The Self Serving Jill Stein Recount Scam

ap_514085205775-021470928390Jill Stein, admittedly, always struck me as a bit of a naive and somewhat unhinged candidate. But, Stein was the “Green Party” candidate and, once Bernie Sanders lost, became the go to darling for ill advised voters and activists that were far too willing to wreck the world with Donald Trump than consider the circumstances and vote for an eminently qualified, albeit terribly flawed, candidate in the form of Hillary Clinton. It is hard to argue with anarchist, blow it all up, demagogues when trying to protect a lame, and status quo, candidate. Even when the ultimate opponent is a raging racist, bigoted, misogynistic, female choice hating and torture loving shill like Donald Trump.

So many otherwise Democratic voters went off and voted for Stein and/or Gary Johnson. Did it make the “final difference”? I have no idea, but there is certainly an argument that could be made.

Was it the Jim Comey FBI factor from the stunningly inappropriate rogue actions by the FBI Director putting his self righteous thumb on the electoral scale in both the start of the critical summer elections season and, then, yet again in the last two weeks before the election? It is easy to make that argument, irrespective of any other factor.

Was it that Hillary did not expend personal and campaign time and dime in Wisconsin and other Rust Belt states when she did a lost, but very much growing, cause venue such as Arizona? Easy case for that argument as well.

The actual data and competent reportage seems to indicate that all of the above were significant factors. It strikes me that is right.

All of the above factors fed into the defeat of Clinton and the election loss by her, if only by the electoral college, at the tiny hands of Trump. So be it. That is what happened under the electoral laws and process (yes, let us not forget the pernicious meddling of Russia and/or Wikileaks, whether they are coupled or not) pertinent to the 2016 US Presidential election. But, like the result or not, that was all pursuant to the Constitution and election laws as are currently extant in the United States. There is not one competent piece of evidence that the actual vote itself was “hacked” or “rigged”. Just none.

Which brings us to the much ballyhooed action of Jill Stein to crowd fund and conduct audits and or recounts in the key states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The second she started her effort, I opined it was an attention grabbing craven play by Stein, and not a legitimate effort with any eye to any substantive results. On a more private forum I intoned:

But that is the thing: It IS bomb throwing, and stupidly so. There is NO evidentiary basis for fraud or mistake that I have seen. The guy who started it, [J. Alex] Halderman himself, admits as much legally when he says he thinks it is most likely poll inaccuracy, not anything nefarious.

I know all the beaten down, especially Clinton diehards, that cannot fathom how she blew this election, want to grasp for something. But it just isn’t there.

I stand by that completely. What Jill Stein is doing is blatant self promotion, list building, reputational repair where it is undeserved, and slush funding for an incoherent Green Party. It is detestable to the extreme. Stein has glommed onto this recount scam as a way to serve herself, she certainly is not serving anything else.

To quote a significant Democratic election law attorney, and longtime friend of this blog, Adam Bonin:

“If there were something to do here, there are a lot of us who would be jumping on it”

Early on the hashtag #AuditTheVote was attached to this chicanery. Here is the problem with that – two out of three of Stein’s target states already “audit the vote” as a regular matter of law without the need for Stein’s self serving injection into the matter. In fact, Stein’s primary target, Wisconsin, has a reasonably robust random audit provision in Wisconsin Revised Statute 7.08(6), which has been generally deigned to require:

The voting system audit procedures consist of two independent processes: an audit conducted by municipalities of reporting units randomly selected by the State Elections Board and an audit of reporting units conducted by the State Elections Board. Number of Reporting Units to Audit: Per the requirements of section 7.08(6), Wis. Stats., each type of electronic voting system in Wisconsin must be audited after the general election to ensure that each system does not exceed the error rate prescribed in the federal voting system guidelines. The State Elections Board will randomly select fifty (50) reporting units across Wisconsin which will be subject to municipal audit, including a minimum of five (5) reporting units for each voting system used in Wisconsin. If fewer than five (5) reporting units for any voting system are selected through the random selection process, then additional reporting units will be randomly selected by voting system until five reporting units per voting system have been selected. If there are fewer than 5 reporting units using a voting system the State Elections Board staff will audit those reporting units if the reporting units are not selected as part of the random draw. until five reporting units per voting system have been selected. If there are fewer than 5 reporting units using a voting system the State Elections Board staff will audit those reporting units if the reporting units are not selected as part of the random draw.

Well, that is actually pretty robust. And all of which would have been, and will be, performed without the preening self interjection of Jill Stein in her first state of concern, Wisconsin.

Just Wisconsin? Nope. Pennsylvania also has an inherent audit provision, though not quite as robust as Wisconsin. The bottom line is, though, there are already “audit the vote” provisions in two out of three of Jill Stein’s targets, even though she declined to say so in her propaganda seeking funding to stay in the spotlight and reconstruct her reputation. In fairness, Michigan has no such automatic audit provision, so there is that.

Next, you need to consider that there is a substantive difference between “audits” of the vote and flat out recounts. Stein has always been about recounts, despite the bogusly applied #AuditTheVote nomenclature applied by Stein and her glommers on. Recounts are expensive, labor intensive, and time consuming. And they are asinine where there is not a single shred of competent evidence to support fraud or mistake that could, even in the remotest possibility, change the outcome in a given state or states.

And, let us be crystal clear here, there is still NO competent evidence whatsoever of fraud, mistake or other irregularity that could change the result. None. And that is the thing, unless there is fraud, mistake or systematic error, recounts can do nothing to legally support a challenge to the election results. A challenge has to stand up in court. It cannot be thin and based upon rote supposition and suspicion. Even if Stein’s folly turns up a minor discrepancy here and there, that will not suffice.

