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‘President’-‘elect’ Pussygrabber is illegitimate and should be boycotted

Updated below (on Wednesday, January 18, 2017)

It speaks volumes about the Repugnican (Tea) Party that since (but not including) 1988, its presidential candidate won the popular vote only one time (in 2004). This is a weak political party that should have been polished off long ago, and it still exists only because of the ineptitude and the cowardice of the Democrats. Thankfully, there is a good chance that Putin puppet “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber finally will do the job that the Democrats never did: destroy the Repugnican Party as we know it.

“The number of Democratic members of Congress saying they will boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday has increased to 26,” the BBC reports today, the highest count that I’ve seen thus far, but the BBC doesn’t list them all. (Yahoo! News apparently lists all or most of the boycotters here.)

The boycott apparently was jump-started* by Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ correct pronouncement this past week that Donald J. Trump is an illegitimate president (which of course drew the very predictable, very immature El Trumpo’s return fire on the very presidential platform that is Twitter).

Rep. Lewis cited Russia’s having tried to influence the presidential election as the source of Pussygrabber’s illegitimacy, but to that I would add the fact that Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, making him, in that sense, even more illegitimate than was “President” George W. Bush, who in 2000 lost the popular vote by almost 544,000 votes.

Of course the Repugnican Teatards aren’t at all concerned that Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 million, aren’t concerned that the loser “won.” They weren’t concerned when this happened in 2000, either, because the Repugnicans are fascists, and fascists never care whether or not they actually win the most votes; they care only about taking power, with or without the consent of the majority of the American people.

This is why I also call these fascists traitors. They aren’t individuals who act in good faith with whom I simply disagree on politics, ethics and morality; they are actively anti-democratic and as such they are the enemy to all of us who actually value democracy, who believe that merely paying lip service to democracy isn’t nearly enough.

To attend “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s inauguration ceremony on Friday is to give him, at least tacitly, legitimacy that he does not have, and to give the dint of legitimacy to an unelected, treasonous fascist like Pussygrabber is to work against the nation’s best interests, whether one intends to do so or not.

(Those who argue that they are attending the inauguration ceremony in order to honor the office of the presidency rather than to endorse, by their presence, the specific individual who is taking over the Oval Office on Friday are trying to have it both ways — but they cannot. Their presence indeed will give Der Fuhrer Trump the appearance of legitimacy that he does not have and indeed will serve only to further normalize the infantilism, fascism and treason that are El Trumpo’s most prominent traits.)

To boycott All Things Pussygrabber isn’t to be a sore loser, since Pussygrabber didn’t actually win, but actually lost the election. To boycott Der Fuhrer Trump, then, is to be a sore winner.

Just as I never considered George W. Bush to be the legitimate president of the United States of America, I never will consider Donald J. Trump to be the legitimate president.

If the majority of the American voters had actually selected these inept fascists, perhaps I could get over it, but both inept fascists lost the popular vote and both had significant, extra-democratic help from others.

Bush Jr. had help from his brother Jeb!, who was then governor of the pivotal Electoral College state of Florida that Bush Jr. “won” also with the help of then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who just coinky-dinkily also had been on the committee to see Bush Jr. elected in Florida (no conflict of interest there!).

And, of course, the coup de grâce was when the “justices” of the U.S. Supreme Court who had been appointed by Repugnican presidents voted to stop the recount in Florida — by so doing to install Bush Jr. into the White House, the wishes of the majority of the American voters be damned.

All of this brazen corruption and these extra-democratic political machinations, yet we commoners were expected to accept George W. Bush as the legitimate president of the United States of America.

Ditto for Donald J. Trump, even when it’s evident that probably for the first time in our nation’s history, another nation — and historically (and presently) an enemy nation — probably was instrumental in helping their chosen Manchurian candidate “win.”

This is treason, and those who cooperate with “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber in any way are complicit in this treason.

No true patriot could support Donald J. Trump in any way, even by “just” attending his inauguration.

P.S. I have e-mailed my two California U.S. senators and my U.S. representative and asked all of them to boycott Friday’s inauguration ceremony. I encourage you to do the same, even if you think there’s no way in hell that any of your representatives to D.C. will do so.

