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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,430

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Mark Warner on Rachel talking if FB can be compelled to testify

What I learned from Hurricane Irma

Lessons from Irma

Guest post by Emer Kelly

I wrote a post about Hurricane Harvey a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to highlight the kindness people showed one another during that catastrophe, and as I wrote, I also horrified myself with images of people's homes covered in water, cars destroyed, what belongings they had left placed in plastic trash bags as they were rowed to safety. The images made me shudder, and I wondered what I could do to help, and tried not to imagine it happening to me, or the people I love.

I live in St. Petersburg FL.

This week has been in intense whirlwind, as I battled with the reality of my worst fears coming true. Here are a few things I learned this past week:

1. Things don't matter
As horrifying as those images of houses under water are, when we were told we had a category 5 hurricane possibly making landfall in our town, all we cared about was our safety, and the safety of our loved ones. The house was suddenly inconsequential, and once we had boarded it up as best we could, we left it and fled to safety.

As the days wore on, and the forecast got worse, I tried to cut my emotional ties to stuff, and focus on the people around me. We are lucky that we have friends and family who will take us in if our home is destroyed. We would be ok.

2. People are amazing
We have no close friends or family in Northern Florida or Georgia, but an amazing co-worker of my love's took us and our dog in (the resident cats weren't pleased) for 6 days. One of our hosts had a tooth abscess, and underwent an emergency root canal while we were there. They also had leaks in their own home to deal with. Despite all this, they chatted, cooked, had fun with us, and made us feel so welcome.

3. Gratitude is a sanity-saver
Evacuating in a hurry and driving in insane traffic through the night it very stressful, but gratitude got us through it. Every time it felt like too much, we repeated all the things we were grateful for:

We're ok
Our closest family members are ok
We have somewhere warm and safe to stay
All our important documents are safely with us
We have enough gas to get us there

4. Did I mention people are amazing?
You would think spending hours on the road would make drivers crabby, angry, and aggressive. But despite the traffic, the stress, and the frustration, the vast majority of people on the road were lovely. There was no honking, no yelling, no road rage. The people we met at rest stops and gas stations were exhausted, but friendly - we were all in this together. A friend of mine even experienced locals in South Carolina coming out to the rest stops with food and dog treats for weary evacuees.

5. I can't emphasize enough how wonderful people are.
We have some friends who stayed behind, one of whom is a member of the US Coast Guard, the other, a registered nurse. By the time the storm hit, they had turned their home into a safe haven for 9 people, 7 cats, 8 dogs, 5 chickens, 2 goats and 1 snake. Despite the chaos inside, they invited any sick or injured neighbors into their home during the storm, as they knew medical help in the area would be limited.

6. Neighbors are the best
We have amazing neighbors. And I'm sure a lot of you do too. Our neighbors who stayed for the storm had a lot on their minds. But still, they took in our mail for us, turned off the water when we forgot, took photos of the house and assured us everything was intact after the storm, took a chainsaw over to our front yard and cleaned up our downed trees for us, and today are allowing us to work from their homes as we have no internet at ours. As we walk our dog around the neighborhood, I see countless others working together to un-board houses and piece everything back together.

We've been incredibly lucky during this storm. Despite the dire forecast, it ended up hitting our town as a category 1. We still have a house, we have power, we have amazing people in our lives. I have never been so grateful.


BREAKING: Virginia Board of Elections Votes Unamimously to Remove All Paperless Voting Machines

Virginia Is Getting Rid of Its Vulnerable Voting Machines | Gizmodo
Sep 8 2017

Virginia’s Board of Elections voted unanimously to decertify all of the state’s touchscreen voting machines, which are considered by cybersecurity experts to be vulnerable to manipulation by hackers. The race is now on to replace the machines, which are used in 22 counties, before Virginia’s elections in November. Industry experts and and the state’s elections department have recommended that the touchscreen machines be replaced with ones that record votes on paper instead of only electronically, so the votes can be audited and verified.

“The Department of Elections believes that the risks presented by using this equipment in the November General Election are sufficiently significant to warrant immediate decertification to ensure the continued integrity of Virginia elections,” commissioner Edgardo Cortes wrote in a letter to the Board of Elections recommending the change.

“Virginia’s move to decertify all of its paperless voting machines is a critical step toward securing its elections and acknowledging that post-2016, we’re living in a brave new world where election interference from hostile foreign attackers is no longer theoretical,” Barbara Simons, the president of the election security nonprofit Verified Voting, said in a statement. “We all need to step up our game to secure our elections and restore voter faith that their votes will be counted as cast.”

