Democrats are trying to stop Donald Trump’s inauguration by claiming Russian interference in the election, but the White House sees no evidence and Trump is now challenging the recounts, reports Joe Lauria.
By Joe Lauria
When the Clinton campaign said it would join the recount in three Rust Belt states narrowly lost to Donald Trump, it didn’t say its motive was overcoming the vote totals but instead to find out if there was “foreign interference” in the election.
“This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign,” wrote Clinton campaign counsel Marc Elias. “The U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials.”
During the campaign Hillary Clinton made no secret of where she thought that foreign interference might be coming from. She repeatedly blamed Russia for trying to sway the election.
When the Green Party’s Jill Stein launched her recount campaign in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania (the three states that gave Trump the victory), Stein’s announcement quoted her on her website as saying that because “foreign agents” had “hacked into party databases, private email servers, and voter databases in certain states, many Americans are wondering if our election results are reliable.” Stein’s page was then updated to eliminate reference to “foreign agents” in her quote.
But her recount petition filed in Wisconsin begins by saying “it was widely reported that foreign operators breached voter registration databases in at least two states and stole hundreds of thousands of voter records.” The petition then says the U.S. intelligence community is “confident” Russia was behind the hacks. There is “well-documented and conclusive evidence of foreign interference in the presidential race before the election … [that] call[s] into question the results and indicate the possibility that (a) widespread breach occurred,” Stein’s lawyers wrote.
In fact the intelligence community has never made public its evidence for independent computer experts to weigh in on. After the election, the Obama administration said it had no proof of Russian interference in the election tallies and that the results “accurately reflect the will of the American people.”
Citing Press Articles
Nevertheless, Exhibit A in Stein’s petition is an affidavit from Professor J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, who alleges that Russia hacked the election. Halderman took part in a conference call with the Clinton campaign last month trying to convince the campaign to seek a recount, which it only did after Stein launched her effort.
Exhibit B from Stein’s petition is an article from Wired Magazine about Russia’s alleged role in the hack. Exhibit C is a New York Times article quoting DellSecureWorks, a private security firm, saying Russia was behind the hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The company says Podesta clicked on a phishing link to gain access to his account. The Times relied on the company’s word that Russian spies were behind the phishing expedition, without also offering any proof that could be analyzed by other computer security experts.
Exhibits D through G — meaning all of Stein’s exhibits — are on alleged Russian hacking. One article is about an alleged attempted Russian hack of the 2014, post-coup Ukrainian election.
In her many media appearances since launching the recount campaign, Stein has carefully avoided mentioning Russia, or foreign agents, as she inadvertently did in her initial web posting. But her petition is about nothing else but Russia’s alleged hacking of the election.
Scott McLarty, the Green Party national media coordinator, told me in an email last week that the Green Party has “not taken a position on meddling by foreign agents.” Since then, top Green Party officials have distanced themselves from Stein, including her running mate, Ajamu Baraka.
“I’m not in favor of the recount,” Baraka told CNN. He said he told Stein “it was a potentially dangerous move” because it “would be seen as carrying the water for the Democrats.”
Margaret Flowers, the Green’s Senate candidate in Maryland, posted an open letter signed by several prominent party members saying, “While we support electoral reforms, including how the vote is counted, we do not support the current recount being undertaken by Jill Stein.”
The recount, however, does appear to have gotten under the skin of Donald Trump and his allies who, on Friday, went to courts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, seeking to stop any further examination of the votes. The challenges did not immediately stop the recounts but could create legal complications down the road.
Lobbying the Electors
Since recounts that overturn the vote totals seem unlikely, it appears the Clinton campaign’s Plan B is to use any evidence of tampering that it can pin on Russia to lobby electors to change their votes to Clinton when the Electoral College meets in state capitals on Dec. 19.
Trump won the electoral college 306 to 232. That means 38 Republican electors would have to be convinced to change their vote to Clinton to reach the required 270 to win the White House.
Finding evidence of hacking of election computers that can somehow be blamed on Russia could be crucial for the Clinton team in their effort to convince electors to change their vote.
Russia has been blamed in the U.S. for many things and though proof never seems to be supplied, it is widely believed anyway. It has been accepted as fact by American corporate media, for instance, that Russia invaded Ukraine and had a hand in shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17, though the supposed evidence is more argumentative than conclusive.
Emotional appeals to elector’s patriotism and defense of the American system against interference by Russia could make a persuasive argument, however.
At an event at Harvard University on Thursday, Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, repeatedly blamed Russia for hacking and tampering with the election. “Congress has got to investigate what happened with Russia here,” said Mook. “It is outrageous that a foreign aggressor got involved in our election.”
Robert Reich, labor secretary under President Bill Clinton and a Hillary supporter, argued that one reason the electors should flip to Clinton is to “stop foreign interference in an election.”
Quoting on article, he wrote on Facebook: “The Framers were extremely concerned about infiltration by rivals including Great Britain. In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton wrote that one major purpose of the Electoral College was to stop the ‘desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.’ He said that the college would, ‘Guard against all danger of this sort … with the most provident and judicious attention’ from the electors.”
Reich continued: “There’s incontrovertible evidence Russia interfered in the campaign by hacking the email accounts of top Democratic officials and cooperating with WikiLeaks’ parallel campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton campaign.” If such incontrovertible evidence exists, the Obama administration’s intelligence community has not shared it with the public.
Clinton operatives are also making her victory by more than 2 million popular votes part of their appeal to electors to switch sides.
Twenty-four states do not legally bind electors to the popular vote in their states. Elsewhere, electors face fines of about $1,000 if they vote against the will of the people of their states.
Laurence Tribe, a well-known and connected Democratic lawyer, has offered to defend pro bono any elector who breaks the law by changing their vote to Clinton. And there are plans to mount a constitutional challenge against the 26 states that legally bind the electors’ to their state’s popular vote.
Accompanying Media Campaign
The lobbying effort to blame Russia and get the electors to flip their votes is being accompanied by an intense media campaign.
In the announcement that the Clinton campaign would join the recount, campaign counsel Elias aligned the campaign with an unverified Washington Post article based largely on a shadowy, anonymous group that blamed a list of 200 alternative media sites and political groups for spreading Russian propaganda to influence the election, without providing any evidence.
