SocraticGadfly: 9/11/16 - 9/18/16

September 16, 2016

No, our elections are not being hacked

The Dallas Morning News does some good reporting on this one.

1. Regarding being hacked by Putin or whatever, electronic voting machines aren't connected to the Net.
2. Regarding being hacked by Diebold, generally, observers from both duopoly parties are at polling places. (Let's hope that third parties get enough membership in more places to do that.)
3. Votes in Texas are then manually audited.

That said, while half of Texas counties use machines that produce paper vote printouts, that means half don't. Beyond the issue of hacking, machine error happens and without that paper trail, it can't easily be investigated.

This is the type of thing that something like a Brad Friedman of Bradblog should be reading, then honestly trying to refute — if he can. But he won't.

Don't know about all people claiming vote hacking conspiracies, but I do know that he's a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and probably has one or two other conspiracy theories in his woodshed.

As for "vote hacking" in general? Good old fashioned vote fraud may still happen somewhere. Contra GOP wingnuts, I'm not talking about individual citizens voting illegally. I'm talking about local officials corrupting the process.

September 15, 2016

Colin Powell vs Hillary Clinton — #DNCLeak cuts both ways on lies

So, the latest iteration of Democratic National Committee leaks lets us know just what one former Secretary of State thinks about another, and her husband, right? I do have to admit it's pretty funny to see that.

At the same time, this is the same Colin Powell who lied to the United Nations Security Council about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, including specific lies about uranium tubes that allegedly were for nuclear centrifuges, when he had good reason to know they were for artillery barrels.

And, the same Powell who may have lied 30-something years before that about My Lai.

Plus, Powell's own political ambition, including an eyeball for the White House, wasn't exactly bridled itself.

And, per the email, does he know something we don't? Was Hillary Clinton already 70 in 2014 and 72, not late 60s, today?

Show me the birth certificate!

Also, per the email, what proof did the New York Post (I presume that's the NYP) have of where the Slickster was putting Slick Dicky? Maybe, per other photos of him with The Donald, they were sharing some lady friends ... maybe on joint airline flights to visit Jeffrey Epstein?

At the same time, what is, or was, the allegedly sensible, moderately conservative, Powell doing reading a rag like the Post?

September 14, 2016

The choice for president, in analogy — a bad one, then good one

Blogger/Salon writer Digby, moving close to Peter Principle level or else having reached her sell-by date, is apparently pretty much a Hillbot.

She offers up her analogy of what the presidential election choice offers:
Former Bush administration official Andy Card is undecided. He seems to think the choice between Clinton and Trump is like a choice between apples and oranges. 
No, its a choice between an apple and a fetid, rotting, pile of dead fish. You may not like apples.  But the pile of compost will make you very, very sick.

As I Tweeted her, expanded a bit:

Actually, the choice is between a barrel of thuggish stinking mackerel, a barrel of condescending rotten apples, Gov. Veto (I lived in New Mexico in the late 1990s) and Jill Stein #fify

And, of course, there's more than two parties in America.

Digby may have at one time been an original and creative opiner. Not any more.

September 13, 2016

#ClintonHealth — the Manchurian connection and #ClintonBodyDouble

It's all so obvious, at least to me, how Hillary Clinton got "pneumonia," if that's what it is.

Two words.

Vladimir Putin.

What happened?

Vlad the Impaler, to update my original theory, got some of the anthrax that started popping out of Russian permafrost last month.

He then, to increase Clinton's vulnerability, went down the Alexander Litvinenko route and threw in a bit of polonium-210.

So, we know now that Clinton's been poisoned with anthrax, and with an immune system weakened by radioactivity.

But how?

In her tea, like Litvinenko.

And where?

At the Russian Tea Room, of course.

And, you'll soon see a Clinton body double.


Well, a certain Wiki-guy may no longer be in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Just saying.

TX Progressives discuss voting issues

The Texas Progressive Alliance brings you the pneumonia-free version of this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff is not surprised that the Justice Department is accusing the state of Texas of misleading county election officials about the updated voter ID requirements.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos believes the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News should hold the Texas Republican Party to the same standard as it does Donald Trump. According to the Dallas Morning News Donald Trump is no Republican. But neither is the Texas GOP for that matter.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes a bad week for Ted Cruz: afraid of 'Value Voters' and dissed by John Cornyn.

