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Member since: Mon Jul 15, 2019, 06:26 PM
Number of posts: 1,928

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Analysis of why picking a moderate candidate is anything but safe.

The prevailing argument about “electability” is all wrong. Dems win when they fire up their base, with people like Obama (and this year, Liz or Bernie). They lose when they try to aim for the meek middle, believing they can pick up swing voters, while deprecating the issues that excite people and bring them to the polls (Kerry, Gore, Hillary).

As she sees it, it isn’t quite right to refer to a Democratic or Republican “base.” Rather, there are Democratic and Republican coalitions, the first made of people of color, college-educated whites and people in metropolitan areas; the second, mostly noncollege whites, with a smattering of religious- minded voters, financiers and people in business, largely in rural and exurban counties.

“In the polarized era, the outcome isn’t really about the candidates. What matters is what percentage of the electorate is Republican and Republican leaners, and what percentage is Democratic and Democratic leaners, and how they get activated,” she said.
[S]he maintains that actual swing voters are a small percentage of the result, even in counties where the vote swing is as large as Wasserman describes. Don’t talk to people in the bleachers of rallies; check the voter file, she says. “It would be one thing if that county had 100,000 people in it who voted in 2012, and then it was the same 100,000 who voted in 2016, but that is not what is happening,” she says. “The pool of who shows up changes.”
But still, the results bore out her theory: For Democrats to win, they need to fire up Democratic-minded voters. The Blue Dogs who tried to narrow the difference between themselves and Trump did worse, overall, than the Stacey Abramses and Beto O’Rourkes, whose progressive ideas and inspirational campaigns drove turnout in their own parties and brought them to the cusp of victory.
“I am arguing radical shit, OK?” Bitecofer told me over a series of phone calls over the past several weeks in her Virginia office. “What I am saying is that almost all of this shit is set in stone for three years, that almost none of the shit that people are hanging onto, in terms of daily articles, or polls, or the economy or incumbency or ideology is really worth that much.”


The Robert Hyde story is important - but not for the reasons most people are talking about.

DU and social media are on fire this morning about the Robert Hyde story, talking about how the Dump administration was involved with stalking and maybe even putting a hit on Marie Yovanovich via Rethug PR guy and wannabe CT congressman Robert Hyde. Half are talking about his communications with Team Rudy, and the other half are complaining that this isn't the top story of the day. But all this chatter is missing perhaps the only ultimately important issue - the mentality of Team Rudy and, by extension Team Trump.

For the probably 3 people who haven't heard this part of the story yet, Hyde was dragged out of Trump's Doral roach motel for a psychiatric hold for 9 days in May 2019. The details can be found at:

This was likely an acute psychotic episode, shortly after his stalking and "hit job" communications with Lev Parnas in March/April 2019.

While some people are putting this together to mean that Hyde was actually having Yovanovich followed, etc., then had a breakdown, possibly fueled by his cloak and dagger misdeeds in Ukraine, this is at least somewhat outlandish. In all likelihood, Hyde was already having issues with reality 1-2 months earlier.

Of course it all needs to be investigated regardless of Occam's Razor. HOWEVER, these are the important issues that are being lost in the noise:

1. Hyde is RIGHT NOW running as a Republican for the 5th district House seat in Connecticut. He is being backed by the Rethuglican Party. Absent even knowing all the rest, the Rethugs are trying to get a dude elected who recently spent 9 days in a psych ward with paranoid delusions that the Secret Service was hacking him, and the Doral landscapers were actually there to monitor/harm him. Only after he made a much more public idiot of himself in December 2019 with a repugnant tweet about Kamala Harris, did a few Rethug politicians suggest he end his campaign. What does this say about the GOP?

2. Whether or not the information and comments Hyde was feeding to Team Rudy in March 2019 was all a fabrication of a busted brain, Team Rudy kept him on the team, and was acting at least in part through him and based on that information. Rudy is a former federal prosecutor. He know damned well that language like "They will let me know when she’s on the move… They are willing to help if you/we would like a price....Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money… what I was told," is an invitation to commit a crime. Legitimate actors, especially ex-prosecutors, would have immediately triggered to that kind of language. An honest one would have reported the communication to the FBI and immediately cut ties. A somewhat less honest but competent one would have immediately cut him loose for being an overly talkative and incompetent goon, and told him never to contact him again... and by the way, forget the political aspirations and any help you might get from us YOU DUMBF***. That Team Rudy just kept running with this incompetent, dangerous, possibly nuts guy speaks volumes about Team Rudy, and of course Team Rudy's bosses. RUDY is the one who needs a lot more investigation.

Facebook removes accounts with AI-generated profile photos

Source: Ars Technica

Facebook on Friday removed what it called a global network of more than 900 accounts, pages, and groups from its platform and Instagram that allegedly used deceptive practices to push pro-Trump narratives to about 55 million users. The network used fake accounts, artificial amplification, and, notably, profile photos of fake faces generated using artificial intelligence to spread polarizing, predominantly right-wing content around the web, including on Twitter and YouTube.