“The Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the ‘fake news’ propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election,” Elias wrote.
A Huffington Post article said one of the eight reasons the electors should overturn the election is because “Russian covert action influenced the election.”
The staunchly pro-Clinton Daily Kos wrote that “Even if they never touched a voting machine, there’s absolutely no doubt: Russia hacked the election.”
If evidence of hacking is found in the recounts, the Clinton campaign would be greatly aided in lobbying electors with confirmation from the Obama administration that Russia was behind it. But on the day before the Clinton team joined the recount, the Obama administration appeared to throw a wrench into the plan to blame Russia.
The administration said it remained “confident in the overall integrity of electoral infrastructure, a confidence that was borne out,” adding: “As a result, we believe our elections were free and fair from a cyber-security perspective.”
The timing of that statement may have been intended to undermine Clinton as a split was reported between President Obama and Hillary Clinton over whether to have a recount.
Not satisfied with the administration’s conclusion, a group of Democratic senators on Thursday asked that information about Russian hacking should be declassified and released to the public.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded that the administration would take a look at the request. But he added that the intelligence community “did not observe an increase in malicious cyber-activity on Election Day from the Russians that was directed at disrupting the casting or counting of ballots.”
Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.
In a try-to- taste-the-difference election it doesn’t matter who wins. Of course, the U.S. would never try to undermine the democratic procedures of another nation. So what did Obama say to British voters before the Brexit referendum? On April 22nd this year the Guardian published an article under the headline: “Barack Obama urges UK voters to ‘stick together’ with EU”.
Most of the pro-remain U.K. corporate media published the same story.
Imagine the outrage had Putin ‘urged’ British voters to vote to leave the E.U. Perhaps the Russians hacked that too.
If I’m reading this right, they’re setting up an organization where Trump electors can secretly contact them for “support”. Nobody takes a risk until the magic number hits 38, at which time I presume somebody would start some sort of “protection” program for the newly minted heroes.
It took one juror to allow the South Carolina policeman to escape conviction. It only takes 38 contrary citizens to overturn a Presidential election. This number is larger than the 5 Supreme Court judges in 2000, but the principle is the same.
The Russia baiting is preposterous, disgraceful, and dangerous.
The real crimes are Donald Trump’s 1992-2004 bankruptcy scheme and his faked $915,729,293 claim of a personal tax loss. The casino losses were transferred to lenders, a.k.a. his “flounders,” prior to his 1995 carry loss claim. Ultimately 100% of those losses fell on the lenders. Trump used those losses to avoid personal income taxes past 2010 by his own admission.
Why should any Elector vote for a crook?
A very good question! We will see what they do. A have read that at least 10 of them, so far, have refused to vote for Trump. It should be very interesting, indeed.
Felonies matter. Publication of the one year of Trump tax returns on October 1st opened the door for analysis of Trump wrong doing. NJ Casino Control Commission docs and the Trump Hotel and Casino Resorts bankruptcy papers completed the data pool. And what comes out of this is felonies. One set appears to be a R.I.C.O. eligible investment scheme — all of $1.8 billion of it.
Trump is ugly painful. He is beyond hubris. Beyond rationality. For the Trump voters their political hero is crazier than anything they suspect today. Considering what opposition research turned up, Trump had to be crazy to run for the presidency. Weirdly the Dems avoided using it.
On the evidence at hand Donald Trump had gotten way with two major crimes over a 20 year period. Scot free. Yet he could not remain quiet. He had to put himself out there and invite opposition research. That analysis is nothing if not straightforward — a compliance analysis for one group of corporations. The crimes are a bankruptcy scheme and personal tax fraud.
The $915,729,293 was a valid business loss related to three Atlantic City casinos. However prior to Trump claiming this as a loss on his personal tax returns, this loss and its business risk had been transferred to lenders. All of it. Ultimately as part of Trump’s ongoing bankruptcy scheme fully 100% of this $915,729,293 and another $900,000,000 went down as lender losses. Not Trump personal losses. Not losses on the part of his investment feeders who were very well compensated. The Trump voters might as well have voted for Bernie Madoff, politics aside. (Sourcing: NJCCC public documents and Trump bankruptcy papers and singular tax returns.)
This is Trump rendered without hair drug and tanning chemicals:
The current Occupy Security flyer with sourcing:
This is not a joke. There is more and better evidence on Trump for these crimes than there ever was on Richard Nixon before the audio tapes came out. And Trump continued to use the faked tax loss to avoid income taxes well into statute of limitations.
Have an Independent Counsel replicate the Occupy Security compliance analysis. That’s a one-week task with NJCCC and the THCR 2004 bankruptcy data in hand.
John 8:32 King James Version (KJV) — “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” And if not, not.
There are obviously more than one reason why people are opposed to this recount. One is a fear that Hillary Clinton might become president and make the specter of war with Russia a reality. That is certainly cause for concern, but let’s not forget that many people rightly consider when it comes to Clinton and Trump there is no lesser evil. The prospects are ominous and cause for concern that war cannot be ruled out during a Trump presidency.
CounterPunch (dot org) has several articles in this weekend’s edition (December 2) related to Trump suggesting that we have as much to fear from a Trump presidency as we would from one with the Queen of Chaos in the White House.
Given Trump’s dispute with China occasioned by his phone call with Taiwan’s president, John Pilger’s article – “The Coming War with China” – is a must read.
Steve Horn’s essay on “Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers” indicates how much at risk the environment will be from Trump and his consiglieri at the EPA.
“Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?” by Dave Lindorff rings alarm bells about other Trump appointments.
There is a “Faithless Elector” movement afoot (complete with some deep-pocket lawyer who’ll defend those electors in court) to reject both of these sorry-ass candidates, for some third person (Kasich was one of those being considered). That would basically be the Electors telling the voters “hey you bone-heads, could you possibly do any worse than election 2016. We don’t think so.”
Unfortunately, I agree with you, Bill. There is no probable good outcome with either of these terrible candidates. Where’s the cane? Where’s the reset button?? Talk about vetting of candidates for the presidency…this cannot have been done in good faith for either of these candidates.