The vote differential, again in Wisconsin for instance, between Clinton and Trump currently stands at 27,259 votes. Yes, that is less than the total of Stein, so despite the wild claim she threw the election that some Clinton supporters have thrown, I will not. Some Stein voters were never going to vote for Clinton; so while Stein’s vanity run deserves ridicule, it does not, in and of itself, “prove” Clinton would have won but for Stein. Close enough for ridicule given that Trump is the result? Sure. But, again that, too, holds for ridicule of Clinton’s own arrogant and detached campaign and the fatally pernicious effects of the completely rogue arbiter of his own justice, James Comey.

So, where does that leave us? With a Norma Desmond like self promoting grifter, dying to redeem her name and stay in some/any spotlight, in the form of Jill Stein. She was a cancer on the election (hey, her dinner with Putin and Mike Flynn was cool though!) that, at a minimum, helped elect Trump, and she is sticking around to create more hell now that said deed is done.

This is absurd. Jill Stein is a grifter and a fraud. And she is playing this opportunity to, first off, list build for herself and the Greens, secondly, resuscitate her and their name, thirdly, stay in the press, and lastly, create an amorphous slush fund to continue those things. Stein is succeeding beyond wildest expectations if your idea of the normal course of business is Donald Trumpian level grifting.

For a woman who raised only $3.5 million during her entire vanity run for President, Stein has now raised nearly $6 million dollars in far less than a week on this scam. That is NOT because Stein has dedicated Green Party followers wanting to bleed yet more money into their candidate after the election; no, it is because desperate Clintonians are seeking some way, any way, to stop Trump. And playing on that desperation is exactly the fraud of Jill Stein.

A common refrain I see is that, “golly, there is no harm, and much good, that can come from confirming the vote”. But that is just more self serving balderdash from the desperate and/or Stein acolytes. In fact, there is great harm that can come from Stein’s shenanigans. Here is Rick Hasen from the Election Law Blog, quoting the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Wisconsin could be at risk of missing a Dec. 13 deadline to certify its 10 electoral votes if clerks can’t complete an expected recount by then.

Hitting the deadline could be particularly tricky if Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is able to force the recount to be conducted by hand, Wisconsin’s top election official said.

Stein — who received just 1% of the vote in Wisconsin — has promised to file for a recount by Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline in Wisconsin. She is also planning to ask for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, which have deadlines next week.

A federal “safe harbor” law requires states to complete presidential recounts within 35 days of the election to ensure their electoral votes are counted. This year, that’s Dec. 13.

What is the upshot of this? Easy, Stein’s effort could easily place Wisconsin, in light of the December 13 deadline, of missing the deadline and disenfranchising all voters in Wisconsin. Yes, there are potential repercussions from actions like Stein is taking, especially when there is no known basis or grounds whatsoever evidentiary wise to support them. And that is just Wisconsin. Michigan and Pennsylvania are in even bigger jeopardy thanks to the self serving hubris of Jill Stein, should she actually continue on to file in those states as promised, without any rational basis for challenging the vote therein.

Lastly, while I have been writing the instant post, the attorney for the DNC and Clinton Campaign, Marc E. Elias, has weighed in on Medium with an official take for both himself and, by all appearances, the aforementioned campaign entities. The Reader’s Digest version, by my eyes, is that, while the DNC and Clinton camps are going to join into the Stein effort, they have never seen any basis for it, and are being dragged into a position of noticing their appearance and joinder simply in order to preserve their rights to be involved should Stein’s group go so far off the rails or, in the remotest of all potentialities, find anything. That is not joinder with enthusiasm, it is joinder to protect your legal voice. Trump is now doing the same for similar reasons. I do not blame either Clinton or Trump for doing so, in fact, Stein’s idiocy put both of said parties in that regrettable posture. Don’t cast your eye askew for one second at Elias and the Dems, nor even Trump and the Repubs, ….Stein and her idiotic self serving publicity play made them do it.

In short, this effort by Jill Stein is nothing more than a self promoting vanity play. If you want to donate to that grift, by all means, go ahead. But don’t blather about how it is going to help democracy or promote fair elections. That is absurd. In fact, just exactly as absurd as Jill Stein’s cynical grift on her current donors who are far different than her few and far between Green donors.

Stein is scamming the dispossessed. That is a Trumpian level fraud.

54 replies
  1. jo6pac says:

    I’ll have come back and read this when I haven’t had 2 bottles of whine. How sad this your impression and I don’t mind being wrong since I’m wrong 99% of the time.

  2. Teddy says:

    So it would be a *bad* thing if Wisconsin’s electoral votes — clearly obtained by the GOP candidate through outright voter suppression via Crosscheck and lately invalidated (but still applied) state voter ID laws, even if not fraud and hacking — could not be cast?

    How is that a BAD thing in the extant circumstances? Anything to delegitimize the “president-elect’s” victory is a good thing to me.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, I think that would be a terrible thing. Again, those were the legal electoral conditions that Wisconsin citizens went to the polls to vote under, whether you and I like, or approve, or not.

      They all deserve to have their votes count in a national election under the laws and court decisions extant at the time. They do not get to be disenfranchised because you and I don’t like things.

  3. bevin says:

    why “Was it that Hillary did not expend personal and campaign time and dime in Wisconsin and other Rust Belt states..” ?

