Trust, integrity

Not quite a year ago, three US Senators and a Representative were sufficiently worried about the integrity of US voting technology – “an integral part of our nation’s democratic process.” – that they wrote to the private investment firms owning majority shares in the three largest voting machine vendors: Dominion, Hart InterCivic, and Election Systems & Software.

These were Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Amy Klobuchar (WI), Ron Wyden (OR), and Representative Marc Pocan (WI). Senator Warren has posted a copy of the letter on her official website, here.

The letter goes on to say:

“Election security experts have noted for years that our nation’s election systems and infrastructure are under serious threat. In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated the United States’ election infrastructure as “critical infrastructure” in order to prioritize the protection of our elections and to more effectively assist state and local election officials in addressing these risks. However, voting machines are reportedly falling apart across the country, as vendors neglect to innovate and improve important voting systems, putting our elections at avoidable and increased risk. In 2015, election officials in at least 31 states, representing approximately 40 million registered voters, reported that their voting machines needed to be updated, with almost every state “using some machines that are no longer manufactured.” Moreover, even when state and local officials work on replacing antiquated machines, many continue to “run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.”

In a separate letter (March 2018) Senators Klobuchar and Jeanne Shaheen (NH) had written to the 3 election equipment vendors (as distinct from the investment firms):

“Recent reports of U.S. IT and software companies submitting to source code reviews in order to access foreign markets have raised concern in Congress given the sensitivity of the information requested by countries like China and the Russian Federation. As such, we write to inquire about the security of the voting machines you manufacture and whether your company has been asked to share the source code or other sensitive or proprietary details associated with your voting machines with the Russian Federation.”

The letters’ signatories are all Democrats.

My point is not that this is proof even Democrat legislators think the 2020 election was sufficiently fraudulent to justify overturning it.

It is that we have every reason to be alarmed about voting machines running Windows 7 in 2020 (11 years after Microsoft support ended), hardware consisting partially of Chinese parts, and whose software source code has been shared with Russia and China: Combined with a completely unprecedented number of mail in ballots one of the election contestants predicted would show their candidate a winner late in the count after trailing significantly. They were accurate. Perhaps presciently, in a year where every pollster overestimated their prospects.

A relatively minor effect? We can no longer even discuss voter ID. What does ID matter when only the rubes will even register to vote? Can you ID a voter whose signature on a mail-in ballot isn’t checked, or forged by a ballot counter? Can you ID a voter who may merely be a hidden algorithm or a Chinese hack? We need at least to think our elections matter.

That’s the point Warren, Klobuchar, Wyden, Shaheen, and Pocan were making.

Rasmussen’s poll tells us 30% of Democrats believe “it is very likely (20 percent) or somewhat likely (10 percent) that it [the election] was stolen.” This must be addressed. Even if 90% of that 30% approve of the theft. Especially then.

That 47% of all voters think Trump was robbed… that this percentage of the electorate can even contemplate this question should alarm us all even more than the possibility alarmed the letters’ signatories. All of whom are Democrats.

If there was ever an issue calling for bipartisanship; if there was ever an issue squarely within the purview of government regulation – this is it. Democrats and NeverTrumpers who contend that Trump’s refusal to concede until all legal remedies have been explored is an international embarrassment to the United States miss the mark. Our election process needs to be fixed. Our election machines need to be as hardened as our missile silos. At minimum, Trump’s suits should look at accomplishing that.

If no other outcome from the legal disputes over this election are forthcoming, EVERY American should wish that the real problem is solved. The embarrassment is that we can’t vote as believably as third world satrapies.

It’s not Trump’s apparent loss that rankles so much as it is the demand we uncritically trust the ballot counting in Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Atlanta. Or else we’re deplorable, though I guess we are anyway.

Finally, if you think the concern over Chinese parts in American voting machines is a piffle, you should read this. If the Chinese are building backdoors into your “smart” doorbell, a soft target, please consider the value of backdoors into your electronic election systems. And combine that with the level of incompetence and overt deception we’ve seen in those conducting elections at the precinct level.