Greg Palast just wrote this about the reason for the recount:
“Nope, They’re Not Hunting for Russian Hackers
To begin with, the main work of the recount hasn’t a damn thing to do with finding out if the software programs for the voting machines have been hacked, whether by Putin’s agents or some guy in a cave flipping your vote from Hillary to The Donald.
The Green team does not yet even have the right to get into the codes. But the question of flipped votes is not the core of the work.”
Then why is 100% of Stein’s Wisconsin petition about alleged Russian hackers? And why in her FAQs on her web page is it written:
“Do you believe foreign hackers could have affected election results?
We are conducting these recounts because independent election experts have pointed to ‘statistical anomalies’ in the presidential election results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Experts who have studied our voting system for years have concluded many of our voting machines are hackable. Whether these machines were hacked by foreign or domestic agents **will be determined by using the mechanisms available to us** in each state we conduct a recount. Statistical anomalies could arise through other means, as well.”
So according to Stein this is precisely at least one thing that the recount is looking. I do not think Palast and Stein are communicating with each other.
Mr. Lauria, do not forget The Scrutineers. Without scrutineers from all parties paper ballots won’t help. I once worked the Canadian Federal Election, and scrutineers from all parties watched our every move from confirming the ballot box was empty to observing the end of the night count, which had to conform to the scrutineers tally. As long as the voter rolls are not corrupt, no funny business is possible.
Exactly, David! See my earlier comment above. The audits/recounts must be transparent and open to the public.
If the U.S. Presidential elections were left to me to decide how we should vote, I would use only paper ballots, and have the vote for president be held all on it’s own day, all by itself. Every state would follow rules set down by the Federal Government. Elections would be three months no more than six months long, and Citizens United would be overturned. To go the distance all presidential candidates would run as individuals under no party affiliation. These are some quick thoughts of my own. I’m sure many of you have even more and better ideas on how we should elect a president, so why then does America suck so badly at running presidential elections?
I agree with all of your recommendations, and then some. While there is obviously a lot of problems with our electoral system that cry-out for reform, one big reason America has sucked so badly at running presidential elections, as least since the 1990’s, is because that is when the “two” political parties took control of the so-called presidential debates and have been running our elections like a shoddy, vulgar, and eminently corrupt, 2-ring circus, ever since!
While the League of Women Voters administration of the debates was not perfect, it was light-years better than the disgrace we have had thrust upon us, since then, with the foxes “guarding” the chicken coop. What else would one expect, seriously?!
If they have communicated, then it sounds like most if not all of Stein’s communication “has carefully avoided mentioning Russia.” The petition exhibits and the initial “foreign agents” slip and removal statement sort of says it all. I belong to the GP so thanks for the updates.
As long as every county or municipality in the nation gets to decide what kinds of machines to use, how to count the ballots and how to recount them, the electoral system will remain a joke. No recount can inspire confidence, especially if it is done only in some close states (and only some counties) and not in all the close states. Until the federal government takes over federal elections and imposes one single standard, which should be paper ballots hand counted by humans with no machines involved (as it is still done in most countries) and with the same recount deadline, the American electoral system will remain a travesty.
Scrutineers from all parties at each polling place are essential, then paper ballots are foolproof.
I could not agree more, Joe. The only thing I would add is the requirement for routine, risk-limiting audits that are transparent and open to the public.
To clarify my comment above with the link to Mark Crispin Miller’s article. The table of results displayed and the analysis cited in the article was performed by Jonathan Simon, the author of “CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century”.
Stein seems to be playing the long game here. Already, the Green Party has gotten more media attention in the last week than it did during the campaign.
By going outside the Green Party to do this, the Party continues on, vocally opposing the idea of potentially “helping Clinton”, but with increased public attention.
Having personally acted as an observer in the last recount in Wisconsin, and followed it closely, I can attest that, while Dane County seems to have solid practices, Waukesha County is a major mess – an election integrity nightmare – and hopefully this will expose that mess to the world. (Ben Manski, Stein’s campaign manager, is undoubtably aware of that recount fiasco, as he is a Madison activist.)
To give you an idea, in the last Wisconsin recount, in Waukesha County, there were ballot bags so poorly sealed, that ballots could be removed without breaking the seal, there were bags where the seal number did not match the logs, there were ballot bags so overstuffed that they had ripped open and were duct-taped back together. Supposedly, over 98% of the voters in that county voted (in a non-presidential election), and many of the ballots only had a vote for the race being recounted. This was after the County Clerk of that county “found” several thousand votes after the original reporting (“coincidentally” flipping the results of the election, by just a large enough margin to prevent an automatic recount.) The candidate that the election was flipped to had publically stated that he was at the precinct that produced the most egregious chain-of-custody issues late into the night on election night.
For those who question why Stein did not try for a recount in New Hampshire, ask someone who has looked at election integrity issues, and you will find that New Hampshire uses paper ballots, handcounted with observers at the precinct level, and is seen as thus having the Gold Standard of verifiable elections.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, has an all electronic, all proprietary vite counting system and uses a single vendor, Command Central, which is based out of the same strip mall in Minnesota that Michelle Bachman’s campaign was based out of. It is a two petson, brother and sister company. The brother acts as salesman, and the sister is the programmer. She had been fired from her previous job for refusing to take an ethics exam. Their corporate logo is a eye in the pyramid where the eye is stylized into a c. (I really wish I was making this up!) This is the sole supplier of the vote counting machines for Wisconsin.
When they gota recent batch of machines, they had a public demonstration of them to show people how secure and easy to use they were. During the demonstration, as the head of the GAB (government accountability board, the department that oversees elections) was watching, a scruffy looking guy (who was a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow, a hacking group) hacked one of the machines right under the nose of the head of the GAB, without being noticed doing the hack.
Stein is not interested in helping Hillary, she is helping Democracy.
Politics is theatre, and she is playing it well. Looking at this only in the context of a single election is missing the point.
Exactly! Thank you for your very interesting and informative comments regarding Wisconsin and Waukesha County, John. You obviously get it! The sheer, blatant conflicts of interest are both astounding and appalling! “Proprietary code” in OUR voting machines, really??! And we are supposed to just roll over and accept this?? Never!!