    The anti-union Clintonites have been avoiding Wisconsin since the sit in strikes in Madison and the subsequent recall campaign. I don’t imagine that Hillary was anxious to be seen with Russ Feingold either- just the sort of guy she would not have wanted in the Senate.

    As to the ‘other rust belt states’ the strategy was obviously to pick up their votes through the traditional ward heelers- the pastors, the Union Bureaucrats, the ethnic leaders. ID politics in fact because seeing her there would have reminded the unemployed, underemployed and overemployed that she brought them NAFTA which brought them all their problems.

    • bmaz says:

      Meh, this seems bogus to me. Far more apparent is that Clinton merely took Wisconsin for granted, as she did California (and rightfully so in some regards) rather than some conjured up, and unsupportable, theory that she did not wish to be connected to Russ Feingold. They served together in the Senate, get along quite well, and she would MUCH rather have Russ than a blithering dick like Ron Johnson.

      Seriously, you have to be kidding me here; this is absurd.

      • emptywheel says:

        One problem with the theory of “take for granted” is that even if she did, then what was her pollster doing? Trump got notice of his surge, but the reports from Hillary’s pollsters not only have flaws, but seem to post-date when Trump was seeing the surge. Why?

        At the very least, it seems Hillary’s pollster fucked up pretty broadly, even accounting for the fact that they used turnout predictions that assumed white working class voters would not turn out like they did. I’ll add that the reports that Hillary was GOTVing Trump voters suggest that they weren’t paying attention to one of the key feedback mechanisms that should have told them their polling/turnout was wrong.

        So, sure, maybe Hillary just miscalculated. But one thing missing from the post-mortems so far (I’ll remind you that ACA premium spikes are likely another issue) is how Hillary’s response in the rust belt was so late and inadequate.

        • bmaz says:

          No argument from me on that. Whether it was her polling, strategy, carelessness, or all of the above, Clinton clearly blew it.

        • Desider says:

          I assumed that Russ Feingold was largely her proxy in Wisconsin and thought things were going well after his 70 county listening tour (plus I think Bernie did some October campaigning). So what did these guys hear, and why didn’t they get the bad news or get her message across (and why did Feingold lose)? And considering the little Trump was supposed to follow polls, why would his by more clued in? I don’t think he had much of tough contests in the primaries to hone those skills.

          I simply have trouble believing Trump had a grand strategy that cleverly set up Rust Belt states to swoop in at the last minute. I’m more inclined to believe insider crap the way he knew Comey’s announcement was coming down the pike – what other insider angles did Trump have going? It’s not like he’s a guy who likes to work hard – witness the debates – he goes for the fix every time.

          I won’t speculate about hacks or whatever (and Nate Silver seems to have largely addressed that), but there’s *SOMETHING* we’re all missing.

  4. Zigmeister says:

    Well, I enjoy your football forecasting.

    So, who really won this election? I honestly, sincerely want to know.

    Feel free to get all conspiratorial and such if you like.

    After all, you didn’t make “The List.”

    You should be all good.




    • bmaz says:

      Who “won the election”? That is easy, Clinton is winning the popular vote by, give or take, about 2.5 million votes. Trump is winning the electoral college, and therefore the Presidency, by a margin of 306 to 232.

      Under the current Constitution and election statutes, Trump is the “real winner”.

      We do not do conspiracy theories here, so there will be none of that. Thanks about the football, drop in and chat on Trash Talk then, it is fun and we would enjoy your voice.

    • bmaz says:

      Ah yes. I remember you. You were the twit that dropped in out of nowhere 3-4 years ago to support the Platinum Coin idiocy as a solution to all of America’s debt and budget problems. Golly, you were so brilliant then, what a shame you have just blessed us again now. Thanks for playing!

      • sihlkee says:

        Your take on that was just as garbage. I didn’t drop out of nowhere. I’ve had Marcy on my RSS feed for years. Not anymore. You’re that bad.

        • Avedon says:

          Well, to be honest, I’m a bit shaken by your sudden interest in not counting the votes.

          Look, it should be a scandal that we have such trashy elections.  Not just the voter suppression, but the fact that Democrats, of all people, just kind of ignore it.

          Caging is illegal, but they were doing it.  Removing legitimate voters from the rolls should land people in jail, but it doesn’t.  The voting machines aren’t even owned by the states, they are owned and operated by private entities which are in turn owned by Republican operatives.  Moreover, touch-screens, which started life as ATMs, were deliberately redesigned so that they could not be audited.

          This is an outrage we were made aware of in 2000, but everyone is all Nothing to See Here about it.  Why is that?  How did it happen that this outrage, which was perpetrated by Republicans who we know are trying to stop Democratic voters from voting, is just shrugged off?  And why do people keep calling it “conspiracy theory” when there is plenty of documentation that all kinds of shady things are creating election fraud?

          And by the way, don’t you even want to know why “the exit polls are wrong” only in places where recounts are either unlikely or impossible (because the machines can’t be audited since there are no paper ballots and no audit trails)?  How come they’re never wrong where paper ballots are hand-counted?  We’re talking differences as high as 7% – higher than the winning margins – and you don’t want to know why?  You don’t think it’s worthwhile to secure and verify the integrity of our elections?  Why not?

          Here’s what I think is going on:  Many Democrats got all those anti-Stein talking points in their email baskets and got so into their Jill-hate that they are dedicating more time to finding reasons to hate Stein than they are doing anything productive.

          I thought Democrats were being stupid and complacent before in ignoring this issue, but Jesus, actively opposing election integrity is f’sure not productive.  Y’all sound like Republicans.