While it’s most likely that none of my three D.C. representatives will boycott the inauguration, the most likely to do so, it seems to me, is the newly minted Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who has been pretty good on civil rights. (Harris already has said that she will vote against Alabama U.S. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for U.S. attorney general.)

My other U.S. senator, “Democrat” Dianne Feinstein, is fairly worthless, and I expect little to nothing from her.

My U.S representative isn’t much better than is Feinstein, and I’d be shocked if she were to boycott, because that would be way too bold and courageous for her, as it would be for Feinstein.

I am glad and proud to see, however, that several U.S. representatives from California are joining the boycott.

Update (Monday, January 16, 2017, 9:20 p.m. PST): Slate.com now reports that 35 members of Congress won’t attend the inauguration on Friday, and lists them all.

I am pleased to see that new to the growing list of boycotters is Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, whom I still support for the new chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Still no U.S. senator has said that she or he won’t attend the inauguration, and while 11 U.S. representatives on Slate.com’s list of 35 boycotters are from my home state of California, where Billary Clinton on November 8 beat Pussygrabber by about two to one, my U.S. representative (Doris Matsui) isn’t on Slate.com’s list….

Update (Wednesday, January 18, 2017): Now more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are boycotting Friday’s inauguration ceremony. No U.S. senator thus far has had the cajones to do the right thing and boycott. (The senators are D.C. elites, you see.)

Speaking of D.C. elites, as was entirely predictable, my lame U.S. representative, “Democrat” Doris Matsui, has chosen retaining her status as a D.C. elite over doing the right thing, and of course she will attend the inauguration.

“I love my country,” Matsui said lamely, like a junior high school student. “And our country is so important and critical in the world. I thought that my personal feelings about Trump should not prevent me from showing support for our democracy.”

No, she’s just showing up to show her support for election theft, treason and fascism. Because she loves her country.
(“It’s a serious occasion, the peaceful transference of power,” Matsui said of the inauguration ceremony, as though she were teaching civics to kindergarteners. “The rest of the world is watching, too. I think it’s important for us to look as unified as we can because we have to look forward.”
Just: Wow. “Looking” “unified” is the most important consideration here? No, cooperating with fascism is cooperating with fascism. This is why the “Democrats” lose: they continually sell out their base to the right in the name of high-mindedness while the Repugnican Tea Party never returns that favor. “Opposition party” isn’t in the DINOs’ vocabulary.

Speaking of which, Pussygrabber spokesnake Sean Spicer, like Matsui, also calls the inauguration ceremony a “peaceful transfer of power,” because we Americans all must be peaceful, you see, even though yet another presidential election has just been stolen. Peacefulness and the appearance of unity, you see, are far more important than are fair elections in which the winners of the most votes actually take office and in which enemy foreign nations don’t interfere.)

I didn’t vote for Matsui in November because of her blindly obedient, elitist support for her fellow DINO Billary Clinton, who obviously was the wrong presidential candidate to put forth in 2016, and I don’t see myself casting a vote for the Trump-loving, simple-minded, D.C. elitist, sellout Matsui ever again.
Update (Wednesday, January 18, 2017): Good Morning America now puts the count of boycotting U.S. representatives at a full 60 and lists them all. (Of course no Repugnican Tea Party U.S. representative dares to boycott Der Fuhrer Donald’s installation.)
There are 194 Democrats in the House of Representatives, so 60 of them boycotting means that 31 percent of the House Dems are boycotting. And 60 representatives is 14 percent of the full House of Representatives, which has 435 members in all.
*The BBC reports that the first member of U.S. Congress to announce his or her boycott of Pussygrabber’s inauguration was Illinois U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, last month, but apparently the boycott didn’t catch fire until Rep. Lewis announced that he also would boycott.

Kudos to Rep. Gutierrez for having gone first in doing the right thing! I wish that he were my U.S. representative!

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On Russia, we’re not ‘moving on’

Depite “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s personally convenient edict that it’s “time for the country to move on to bigger and better things,” the Russian hacking allegations won’t go away, and that’s a great thing.