The images were used to enhance the authenticity of some of the 610 Facebook accounts, 156 groups, 89 pages, and 72 Instagram accounts associated with “The BL,” a digital news outlet that described itself as a “pure mountain spring, moistening the heart of every reader” on Facebook before it was removed. Facebook’s investigation connected The BL to The Epoch Times, a conservative media organization with ties to Chinese spiritual group Falun Gong and a history of aggressive support for Donald Trump.

Ostensibly a US-based media organization, The BL network’s pages were operated by users in Vietnam and the US, who Facebook says made widespread use of fake accounts to evade detection and funnel traffic to its own websites. A report by Graphika and DFRLab researchers, found that the majority of The BL network’s fake accounts were used to maintain a cluster of over 80 groups and pages promoting President Trump. The accounts acting as administrators for these pages—which boasted names such as “America Needs President Trump,” “Trump for America’s President,” and “WE STAND WITH TRUMP & PENCE!”—were predominantly fake and created in Vietnam.


Read more: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/facebook-removes-accounts-with-ai-generated-profile-photos/

This is the latest in the international work by fascist groups to support fascism in the US and around the world. We need to be looking not just to foreign interference in our elections, but to the pattern of extremely high-tech attacks against democracy, progress, and social and economic justice by both state and non-state actors (i.e. decentralized terrorists) promoting fascism.

Amazon: Trump used "improper pressure" to block AWS from DOD cloud contract

Source: Ars Technica

In a redacted filing released today by the US Federal Court of Claims, attorneys for Amazon asserted that Amazon Web Service's loss of the Department of Defense Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing contract to Microsoft's Azure was the result of "improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer the JEDI Contract away from AWS to harm his perceived political enemy—Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of AWS' parent company, Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon", and owner of the Washington Post."

The suit cites Trump's instructions to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis to "screw Amazon" out of the contract, as recounted by Mattis' former chief speechwriter, and numerous other incidents of direct interference by Trump in the contract competition, including ordering an "independent" review of the contract by Defense Secretary Mark Esper in August of 2019.

Read more: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/12/amazon-sues-dod-claims-trumps-improper-pressure-blocked-cloud-contract-win/?amp=1

Donnie Dumpsterfire gets caught again misusing his public office, this time as a personal vendetta and an attempt to take a shot at the Washington Post through its owner. Newsflash, Donnie - actual billionaires with a grudge can afford lawyers to investigate and kick your ass.

In all seriousness, Patel/Nunes needs followup. Ethics complaints?

If anyone is still unaware of the Devin Nunes misconduct in inserting his own crooked dudebro, Kashyap Patel, as a fake Ukraine expert to "advise" Trump with info that NUNES wanted him to believe, here's where to get caught up:


This raises a couple major issues. First, this is more than Nunes offering a convenient yes-man. This took Patel misrepresenting himself to feed (mis)information to Trump, presumably (mis)information that Nunes wanted Trump to act on.

Second, who is Nunes beholden to? Whose (mis)info is he feeding to Trump, for the sake of manipulating policy? We have a pretty good guess, but that doesn't show us the lines of human agents.

By the way, Patel has his own shady past, as the articles allude to. He was once smacked by a Judge for being an inept prosecutor. (https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/lawyer-drafted-nunes-memo-brutally-slapped-judge-order-ineptitude/) So what is his angle in this? A failed prosecutor trying to worm his way into a different career? A useful idiot or up to his eyeballs in the scheme?

Either way, this story is far more important than people are recognizing. There needs to be more investigation. At minimum, we need to be asking for an ethics investigation into Nunes. Also, since Patel is an attorney, there may be a route to make an ethics complaint to his bar once we know more. To me, this story is more of a concern, in some ways, than Trump being crooked Trump. Throw the orange bastard out, but Nunes can't continue to hold his seat with this being an aside in the impeachment discussion.

Best protest ad campaign of the month!

Some geniuses have been putting up ads in subways for Rudy's law firm.


Yes, the website really exists. www.CrazyRudyLaw.com

NYT: Trump met with NRA chief for financial support

Source: Axios

President Trump met with Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, on Friday to discuss how the gun advocacy group "could provide financial support for the president’s defense as he faces political headwinds, including impeachment," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: "... in return for the support, Mr. LaPierre asked that the White House 'stop the games' over gun control legislation, people familiar with the meeting said," according to the NYT.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/nyt-trump-met-with-nra-chief-for-financial-support-1b8f4195-513f-4156-ab0d-ff3228090d44.html?fbclid=IwAR0TzoC5sRdOm3mpHLx11Z_tXQnYuogNh_ID_lSvbhR8ljk48t8NaCStjKE

Excuse us? Needy Amin is going to the NRA to get Russian funding and social media support? Can he be any more pathetically obvious?
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