        • bmaz says:

          Uh, yeah, the votes have been counted. And Stein’s folly has nothing whatsoever to do with vote caging, voter suppression, ownership of machines, or any of that.

          Those are real issues. I would dearly love for this money and effort to be expended on resolving those issues, increasing ease of registration and access to polls and, yes, as Marcy has intimated, putting in a sound audit process across the board for future elections.

          Instead, the wad is being blown on a vanity scam by a nutbag like Stein in a situation that will make it all look like folly. This effort is actually going to serve to politicize and set back the real efforts on problems you have identified. I think that is outrageous.

        • emptywheel says:

          But, regardless of what benefit it may or may not have for Stein, it also sets a necessary first precedent for election reviews happening.

          Opposing now bc you don’t like Stein makes it harder for others in the future.

        • bmaz says:

          Saying I oppose this only because of Stein is involved wrongheaded and belies what I have argued. The effort is stupid above and beyond Stein and, in my view, I know you clearly disagree as you have made crystal clear, counterproductive. It calls into question election results for which there is no known extant question, and it does so on the back of a cynical vanity play. One of those factors alone is enough to challenge the effort, two is too much.

          Secondly, these Stein follies are NOT the comprehensive audits you want, They are simple recounts, and seem to be very different things. If you need any better evidence than I have already laid out as to Wisconsin, look at Stein’s latest effort in PA. Today is the last day to request a recount, but ALSO the last day to request a formal “contest”, which is a legal matter and, again, requires actual demonstrable basis, of which there is, currently, exactly none. I cannot speak for courts in PA, but people I have talked to that can, say this is pretty much laughable.

          Thirdly, Trump’s play, intentional or not, is serving to goad people into this folly which will only confirm his win. It will also, by my eye at least, serve to unnecessarily politicize and make a farce of an effort that should focus on, as you freely intone, regular and systematic auditing of the vote. I do not see that as a positive staring down the current Congress we face.

    • bmaz says:

      Go read whatever you want. And, frankly, I really don’t really give a damn what you read. That said, by propagating, without any substantive basis, this bogus “the vote was hacked” crap, you are parroting Trump’s act completely right up until the election. It was asinine bullshit, without basis then, and it is now. So, if you want to bellow about Trump, take a look in the mirror.

      • sihlkee says:

        You believe there is an argument to be made that Stein voters caused Trump to be elected, and you want to lecture me about asinine bullshit without basis? You suck.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, you mean the argument I conspicuously refused to make or specifically endorse in the post?? THAT argument? The one where I said “I have no idea” on? That one? You are hilarious.

          But, do you have any substantive discussion to offer, or are you just here to throw things around?

        • sihlkee says:

          Why mention it at all? Are you a god damn idiot? I have no idea, but there’s certainly an argument to be made.

          Edit: just here to vent a little about this shit piece by this shit writer before never returning.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, aren’t you a joy. Thank you so much for continuing to enlighten us despite repeated promises to be gone. Golly Gomer, maybe I am an idiot, but I am cognizant of the arguments of numerous people I have seen in multiple forums that have tried to blame Clinton’s loss on Stein. Frankly I think Stein was pretty detrimental under the relevant circumstances, but do not think she can be pegged with being a definitive cause. Even in a state like Wisconsin where she got more votes than the loss margin of Clinton to Trump. I simply do not think that is fair to say she was “the” factor. By the same token, to insinuate she had no role, or should not be discussed in that vein is similarly asinine.

        • Desider says:

          Come on, there are multiple factors, even multiple 3rd party candidates.

          Michigan – Hillary loses by 10K votes; Stein gets 51K, Johnson 172K

          Wisconsin – Hillary loses by 27K; Stein gets 31K, Johnson 106K

          Pennsylvania – Hillary loses by 69K; Stein gets 49K , Johnson 144K

          How many of those Johnson votes were #NeverTrump Republicans vs #NeverHillary Dems? I don’t see an analysis, so can’t say.

        • Desider says:

          Right, so “but do not think she can be pegged with being a definitive cause” is largely irrelevant, because combined with Johnson she can easily be a definitive cause; combined with Comey she can easily be a definitive cause; etc, etc.

  5. RexFlex says:

    Your seething condescension just proves how absolutely precious your intellect is over your ability to perceive reality. Your failure to do anything about it except cry like a little girl about outlier situations and then attack any criticism of your own words proves how impotent your brand of politics is now and going forward.

    Good luck building consensus in the future.


    • bmaz says:

      Oh, golly, did you call me a “little girl”? How oh so manly of you “RexFlex”. You have anything substantive to say?

      • RexFlex says:

        Please use the gesture of taking one’s hand palm down and flicking one’s fingers several times away upward from the palm accompanied by the phrase “Shoo, Shoo”. You know like one would do to an arrogant waiter in Miami.

        Sorry the little girl comment needed your defense more than seething condescension.

        Please go back and read what I wrote above. I feel that is quite substantive.

  6. bloopie2 says:

    Well, since the swords are apparently out tonight, I’ll join in with some bah humbug of my own. If Trump cuts funds for public education, the schools should start with athletics. I mean, check out this statement from the other day, by an Ohio State linebacker commenting on his upcoming Michigan game: “To be naive enough to look at the College Football Playoff right now, that would be stupid, in my opinion. This is all we care about, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.”
    Maybe that’s hyperbole, but to say that, or even to think that, is ridiculous. Did this lunk get a scholarship? Are taxpayer dollars supporting that crap? Does that kind of thinking make Ohio, and Ohioans, better? And you wonder why America is so fucked up. Ohio (my dear home state, fortunately long gone) has nowhere near enough to spend on its citizens, but damn, that Michigan game is important, and winning it will make America great again! Then of course there’s its neighbor the Wolverine State, which spent its extra cash (!) on getting Western Michigan into a bowl game instead of on stupid things like water filters or lead-free pipes for those people in Flint. And of course we watch, and we applaud, like the Romans who suckled at their Emperors’ gladiatorial teats while around them their Empire crumbled. No bitching allowed next time you have to drive around all the potholes on the way to the stadium.
    So there. I think I’ll go to bed before I get hurt. There’s always tomorrow for that!