To me, the biggest sign that Russia did at least try to help Donald J. Trump become U.S. president by at least meddling in the politics of the 2016 presidential election is that “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber hasn’t remained neutral in the midst of these allegations against Russia, but surreally consistently has defended Russia — against the U.S. intelligence community.

Some — including Pussygrabber, of course — are arguing that the U.S. intelligence community got the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction story wrong, so the U.S. intelligence community must also be wrong about the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

But they conveniently forget or intentionally exclude (or, to be charitable, they never knew) the fact that the also-unelected, also-White-House-stealing BushCheneyCorp wanted to invade Iraq for the war profiteering (such as for Darth Dick’s Halliburton’s no-bid war contracts) and to turn Iraq’s oil over to Big Oil.

Therefore, the unelected Bush regime heavily pressured the U.S. intelligence community to “find” “evidence” of Iraqi WMD in order to justify the war that it wanted. Under the unelected Bush regime, the U.S. intelligence community was not free and independent; its members understood that to keep their jobs, they must submit to the unelected Bush regime’s corrupt and ultimately treasonous arm-twisting.

(Of course, when the Iraqi WMD story turned out to be uber-bullshit, as it was clear all along that it was — it was clear from Day One that it [along with “revenge” for 9/11] was to be an excuse to invade and take over Iraq — the unelected Bush regime called the U.S. intelligence community grossly incompetent.)

I’m hardly the biggest fan of the U.S. intelligence community, given the revelations that the U.S. government spooks have been spying on all of us, in blatant violation of our rights under the U.S. Constitution, and yes, the he-said, he-said of the Russian hacking allegations can be confusing, but when you have conflicting reports, you have to go with what’s most likely.

And what’s most likely is that Russia is guilty as charged.

Reports The Associated Press today:

America’s top intelligence official said [today] that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America’s 2016 presidential election but stopped short of using the explosive description “an act of war,” telling lawmakers such a call isn’t within the purview of the U.S. intelligence community.

In a joint report that roiled the presidential campaign last fall, the Homeland Security Department and the intelligence community said the U.S. was confident of foreign meddling, including Russian government hacking of Democratic e-mails.

In its assessment, the intelligence community has said Moscow interfered to help Republican Donald Trump win.

“We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement than we did on the 7th of October,” James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the GOP-led Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pressed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on whether the actions constituted an “act of war,” Clapper said that was “a very heavy policy call” more appropriate for other entities in the U.S. government to decide.

Clapper pushed back against a barrage of criticism leveled against U.S. intelligence agencies by Trump in recent days and the president-elect’s apparent embrace of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

During an exchange with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Clapper said “there is an important distinction here between healthy skepticism” and “disparagement.” He said the intelligence community is an organization of human beings and isn’t perfect. But he said U.S. spy agencies also don’t get the credit they deserve for foiling terrorist plots and other successes too secret to discuss.

Clapper said Assange is “holed up” in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, unable to leave without being arrested for breaching his bail conditions. Swedish authorities have investigated Assange for a possible rape, which he has denied.

Assange has “put people at risk” by leaking classified information, Clapper added.

President Barack Obama has received a report on the Russian interference and other foreign meddling in the U.S. election, according to Clapper. He and other senior U.S. intelligence officials said Russia poses a major threat to U.S. government, military, diplomatic and commercial operations. [Emphasis mine, because this is in rather stark contract to Pussygrabber’s contention that Russia is our friend.]

Clapper said lawmakers will be briefed on the Russian hacking report next week and an unclassified version is tentatively scheduled to be released to the public shortly after that.

CIA Director John Brennan said in a Dec. 16 message to employees that the FBI agreed with the agency’s conclusion that Russia’s goal was to support Trump in the election. Brennan wrote that he also had spoken with Clapper and said “there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.”

Clapper [today] declined to discuss whether Russia’s interference was aimed at backing Trump win. But he said Russia’s hacking “did not change any vote tallies.”

McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services committee, said “every American should be alarmed” by Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. There is “no escaping the fact that this committee meets today for the first time in this new Congress in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on our democracy,” McCain said.

