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As Donald Trump once again sucked all the oxygen out of this week's news cycle, Republican leaders decided not to waste a good Constitutional crisis by killing off their own an election security bill and mocking Democrats. Who says patriotism is blind?


Wednesday Trump's White House and Republican leaders quietly knifed a bipartisan bill to shore up election security ahead of the 2018 and 2020 elections. Led by Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford (of all people), the bill would have created a handy "How To" manual for election security, make states conduct audits after federal elections, encourage them to buy new voting machines with paper trails, and allow DHS to share classified material with high-ranking state election officials. As this was a common sense proposal that had the support of every Democrat and a number of key Republicans, it died a miserable death in a dark smokey room.

Mitch McConnell declined to comment as he wiped blood from his hands with an American flag, and a White House spox said it "appreciates Congress's interest in election security," but noted the bill would have stepped on the toes of states who really didn't feel like fixing the crumbling foundation of democracy.

According to them, some states think that Uncle Sam doesn't need to barrel down the highway with an army of 11-year-old whiz kids to fix the 'ol voting doo-hickeys. So what if DHS can't tell state election officials about the crazy Ivans sneaking through the tubes. They're doing just fine without any new fangled votey poking machines -- thank you very much! -- and they don't need some fancy suit to tell them how to vote Republican (like God intended).

Then, just as they were wandering back to their shantys, two Republican think-tanks noticed that karma had jumped out of the phishing hole to bite them on the ass. On Monday Microsoft noticed the same Russians who hacked the DNC were trying to break into the International Republican Institute and the Hudson Institute with spoofed websites. Rather than sit back and watch, some nice nerds decided to get a court order to kill the sites rather than let all sorts of credentials get sucked up and perverted. Thanks, nerds.

So far there have been five Democratic congressional candidates that have reported similar hacks from Russian IPs this summer, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. While details remain under wraps for most of the hacks, Sen. Nelson has warned several Florida counties have been penetrated only to be mocked by his super rich Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott. In cruel twist, any info on a hack would be classified, and since McConnell just murdered the bill that would have fixed that problem, we'll never know if there's Russians getting wasted away in Margaritaville.

Perhaps this is why someone at the DNC slammed the panic button earlier this week when they noticed a spoofed website trying to access critical voter data. Fortunately this was a test by a security company to see if anyone was would notice the hack, and see how they would react. After people stopped freaking out, security experts noted that the DNC staffers did exactly what they should have done in the event of an attempted breach. And that's why the RNC immediately sucker punched the DNC, and gave them a wedgie.

It's funny because Hillary didn't go to Michigan, not because Republicans have spent over a century trying to strip away voting rights and the Russians haven't really given a shit about the RNC! So what if Trump MIGHT have conspired with a hostile foreign power to swing the election through a covert influence campaign. It's only a little light treason.

[Motherboard / Yahoo News / Mother Jones / WSJ / WaPo / New Yorker]

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or lying in a gutter taking photos.

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Hello! Here a beautiful open thread for you to not comment all over, so that you don't not comment all over Dok's book club post.

I was gonna drop my Nonnie's recipe for Easter bread in here, but apparently it has to proof overnight and is also for approximately 87,000 people, so not much of a point to that! (Though here it is if you really want it. She doesn't do the egg thing, but if you want, you can put some dyed raw eggs in the braided dough before you bake. And you can add sprinkles, and anise if you're gross and like gross things) I was gonna try and make it myself last night, but have instead opted to just make waffles. Waffles are FINE.

So instead, I shall just leave you with this absolutely terrifying version of The Velveteen Rabbit starring Marie Osmond as said velveteen rabbit. Coincidentally, Marie Osmond is also Nonnie's 2nd arch-nemesis, after Rachel Ray (Rachel Ray because she doesn't pull her hair back when she cooks, and Marie for reasons I'm not entirely clear on but which I believe are related to a Weight Watchers commercial).

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT starring Marie Osmond - full length feature youtu.be


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'Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone' -- National Archives

Happy Day Before Half-Priced Easter Chocolate Day, Wonkers! Time to wrap up our Wonkette Book Club discussion of Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal, by Erich Rauchway, a historian at UC-Davis. We're increasingly convinced the book might have just as well been titled Herbert Hoover: Christ, What An Asshole! As ever, even if you haven't finished the reading, jump in anyway -- there won't be a test!

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