Late Night Open Thread: Tweaking the Grifter

From Rebecca Schoenkopf at Wonkette, more Konspiracy Kabuki:

Oh cool, Anonymous (we think it is Anonymous?) says Karl Rove was gonna vote fraud all the Machines, and that’s why he was so flabbergasted and refused to believe it when Fox called Ohio for Bamz, but they stopped him from stealing all the Machines by jamming up ORCA, because it was not actually a GOTV system but a “steal the vote” system, but they stopped him, we are pretty sure that is what the following letter, which we guess is from Anonymous probably, says. Seems legit! But here is our question! If Anonymous hacked ORCA and caused it to explode miserably on Election Day, how could Anonymous ever prove that ORCA was actually a vote-thieving program? If they hacked in, couldn’t they have planted code to make it look like Rove was gonna fraud the election? (Not that we believe for a second that Rove wasn’t trying to fraud the election, we are just saying, it seems like “logic.”) …

There is, of course, video (and the complete text of Anonymous’ letter) at the link.

Do I believe Anonymous saved Ohio by hacking ORCA? Almost certainly not! Do I believe that the conviction that Anonymous might have hacked into ORCA was part of Rove’s epic election-night meltdown on Fox? Almost certainly yes!

Rove, whatever his true beliefs or actual talents, is first & foremost a grifter, a con artist, someone who’s been cheating and misleading and stealing from everyone around him since his Young Republican college days. Just as Nixon’s “merry pranksters” first burgled those files at the Watergate Apartments because they simply could not believe that Daniel Ellsberg and the Democratic Party weren’t as crooked as the Republican CREEPsters, Rove cannot believe that the Obama campaign isn’t pulling all the dishonest, unethical, criminal stunts he’d use in David Axelrod’s position. Anonymous wouldn’t even have had to access ORCA, much less fiddle with the code — just the announcement that they’d done so would be an irresistable torment to a “professional” of Rove’s caliber.

108 replies
  1. 1
    Nemo_N says:

    Gentle reminder that a big part of the Israel Defense Forces twitter PR stunt is to proclaim what a great PR stunt it is.

    Don’t be fooled.

  2. 2
    dollared says:

    Hunh. Wow. Really glad I don’t have to figure that out. Really. It’s like one of those Maxwell Smart did-you-switch-the-poisoned-tea-cu[-or-didn’t-you scenes.

    BTW, Anne, when do you sleep?

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    I have to admit this was the first thought that crossed my mind as I watched Karl Rove’s freakout while trying to stave off the Ohio call live on the air.

    I don’t really understand how they could have identified traffic from election office servers to Smartech servers out of state (the failover option which is what happened in 2004).

    I can believe that they DOS’d the Orca thing though.

    http://harpers.org/blog/2012/0.....aig-unger/

  4. 4
    Anibundel says:

    When Rove began insisting Romney was going to contest Ohio (and Wisconsin, because sure why the hell not), I had this sudden panic that Romney would simply refuse to concede and contest Virginia and Colorado and Florida because they simply refused to believe they lost.

    It never occurred to me that Rove was freaking because he though he’d set Ohio up to steal fair and square.

  5. 5
    Chris says:

    Rove was screwed anyway, because I’m pretty sure it was a 50/50 bet that Ohio would be decisive, as we know now too many other states were falling for it to matter in the end

  6. 6
    HRA says:

    They are pitiful in their whining and crying over not being able to stop We the people from casting their votes. It’s true that I was very nervous through all the days of Citizens United, Voter ID laws, etc. until I saw the long lines of people who would not be denied stand for hours to vote. It’s when I began to relax a little.
    Karl Rove and those of his ilk will never understand how they lost or accept it.

  7. 7
    Raven says:

    The Merry Pranksters had nothing to do with Tricky Dick!

    Further Bitchez!

  8. 8
    Wag says:

    Karl Rove failed in his KOTV (Keep Out The Vote) effort. We have the Dem GOTV effort to thank for that.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    Does ORCA stand fer sumpin, or is it just some name? Obese Republicans Cant Add? Obtuse Repubs Caterwauling Aimlessly? O’Reilly, Cocksucker Always?

  10. 10
    cmm says:

    Since I work in law enforcement in a reddest of red states, and since cops love their junk food, I got to enjoy anti union diatribes about the demise of Hostess at roll call. The “unions killed the company and now 18000 will be outta work” angle IS the story as far as they are all concerned. Sigh.

