Stephen R. Meyer: Analysis of a Failed Election Prognostication

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I AM MAKING A MEA CULPA FOR MY OFT REPEATED PREDICTION OF REPUBLICAN FAILURE IN THE 2016 ELECTION.

When seeking forgiveness, one should seek to understand where things went wrong so the error is not repeated. My prediction error was created by a misunderstanding of the significance of the number of Republican voters whose vote is predicated on the varying policy stances that exist within the Republican Party.

President-elect Trump’s stances on the issues resonated with a majority of Republican voters as he exceeded all reasonable expectations in not only winning his own election, but in his ability to drag otherwise doomed Republicans into the winner’s circle.

To recap, my 2016 election prognostication was based on extrapolating 2012 election results out to 2016 using trends established by the 1988 and 2012 elections. President–elect Trump exceeded these projections in 41 states, while underperforming in only California, Massachusetts, Kansas, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Utah and Idaho. In the last two, and perhaps in the last three states listed, this underperformance was related to the religious makeup of the states, and this peculiarity will not be explored.

President-elect Trump exceeded vote projections by margins of ten percent or more in North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Indiana, Hawaii, Vermont, his home state of New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Iowa. His ability to flip Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania, and to hold onto North Carolina, is also noteworthy.

The analysis of the vote in Florida, and in particular my own home county of Indian River, will help explain how Mr. Trump was able to capture the presidency where traditional Republican candidates would have likely failed.

Indian River County has some of the greatest discrepancies in wealth of any county in the nation. The discrepancies have a noted geographical difference with the wealthy mostly inhabiting a barrier island.

The vote of the wealthy is easily discernable owing to the barrier island encompassing Indian River County precincts 14 through 18. For this analysis, the vote of the non-barrier island precincts of 7 through 10, which make up the City of Sebastian, will also be noted. This will be followed by a general analysis of Florida counties to add support for those findings derived from Indian River County.

The barrier island voters of Indian River County are historically very Republican voters.

barrier-island

The voters of the barrier island collectively gave former Governor Romney a 48.92% margin of victory in the 2012 presidential election.  President-elect Trump’s 2016 margin of victory on the barrier island was only 30.29%, a Republican margin decrease of 18.62% when compared to the Republican margin in 2012.

Obviously whatever President-elect Trump was selling, barrier island voters were not as readily willing to buy. And not only were the barrier island people less likely to vote for the President-elect, but they didn’t just fail to vote, many voted for his Democrat opponent!

The number of barrier island voters increased by 347 voters in 2016 compared to 2012, while the number of votes for the Republican candidate dropped by 1,064 and the votes for the Democrat candidate increased by 974! Further highlighting President-elect Trump proportional disconnect from the barrier island Republican voters was found in the senate vote as Republican Senate candidate Rubio’s margin of victory on the island was 42.63%, 12.34% greater than that of the President-elect’s vote margin.

The vote of the residents of the barrier island stands in great contrast to the voters of the City of Sebastian, a city inhabited by generally monetarily poorer people. The voters of Sebastian gave former governor Romney a 15.36% margin of victory in 2012. In 2016, President-elect Trump carried Sebastian by a 26.77% margin, an increase in margin of 11.41%.

Also in contrast was President-elect Trump besting Senator Rubio’s margin in Sebastian by 4.24%. The number of 2016 Sebastian voters compared to the number of voters in 2012 increased by 2,010 with the President-elect’s vote increasing by 1732 votes while the 2016 Democrat nominee received 166 fewer votes than President Obama received in 2012. Those Sebastian Republican voters, who found themselves unable to vote for President-elect Trump, generally did not vote for the 2016 Democrat nominee, but chose not to vote in the presidential election or to vote for the candidate of a minor party!

sebastian

A comparison of these two distinct groups of Republican voters explains how President-elect Trump was able to win nationally. On the issues, President-elect Trump was more politically aligned with the average American, a numerically more significant pool of voters than the pool of wealthy voters. Republican presidential nominees since Reagan have all been more politically aligned with the pool of wealthy voters. In hindsight this alignment does not appear to have been very politically astute.

