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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

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Nate Silver: Clinton 'almost certainly' would've won before FBI letter

Source: The Hill, by Rebecca Savransky

Hillary Clinton would likely have been elected to the White House if not for FBI Director James Comey's October letter to Congress regarding the investigation into her private email server, statistician Nate Silver tweeted Sunday.

"Comey had a large, measurable impact on the race. Harder to say with Russia/Wikileaks because it was drip-drip-drip," Silver said in the first of a series of tweets about Comey's possible influence in the election.

Silver tweeted a graph showing that late-deciding voters in several swing states, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, did not go for Hillary Clinton.

"I'll put it like this: Clinton would almost certainly be President-elect if the election had been held on Oct. 27 (day before Comey letter)," Silver tweeted.

More at: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/309871-nate-silver-clinton-almost-certainly-wouldve-won-if-election-were-before

And: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

ICYMI - Did Russian hackers elect the U.S. president? Dont believe the hype.

Washington Post, Ryan C. Maness and Brandon Valeriano


Two material facts have combined to create this latest cyber hysteria. First, we know that just over half of voters were disappointed at the results of the Nov. 8 election. Second, Russia hacked personal and campaign emails over the summer, along with voter rolls in some states, apparently to erode confidence in the American electoral system.


Suggestions that Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election are unhelpful, as Russian capabilities do not extend that far. Hacking voting precincts would take physical manipulation of machines. Hackers would have to open and physically reprogram each voting machine in each targeted precinct, or swap in malware-infested voting cards to replace the original ones. This would take a legion of Russian spies betting on not getting caught — not a risk that a calculating Russian President Vladimir Putin would be likely to take.

We do know that the U.S. government warned the Kremlin before the election and made it clear that any meddling would be met with retaliation. Russia apparently stopped its email-hacking activities before the election. Some analysts argued that this move reflected a realization in Moscow that the election of Trump might not be at all helpful to Putin’s international ambitions. It’s also likely that U.S. actions, such as closing off WikiLeaks’ Internet access, were proportional responses that demonstrated U.S. resolve.


Research by an Israeli team led by Michael Gross suggests that people’s fears of cyberterrorism are not significantly different from their fears about conventional terrorism. In fact, the threat of cyber violations provokes a biological reaction, as measured by increased stress. This suggests that the impact of cyber violations weighs more heavily in people’s minds and bodies than in reality.

That an election theoretically could be hacked does not mean that it was. The hypothetical possibilities inherent in digital attacks often far outweigh the actual extent of digital aggression.


Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/11/24/did-russian-hackers-elect-the-u-s-president-dont-believe-the-hype/?utm_term=.ecbb79dacef2

The end of Westworld is a great time to revisit Michael Crichton's 1973 film

From Vox, by Alissa Wilkinson


The Westworld movie is a glorious mashup of genres, like the show: Western, sci-fi, thriller. This movie makes explicit what the finale hinted at: Westworld is one of three theme parks (the other two are Medieval World and Roman World) in a big amusement park called Delos. It’s set in the future, which for a film released in 1973 is 1983.


The film was Crichton’s directorial debut, and he turned it into a novel later. Seventeen years after Westworld’s release, Crichton wrote another novel about an amusement park experiment gone very badly, but this time with dinosaurs.

Why do Crichton’s stories keep getting remade? Probably because they’re set in theme parks — places designed for fun, to escape the real world — but are stealthily dystopian, giving a glimpse of a future that could be prevented but probably won’t be, in which we destroy ourselves in the pursuit of leisure. In the case of both Westworld and Jurassic Park, those dystopias arrive when people are desperate to experience the past, whether it’s the Wild West or the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

In an era when nostalgia threatens to take us over through both endless reboot culture and political campaign slogans, it’s worth pausing to consider Crichton’s warning.

Read it at: http://www.vox.com/culture/2016/12/10/13898070/westworld-movie-hbo-michael-crichton-jurassic-park

Our campaign lost the election. But Trumps team must own up to how he won.