    On the plus side, my shift caught an armed robber/carjacker tonight at a spot that has been plagued with them. Happy!

  11. 11
    MikeJ says:

    @Punchy: Shouldn’t be all caps, just Orca. Orcas are the only predator of narwhals, and Narwhal is the name of the Obama campaign’s infrastructure.

  12. 12
    Kane says:

    During his election night episode on Fox, Rove looked like a man who knew the results couldn’t possibly be true because he knew that the fix was in.

  13. 13
    cmm says:

    Kane, totally what I thought at the time!

  14. 14
    Peregrinus says:

    I was too nervous to care why Rove was in disbelief, and I refused to even go near Fox on election night.

    Given what I know of the man, though, I have to imagine that’s exactly what happened. The little fucker must’ve realized that if OH was going for the President regardless of all the work he’d put in to make sure it didn’t, his superPAC people might not be as happy with him as they would otherwise.

  15. 15
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Kane:

    Rove looked like a man who knew the results couldn’t possibly be true because he knew that the fix was in.

    It’s fun to think that someone may have conned Rove into believing that they could hack the vote in Ohio – for a boatload of cash, natch.

  16. 16
    Peregrinus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    What if the people who convinced him were undercover Anonymous?

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Peregrinus:
    It could have been anyone, including Russian mobsters, with enough tech savvy to bamboozle Rove. It would be a perfect con because the mark wouldn’t dare to reveal to anyone that he’d been suckered in.

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    OK, I didn’t watch Fox myself on election night so I didn’t see Rove myself (only the video of him saying “states have been called too early before” and what’s-her-name walking over to the control room to talk to a couple of obviously amused techies). My impression, though, has been not that he was genuinely surprised, but that he was likely saying to everyone during the commercial break, “Look, guys, we have to keep up the pretense, or I’m gonna wind up in someone’s car trunk tomorrow.” Of course, that could also be because I don’t believe the guy has uttered an honest statement or even had an honest feeling regarding anything political in his life.

  20. 20
    Ash Can says:

    PS: On the other hand, the idea of Anonymous simply giving Rove a wedgie by making an announcement like this highly amuses me.

  21. 21
    Xboxershorts says:

    As a network engineer with 3+ decades in the field, I DO know how it was hacked in 2004. And I know how it would have been hacked again in 2012.

    It’s not funny, or laughable or a conspiracy theory.

    You don’t hack the voting machines. You compromise the network that the tabulators use. Every county has tabulators that all talk to the same central collectors, which makes hacking the counting system easy as pie…if you have inside access.

    ORCA may have, in fact, been intended for use to trigger a shift in network traffic to an alternate path where a fixed percentage of votes can be quietly shifted from one candidate to another.

    But we really don’t know yet. If some faction of Anonymous has hacked into ORCA, then I hope they publish the source code.

    In 2004, county tabulator traffic destined for the secretary of state’s network DID in FACT shift from the SoS’s Ohio offices to a Smartech Network at 9:32 pm. Why? No one’s answered that question. No hardware or other failures were reported by the SoS’ office. They had no reason to shift to a “backup” system.

    The only way to overcome that kind of hack is to overwhelm the voting system so that the fixed percentage of vote shifting is insufficient to throw the election.

    But don’t take my word for it, here’s international network security expert Stephen Spoonamore explaining how Ohio’s State Vote collection system was hacked:

    http://youtu.be/BRW3Bh8HQic

    You mock these people Annie, because you don’t understand how networks work. Karl Rove and his team of scumbags do.

  22. 22
    El Kabong says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Like at the end of The Sting: “To WIN? I told you to PLACE it on Lucky Mitt! That horse is gonna come in SECOND!”

  23. 23
    c u n d gulag says:

    Do I believe Rove would stoop to that level?
    In a nanosecond!
    Do I believe he did?
    I don’t know…
    Hopefully, time will tell.
    And if time does indeed tell, then Rove should die in a jail cell – a withered old husk of his fat self.

  24. 24
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Xboxershorts:
    “Karl Rove and his team of scumbags do.”

    Maybe just not good enough, though! :-)

  25. 25
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Peregrinus: If so, tee and hee. Folks who would do that sort of thing is a crook by nature. Why pay for honest stolen election results and then be stabbed in the back by Romney prosecutors? Just throw up crappy stuff that doesn’t work, pocket the money, and just walk away. What’s going to happen?

