Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria predicted on Nov. 5, 2016 that should Clinton lose, the Democrats would blame Russia to try to remove Trump from office, even without evidence. It was the birth of Russia-gate.
Joe Lauria wrote that if Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump the Democrats would blame Russia, even without evidence, and on that basis try to get the Electoral College or Congress to overturn the results of the election. In fact the Democrats tried these tactics but failed on both counts. Yet for two and a half years they obsessively tried to keep the Russia-gate narrative alive to undermine or depose Trump.
Hillary Clinton’s Ace-in-the-Hole: Russia
By Joe Lauria
The Huffington Post
Nov. 5, 2016
If Hillary Clinton loses a very tight election her ace-in-the-hole could be Russia.
Corporate media reacted harshly when Donald Trump said in the last debate that he would wait and see what happens before accepting the election results. “I will keep you in suspense,” he said. Trump has alleged that the vote will be rigged.
If Trump loses by a razor thin margin we can expect a demand for recounts and possible legal challenges. Some of his more violent supporters have also threatened trouble.
But what if Clinton loses a close election? In the wake of Wikileaks and FBI revelations Clinton’s sizable lead has evaporated and a tight result is looking more and more possible.
On her campaign plane a few hours after the last debate Clinton was asked if she would pledge to accept the results. She ignored the question and instead launched into an attack on what Trump had said.
If Clinton should lose a squeaker, she has two options to try to overturn the election and make herself president—and both involve blaming Russia. She can try to influence America’s bizarre electoral college system, or get at least two allies in Congress to challenge its certification of the election.
America’s Indirect Suffrage
Unknown to most people outside the United States, and to many within, the U.S. president is not chosen by a national popular vote. Instead the U.S. presidential election is really 50 separate state elections. The candidate that wins a state’s popular vote is awarded a number of electors based on population size.
These are actual persons who vote for president on behalf of the people. Slates of electors are chosen by both major political parties before the election. Whichever party wins a state’s popular vote gets the votes of that state’s electors. There are 538 electors and a candidate must get 270 electoral votes to be elected president. *
This system ignores the national poplar vote so that a candidate may win more votes nationwide but still lose the election. It has happened four times, the last being in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George W. Bush.
Several states, such as New York and California, usually vote Democratic, while others, such as many in the West and South, are normally in the Republican column. But there are states that could go either way, so-called swing states, and that’s where the most intense campaigning takes place.
According to one scenario, the four electoral votes in Maine could decide this election.
That’s why Trump campaigned there last week. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that proportion some of their electors. One candidate could get one of the four electoral votes if he or she wins a congressional district.
Influencing the College by Blaming Russia
The Clinton camp’s accusation after the first WikiLeaks revelations, just before the Democratic Convention, that Russian intelligence was behind the leak was later amplified in early October by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, who blamed “Russia’s senior-most officials” for intending to “interfere with the U.S. election process” by authorizing the hack of the Democratic National Committee.
Clapper went significantly further, however, claiming that a Russian company was behind attempted hacks of electoral computer systems in various states.
The Obama administration’s claim was widely accepted by the news media even though no evidence of Russian tampering was publicly given. With just days to go to the election the story has been revived by the pro-Clinton media. CNN Anchor Jake Tapper on Friday incorrectly said the U.S. was accusing the Russian government, not a company, of threatening election computers.
In the last debate, Clinton said the hack “has come from the highest levels of the Russian government. Clearly from Putin himself in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.” The 17 agencies were represented by Clapper. Clinton also offered no evidence.
If Clinton loses by a few electoral votes she could challenge the results by claiming that Russia tampered with the election. The public has been prepared with unproven allegations that are widely disseminated by corporate media and widely believed. With the media not previously demanding evidence of such a claim and if the intelligence agencies back her up, her only challenge might be to convince the needed number of Republican electors to change their votes to put her over the top.