Very well said, John, and very interesting.
Intriguing. If Jill Stein is doing this recount drive for the good of democracy then she needs help with her public relations of doing so. Possibly Jill Stein could separate her recount quest apart from Hillary’s cause, if more was said about her principles for her actions. I like Jill Stein, it would be great if she somehow came away from this news worthy recount business, being seen as the better person that she more than likely is, but for now she looks like a Clinton hack.
Actually, the election integrity experts first went to the Clinton campaign to urge them to request a recount, since one must be a presidential candidate in order to request one, The Clinton campaign declined. They then went to Jill Stein, who after carefully reviewing all of the evidence of discrepancies and irregularities, decided to join them. Please do not inject partisan politics into this recount initiative. It is about election integrity, accuracy and reliability and upholding our right to free, fair and transparent elections. As such, it is non-partisan.
That Jill Stein would sign on to someone else’s petition – $7 million raised overnight thereafter in its support! – makes me wonder if she was ever anything other than a fraud. Did she even read it?
I voted for her, hoping she’d draw 10% of the vote, knowing she had no chance of being elected.
I’ve been cured of Jill Stein. I never liked the Green mob, my opinion is unchanged.
That Jill Stein would sign on to someone else’s petition … makes me wonder …
Perhaps she was persuaded by the evidence presented to her by the security experts referred to in The Guardian article cited above, and she thought it might be a good idea to discover what really happened instead of wallowing in ignorance as so many Americans are inclined to do.
Up front, I want to make it clear that my concern is for the integrity, accuracy and reliability of our elections. Full stop. I and many other Americans have serious concerns regarding the accuracy, reliability, vulnerability to hacking, chain of custody of ballots/memory cards and auditability of the electronic voting machines being used in our elections. Many of us have been working on these problems and lobbying our Senators and Representatives to address these very important concerns for years, but to no avail,in most cases. In addition, many of us have filed affidavits with our county election boards, independent of Jill Stein, for a recount based upon these issues. My precinct in PA, for one, and Montgomery County overall, does not even have the capability of auditing our election results because there is no paper ballot (optical scanner or otherwise), much less a voter verified paper ballot, that can be audited or recounted. This is abysmal and totally unacceptable! It blatantly undermines our confidence in our electoral system with is supposed to be open and transparent to the public, but is not. This has created a very dangerous state of affairs. If we cannot trust the fairness and integrity of our elections, then ALL of the rest of our rights and liberties are in danger and at serious risk. This, in itself, is sufficient grounds to call for recounts and mandatory, routine audits.
The whole question of Russian hacking of the election is, I believe, a canard. It could be easily settled if the Obama administration’s intelligence community would declassify their very germane and important findings on this issue, based upon which Josh Ernest made the statement that there was no evidence of Russian involvement (i.e, they “did not observe an increase in malicious cyber-activity on Election Day from the Russians that was directed at disrupting the casting or counting of ballots.”). What about other foreign involvement or hacking? Nothing has been stated or asserted about that, but it cannot be automatically ruled out. Neither can hacking by domestic, U.S. agents, operatives or electronic voting machine vendors. Most voting machine companies are owned by Republicans, who donate large sums to the party and its presidential candidates. This situation does not instill confidence, to say the very least! I urge the administration to declassify and release the intelligence findings to the public in timely manner so that this dangerous and divisive issue can be settled quickly and definitively.
However, the most important issue that has not even been brought up here is the large disparity between the exit polls and the reported final election results, especially in the crucial battleground states (rust belt states) of PA, WI and MI, but also in NC, OH and FL. The deviations were highly significant, well outside the margin of error of the exit polls and ALL in Trump’s favor. There is something seriously amiss here that must be investigated and explained. See Mark Crispin Miller’s detailed analysis of the results showing this inexplicable “Red Shift”: http://markcrispinmiller.com/2016/11/exit-polls/. The same pattern can be observed in the exit polls vs. final results of the Senate races in PA, WI and MO. These highly suspect deviations must be investigated and explained to the voting public’s satisfaction, The only way to verify the accuracy of these results is with a recount or audit of the cast ballots. Unfortunately, routine, risk-limiting audits are not performed on our election results, as they should be. Businesses financial reports and records are routinely audited, as well as tax returns and other important data results. Why not our election results? Are they not important enough to be audited?? This situation is pathetic and cannot be tolerated in a supposedly “free” , “democratic” society.
As far as the question, “who won”, is concerned, let the chips fall where they may! But, to quote a favorite champion of the right, “Trust, but Verify”. That is all we are asking.
Many of us have been working on these problems and lobbying our Senators and Representatives to address these very important concerns for years, but to no avail,in most cases.
[L]obbying our Senators and Representatives to address these very important concerns. A waste of time without sufficient clout to overrule the oligarchs of both major parties who prefer a corrupt system that they can exploit for their own ends. The outcry after the 2000 election didn’t have any significant effect. It has been business as usual ever since. A majority of the American voters chose to keep the greater evil in office in 2004.
It blatantly undermines our confidence in our electoral system …
It is surprising, Donna, that someone with your intelligence has confidence in our electoral system.
Who said I have confidence in our electoral system? That is precisely why I and many others are working very hard to fight this corruption and force the system to address it by every legal, legislative and non-violent activist means that we can. If I may ask, what is your solution and are you doing about it?
I and many other Americans have serious concerns regarding the accuracy, reliability, vulnerability to hacking, chain of custody of ballots/memory cards and auditability of the electronic voting machines being used in our elections.
in sharp contrast to the vast majority of other Americans who accept the corruption of our system. They are like the Chicagoan who was interviewed after doubts were raised about voting in Chicago that gave JFK the presidency. He was asked how the people of Chicago could vote for such crooks. His response, “Because they are our crooks.”
“Because they are our crooks.”
That, or something similar, probably explains why so many people voted for Clinton and Trump.