    But this is a reminder we really need to work on a better system.

  26. 26
    WereBear says:

    Here’s Thom Hartman summing it up in 9 minutes:

    http://youtu.be/REn1BnJE3do

    And I am compelled to believe this because it explains so much.

    Why they were screwing with the polls? To lay the groundwork for Romney’s win.

    Why Rove was so freaked out? Because we saw the actual moment he realized something had gone wrong.

    Why this went over the heads of the reality-based community? Because everything worked the way it should.

    This wasn’t a replay of 2004. Because of Anonymous.

  27. 27
    Mino says:

    Ohio did come in a whole lot closer than reputable pollsters predicted. PPP had him up 5 points in their last poll. Maybe the cheat just wasn’t big enough.

  28. 28
    Princess says:

    Hmm, well this would be one possible explanation of why the score in Ohio ended up being so close. I was very surprised there was only a 1.9% margin — it was really the only result that surprised me all night, based on the previous polling.

  29. 29
    El Tiburon says:

    Is it wrong to speculate…

    Look, the core of most of us here refuse to believe such a thing.

    But we also understand that it is something a Karl Rove would most certainly do.

    How many remember the George W. Bush debate where he was photographed with some kind of wire or something on running down his back and thought to be a wireless audio receiver?

    And of course the 2000 election brings about all kinds of election nightmares (read Greg Palast).

    Enough circumstantial evidence exists with electronic voter machines flipping votes to Republicans (strangely never to democrats) to make the Rove-Stealing-Ohio scenario certainly plausible. Rove, no doubt, is more than scummy enough to do it.

    But, and to me here is the seemingly fatal flaw in all of this: at some point you would think someone would insider knowledge of this would come forward. Maybe Rove’s jilted gay-lover or something.

    I mean, I would love to think these Republicans were so stupid as to really believe they were going to win contra-all the fucking evidence in the world. UNLESS, they thought they had an ace up their sleeve with the conviction that aided by Voter ID laws and Rovian shenanigans would guarantee a victory.

  30. 30
    Woodrowfan says:

    Nixon’s burglars were “the plumbers” NOT the “Merry Pranksters.”

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    Look, cupcake–even if Rove was planning to hack the vote there is no reason to believe that the publicly named ORCA was the way they were planning to do it and plenty of reason to assume it was not. Why would you bother stringing 30,000 or so of your own voterster alon g with a false flag operation that cost you millions? Ace of Spades detailed in gory perfection just how fucked up ORCA was just doing the ordinary task of poll watching which the Obama campaign did superbly. That is a legitimate and costly aspect of any campaign and it would have been standalone in any event. The people inputting information at the base (Ace of Spades) did not have the kind of access or skill necessary to hack the vote totals at a higher level. It follows that crashing ORCA would not have affected the hacking the vote scheme, if there was such a scheme–they would always have been two separate computer programs.

    aimai

  32. 32
    Taylor says:

    @aimai: Plus if I’m going to fuck with voting networks, I’ll rent time on a botnet (a few million machines for a few hundred $$$), not run it from my central server and wait for the blackmail notes from Fort Meade to land in my mailbox.

  33. 33
    mai naem says:

    I switched to FOX as soon as NBC called it. I’m too superstitious to turn to FOX before it was called but I love me some schadenfreude once we’ve won. The first thought that entered my head when Kkkarl was disputing the outcome was that they’d cheated. This is really depressing. I’m not sure you’re going to have this kind of turnout in 14 or 16. I don’t the AA community are going to turn out at the same numbers. It’ll be another long slog. It pisses me off to no end that we would be winning all these races if we just had lazy ass people showing up to vote. There would not have been a President Dumbya if we had good turnout.

  34. 34
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    It’s been 12 years since the 2000 election—I’ve been half expecting a deathbed confession by one of the Republican operatives, on the order of: (Bush “won” by what, 600 votes in Florida?) “I personally destroyed ten times that many ballots from Democratic precincts.” along with a few names of the higher-ups in the conspiracy, and that eventually leading to an unraveling of the whole ball of yarn. Just a little fantasy I’ve been holding close to my breast….

    If any of this is anything close to true, it may be even better than that—actual evidence that the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen, and by whom, and that they almost succeeded in doing the same this time. I don’t know what happened in 2008, except maybe they wanted a Democratic administration to take the blame for not fixing the economic collapse they brought on, followed by installing a Republican to save the day in 2012?