Socratic Gadfly looks at the Texas Trib and Bizjournals touting "the world of apps" as an allegedly surefire get-out-the-vote idea, is sure that it's NOT a surefire idea with folks like Valley Hispanics, but expects the Texas Democratic Party to be suckers for it anyway with pretty much the same results as before.

Neil at All People Have Value added a page of his public art and revised his photography page as well at

Equality Texas hopes for more civility on transgender issues after AG Paxton met the Briggle family.

Texas Sharon is again in the fracking crosshairs.

Egberto Willies wants to pump up the outrage volume over EpiPen.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Juanita reminds us of the Trump U - Greg Abbott connection.

Eileen Smith looks at the Catholic angle on Donald Trump.

Anna Dragsbaek chastises Bexar County DA Nico LaHood for his misinformation about vaccinations.

The TSTA Blog is hesitant to be optimistic about pre-K in Texas.

Houston's Metro is looking for an urban designer.

Nan Little Kirkpatrick makes the connection between abortion access and transgender health care.

Jenny Dial Creech is not having Art Briles' apology.

September 12, 2016

#EndlessWar is still about oil in the end

NPR graphic; numbers as of 2012.
President Obama, who's kept troops in Iraq, bombed Yemen, bombed and CIA-ed Libya, and other things to expand Bush's War on Terra, has proven that more than once.

The biggest proof just came down the pike today, though, with his threat to veto a bill that would let 9/11 victims and their families sue the government of Saudi Arabia.

Despite both the Bush and Obama White Houses doing all they could and can to stonewall looking into, and making public, Riyadh's connections to 9/11, it's clear that dots are out there waiting to be connected by legal action.

As for BushCo, Sen. Bob Graham has long claimed that Shrub shit-canned any attempt to bring the Saudi connection to light. He just reiterated that on Saturday.

Now, a couple of points.

First, both House and Senate passed the bill by voice vote. How many Congressional cockroaches will scurry for daylight when forced to stand on a record vote remains to be seen.

Second, what will the Saudis do if it becomes law? While the "shale revolution" has helped decrease the percentage of oil we import, we still import a lot. Just not all of it from the Saudis.

If the Saudis did try an embargo, it's likely both Iran and Iraq would do all they could to fill the gap. U.S. producers would step to the plate. And tar sands in Canada would ramp up. I can't see the U.S. having a major hurt, at least in the short term. And, after commodities futures markets got done with their rumor-mongering, I think the per-barrel price would settle at around $65.

September 11, 2016

#NeverForget ... all those preventable deaths besides 9/11, hyperpatriots

I actually did a newspaper op-ed column about this two years after Sept. 11, 2001. But, I know the basics of it still, and with flags being waved in plenty, let's roll. (sic)

First, I can call out American exceptionalism without saying anybody on 9/11 deserved it.

Second, I can call out our government for whitewashing the degree of Saudi involvement, like Jill Stein, without being a 9/11 truther.

OK, I've cleared the decks.

Let's roll.

The United States has millions of cases of preventable deaths every year. Some are of diminishing returns, as far as regulatory efforts, or self-control, or both.

Three are not, and two of them directly involve government regulation that's blocked by right-wingers.

Let's roll.

Tobacco, with 450,000 or more killings a year, kills more people every three days, than died in 9/11. Big Tobacco knew it was producing a killer even before the 1964 Surgeon General report. Rather than cooperate in any way, it spread its denialism to Big Oil, on climate change and other issues. We continue to pay the price.

Alcohol problems, from cirrhosis and cancer to DWIs and work accidents, kills as many people every 10 days as died in 9/11. This one is equal opportunity. Alcoholism, like illicit drugs, kills across all races, all socioeconomic statuses, and presumably all political stances.

But, let's go back to that first link.

Violent deaths in America kill as many people every three weeks as died in 9/11. And, in the U.S., unlike most developed nations, most the violent homicides and a high percentage of the suicides are from guns.

The guns that right-wing hyperpatriots don't want regulated.

So, guns kill as many people in America every six weeks as 9/11.

And, 9/11 happened just once.

EVERY three days, tobacco kills another 3,000.

EVERY 10 days, alcohol kills another 3,000.

EVERY six weeks, guns kill another 3,000.

Never forget?

Let's start by remembering that.

As for 9/11, the long history of U.S. coups in the Middle East and elsewhere has also killed more than 3,000 people. Again, this doesn't mean that "America deserved it."

But, just like hypocritically unhealthy living, it does mean America should look in the mirror.