This phenomenon of President-elect Trump capturing a different pool of voters than the Republican norm is readily discernable in the comparisons of the 2012 and 2016 vote in the counties of Florida.

The counties where President-elect Trump did comparably better in 2016 than former Governor Romney did in 2012 were the fairly large population counties with more moderately priced homes such as Pasco, Charlotte, Pinellas, Volusia, Lake, Polk, Marion, St. Lucie, Citrus, Lee, Brevard, and Hernando counties. He also did comparably well in the 29 lower-income, low-population, rural counties of Florida, where his percentage of the vote exceeded that of former Governor Romney in every instance.

Counties where President-elect Trump generally under-performed in 2016 compared to 2012 were the generally large population counties with fairly expensive housing such as Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Alachua, Seminole, Collier, and St. Johns.

My failure to correctly forecast the 2016 election outcome makes me hesitant to predict how well the President-elect will govern, but if the President-elect governs as well as he performed in the presidential election, our country will be well served.

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[Stephen Meyer is an author and political radio show host, who’s innovative methodology correctly predicted the winning candidate in 47 states and Washington D.C., along with President Obama’s overall victory in 2012. He resides in Vero Beach, Florida.]

12 thoughts on “Stephen R. Meyer: Analysis of a Failed Election Prognostication

  1. One can analyze the election ad infinitum, but the bottom line remains; Trump connected with voters regardless of party affiliation. His incivility endeared him to a base whose expansion bodes poorly for the major political parties. It will be interesting to see how he both caters to that base and governs with equanimity and foresight.

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  2. Good analysis, Stephen, because it lights up the fact that Trump connected with “regular” people. Income is just an indicator of those who are connected with real day-day struggles to survive and those who are insulated from such concerns.

    What some view as Trump’s “incivility” is really a style difference. Trump is clearly not “PC” and that is to his credit. He is also not particularly articulate and often leaves too much open for interpretation (or misinterpretation). But that makes him more real and allows him to easily connect with regular people.

    Personally, I was convinced that Trump would win, barring sufficient vote fraud to overcome his obvious greater appeal to regular people. Those who were blind to his huge rally crowds and the sparsely attended rallies of his opponent shut their eyes to Trump’s appeal to the people.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could subtract all the vote fraud that favored Hillary (eliminating non-citizens voting, which is very easy in California, and known problems with voting machines that always seemed to favor Clinton)? Then we’d have a true picture of the “popular” vote.

    For months I tracked the USC/LA Times daily tracking poll that was based on the former presidential tracking poll methodology used by Rand Corporation in past election years. The demographic breakdown in that poll strongly suggested Trump would do better among women, Latin/Hispanic, and young voters than “the usual suspects” polling indicated. While he lost among women and Latin/Hispanic voters, he did so by a smaller margin than conventional wisdom anticipated. As Stephen’s article pointed out, the USC/LA poll also correctly identified Trump’s greatest weakness was among wealthy college-educated voters.

    This was clearly a movement election. People just want their country back from agenda-driven politicians, academics, and the news media.

    People want to be rid of the “hate America first” crowd (as the late Jeane Kirkpatrick dubbed them) who appear to dominate academia and news media.

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  3. I was OK with your analysis until the last paragraph, although your alleged “vote fraud” by Hillary Clinton’s supporters has been thoroughly discredited by any number of other analysts and organizations. You wrote, “People want to be rid of the ‘hate America first’ crowd (as the late Jeane Kirkpatrick dubbed them) who appear to dominate academia and news media.”

    Donald Trump might not “hate America,” but his campaign thrived on hate, and he incited hatred throughout his speeches. His words were like so much fluff to his supporters. Even the Christian right abandoned any moral judgment because he dangled the promise of a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. I can only imagine their response to a Democratic candidate with a personal history like Trump’s. It seems that pragmatism trumps (small “t”) Christian principles, at least for some.

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  4. Bill, I have to disagree.