    • bmaz says:

      Hey, the Brownies will win sooner or later! And the league will be better off when they are competitive again. That aside, think it is more than fair to say that if money has to b e cut, it should be in sports not education. The argument that sports pays for the university as a whole is true for very few institutions, even the big ones. So, agree completely. There ought be a happier middle ground, but hard to argue with what you said at root.

  7. blueba says:

    In addition to all the criticism of Stein she is also further alienating tens of millions of people. Tens of millions of ordinary people who “greens” and “progressives” have claimed to support voted for trump not Stein or Amy Goodman. These are the very same people the left wants to help, yet now they can do nothing but call them names and insult them with refusing to accept the election results. These are the poor, and the “Just About Managing” JAMs and the middle class whose children can’t find jobs. But they voted for Trump and now rather than champion their cause they belittle and ridicule them.

    This is no longer about left and right or Democrat and Republican – it is an insurgency with the intention to disrupt the deeply corrupt government.

    The choice now is to join with the insurgents, do as much damage to the established Neoliberal feudal order cause chaos confusion and disrupt its ability to form “trade” deals and attack Russia and/or China. Already, TPP os dead, TTIP nearly so and TiSA in serious trouble (the worst of them). Further there is talk of easing tensions with Russia. These are fantastic accomplishments the left or the Greens could not even dream of accomplishing – largely because all they do is piss off voters.

    The political landscape has changed, it is now the insurgency or the Neoliberal establishment – take your pick.

    Clearly, one at a time Warren, Sanders and now Stein – when the chips are down they side with the Neoliberal status quo, and wonder why no one will vote for them. They are capitulators as surly a part of the establishment as Obama or Clinton. The only “change” they are interested in is to them in power.

    The establishment – all of it, deep state, political state, corporate power – have been wounded and the center has fractured. An insurgency has entered the heart of power and disruption is inevitable and desired.

    The left seems to be saying, OK war with Russia, TPP, TTIP and the rest are acceptable if Trump is kept from power – Trump as president will be worse than the possibility on nuclear war under Clinton.
    You can see the left has its own institutions they are trying to protect, failed institutions which have accomplished very little with their sanctimonious attitudes.

    Trump is ugly no doubt and perhaps he will fall completely for fascism, but it is a chance which must be taken if there is any hope of stopping the relentless pursuit of “Global full spectrum domination.” by the most belligerent and ruthless empire the world has ever known.

    Just for fun and to illustrate that US foreign policy has moved in a straight line toward the goal of global domination sense WWII here is a list of US invasions, coups d’etat etc it has conducted over the past 70 years – no other nation comes even close to this kind of imperial aggression:


    China, 1945-49
    Italy, 1947-48
    Greece, 1947-49
    Philippines, 1945-53
    South Korea, 1945-53
    Albania, 1949-53
    Germany, 1950s
    Iran, 1953
    Guatemala, 1953-1990s
    Middle East, 1956-58
    Indonesia, 1957-58
    British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64
    Vietnam, 1950-73
    Cambodia, 1955-73
    The Congo/Zaire, 1960-65
    Brazil, 1961-64 (again 1972 – see Operation Condor)
    Operation Condor also included Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina seven countries in all) Search Operation Condor for documented details.)
    Dominican Republic, 1963-66
    Cuba, 1959 to present
    Chile, 1964-73 (also – see Operation Condor)
    Greece, 1964-74
    East Timor, 1975 to present
    Nicaragua, 1978-89
    Libya, 1981-89
    Panama, 1989
    Iraq, 1990s
    Afghanistan, 1979-92
    El Salvador, 1980-92
    Haiti, 1987-94
    Yugoslavia, 1999
    Sense 2000: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, the Palestinian Territories, and other Middle Eastern countries.
    This list may not even be complete.

  8. martin says:

    bloopie said:
    quote”I mean, check out this statement from the other day, by an Ohio State linebacker commenting on his upcoming Michigan game: “To be naive enough to look at the College Football Playoff right now, that would be stupid, in my opinion. This is all we care about, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.”unquote

    Says one who still hasn’t heard who his new President is nor cares. WIN WIN WIN football. That’s all that matters. sheezushchrist. Yes bloopie. America is fucked up. Every single comment section I’ve read from Nov 9th, is filled with Trump supporters who sound like the election was the Superbowl. WE WON. YOU LOST. Hahahaha. WE WON, you suck… and on and on and on. This whole election thing seemed like this to me. Trump supporters didn’t give a damn about anything but TEAM TRUMP. Our TEAM is better than your TEAM. GO TEAM. GO TEAM. GO TEAM TRUMP!!!! America makes me sick to my stomach. Especially now…

    What I haven’t figured out yet…is WHY Trump wasn’t arrested and prosecuted for INCITING HATE VIOLENCE. But now…this is beyond campaign rhetoric. This is becoming REAL. And Trump owns it. Lock…Stock..and Barrel. I can only pray it comes back to eat Trump alive.