Touchscreen machines are still in use in several states, including New Jersey, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.


And it was UNANIMOUS!! How cool is that? Hopefully this is a precedent for other states with paperless machines! It seems with all the news on Russian hacking, the public is finally waking up to the risks. Now if they can just bring Dem leadership along. Next we need mandatory audits in every state.

edited to add: Go to the link which will take you to Verified Voting. Get on their email list. They have been fighting tirelessly since 2000 for paper and audits. They have lots of cyber security people working with them.

"Telling the truth is not a multiple choice exercise." Don Jr. testimony today obstruction justice

Jill Wine-Banks on Chris Hayes just now. SHe is the former Watergate prosecutor/MSNBC analyst.
"All the false statements are adding up to obstruction of justice."

Heads up! Eric Schneiderman on Rachel tonight- DACA lawsuit, other Trump corruption legal stuff

Rachel talking Russia stuff right now but Schneiderman coming up. TAlking Russia/Facebook now.

Lesbian Ex-Mayor Has Perfect Response To Ann Coulter's Hurricane Nonsense

Did this get posted? I didn't see it here.

The controversial right-wing pundit got put in her place after a comment about Harvey’s devastation on Houston.
By Rebecca Shapiro

Another day, another perfect response to Ann Coulter’s nonsensical comments.

Days after the controversial right-wing media pundit said it was more “credible” to blame Hurricane Harvey’s devastation on the city’s election of a gay mayor than climate change, the official in question hit back with a succinct yet effective response:

I don't believe Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than "climate change."

Darn it, I thought no one knew I had a super power over weather.

Annise Parker, who is currently teaching at Rice University, served as mayor of Houston from 2010 to 2016. She was one of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city.

After Parker tweeted her response on Sunday, her followers had some fun with her reaction, putting in climate-related requests for the political official whose sexual orientation Coulter believes to control weather patterns.

Go read the responses! THey are hysterical. I can't figure out how to post the tweets...can anyone else? See the animated video that someone did. Fantastic!


Cyber experts blocked in push to patch voting systems in 2016; their recommendations still derailed

Cybersecurity experts on a federally-supervised team, fearing a Russian attack, scrambled last summer to draft guidelines for state and local election officials to patch the most obvious vulnerabilities in the nation’s voting systems. Their recommendations were blocked, and still aren’t out.

They knew Russian operatives might try to tamper with the nation’s electronic voting systems. Many people inside the U.S. government and the Obama White House knew.

In the summer of 2016, a cluster of volunteers on a federally supervised cybersecurity team crafting 2018 election guidelines felt compelled to do something sooner. Chatting online, they scrambled to draw up ways for state and local officials to patch the most obvious cyber vulnerabilities before Election Day 2016.

Their five-page list of recommendations focused on two gaping holes in the U.S. election system. It warned that internet voting by at least some citizens in 32 states was not secure and should be avoided. And, critically, it advised how to guard voting and ballot-counting machines that the experts knew could be penetrated even when disconnected from the internet.

But the list was stopped in its tracks. A year later, even as U.S. intelligence agencies warn that Russian operatives have their eyes on 2018 and beyond, America’s more than 7,000 election jurisdictions nationwide still do not have access to those guidelines for shielding the voting process.

READ THE WHOLE THING. This is really important.
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article170006067.html#storylink=cpy

Rachel: Joy talking about how they stole the election by hacking voter reg databases and keeping

people from voting.
I've been saying since last SUMMER when they reported that half the states voter reg databases had been hacked by Russians that they didn't do it just to prove they could.
NYT has new article on this.
Joy going into detail on this.
Interviewing Verified Voting Foundation election specialist. Glad to see this org getting some press; they do excellent work.

Link to NYT article she referenced:
This is a must-read article; very important.
Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny

The assaults on the vast back-end election apparatus — voter-registration operations, state and local election databases, e-poll books and other equipment — have received far less attention than other aspects of the Russian interference, such as the hacking of Democratic emails and spreading of false or damaging information about Mrs. Clinton. Yet the hacking of electoral systems was more extensive than previously disclosed, The New York Times found.

Edited to add:
Then there are the hundreds of thousands purged with Kobach's Interstate Crosscheck, used by 30 states. Who needs to change vote tallies when you have the GOP and the Russians working together to suppress the vote.
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