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Bill USA

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Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,017

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Russian Hacks Just Gave Courts Legal Precedent To Replace Trump With Hillary - Occupy Democrats


In light of revelations on Friday that Russian hackers interfered with the presidential election specifically to elect Donald Trump, Clinton supporters and advocates of free democracy are eagerly searching for potential measures to prevent Trump from assuming the presidency at the hands of the Kremlin. One important legal precedent for such an impeachment is Marks v. Stinson, a 1994 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a state senate election and ordered the vacancy to be filled by the losing opponent after massive fraud was uncovered.

The Pennsylvania state senate held a special election in 1993 to fill a seat left vacant by the death of the previous senator. The contest pitted Republican Bruce Marks against Democrat William Stinson, who was ultimately successful in winning the seat. After Stinson was elected, however, evidence of widespread fraud in the election came to light.

Moreover, two elected officials testified under oath that they had been aware of the fraud and did nothing. Thus after Stinson had already taken office a federal judge ordered that he vacate his seat within 72 hours and hand it over to Marks, a ruling that was maintained upon appeal by the Supreme Court.

While the circumstances of the 1994 case are obviously significantly different from the controversy surrounding last month’s election, the ruling does establish some degree of a precedent for a high court overturning the results of an election based on evidence of malfeasance.

The CIA Just Confirmed Russia Hacked DNC To Help Trump Win

America’s top lawmakers were given a secret CIA briefing that declares that Russia interfered in this year’s presidential elections on behalf of Republican nominee Donald Trump against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Tonight’s revelatory news comes hot on the heels of President Obama’s announcement that he will assemble a complete intelligence report about Russian hacking and propaganda activities today. The Washington Post reports:

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter. “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

Only a week after the election, the head of the secretive NSA gave a very public interview to the Wall Street Journal where he tacitly indicated that Russia helped Donald Trump. Tonight’s revelation that the CIA believes Donald Trump was a direct recipient of aid intended to assist his Republican campaign for the presidency goes beyond the NSA’s coy admission and well beyond pre-election intelligence reports in identifying the reason for the blizzard of hacked emails.

In October, seventeen federal intelligence agencies released a brief saying that Russia was openly interfering in this year’s elections and that the orders came from the highest levels of their government, i.e. from dictator Vladimir Putin. Tonight’s report that Putin favored Trump isn’t surprising to anyone following the story of this year’s elections, where the Republican denied having a relationship with the Russian dictator even though he told MSNBC the opposite in 2013.

On the eve of the election, three bombshell reports emerged – that Trump had a secret server to communicate with Russia, that a Western intelligence official provided a major dossier to the FBI which was being investigated, and the FBI leaked that it had been investigating Trump. At the end of last month, Vice News reported an unusual receipt of “the Glomar Response” when asking the FBI if it was investigating Donald Trump. It’s extremely rare for the FBI to use that kind of response.

Electors, CIA concludes Russian hacked election to help Trump win. Any more reason needed to cast

..your vote for the legitimate candidate... and FOR Democracy?

CIA concludes Russia interfered to help Trump win election, say reports

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in last month’s presidential election to boost Donald Trump’s bid for the White House, according to reports.

A secret CIA assessment found that Russian operatives covertly interfered in the election campaign in an attempt to ensure the Republican candidate’s victory, the Washington Post reported, citing officials briefed on the matter.

A separate report in the New York Times said intelligence officials had a “high confidence” that Russia was involved in hacking related to the election.

The claims immediately drew a stinging rebuke from the president-elect’s transition team, which said in a statement: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

Schumer: If Republicans destroy our health system, we won't throw them a lifeline

.. THis is exactly how the Dems should deal with all of Trump's prescriptions for Disaster. DON'T GET INVOLVED WITH THEM, VIA A COMPROMISE BILL MEANT TO MINIMIZE THE DAMAGE. The GOP will later use that to confuse voters saying: "Well, the Democrats went along with us on that bill!"


The emerging GOP plan to repeal Obamacare on a delayed schedule — and then maybe kinda sorta replace it later — has raised a big question: Will Democrats help Republicans pass a replacement that is far less generous and comprehensive than the health law is, allowing Republicans an escape from the political fallout from repeal?

In an interview with me, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer answered this question with a resounding No. Under no circumstances, he vowed, would Democrats throw Republicans such a political lifeline.

“We’re not going to do a replacement,” Schumer said of the Senate Democratic caucus. “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. Democrats will not then step up to the plate and come up with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. It’s all theirs.”

This could have far-reaching implications for the political battle over the health law that’s set to unfold — and indeed for the future of the health care system. Senate Republicans just announced that they will begin the process of repealing most of the health law in January, including the subsidies and Medicaid expansion that have helped cover many millions of previously uninsured people. Republicans are currently arguing over when exactly repeal should kick in — conservatives want it to be sooner, while GOP Senate leaders want to defer it to push off the political fallout until after the 2018 elections.