    I think there a large percentage of Americans, who even if they vote Republican, would be really disturbed if the evidence for this conspiracy were solid enough—maybe enough to make it possible to inaugurate a fair and impartial redistricting scheme and an effective voting system nationwide? A guy can dream!

  35. 35
    BobS says:

    I’ve been hoping that a group like Anonymous or WikiLeaks were able to out Super PAC donors.

  36. 36
    Marc says:

    @aimai: Thank you for injecting a little common sense into this discussion. I don’t know why we’re supposed to believe that a voter tracking/GOTV system would be capable of shifting election returns. I do know that I trust some random douchebag in a V for Vendetta mask about as much as I trust Karl Rove.

    For a group that prides itself on being “part of the reality-based community,” liberals sure are susceptible to this CT bullshit when it comes to election fraud.

  37. 37
    Ken says:

    On election day, there were reports that a last-minute voting machine software installation was blocked in Ohio, but I’ve not seen any followup. Has anyone?

  38. 38
    Marc says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    I don’t know what happened in 2008, except maybe they wanted a Democratic administration to take the blame for not fixing the economic collapse they brought on…

    Or maybe we just beat their asses.

  39. 39
    Fort Geek says:

    @MikeJ: Goppers should rename theirs…Dorka! (rimshot, honk honk)…try the veal!

  40. 40
    kay says:

    I was really upset when Romney wouldn’t cede Ohio. I knew it wasn’t rational, I knew we had called in vote totals in our county and we had hit our mark and I knew the bellweather county close to here was “blue” and Romney can’t win if 50/50 counties are blue, and I ALSO knew that Marcy Kaptur had told an entire packed union hall that we won prior to the AP call and she wouldn’t do that to us if she wasn’t sure. So those were the rational reasons we could relax.
    I thought Republicans were going to invent some bullshit controversy and media was going to go along with it.
    I don’t have any faith in their ability to resist Republican screeching.
    Sad, but true. I was fully geared up for some giant, stupid war on reality.

  41. 41
    NonyNony says:

    @Taylor:

    Plus if I’m going to fuck with voting networks, I’ll rent time on a botnet (a few million machines for a few hundred $$$), not run it from my central server and wait for the blackmail notes from Fort Meade to land in my mailbox.

    This. If you’re a Republican and you’re going to fuck with the vote you’re going to do it through the various Secretary of State offices that you control. If you need a state where you don’t control the statewide political apparatus, you look at the precincts you do control. If none of that is going to work, you turn to paying someone with a botnet to mess with things.

    What you don’t do is use your very publicly known digital get out the vote platform as your platform for staging attacks. I know Team Romney was full of self-centered, blinkered morons, but even they wouldn’t be stupid enough to launch something that easily detectable from their own headquarters across a simple ComCast business class connection. It’s like four shades of stupid – technically stupid, legally stupid, logistically stupid, and politically stupid.

    I contend that Karl Rove was shocked about Ohio on Fox News that night because he believed that John Husted had it in the bag and Republicans controlled every statewide office in Ohio, unlike in 2008. He was sure that the Democrats in ’08 were just as venal and corrupt as he and his buddies were and that the statewide political apparatus delivered those votes to Obama in 2008 the way he believes Blackwell, Taft and others delivered the votes to Bush in 2004. The very idea that Ohio voters in 2000 and 2004 actually voted for Bush and that Ohio voters in 2008 actually voted for Obama is so outside his idea of how politics works that he was blindsided.

    That’s also why he was so sure that Crossroads was going to be backing winners this time around – because his concept of how the political system works is based on the corruption of state level offices and not actually ballots cast by voters.

  42. 42
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Marc:

    Or maybe we just beat their asses.

    Well, yeah. They were planning on another Gore or Kerry campaign—they weren’t expecting the force of nature that was the Obama campaign.

  43. 43
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @kay:

    Hi Kay, as someone deeply involved in the GOTV effort in Ohio, was there any serious discussion by higher ups about electronic vote theft? Do they really believe Team Rove is employing network hackers?

  44. 44
    Schlemizel says:

    Here is the scary part to me – this lie will become part of the wingnut bible if not today soon. It will be pasted around and fester in the wingnut dystopia until it is a matter of faith.

    At some point they will attempt to “get even” for this. Look at what drove Nixon to “Watergate” (the ‘dirty tricks’ not the crappy break in) or the voter suppression effort (its been 60 years since Chicago had an actual voting problem but they still pretend there are dead people voting).