There are only 26 states that require electors by law to vote for the candidate who won the state’s popular vote. Virginia has issued only an advisory to do so. The other 24 states have no such laws, freeing electors to vote their conscience and against their own party.
The swing state with the most electoral votes that doesn’t bind its electors by law is Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes. Other states in play such as Arizona, Utah, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire also have no laws to keep an elector from changing his or her vote. Ohio and Florida, the two biggest swing states, do bind the electors by law.
Clinton’s camp would be faced with turning a number of electors around to vote against the Republican candidate and switch their vote to her. Clinton has to convince them that a changed vote would uphold American democracy against the interference of a supposedly hostile state that threw the election for Trump.
Clinton has to convince such so-called “Faithless Electors” to vote against their state’s popular will. This has happened in seven previous elections. In each of them only one elector changed his or her vote. This occurred in 1948, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1988. But no Faithless Elector has ever decided a presidential election before.
The 2016 Election, one of the strangest in memory, could add to the craziness by becoming the first.
The Second Option
If she fails to convince enough electors to change their votes there is one last chance for Clinton. At 1 p.m. on January 6, both houses of Congress meet to certify the election. However, an 1887 law allows any member of Congress to formally object to the result.
An objection must be put in writing and signed by at least one Senator and one Representative. The Joint Session is recessed and both Houses have two hours to separately consider the objection. Then each House votes on it. If both agree, the electoral votes are not counted.
There have only been two objections and both times, in 1969 and 2005, they were rejected.
If Clinton succeeds and the objections are accepted, vacating Trump’s electoral votes because of alleged Russian interference in certain states, it could bring him below the required 270 electoral votes. But it would not give Clinton that number either.
If neither candidate reaches 270 electoral votes the Constitution says the election is decided by a vote in the House of Representatives. Each state delegation gets one vote and a simple majority is required. The House is currently controlled by the Republicans. But many Republicans do not support Trump.
The House has decided a presidential election only two times before. In 1800 Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied with 73 electoral votes each. After 36 ballots over six days, the House chose Jefferson as the third president. In the 1824 election Andrew Jackson received 99 electoral votes, 32 short of a majority, to John Quincy Adam’s 85, but the House chose Adams.
It would certainly be a long shot for Clinton to try either of these tactics to overturn a close loss to Trump. But given everything else that has happened in this election campaign, would anyone really be surprised?
*The system was a compromise between Congress and voters (at first only propertied white men) selecting the president. It also gave less populated Southern slave states a greater say in a presidential election. It was established in 1789, at a time when the Holy Roman Emperor was chosen by an electoral college. From 1849 to 1918 Prussian voters chose electors to decide on deputies for the House of Representatives in a system of indirect suffrage. The French and Irish Senates are today chosen by an electoral college. The Pope is still elected by a College of Cardinals.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .
Mar 12, 2019 Thanks Robert Mueller! They Will Never Be Able To Rest In Peace!
A BRIEF ON SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE AGE OF MEDIA INFLUENCE
Digital Diplomacy in the USA
Digital diplomacy (Digital Diplomacy) is the use of the Internet and modern information and communication technologies (ICT) for the realization of diplomatic and related foreign policy tasks. Also denoted by the terms “Net Diplomacy” and “Public Diplomacy Web 2.0.”
1. Digital propaganda.
First of all, the Internet makes it possible for the State Department to bring its position directly to a multi-million audience abroad, mostly young people, at minimal costs. To this end, the agency has created an extensive network of sites designed for external consumption (information, language, discussion) and official accounts in popular social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google). Support for accounts in social media is mainly handled by the mentioned Office for Digital Interaction, but special working groups are also created to work with the target audience in various departments of the State Department.
2. Creation of special software and hardware.
The State Department paid for the development of computer programs that allow loyal activists to bypass restrictions and control by foreign governments on national communication channels.
3 . Stimulation of protest moods with the help of social media .