Let the Election of 2016 be the burial of Post Partisan politics practiced solely by the Democrats

There has been considerable discussion about how the Disaster of 2016 happened. One item that I have not seen mentioned is the Post Partisan Faith as practiced by President Obama. In the latter part of 2009 and into 2010 many of us Democrats were getting very confused, wondering which side of the aisle President Obama sat on. This confused many Democrats and continued throughout his administration. I think this lead to voters confusion as to what the Democratic Party stood for. I think this played a part in the election results.

I hope that in the new year we can pronounce this 'Post Partisan' politics fantasy as dead and gone. This has to be done to establish clearly what the Democratic Party stands for -- the working people of America are the strength of America.

Democrats must own their values, Tea Party-style, not shift even more toward the mushy middle
There’s a tradition in Beltway circles that whenever the Democrats suffer a harrowing electoral defeat, it’s because their party didn’t do enough to win moderate voters. This tradition also dictates that when such losses occur, the Democrats can correct the problem only by shifting rightward.

On the other hand, when the Republicans suffer a big loss, as they did in 2008, the conventional wisdom mandates that their party reach out, not to the middle, but to its right flank.

In practice, this dynamic rarely works for the Democrats and almost always works for the Republicans. But as we endlessly debate the best route forward, it’s crucial to bear the following in mind: First, Hillary Clinton is closing in on Barack Obama’s margin of victory in 2012, even though she’s not the winner of the Electoral College.

Second, if 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin had gone the other way, Clinton would be the president-elect today and the postmortem discussions would feature garment rending over the destruction of the Republican Party at the hands of Trump and his coalition of deplorables. In other words, the consternation over what to do about the Democratic Party wouldn’t exist but for a wafer-thin margin.

This is all to say the alleged Democratic apocalypse is overblown, at least in terms of major glitches within the party. The shift in Republican control over state legislatures, governorships and the U.S. Congress is less a consequence of the Democratic platform and more about the rise of conservative media, conservative propaganda and, yes, fake news. The dominance of Fox News and talk radio among older GOP voters has clearly escalated a backlash at the state and local level against the ascendancy of President Barack Obama, thus weaponizing the political tradition of counterbalancing the party of the president with the opposition party. This effort has been greatly aided by a GOP that’s learned to actively embrace its fringes and the social conservatism that plays best in the heartland.

Trumps one consistent policy: Chaos


Is America becoming a rogue state?

The State Department stopped using the term years ago to describe the likes of Iran and North Korea, figuring it was needlessly provocative. But it would seem the incoming Trump administration plans to handle its affairs — domestic and foreign — in a manner that meets the dictionary definition of a “rogue state” as one “that conducts its policy in a dangerously unpredictable way.”

Even before Donald Trump threw Sino-American relations into a new round of turmoil by speaking with the Taiwanese leader and by trolling a nation of 1.4 billion people on Twitter, Trump and his team set off new chaos between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, with Trump praising the repressive regime of the latter and pledging to visit, while a member of his transition team told the former that Trump supports designating Pakistan a terrorist haven.

Trump snubbed our closest ally, Britain, by having post-election calls with nine foreign leaders before granting British Prime Minister Theresa May the honor. He shattered protocol by suggesting Britain name Nigel Farage, the Brexit leader, ambassador to the United States. Meanwhile, NATO leaders meeting in Brussels this week were on edge about Trump’s coziness with Russia and his dismissive words about the alliance.

Mr. Trump: Heres Why You Really Want to Spend $4 Billion on Air Force One - Wired

.. as usual, the King of Clowns blurted out a reaction without researching the subject at all.


Boeing’s current contract to provide the next generation of the presidential plane is for $170 million, but the Air Force plans to ask the Seattle giant to heavily modify the two 747-8 jets it has on order. The current budget for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program puts the price tag at $2.9 billion—a shocking figure, since Boeing lists the standard 747-8 for $357 million. And that only takes the program to 2021, the standard ‘five years out’. The planes aren’t due to enter service until 2023 or 2024, so costs will rise.

“The $4 billion figure looks reasonable,” says Mark Cancian, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who previously oversaw Department of Defense acquisitions at the White House Office of Management and Budget. OK, “reasonable” may not seem right to anyone unfamiliar with American military budgets, but that doesn’t mean Trump’s right to say “costs are out of control.”

“Given the extraordinary capabilities that they want in this aircraft, that’s not an unreasonable cost for two,” Cancian says.


That means packing these planes with electrical upgrades, with backup power units, secure communications systems, and military spec flight and navigation controls. For the two 747-200s the president uses now, that means multi-frequency radios capable of air-to-air, air-to-ground, and satellite communications. It takes years of serious spending to develop and integrate all that into a new plane (the 747-8 entered service in 2011). Especially since you’ve got to harden every bit of it to shrug off the electromagnetic waves that can result from nuclear explosions and tend to fry electronics.

Local Were going to put a bullet in your head: #PizzaGate threats terrorize D.C. shop owners


Shaken by weeks of death threats and online attacks fueled by a bizarre conspiracy theory, the independent business owners on this block of Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington gathered at Terasol restaurant just after Thanksgiving to discuss what to do. Though they had repeatedly reported the harassment to District police and the FBI, the abuse had only intensified.

Terasol’s co-owner, Sabrina Ousmaal, who had begged authorities for help, worried that the worst was yet to come.