    Your great-grandkids crazy uncle will regale them over future turkey dinners with tales of how the eeeeeeeevil libs stole 2012 because of hackers!

  45. 45
    Mino says:

    As far as I know, those late-in-the-day patches stayed on. The judge ok-ed them.

  46. 46
    Donut says:

    @kay:

    Me too. Your whole post, I agree with every word. It took Mitt waaaaaaaay too long to concede. There is no way the Boston camp was not weighing the pros and cons of a redux of FL-2000, but they needed it to be a much much closer race. I think ultimately they didn’t think they could pull it off because something did not go right for them. Whether it was Anonymous or something else, who knows yet, but I was watching FOX on election night during Rove’s freak out, and Rove was waiting for something very specific in the numbers that never materialized. You guys in OH put up margins that were too wide. Thank the gods, and thank you to all who did GOTV in your state!

  47. 47
    kay says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    The problem with this tabulator theory is, we’re all following this in individual counties in real time. We have actual individual people in each county taking numbers apart from the state actors. I’m calling a boiler room and reporting 7000 votes for Obama and they’re taking 87 OTHER calls like that, one from each county. They’re adding those up hours before the AP call because the margin stays the same whether 50% or 100% is in (mostly). If there were some big switch the campaign numbers wouldn’t match the state numbers. Flipping a bellweather county in Ohio is a big deal. If the state said a bellweather had switched BACK they would have to explain that.

  48. 48
    Marc says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: See, that sounds so much more reasonable than saying he was allowed to win by the Gnomes of Zurich Hamilton County.

  49. 49
    Mino says:

    If Nevada or Colorado had gone differntly, I think we would be in the courts. Obama did not need Ohio or Florida this go-round.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    No. No one was concerned about vote-switching. Ever. They were concerned about long lines and provisional ballots and getting out voters out.

    They had an entire litigation team in place, split into regions in case it within a half a point, because that’s the cut off for a recount. People were pissed off at the Green Party lawsuit on the computer patches because the GOP would like nothing better than a fucking HAND count, where Ohio isn’t called for two days. They’re idiots for filing that. I’d still like to know who thought that up. “Let’s give them 48 hours to throw the result into question!” Brilliant lawyering there, Greens.

  51. 51
    Xboxershorts says:

    @aimai:

    Cupcake?

    Fuck you. I do networking for a living.

    Watch the Spoonamore video and get your head out of your ass. The man designs ATM Network security.

    They DID hack Ohio in 2004.

  52. 52
    1badbaba3 says:

    @c u n d gulag: So does this mean our scumbags were better than their scumbags? ‘Twoud be irresponsible not to speculate.

  53. 53
    Tripod says:

    They’re likely full of shit, but exposing voter fraud isn’t the goal.

    Ratfucking Rove is.

  54. 54
    jwb says:

    @Xboxershorts: Let’s assume your account it true: it almost certainly would not have been Rove’s call to make. You don’t put someone on TV who is going to be responsible for making real time decisions. If there is a conspiracy, Rove is one of the minions, not the big boss, and his surprise is not that his plan to steal the election is not working but that he’d been told that the votes would be taken care of but the stealing failed to materialize. Tracking Rove’s electronic communication might lead you to the big boss but it would not yield the key. So at that level, the letter here is either a fabrication or disingenuous. It is also not clear why Orca was needed for the scam. If it is part of the conspiracy, it would have at best served as a distraction to the vote stealing that was going on elsewhere. The hack that counted would have nothing to do with it.

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @Xboxershorts: So the network connections to the tabulators are not encrypted? Broken encryption?

  56. 56
    kay says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    They have bellweather precincts and it isn’t a theory. It’s votes. Ohio precincts have to post the list at 11 and again at 4. In 2004 I drove to the bellweather precinct in this county and called in VOTES. A Democrat will have a certain margin or he won’t, and if he doesn’t he probably isn’t going to win. They look at 2 counties in NW Ohio, Lucas (Toledo, blue) and Wood (a swing county). If the Democrat is carrying Lucas by a huge margin and carrying Wood at 51% that Democrat is going to win.

  57. 57
    Concerned Citizen says:

    Republicans are fucked. The geeks won’t work for them.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/tec.....in/265325/

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Xboxershorts: Your theory only works if votes aren’t counted in the ward or precinct before being transmitted on. I know, for example, that, in Wisconsin, each ward records its votes and forwards them to the municipality. The muni. reports on to the county and the county to the Government Accountability Board. There is a paper trail and the numbers have to add up.

