I don’t like saying this, I don’t like thinking it, but the painful reality is that a significant portion of the current GOP of totally off its rocker.  70% of Republicans think the 2020 election was rigged and that Donald Trump is still the rightful occupant of the White House.

Multiple new organizations announced Biden as the election winner on Saturday after four days of counting in several swing states. Following the news, 70 percent of Republicans now say they don’t believe the 2020 election was free and fair, a stark rise from the 35 percent of GOP voters who held similar beliefs before the election. Meanwhile, trust in the election system grew for Democrats, many who took to the streets to celebrate Biden’s victory on Saturday. Ninety percent of Democrats now say the election was free and fair, up from 52 percent before Nov. 3 who thought it would be.

Among those who believed that the election wasn’t free and fair, 78 percent believed that mail-in voting led to widespread voter fraud and 72 percent believed that ballots were tampered with — both claims that have made a constant appearance on the president’s Twitter thread. Like President Donald Trump, a majority of the people that thought the election was unfair, 84 percent, said it benefited Biden.

The lack of trust in the election system has led to Republicans being more skeptical about the election results. Although only 18 percent of Republicans had said the results would be unreliable prior to Election Day, now 64 percent feel the same way following Biden’s victory. By contrast, 86 percent of Democrats say they trust the results.

Republicans were particularly wary of the results coming out of swing states, especially in Pennsylvania, which counted votes for four days before delivering Biden a decisive win on Saturday. Sixty-two percent of Republicans said the Pennsylvania results would be unreliable, a stark contrast to the 8 percent of Democrats who held the same beliefs.

Little has changed in public opinion since November.  Republicans continue to believe, based on nothing more than anecdote and rumor that 7 Million votes for Biden “just magically showed up.” There couldn’t actually be 82 Million people who honestly voted for Joe Biden. Trump and his people lost 61 out of 62 lawsuits intended to highlight election irregularities because they didn’t have proof.  They didn’t have the evidence.

It’s literally like believing the Bigfoot is real, and he’s secretly been the Governor of California for the past 10 years.

In 2016, we Democrats were told that we were wrong, that we were loony when we complained about Russian interference in that election. We were told that “No votes were changed” by Russian hacks against the voter registration systems in 30 different states.  We were told that the DNC hack and subsequent Wikileaks releases “made no difference” and didn’t have an effect. It doesn’t matter that Paul Manfort gave internal polling data to GRU operative Konstantin Kilimnick or that he had direct links to the GRU hackers who attacked the DNC and John Podesta email accounts. It doesn’t matter that Trump spent most of 2015 and 2016 trying to have Trump Tower Moscow built while he was running for President and lied about it. It doesn’t matter that he paid off Stormy Daniels and others to keep them quiet about his affairs. That Wikileaks using the leaked emails from the GRU was the pushing of the meme that the DNC had “sandbagged” Sanders in favor of Clinton hadn’t caused his voters to flip for Trump, for Jill Stein or to stay home in several key swing states.

Except that the number of people who voted for Bernie Sanders in the key swings states was greater than Trump’s margin of victory in those states.

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About 70% of the Sanders vote ultimately went for Clinton, but without the 6-13% who voted for Trump that leaves about 20% who either voted for Stein or didn’t vote at all. That’s a 20-30% benefit for Trump. This is on top of the fact that if Clinton had received the share of vote granted to Jill Stein in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — she would have won.

In Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, one could plausibly blame third parties for the outcome. In Michigan, Clinton lost by less than a percentage point, a deficit she could have recovered from with half of Stein’s votes. Again in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where Clinton lost by one point, Jill Stein’s votes would have covered her loss. Had Clinton won all three states, she would have won the election.

Kopko and Devine’s analysis took two approaches to examining the third-party question: First, they projected the outcomes in battleground states if Clinton got all of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s votes. Second, they explored exit polling that asked voters to decide between Clinton and Trump in a two-person race. Both approaches suggested that third parties didn’t make the difference. (To be sure, both approaches have caveats: Exit polling is fallible, for example.)

According to Kopko and Devine’s analysis, if Clinton were given all of Stein and Johnson’s votes, Trump still would have won Iowa, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina. But Clinton would have won Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — enough to win her the election. Kopko and Devine’s analysis was completed before all votes were counted.

The final totals revealed that, in fact, Stein’s total voters exceeded Clinton’s margin of victory. In other words, if every Stein voter had voted for Clinton instead, she could have won Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and the presidency.