In spring 2011, in Tunisia and Egypt, with the help of the Internet and mobile communications, youth groups were mobilized for mass performances, and the information circulating in the network served as a catalyst for the growth of protest sentiments. Social networks, first of all, were used by the internal opposition to coordinate activities and recruitment of supporters, but it is also known that 70% of the messages in Twitter (tweets), referring, for example, to the “revolution” in Egypt, were located with IP addresses, located outside the country. The latter confirms the version of external information interference in the course of the “Arab Spring”, the technical possibility of which is only the United States. In June 2011, speaking in London, H. Clinton’s adviser on innovation A. Ross told the audience that the importance of the Internet in undermining authoritarian regimes in the Arab East was decisive.
American social networks also played a key role in inciting opposition supporters to actions of civil disobedience in Turkey in June-July 2013. According to the measurements of the Turkish company eBrandValue, which conducts monitoring in the national segment of the Internet, the ratio of Twitter subscribers who called on to join demonstrators in Taksim Square in Istanbul , and those who spoke in support of the current government R. Erdogan, was 68 thousand to 800 . To manipulate political sentiments and to automatically replicate the information sent, false accounts were widely used.
4. Training of Internet activists
Digital diplomacy, as a way of influencing the population of other states via the Internet, is mainly focused on two target groups — active youth and opposition groups (dissidents, journalists, human rights defenders, etc.).In 2008, the US government held the First Conference in New York, which brought together young bloggers and users and established a permanent organization called the Alliance for Youth Movements, whose goal is to use the activity of young people in the network to change the socio- political situation in foreign countries. In 2009, a conference of the Union was held in Mexico City, and in 2010 — in London, etc. In the fall of 2010, the State Department put forward a so-called the Civil Society 2.0 initiative. (Civil Society 2.0) to improve the effectiveness of NGOs and opposition groups abroad with the help of new digital technologies. Within its framework, several programs are implemented, the most famous among which was the project TechCamp (Technological Camps). It is administered by the Diplomatic Innovation Division at the Department of Internet Diplomacy of the State Department. According to the TechCamp program, since 2010, dozens of technology camps have been conducted in more than 30 countries around the world. They were attended by representatives of about 2000 NGOs, media and government agencies from more than 100 countries. The camp is a one- or two-day seminar, which invites from 40 to 200 foreign activists (mostly opposition) to listen to the course of lectures of Western IT specialists of special services and solve their current problems with their help.
Breaking news, this just in: Unconfirmed reports suggest that Donald Trump may be colluding with the United States Government. Officials allege that a man resembling his description has been seen in the vicinity of the Oval Office. Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources speculate that the man in question may be serving as President. Corroborating testimony has not been ruled out, but may remain classified.
>she has two options to try to overturn the election and make herself president—and both involve blaming Russia. She can try to influence America’s bizarre electoral college system, <
What people miss about all this is keeping the union intact.
The electoral college just reflects state's Senate and House memberships. If it has no value, maybe the Senate should be done away with, also.
Without a Senate with lopsided representation of low population regions, and an electoral college with lopsided representation in Presidential elections, certain areas of the US will over time become neglected and start wanting to separate from the union.
Most people don't know that the central part of the US is unique worldwide in the length, navigability, agricultural resources of the Mississippi watershed.
The coasts might lead in overpopulated cities, purple hair, nose rings, and non-biologic gender issues, but the central US is unique in ready made transport infrastructure and food production. It could easily form its own nation, if over some decades it found itself without national political weight.
Reflecting upon Joe Lauria’s November 5th 2016 article along with Robert Parry’s past reporting of the Russiagate themed media travesty that it makes me feel that the Consortium is all that more important of a news source to read.
As much as I would love to put this Russiagate silliness all behind us I also feel there is an importance to finding out too how this whole Russiagate thing got started in the first place. It would also be a good thing to investigate to who actually murdered Seth Rich. William Binney should be front and center for this investigation. I can’t compliment Ray McGovern enough for his input over these last two years concerning this Russiagate baloney. So let’s see Ray being interviewed by Rachel or Don and see how that all works out. Hillary sent this country down the wrong road. Hillary put herself first over the nation and, the world to a larger degree. Now all that needs done is to prove it.