    Edited to fix way too many spelling and grammatical errors. I need more coffee.

  59. 59
    Citizen_X says:

    Just as Nixon’s “merry pranksters” first burgled those files at the Watergate Apartments because they simply could not believe that Daniel Ellsberg and the Democratic Party weren’t as crooked as the Republican CREEPsters, Rove cannot believe that the Obama campaign isn’t pulling all the dishonest, unethical, criminal stunts he’d use in David Axelrod’s position.

    In other words, he thought that would be…inconceivable?

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kane: Completely agree. It felt just like Florida in 2000: You can’t call Florida for Gore, Bush won Florida. As if it were a non-disputable fact. I loathe these cheaters. Am I the only one who had a mom that taught me that if you cheat to win, then it doesn’t count, and you haven’t won?

  61. 61
    kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Right, and they know the margin when the total leaves the county and they compare that margin to ’04 and ’08 to make a projection. If it changed as a portion of the composite margins when it’s totalled from what they had hours prior from each of 88 counties someone would have some splainin to do :)

    I will just say that I absolutely dreaded walking back into my house after calling in the bellweather precinct at 4 PM in 2004 in this county because we had a houseful of GOTV volunteers, I knew Kerry hadn’t hit his mark, and I was afraid they would be able to read my face. I sat in the car in my own driveway for a long time.

  62. 62
    Palli says:

    @El Tiburon:
    There is basic commonsense to all this.
    Republicans built the electronic voting, programming and ballot tabulating systems.
    It is magical thinking to believe in the sanctity of the elections and expect republicans not to use it toward their own ends.

    Sure, real people outnumbered them this time but…2016 is the big one.

  63. 63
    smith says:

    Someone on the Stephanie Miller show (forgot his name) said he thinks the voting machines were rigged for Romney, then the cell phone video surfaced of the voter in Pennsylvania where his vote changed (he pressed Obama and it lit up Romney; he tried everyone else’s name and it worked fine but whenever Obama’s name was pressed it lit up Romney). Since it was on the news and uploaded to You Tube immediately, the Republicans and Rove figured they better stop messing with the machines or else this video will come back and bite them in the ass.

  64. 64
    kuvasz says:

    This is the same type of crazy-insanity that marked the Yankee’s manager Blly Martin. So paranoid that he suspected all sorts of machinations from opponents and umpires to screw him. He sat up at night thinking about the ways others would corn-hole him. Then he turnned around and did it to his opponents.

  65. 65
    Svensker says:

    @kay:

    Kay, thanks for your rational explanation of how things actually work. And the hard work, too, also. :)

  66. 66
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Svensker:

    Kay, thanks for your rational explanation of how things actually work. And the hard work, too, also. :)

    Seconded.

  67. 67
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Ken: I was wondering that too.

    McClellan said the software is to “assist counties and to help them simplify the process by which they report the results to our system.”

    A judge was scheduled to hear the request for an injuction against Husted and his software.

  68. 68
    Laura says:

    I’m a longtime lurker and a first time commenter.

    I am not one for conspiracy theories. I personally think that Rove truly believed the BS hype from Morris and the “Unskewed Polls dude” They definitely fell victim to epistemic closure in which those Fox, Freeper, and RedState citizens inhabit. Thats why he had a nervous breakdown meltdown on Fox Spew during election day.

    Here is my estimated take on Rove’s reaction on Nov 6 2012. Enjoy.

    http://youtu.be/87wb1vpaxns

  69. 69
    Xboxershorts says:

    @catclub:

    Watch the spoonamore video. Encryption is meaningless if the keys are known to the infiltrators.

    As for precinct counts, that’s all fine and good, detecting any anomaly in votes counted for each candidate is impossible when the actual voting machine paper trail only counts total votes. The vote records are driven to the county in OH, uploaded to a tabulator and then transmitted across a network (Ohio actually uses public network transit)to the state’s collection and presentation site.

    When the anomaly is 1-2% per select precinct, you can’t detect it, except through careful statistical analysis. Because that anomaly will be consistent across every precinct/county that was targeted.

    Watch the Spoonamore video. THIS was his testimony in the 2004 King-Lincoln lawsuit.

    Perennial Swing State Ohio was hacked in 2004.