    In California, where Clinton recdeived an unusually large majortiy (even for California) that overwhelmed her national margin, it is very easy for aliens to obtain a drivers license. To register to vote in California, all that is necessary is a valid driver’s license and a verbal certification of citizenship. So for an alien to vote in California they need just: (1) obtain a driver’s license, and (2) lie about their citizenship.

    Look at the California vote where 72% “turnout” was recorded, nearly 20% above the national average. That makes no sense in a state where Clinton was a sure winner and most other races pitted a Democrat against a Democrat and no very controversial measures were on the ballot.

    We know there were irregularities in Detroit. “Records: Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts – Detroit News” (we know this courtesy of Jill Stein, whose recount effort surfaced a substantial number of precincts where the recorded number of votes did not match the number of ballots inside the locked boxes (by law those could not be recounted!!!).

    I recall reading in Reader’s Digest decades ago (1980s) an article about vote fraud being routin in New York City (rigged voting machines) and voters in the northeast who owned property in southeast Florida having registered in both states and voted absentee in one and in person in the other.

    The vast majority of this ongoing vote fraud favors Democrats (apparently, it goes with the territory). It is much easier to commit vote fraud in urban concentrations then in rural and suburban locations.

    Then there is the rigging of voting machines. Any computerized voting machine can be rigged by contractors who upgrade/update and otherwise maintain voting machines. How? Simply insert a “computer worm” (virtually undetectible code) triggered by when voting begins and designed to self-destruct leaving no traces after voting ends. The worm is designed to count a portion of votes cast for one candidate in the summation total of the other candidate. When a person votes, it appears that they are voting for candidate “A”, but internally, the vote is registered for candidate “B”. This can be programmed to perform this operation on every second, third, fourth, etc. vote for candidate “A”, depending on the anticipated need to reduce “A”‘s vote and boost “B”‘s vote. This is not rocket science and with George Soros’ interest in companies providing voting machines and the use of SEIU (a hard Left union) for maintaining and setting up voting stations, the opportunity for such fraud is rampant.

    I can almost guarantee massive vote fraud would be found by any competent, objective forensic investigation of voting materials and processes not only in California, but in Detroit, Philadelphia, New York City, and southeastern Florida urban areas, among others throughout the country.

    Without a proper forensic investigation of the many irregularities that occurred, it is impossible to “discredit” the clear evidence that there has been (both in past elections and this year’s) significan vote fraud across the United States.

    Isn’t it strange that vote fraud almost universally favors Democrats? Chicago in 1960 is a classic example of fraud that snatched Nixon’s victory and gave it to JFK. LBJ’s election to the House is another well-documented case of vote fraud that put the wrong person in office.

    On what basis do you claim “but [Trump’s] campaign thrived on hate, and he incited hatred throughout his speeches.]? I watched a number of Trump rallies and NEVER saw any indication of appeals to hatred. What, specifically, can you cite as evidence supporting your assertion?

    And while on the subject of inciting, what about the rascist demogaguery of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, routinely name-calling those who supported Trump as being racists, sexists, xenophobics, etc., on absolutely no basis whatsoever?

    You think “Black Lives Matter” and their virulent anti-law enforcement chants did anything to improve race relations? Both Obama and Clinton supported and endorsed the organization.

    Please support your assertions with some shred of evidence. Failing to do so, you run the risk of being viewed as engaging in just so much name-calling.

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  5. Bill Britton writes,

    Bob,

    Examples abound, besides his failure to condemn white supremacist groups, his denigrating certain immigrants, and his misogynistic comments about women, all of which foster hate:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-racist-examples_us_56d47177e4b03260bf777e83

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35041402

    http://www.adl.org/press-center/press-releases/discrimination-racism-bigotry/adl-condemns-donald-trump-hate-speech-stereotyping.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/08/scale-of-donald-trumps-discrimination-debases-currency-of-democracy

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/why-donald-trumps-racist-remarks-matter

    By the way, Trump’s “incivility” cannot be glossed over as a “style difference.” The word’s definition, “rude or unsociable speech or behavior,” certainly applies to Trump.

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  6. Bill,

    With the exception of the BBC, could you find any more far Left organs than Huffington Post, the ADL, the Guardian, and MSNBC? I doubt it.