The hearing comes a day before Trump receives a briefing by the CIA and FBI directors — along with Clapper — on the investigation into Russia’s alleged hacking efforts.

Trump has criticized their findings and even seemed to back Assange’s contention that Russia did not provide him with hacked Democratic e-mails.

But in new tweets early [today], Trump backed away from Assange. Trump blamed the “dishonest media” for portraying him as agreeing with WikiLeaks founder, whose organization has been under criminal investigation for its role in classified information leaks. “The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!” Trump wrote.

In fact, Trump has been dismissive about the certainty of the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian hacking with a reminder of past failures, specifically their reporting on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in the lead-up to the war.

Since then, Trump has derided the intelligence profession on Twitter, which has been widely reported by The Associated Press and other news organizations.

Appearing before the Armed Services Committee were Clapper; Marcel Lettre, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence; and Adm. Michael Rogers, National Security Agency chief and the top officer at the U.S. Cyber Command.

Obama struck back at Moscow in late December with penalties aimed at Russia’s leading spy agencies, the GRU and FSB, that the U.S. said were involved. The GRU is Russia’s military intelligence agency. The FSB is the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

But Trump easily could rescind the sanctions. So far, he has publicly refused to accept the conclusion that Russia is responsible for the attacks. Trump this week escalated his criticism of U.S. intelligence professionals, such as Clapper, by tweeting, without evidence, that an upcoming briefing on the suspected Russian hacking had been delayed until Friday, and said, “perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

Intelligence officials said there had been no delay.

The penalties imposed by Obama came after he pledged a “proportional” response to the hacking of the Democratic Party and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. E-mails stolen during the campaign were released in the final weeks by WikiLeaks.

Again, “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber sorely needs to sort out his allegiance — whether it’s to the American people, the majority of whom voted for Billary Clinton, not for him (Billary earned 48 percent of the popular vote to Pussygrabber’s 46 percent, which is a lead of more than 2.8 million popular votes), or to Russia’s Gangster in Chief Vladimir Putin. (“Under Putin’s leadership, Russia has scored poorly on both the Democracy index and the Corruption index,” understates Wikipedia.)

I’m not sure what Repugnican Sen. John McCain’s motivation is in holding on to the Russian thing like a pit bull — I’m not sure if he’s motivated by pure, old-school, Cold-War-era American nationalism or by anger and frustration that the likes of Pussygrabber actually became U.S. president under the aegis of the Repugnican Party when he lost his presidential race in 2008 to the upstart from nowhere Barack Obama, or some mixture of the two — but whatever McCain’s motivation is, I’m glad that he’s doing it.

I mean, McCain’s proclamation that there is “no escaping the fact that this committee meets today for the first time in this new Congress in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on our democracy” certainly seriously calls “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s legitimacy into question, and I’m rather stunned that any Repugnican on Capitol Hill actually would do that, would actually put the good of the country before the Repugnican Party.

McCain’s having been a fixture in the U.S. Senate and within the Repugnican Party never has felt anything like a benefit until now.

All signs point to the Putin-led Russia having done its best to install Pussygrabber into the White House in a quid pro quo. (“President” Pussygrabber would allow Russia to do as it pleases throughout the world and would work to ease all sanctions on bad actor Russia.) That would mean that Donald J. Trump is a fucking traitor and that yes, Russia engaged in an act of war.

No, I’m not calling for the prosecution and/or impeachment of Pussygrabber for treason and/or a U.S. declaration of war against Russia — not yet.

But left-wingers should get their heads out of their asses and recognize that the idealized socialist Russia of yore is no more. Russia is now run by gangsters like Putin, and they don’t have the interests of the United States of America in mind.

War sucks, and a war with Russia is a poor idea, but allowing Russia to control the U.S. via its puppet in “President” Pussygrabber is a poor idea, too.

In the meantime, yes, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party should continue to suffer the consequences of the contents of the leaked e-mails. The content of those e-mails does matter, and, indeed, several DNC big wigs, including slimebag Debbie Wasserman Schultz, stepped down after the e-mails revealed that they colluded to benefit Billary Clinton and to harm Bernie Sanders.

