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6 hours ago, Jiren (Metro) said:

A result of hacking?

The articles goes into detail that it's unlikely any attempt to rig the election, but more the fact Texas is using very old voting systems.

Think how Florida's 2000 ballots left much to be desired.

In both cases, the ballots are seen as having helped the GOP, but I don't think that's as much as by design as things like voter ID laws. There are probably cases of these machines switching GOP votes to Democrat as well.

Now, we could absolutely pin partisan blame on the GOP for the problem as a whole. They're the ones who stress smaller budgets for things besides police and the military, and that means much-needed funds for voting infrastructure are often not there.

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For God's sake, you yanks should stop using voting machines. They're insecure, have all sorts of problems and with paper ballots at least you have physical evidence. If we Aussies can put up with long-ass sheets of paper with about a dozen parties and dozens of candidates under the line for senate voting, it can't be that arduous to just tick one out of two or three fucking boxes.

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Another shooting, another alt right loon who’s the suspect, and more gun control hand waving from trump and the gop. *sigh* is it bad, I can’t even feel anything but frustration now when I hear about a shooting?

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Sources for those who want to know what shooting @KHCast is talking about it's either the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-28/pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-suspect-arrested/10438138 or the shooting of two black folks outside of a Kentucky grocery store 

Doubt your POTUS is going to try and crack down on any thing hate crime wise... RIP to all involved and may the shooters rot in jail for life.

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On 10/27/2018 at 7:37 AM, Candescence said:

For God's sake, you yanks should stop using voting machines. They're insecure, have all sorts of problems and with paper ballots at least you have physical evidence. If we Aussies can put up with long-ass sheets of paper with about a dozen parties and dozens of candidates under the line for senate voting, it can't be that arduous to just tick one out of two or three fucking boxes.

In fairness, a lot of voting machines print up a paper ballot that the voter has to verify before they cast their ballot. They are also disconnected from a network.

This isn't a voting machine issue so much as it's Texas' limited government bullshit biting it in the ass when it doesn't want to fork over some money to modernize infrastructure. Indeed, Texas is one of the states with voting machines that do not have paper trails. That raises a serious specter of fraud.

Most states still have paper ballots as their primary method, all this said.

Colorado adopted opt-out mail-in ballots as the primary voting method prior to 2014, however, so it's quite possible voting machines will end up being phased out by the simple fact with three states having opt-out mail-in ballots now, it might catch on in other states. And indeed, there have been movements in several states to move to vote by mail.

VBM raises its own issues of possible fraud or intimidation, but there does not seem to be conclusive evidence of it happening.

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So... Trump plans to try and abolish birthright citizenship via executive order.

Which, I should remind everyone, is impossible because citizenship by birth is part of the constitution. Unfortunately, Sir Orange Dumbass hasn't quite grasped that the title of 'President' does not equate to "god-king of America" yet, so he believes he can override the constitution.

If nothing else, this'll be hilarious.

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It took less time than Trump spent to write it for federal courts to throw out the original travel ban. It's amusingly Nixon-like; but Nixon felt he had the political clout that he could get away with whatever he wanted (and for a few years, he did) whereas Trump just doesn't know any better.

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He's desperately trying to fire up his base to turn out and vote for the midterms because while he will still be free to pack the Court come January, he will quite possibly lose the House, which means his whole agenda disappears.

So he's going back to his 2016 strategy: stoke racist fears and hope they push him over the finish line.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/10/30/uncertainties_loom_as_midterms_enter_final_stretch.html

Republicans are still outperforming Democrats in most early voting returns. With one week to go however, a lot can still change. It's also noted that historically a significant number (around 15%) of suburban Republican voters have backed Democrats in midterm elections. The party identification does not necessarily translate into votes, and in most states the margins are close enough that defecting Republicans change the outcome. The typical suburban Republican is more of a libertarian than a conservative, liking the GOP's economic policies but not particularly caring for its social agenda. With Trump in power to guard against tax raises, it's not unfathomable some Republicans will peel off and put a Democratic House into power to keep his crazier ideas out of play.

