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I didn't read the previous poster's comments as somehow discouraging others to not vote.

To the contrary, I see the poster's comments as a wake-up call akin to FBI Director Christopher Wray's wake-up call, which he keeps shouting from the rooftops, BTW, along with every other intelligence agency with insight on the matter.

You mentioned Arizona. I'm in Arizona. Wanna know what happened to me here in 2016---someone who has been a registered, voting Democrat their entire life? MY NAME WAS ELECTRONICALLY PURGED from the voter rolls.

If I hadn't shown up to vote in the Democratic Primary (in which I was disallowed my right to vote because of the electronic manipulation of voter registration databases here), I would not have found out about it until I showed up for the General Election!

It's a sad fact that the number of voters who show up for a primary election is but a woeful percentage of those who come out for the general election. By being a member of that smaller percentage who always votes in primaries, I was able to find out in time that I'd been purged---at least in enough time to "re-register," allowing me to still have a voice in the general.

Do you have any clue as to the millions of Americans, this has happened to and is continuing to happen to right now, even as we speak?

Do you even realize that without the purge, Arizona's Electoral College votes would have gone to Hillary back in 2016? Are you not aware that the FBI did indicate that AZ's voter registration database was, indeed, breached?

Are you not aware of the number of persons who showed up to vote in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, only to discover they'd been ELECTRONICALLY PURGED from the state voter rolls? Hint: The figure is exponentially higher than the 77,744 votes across those three states that illegally granted an Electoral College win to tRump.

IT DOESN'T REQUIRE MANIPULATION TO OCCUR IN ALL 50 STATES TO THROW AN ELECTORAL COLLEGE WIN. It only requires manipulation in a relatively small number of counties critical to determining Electoral College vote tallies.

IT DOESN'T REQUIRE MANIPULATION OF ACTUAL VOTES CAST AT THE BALLOT BOX. It only requires manipulation of voter registration databases prior to the election.

IT DOESN'T REQUIRE OVER-THE-TOP MANIPULATION. It only requires just enough to push the vote count in any given swing state to barely over the line so as to comply with that state's laws preventing recounts or further investigation into what has occurred within its databases.

So everyone, please, please, please quit parroting the Rethuglican propaganda snicker that says "Nothing to worry about here because we have 50 separate systems (hee, hee, hee)."

Parroting that line only prevents yourself and others from doing something NOW about what is actually occurring---and doing so BEFORE the 2020 general election.

Quit giving Rethuglicans air cover by accusing fellow Democrats of discouraging others to vote when they speak up and speak out about the very real voter suppression tactics being used against us...AGAIN.

If anyone is uninformed about any aspect of what has been brought up in this regard, I would recommend that a good place you can start educating yourself is by checking out what is being exposed nationwide by Stacey Abrams and her Fair Fight organization. Check out what renowned investigative journalist Greg Palast is doing with ground-breaking software to expose the extent of the purge.

Once you're clear about what is actually going down, then ask yourself whether it's more important to start telling everyone you know that they need to confirm their voter registrations now and periodically all the way up to voting, or whether it's more important to shush-shush anyone bringing this up.

Then get back to me about which of these two courses of action you think is actually going to be the "self-fulfilling" one...

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Wed Jan 29, 2020, 07:56 PM (0 replies)

Go 9th Circuit!

Thank goodness John McCain's nemesis the 9th Circuit is still holding strong for AZ voters!

Couldn't stand how McCain and his evil twin John Kyl worked tirelessly for decades trying to abolish this court's structure so as to "gerrymander" AZ out of its jurisdiction.

McCain was known to throw hissy-fits in his office, stamping his feet, cussing, and pounding his fists whenever the 9th Circuit ruled against any given draconian measure coming out of our Rethuglican state legislature. A friend of mine often tasked to deliver government documents to his office described how his face would turn almost purple while he was yelling and the veins in his neck would stand out.

Anyway, I'm sure there's some book of etiquette somewhere that says you can't speak truth about someone once they've passed...but, I for one, am extremely grateful the 9th Circuit outlasted its nemesis.
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Tue Jan 28, 2020, 02:35 AM (0 replies)

Candidates as Reflections of their Supporters' Comments

I have, of late, been pondering the nature of the "hissy-fit soundbites" that some posters feel compelled to regurgitate---not only when unflattering information is presented about their chosen candidate, but also when positive information on any other candidate is presented.

Seeing this and comparing it to commentary coming from supporters of other candidates, here's the question I decided to investigate:

Is there something to be learned about a candidate's own intrinsic qualities based on how his/her supporters react to simple presentations of fact?