    I looked at the Huffington Post article and their laundry list of egrigious “hate speech” are classic examples of innuendo and cherry-picking of allegations that, if presented in a fair courtroom with proper perspective (i.e., the whole story) with the many examples of Trump’s use of merit as the only real criterion for advancement, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, etc., would utterly fail with any fair jury. It is nothing but a classic far-Left litany of half-truths, assumptions, and using the absurd argument that Trump failed to disavow any racists who may have supported him in a manner suitable to the far Left.

    Being aware the ADL, The Guardian, and MSNBC are all far-Leftist oriented and did their best to prevent Trump from winning, I looked to the BBC (which is no longer as objective as it used to be) as the most likely source for a more reasonable form of anti-Trump propaganda.

    The BBC’s main “proof” of the claim Trump engages in hate speech are the following:

    * that Arab Americans cheered on the 9/11 attacks, despite a lack of evidence

    “despite lack of evidence”??? That’s absurd. We lived in NW New Jersey during the attacks and heard first hand from people who lived in Bogota, NJ of the Muslim celebrations. From one report:

    “A New Jersey newspaper’s extensive investigation into Muslim celebrations after the the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks turned up what one officer called a “disturbing” amount of evidence.

    “Retired police captain Peter Gallagher told the newspaper he was tasked with clearing a rooftop party of 20-30 people at 6 Tonnele Ave.

    “‘Some men were dancing, some held kids on their shoulders,’ said Gallagher, then a sergeant. ‘The women were shouting in Arabic and keening in the high-pitched wail of Arabic fashion. They were told to go back to their apartments since a crowd of non-Muslims was gathering on the sidewalk below and we feared for their safety.’

    “Retired officer Arthur Teeter, who worked in the radio room at police headquarters on Sept. 11, said he was troubled by the volume of calls related to 9/11 celebrations.

    “’There were enough calls that it was disturbing. That’s the only word I can use,’ Teeter said.

    “FBI agents detained several people from the building after 9/11. Cops dispatched to a celebration on John F. Kennedy Blvd. were unable to reach the five-story building’s roof before attendees dispersed.

    “’By the time I got to the roof, no one was there,’ retired officer Bruce Dzamba said.

    “FBI Special Agent Celeste Danzi, a spokeswoman for the agency’s Newark division, declined to comment on the newspaper’s investigation.

    “Three active Jersey City officers confirmed the parties happened on condition of anonymity because they were concerned about Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s reaction. Fulop has denied Muslim 9/11 celebrations took place.”

    WCBS-TV news video: http://www.wnd.com/2015/12/huge-for-trump-tv-proof-of-911-cheers/

    The BBC claim of “lack of evidence” has no merit.

    * that a “great, great wall” should be built between the US and Mexico

    What? A wall to secure our border is neither an example of “hate speech” nor “denigrating certain immigrants”! It is a responsible solution to a long-standing problem of border security that is costing our nation dearly. To claim it as anything else (as does the BBC by implication) is irresponsible.

    The BBC inference that building a wall is somehow a symbol of ethnic bias is rubbish.

    * that many Mexicans in the US are criminals and rapists

    “Many” is not “all”… and the statement is true. The real problem is that we have in adequate border security compounded by “santuary cities” (abominations) that give sanctuary to known criminal aliens who are in this country illegally. It is in the interests of the Mexican government to export its criminals to the US. Our “PC” President is too passive and uninterested in enforcing our laws to address this problem. After eight years the problem is as bad today as it was when Obama came to office.

    The BBC inference that this is an example of ethnic bias is absurd.

    * that there should be a mass deportation of illegal migrants in the US

    Trump has clarified his position on several occasions. His first priority is to secure the border and deport criminal aliens. His next priority is to find a reasonable approach to illegal alien residents who are productive and whose presence benefits our nation, but who must pay some penalty for breaking our laws and arriving here illegally. This is only fair to those who came here legally.

    The BBC inference that somehoe this is an example of hate speech or an irrational stance is nonsense.

