Saturday, February 11, 2023

Last Call For Orange Meltdown, Con't

Turns out Trump did indeed hire an analytical firm to"find the election fraud" in December 2020 and when they find no evidence of it, he buried their findings and has lied about the election for more than two years now.

Former president Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign commissioned an outside research firm in a bid to prove electoral fraud claims but never released the findings because the firm disputed many of his theories and could not offer any proof that he was the rightful winner of the election, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The campaign paid researchers from Berkeley Research Group, the people said, to study 2020 election results in six states, looking for fraud and irregularities to highlight in public and in the courts. Among the areas examined were voter machine malfunctions, instances of dead people voting and any evidence that could help Trump show he won, the people said. None of the findings were presented to the public or in court.

About a dozen people at the firm worked on the report, including econometricians, who use statistics to model and predict outcomes, the people said. The work was carried out in the final weeks of 2020, before the Jan. 6 riot of Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump continues to falsely assert that the 2020 election was stolen despite abundant evidence to the contrary, much of which had been provided to him or was publicly available before the Capitol assault. The Trump campaign’s commissioning of its own report to study the then-president’s fraud claims has not been previously reported.

“They looked at everything: change of addresses, illegal immigrants, ballot harvesting, people voting twice, machines being tampered with, ballots that were sent to vacant addresses that were returned and voted,” said a person familiar with the work who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private research and meetings. “Literally anything you could think of. Voter turnout anomalies, date of birth anomalies, whether dead people voted. If there was anything under the sun that could be thought of, they looked at it.”

The findings were not what the Trump campaign had been hoping for, according to the four people. While the researchers believed there were voting anomalies and unusual data patterns in a few states, along with some instances in which laws may have been skirted, they did not believe the anomalies were significant enough to make a difference in who won the election.

The research also contradicted some of Trump’s more conspiratorial theories, such as his baseless allegations about rigged voting machines and large numbers of dead people voting.

A person familiar with the findings said there were at least a dozen hypotheses that Trump’s team wanted tested.

“None of these were significant enough,” this person said. “Just like any election, there are always errors, omissions and irregularities. It was nowhere close enough to what they wanted to prove, and it actually went in both directions.”
It means Trump knew the election wasn't stolen, and that he went ahead with his January 6th coup plot anyway.

Another piece of strong evidence that, when combined with the rest of the January 6th report, proves Trump tried to overthrow the government.

He should be in prison already.

A Red Alert For Twitter Blue

The reason why mega-billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter is simple: he wants to spread the worst of hate speech on his platform, and wants to get rich doing it.
Elon Musk’s restoration of 10 Twitter accounts that were banned under the platform’s previous management has generated enough engagement since they returned to the platform to likely generate $19 million in advertising revenue annually, a nonprofit dedicated to countering hate speech online has concluded.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said the 10 accounts were among hundreds thought to have been restored under a “general amnesty” that Musk announced in late November.

The report comes as Musk is working to generate revenue for the company, which he has said is in dire financial straits despite the layoffs of thousands of employees and the suspension of payments for a number of services including rent on Twitter’s downtown San Francisco headquarters. Twitter’s advertising revenue in December was 70 percent lower than the previous year, according to data from Standard Media Index, an advertising research firm.

CCDH’s chief executive, Imran Ahmed, linked the drop off in ad revenue to the decision by Musk to restore the formerly banned accounts. “Our research shows that there is a depressingly banal answer to why Elon Musk would reinstate the accounts of self-professed Nazis, disinformation actors, misogynists and homophobes — it’s highly profitable,” he said.

Musk did not immediately respond to request for comment. Twitter’s communications department was eliminated in layoffs last year.

The CCDH uncovered multiple examples of advertisements from major national brands, including Amazon, Apple TV, the NFL and Fiverr, that appeared next to content from the 10 extremist influencers. In one instance, an ad for Wendy’s appeared next to a tweet by Stew Peters, an anti-vaccine influencer with 168,000 followers, where he referred to the vaccine as a “BioWeapon” and claimed people have been “murdered” by it.

In another example, an ad for the streaming service Peacock appeared next to a tweet from Anthime Gionet, an influencer known as Baked Alaska, who was recently sentenced for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. The ad appeared next to a tweet where Gionet asked his followers whether he should “say the n-word.”

Brand advertisements also appeared next to tweets about election fraud, vaccine conspiracy theories, false statements about Ukraine and bio weapons, and tweets denigrating women in business, CCDH said.

Twitter’s drop-off in advertising revenue has been attributed in part to concerns that such juxtapositions would damage brands. “A lot of brands are scared of Twitter given Elon’s rhetoric,” said Brendan Gahan, chief innovation officer at Mekanism, an advertising agency. “He’s created an atmosphere that makes Twitter feel very unsafe for brands.”
Musk's "business plan" for Twitter seems suicidal until you factor in rehabilitating the worst of his new friends in anticipation of 2024 and all the advertising dollars he plans to make on the political circuit, and all the favors he'll have available to collect in the future from those Republicans that his platform helps to elect.