After perusing thousands of comments posted over the past two months in response to OPs in the Democratic Primaries Forum that featured information from news sources, here's what I've found:

The "Soundbite" Patrol

Noticing that DISMISSIVENESS and DEFLECTION seemed to be predominant traits in the comments of one candidate's supporters, I looked deeper into the record of that candidate and came to realize how often his own dismissiveness (sometimes of facts, sometimes of certain groups) ended up having real-world, devastating consequences for so many. I also found he was very skilled in deflection, thus taking quite a long time to own up to decisions made and actions taken that were harmful to others. Fear of Trump seems to be the main argument presented in his defense by his supporters.

With another candidate, supporter commentary showed a strong thread of INDIGNANCY and SKEPTICISM in their responses. When looking deeper into their candidate of choice, I found that he is, indeed, downright indignant about a number of issues, which seems to have a uniting effect on some, but a divisive effect on others. His record does, in fact, have notable moments of healthy skepticism, such as opposition to the Iraq occupation. His supporters are fervent and seem mission-oriented, kind of like crusaders out to right societal injustices, which explains the indignancy.

The above two candidates have the largesse of "soundbite" commentary going on. While there certainly are examples of more cogent arguments from their supporters, these are by and large greatly overshadowed by the non-substantive comments.

Just the Facts, Please

On the other hand, the bulk of the commentary from supporters of three other specific candidates tended to be REFLECTIVE, NUANCED, and DETAILED. When I researched the backgrounds of those candidates, I found that, once again, this correlated with the candidates' own records and decision-making skills. Their supporters seem to be more issue- and policy-oriented, particularly on healthcare, women's rights, and other kitchen table issues. They also don't seem to be particularly swayed by fear-based or crusader-based appeals.

I also noted a marked decrease in commentary by the above supporters as the "soundbite" commentary increases. Based on more than a few remarks I read, it appears such discourse reminds them of Trump, authoritarianism, and cult-like behavior that seeks to silence and mock voices failing to exhibit blind, unquestioning loyalty. It also turns them off to the candidates whose supporters engage in such.


In all, it was a fascinating exercise to complete and a real eye-opener. There does, indeed, appear to be a direct correlation between how supporters react to being presented with facts and their chosen candidate's own intrinsic qualities.

If you are indeed still undecided and truly want to get the measure of a candidate, I highly recommend you set aside a few hours and backtrack through supporter commentary in this forum. Then ask yourself, which of these groups respond more closely to your own heart, because that's how their candidate of choice is most likely to respond to your own concerns.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Mon Jan 20, 2020, 07:07 AM (0 replies)


Honestly, I don't understand why supporters of a certain candidate get all up in arms whenever someone presents info on a different candidate. I mean, it's not like they're debating the content of what's presented. They're just mad that it's presented. What is up with that?

The only other people I know who react like that to presentation of information are my elderly tRump-supporting family members (I know...ugh).
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sun Jan 19, 2020, 10:39 AM (0 replies)

Fearless...can't touch that

I've never cast a vote out of fear and not about to start doing so now.

I do, however, always take note of which candidate(s)' supporters engage in pushing fear as the main reason to vote for their guy.

Personally, I'm more concerned with picking a candidate who has the intelligence, energy, persistence, and, frankly, the guts to force not only a recount, but a forensic cyber-investigation in the 4 states that are going to be used to throw a rigged Electoral College "win" to tRump in 2020.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you need to read applicable sections of the Mueller Report, Congressional testimony on the topic from FBI Director Wray and multiple panels of cybersecurity experts, plus reports from pretty much every intelligence agency we have, all blinking big red warning lights.

After that, give yourself a refresher course on President Al Gore's stolen election and the mistakes made in the aftermath of that theft.

Gives you a whole new perspective on which of these candidates have what it takes to right the ship when that tidal wave hits. In the current lineup, I only see 4 who could get us there.
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sun Jan 19, 2020, 10:04 AM (0 replies)

Their oath of office says they can't have it both ways.

Answer: They care only for themselves. They CARE NOT for their country.

I'm sure some will say, oh yes, there definitely, most assuredly ARE some GOP politicians who care about the U.S....but, but, but...they're too scared... they're too married to power...they're too this...they're too that...and on and on.

Sorry. Nope. Can't have it both ways. It's your classic oxymoron conundrum.

Definition of "oxymoron": A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.

They took an oath of office to defend and support the Constitution of the United States "without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion."

Not speaking up IS "mental reservation."

Not speaking up because of fear, blackmail, payoff, power, job security, or any other personal reason IS "purpose of evasion."

So, if you find yourself saying, "Yes, they do care about the U.S., but [insert your favorite mental reservation or purpose of evasion]," just stop yourself right there and think for a moment.

There is no "but." These guys can't have it both ways. Why? Because they took an oath of office saying they can't have it both ways!