Trump is undoubtedly doing everything he can to prevent a last minute Democratic recovery.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/30/politics/medicaid-expansion-idaho/index.html

Obamacare's safety might just be assured by the least likely of places: Idaho. The state's GOP Governor has endorsed a Medicaid expansion ballot measure. If it passes, the GOP will be in an extremely uncomfortable position with all its repeal talk. So many people across so many states are benefiting from Medicaid under the new rules that to propose repealing them will go over about as well as discussing Medicare cuts.

Nebraska, Montana, and Utah are also discussing Medicaid expansion on their ballots. This year could see a wave that basically sucks all the impetus out from repeal efforts.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/30/politics/steve-king-nrcc-chair-white-supremacy/index.html

Rep. Steve King's campaign is falling apart ever since he revealed his power level (that is, he is so openly white nationalist that even the complicit GOP is distancing itself from him). He has lost endorsements and financial backing from several companies as well as the House GOP's fundraising arm.

https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/10/top_lawmakers_decline_to_say_when_marijuana_legali.html

Legal marijuana votes in New Jersey have been delayed yet again. At the rate they're going, Trump and Congress will legalize pot before they do.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/31/politics/early-vote-as-of-wednesday-morning/index.html

Breakdown of early voting results in several key states. Women have voted more than men, even as the early voting population skews older.

Georgia and Texas are showing considerable youth turnout.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/31/politics/nancy-pelosi-house-democrats-midterms-voting/index.html

Nancy Pelosi is speaking with increased confidence the Democrats will win the House 6 days from today.

Hopefully this does not tempt fate.

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If the midterms go the Republicans' way in the House, Pelosi's career is over, of that much we can be certain. There'll be no room for the old guard to remain. Silver linings, and all that.

On the other hand, if the blue wave is real, Pelosi will cling onto the top job until she dies or the Democrats lose the majority again. That's going to be so fun, she'll be a gigantic target for Republican ire.

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Still, Pelosi is a very competent whip, there's no dispute about that. 

Meanwhile, there's plot to maybe frame Robert Mueller for sex crimes that may actually be a fake plot designed to discredit the "mainstream media" and the #MeeToo movement? And it involves a woman who apparently doesn't exist being contacted by a shady 'intelligence agency' that also doesn't exist?

If that sounds confusing or just stupid, well, it's both. It's an extraordinarily idiotic plan devised by Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman:

Quote

-Wohl/Burkman create an “investigative” company.
-They (or someone related to them) send out emails to the media pretending to be a woman who was bribed by Burkman to make up assault allegations against Mueller.
-What they expect to happen is either the media to run with the story to discredit Mueller, OR they don’t run the story and they can later reveal a fake assault victim and claim MSM bias.
-What actually happens is the media investigated and discovers the woman is unreliable (and possibly made up).
-Since the media doesn’t report on it, Bergman/Wohl go ahead with plan B and tease that Mueller’s sexual assault victim is going to have a press conference.
-MSM responds with actual information + points out Wohl’s fingerprints all over the “investigation” company that is looking into Mueller’s victims.
-Wohl, not quite understanding that the MSM has already pointed out that the bribed woman was likely fake, tries to discredit MSM’s accusations against him by saying the woman is fake.
-Wohl also doesn’t understand that the MSM is not accusing him of bribing women to make up false claims, but rather accusing him of making up the bribery story in the first place.

 

Basically, it's a plot that is so poorly set up that "amateur hour" is an insult to amateurs. It makes a very poor assumption that the media won't do their homework and actually try to make sure that the material they receive is actually legitimate. It also opens Wohl and Burkman up to multiple charges including obstruction of justice. I've been following the thread on ResetERA, and the whole saga is a fucking hilarious comedy of errors.

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https://www.coloradoindependent.com/2018/10/30/democrats-and-republicans-nearly-tied-in-early-balloting-with-800000-votes-cast-in-colorado/

Some good news from Colorado. Republicans are trailing their 2014 margins by 50,000 votes, while Democrats are ahead by 25,000. Republicans are still returning ballots in larger numbers, but only by about 1,000 votes.

Early voting is a strange beast. While the popular wisdom is that it is a tool for Democrats to turn out their base, increasingly Republicans are the ones who take advantage of it. This is consistent with how older, wealthier voters would have more free time and so could vote the moment polls open, while Democrats probably set aside a particular day.