Source; Washington Post Opinion page, by Jennifer Palmieri

Jennifer Palmieri was communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.


A good bit of the post-election analysis has centered on what our campaign should have done differently. That’s appropriate. We should think long and hard about why we lost. Trust me, we have.

But it’s also important for the winners of this campaign to think long and hard about the voters who rejected them. I haven’t seen much evidence of such introspection from the Trump side. That’s concerning.

I don’t know whether the Trump campaign needed to give a platform to white supremacists to win. But the campaign clearly did, and it had the effect of empowering the white-nationalist movement.

Trump provided a platform by retweeting white nationalists — giving their views an audience of millions. Views previously relegated to the darkest corners of the Internet also had a platform on Breitbart, the website of Trump campaign chief executive Stephen K. Bannon. “Before Trump, our identity ideas, national ideas, they had no place to go,” said Richard Spencer, president of a white-nationalist think tank that held a post-election conference in Washington. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said this fall, “The fact that Donald Trump’s doing so well, it proves that I’m winning.”


Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/our-campaign-lost-the-election-but-trumps-team-must-own-up-to-how-he-won/2016/12/07/4a6a4c24-bcbd-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.b5074ac98a68

Democratic sources: Government shutdown unlikely to happen

A threat of a government shutdown appeared to have ended Friday evening, according to Democratic senators and aides, who believe they made their political points by holding up a funding bill that must pass by midnight to avert a shutdown.

The development came after a day of back-channel negotiations aimed at alleviating concerns from coal-state Democrats who wanted a longer extension of expiring health benefits for retired coal miners. The Senate will soon vote to pass the funding bill on the eve of the shutdown deadline and adjourn the 114th Congress.

"I think we made our point," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat and incoming Senate minority leader.

The battle centered on how long the government should extend health benefits for retired coal miners, as the Democrats called for an extension lasting one year, rather than the four months in the current proposal. And it amounted to the most intense partisan squabble on Capitol Hill since the general election, where Democrats struggled to win over white, working-class voters.

Read the rest at: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/09/politics/government-shutdown/index.html

Coal miner healthcare or government shutdown!

Manchin urging colleagues to block funding bill as shutdown looms

"Coal Country" Democrats taking a stand!

Source: The Hill, by Jordain Carney

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is urging his colleagues to block a short-term government spending bill with hours left before the government shuts down.

Spokesman Jonathon Kott on Friday confirmed that Manchin is calling his colleagues and asking them to oppose the continuing resolution (CR) over an entrenched fight on miners healthcare.

The CR includes a four-month extension of health benefits for thousands of miners and their families, but Manchin and other Democrats want that extended to a year.

Unless Manchin backs down, the Senate won't be able to take a vote until Saturday morning, blowing the Friday night deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

CNN's Manu Raju has ongoing real-time reporting.

More at: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/309659-manchin-urging-colleagues-to-block-spending-bill-ahead-of-shutdown

Senate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches

Doing outreach already!

And we'll go to the mats for you! Too bad you didn't trust us.

Source: The Hill, by Jordain Carney

Senate Democrats are digging in their heels over health benefits for miners in a government funding bill, raising the risk of a shutdown at midnight on Friday.

"We're going to win this fight, we cannot predict the path, but we're going to win this fight because we're right," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

Schumer, as well as Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va), Bob Casey (Pa.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Mark Warner (Va.), held a press conference with coal miners as they sought to ramp up the pressure on Republicans to strike a deal.

Democrats are holding up the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government as they push to include a one-year extension of healthcare for thousands of miners and their families. The spending measure now includes a four-month extension.

More at: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/309573-senate-democrats-dig-in-as-shutdown-approaches

Houston decides on Lane Kiffin as next coach

Houston is closing in on a decision to make Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin its next football coach, pending a Thursday meeting at which school President Renu Khator will have to give the final OK, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the school had not yet announced the move.

Kiffin would replace Tom Herman, who left for Texas after two seasons.


Is it time?

Yoko Ono


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