They didn't agree to an oxymoron when they took the job, so there's no need for anyone to manufacture one for them.

If they speak up, they DO care. If they don't speak up, they DON'T care. It's really that simple.
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sun Jan 19, 2020, 05:45 AM (0 replies)

It's not as straightforward as you might think.

There's actually lots of white supremacist terrorist training going on in the US. Most of it happens in mountain and desert regions. We see it here in AZ all the time where they do it under the guise of "patriotic militias." That's not to say the training camps are exclusively in the mountains and deserts. Any relatively isolated rural area or swampland will do. (Keep in mind the guy responsible for the horrific Parkland High killings did his gun training with a white supremacist group that runs training "seminars" in Florida).

I've watched Wray testify about this to Congress a few times. Got to give it to the guy, he seems to be trying really hard to thread the needle. Clearly, the rise of American neo-Nazi groups and the even greater number of other white supremacist terrorist organizations is something he's concerned about. The box he's in though is that he has to stay below tRump's radar if he wants to combat them.

Thus, public statements emphasize neo-Nazis, which is FBI "public relations code" for all white supremacist terrorists. He's prohibited by the tRump admin from saying anything about white supremacists who aren't neo-Nazis (even though these guys are the greater threat) without also equivocating about supposed "black militants" and an over-exaggerated antifa threat, which we see born out in the twisted reports the FBI has compiled to placate tRump in this matter.

Publicly though, Wray has figured out a way to sidestep this altogether by simply referring to all white supremacist groups as neo-Nazis and it seems tRump is none the wiser.

Gauging by the arrests occurring over the past two years (mostly quietly with no media attention), Wray is running a number of undercover ops within white supremacy terrorist organizations, both neo-Nazi and not.

Regarding the references to overseas training: That's essentially a funding issue, but an important one that determines whether the FBI will investigate a white supremacist group. Under tRump and Rethuglican-written regulations, the only money spigot for the FBI to conduct investigations of these guys is through funding that is specifically designated to track down terrorists. But, the only way something can be designated as terrorist activity is if it has a foreign, overseas element to it. Essentially, it's a too-cute-by-far Rethuglican trick to prevent American white supremacists from being designated (and investigated) as terrorists.

That's where the neo-Nazis come in. Because of the exponential rise of these groups in Europe and because of the Internet, there is indeed a lot of "blurring of the lines" going on where American white supremacists who aren't specifically neo-Nazis are communicating in online chat rooms with the European neo-Nazis, along with, of course, the American neo-Nazis. The FBI is all up in these chatrooms and as soon as a connection is made, bingo, there's your foreign influence and there's your funding to open an investigation.

It also seems that the better-funded American white supremacists inevitably end up sending one or more of their leaders to Europe to gladhand with the bros across the pond. Once that happens, and if the undercover op has successfully established large weapons caches, terrorist manifestos, &/or other illegal activity, as soon as the leaders return to American soil, they're arrested, usually at the airport, while simultaneous FBI raids and arrests are occurring elsewhere with other members of the group.

Also, note that Wray's phrasing about the overseas activity is "to train." He knows popular imagination will immediately jump to ISIS-like "training camps" that we've all seen TV images of. That's okay. It gleans more support for him to continue investigating white supremacists here, which is where the majority of the actual training camps are located (as you intimated in your post).

Thus, for example, last year the FBI took down an extremely dangerous white supremacy terrorist group out of San Diego who had been committing violence against anti-Trump protesters up and down the West Coast. They were known as elite combat trainers and actually ran a physical fitness/gun use/street fight training program for other supremacist groups from across the country.

So, the FBI ran the same playbook on them as described above, infiltrating first online to establish foreign comms going on and then with inside agents gathering evidence of violent crimes and weapons stashing. Finally, two of the group's leaders went to Germany to hobnob in a castle with European leaders of a white supremacist "coalition" put together by Steve Bannon. After that, it was lights out and Wray shut the San Diego group down.

The point of this story is to note that these guys went to Europe "to train" with neo-Nazis...of sorts. Training is not only about physical combat (and, truth be told, if anybody was going to be doing that kind of training, these guys were going to be the trainers, not the trainees). However, "training" also includes indoctrination of the mind into a terrorist ideology. In between all the drinking and man-splaining going on during their castle broo-ha-ha, apparently enough "heil Hitler" salutes were thrown around to nail it on the ideology training front.

In conclusion, I think Wray is working this as best as anyone can whose hands are tied behind his back. The real problem is that without that tenuous "foreign influence" connection with bona-fide neo-Nazis, he's downright hogtied when it comes to doing any kind of deep-dive into white supremacy terrorist groups here in America, the greater number of which are not actual neo-Nazis. Unless someone provides credible evidence of a specific imminent threat, the white supremacists are persona non grata to the FBI. Hell, he's not even allowed to define someone as a "domestic terrorist" if, after they've actually committed a terrorist act, it's discovered they're a white supremacist.

