Sunday, July 22, 2018

Republican Traitors Are Making Sure The Doors Are Open For Russian Election Hacking In November

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Polling the other day was very clear: most normal Americans are very concerned about Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections-- and most Republicans are not concerned at all. Before we get into the current Russian tampering with the elections on behalf of the GOP, I just want to mention that during the American war of independence, Patriots weren't only facing the British, they were also fighting American conservatives who sided with the British.


During the American Revolution, colonists like Benjamin Franklin who supported republicanism and eventually, independence, came to be known as Patriots. Historians estimate that about 40-45% of white men were patriots. Those men who chose to continue supporting the king, like William Franklin, were called Loyalists, or Tories. They made up about 15-20% of the white male population. The last 35-45% never publicly chose sides.

Just like political affiliations today, loyalists, patriots, and neutrals came from all social and economic classes, and many people took sides based not on principle but on who they thought was going to win or which side would profit them the most personally. But then, as now, there were demographic trends.

Poor farmers, craftsmen, and small merchants, influenced by the ideas of social equality expressed in works like Thomas Paine's Common Sense, were more likely to be Patriots. So were intellectuals with a strong belief in the Enlightenment. Religious converts of the Great Awakening made strong connections between their faith and a developing sense of nationalism. Loyalists tended to be older colonists, or those with strong ties to England, such as recent immigrants. Wealthy merchants and planters often had business interests with the empire, as did large farmers who profited by supplying the British Army. Some opposed the violence they saw in groups like the Sons of Liberty and feared a government run by extremists.
The U.S. intelligence community has been warning for over a year that the Kremlin, successful at placing their candidate into the White House, intended to steal the 2018 congressional elections as well. There's no reason to think that Trump isn't encouraging them-- collusion on steroids. The Kremlin is not going to steal deep blue seats in New York City and Chicago and Los Angeles. That would be silly. But they may well put an electronic thumb on the scale in swing districts like ME-02, which we talked about earlier today. If I had to pick a dozen districts-- and I think there are at least 2 dozen Trump wants them involved with besides ME-02-- I'd expect the Kremlin to tamper with these:
CA-48- Rohrabacher v Rouda
NE-02- Bacon v Eastman
CA-25- Knight v Hill
PA-17- Rothfus v Lamb
TX-07- Culberson v Fletcher
Wi-01- Steil v Bryce
IL-06- Roskam v Casten
CA-45- Walters v Porter
TX-17- Sessions v Allred
NC-09- Harris v McCready
WA-05- McMorris-Rodgers v Brown
KY-06- Barr v McGrath
On Friday, Lily Hay Newman, writing for Wired, reported that "early signs of attack have already arrived-- just as the US intelligence community warned. And yet Congress has still not done everything in its power to defend against them." In fact, congressional Republicans refusing to spend more money on increasing election cyber security! The Democratic motion to protect our elections failed 182-232, every single Republican voting to leave the doors open for the Russians to do it again!
At the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, Microsoft executive Tom Burt said that phishing attacks-- reminiscent of those carried out in 2016 against Hillary Clinton's campaign-- have targeted three midterm campaigns this year. Burt stopped short of attributing those efforts to Russia, but the disclosure is the first concrete evidence this year that candidates are being actively targeted online. They seem unlikely to be the last.

“The 2018 midterms remain a potential target for Russian actors," said Matt Masterson, a senior cybersecurity adviser to DHS, at a Senate hearing last week. "The risks to elections are real."

Meanwhile, a trend of destabilizing denial-of-service attacks against election-related systems has also emerged, including one that caused a results-reporting website to crash during a municipal primary in Knox County, Tennessee, in May, along with two reported DDoS assaults on unnamed Democratic campaigns. DDoS attacks have become common enough that both Alphabet's Project Shield and Cloudflare's Athenian Project have been offering free DDoS protection to election-related groups, like political campaigns, state and local governments, and boards of elections.

Homeland Security assistant secretary Jeanette Manfra noted this week that DHS has so far not seen the volume of phishing activity and election infrastructure probing it recorded at this time in 2016. But that could simply mean that attackers have already done their reconnaissance, or have moved on to more refined techniques. And in addition to evolving threats, reports continue to surface new, critical vulnerabilities in areas like voting machines-- several of which have inadvisable remote-access software installed-- and voter data handling.

Top officials have made it clear that they are bracing for attacks. "The warning lights are blinking red again," said director of national intelligence Dan Coats last week during a talk at the Hudson Institute think tank. "Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack." On Thursday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein echoed this conclusion. "These actions are persistent, they are pervasive, and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy," Rosenstein said.

