Republicans Won't Fund Election Security Because It's Not Like Russia's Gonna Hack It For Democrats
In an impressive display of fiscal restraint, House Republicans yesterday refused to fund security for election systems before this fall's midterms, because ... well, not sure, really. (Just kidding. We know why and you know why and they know you know and we know why!)
More than a dozen Democrats lined up Thursday on the House floor to ask unanimous consent for an amendment to allocate an additional $380 million in grants to the states for election security, but Republicans said forget it, because the omnibus spending bill passed earlier this year funded an existing grant program, and it's not like anything new has come up that might require beefing up security.
"The American people should be very worried about the commitment of this president and his Republican allies in Congress to securing our elections," said Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.). "This is a party that has worked with this administration to undermine and minimize the investigation surrounding Russian interference in our presidential election."
Stuff and nonsense, insisted Rep. Pete Sessions, chair of the House Rules Committee. The Texas Republican said the states are simply wallowing in money from previous appropriations, and Dems' suggestion that electoral systems are at risk is naught but a "shrewd political shenanigan that has no merit to it." He added that Congress hasn't seen any proof that more money is even needed. You know how states are, always just rolling around in money.
Sessions also claimed that the $3.5 billion spent on electoral systems since the 2000 election was plenty, perhaps glossing over the tiny detail that most spending under the "Help America Vote Act" was aimed at preventing another fuckup like Florida's vote, not necessarily fending off foreign intrusions into data systems. Besides, everyone knows election security is all about making it harder for blacks, Messicans, and youngs to vote, since they're more likely to vote wrong.
But sure, said Sessions, if Robert Mueller would just wrap up his witch hunt, maybe there might be a need to improve election security:
"Maybe the special counsel will announce something in two weeks: 'Oh, here's what the Russian indictments really are.' If we learn something, authorizing committees will come right back to it and we'll go to it," Sessions said. "But there is no new data or information, it's at the end of 3½ billion dollars, and there are no requests."
Yup, if only Mueller would be a little more specific about everything he knows, then Republicans might take some action, maybe. It's not like there was anything specific in last week's indictment, for Crom's sake, except for the really specific stuff about the Russians conspiring
to hack into the computers of U.S. persons and entities responsible for the administration of 2016 U.S. elections, such as state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of U.S. elections.
Only the theft of 500,000 voters' information in a single state, plus the hack of the companies that sell the friggin' voting systems. Plus the recent news about internet backdoors built into voting machines -- meant to be used for technical support, but yeah, maybe a tad vulnerable to hacking. As in, the source code for the helpy software is already out there in the hacker community. But there isn't yet any proof Russians have changed votes, so maybe they'll decide not to, in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
Another House Republican, Dan Newhouse of Washington, explained, "There is no crisis. There are funds available," so Democrats should just stop talking about election security and it'll go away.
We suppose that also would include Democrats like Dan Coats, Trump's Director of National Intelligence, who said last week, "The warning signs are there. The system is blinking. It is why I believe we are at a critical point," and compared the current situation to the months prior to 9/11.
So there you go. What we do now is tell him he's covered his ass, and then after it all blows up, blame gays and abortion.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.