But that’s just it. They have NOTHING to do with the people; one services the billionaire ruling-class Establishment, and the other is campaigning to become a card-carrying member-in-good-standing of said billionaire class (tired of slumming with local NYC mafia-types; stepping up to the good ole Anglo-Saxon racket of Tory Empire). They are their own crooks in service to high-class gangsters.
‘Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.’
– Margaret Mead
I have enormous respect for Jonathan Simon.
Unfortunately I cannot understand his tables.
What does “+Clinton [and other items marked with a + sign]; – Trump” mean, when “+Clinton” etc.does not occur in the tables?
My sources tell me the FBI hacked into Hillary’s emails. More important, WAY MORE IMPORTANT was what was in those and earlier hacked emails. Hillary wanted to back NATO up Putin’s nose so we could spend more money on a new Cold War. Some people found that dangerous.
WE CAME, WE SAW, SHE LOST, HAHAHAHAHA.
She lost all by herself.
Robert Reich, labor secretary under President Bill Clinton and a Hillary supporter, argued that one reason the electors should flip to Clinton is to “stop foreign interference in an election.”
And a more important reason for not flipping the electoral college vote is that Trump’s supporters, unlike the spineless legions in the Democratic Party, will take to the streets and render more chaos in the United States than we have now. They are more like Andrew Jackson than Jimmy Carter: “In a popular quotation that is believed to be apocryphal, President Andrew Jackson reportedly responded: “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” This derives from Jackson’s comments on the case in a letter to John Coffee, “…the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate,” (that is, the Court’s opinion because it had no power to enforce its edict).”
It is difficult to perceive how the flipping of votes by electors will stop foreign interference in our elections.
spineless legions in the Democratic Party?
Think the mute acceptance of Al Gore and the Democratic Party to the decision of the right wing of the supreme (?) court to give the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000.
And Kerry’s— was it “statesmanlike”? or some other term that indicated that he wouldn’t make a “fuss” on behalf of the electorate and the country—bowing out of confronting the theft of his election in Ohio in 2004.
I agree, Trump and his supporters will make a fuss if the attempt to crown Hillary succeeds via legalistic means, and I expect there might even be rumblings within some offices of the Pentagon and other locales besides West Virginia etc. It will not be pretty. I’d be tempted to join the fight myself. Not in support of Trump but, again, in de-support of Hillary.
Yeah Kerry deferred to his fellow Skull ‘n’ Bones frat mate G.W. Bush. Another position will come along.
TIME TO RECALL HOW ALL THIS STARTED:
“US election recount: how it began – and what effect it could have: Jill Stein has raised millions of dollars for recounts in three states after election integrity activists flagged concerns. But it remains unclear whether the costly process will make a difference after Donald Trump’s victory” – https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/28/election-recount-jill-stein-hillary-clinton-donald-trump
How did this start?
“Following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the presidential election, voter security experts began privately discussing their concerns about whether the results might have been tampered with, according to John Bonifaz, the founder of the National Voting Rights Institute.
“It was decided that this loose coalition would push for a full audit or recount in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – three states critical to Trump’s electoral college win that pollsters had previously thought safe for Clinton. To do this, they needed to persuade one of the candidates who was actually on the presidential ballot to ask state authorities to review the results.”
The Clinton camp declined to cooperate. Jill Stein agreed. She is essentially the face of this recount. The driving force was the group of “voter security experts (who) began privately discussing their concerns about whether the results might have been tampered with, according to John Bonifaz, the founder of the National Voting Rights Institute.” Most likely, they are the activists still calling the shots.
Did you get that? First there were the voter security experts then after their first choice declined came Jill Stein.
This effort needed money and money poured in to the funding program. That was the beginning of the rampant speculation that continues to this day and is abundantly evident in this post. George Soros became the arch villain pouring loot into the recount until speculators of that nonsense were faced with the reality of crowd sourcing and were mercifully rendered mute. It will be a much more daunting challenge to do the same to some of the people cited above.
“The staunchly pro-Clinton Daily Kos wrote that ‘Even if they never touched a voting machine, there’s absolutely no doubt: Russia hacked the election.'” I recall a time in my distant past when I had absolutely no doubt the tooth fairy left a dime under my pillow each time I lost a tooth.
Thank you for this, Bill. So Dr. Stein stepped up to enable the V.S. experts to perform their investigation, when the Clinton jackals just stood off, circling the carcass. She’s got courage.
Another right-wing coup d’etat has occurred in America. Trump’s cabinet choices ought to affirm this.
It’s time to hunker down – stop buying stuff you don’t need – get ready for extreme cold and extreme heat, floods and fires, toxic air & water – higher utility bills & gasoline prices, etc, etc. —
Standing Rock is the preview of coming events.
Grab hold of your children and love them with all your might. Make them read books and not social media.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Peace & Love to all you guy’s at this site. It’s been wonderful reading your thoughts and opinions.
The dropbox.com link in the article for the recount petition doesn’t work, at least not for me.
The petition can be found here, but it’s not possible to find or copy text in some parts of it:
Great piece, apart from a minor thing: “In her many media appearances since launching the recount campaign, Stein has carefully avoided mentioning Russia, or foreign agents, as she inadvertently did in her initial web posting.”
I don’t believe there was anything inadvertent about her mentioning “foreign agents” (presumably Russian) on her web site. That was a dog whistle, deliberately aimed at Clinton supporters who had already heard – and believed – Hillary’s accusations of Russian hackers interfering in American elections.
Jill Stein’s reason for repeating those accusations was to attract Clinton supporters’ money to her recount campaign. This is shown by the fact that the only web page of Stein’s that mentioned foreign agents was the one with the appeal for donations, and that this mention was removed as soon as the campaign had raised the millions of dollars it needed.
The main problem with Stein’s approach is not that she manipulated gullible brainwashed Democrats. Far worse is the fact that she pushed the idea of the Russian menace controlling American elections. There was already plenty of anti-Russian hysteria in the western media before she added to it.
Jill Stein’s motive for the recount is more likely to be the publicity that she received for it, rather than any pro-Clinton or anti-Russian conspiracy. After getting just 1% of the vote and practically zero media coverage, she would have been ignored and forgotten already. However, whatever she has gained recently in publicity, she has lost in credibilty, due to her McCarthyist scare tactics of using fabricated allegations.