Despite these active, ongoing concerns, the Trump administration's mixed messages about the extent of the Russian threat have hampered momentum on defense. President Trump indicated on Monday that he still doubts that Russia attempted to disrupt US democracy in 2016, and on Wednesday he appeared to dismiss the current threat from Russia as well. He later walked back some of those statements, and the White House released a compendium of its work on election defense, stating, "President Donald J. Trump and his Administration are defending the integrity of our election system."

The National Association of Secretaries of State said in a pointed response on Tuesday, "Secretaries of State ... across the nation are working hard each day to safeguard the elections process ... We ask, however, the White House and others help us rebuild voter confidence in our election systems by promoting these efforts and providing clear, accurate assessments moving forward."

...Five states, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, and South Carolina, use only paperless voting machines. A bill to replace the machines in Georgia failed in March. Pennsylvania, which has paperless machines in some counties, has committed to eliminating them before the 2020 election. In a recent survey, only 13 states told Politico this week that they plan to use federal money to replace voting machines.

More money could be on the way soon; a promising bill specifically tailored to promoting election and voting defense, known as the Secure Elections Act, gained two cosponsors this week in the Senate, South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds and Florida Democrat Bill Nelson. But experts agree that realistically, no more funding will be available to states in time for the midterms. And in a Thursday House of Representatives vote related to a 2019 spending bill, Republicans shot down an effort by Democrats to appropriate another $380 million in election security funding. Republicans said that the March HAVA distribution was adequate and that states have the funding they need.

Analysts are clear, though, that federal funding is still urgently needed to prepare for 2020, even if it's too late for 2018 now. "There seems to be more of an understanding among lawmakers than there was before the 2016 election that Congress has a responsibility in this area," Norden says. "But some members have a mindset that paying for elections is the responsibility of the states. And while that’s defensible up to a point, I think it hasn’t quite sunk in for them that this is now a national security issue and Congress actually does have a responsibility in that arena."

In the final weeks before the midterms, experts have advised states to work on their contingency plans and emergency procedures so they can handle whatever problems or attacks arise. While widespread attacks on the midterms are not a foregone conclusion, there are plenty of signs that at least some have already started.

"We’re going to have to see what happens with the 2018 election-- will there be any meddling? Will there be any things that go awry in 2018?" says Marian Schneider, president of Verified Voting, a group that promotes election system best practices. "Because to the extent that things don’t go swimmingly, unfortunately, that may be an impetus for Congress on funding."

Schneider notes, as do many security analysts, that though election process issues are often mired in bureaucratic and political controversies, the stakes transcend party lines. "I want to underscore that this is not a political issue-- it’s not partisan," she says. "It really is a national security issue. This is about standing together shoulder to shoulder to protect our democracy against external threats. That’s what we have to do."
Tell it to the American Royalists (or Tories) in 1777 who shot Patriots in the back on behalf of the British. According to Wikipedia "When their cause was defeated, about 15 percent of the Loyalists (65,000–70,000 people) fled to other parts of the British Empire, to Britain itself, or to British North America (now Canada). The southern Loyalists moved mostly to Florida, which had remained loyal to the Crown, and to British Caribbean possessions, often bringing along their slaves."


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3 Comments:

At 2:34 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

Here we go. The realization that the Dems CANNOT re-take the House with Nancy Pelosi as the face of the party is starting to take hold. Rather than dump the real problem, the "Resistance" is all set to blame Russia or fascism or Jill Stein or whatever their latest wet dream is. Jesus H Christ, they lost to a carnival barker in 2016 and they still won't develop one policy that will differentiate themselves from the GOP. The Democrats are doomed. Thank God.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger samuel glover said...

Are the Dems doing ANY coherent voter registration/get-out-the-vote work? Because the time to do it is NOW, and from what I can tell of the campaigns that I've vounteered for -- they aren't doing shit.

We KNOW that Republicans are skilled in purging the voter rolls, i.e., depriving citizens of their right to vote. I know you can never overestimate the stupidity of Dem "leadership", but honest to God, are the dumb fucks really going to wait until October?!?!?

Oh, I know, the courts are going to deliver some miracle, via something something Russia treason something. I fear that Dem "strategy" really doesn't go much further than that.

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dems know that if they do nothing, the graft will continue to be shared with them. That is all they care about.

And some want to reclaim this corrupt party from within. SMH

 

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