All this in mind, while the GOP is leading in most early voting contests, enough Democrats are still casting ballots that things could radically change come Election Day.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/31/politics/cnn-poll-arizona-nevada-senate-races/index.html

The Democratic candidates have narrow leads in both Nevada and Arizona's races. If these races go the Democrats' way, the likely loss of North Dakota will put the Senate at an even split unless Democrats pull off upsets in Texas, Mississippi or Tennessee (all of which are possible).

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On 10/30/2018 at 11:12 AM, Candescence said:

So... Trump plans to try and abolish birthright citizenship via executive order.

Which, I should remind everyone, is impossible because citizenship by birth is part of the constitution. Unfortunately, Sir Orange Dumbass hasn't quite grasped that the title of 'President' does not equate to "god-king of America" yet, so he believes he can override the constitution.

If nothing else, this'll be hilarious.

The thing is, if they do set a precedent of gutting the 14th Amendment that's fucking terrifying. Losing birthright citizenship may not sound too bad (and, to be fair, most nations get along fine without it), but it's hardly the only thing in the amendment Republicans might like to do away with.  Especially troubling would be if they decide to go after the due process clause, which explicitly requires the states to protect people's rights to life, liberty, and property. In practice that's been interpreted to mean that state law enforcement must act in accordance with the Bill of Rights, meaning, if it goes, the states are free to ignore:

  • Your protection against search and/or seizure without probable cause.
  • Your right to remain silent.
  • Your right to have an attorney present during interrogation.
  • Your right to have legal council provided if you cannot afford it.
  • Your right to a fair and speedy trial.
  • Your right to be informed if you've been charged with a crime and what crime you've been charged with.
  • Your right to see any evidence against you.
  • Your right to a trial by a jury of your peers.
  • Your protection against excessive fines and/or bail.
  • Your protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
  • and more...

Sure, it's unlikely, but given that he has control of the Supreme Court there's a non-zero chance of that he'll be allowed to do it. Especially if we lose another Justice while he's in office and he replaces them with another Kavanaugh-like radical who takes a broad view of presidential power.

Sleep tight!

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On 11/1/2018 at 6:41 AM, Candescence said:

Meanwhile, there's plot to maybe frame Robert Mueller for sex crimes that may actually be a fake plot designed to discredit the "mainstream media" and the #MeeToo movement? And it involves a woman who apparently doesn't exist being contacted by a shady 'intelligence agency' that also doesn't exist?

If that sounds confusing or just stupid, well, it's both. It's an extraordinarily idiotic plan devised by Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman:

Wait, didn't Project Veritas* try the exact same thing to discredit people claiming to have been sexually assaulted by Trump? No really, minus the weird intelligence agency nonsense, this reads almost word-for-word like Verita's plan to send a woman pretending to be a victim of sexual assault to the Washington Post.

It didn't end well at all for them in this case. The Washington Post did its own report on the actress's claims with their own, more trustworthy, recording of the conversation on hand for all to hear. This report humiliated the organization, had the opposite effect of discrediting Veritas amongst moderates that it had fooled, and gave other outlets a very simple way to combat groups like Veritas trying to exploit the process to push an agenda. By the end of it, if you were to ask disbelieving people why they didn't think Trump sexually assaulted anybody, you wouldn't hear any mention of Verita's story. 

My overall point is that not only is this stupid conspiracy dumb on it's own, but it's something that has been tried before. Not only that, but the first try failed very badly. You'd think Wohl and Burkman would at least look into previous smear campaigns like theirs to see where things went right and where things went wrong, then build a plan from there, but beyond the fake intelligence agency which I can't imagine was what Project Veritas had needed all along for success... god, what were these bozos thinking when they came up with this plan? Were they thinking at all?

*For those of you who aren't in the know, Project Veritas is a long standing astroturf organization which claims to expose liberal bias in media with sting operations-- basically they send in actors faking stories, and take audio recordings of the fakers telling their story to and conversing with the appropriate people working in mainstream media. Its true purpose, however, is to push an extreme conservative agenda. Their process is not meant to get a false liberal-pandering story published to prove their point; it's actually to acquire audio recordings which are heavily and shamelessly edited to make their actors look good and the unfortunate media person who conversed with them look bad.

8 hours ago, Candescence said:

So, about the Wohl/Burkman dumbass conspiracy... It gets dumber and even more hilarious.

