ever happened. The only thing that ever happened was some troll farming.
Which immediately would become suspicious because it wouldn't match the exit polls. This of course assumes the hacker would somehow know by what amount to change the vote counts so that it isn't immediately obvious even without exit polls. And even if by pure luck they manage to be that close we can check for any changes in the software which will again be obvious. Too many things have to line up perfectly for it too work even once. Now multiply all that by however many number machines you need to hit. I see no way that this is remotely possible.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 20 Sep 2018, 20:32

1) I've been a poll worker. If a single digit number of people in my precinct told me "I know I registered! I know it! I could swear that they sent me confirmation!" it wouldn't faze me. Several hundred people show up and a fraction of a percent of them are either mistaken or else the victims of paperwork snafus? Wouldn't even register on my radar.

Now, in practice they would be able to submit provisional ballots. In some states they would just check to see if the individuals who submitted those ballots had valid registrations on file. Depending on how good the state's backups are, and whether the hackers were able to get at those, they might catch it, might not. In other states they might actually verify eligibility, and once they found a record that so-and-so was in fact a resident of whatever locale and eligible to vote in those races, the ballot would be counted.

So it might work, might not. Depends on how lenient state laws are.

2) Given the recent history of US elections, it's reasonable to guess that at least one swing state will have a margin of 0.5% or less. If a precinct has 1000 registered voters and 40% turnout (reasonable ballpark numbers), you only need to turn 3 high-propensity Democrats (identifiable if your hackers can steal internal documents from voter-turnout operations) per precinct to knock out more than 0.5%.

3) You keep talking about software changes, but this isn't about software changes. It's about the ability to edit insecure databases.

4) You yourself have said that Putin's main goal is not to get specific policies implemented by US leaders, but just to weaken the US with chaos. Well, imagine if on Election Night a state is called by 10,000 votes and then a few weeks later it is reported that 12,000 provisional ballots have to be counted and just about all of them are from Democrats. Some Americans would, of course, see this as a conspiracy against Democrats. Others would see it as a conspiracy BY Democrats. "They must have done something fishy, no way that 10,000 Democrats just happen to have paperwork snafus but hardly any Republicans."

That's a trolling success. That's chaos. That's a massive headache for the next administration's legitimacy.

5) What are the consequences for Russia to get caught? What if, hypothetically, the GRU hacked into the DNC and a US ally had video footage of the room in which the hackers conducted their operation? What would the Trump Administration do?
Last edited by thoreau on 20 Sep 2018, 21:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 20 Sep 2018, 20:39

So, I guess the point is this: The scenario we're talking about here is plausible. It would advance Russian goals of sowing more chaos in the US political process. We know which side Russia is more likely to attempt to help. And some states are refusing to take action to tighten database security.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Ellie » 20 Sep 2018, 22:45

The scenario of Russia (or anyone) altering voter registration databases is definitely plausible. The scenario of them being able to bump it by a margin small enough not to be immediately apparent YET large enough in the right place for it to actually achieve their desired outcome -- that is far less plausible.

I don't know how much hacking costs -- I assume it's cheaper than regular campaigning -- but if it were possible to predict those areas where the margin is so slim, candidates would probably bump up their efforts in those places more than they do already. Hackers don't have better intelligence than the campaigns themselves.

I don't really have an informed opinion on how much influence Russia had on our last election or might have on our next one (and God knows I'd be thrilled if Trump's win were proven illegitimate, even if it would mean fucking Hillary for president) but from what (little) I know about specifically how voting machines and voter rolls work, it's hard enough to successfully "hack" an election that it's an unlikely thing to worry about.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 20 Sep 2018, 23:18

Personally, I think it is moot. Trump is not going to be convicted in an impeachment trial The GOP is still running scared of the Trumpists, who will never accept anything less than absolute loyalty to Trump from their Congresscritters. Even if Team Red's wettest dreams come true and they win control of both houses, there are still enough GOP senators to block conviction.

(Also: From the Democrats' perspective, the longer Trump is around, the better. They're going to run against Trump right through until 2028.)

So Trump is in office until January 20, 2021. I am more convinced than ever that Trump will lose November 3, 2020.

The really fun part is going to be listening to his claims that he actually won between 11/3/20 and 1/20/21.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 20 Sep 2018, 23:22

The 2016 election result is legitimate. I'm not in the "After we impeach we need an election do-over" camp. We impeach Trump for the things he's actually done (emoluments clause violations, obstruction of justice, and probably collusion with a foreign adversary after Mueller's report comes out), we get Pence, and in 2020 Pence loses. That's the scenario I'm interested in pursuing.

I mention hacking not because I want to create grounds for a do-over but because I think it's a very serious threat that some state officials are disregarding because they are either reckless or else hoping that the hacking will favor them.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 21 Sep 2018, 01:15

thoreau wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 23:22
The 2016 election result is legitimate. I'm not in the "After we impeach we need an election do-over" camp. We impeach Trump for the things he's actually done (emoluments clause violations, obstruction of justice, and probably collusion with a foreign adversary after Mueller's report comes out), we get Pence, and in 2020 Pence loses. That's the scenario I'm interested in pursuing.
Whatever the actual crimes of DJT, the GOP senators are too frightened of his supporters to vote to convict. Any impeachment vote will fall short of the 2/3 majority required to convict. Trump will remain in office until 1/20/21. Worse, a failed attempt will only feed into Trump's delusional self-image.

What I am looking forward to is the farce as Trump continues to claim he won and he is forcibly removed from the White House by the Secret Service when the new president attempts to move in.
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jadagul » 21 Sep 2018, 03:23

The thing about voting is that whether you think voting hacking has happened, there's no good reason to use a less secure system when a more secure system exists and someone is giving you money to use it. I don't think the people who are declining are actively perpetrating fraud, probably, but they're certainly making very poor decisions and we should try to get them to stop.

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