Evidence

Most of the people demanding that Sidney Powell produce potentially witness endangering evidence, outside the courtroom, right now; are the same ones who insist, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary, that Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian dezinformatsiya. They are the same people who suppressed that story.

It has been just three weeks since the election. Recounts are still going on. If the allegations have any truth, the story will be very complex. Let’s remember it took Al Gore 37 days to concede after withdrawing his first concession in 2000. The only deadline is the day the Electoral College votes.

And, as Democrat Speaker of the House Tom Foley and George Mitchell, the Senate Democrat leader, said in a 1991 joint statement:

These allegations [fake news about a 1980 deal with Iran to keep American hostages until after Carter lost] are both persistent and disturbing. We have no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, but the seriousness of the allegations, and the weight of circumstantial information, compel an effort to establish the facts.

(This is often misquoted as, “Even though there is no evidence, the seriousness of the charge is what matters. The seriousness of the charge mandates that we investigate this.“. Which is a pretty good paraphrase, nonetheless.)

Democrats applied this same logic to the Steele dossier. The differences are that they were the source of the dossier, they were the source of leaking it, and they insist to this day it was true – despite evidence from their own Special Counsel.

I don’t want to believe in massive election fraud either, but over the last 5 years the Democrat leadership have demonstrated they are capable of such a conspiracy.

Nearly a Third of Democrats Believe the Election Was Stolen From Trump.

Authentication?

I saw a note that Senator Charles Grassley, 87, has tested positive for CCP virus. He is in quarantine. God speed his recovery.

He missed his first Senate vote in 27 years. After 8,927 consecutive votes.

It isn’t clear, but I think Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Fed was put on hold because Grassley’s vote would not be available. He must be on the Senate floor to cast a vote.

You have to wonder why it is, when all manner of people whose identity isn’t checked at all get ballots in the mail because of a pandemic, that Senators can’t vote over a secure face-to-face video connection. If you think about it, Grassley is pretty easy to recognize, and the NSA could agree not to hack the transmission. Grassley could even have some staffer hold up a copy of the Washington Post in the background to provide a time stamp and proof of life.

It would be different if a filibuster still required someone to stand and speak continuously, and if a filibuster was even in the offing. Neither is the case. So, as long as he is as mentally capable as Joe Biden, Grassley should be able to vote on Senate matters remotely. Some few of which are still important to the country.

What if a dozen Senators, or more, are capable of voting but denied the opportunity? Lacking a provision to continue the Senate’s business during a pandemic is a national security threat. Then again, so is the willy nilly mailing of ballots.

Normalcy bias is probably unwarranted

Dispatch 46: Revolution, Insurgency, and Civil War – we are there

You may not know Michael Yon, but you will probably recognize the picture on this book cover:

Yon took that iconic picture in May 2005, of U.S. Army Major Mark Bieger cradling an Iraqi girl, who was wounded by shrapnel from a car bomb.

Yon served in the Special Forces in the 1980s. He spent more time embedded with combat units than any other journalist in Iraq from 2005 to 2008, when he shifted to Afghanistan. From July 2019 until February 2020, Yon reported from the streets of Hong Kong on the protests. The ChiComs deported him.

He has since moved to reporting first hand on riots, in Portland, Seattle, and Washington D.C.. He’s headed to Atlanta right now.

I’ve read, and recommend, both his books. I respect his opinions.

I give you this background because the link above takes a pessimistic view of the direction the United States is heading. I do not mean to stoke anxiety, but this man is qualified to comment. Not some yahoo.

Smooth

Democrats are complaining that the “transition” to the putative Biden administration is being obstructed. They claim the transition from Obama to Trump was free of such drama. It was “smooth.”

This is a myth. But, never mind the petty obstructionism from the Obama administration: It’s at about this stage of the Obama/Trump transition that the Russiagate plot got well and truly underway, though preparation had begun long before the election.

In Oct 2016, then FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe presented the Steele report (to be totally discredited almost 4 years later) to the FISA court for the first time – as verified intelligence. McCabe was investigating election interference under operation “Crossfire Hurricane,” which began in July of 2016. McCabe has admitted leaking the document and lying TO HIS OWN agency about it.

That plot was pretty smooth, we haven’t yet got to the bottom of it.