Tuesday Open Thread | Why Don’t Republicans Want to Ensure Election Security?

Could it be that they don’t mind election interference?

Ryan move to replace election agency leader stirs outcry

02/22/2018 08:01 PM EST

House Speaker Paul Ryan faced Democratic criticism Thursday after choosing not to renew the term of a federal agency head who has helped lead the charge on securing elections from hackers.

Matthew Masterson, chairman of the Election Assistance Commission, will depart once the Senate confirms a successor, three people familiar with the situation told POLITICO. His four-year term as a commissioner expired in December, but he has stayed while Ryan contemplated whom to recommend to President Donald Trump as a nominee for the seat.

Ryan has decided that Masterson won’t be on the list. Another commissioner was already scheduled to take the chairman’s slot on Saturday, but Masterson could have remained as a commissioner if he were renominated.

The move comes as the government scrambles to ensure that Russian hackers don’t repeat the cyberattacks that roiled the 2016 election. The four-member commission, originally founded to help states apply the lessons of the bungled 2000 presidential election, has taken on an increasingly prominent role in promoting security — to the consternation of some Republicans who say it has outlived its purpose.
The news of Ryan’s decision caused alarm among digital security advocates and Democratic election officials.

“It is clear that Republican congressional leadership and the Trump administration simply aren’t interested in ensuring that our elections are protected from Russian interference,” Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, a Democrat, told POLITICO in a statement.


Trump Election Commissioners Are Resisting Efforts to Protect Elections From Hacking
One of them says the threat of Russian meddling was invented to allow a federal takeover of the voting process.

Pema Levy
Aug. 18, 2017 6:00 AM

The intelligence community fears that Russia’s meddling in US elections did not end in November 2016, and that when the Kremlin tries to intervene again, state and local voting systems will be a prime target. “They will be back,” former FBI Director James Comey warned in June. Many election systems would prove an easy target. Last month, hackers at the annual DEF Con conference demonstrated this vulnerability when they easily breached multiple voting machines. A 16-year-old hacked a machine in 45 minutes.

In response to this threat, the Department of Homeland Security has taken a major step to protect elections by prioritizing the cybersecurity of state and local voting systems. Yet several members of President Donald Trump’s controversial election commission oppose DHS’s move, and two of them have dismissed the threat entirely as a ploy for the federal government to intrude on states’ rights. Their opposition is a signal that the commission, tasked with finding vulnerabilities in the country’s election system, is not likely to take cybersecurity seriously.


Christy McCormick, a Republican commission member, said in a statement the next day that Russian interference was a hoax used by the federal government to gain access to state-run election systems. “This declassified report was not about the November elections; it was about politics,” said McCormick, who is also a member of the bipartisan Election Assistance Commission, which helps states administer elections. “Connecting the allegations in the report to the election administration process and asserting that it rose to the level of interference in our elections is a gross and incorrect characterization.”

Rather than accept the findings of the intelligence agencies, McCormick turned to John McAfee, the eccentric founder of the McAfee antivirus software company, as an expert on the question of Russian interference. McAfee, who ran unsuccessfully for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, has spent the last year on a crusade to exonerate Russia from the intelligence community’s assessment that it hacked the Democratic National Committee. McAfee has found an audience in Russian state-run media outlets, conspiratorial radio host Alex Jones, and pro-Trump right-wing blogs such as Gateway Pundit. “McAfee believes that the report is deceptive propaganda perpetrated on the American public, and I agree,” McCormick said.

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58 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Why Don’t Republicans Want to Ensure Election Security?

  1. rikyrah says:

    McMaster was horrified that Kushner was taking meetings with foreign countries without telling the White House

  2. rikyrah says:

    Lisa Marie Presley joins list of celebrities who’ve lost nearly everything
    Ashley May, USA TODAY
    Published 2:23 p.m. ET Feb. 27, 2018

    Lisa Marie Presley is joining the ranks of celebrities who’ve lost millions.

    Elvis Presley’s only child claims her $100 million fortune is down to $14,000 because her former business manager acted in his own best interests. A lawsuit recently filed against Lisa Marie Presley says she was informed about how her money was being spent.

    Either way, poor money management has left Presley without her celebrity fortune.

  3. rikyrah says:

    He’s sleeping with the fishes.

    Man who told Papadopoulos that Russia had dirt on Hillary has vanished — leaving his fiancee and child behind
    27 FEB 2018 AT 12:57 ET

    Joseph Mifsud, the professor who allegedly told former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that Russia had obtained leaked emails related to Hillary Clinton, has completely vanished — and even his fiancee can’t find him. His biography disappeared from one university where he taught and he quit his job at another university. His email and cell phones went dead. And politicians, colleagues and journalists can’t find him.