Clearly, if she’d retained both the Sanders and Stein voters — it would have been a blowout. No question.   And it’s not like Russia was pushing for Sanders and Stein against Clinton and also arguing that minority voters shouldn’t vote at all. Or were they?

A 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation shows that Russian nationals and businesses also worked to boost the campaigns of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued Friday.

The document, which spells out in detail how the Russians worked to support Trump’s campaign, alleges that on or about Feb. 10, 2016, the Russians internally circulated an outline of themes for future content to be posted on social media accounts.

“Specialists were instructed to post content that focused on ‘politics in the USA’ and to ‘use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump – we support them),’” the indictment said.

On or about Nov. 3, 2016, just five days before the election, the Russians tried to boost Stein’s campaign by buying an ad to post on the Instagram account “Blacktivisit,” according to the indictment. The ad read in part: “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein. Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”

This indictment and case was ultimately shut down by Trump’s AG Bill Barr.

In the report from the Director of National Intelligence, it was made clear that Russia‘s propaganda efforts were widespread.

Russia’s staterun propaganda machinecomprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik, and a network of quasigovernment trollscontributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences. Stateowned Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about Presidentelect Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.

Starting in March 2016, Russian Governmentlinked actors began openly supporting President-elect Trump’s candidacy in media aimed at Englishspeaking audiences.RT and Sputnikanother governmentfunded outlet producing proKremlin radio and online content in a variety of languages for international audiencesconsistently cast Presidentelect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional US media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment. […]

RT’s coverage of Secretary Clinton throughout the US presidential campaign was consistently negative and focused on her leaked emails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism. Some Russian officialse choed Russian lines for the influence campaign that Secretary Clinton’s election could lead to a war between the United Statesand Russia.

The Senate Intelligence Report found that African-Americans were specifically targeted by the Russians.

COMMITTEE SENSITIVE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION ONLY

3. (U) The Committee found that the IRA targeted not only Hillary Clinton, but also Republican candidates during the presidential primaries. For example, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were targeted and denigrated, as was Jeb Bush.14 As Clint Watts, a former FBI Agent and expert in social media weaponization, testified to the Committee, “Russia’s overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline opponents on both sides of the political spectrum with adversarial views towards the Kremlin.” IRA operators sought”to impact primaries for both major parties and “may have helped sink the hopes of candidates more hostile to Russian interests long before the field narrowed.”15

4. (U) The Committee found that no single group of Americans was targeted by IRA information operatives more than African-Americans. By far, race and related issues were the preferred target of the information warfare campaign designed to divide the country in 2016. Evidence of the IRA’s overwhelming operational emphasis on race is’ evident in the IRA’s Facebook advertisement content (over 66 percent contained a term related to rac~ ) and targeting (locational targeting was principally aimed at African-Americans in key metropolitan areas with), its Face book pages (one of the IRA’s top-performing pages, “Blacktivist,” generated 11.2 million engagements with Facebook users), its Instagram content (five of the top 10 Instagram accounts were focused on African-American issues and audiences), its Twitter content (heavily focused on hot-button issues with racial undertones, such as the NFL kneeling protests), and its YouTube activity (96 percent of the IRA’s YouTube content was targeted at racial issues and police· brutality).

5. (U) The Committee found that paid advertisements were not key to the IRA’s activity, and moreover, are not alone an accurate measure of the IRA’s operational scope, scale, objectives, despite this aspect of social media being a focus of early press reporting and public awareness.16 An emphasis on the relatively small number of advertisements, and the cost of those advertisements, has detracted focus from the more prevalent use of original, free content via multiple social media platforms. According to Facebook, the IRA spent a total-of about $100,000 over two years on advertisements, a minor amount, given the operational costs of the IRA were approximately $1.25 million dollars a month.17 The nearly 3,400 Facebook and Instagram advertisements the IRA purchased are comparably minor in relation to the over 61,500 Facebook posts, 116,000 Instagram posts, and 10.4 million tweets that were the original creations of IRA influence operatives, disseminated under the guise of authentic user activity.

Targeting African-Americans may have been the smartest move they made considering that those voters in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Atlanta made the decisive difference last year.

So, was the 2016 election “stolen” by Russia?  Very possibly.  Exactly what the Russians were trying to do — damage Clinton by boosting Stein, Sanders and Trump — is exactly what happened.  Maybe some of that is dumb luck, but then some of it probably isn’t. Russia’s online social media efforts reached 187 Million American views on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  It’s beyond the realm of reasonableness to believe this had no impact at all or to believe that it couldn’t account for the combined 70k losing vote gap in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan that granted Trump his 2016 win.