  9. emptywheel says:

    Back when I was involved in Dem politics, I was the observer for a primary for which the precinct chair was a good friend, from the Dean days. I was also close to the County Clerk and his top staffer.

    I forget what teeny discrepancy there was on our precinct — not enough to matter to the outcome. But both I and the precinct chair asked for a recount (this would have been about 2006, so when the alarm about voting machine tabulations was fairly new). The County Clerk refused.

    Again, that outcome would not have been changed, probably. But we were still left with an anomaly that didn’t make sense. It was a low-stress opportunity to test the code sent from the state. Didn’t happen.

    That’s a problem. Elections should be tested in unexpected ways from time to time, to make them harder to game. I’m frankly not all that comforted by an audit ultimately answering to Scott Walker, and I have very specific reasons to wonder what the fuck MI’s own SoS was up to on election day, and I wonder why Rhonda Romney is Trump’s leading pick to be RNC chair.

    So I figure it can’t hurt. Does it offend you that Jill Stein might get some publicity out of it? I don’t much care. Practicing recounts is a good in and of itself.

    • emptywheel says:

      One more point: After the election the Hillary camp took its election monitoring software and made it unavailable to local Dems. Dems locally had some issues they wanted to look at, and were forced to reconstruct them by asking the people who had dutifully used the election monitoring software to write up their findings from memory.

      That’s a problem.  Which is another reason I’m not upset about forcing the Dems’ hand on this.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, Stein’s actions here do offend me. Think I made that pretty clear. If you want a specified recount – partial or full – system put in place, fine. Let’s do it. But for a charlatan like Stein to go on a lark and glom on to people’s desperation with no evidentiary basis of fraud or mistake strikes me as a complete and detestable scam.

      • Desider says:

        I haven’t read her comments carefully, but I think she was clear that it was based on a possible anomaly published by the 1 non-partisan statistician, that she regarded it unlikely that the election was hacked but that it’s worthwhile to examine anyway, and almost certainly she’s a proxy and the $5 million raised came from say Clinton backers who for “appearances” sake couldn’t do this likely even if it did look like it was hacked.
        On the other hand, most of the polls were caught way off guard, and while that’s not unprecedented, especially with Comey et al, it’s worth exploring if any cause related to the voting system was missed. As Marcie said, they don’t take the easy cases to check up on, so it’s more difficult if a more complex case pops up.

        Anyway, Donald seemed to like the idea of “suspense”, so I don’t mind someone giving him some. If Wisconsin doesn’t make deadline, well golly, Trump has plenty of margin where 20 electors don’t matter, even if Wisconsin voters sadly are disenfranchised.
        And no, I didn’t like Stein before and don’t like her now. At the moment she seems to be what the Russians call a “useful idiot” – for a change.

      • Desider says:

        And with Trump’s once-again arrogant and malicious “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”, I’m happy to inconvenience him.

  10. lefty665 says:

    Hi bmaz, we disagree, but I’m not inclined to descend into the ad hominem muck.

    I have no clue what Stein is up to. If she’d wanted attention, actually running a presidential campaign would have given her that.  I made a couple of Green contributions but quit when it became clear they were not going to run an active campaign. It seemed like they were still spooked by the Nader demonization tune the Dems did on them, instead of looking to themselves, their policies and their candidate as the reasons for their loss. Sounds sort of familiar doesn’t it?  How bad was Clinton? She was so f**king bad the country elected Donald pathological narcissist Trump over her.

    Evil is evil, and I’m done being suckered into the “lesser evil” fools game again and will not vote for evil any more. I voted Green and do not regret it, but won’t vote for Stein again after this.

    The recounts seem pointless. Nate Cohen at 538 and a couple of other reputable folks have noted that when you control for simple things like race, income and where the different types of voting machines are, the discrepancies disappear.

    90% of the country has not had a raise since 1978. Look at the plunge family net worth has taken. Wall Street has picked their pockets clean. Those are the people Trump was appealing to, the racists, misogynists and other assorted dingbats he appealed to all came along for the ride. The Wall St. elites will come for the rest of our assets next.

    When Trump fails to deliver for his voters, and he will, the good folks looking for an even break will search elsewhere. If the Dems fail to purge the corrupt, greedy, neolibs, Wall Streeters and elitists (not to mention liberal hawks)  the swing in 2020 is likely to be even wilder than 2016.

    I’d respectfully suggest that instead of dissing those of us who rejected your choice, and did not fall for the lesser evil trap, that you instead focus on helping the Dems rediscover their New Deal roots and become the party of the people again.  A replay of 2016 in 2020 could be a lot uglier.




    • bmaz says:

      I’ll just cite, with agreement, what Scott Lemieux said:

      To me, Stein’s after-the-fact attack of conscience just underlies the extraordinary bad faith behind her entire enterprise. Nobody who knows anything really thinks that there’s no meaningful difference between a competent, moderate liberal and a grotesquely corrupt and unfit authoritarian committed to Coolidgnomics. Nobody can claim with a straight face that “1. Running an ill-informed buffoon for president every 4 years. 2. That’s about it” represents some kind of serious theory of social change that would justify putting the much worse candidate in the White House. The vast majority of Stein voters (or people on the left who just wouldn’t vote for Clinton) were just free riders who didn’t want Trump in the White House but expected this not to happen. This kind of thing works until it doesn’t.