    BuzzFeed News reporter Alberto Nardelli this month traveled to Ukraine in search of Mifsud, who has not been seen since being caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

    While in Kiev, Nardelli encountered a 31-year-old woman named Anna, who claims that Mifsud is the father of her newborn child — and who says she has not seen him for months.

  4. rikyrah says:

    This is what John Kelly had no problem with when he was at DHS…Remember?
    Yet, another reason why John Kelly ain’t shyt.

    ACLU sues US over separation of mother, child seeking asylum
    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 08:25AM
    HOUSTON — The American Civil Liberties Union accused the U.S. government on Monday of unlawfully separating a Congolese woman and her 7-year-old daughter by holding them in different immigration facilities, two time zones apart, after they sought asylum four months ago.

    The ACLU said the family’s case is one example of the practice of President Donald Trump’s administration to target immigrant families who are seeking asylum through processes established under U.S. law.

    Trump has not announced a formal policy to hold adult asylum seekers separately from their children, but top administration officials have said they believe the asylum process is overwhelmed and challenged by people making frivolous claims.

    The woman is being held at a detention center in San Diego, while her daughter is being held in a facility for unaccompanied minor children in Chicago, about 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away.


  5. rikyrah says:

    Was reading a Twitter thread over at TPV..
    I didn’t know that Flynn was messed up Cambridge Analytica…..

  6. rikyrah says:

    Corker’s not running for re-election.
    Final say.

  7. rikyrah says:

    “Progressives” show their muscle—it ain’t pretty

    The hot news from the CA Democratic Convention is that Dianne Feinstein did not get endorsed.

    Many attribute this to disrespectful supporters of her competitor, State Senator and President pro-tem of the CA Senate, Kevin de Leon. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Last year at the full convention, leadership of the CA Democratic Party was hotly contested. One of the long time loyalists, Eric Bauman, was chosen in a fairly narrow victory over Kimberley Ellis who was a Clinton supporter in the election but shifted to become a Sanders group ally within the California party. The fight for the chair dragged on for weeks with Ellis challenging the credentials of every single person voting, accusing the vote of being rigged, and demanding several recounts over various issues.

    This was just the start of a division that may destroy progressive politics in the most progressive state for decades. There is no focus among the progressives on standing up to the extremist federal administration or the GOP congressional members abetting it. California is home to Devin Nunes, whose demographics make him vulnerable to a Democratic challenger, and to Kevin McCarthy, majority leader who probably isn’t but whose work on behalf of stalling the Mueller investigation and promoting the worst of the GOP polices needs to be called out strongly.

    The nominating process at the Democratic Convention was not even about Dianne Feinstein as it turns out. It was about the faux progressive block flexing its muscle not to nominate anyone but to block everyone. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a champion of civil rights, was not nominated nor was his challenger, Dave Jones. No contestant for governor got nominated. Even de Leon wasn’t nominated.

    The reason was the Bernie bloc of delegates had enough power to prevent the majority votes needed, so no Democrat got the nomination. The self-styled progressives served one function – they’re spoilers. Nothing more, and nothing less.

  8. rikyrah says:

    What happens when a foreign government investigates a Trump business?
    02/27/18 12:44 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump’s domestic properties are at the center of some important controversies, but to fully appreciate the ethics messes surrounding this president, it’s also worth looking abroad.


    Since that first confrontation, police have been called multiple times to referee disputes between owner Orestes Fintiklis – who blames the company’s poor management and damaged brand for the hotel’s declining revenue – and the Trump Organization, which says it still has a valid contract to manage the place.

    Offices have been barricaded. Several yelling matches have broken out. The power was briefly turned off, in a dispute over the building’s electronic equipment.

    All of this may seem a little comedic, but now that the Trump Organization is under investigation by Panamanian prosecutors, the situation is rather serious – and without precedent.

    If this were simply a matter of an American business facing a foreign investigation, we’d expect the controversy to be resolved in the courts, possibly drawing the interest of the State Department, depending on the severity of the circumstances.

    But while the sitting American president no longer controls the day-to-day operations of the Trump Organization, he does still own and profit from it. In practical terms, when prosecutors in Panama investigate the Trump Organization, they’re examining whether the American president’s business committed a crime.

    Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) told the Post, “The fear has always been that there would be an international incident involving the finances of the president, and the president would have his loyalties questioned…. What kind of pressure would he be willing to place on [foreign authorities]?”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Hillary warned us over a year ago that DJT would try to put guns in classrooms, and y’all didnt listen

    Now we have Ivanka telling us we need to start having serious discussions about arming teachers.