We were attacked for bringing all this up. It was called a “Hoax.” It was confirmed by the Intelligence Community, it was confirmed by the DOJ, it was confirmed by the Senate but still, people didn’t want to believe it.  I can understand the reluctance, I can understand the resistance and skepticism, but these are the facts of what happened.

Compare the cautious, careful, meticulous methods used to gather the facts and evidence of election meddling in 2016 — to today.

Now we’re told with full-throated fury – that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Somehow.

Ballots were manipulated by Smartmatic and Dominion Voting machines, except that Smartmatic machines were only used in California, so how did that affect the vote in Georgia?   Newsmax has settled their portion of the $1.6 Billion Dominion lawsuit and apologized — APOLOGIZED — for spreading false rumors about them.

The lawsuit, filed by Dominion’s head of product strategy and security Eric Coomer, is among several filed over false claims that election technology companies like Dominion rigged the election against former president Donald Trump and in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

Coomer sued Newsmax in December in state court in Colorado over false claims that he took part in an “Antifa conference call” to rig the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump. He revised his lawsuit in February to bolster his claims against Newsmax, as Insider previously reported.

So no, Dominion did not engage in massive vote flipping in a plot against Trump.

Neither were there massive cases of dead people voting

(CNN)To hear some people tell it — including a handful of prominent Republicans, such as members of President Trump’s family and supporters like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell — you might think that Democrats were using dead people to steal Michigan’s Electoral College votes from Trump.

But, like much of the misinformation circulated online this week by some Trump supporters, the claim falls apart under scrutiny. A CNN analysis of the claim and the purported backing for it did not find a single instance of that happening.
 
One of the supposed pieces of evidence was a list that circulated on Twitter Thursday evening allegedly containing names, birth dates, and zip codes for registered voters in Michigan. The origin of the list and the identity of the person who first made it public are not known.

There is no evidence of fraud.  There is no evidence that false ballots were somehow injected into the system.  Despite this thousands of Trump fans swarmed and attacked the US Capitol on January 6th in an effort to block the electoral college from being certified.  Nobody from “Antifa” stormed the Capitol because why would they? Antifa wanted Trump to remain in the White House? Or they wanted to commit an act of treason just to make Trump “look bad?”  They’re spiteful and petty like that? Seriously?

Mitt Romney was recently booed and called a “Traitor” in Utah for criticizing Trump.  Rep. Liz Cheney is on the verge of losing her position in the House Leadership for refusing to endorse the “Big Lie.”

The Arizona GOP is conducting a massive #Fraudit analyzing votes in Maricopa county — which is the county with the black people — even though it had already been audited twice before.

They’re looking for fingerprints on the ballots using UV light to identify those ballots they believe were “machine generated” when in reality fingerprints don’t become luminescent under UV light unless they’ve been sprayed with a fluorescent solution such as Luminol. (As any CSI fan could tell you).

They’re also looking for a secret watermark that they believe that Donald Trump marked the ballots with, which is also false. And they’re checking the paper for “bamboo” because they think 40,000 fake ballots from “Asia”, with magically correct IDs and signatures, were “stuffed” in the ballot boxes.

Dozens of states including Georgia, Florida and Texas have implemented draconian new voting restrictions to solve a voter fraud problem that literally doesn’t exist.

But in GOPer-land, none of this is a problem.  Trump is still the elected White House resident.  Self-proclaimed Christian prophets are claiming this is Gospel.

According to Newsweek, megachurch pastor Johnny Enlow recently shared a Facebook post with his followers as he explained why he has reason to believe former President Donald Trump is still president. Enlow claims to have had a “vision” of Trump holding “a golden scepter” which he believes is proof that Trump is still in office.

Enlow claims that in his vision, he could see Trump “seated on a throne holding a golden scepter… [with] a golden crown on his head.” He said the vision was Trump’s “PRESENT status from heaven’s perspective.”

“Heaven does not recognize [Joe Biden] having any scepter nor wearing any crown. From heaven’s perspective, there is only the legitimacy of [Trump]. God has assigned a massive contingency of angels to that scepter and to that crown.”

Yeah, uh huh.

They want to Impeach Joe Biden when they claim he’s not really President — how’s that work? —  they want to expel Maxine Waters from Congress.  Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene went to The Villages in Florida for a big rally where they claim the “America Last Media” lies about them because they “tell the truth.”

Some of this, some of the reason for this mass delusion is the impact of Right-wing media but it’s also at least partially, still, the fault of Russia.