    What changes were made by uber partisan Ohio secretary of State Husted to secure that network and prevent 2004 from happening again in 2012?

    Wisconsin ain’t a swing state either. Hasn’t been for many election cycles.

  70. 70

    @El Tiburon:

    But, and to me here is the seemingly fatal flaw in all of this: at some point you would think someone would insider knowledge of this would come forward.

    Karl Rove knows how to deal with loose ends.

  71. 71
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Anne Laurie @ Top:

    Oh cool, Anonymous (we think it is Anonymous?) says Karl Rove was gonna vote fraud all the Machines, and that’s why he was so flabbergasted and refused to believe it when Fox called Ohio for Bamz, but they stopped him from stealing all the Machines by jamming up ORCA …

    Oh wonderful. Now all the wingnuts have proof –PROOF I tell you — that Obama and his sociaIist hacker minions stole the election!

    This really isn’t going to be helpful.

    .

  72. 72
    Mike G says:

    @MikeJ:

    Orcas are the only predator of narwhals, and Narwhal is the name of the Obama campaign’s infrastructure.

    Once again demonstrating that Repukes have no ideas, only a pathological desire to beat the other side. I’m jsut surprised they didn’t call it the FreedomJeebusComputer or whatever.

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Xboxershorts:

    ORCA may have, in fact, been intended for use to trigger a shift in network traffic to an alternate path where a fixed percentage of votes can be quietly shifted from one candidate to another.

    ORCA was advertised as a 50 state GOTV tool, and methods of tabulation vary from state to state.

    IF Rove or the Romney campaign were attempting to steal OH or other states — and I certainly don’t think they’re above doing that — then ORCA seems like an unlikely tool to serve as a front-end for it. They’d want to co-ordinate with the Secretary of State within each state they want to steal, and set up separate, state-specific, methods and routes for doing so. Partly to accommodate each state’s counting quirks, and partly to have separate evidence trails for each state such that getting busted in one state doesn’t reveal your successes in other states.

    While I have no problem believing that Anon DOS’d ORCA, or that Rove may have planned to steal some states, I don’t think Rove, or the Romney campaign, would have tried to centralize all their vote-stealing efforts in ORCA — or any centralized single point where they could be detected.

    So, no, I don’t think ORCA was how Rove/Romney planned to steal the election.

    On the other hand, Anon’s DOS claim does give Rove, et. al., a scapegoat for their loss, since ORCA wasn’t designed just for Ohio, but for their GOTV efforts in all 50 states.

    .

  74. 74
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Looks like aimai and NonyNony got there first. I second their comments.

    .

  75. 75
    Xboxershorts says:

    @JGabriel:

    If ORCA was reporting results real time it’s incredibly simple to have ORCA send an email or text to an anonymous forwarding address and trigger a modest shift.

    Y’all haven’t watched the Spoonamore video I linked to above. You know how I know? You keep insisting this idea is incredulous.

    It isn’t. If you own the network, it’s incredibly simple.

  76. 76
    Ted & Hellen says:

    The willfully naive pretense among BJ regulars that CONSPIRACIES DO NOT HAPPEN NOWHERE EVER, even to the point of defending Karl Rove, and the weird tendency to mock and belittle radical left activists such as Anonymous would be funny if it weren’t so revealing.

    Revealing of a fetishistic fondness for the status quo.

  77. 77
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    Cupcake?
    Fuck you. I do networking for a living.

    Aimai is VERY emotionally invested in her fantasy of the status quo as a GOOD thing, hence the snide diminutive. Best not to upset her unduly.

  78. 78
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @WereBear: Ridiculous.

    Scriptkiddiez talking shit. Prove it. And Hartmann clearly doesn’t have a fscking clue about that there teckie computamabob thing stuff.

  79. 79
    WereBear says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Oh? And just what is your techie creds?

  80. 80
    blingee says:

    OH FOR FUCKS SAKES. I swear, you people (and yes I mean that in the Ann Rawmoney condesending way) are as bad as the right. That is why I don’t consider myself progressive. Not because I don’t agree with the basic premise, it’s because there are too many idiots just like on the right.

    First of all, people like Rove didn’t get to where he is by being dumb. Attaching a voter fraud machine directly to the Rawmoney campaign like that would be dumb. Like retarded dumb, not Republican dumb. If they were going to do something like that they would do everything they can to prevent it from being traced back to the Rawmoney campaign.