But perhaps a reformation of the DNC was going to happen anyway, hacked DNC e-mails or not. The Clinton era is over, mostly because of Billary’s Al Gore-like “loss” on November 8, but also, methinks, because the November 8 election proved that Clintonism — this center-right bullshit that throws actual progressives under the bus and kisses the asses of Repugnicans in order to try to get their votes when they’re never going to vote for anyone using the label of “Democrat” anyway — can’t win presidential elections today, because no one is excited by DINOs/center-right sellouts except for DINOs/center-right sellouts. And there aren’t enough of them to win a presidential election, as November 8 demonstrated amply.

Under Clintonism on November 8, many if not most actual progressives stayed home or didn’t vote for president or voted for someone else for president (like I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the only progressive presidential candidate who was listed on my ballot), and of course when given the choice of Repugnican Lite Billary or Repugnican Pussygrabber, those who lean Repugnican voted for Pussygrabber.

The Democratic Party now belongs to progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Indeed, a recent poll showed that 44 percent of Democratic and independent voters would be excited by a Sanders run in 2020 and 34 percent would be excited by a Warren run in 2020. Forty-three percent would be excited by a Joe Biden run in 2020 and only 23 percent would be excited by Billary giving it a third try in 2020.

Sixty-six percent said they’d prefer “someone entirely new” running for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020, but who the fuck would that be, exactly? Obama has sucked all of the oxygen from the room for the past eight years and so the Democratic presidential-wannabe bench is pretty thin.

But I digress.

Yes, the hacked DNC e-mails easily could have swayed the election to Trump. Don’t get me wrong — I, for one, never, ever, ever was going to vote for DINO Billary anyway, but I surmise that the e-mails’ revelations induced many Berners who otherwise might have held their noses, taken an anti-emetic and actually voted for Billary to decide not to vote for Billary.

It’s impossible to tell how much the hacked DNC e-mails affected the November 8 election — they might (or might not) have been enough to cost Billary the critical Rust-Belt states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, which all together she lost by fewer than 100,000 votes, costing her the Electoral College* — but nonetheless, it’s the thought that counts; even trying to influence/interfere with another nation’s election (something that the U.S. has tried to do to other nations) is indeed an act of war.**

And it’s interesting, and perhaps if not probably telling, that no Repugnican National Committee hacked e-mails ever were released.

Again: All signs thus far point to Russia’s guilt and to Team Trump’s treason in a quid pro quo arrangement with Vladimir Putin, and we should proceed from there. We endanger ourselves if we don’t.

*That said, of course Billary didn’t campaign nearly well enough as she should have in the Rust-Belt states. Indeed, the presidential-election post-mortem is that Team Billary apparently believed that they had the Rust-Belt states in the bag (Wisconsin and Michigan, for instance, had gone to the Democratic presidential candidates since the 1980s) and thus didn’t need to campaign much in those states. Indeed, mind-blowingly, Billary made not one general-election campaign stop in Wisconsin.

**Of course, most if not all of the other nations in whose elections the U.S. has meddled haven’t had the ability to win a war against the U.S.; the U.S. usually is sure to pick on significantly weaker victims. Taking on Russia would be a whole new level, of course.

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Green Party’s Jill Stein to the rescue with push for three-state recount

Updated below (on Friday, November 25, 2016)

Although on November 8 she garnered only around 1 percent of the presidential vote — and although she was shit and pissed upon mercilessly by the shameless, anti-democratic, Democrat-in-name-only, “feminist” Billarybots — two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein (shown above) is pushing for a recount in three battleground Rust-Belt states that some experts say Billary Clinton might actually have won: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And thus far Stein has raised more than $4.3 million for the recount effort while Team Billary, of course, has done exactly nothing.

As has been reported for the past day or two or three, “A group of election lawyers and data experts has asked Hillary Clinton’s campaign to call for a recount of the vote totals in three battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — to ensure that a cyberattack was not committed to manipulate the totals.”

Deadlines for requesting — and paying for — recounts in these three states are quickly approaching, with Wisconsin’s deadline being tomorrow, according to The Associated Press.