 

Now they're becoming Looney Tunes characters. No really, this reads like a gag from Looney Tunes.

To call this a comedy of errors is an understatement.

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Whelp, early voting has closed in most states or will close today. We are in the final stretch at last and have more of an idea of the election. The verdict? ...still way too close to call pretty much everywhere. Every vote (or enough people voting one way, rather) still can make a difference.

The peril of looking too much into early voting is that it's possible they are just people who would have voted on Election Day. So higher Republican turnout (which is the case in a lot of places, contrary to the common wisdom that Democrats rely more on the early vote) could just mean lower Republican turnout on Tuesday.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/02/blue-wave-arizona-democrats-see-major-surge-early-voting-turnout/1860936002/

In Arizona, Republicans usually lead by 12% in midterm early votes. They are leading by only 8%. That 4 percent shift is more than enough to change the outcome of many key races.

There is a strong possibility a Democrat will win, but Jon Kyl will step down as a Senator days before the Democrat takes office, allowing the outgoing Governor to appoint a further right Republican.

Now that McCain is gone, there's a serious chance the GOP Senate will pass an ACA repeal in 2019. We can only hope the House flips so that it has no chance in going anywhere.

https://www.news-press.com/story/news/2018/11/02/record-early-vote-florida-offers-good-news-democrats-and-gop/1857263002/

Florida has good news for both parties. Democrats are hitting records, but the GOP still leads. 4.1 million Floridians have early voted compared to 3.1 million in the last midterm.

However, evidence points to independent voters having a Democratic lean. Florida will remain nailbiting into the wee hours of Tuesday night.

There is always warning, however, that nothing is over until the polls close: 2016 had Democrats way ahead of the GOP in early voting, but the GOP swamped the polls on the actual day that it gave Trump the state. If you have not voted yet, please do so.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/30/18037872/texas-voting-machine-hart-eslate-voting-ballot-switch-problems

Some reports on the Texas voting machine issue. It just old, overly sensitive technology rather than foul play in all likelihood. The ballots also tend to get switched either way due to how the glitch works, and from what can be seen, the malfunctioning machines are a tiny portion of the total. It is extremely unlikely that the issue, while concerning, will change the results.

Besides being an argument to modernize the voting machines, it also speaks to the issues of not having a paper trail when voting machines are in use.

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In A few things

1.churches or most have always had security though syngouges and churches are a tad different. But yous usually see it more in a mega church.  it's not new

2 . I wasnt going to vote but my folks finally convinced me but I told them I really hate the fear people are putting out to vote. Never have I seen so many people practically begging on their knees for people to vote this year

3. Some positive news in a way. Though a lot of shootings its nice to me to see armed cizitens protecting other aka responsible gun owners https://whnt.com/2018/10/29/police-masked-gunman-killed-by-birmingham-mcdonalds-customer/

I still have hope for a third party one day

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1 hour ago, Meta77 said:

In A few things

1.churches or most have always had security though syngouges and churches are a tad different. But yous usually see it more in a mega church.  it's not new

2 . I wasnt going to vote but my folks finally convinced me but I told them I really hate the fear people are putting out to vote. Never have I seen so many people practically begging on their knees for people to vote this year

3. Some positive news in a way. Though a lot of shootings its nice to me to see armed cizitens protecting other aka responsible gun owners https://whnt.com/2018/10/29/police-masked-gunman-killed-by-birmingham-mcdonalds-customer/

I still have hope for a third party one day

Don't. Seriously, just... Don't get your hopes up.

A third party isn't happening unless the US electoral system is changed to preference voting or proportional. The current system makes it basically impossible for third parties to gain any kind of clout outside of highly unusual circumstances.

The last time a third party gained any kind of clout was when Teddy Roosevelt split from the Republicans and ran for president under a third party banner, and even then he didn't win, but he was popular enough to get second place and more votes than the Republican nominee, Willam Howard Taft. But again, those was significantly unusual circumstances, spearheaded by a former US president who was very popular, but even then it shows how third parties can be a problem for one side of the political spectrum, as the Republican vote was split and allowed the Democrats to win.

Just vote for the party you prefer and advocate for electoral reform. You have a democratic duty to vote, don't waste it.

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