    * that Muslims should be banned from entering the US solely on grounds of their religion

    Trump has ALWAYS maintained that it is only prudent to have a TEMPORARY ban Muslim immigration until a proper vetting procedure can be developed that can filter out those who may be Shariaists and radical Muslim jihadists. He is absolutely correct. What do you think the American people would have done if FDR had sat idly by while thousands of Germans were brought into this country without any vetting of who they were or where their allegiance rested? I doubt the US would have been open to allowing Nazis free access to our nation at any time after the beginning of Nazi atrocities in Europe. Trump never suggested any ban would be PERMANENT.

    Recall FDR’s treatment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor. They were rounded up and put into internment camps without any due process. Trump is not proposing as draconian a measure as FDR actually used, yet radical Islam is a greater domestic threat than was the Japanese empire.

    This final BBC inference is not only inaccurate, it misrepresents Trump’s views.

    So I’ve debunked the most reasonable of your “examples” of Trump’s endorsement of “hate speech”.

    And as far as disavowing morons who are supporters, one could seriously (and successfully) argue that Clinton’s cozying up to radicals of the “Black Lives Matter” movement was far more egregious than Trump’s inability to satisfy the Left-wing media’s notion of how often and vociferiously he should have denounced racists who may have supported his candidacy. Bear in mind that had Trump made an even bigger issue of such a small minority of voters, all it would have done is bring them more attention… something they crave. Better to renounce and move on than bend over backward to try to satisfy an insatiable desire of the far-Left media.

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  7. Bob,

    Re your assertions of voter fraud, I refer you to a NYT article. Because it is the NYT, you might disregard it out of hand. However, if you read the article, you’ll see that, on a bipartisan basis, your assertions are part of a common myth held by the right.

    “All This Talk of Voter Fraud? Across U.S., Officials Found Next to None”
    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/18/us/voter-fraud.html?ref=politics&_r=0

    Also look at this study: “The Misleading Myth of Voter Fraud in American Elections”
    Link: http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/sites/default/files/ssn_key_findings_minnite_on_the_myth_of_voter_fraud.pdf

    As far as my assertions of “hate,” I stand by them. Both of us could parade any number of citations that either affirm or deny them. I only have to recall the signs and chants at Trump rallies to know that I am correct.

    But beyond that, we both live in a world of sound bites and false news. However, the recent revelations by the CIA and FBI regarding Russian hacking I find most alarming. Despite members of his own party calling for a bipartisan investigation, Trump is curiously silent. He’d rather, I suppose, have a murderous dictator, Putin, as his ally.

    Then we have James Dowson, a member of the far-right British National Party, and founder of Britain First, publishing numerous articles through his Patriot News Agency, claiming that Hillary Clinton of everything from pedophilia to murder. Trump’s national security advisor, General Michael Flynn, even tweeted a reference to a PNA website. Flynn has since made a major effort to delete this tweet.

    Best,

    Like

    • Bill,

      Really? Aren’t youusing false “logic” to make your case?

      You cite articles from Leftist organs that do not adequately address the points made. And yes, the NYT has lost all credibility with those who demand objectivity and honesty in news. They have become a sick parody of what they had been in their former days of respectibility.

      Do you deny vote fraud exists when significantly more votes were counted in precincts and counties than the number of registered voters (Florida in 2012 and Michigan in 2016)? I cited cases that you ignore.

      What about the situation in Philadelphia, where Black thugs intimidated and prevented Whites from voting and there was a clear case at the DoJ that Eric Holder simply dropped without any prosecution? Was that Obama’s version of “get evenism”? I seriously doubt anyone has made any effort to validate the vote count coming out of Philadelphia for many years.