Just as Al Gore essentially rolled over and played dead apparently in order to stay “above it all” (my words) in 2000 when George W. Bush & Co. blatantly stole the White House (with a deficit in the popular vote of more than 500,000), thus far Team Billary similarly pussily hasn’t requested any recount, of course (and the deficit in the popular vote this time thus far is more than 2 fucking million).

To the potential rescue has come Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who, although of course no recount will put her in the White House, has the standing to request recounts in these states because she appeared on their November 8 ballots.

It’s quite possible that the recounts will turn up nothing, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they turned up some surprising shit. Malfeasance or “innocent error” (my words) certainly would explain how the pussy-grabbing Donald J. Trump “beat” Billary Clinton in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, when Wisconsin hadn’t gone to a Repugnican since 1984, Michigan hadn’t gone to a Repugnican since 1988, and ditto for Pennsylvania.

As of this writing, Stein has raised more than $4.3 million in donations for recount efforts in the three states.

Establishmentarians are scoffing, of course, because, just as we were supposed to do in 2000, we commoners are just supposed to shut the fuck up while the White House possibly has been stolen yet again. We’re certainly not supposed to point out that it’s possible that a presidential election still can be stolen, because such information is inconvenient and possibly even — gasp! — unsettling!

Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania together have 46 electoral votes. Should it turn out that Billary actually won them, that would boost her current electoral vote count from 232 to 278 — meaning that she, not Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, won the Electoral College.

Even if it turns out that just one of these three states actually has flipped to Billary, it it puts the entire presidential election into question (as if Billary’s 2-million-plus popular-vote lead hasn’t done that already!).

The recounts are worth it. At the very least, presumably they’d give us some degree of insight into how much we can — or cannot — trust our presidential elections.

I’ve given $20 to the recount effort; I encourage you to give to the effort too if you can.

Stein’s recount fundraising page right now says that the cost of the Wisconsin recount has been covered through the donations received thus far, and says that the recount request deadlines are tomorrow for Wisconsin, Monday for Pennsylvania, and Wednesday for Michigan.

This thing is worth a shot. Democracy — true, actual democracy — is worth it.*

Update (Friday, November 25, 2016): Politico reports that today Jill Stein filed her recount petition in Wisconsin.

Interestingly, though, the Politico writer, a Zach Montellaro, apparently can’t help himself from editorializing throughout his “reportage.” He notes that Stein “barely [made] the 5 p.m. EST deadline,” as though that were relevant (it would have been newsworthy had she missed the deadline), and he feels it important to note all of the fundraising webpage’s changes and updates, even though this (the plan to request a three-state recount) has been a rather fast-moving and quickly changing last-minute development — and even though it’s unprecedented, to my knowledge.

Montellaro also used this slanderous language in his “reportage”: “On the back of a debunked fear of election tampering in key swing states, the Green Party presidential candidate raised nearly $5 million to fund a recount effort.”

“Election tampering in key swing states” has not been debunked, not with actual physical evidence, and while Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com widely has been quoted as having thrown cold water on the idea that some swing states’ reported vote totals are wrong, fivethirtyeight.com actually concluded thusly:

… It’s possible nonetheless that the election was hacked, in the sense that anything is possible. (And the best hackers are experts in erasing their tracks.)

Maybe hackers knew which control variables we’d look at and manipulated the vote in a way that it would look like it was caused by race, education and population driving different voting preferences.

Maybe hackers didn’t manipulate the share of votes in individual counties, but rather the turnout, increasing the number of votes in counties likely to favor one candidate or another.

Maybe some irregularities at the county level in early Wisconsin vote-counting are signs of wider problems. Maybe we’d find something if we dug down to the precinct level, or if we looked at other states with mixed voting systems.

But at a time when the number of voters without confidence in the accuracy of the vote count is rising, the burden of proof ought to be on people claiming there was electoral fraud.

The paradox is that in our current electoral system, without routine audits, seeking proof requires calling for a recount, which in itself can undermine confidence in the vote.