    Absolutely awful. pic.twitter.com/lYnX7TNC4o— Pᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ Kᴀʀʟssᴏɴ ⛈ (@Patrickesque) February 26, 2018

    • coach4divas says:

      Above the Law: You Realize Arming Teachers Is Going To Lead To Black Students Getting Murdered By Their Teacher, Right? http://bit.ly/2F0Ac3t

      • Diva, I believe that’s the plan. I don’t know how much longer the country can take this. Every single day is chaos with this mofo. I go to bed effed up from his fuckery, I wake up effed up from his fuckery. I despise them all so much. I hope I live through this nightmare and not have a heart attack.

  10. These folks are BRAZEN THUGS. They’re planning on getting Russian help…even as Robert Mueller is investigating Russian interference



  11. rikyrah says:

    Phucking trash.The entire lot of them.

    Trump administration fights states’ crackdown on student loan collectors
    02/26/2018 03:18 PM EST

    The Trump administration is taking steps to shield student loan collection companies from state regulators, over the objections of consumer advocates and even some Republican attorneys general.

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing to issue a declaration that companies collecting federal student loans are off limits for state lawmakers and regulators. The “notice of interpretation” argues that only the federal government, not the states, has the authority to oversee federal student loan servicers, according to a draft of the document obtained by POLITICO. That includes industry giants like Navient and Nelnet.

    Consumer advocates are highly critical. “It’s not surprising that this administration is weighing in on the side of industry over students and taxpayers,” said Whitney Barkley-Denney, legislative policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer group. “This is just a different verse of the same song we’ve been hearing over the past year” from the Education Department.

  12. rikyrah says:

    By the way, where is Sen. Mitch McConnell? Why hasn’t he had to answer serious questions about his response to President Obama’s 2016 plea for a bipartisan stand against Russian election interference? https://t.co/Ju0amDgAkq

    — Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) February 27, 2018

  13. rikyrah says:

    Whoever did the work to archive the entire Obama White House website is a genius because not only is it an archive of thoroughly brilliant work and policy but it will be necessary to use it as a road map to get back to our humanity and decency. @goldman

    — meta (@metaquest) February 27, 2018

  14. rikyrah says:

    Dolt45 is on a Twitter rampage this morning.
    Could it be that Hope Hicks’ testimony is worrying him?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Where’s the money, Boo?
    Where’s the money?

    Melania Trump cuts ties with friend’s company amid questions: NYT

    Ken Vogel, political reporter for The New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about breaking news that the first lady’s office has cut tie’s with Melania Trump’s friend’s newly created company after it was revealed that she was paid $26 million for unspecified inauguration planning services.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Trump admin a cautionary tale of nepotism for future generations

    Rachel Maddow highlights Donald Trump’s tendency to hire people he knows or is related to for White House jobs, and the conflict that creates, particularly in the case of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner who continue in senior White House roles despite being unable to to earn a full security clearance.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Banker’s divorce could expose role in Manafort Trump scandal

    Rachel Maddow explains how the estranged wife of Federal Savings Bank chief Steve Calk could end up revealing details of the bank’s unusual loan of $16 million to Paul Manafort through a divorce court subpoena.

  18. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ son is running for Congress in New Hampshire.

    Levi Sanders, 48, said in a statement first reported by WMUR and since posted on his campaign website that he is entering the open-seat race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.

    Unlike his father, who ran as an independent in Vermont, Sanders is running as a Democrat. He’ll be the eighth Democratic candidate to enter the race.

  19. rikyrah says:

    To protect the NRA, Georgia Republican threatens Delta
    02/27/18 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    More than a few of the National Rifle Association’s corporate partners no longer want anything to do with the far-right group, and that includes two major airlines. Delta and United Airlines were offering discounted rates through a group-travel program for those attending the NRA’s annual meeting, but both companies ended the contract.

    That didn’t sit well with a Republican policymaker in Georgia with an A+ rating from the organization.

    Georgia’s lieutenant governor on Monday threatened to prevent Delta Air Lines from getting a lucrative tax cut after the company ended its discount program with the National Rifle Association, in the latest fallout from a deadly school shooting in Florida. […]

    Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, president of the state Senate and a leading candidate to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal, tweeted that he would use his position to sink the proposed sales tax exemption on jet fuel.

    “I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Cagle said via Twitter. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

    If this sounds a bit like political extortion, it’s not your imagination. One of Georgia’s top officials is targeting one of Georgia’s top private employers, effectively saying, “It’s a nice tax break you have there; it’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Trump confronts something unusual: an in-person critic
    02/27/18 08:40 AM—UPDATED 02/27/18 08:52 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump hosted a White House event yesterday with governors, which wouldn’t have been especially noteworthy were it not for something unusual that happened.