Meanwhile, an even more insidious cancer is growing in America where we're discovering white supremacist cells popping up everywhere in police forces across the country and in every branch of the military. And, guess what? Their training camps are paid for by our tax dollars.

Hope this helps your understanding. Sorry so long, but it is a convoluted situation not able to be covered in a soundbite.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sun Jan 19, 2020, 02:05 AM (0 replies)

Your comment made me think of Cohen, which got me to gaming this out...

Parnas' indictment is directly related to laundering foreign money into tRump's campaign interference shenanigans in Ukraine, including $1 million from a Russian bank account. In other words, his crimes are all wrapped up in the same nutshell tRump is being impeached for.

Contrast this with Michael Cohen: His crimes (at least the ones he was charged with) were about campaign finance violations regarding Stormy Daniels, personal tax evasion, and personal bank fraud.

While Cohen testified about a sprinkling of tRump insurance and bank fraud and, of course, the Stormy issue, there was no way he was ever going to give up the goods about tRump's decades-long Russian and Ukranian money laundering. Why? Because doing so would mean taking down members of his own family (on both Cohen's side and his wife's side) who are deeply entrenched in the Russian mafia here in America as well as in sketchy enterprises in the Ukraine.

Needless to say, there was just no freaking way Cohen was ever going to testify against his father-in-law, his uncle, his cousins, his own brother, and his brother's father-in-law (who BTW, died in Ukraine under suspicious circumstances a day after media reports came out about his role in a backchanneled "peace plan" through Michael Flynn that would cede control of the Crimea to Putin). And that doesn't even count his relatives' business associates who are some straight-up scary oligarchs.

Remember when Cohen gave a flurry of interviews after it was known that he was no longer on team tRump's side? Remember how he would say over and over again that he had to put his "family" first? What family did you think he was signaling to with those interviews? This is why SDNY wouldn't cut any deals with him. He couldn't give them tRump because he wouldn't give them his relatives who have been laundering money through tRump for decades.

Bringing all this back to Parnas, how does it compare? I think Parnas (who also has connections with both the Russian mob and corrupt Ukranians) has analyzed what happened with Cohen. As already seen with the SDNY, the only way he gets to cut a deal with them is by giving up some mobsters higher up the food chain. Maybe Firtash would be enough, maybe not. Perhaps, as with Cohen, it would be safer to just go to trial and take the couple years (or less) prison sentence. But then again, there's always the Epstein factor to worry about when going that route.

That brings us to what's going down now. If I had to guess, I think Parnas is first trying to make a play for Congressional immunity in exchange for tRump. Don't know if it will work out that way, but it's probably worth a shot.

Thus, the media blitz in advance to try to put certain Rethug senators in a box who are also on the take from the Russians. Notice how Lev has signaled from the get-go that he's implicating everyone from top down, but he stops short in naming senators. Yet, he throws in a representative, Devin Nunes, as a warning shot. The smart move would be to leverage compromised senators who have their fingers in the rubles till into letting him testify with immunity in exchange for keeping their names out of it. Not saying this would at all be ethical, but, hey, I think we all know we aren't dealing with any Boy Scouts in this lot.

Anyway, that's where my head went when I started applying game theory to the whole scenario.

Any additional thoughts?
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Fri Jan 17, 2020, 02:56 PM (0 replies)

Can you name the other 3 ambassadors &/or U.S. embassies tRump has hits out on?

True to the nature of his disorder, tRump can no more stop himself from projecting than he can stop himself from lying.

The inevitability of his projections has led to a little game my friends and I play where we take an accusation he's made and each of us submits what we think he's actually admitting to having done himself or is contemplating doing (projection). At whatever point someone's answer proves to be true, everyone else pitches in on lunch or drinks or mani-pedi for them, whatever we're doing together at the point the projection bears out.

It just so happens that our last meetup was the same day tRump claimed the Iranian general he had killed was supposedly targeting a U.S. embassy, so we created a projection question around that. Long story short, my buddy Ruby has won that round because she wrote down that he was projecting his "desire or maybe actual attempt to kill that woman ambassador who testified against him." After yesterday's news, we've unanimously agreed---winner, winner, chicken dinner coming up for Ruby.

But now, a new projection has to be considered: A day or two after tRump first brought up one embassy being targeted, he changed his story to FOUR embassies being targeted.

So, my question to smart DUers is this: Who or what is tRump projecting about with the add-on of 3 more embassies?

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Wed Jan 15, 2020, 07:55 AM (3 replies)
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