Thursday, August 02, 2018

Are Republicans Purposely Leaving The Back Door Open For Russian Hackers?


Yesterday the Senate votes 50-47 to reject Patrick Leahy's amendment to send states an additional $250 million for election security. 50 voted YES and 47 voted NO, but 60 votes were needed to get by the Russian-GOP filibuster. 3 Republicans who might have voted for more election protection-- John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Richard Burr (R-NC) weren't there. Every Democrat and both independents + Bob Corker (R-TN) voted to break the filibuster.

I just want to point out that the Republicans who whine about Trump and sometimes about the Russian interference with our elections all voted to not allow a vote on this, including (an even dozen):
Susan Collins (ME)
Tom Cotton (AR)
Ted Cruz (TX)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Chuck Grassley (IA)
Ron Johnson (WI)
James Lankford (OK)
Mike Lee (UT)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Marco Rubio (FL)
Ben Sasse (NE)
[Those 12 senators should be tried for treason.] Lankford this morning: "While the President has been inconsistent in his tweets, and some of the messaging that he’s put on it, he’s the only one in the government that hasn’t been paying attention to this." What is wrong with these people? What is wrong with this political party?

A couple of days ago I had dinner with an old friend, Chris Larson, the Wisconsin state senator who led the Democrats out of the state when Scott Walker was trying to pass anti-union legislation a few years ago. He reminded me that although the state legislature passed a bipartisan appropriations bill for election protection, Scott Walker has sat on it and refused to spend a dime of it. Wisconsin... one of the states that was infiltrated by Russian hackers.
State positions to secure Wisconsin elections from cyber threats remain vacant months after being created, and state elections commissioners say Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is the holdup to filling them.

...National security officials have warned that malicious cyber actors, including those tied to the Russian government, this year may reprise or intensify their attacks on U.S. election systems.

The bipartisan state Elections Commission voted in April to create and fill six new staff positions, in addition to its existing 25.75 positions, in the lead-up to the 2018 elections. All six deal with election security and three intensively: Two are in elections IT and one provides security training to local election workers.

In May the commission gave information about the positions to Walker’s Department of Administration and tasked it with filling them. The department handles human-resources functions, including hiring, for agencies across state government.

So far that hasn’t happened. Democratic elections commissioner Mark Thomsen said there’s urgency to fill the positions; he hoped that would be done by the Aug. 14 primary election and well before the Nov. 6 general election.

Commission chairman Dean Knudson, a former Republican state lawmaker, also said the ball is in the Administration Department’s court.

“We want (the new positions) filled as soon as possible,” Knudson said. “When you’re creating a new position, it never happens as fast as you’d like.”

...“We’ve seen the recent Mueller indictment and the Russians’ ability to deconstruct our infrastructure,” Thomsen said. “Certainly as a commissioner, I’m concerned with what is happening.”

Democratic Assembly Leader Gordon Hintz, in an interview Thursday, questioned why the Walker administration hasn’t taken election security more seriously.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t expect more (hacking) attempts,” said Hintz, D-Oshkosh. “Why is this such a low priority?”

Walker last year vetoed a plan approved by Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as part of the state budget, to fill five elections staff positions. Walker said then that the commission “has been operating effectively with fewer staff.”

The elections commission moved ahead anyway earlier this year after landing a $7 million federal grant to pay for the new staff positions.

...National security officials recently have sounded the alarm about a possible reprise of the 2016 election attacks. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats earlier this week warned that Russia is likely to attempt it again. Coats, a former Republican U.S. senator, likened the situation to indicators observed by the U.S. intelligence community prior to the 9/11 terror attacks.

“I’m here to say the warning lights are blinking red again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack,” Coats said.
All of the most recent gubernatorial polls show Walker losing. Last week Emerson released a poll showing Evers way up in the primary-- by 20 points-- and then going on to beat Walker:

Maybe-- or a lot more than maybe-- Governor Walker hopes that if he doesn't do anything to stop the Russians from tampering with the election, they will fix it for him so he "wins" again, despite his tremendous and growing unpopularity in the state. What do you think?

Walker is just an ugly example. We all know who the real culprit is that enables this kind of thing. This morning, the Washington Post reported that "Two years after Russia interfered in the American presidential campaign, the nation has done little to protect itself against a renewed effort to influence voters in the coming congressional midterm elections, according to lawmakers and independent analysts... Russian efforts to manipulate U.S. voters through misleading social media postings are likely to have grown more sophisticated and harder to detect, and there is not a sufficiently strong government strategy to combat information warfare against the United States." The Post completely and naively played down the ability of the Kremlin to target voting systems claiming they "are more secure against hackers, thanks to action at the federal and state levels-- and that the Russians have not targeted those systems to the degree they did in 2016." Utter bullshit.

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At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are Republicans Purposely Leaving The Back Door Open For Russian Hackers?
Yes, yes they are.

At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of that Dirty Dozen list, Lindsey Graham stands out as the one always ready to make a bold statement and then wet his pants when the time comes to vote - the original feckless cunt!

At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How else are Republicans going to react to reports of a "blue wave"? If an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters and having an infinite amount of time can come up with Shakespeare, then just maybe the incompetents of the "democratic" Party can actually win an election and take power away from them. Can't have that! Wouldn't be prudent! They will take all possible steps to maintain their control over the nation, which is itself a give from the "democrats" who have done nothing to counter Republican excesses for several decades.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:43, in that regard, Graham = Dick Durbin on the other fascist party. But DWT calls him a 'live wire'??

Last time Durbin forgot hisself and spoke the truth about the Nazi agenda, he pulled a hammy and a groin during his apoplectic apology tour.

Only diff... graham never apologizes. And he has a drawer full of stuff from Fredrick's of Hollywood.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:25, they have nothing to fear. This is a carbon-copy of 2006. The Nazis won back congress by 2010. They can wait 2 cycles for the 'craps to screw the pooch again.

And every time the 'craps screw the pooch that badly, millions of their voters wave goodbye forever. So, in that regard, the Nazis almost NEED to take a 2-cycle break. Makes it that much easier to win perpetually when the 15 million from 2010 added to the 12-15 million from 2022 (inevitably) are lost to the 'craps forever. You don't need to remove voters from rolls nor suppress turnout when the 'craps do all that for you by being an ocean of pig shit.


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