Fivethirtyeight.com got it right there until it totally pussed out at the end for whatever reason or reasons (knee-jerk, self-serving establishmentarianism, apparently, but who knows?).

“The burden of proof ought to be on people claiming there was electoral fraud,” but when they don’t have access to the voting system equipment, computers, ballots, etc. — which are in the sole possession of local governmental entities — how, exactly, can they prove their allegations without being in possession of the physical evidence?

And which is more important: “confidence in the accuracy of the vote count” (which easily could be just blind confidence) or a good reason to have confidence in the vote?

There apparently is a widespread belief (which has persisted at least since the 2000 theft of the White House) that it’s more important to have quick election results that aren’t questioned — you know, so that we don’t “undermine confidence in the vote” — than that we have election results that are accurate, and that’s incredibly fucked up.

Anyway, again, the subtext of Politico’s Montellaro’s “reportage” is to cast aspersions upon Stein, apparently. Among other things, he snidely notes that much of the money that Stein has been raising — more than $5.2 million thus far, per Stein’s recount fundraising webpage as I type this sentence — will go toward lawyers’ fees, as though it were Stein’s fault that you need lawyers to handle this shit and that lawyers, always the opportunists, frequently go on their legal-fee feeding frenzies.

I just gave another donation to the recount effort. That’s what unfair, hypocritical, usually establishmentarian attacks on people who have courage and who are trying to do the right thing often spur me to do.

P.S. Politico does make one interesting, fairly newsworthy note, which it saves for the very last paragraph; it reports that Jill Stein has raised more money for the three-state recount than she raised for her 2016 presidential bid.

I mean, that’s interesting. How relevant it is I’m not sure, but it’s interesting.

But it’s also interesting that enough people have questioned the “official” November 8 presidential election results that thus far they have donated more than $5 million to have the votes in three swing/Rust-Belt states recounted — and that they have done this outside of the partisan duopoly of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party. (On that note, it recently was reported on MSNBC that the Obama White House encouraged Billary Clinton to concede to Donald Trump quickly you know, in order to avoid ugliness, because, you know, it’s more important to avoid ugliness and to remain “above it all” than it is to have elections in which the winners, and not the losers, actually take office.)

Again: Democracy is worth it; $5 million is chump change toward what election integrity is worth.

Anyone who has read me for the past year-plus knows that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton, but while Team Billary and the Billarybots totally fucked Bernie Sanders out of the party’s presidential nomination, the fact remains that on November 8 Billary Clinton indisputably won the popular vote by a huge margin, and Trump’s reported wins in the traditionally Democratic Rust-Belt states look suspicious enough to double check.

*Jill Stein’s fundraising webpage for the recount effort gives this important background information:

In 2004, the Cobb/LaMarche [Green Party presidential] campaign demanded a recount in Ohio. Because of their efforts, an election administrator went to jail. We also exposed the profound problems with DRE machines [link is mine], which helped launch an election integrity movement. That provoked California to engage in a “top-to-bottom” review of [its] voting system, which culminated in the abolition of DRE machines.

The Green Party Platform calls for “publicly-owned, open source voting equipment and deploy it across the nation to ensure high national standards, performance, transparency and accountability; use verifiable paper ballots; and institute mandatory automatic random precinct recounts to ensure a high level of accuracy in election results.”

Election integrity experts have independently identified Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as states where “statistical anomalies” raised concerns. Our effort to recount votes in those states is not intended to help Hillary Clinton.

These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is. [Emphasis is mine.]

All money raised goes toward recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We hope to do recounts in all three states. If we only raise sufficient money for two, we will demand recounts in two states. If we only raise enough money for one, we will demand a recount in one state.

We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states.

If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.

Here are the filing fees and deadlines for each state:

  • Wisconsin: $1.1 million by November 25 [tomorrow]
  • Pennsylvania: $0.5 million by November 28 [Monday]
  • Michigan: $0.6 million by November 30 [Wednesday]

Those are filing fees alone. The costs associated with recounts are a function of state law. Attorney’s fees are likely to be another $2 million to $3 million, [and] then there are the costs of the statewide recount observers in all three states. The total cost is likely to be $6 million to $7 million. …

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