The GOP's Race To The Bottom, Con't

Increasingly, the GOP solution to America's increasing diversity is gerrymandering that leaves majority Black voters concentrated into a few precincts where the rest of the state can be safely ruled by white voters. The few instances where Black voters have concentrated power enough to elect Black Democratic leaders are now being systemically dismantled by subjecting those locations to state rule instead of local.

This is especially true in the South, where Black folk make up 20% of the population of a state rather than single digit percentages in other states.
Racial tensions in Mississippi echoed in Missouri Thursday, as Black Democratic lawmakers accused the state’s Republican House leadership of racism for shutting down a Black lawmaker’s speech and passing a bill that could strip power from the Black woman elected as prosecutor in St. Louis.

The discord in the Missouri House came just days after a similar situation in Mississippi, where Black lawmakers denounced the majority-white, Republican-led Legislature for voting to take power away from local leaders in the predominantly Black city of Jackson.

Like in Mississippi, Missouri’s legislature has a largely white Republican majority. Most of the Black lawmakers represent the state’s two largest urban areas of St. Louis and Kansas City.

Missouri Republicans have made anti-crime legislation a priority this session, often highlighting high crime rates in St. Louis as an impetus. The House passed legislation by a 109-35 vote that would allow Republican Gov. Mike Parson to appoint a special prosecutor to handle violent crimes in areas with high homicide rates, such as St. Louis. The bill also would expand mandatory minimum sentences for persistent felony offenders, among other things.

State Rep. Kevin Windham, a Black Democrat from St. Louis County, was reading aloud a news article about the Mississippi situation during the House debate when some white Republican lawmakers objected that his speech had nothing to do with the Missouri legislation.

House Speaker Dean Plocher ruled Windham out of order, halting his speech. Windham’s microphone was turned off. House Majority Leader Jon Patterson then made a motion to shut off debate on the bill, which the Republican majority voted to do — leaving other Black Democrats standing without getting a turn to speak.
Black voters elected Black leaders in Jackson,Mississippi and after the state's GOP all but assured that the city's water crisis would only get worse, Republicans then had the excuse they needed to put the city under receivership.

In Missouri, a Black prosecutor is being stripped of her power because of criminal justice reform.  Again, the solution is to put Black citizens under statewide white control because "they know best".
In Nashville, Tennessee, the state GOP legislature has introduced dozens of law punishing local Black government leaders in retaliation for the city withdrawing Nashville's consideration as host for the 2024 GOP National Convention.

In Tennessee, the latest statehouse backlash stems back to last summer when Nashville’s metro council spiked a plan to bring the 2024 Republican National Convention to the city. Progressive leaders argued that hosting the massive Republican gathering would go against the city’s values. Others expressed hesitation toward tying up so many city resources — particularly for an event that residents largely wouldn’t attend.

For GOP leaders, who had spent months lobbying and wooing party officials on why Music City should host the convention, Nashville had crossed yet another line. Warnings began trickling in that consequences were imminent.

Nashville continued to attract political ire after council members began discussing whether to cover expenses for employees who cross state lines to get an abortion. That’s because Tennessee’s abortion ban — which was enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — currently has no explicit exemptions.

Lawmakers have been swift in filing bills that offer retribution. Legislation has been introduced that would slash Nashville’s 40-member city council in half. A separate bill would give the state control of the governing board for the city’s airport, stadiums and other landmarks, while another proposal would remove Nashville’s ability to charge the tax that funds its convention center. Republicans then introduced a bill that would block cities from using public funds for reimbursing employees who travel to get an abortion.

Advocates have raised alarm at lower-profile bills, like the proposal to eliminate all police oversight boards in Tennessee. Nashville has one, and lawmakers already restricted it under a 2019 law. Some Republicans have proposed a bill that would rename a portion of Nashville Rep. John Lewis Way to Trump Boulevard.

Specifically, the effort to cut Nashville’s abnormally large city council has sparked some of the fiercest concerns, as advocates warn that doing so will undo representation of minority communities and erode council members’ ability to address constituent needs.

“When people reach out to us about trash pickup, about deaths in their family, about needing things and resources, these are individuals that we are in community with,” said Delishia Porterfield, who has served on Nashville’s council since 2019. “And when you raise the number of constituents that we as council members serve, not only do you make our jobs harder, but you make us further from the people that elected us to serve.

Nashville has a combined city-county government has operated under a 40-member council — significantly larger compared to even more populous cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco — since 1963, when leaders were wrestling with consolidating the city with the surrounding county, and others were working to ensure Black leaders maintained a strong representation inside the southern city.

“When the city was consolidated, and the size increased to 40, there was a promise that we would have more Black representation,” said Democratic Rep. Harold Love Jr., whose father was among the first Black members to be elected to the newly expanded city council in 1963.

“So for me, there are some deep historical ties to the size of metro council when it comes to Black and minority representation that I hope my colleagues would understand,” he said. 
Your GOP colleagues understand perfectly. You will never have the power to resist them again. They will take everything from you. It's the new Jim Crow, and the Roberts Court will never stop it.
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