To undermine the West and increase its influence, Russia will continue to promote right-wing extremism in ways that largely stop short of direct support for violence by exploiting existing societal tensions and pro-Russia sentiment in certain circles. The violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 renewed attention on the increasingly prominent activities of right-wing extremists (RWEs) in the West and the role of foreign influence in peddling the ideologies that have fueled a number of lethal terrorist attacks in recent years. U.S. officials have not accused Russia of being behind the U.S. Capitol insurrection, which was fueled largely by election grievances. However, Moscow’s sustained efforts to undermine U.S. democracy — most notably through its well-documented interference in the 2016 presidential election — raise questions about its complicity in indirectly strengthening the RWE movement behind the Capitol takeover.…

And more.

Russian internet trolls helped expand the reach of conservative media outlets as part of a Kremlin campaign to influence US politics and sow social discord, according to a new report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The report by New Knowledge, a security company that tracks online misinformation, examined Russian digital propaganda efforts over a two-year period starting in January 2015, when the accounts they tracked first began posting on Instagram and Facebook. Its findings include data showing Russian troll accounts on Facebook overseen by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency heavily amplified links from sites including Breitbart, the Daily Caller, and the Washington Examiner, alongside lesser-known outlets like bluelivesmatter.blue, americanmilitarynews.com, and conservativedailypost.com.

Such posting patterns match previously known IRA efforts to elevate conservatives including Sean Hannity. Content from conservative outlets resonated heavily with the IRA accounts’ Facebook audience, collectively garnering tens of thousands of engagements and thousands of shares. The only more popular links posted by the IRA were from propaganda sites of its own creation, like blackmattersus.com and patriotsus.com.

The popularity of the conservative posts undermines claims by Republican lawmakers that Facebook exhibits patterns of conservative bias that would hamper the reach of such sites. Members of Congress, including outgoing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, have charged that Facebook, as well as other technology companies, frequently censor and downrank conservative content, without firm evidence.

None of this is an accident.  None of this is happenstance. This is all part of a global movement of fascism and authoritarianism.  It’s a strategy by Putin, the Murdochs, the Mercers, OAN and Newsmax and other autocrats to undermine democracy by carefully cultivating a cult of grievance filled know-nothing white nationalists to muddy the waters of free will and free association while pushing strong-man Icons into key positions around the world.  It’s bigger than your in-laws sharing crazy theories on Facebook — they’ve been strategically tricked into the anti-fact full-on delusion club.  These people don’t live in the real world with the rest of us.  They think that CoronaVirus is a hoax, they’re anti-mask, anti-vaccine and anti-distancing — a perfect storm for repeated super-spreader events.  They don’t trust the government, they don’t trust the media – they believe the crazed musings of the “Q Clearance Patriot” who hasn’t posted since December.  They think Democrats and Hollywood are filled with canabalistic pedophiles who are part of a world-wide plot for domination.  They think we’re out to “cancel” them, to “replace” them. The only question is: are they blindly following Trump or is Trump and the GOP blindly following them?  Or both?

Yes, it’s possible to rig and steal an election.  You do it with voter suppression.  You do it with subtraction rather than addition.  You make sure that the wrong people don’t get a vote — so there’s nothing to audit after the fact, looking for a vote that was never cast because the voters have been propagandized into complacency, or blocked from the polls by restrictive hours, long lines and complex ID requirements.

America openly practiced Jim Crow voter suppression for nearly 100 years after the passage of the 15th Amendment.  They knew how to do it in the open, now they’re doing it undercover, but it’s all the same thing.  It’s all about power and control being maintained in the right-wing hands, the white right-wing hands.

Sunday, May 9, 2021 · 6:59:32 PM +00:00 · Frank Vyan Walton

And they seem so normal… for a bit. Then they start talking and it all goes out the window.

On January 6th:

“Nobody I knew was going there to overthrow the government or break into the Capitol building.”

[…]

But people went there to do exactly that.

Whatever happened on Jan. 6th — ‘they’, the people who don’t like President Trump — the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, they allowed this to happen.  Some of them, I think, are being unfairly persecuted. The FBI came to my house after the rally.

Sunday, May 9, 2021 · 7:01:29 PM +00:00 · Frank Vyan Walton

What Republicans think of LIz Cheney in her home district.

Sunday, May 9, 2021 · 8:22:54 PM +00:00 · Frank Vyan Walton

Jordan Klepper reports on the Jan 6th Insurrection.

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