What is in this petition sheds a lot of light on this whole recount. Very informative. So why doesn’t Stein just fess up?
I read Joe’s link to The Guardian about the “group of Democratic senators” and found that Wyden was one of them. I also read another story earlier today in The New Yorker that tries to link him to propOrNot.com. I’m just wondering if this could be true or was it written to smear him for the letter that the senators sent to Obama.
The parasites are desperate all the years of dumbing down they truly believe their own lies. This what Russia gets for being a friend of the USA stab in the back who helped end the war of 1812 and supported the Union during the Civil War it was Russia.
You’ll enjoy this….
Very good. Thanks. Should be read by all of our hegemonists.
Who can feel pride in being a champion for the Clintons and their minions?
Hey, that rhymes . . .
Thanks so much, Joe. Loved the article- Kosovo is one of the first examples of US interference to pretend that NATO was still needed when its reason for existing had gone with the USSR and the Warsaw Pact finished.
Now I will add SLAVYANGRAD.org to the long list I would like to sample among the 200 “fake news” sites given to us by the kind WaPo “journalist”.
When you do that make sure you put on the Beatles ‘Back in the USSR’, it will heighten the experience you’ll have when you do your comrade walk.
Your operative words are “the parasites are desperate”. True. We’ll be friends with Russia again after we have thrown off OUR Tory parasites that keeps us chained to the Western Empire, and always seeks enmity with Russia. That day is coming, marcos.
I think Stein has proven herself just another tool, like Sanders, in support of the clinton cabal. The usage in her statements of discredited fascist allegations of Russian hacking indicate she has fully jumped the shark and betrayed her voters. What became of her fear that the harpy was likely to start WWIII if she got in? The cynicism is breathtaking and pathetic. I don’t expect 12% of the electors to “go rogue”, and I would guess that the congress, with a GOP majority, would refuse to recognize Clinton in any event, and serious unrest might ensue. Pennsylvania seems blocked, and the worst case scenario. Off the subject, I notice that at some point “Mad Dog Mattis” observed that Israel was an apartheid state in a meeting in 2013. It raises my opinion of the guy. The real fascists are the mainstream of the yankee establishment. The latest orwellian fake news thing discussed in another posting exposes the true nature of them and taints those still willing to believe in them.
The “Russia connection” is [email protected] Voter suppression and local hacking is what happened, and Republican operatives have been at work for YEARS on voter suppression.
Thanks for bringing us back to reality.
Does the NSA have the capability to hack election databases? If they do, and if they did would they blame it on Russia? Nah, U S intelligence agencies only tamper with foreign elections.
I am a new reader of Consortiumnews.com and am utterly persuaded that we must support this news source. The constant reference by the wrought-left crowd to Russian interference in American politics is just more evidence of their doubling down on controlling the national narrative, the facts be damned. What I find most refreshing about Consortium is their persistent pursuit of the truth, regardless of party affiliation or left/right ideology, and their courage in publishing the truth. I think many of us long ago recognized that there is a meeting place of the minds somewhere behind the racket of what passes for political discourse. Those of us who want to remain free must resist the flow of propaganda, whatever its source.
While various readers may disagree about the doctrine of original sin, one virtue of that doctrine is that it teaches no one is pure; Republicans and Democrats alike will lie for the sake of power. Contribute to this news source! In an age of liars, our one consolation will be to read what’s true.
This entire story is so crazy it makes my head hurt. So I must remind myself of the ending of my link essay:
As usual with links to Russian Agent sites, I checked to see if the neocon New York Post or Jeff Bezos’ toy bullhorn Washington Post were covering the Recount Story. They are, so I’m comfortable providing the link to the Russia Times. Except for the slightly different interpretation, they’re merely covering the same news story as the US Corporate Media.
Is The Donald trumped? Clinton scheming to seize White House through backdoor
December 19 seems like an eternity away!
Do these idiots REALLY want to start a civil war? Because that’s what would happen if the election result were somehow overturned.
All Stein has to do to “win” in a recount drive is reach the five percent mark. If enough disapointed Bernie voters switched their votes to Green, and were switched by algo from her to Hillary, to offset ‘third party effect’, and recounts ‘redirect’ their votes, the Greens could become a ‘legitimate’ party under the five percent rule.
As long as the greens put forth candidates as moronic as stein they will remain a fringe party of unfocused losers. With opposition like trump and especially the maniac clinton you would think running a chimp against them would be good enough.
I realize that there is a tremendous war going on between one faction of the oligarchical elite fighting against another, but does anyone think it wise to drag Russia through the mud. Let’s say, the Trump Administration attempts to improve U.S. Russian relations, then should we expect to see Democrate’s campaign against this? Will our internal political disagreements interfere with our position on world affairs? With all of the destruction which we have been involved with for over the last 15 years, wouldn’t now be a good time to change this pattern of chaos?
Hillary loss by the rules with which America has decided to go with towards voting in a president, and she should respect that. Hillary’s blatant hypocrisy is astounding when compared to how she and the DNC conspired against the Sanders campaign. With that in mind, how can anyone rally behind such a cheat. Trump may give one pause to consider his qualifications, but Hillary’s record of dishonesty is not worth fighting for her to become President of the United States of America.
Look, dragging this 2016 presidential election out any longer, is not good for America. It is time to unite. If you don’t like Trump then petition against him. Get out and elect Democratic governors for 2018, and redraw the electoral map. Do anything but flip this election result, because the aftermath won’t be pretty if overturned.
Did Putin tell Hillary to go to West Virginia and tell the miners, that the coal mines are going to go out of business? When Bill Clinton made an appeal to go after the white blue collar vote, was Putin laughing at Bill along with Hillary and Robby Mook? Did Putin tell Hillary to ignore the Bernie Bros., and select Kaine as her VP? Was it Putin’s idea to run a establishment candidate in a non-establishment year?
The real reason Hillary is crying out the Russians are coming, is that she is waylaying the real story of how she and the DNC connived against the Sanders campaign, and also how she committed a colossal arrogant criminal security breach by using her own communication devices to send secure government information. In Hillary’s world the Russians are the convenient patsies to be used to obscure her real crimes.