“It only takes one crazy with a gun,” she recalled saying at the meeting.

On Sunday, police say, a North Carolina man with an assault rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong, the pizzeria across the street that had become the subject of a widely shared fake news story linking Hillary Clinton to a child sex ring. He fired his gun at least twice before pointing it at an employee.

Republican rhetoric on jobs at odds with data, reality (i.e. more msgs from RW Alternate Universe)



Really? The Affordable Care Act has been “killing jobs”? Let’s take a closer look to see if Pence has any idea what he’s talking about.

As regular readers may recall, in 2014, the first full year of ACA implementation, job growth reached a 15-year high. In fact, the first two years of ACA implementation were the best back-to-back yearsfor job creation since the 1990s.

But we can go a little further with this. Forbes’ Dan Diamond made a great observation, which inspired the above chart, noting private-sector employment in the United States over the last eight years. The red line shows the final two years of the Bush/Cheney era, as the private sector shed jobs; the light blue line shows the first year of the Obama era, when the Great Recession started to end; and the hard blue line shows March 2010 through the present.

As Diamond added a while back, “Obamacare was signed into law in March 2010. The private sector hasn’t lost jobs since.”

As things stand, the U.S. economy is on track to create over 2 million jobs in 2016, which will be the sixth consecutive year in which we’ve crossed this threshold. The last time Americans saw a six-year stretch like this was also the late 1990s.

Trump allies defend his election lie as refreshing


Throughout his time in public life, Donald Trump has never been truth-oriented, but last week the president-elect told a rather specific lie: “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” This was a demonstrable falsehood, and neither Trump nor any of his allies have been able to bolster the bogus claim with evidence.

So instead, Team Trump has apparently embraced a post-modern debate about the inherent value and meaning of truth.

One pro-Trump pundit argued last week, for example, that there’s “no such thing” as facts anymore. Corey Lewandowski added that American voters “understood that sometimes, when you have a conversation with people, whether it’s around the dinner table or at a bar, you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”

Outgoing RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who’ll soon become the White House chief of staff, was asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” yesterday about Trump lying about voter fraud. Priebus, without proof, said it’s “possible” that millions of illegal ballots were cast. When host John Dickerson noted that there is no evidence to support such a claim, Priebus responded, “I think the president-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country.”

Senior Senate Democrat Calls for Congressional Probe of Russian Meddling in US Election

... seems like an email campaign is needed on this.

Senior Senate Democrat Calls for Congressional Probe of Russian Meddling in US Election - Still, the Ds aren't mounting a fierce push, and the Rs seem uninterested

The future top Democrat in the Senate has called for a congressional investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who will succeed the retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as the Senate minority leader in the Congress that convenes in January, has signed on to the demand for a congressional inquiry into the Russian hacking of political targets—including the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign—during the 2016 campaign. "Foreign interference in our elections is a serious issue, and deserves a vigorous investigation," Schumer tells Mother Jones.

Two weeks ago, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the senior Democrat on the House oversight committee, sent a letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee's chairman, asking that Chaffetz launch an investigation of Russian intervention in the election. This request came two days after the chief of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, said a "nation-state"—meaning Russia—had messed in the 2016 elections "to achieve a specific effect." Rogers was referring to the hacking of Democratic targets and the release of the pilfered information via WikiLeaks. Cummings noted in his letter that Chaffetz had told him that he was "open to considering such an investigation." But Chaffetz has yet to respond to Cummings, according to a Cummings spokesperson. And a spokeswoman for Chaffetz did not respond to a request for comment.

Talking to reporters earlier this month, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the top House Democrat, said Democrats would demand such a probe: "Something is not right with this picture and I think the American people deserve an investigation into how a foreign government had an impact on our election." And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was harshly critical of Trump during the campaign, proposed that Congress hold hearings on "Russia's misadventures throughout the world," including the DNC hack. "Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?" Graham recently asked.

Congress Must Investigate After NSA Chief Confirms Russians Hacked Democracy

It is a literal crying shame that the mainstream media failed to scream bloody murder over a national security story this week that deserves the highest priority: confirmed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Little, if anything, was reported that on Tuesday last, the director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Admiral Michael Rogers, was queried about the release of hacked information during the American general election and Donald Trump’s campaign. Admiral Rogers said;

“This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect. This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.”

It is nearly impossible to imagine a more stunning statement and damning indictment coming from the head of the primary United States security agency. Of course, it should not be a revelation; Admiral Rogers’ statement echoed similar remarks from many other senior American officials that are not connected to the newest arm of the Republican Party and Donald J. Trump, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

What Admiral Rogers said on the most fundamental level was that an adversarial foreign government, Russia, “directly intervened in the US election to obtain a desired end:” to undermine Americans’ confidence in the American electoral process or to install the Russian oligarchs’ candidate Donald Trump. It was likely to achieve both of Vladimir Putin’s “desired ends.” In fact, it is no exaggeration to claim with confidence that Admiral Rogers clearly accused Vladimir Putin of meddling in the election to achieve another desired end; abolish America’s democracy with an authoritarian fascist committed to furthering Russia’s worldview.
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