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Political Articles from 2019

Critical U.S. Election Systems Have Been Left Exposed Online Despite Official Denials

[Politics]
Critical U.S. Election Systems Have Been Left Exposed Online Despite Official Denials
by Kim Zetter
Posted September 6, 2019

vulnerable to hacking The top voting machine company in the country insists that its election systems are never connected to the internet. But researchers found 35 of the systems have been connected to the internet for months and possibly years, including in some swing states.

For years, U.S. election officials and voting machine vendors have insisted that critical election systems are never connected to the internet and therefore can’t be hacked.

But a group of election security experts have found what they believe to be nearly three dozen backend election systems in 10 states connected to the internet over the last year, including some in critical swing states. These include systems in nine Wisconsin counties, in four Michigan counties, and in seven Florida counties—all states that are perennial battlegrounds in presidential elections. More…

The Facts:
Electronic voting systems have been proven to be vulnerable to tampering over and over again by multiple sources.

Reflect On:
Why do “our” governments still use these machines despite their proven weaknesses? How can a democracy survive if the results of elections cannot trusted?

How To Avoid Being Called A Russian Agent Online

[Media]
How To Avoid Being Called A Russian Agent Online
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted August 30, 2019

media liesThe always reliable NBC News has published an important and informative article titled “Russia-linked Twitter accounts promoted ‘doxxing’ over racial tension videos”, which uses fearless investigative insinuations and cutting-edge vagueness to inform readers that viral videos of Americans being racist are essentially a Russian fabrication.

The article’s four authors boldly document the shocking, bombshell findings of a Clemson University study that “almost 30 suspicious Twitter accounts” were involved in retweeting videos of racist behavior from white Americans, and, as alert readers should all be aware by now, “suspicious” is another word for “Russian”. Since we all know that racism has never been a problem in America and only Russian agents could possibly promote such an outlandish idea, we can safely assume that anyone we see sharing viral videos of white Americans being horrible to minorities is a subversive agent of the Kremlin. More…

Ohio Republicans Balked at a Nuclear Bailout, so the Industry Elected New Republicans — and Walked Away With $1.1 Billion

[Politics]
Ohio Republicans Balked at a Nuclear Bailout, so the Industry Elected New Republicans — and Walked Away With $1.1 Billion
by Ryan Grim and Akela Lacy
Posted August 25, 2019

lobbying and political donations provide highest rate of return on investmentOn Tuesday, a dark-money effort linked primarily to the Ohio nuclear industry delivered an audacious payoff, as a newly elected state legislature overcame years of opposition to shower a $1.1 billion bailout on two state nuclear plants.

Several dark-money groups spent millions to replace key Republican state legislators in the spring of 2018, followed by a furious lobbying campaign to make sure those new lawmakers elected a new House speaker — one who was amenable to the subsidy. The nuclear industry in Ohio has been on the brink of failure for several years, but previous legislatures had objected to a bailout, reading the writing on the wall: Nuclear power is neither a cost-effective solution for power nor an effective response to climate change, despite hopes for its success. More…

Georgia’s New Election System Raises Old Computer Security Concerns

[Politics]
Georgia’s New Election System Raises Old Computer Security Concerns
By Timothy Pratt
Posted August 16, 2019

DEFCON attendees make short work of voting machinesEarlier this year, Georgia’s Secure, Accessible, and Fair Elections Commission held a public meeting at the state capitol to answer a pressing question: What should Georgia do to replace its aging, touchscreen voting machines, as well as other parts of its election system? In the preceding years, security vulnerabilities in the state’s election system had been repeatedly exposed: by Russian operatives, friendly hackers, and even a Georgia voter who, just days ahead of the 2018 midterms, revealed that anyone could go online and gain access to the state’s voter registration database.

Computer scientists and elections experts from around the country had weighed in during the seven months of the commission’s deliberations on the issue. They submitted letters and provided testimony, sharing the latest research and clarifying technical concepts tied to holding safe, reliable elections. More…

If you provoke the entire world, something may happen

[Politics]
If you provoke the entire world, something may happen
by Andre Vltchek
Posted August 11, 2019

American empire, same weaknesses as previous onesThe United States believes that it is so invincible, exceptional and so frightening that no one would ever dare to protest, let alone defend its people against constant humiliation, economic embargos and military threats.

It used to be like this for quite some time. In the past, the West used to bully the world before and after each well-planned assault. Also, well-crafted propaganda used to be applied.

As everyone is well aware, even lackeys and slaves often hold grudges. And abused dogs can bite. Throughout history, slaves rebelled. True heroes came from rebellious and enslaved nations.

This, what we have now on our planet, is not good, not a healthy situation. The more countries that are being intimidated, the higher the chances are that somewhere, soon, things will let go; collapse. More…

The ‘Citizens United’ decision and why it matters

[Politics]
The ‘Citizens United’ decision and why it matters
by John Dunbar
Posted August 10, 2019

corporate personhood protest at OccupyBy now most folks know that the U.S. Supreme Court did something that changed how money can be spent in elections and by whom, but what happened and why should you care?

The Citizens United ruling, released in January 2010, tossed out the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures and financing electioneering communications. It gave corporations and unions the green light to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates.

In a nutshell, the high court’s 5-4 decision said that it is OK for corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they want to convince people to vote for or against a candidate. More…

The Facts:
It is pretty obvious to most people that the Citizen’s United decision effectively legalized bribery of “our” elected officials.

Reflect On:
How can a representative represent you when they are being paid millions to represent others?

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