      You ignore the distinct possibility that votes cast were counted improperly because of a computer “worm” that would simply tally votes cast for one candidate for the other candidate. The problem with detecting this is that it would require a comparison of marked paper ballots with the totals reported by machines. That is a daunting task that has NOT been thoroughly explored. Such a worm is easy to write in machine code, slip into the machines during “maintenance” operations. A worm would be virtually undetectable, and certainly undetectable when they aren’t being looked for! The operation is simple (and easier then hacking when vote machines aren’t connected to the internet!) and would simply tally a certain fraction of votes cast for, say, Trump, as votes cast for Clinton. This might explain reports of the extremely unlikely 100% of votes being cast for Clinton in a number of Philadelphia precincts. Such a worm would self-destruct, leaving no trace after the election date. In Michigan, if the number of ballots inside the ballot box do not agree with the number of votes cast, it is ILLEGAL to recount those votes! Now, why do you suppose that prohibition exists, a prohibition that prevented obtaining a true recount in many Detroit precincts.

      The argument that fraudulent vote counts don’t exist cannot be sustained. There is simply too much real evidence to the contrary, evidence, unfortunately, that is costly to investigate and resolve.

      Your recollection of “signs and chants” at Trump rallies needs refreshing. Apparently, you were misunderstanding who was carrying those signs. It was anti-Trump haters who burned effigies of Trump, assaulted Trump supporters, tried to disrupt Trump rallies, and actually prevented one rally (Chicago) from being held. These same (mostly paid) hooligans then rioted for days after Saint Hillary went down to her inglorious defeat (well-deserved, I might add).

      It is illogical to claim no evidence exists when the sources making that claim made no attempt to track down many of the claims that were made. If you don’t look thoroughly, you will not find evidence, no matter how clear it is!

      I am well aware of “fake news”… the “legacy” or, as I refer to them, “usual suspects” news media organs are rife with fake news. The thrive on it. First, they’ll take a smidgeon of truth (some anonymous CIA person claims Russia could have hacked the DNC, or they could have tried to influence our election)… or a snippet of words they can distort (Trump: “We’re going to build a wall”)… and fabricate false narratives (The Russians hacked the election to elect Trump; Trump is a racist xenophobe). They then pound away at their creative false narratives (usually around some aspect of their bogus claim that Trump and conservatives appeal to “hate groups”), and their true-believer followers dutifully grasp at anything to use to assail those they fear (anyone who doesn’t agree with them) so they gladly swallow the media’s “fake news” as gospel and spread it. And how about the “fake news” story that tried to give power to the movement that threatened electors if they didn’t switch their votes from Trump to Clinton? Promoted hook, line, and sinker by “the usual suspects”.

      There simply is NO credible basis for claiming:

      1. Trump colluded with Russia (or Putin) to impact the US election.

      Trump had no need to seek help from anyone. His greatest asset was his opponent, whose litany of lies, deceit and corruption would have doomed anyone else, had the grotesquely biased “news media” not been almost 100% boldly supporting her campaign by ignoring all the news of her “pay to play” corruption and the documented assertions by the FBI that she subjected 110 email messages containing everything from confidential, to secret, to top secret, to special access, to compartmented highly sensitive national secuirty information to hacking by even the least sophisticated operations by using nonsecure email servers and mobile devices for her email as Secretary of State in order to hide her “pay to play” email traffic. Any ordinary citizen found to have commited such espionage against the USA would be spending the remainder of their natural life behind bars in a federal penitentiary… and THAT was the best the Democratic Party could muster? Yes, what Hillary Clinton did satisfies the federal law’s definition of “espionage” (which does not have go be intentional, though her actions clearly were intentionally reckless without any evident care of the consequences).

      2. Russia “hacked” the DNC, the RNC, and impacted the election.

      No security agency has provide one scintilla of evidence of any Russian meddling in our election. Not one shred of evidence. Just innuendo, asseretions, and fluster and bluster, all at the instigation of their boss, one Barack Obama.

      This is as transparent a fraud as is the claim that human activity is altering climate… a claim denounced by the vast majority or REAL scientists, but more important, denounced by REAL science. There is not one single scientific report that can cite a human impact on climate that is discernible from natural climate change. Note one. Yet the myth is pursued vigorously by “the usual suspects”.

      Back to the “hacking”…

      Are you aware that the head of IT for the DNC was murdered last September after the WikiLeaks email dumps began? He was murdered on the streets of DC. Police conveniently concluded robbery was the motive, but nothing of value (including his expensive watch, his wallet, money, credit cards, etc.) was missing. Perhaps the “robbery” they referred to was his robbery of email records given to WikiLeaks?

