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Sweatin’ and shakin’



Korea- what’s at stake

Last night, both Koreas marched under the same flag. I’d insert a clip of that moving display but NBC owns the rights to ruin the Olympics coverage for American viewers.

One thing to note: Mike Pence attended the opening ceremonies and when the rest of the stadium rose in respect for the two Koreas marching together, Pence and his mommy wife remained seated as some kind of protest or something. Who ever heard of anyone not standing in order to protest at a sporting event??


Anyway, Vox created a short video about what a war between the two Koreas would actually involve. It’s not a struggle between two crazy autocrats. It’s the potential devastation of the whole region and three of the strongest economies in the world.

We could just let things happen naturally and be celebrating another end of the Berlin Wall. Or we could let Trump fuck this up royally.

Hmmm… somebody knows something

This tweet caught my eye this morning:

Didn’t we just talk about this the other day when the underreported story about DHS announcing that Russians were able to hack into the voting registration systems?

Governor Tom Wolf ordered counties in PA to switch to new machines with a paper trail but the General Assembly, run by Republicans, hasn’t authorized the money to replace them.

This is interesting for two reasons. The first is that I suspect without any evidence (yet) that the servers that were hacked in 2016 were in PA. It makes a lot of sense. There was a debate (in a debate) about what would happen in PA if the vote was in dispute. We vote on electronic voting machines that do not have a paper trail. And PA was a battleground state. Hillary lost PA here by only 40000 votes. That’s not a lot. All that needed to be done was flip a few votes per precinct to Jill Stein or Gary Johnson.

I’m not convinced that DHS has given us the whole story yet. It has dragged its heels alerting the states about who was affected and what was hacked. This order by the governor following so close after the recent DHS announcement sent a chill up my spine. It would be devastating to find that it happened in PA, especially given the historical significance of this state.

The second cause for alarm is that PA Republicans are FURIOUS that the state is going to redraw the congressional district maps before the primaries this year. This was by the order of the PA Supreme Court that ordered the maps redrawn because they violated the state constitution guaranteeing free speech and equal protection under the law. The US Supreme Court refused to hear the Republicans’ appeal so the state court ruling stands, as everyone knew it would.

The court ordered Republicans to turn over the data they used to draw the existing maps. They refused. One Republican is proposing to impeach the PA Supreme Court justices to make sure the maps stay the same.

The Republicans know that they are absolutely guaranteed to lose seats in the US Congress when the maps are redrawn. There’s no question about that. And we’re not talking about giving Democrats special privileges. All that’s happening here is that their votes count for a change because as it is now Republicans own a whopping majority of the House seats from PA even though Democrats are the majority and keep out voting Republicans. The evidence of this must have been compelling to the court to get it to make this ruling.

So what will PA Republicans do to maintain their grip on PA? I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point. If they really want to win this state, you’d think they would spend their money campaigning on the issues they think Pennsylvanians care about. But it’s so much easier to just smother the opposition from counting.

Would they attempt to hack the vote in November 2018? I wouldn’t put it passed them.

And while we vote on machines without paper trails, anything is possible.

The governor might want to propose a mail in election until the machines can be replaced.

I’m bracing for the news that PA was hacked in 2016. It will be like a slap to the face by the rogue Republicans. Tampering with an election should never be tolerated. It’s like sacrilege.

If it happened here, there’s at least one fit punishment: make the Republican Party pay for the replacement of every paperless voting machine in the state. That would be a machine that is unhackable and has a paper trail. They’ve got deep pockets. Or their donors do.