Jill Stein is out of her league…poor Jill. Any nobility put fore towards this suggestion of recount, is highly overshadowed by the outcome that Hillary will then be president….ugh! Where’s the incentive?
You’re right on the money, but don’t expect the mainstream media to ever admit or even to ever investigate such a possibility. They have too much invested in protecting the agenda of the neocon oligarchs who own them. Apparently they would willingly tear the country asunder to overturn a fait accompli and place Hillary on the throne under the most dubious of circumstances for the next four years. Beating down Russia is so important to them that they would sacrifice our domestic tranquility–such as it is, they would gladly make it even worse to have their way. Moreover, just think how the rest of the world would fear an American president who would pay such a price to wrest the power back that she lost at the ballot box. I, for one, would not trust any recount that conveniently flips the three critical states she lost, and only those. If the take home lesson of the recount ends up being that we can never trust the outcome of an election, what are we to believe about our history and any future prospects for a fair and just society? I’d say that the era of peaceful transitions decided at the ballot box are over should this election be flipped in the wake of such unprecedented and bombastic accusations. Nothing this government does will ever be trusted again. Don’t like the outcome of an election? Blame Russia, hack the data yourself and steal the election. Problem solved. It will become the new American way of allocating political power.
Realist, here is a link to a Huffington Post article where it places the blame for Hillary’s loss on her ignoring the white working vote….deplorables.
At least some of the pseudo left is waking up, and it’s about time, or is it too late?
True, and many people voted against Hillary to stop the real potential for a war against nuclear-armed Russia.
Seeing how Trump’s Cabinet is fleshing out, it’s tempting to see him get thrown out by the electors; but the wild-eyed, war-lusting team Clinton is truly awful to behold. This was the original problem with these two worst possible choices put before us.
Brad I’m providing a link to a Dave Lindorff article where he describes Trump’s appointees as being gangsters.
This past presidential election will go down in history, as being one the worst elections ever for not providing the voters with a suitable pick. The Republicans thought they could surround Jeb with the classic clown car crew, and then there was the Donald. The Democrate’s took things a little further by sabotaging the Sanders campaign, and look what happen…Madam Hillary, failed.
In all fairness to vote counts, if it were not for the Electoral College we would now be hunkering down in wait for Queen Hillary to launch our first strike missile aimed at Moscow. Did you ever imagine that you would be glad there is an Electoral College? Now, we will just need to wait, and see what a President Trump will do.
Good article. Thanks. I like Lindorff. Yeah maybe they’ll be too busy with their cash heists to get all caught up in a war. Heluva way to run a railroad. Maybe he’ll see the excellent real estate opportunities in building the world land bridge with Russia across the Bering straits. The city that’ll be created to service the LandBridge will be a ten-million-plus NYC on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska; a similar NYC-type city will grow up on the Siberian side of The Straits. I guess THAT is how to appeal to Gang$ter$; much $ to be made in promoting the General Welfare.
HYOPOCRISY AND DIRTY POLITICS
“Hillary lost by the rules with which America has decided to go with towards
voting in a president, and she should respect that. Hillary’s blatant hypocrisy
is astounding when compared to how she and the DNC conspired against the
Sanders campaign. With that in mind, how can anyone rally behind such a cheat.
Trump may give one pause to consider his qualifications, but Hillary’s record of
dishonesty is not worth fighting for her to become President of the United States
of America” —Joe Tedesky, above comment
Joe Lauria’s well-documented essay proves the dirtiness and scare tactics
of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY in the election of 2016. Fond as Democrats are
of citing Donald Trump’s many faults, they and their supporters never
confess to their own evil and ultra-hawkish politics.
I voted Green in 2016. I have made clear to those with whom I am
in email contact that I strongly disapprove of Green’s actions regarding
the recount. It disrespects our long-lived “political” processes (The
Electoral College) whether good or evil, betrays the causes it
espoused, demonstrated Stein’s totally inability to play in “prime time”.
All this for no gain.
Should there be a groundswell for eliminating the Electoral College
via Constitutional Amendment (a long and arduous process) this
should be done in coming years, not by sour losers immediately
following an election.
I have also suggested that any such change be accompanied with
a well designed system of PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION.
Many nations have this in one form or another. This might
reasonably include the appointment of cabinet ministers requiring
advice and consent of Congress. If one side wins by 51 per cent,
it should be entitled appoint only 51 per cent of cabinet ministers.
Opponents should be entitled to appoint the other 49 percent
of ministers according to their percentage of vote. In some nations,
a certain percentage of vote is an absolute requirement for any
representation at all. (In Sweden, for example, if the
Communist Party —“Vpk”—manages less than 5 per cent, it
may not be represented at all.
I am most appreciative of Joe Lauria’s contribution.
Two additional comments:
1. Perhaps the US has never ever tried to influence the results in any
other nation’s electoral process!! If so, that is news to me.
2. I do not believe the Americans that voted support the confrontational
and hawkish views of Hillary Clinton and her supporters.
3. H. Clinton’s “campaign” should be entirely dismantled. Hillary Clinton’s
political career has ended. Perhaps a place can be found for her.
Good riddance! What about a nationwide and worldwide tour in SUPPORT
of #BLM and BDS that would bring her out of the days of nostalgia for
civil rights past and into the rough and tumble of life and death
present for communities of color and the continued extermination
policies of the Israeli government.
My Dad used to work for politicians and almost always lost
(exception, HST in 1948). My Mom would just say, “Politicians never
—Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
Re “I voted Green in 2016. I have made clear to those with whom I am
in email contact that I strongly disapprove of Green’s actions regarding
It is important to repeat until well understood that it is Jill Stein, NOT the Green Party, who is spearheading this. According to another article published by Consortium News, Stein also undertook other actions unilaterally, without consulting the Greens Steering Committee. We may have liked some of those earlier actions (e.g., offer Sanders the top spot on the Green Party ticket), but in light of this new information, even this move no longer looks so good . . . Stein’s image with her base is changing fast—but perhaps this doesn’t matter, as she is now playing with the “big boys.” Interesting to see will be the reaction of the Green Party Steering Committee and membership to Stein’s grandstanding. It would be a shame if the Green Party were fractionated along with the votes in New Hampshire et al. in this election cycle, just when they seemed to be headed for a stronger position nationwide.