      To be clear, I don’t think that in the end Stein swung the election; like most such counterfactuals, it founders in Pennsylvania. I also don’t think this is much of a defense. In a period of political crisis, she ran a campaign whose only possible material effect would be to put Donald Trump in the White House, and spent her campaign reinforcing the ridiculous narrative that this was a race between to equally corrupt candidates who were similar ideologically. We can be extremely confident that this campaign was dishonest as well as counterproductive. When you willingly join a firing squad set to execute much of the New Deal and Great Society, it’s not much of a mitigating factor that you were ultimately given a blank.

      • lefty665 says:

        I won’t disagree with anything you’ve said about Trump or, at this juncture Stein. She is a bit player who has run what she has of a party into irrelevance. Where we diverge is Hillary, she is every bit as evil as Trump, although in different ways.

        To begin to recover Dems need to quit blaming others and look at their own failures. Blaming us because we correctly saw that the Empress wannabe had no clothes and then refused to fall once again for contrived lesser evildom is bullshit. The nation did that earlier this month in rejecting her and electing a different rotten SOB.

        In 2009 Obama rode into town on veto proof majorities in Congress and a mandate for “Change We Can Believe In”.  He delivered a stimulus that was far smaller than needed. It stopped the free fall the economy was in but was not nearly enough to bring back prosperity. H

      • lefty665 says:

        Nonsense bmaz. I don’t disagree with what you’ve said about Trump or most of the Stein bashing for that matter. She is small potatoes and has drug what there is of her party into irrelevance.

        Where we diverge is Hillary.  She and Trump are corrupt and evil in different ways, and they are ideologically discrete, to the extent you can identify a Trump ideology that is more than transient. You can’t tar me, or people like me, with Lemieux’s stick.

        Hillary is far more than the status quo turd you described somewhere up thread. She is the personification of the corruption, greed, blind ambition and neolib Wall Street elitism that runs the Democratic Party. It has run it into its own hell of holding no national office, minorities in both houses of Congress, and massive minorities at the state level. It has boosted the Repubs to their largest numbers in a century and brought us the ugliness we are going to experience in the next four years of pathological  narcissist Trump. Despite my rep for political omnipotence even I would not be able to engineer such a profound collapse. A lot of Dems have had their corrupt, greedy, elitist lemming heads up their butts for years to f**k up so badly.

        In 2009 Obama rode veto proof majorities in both houses of Congress into power with a mandate for “Change We Can Believe In” from a grateful and hopeful nation. He proceeded to do a “stimulus” that was large enough to stop the free fall, but only about 1/4 the size needed to bring back prosperity. He then used Americans with mortgages in trouble to “foam the runway” for the banks and dropped some $20 trillion from the Fed to support the banks and for the banks to pay huge bonuses. He also spent around a year and a half avoiding Medicare for all that would have prevented the Obamacrap we’re in now.

        In 2010 after the Dems stood for nothing, the Repubs took the House, eliminated the veto proof majority in the Senate, and won some 680 seats in state legislatures.

        In 2012 he Obama engineered his own re-election.

        In 2014 after the Dems again stood for nothing, the Repubs took the Senate, governorships and state leges bringing them to their highest point in nearly a century.

        In 2016 after the Dems stood for nothing but corruption, greed, blind ambition and neolib elitism the Dems lost their last national offices and set a new high water mark for the Repubs.

        Dems need to look inward for the source of their woes, not point fingers at those who have tried to help them see where they have gone so profoundly wrong. Time is short, the ’18 mid terms are right around the corner. With Chuck “the Senator from Wall Street” Schumer running the Dem minority in the Senate the prospects for losing more seats (they’re defending 24) are high.

        When Trump fails the Americans who turned to him after being spurned by neolib, elite, right wing, DLC Dems, the Dems better be ready. If they are not, the demagogue who arises in 2020 may make Trump look like the very model of moderation.

        Dems can get ready by purging the corrupt, neolib, elite, right wingers who have been running the Party and building a new structure on their New Deal foundation that respects ordinary people. Or they can become the Cheshire Cat of political parties, soon there will be nothing left but the smile.



  11. Dan Riley says:

    You make some good points about the existing audit procedures, but I’m surprised to find you agreeing with the Bush v. Gore majority wrt the safe harbor provisions.  What the law says is that electors appointed by the safe harbor date are protected from challenge in Congress.  After the safe harbor date, Congress can still choose to count those votes, but the electors could be open to challenge.  The only case where the current Congress would confirm a challenge to the WI electors would be if a recount changed the result to a Clinton win.  Wisconsin’s electoral votes are safe as houses (both of them) as long as any recount confirmed a Trump win.  So please, don’t exaggerate the effect of missing the safe harbor, it was a bad argument in 2000 and it’s still a bad one now.

    • bmaz says:

      Fair point about the safe harbor timing, But, as you know from Bush v. Gore, it is not just about the counting time, but potential litigation time being allowed for any legal challenge thereafter. So, yeah, I think it is certainly a valid concern here. If you do not have any real expectation of litigation, then why are we here?

      But that is part of my problem with Stein’s grift. Neither she nor anybody else, as I pointed out, can identify any potential legal basis for an actual legal challenge. Nobody expects that will occur, yet there is Stein collecting up legal fees that will just go into her “voting rights” slush fund. She is running a scam.

  12. Denis says:

    I’m with Bloopie. I’m with Lefty. I never was “with her.” Good riddance to avaricious trash, IMO. She’s the Woody Hayes of American politics — nobody’s gonna’ miss her. And the Democrats are the NCAA of American politics — destroying the very core of what they are supposed to be promoting.