Amen Joe. The problem, as usual, is getting significant exposure in the MSM. They will never go after team Hillary because she represents their sponsors’ and owners’ interests as much as her own. Check out the link that Abe posted below. It’s a great article.
Ah, yes. But Three Names didn’t lose a squeeker, did she? A clear loss in the electoral college and a clear win in the popular vote. The real problem is that we need to revise our voting system so that it better reflects the will of the people but more importantly, we need to revise our political system so we stop getting choices between awful and awful. The press needs to stop being cheerleaders for their preferred party and learn how to actually report on stuff. And finally, the press needs to start seeking the truth from the people they talk to instead of being just stenographers.
Thank you Jeff Harrison!
Working as intended
“It may look like Russiagate was a failure, but it was actually a success. It deflected the left’s attention from endemic corruption within the leadership of the Democratic party, which supposedly represents the left. It rechannelled the left’s political energies instead towards the convenient bogeymen targets of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.”
Three Lessons for the Left from the Mueller Inquiry
By Jonathan Cook
Lessons about how real power works and why we need to expose the pig for what it is…without the lipstick.
Great article Abe. Thanks for posting.
The *DEEP STATE* did all it could do and failed!
October 2, 2018 Uranium One: FBI Refuses To Release Three-Dozen Secret Memos Involving Clintons, Russia And Obama
The FBI has refused to declassify 37 pages of materials related to the Uranium One deal, citing national security and the privacy issues, reports The Hill’s John Solomon. The documents are thought to contain information regarding then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement, as well as the Obama administration’s knowledge of the controversial deal.
More detailed info here about Uranium One deal: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-02/uranium-one-fbi-refuses-release-three-dozen-secret-memos-involving-clintons-russia
I hate to spread mere “rumors,” (pause for ‘irony break’), but as I understand it Rachel Maddow appears to have fallen victim to a very rapid onset of a particularly aggressive form of?—?“Tourette’s Syndrome!”
Onlookers report that as Rachel was hauled away from her studio by what appeared to be, of all things, “Russians in white medical uniforms,” Rachel could be heard loudly screaming a stream of repeated expletives: “[email protected] #k Muller! f*#k, f*#king Muller! f*#k, f*#k, f*#king Muller! Muller that f*#K! That f*#king Muller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”?
Or, maybe Ms Maddog has hydrophobia.
Of course close readers must remember that Mueller and his police-state team are still disingenuous members of the national security state in that they repeat and thereby lend legitimacy to the biggest canard of the whole disgraceful charade: that the Kremlin hacked the election and/or that Russian officials interfered in the ’16 presidential election to swing it to Trump. This “fact” will now be bandied about by the right, center and many on the left as being sacrosanct, like the sun rising in the east.
See how this worked? The ruling elites clear the Trump regime but still leave Moscow holding the bag. It’s something I suspected would happen all along, especially after realizing Mueller’s half-baked investigation never interviewed Binney and his magnificent team nor Craig Murray.
This is Russophobia of the worst sort. It’s extremely dangerous and it’s a castle built on lies, distortions and outright fabrications. The militarists in the national security state win all the way around; the Kremlin’s vilified to a massive degree so more absurd weapons contracts are justified more so than ever before.
I agree that it’s not hard to out think the globalist elites who control both parties, after all they are a privileged lot of inbred sociopaths who lie as often as others breath. The only way they can keep from being TOTALLY found out is to own and control most every media outlet and NEVER allow any real debate to reach the general public.
Too bad for them they ARE being found out.
Yeah, the Russians will continue to be the demon d’jour until we install another puppet like Yeltsin. Don’t expect the MSM to cover anyone who argues otherwise. Trump has toed the neocon line, and he will be relatively safe as long as he continues to do so.