      There is more evidence to suggest the email records were leaked than exists to support the claim they were “hacked” by the Russians. BTW, there is no evidence that WikiLeaks deals in anything other than leaks… they have always claimed they do not use hacked material and that claim has NEVER been refuted with solid evidence.

      So this is just so much “fake news” that has zero solid evidence.

      Don’t you find it just a bit curious that NO intelligence agency was willing to go before a House committee and talk about the evidence they may have had to support allegations of Russian “meddling” and “hacking” to influence our recent election? If not, you should.

      And, of course, the REAL news is being masked by all this phony nonsense about Russian hacking and the outrage of WikiLeaks revealing damning email messages leaked from the DNC.

      The REAL news is that Democrats engaged in unethical, deceitful, dishonest rigging of their own primary so that they could put forth what turned out to be the wost possible candidate, all because they believed their own propaganda, that Hillary Clinton was a cinch to beat anyone, particularly Donald Trump, in the 2016 election.

      The real crime, other than DNC shenanigans, was that Hillary Clinton could do no better than double down on stupid as her campaign platform.

      There have been on substantive “revelations by the CIA and FBI regarding Russian hacking”… nothing but innuendo, assertions without any evidence, indeed, NOTHING of substance whatsoever, but all cleverly packaged to allow the “usual suspects” to run with yet another false narrative (or “fake news”).

      And Mr. Dowson had absolutely zero impact on the election, regardless of the merits of his claims. I believe you know that much.

      One final note… you take off on “Patriot News Agency”, but they published your satirical piece, didn’t they? I’ve also used their platform. That doesn’t mean either of us endorse or certify anything others post. It is a fairly open blog site that distributes to others in their “network”… who pick up some of the articles. It is certainly rife for abuse, but still serves a useful purpose for many. I seriously doubt ANYONE takes everything posted on that site as gospel.

      As just about everyone who uses the internet (websites, email) knows by now, there are a host of stories that come via both email and websites that do not fully “vet” their material. I suggest the NYT website is one of those.

      Finally, I believe that in at least one aspect, we both agree that rigorus “true the vote” measures need to be put in place and rigorous and easily verified true vote count processes must be established that make it virtually impossible to create fraudulent vote results, no matter who supplies the voting machines and no matter who services and maintains them. I believe you will be surprised to find that President Trump will move strongly to assure the integrity of voting and will strongly back congressional investigations into the apparently false allegations by several major intelligence agencies (as well as their refusal to meet with a House committe last week).

      Putting the adults in charge again will reap major benefits, including the wholseale removal of political hacks (the only real “hacks”) who’ve been demeaning the reputations of just about every major agency of government over the past eight years (DoJ, IRS, EPA, CIA, NSA, etc., etc.).

      Bill, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I always appreciate the opportunity to have a good, rigorous (if not brief on my part) discussion with you. You’re a good sport!

      Best,

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  8. Bob,

    With all the current talk about fake news, which is typified by the Patriot News Agency, I thought I’d mention this little anecdote. I occasionally write satire, mainly about those on the political fringe because they are such great targets. One was entitled “Rush Limbaugh’s Genome Mapped” (http://taintedpen.blogspot.com/2009/06/rush-limbaughs-genome-mapped.html), which was subsequently picked up by Business Week as fact and published as such. Although my blog is marked as satire, that didn’t seem to affect the news gatherer. My point is that we live in a fog of news simulacra, and many of us never look beyond the surface of cyberspace.

    Like

    • Bill,

      I couldn’t help but think of Barak Obama’s self-serving glorification the other day when he claimed this country was vastly better off now than it was eight years ago, that it was better-respected worldwide than it was eight years ago.

      Talk about fake news!

      How about “delusional Presidents”?

      Best,

      Like

  9. Bob et al.,

    I’ve got to stop this repartee and decorate the tree. Because I’m a atheist/ progressive, the topper is a peace sign. Best wishes to all, but especially to all the fellow Jarheads out there . . .

    Like

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