    American federal elections are totally bogus, statistically speaking. Given that over 125 million votes were cast, the variance in this election was enormous, but nobody knows how enormous because the votes are, normally, only counted once. In science this is referred to as “N=1.” And N=1, in turn, is referred to as “bogus data.”

    Recounting the votes generates its own variance, much of which is determined by the same factors in the original vote that can’t be examined or corrected, like potential ambiguities in the process of casting the votes. The chads didn’t go away with the FL recount, they just became visible to the world. Sort of like that incorrigible zit on prom night.

    Seems to me that if you wanted a statistically worthwhile election, each precinct should make at least 4 independent counts. “Independent” meaning by completely different officials with none of them having knowledge of each others’ results. The results of those counts should be averaged and the standard deviation determined. If the SD is not within some predetermined boundary for certain precincts, then those precincts’ count should automatically be examined for a problem.

    Not knowing what the SD’s are (because the incompetent system dispenses with such data), my guesstimate is that any “victory” in any state that is by less than a margin of 2% is unreliable — statistically bogus IOW. In any state in which there is less than 2% separating the top candidates, the results should be resolved by a coin-flip because statistically no one “won.” Even better, the electors should be determined on a precinct-by-precinct basis, with coin-flips determining the winner in close outcomes in each precinct. Like I say, the 2% figure is a guess, but an actual figure could be determined at which a coin-flip is the only fair way to resolve cases in which no one won the vote.

    As for Stein’s gambit with the re-count, theoretically I like the idea of crowd-sourced recounts. I believe this is a first. If the losers want to throw their money at a hail Mary attempt to upend what is already a statistically bogus outcome, what the hell? It’s not tax money. And a little transparency never hurt anything, right? If a recount “finds” 50,000 extra votes for Hilton or 50,000 fewer for DTDuck, then it’s confirmation that the system is not only statistically bogus, but rigged as well.

    I think the bother about Stein is coming from Americans who are peeing their panties because once again the world might see what a freaking fraud the whole enterprise is, notwithstanding Wisconsin Revised Statute 7.08(6).

    As bmaz admits, the statutory auditing standards vary from state to state, as do all of the voting rules and procedures, and that’s the basis of the stupidity of the entire federal elections cluster-fuck. The idea of voters without “proper” IDs being turned away in some states and no IDs being required in others is just fucking loony-toones. Americans, who are too blind to see that the NCAA is destroying their academic institutions, are also too blind to see how traditional federalism is long past its expiry date.

    Federal elections should be conducted by the feds and exclusively under federal statutes and regulations — preferably by an elections agency under run by the USSCt and overseen by the US district and appellate courts. Only fed agents should ever touch the voting machines, the ballots, or the s/w.

    As far as bmaz going after Stein b/c the recount could take Wisconsin beyond the Dec13 deadline, I’m like . . . WTF??? Stein didn’t set the freakin’ reporting deadline; Stein didn’t set the freakin’ recount deadline; Stein didn’t write any of the state or federal election laws: Stein seems to be wholly within the laws and within her rights. She timely filed her petition. So get off her back already. When she breaks the law or steps outside her legal/constitutional rights, then bitch (poor word choice, sorry).

    The biggest worry I have is that knowing how Jeb Bush was pulling levers in Florida, and knowing that Walker is just as much a wanker but a lot dumber, the (8-member) USSCt could end up fucking this election, too, only it would take more than one contested state to do that. Of course, we’ve got our octogenarian idiot Ginsburg already on the public record as being with Hilton and loathing Trump, so with her recusal (ha, ha, ha) Trump should be OK. Broward County, here we come.

    Finally, forget the presidential brouhaha. Real and scary change is coming from the bottom up. As a result of the Democrats being dumped in states all across the country since Obama took office, the Republicans are now in control of 31 state legislatures. This is, like, back to the pre-depression days of the Republican owning everything. But the scary part is that the country is just 3 states away from the Republicans doing a massive re-write of the Constitution, and they are organizing for just that.

    You think Jill Stein’s recount is a problem, just wait until this constitutional convention moltov cocktail goes off in 2018.

  13. emptywheel says:

    I had been alerted to this before, but Charles Gaba did the math on how many more no-votes at President there were in MI than in previous years. The previous high, in 2012, was 49.7K. This year 84.3K cast no vote for POTUS. There are a number of good explanations for that: historic unpopularity of the candidates, the negative campaign, write-ins for Kasich, Ryan (both adjoining state GOPers), or Bernie.

    But it is something that could affect the outcome. While MI is probably the best run state (though as I’ve said, I have some questions about precisely what the SoS observers did during the day), it also has the smallest margin to flip.

    • bmaz says:

      Interesting. And worth exploring. So, the last second poorly conceived recount (just look at the PA effort) will answer your and Gaba’s questions how?

  14. James says:

    Computer security experts have been telling us for twenty years that these touch screen voting systems are easily hackable and unverifiable so you’ll have to forgive me for finding Adam Bonin’s assertion that he will be “jumping on it” laughable.  I don’t care if Jill Stein uses the extra funds to buy a personal jet.  If she is able to draw attention to this issue so we can get these machines taken out of service it will be worth every penny.

    And, seriously bmaz, if you find it shocking that a politician would seize an opportunity like this to grab attention and cash for her party you might need to take a look at your own level of naiveté.

  15. asker says:

    I enjoy reading Marcy’s work and come here everyday… I probably will continue but really I find bmaz two sworded flash overkill intimidating. I suppose that kind of thing works in a courtroom… nothing left of your opponents? That seems to be the style, just intimidate but don’t clear anything up. Reminds me of that Newsweek guy.

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