I am very disappointed in Jill Stein, who must know that Palast’s work shows where the true fraud is. Getting Hillary elected after all would NOT be a victory, no matter how terrible Trump is.
Peter any Hillary supporter I met, and brought up Hillary’s potential for starting WWIII waved me off while telling me how I buy into conspiracy theories too much. A Hillary supporters best, and often only rebuttal they had, was ‘do you want (they would wrinkle they’re nose with this next remark) Donald Trump to be our next president’? I never met a Hillary supporter that knew anything about Honduras, let a lone they read Diania Johnstone’s ‘Queen of Chaos’. In fact, mostly all of these Hillary supporters I encountered still think that Israel is fighting Gamal Abdel Nasser, or at least Israel is still fighting his descendants. You know, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. A true Hillary supporter didn’t see her majesty giving the store away with her AIPAC speech, on the other hand a true Hillary supporter saw a strong woman. Oh, and our economy did great back in the nineties when Bill was cruising the halls of the White House searching for some new intern to deflower. It’s all nonsense isn’t it?
Voter suppression is the real issue. See what Greg Palast has to say about it and see the research he has done. Possibly millions of voters were prevented from voting and/or having their votes counted! Stop believing the mass media propaganda about Russian hacking. That’s a red herring and BS!
I used to believe palast was legitimate. In the last few years I come to the conclusion he is a paid establishment puppet. Like aarp that is in the insurance business first and foremost. Palast is in the business of selling books and movies. Both obfuscate their actual intentions.
For years he’s been hard at work exposing our fraudulent electoral system. Has he managed to initiate reforms to the process. Well it’s 16 years and counting. Palast is still playing the same tune and another cycle passes with the same alleged frauds still occurring.
Palast has clearly described the problem that a competent Democratic Party would have effectively acted upon to ave it’s own collective rear end.
Very sensible. I find much of Palast’s info credible; also that of, for example, Bev Harris. Most recently Harris has described the GEM software, which can be used to pre-program and “fractionate” the vote. Harris recently has explained in nonpartisan terms how this technology can be used but suggests that the Clinton campaign may well have used it.
Harris’s analysis certainly does not finger the Russians but rather domestic players. I find the “Russians hacked our vote” campaign to be not only extremely lame, but also extremely frightening and dangerous. I cannot understand what Stein thinks she is doing by stirring the many sulfurous pots she is stirring here.
The ills of our voting system have more to do with the domestic venality. Such as the power of a Republican-dominated House of Representatives to gerrymander districts, fiddle with voting laws in the disfavor of minorities, etc. Not to mention the disgraceful fact that the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated are denied their civil right to vote. When the Dems start to get serious about rectifying these iniquities, they will have no problem winning both the popular vote and the Electoral College. Ohk and don’t forget that we should be using paper ballots anyhow. That is a law that should be passed by Congress. Also, and a law prvoding for Instant Runoff Voting in all elections. The Dems did nothing to right our electoral wrongs when they had majorities under Obama.
Trump knew perfectly well that the law was that he had to win the EC. That is why he tailored his campaign as he did, with just a small campaign team. I am not a supporter of Trump, but I find what is going on now extremely dangerous. Stein, the Dems, the media—all are playing with fire. These people more resemble the Brown ideology of street fighting to beat down opponents than Trump & Co., who are the constant targets of the “fascist” epithet wildly thrown about.
I am appalled that Harvard University would give a bully platform to Mook, who so disastrously mismanaged Clinton’s campaign and now wants to blame it on the Russians—the equivalent of “the Russians ate my homework.” But this doesn’t seem to occur to Harvard, firmly ensconced as it is in the East Coast “echo chamber” where it was a given that Clinton would be the next president. I am also aghast that Lawrence Tribe—if he wants to jump into the political soup at all before, which I find a questionable decision, in particular before anyone has asked for legal advice—would offer to defend, pro bono, electors who break the current law, instead of directing his lawyerly attention to the contents of Clinton’s emails and other malfeasance. And where has Tribe been when it comes to amending election law in a measured, nonpartisan fashion? Who can take any of this disinformation and propaganda circus seriously when it is obviously an extreme case of sour grapes and loser reaction to humiliation? Once again, the constitutional democracy USA makes itself a laughingstock among thinking people around the world.
” I am not a supporter of Trump, but I find what is going on now extremely dangerous. Stein, the Dems, the media—all are playing with fire. These people more resemble the Brown ideology of street fighting to beat down opponents than Trump & Co., who are the constant targets of the “fascist” epithet wildly thrown about.”
You are 100% correct about that. If this process continues, American elections will henceforth be de-legitimized for at least a generation, possibly two.
It’s the institution that matters, not the transient office-holders who occupy periodically.
A dangerous process, indeed, particularly without evidence of cause.
Exactly, Eliot. All this Russophobia with no evidence, and no reason why the Russians would bother with the shambolic US electoral “system” which is already overburdened, as Palast proves, with fraud which SHOULD be investigated and stopped.
No long ago Pres. Putin asked how the USA could believe its frontiers could be invaded so easily when it is a great nation, not a banana republic. A reasonable surmise.
Wikileaks claimed the credit for the Podesta emails; why bring Russia in? as for the DNC hacking, that could have been any backstabber, of whom there are plenty in the Democratic Party, as the emails showed.
19 of 72 WI counties refuse to show their ballots, smallest WI county is over 2% off? “..DAY 1 – WISCONSIN RECOUNT RESULTS ARE IN..”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa1UrStgoGw http://elections.wi.gov/publications/statistics/recount/2016/12-1-spreadsheet
Easy way to understand the whole “Russia question.” If the western media/politicians/etc claim Russia did something, its a safe bet that they did not and more than likely done by West/NATO agents. Not always, but a vast majority of the time. Its the Luciferian/Bizarro world we live in.
“..RECOUNT2016 FAQ Do you believe foreign hackers could have affected election results?..”: http://www.jill2016.com/hacking http://www.jill2016.com/recountfaq