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) noted that the president has suggesting arming school teachers, which prompted Trump to interject, saying he only wants to arm “gun-adept” teachers, at which point “you’re not going have any problems anymore.”

    And while it’s tempting to explain how misguided this is, take a look at the Democratic governor’s response, delivered directly to the president:

    “If I may respond to that. Let me just suggest, whatever percentage it is – I heard at one time you might have suggested 20 percent – whatever percentage it is, speaking as a grandfather, speaking as the Governor of the state of Washington, I have listened to the people who would be affected by that. I have listened to the biology teachers, and they don’t want to do that, at any percentage. I’ve listened to the first-grade teachers that don’t want to be pistol-packing first-grade teachers. I’ve listened to law enforcement who have said they don’t want to have to train teachers as law enforcement agents, which takes about six months.

    “Now, I just think this is a circumstance where we need to listen, that educators should educate, and they should not be foisted upon this responsibility of packing heat in first grade classes.

    “Now, I understand you have suggested this. And we suggest things, and sometimes then we listen to people about it, and maybe they don’t look so good a little later. So I just suggest we need a little less tweeting here and a little more listening. And let’s just take that off the table and move forward.”

    If you watch the video of the exchange, it’s hard not to notice the awkward body language: the more Inslee tries to set Trump straight, the more the president folds his arms, rocks back and forth, and signals his dissatisfaction.

  21. rikyrah says:

    HUD official says she was replaced for rejecting Carson’s costly office redecoration

    Department’s ex-chief administrative officer says she was replaced by a Trump appointee and told ‘$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair’
    Tue 27 Feb 2018 08.08 EST

    A senior career official in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has alleged that she was demoted and replaced with a Donald Trump appointee after refusing to break the law by funding an expensive redecoration of Ben Carson’s office.

    Helen Foster said she was told “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair” after informing her bosses this was the legal price limit for improvements to the HUD secretary’s suite at the department’s Washington headquarters.

    Foster, 47, claimed that she also faced retaliation for exposing a $10m budget shortfall, and for protesting when she was barred from handling a pair of sensitive freedom of information act (FOIA) requests relating to Trump apparently because she was perceived to be a Democrat.

    A copy of a complaint letter filed by Foster to a watchdog for federal employees was obtained by the Guardian. It alleges that HUD violated laws protecting whistleblowers from reprisals. Foster is seeking a public apology, compensatory damages and reinstatement as HUD’s chief administrative officer.

  22. rikyrah says:

    In a suburban Cincinnati office park, white nationalists have found their lawyer and an ally

    Monroe Trombly, Cincinnati
    Published 10:32 p.m. ET Feb. 26, 2018 | Updated 8:08 a.m. ET Feb. 27, 2018

    When a dozen neo-Nazis and white supremacists from the deadly march in Charlottesville were charged with crimes last year, they needed to find a lawyer.

    Their search for one took them to Deerfield Township in suburban Cincinnati, where they found James E. Kolenich, a civil rights attorney who said he has only one thing in common with his new clients. He believes white people must save and preserve their civilization from Jews, immigrants and minorities.

    “My willingness to get involved is to oppose Jewish influence in society,” he told The Enquirer. “It’s plain that white people are the chosen people in the New Testament. It’s the job that we were given, to spread Christianity around the world. That doesn’t involve hatred of other races, not even of ethnic Jews. But it does involve opposing their un-Christian influence in society.”

    Kolenich is a new name in the pantheon of the “alt-right,” a loose affiliation of racists, white nationalists and anti-Semites. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and their leaders, did not have him listed.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Republicans fret sexting scandal could cost them easy House seat
    Republicans worry they could lose a reliably red district if former state Sen. Steve Montenegro wins Tuesday’s special-election primary in Arizona.

    By ELENA SCHNEIDER 02/26/2018 05:24 PM EST

    Republicans are fretting that a front-runner for an Arizona congressional seat — a married minister involved in a sexting scandal — will pull a Roy Moore and hand the seat to Democrats if he wins Tuesday’s special-election primary.

    The seat vacated by former GOP Rep. Trent Franks — who resigned last December over his own sex scandal — should be an easy hold for Republicans.

    But a bombshell report of nude photos and text messages exchanged between the candidate, former state Sen. Steve Montenegro, and a legislative staffer — published just a week before the election — has left GOP operatives worried that “it could be Alabama all over again,” said Shiree Verdone, who ran Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2010 Senate race.


  24. Ametia says:

    Eugene Robinson

    Don’t let the absurd ploy to arm teachers distract you
    The gun lobby wants to buy time and divert your focus from where it matters. We can’t fall for it.


  25. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

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