    So just throw that stupid consipracy theory out. Maybe they DDoS’d Orca but I kind of doubt that too because Repubs would love any excuse to say Dems cheated by DDoSing them and there has been no such talk.

    The only thing I would have questions about was this unapproved ‘patch’ that the OH Sec of State had installed at the last minute at certain voting locations that lean left. That seems suspect to me and I am sure if there was any funny business there it will be uncovered.

  81. 81
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Aimai is VERY emotionally invested in her fantasy of the status quo as a GOOD thing, hence the snide diminutive. Best not to upset her unduly.

    Perhaps an investment in civility would be more appropriate, as in not insulting people you don’t know a thing about.

    Also, too…if she’d invested a modicum of effort and watched Stephen Spoonamore’s interview regarding the hacking of Ohio 2004, she’d not have been so quick to be arrogantly dismissive. Especially in regards to an engineering discipline she’s apparently completely ignorant of.

    I link to it again…it is THAT important. John Husted is counting on that ignorance of hers
    http://youtu.be/BRW3Bh8HQic

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @Xboxershorts: Listen here, cupcake. With the demise of Hostess you’re a valuable commodity.

  83. 83
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Corner Stone: Don’t be such a twinkie

  84. 84
    Marc says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    The willfully naive pretense among BJ regulars that CONSPIRACIES DO NOT HAPPEN NOWHERE EVER, even to the point of defending Karl Rove, and the weird tendency to mock and belittle radical left activists such as Anonymous would be funny if it weren’t so revealing.

    It’s also pretty funny that you think some 20 year-old with an overactive fantasy life and a V mask is a “radical left activist.”

    Has it occurred to you that Kay, with her tireless organizing and on-the-ground monitoring, did more to stop Rove than all the cosplayers and conspiracy theorists put together?

    Btw: nice job, Kay.

  85. 85
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Even had Rove stolen Ohio, Romneybot 2.0 would still have lost the election. Rove’s on-the-set meltdown was because he knew that once The Bot lost Ohio, his chances of winning were over.

    Interesting post. Never thought about Anonymous hacking ORCA (which appeared to have been useless anyways).

  86. 86
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike G: It’s also inaccurate. The primary predators of narwhals are polar bears.

  87. 87
    priscianusjr says:

    @Chris:

    Rove was screwed anyway, because I’m pretty sure it was a 50/50 bet that Ohio would be decisive, as we know now too many other states were falling for it to matter in the end

    That’s my theory for why Husted or whoever it was didn’t pull the stunts. It would have been too obvious, and no longer even worth the risk.

  88. 88
    priscianusjr says:

    @Ash Can:

    My impression, though, has been not that he was genuinely surprised

    My impression was that he was genuinely surprised. Like, s–t in your pants surprised.

  89. 89
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    You bark authoritatively to cow people into thinking you know what you’re talking about.

    Your argument is complete technical nonsense. Star Trek bad.

    I look forward to laughing at the conspiracy flick you linked.

    and I’m usually the nut in this crowd.. so there.

  90. 90
    priscianusjr says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    you don’t understand how networks work. Karl Rove and his team of scumbags do.

    If they do, and you do, then I am sure the Obama team do too.

  91. 91
    priscianusjr says:

    @aimai:

    there is no reason to believe that the publicly named ORCA was the way they were planning to do it and plenty of reason to assume it was not.

    Whether or not ORCA was the way they were planning to do it is not the main issue. The main issue is whether they were planning to do it.

  92. 92
    shano says:

    @blingee: Maybe that patch was ‘fixed’ by an Anonymous firewall.
    They told Karl in October they would be watching him. what if Orca only had to connect to these voting machines for a minute or less? Waiting for a tech guy tell me if this is possible.

  93. 93

    […] Late Night Open Thread: Tweaking the Grifter (balloon-juice.com) […]

  94. 94
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    That’s not Stephen Spoonamore conspiracy talk.

    That little video is about his testimony in the King-Lincoln lawsuit brought against former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

    And yes, organizing on the ground and overwhelming the machines with your voters is the only real way to overcome this. There’s only so much of a percentage of votes you can flip without it becoming obvious.

    I’m not backing anonymous’ claim, they’ve done nothing to indicate they hacked into Rove’s network, but, I will say that when the votes are tallied electronically and the information is transmitted across a network the infiltrator’s own or have access to, then manipulating the vote count is simple.

  95. 95
    kay says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    It isn’t though, “simple” because the presidential race isn’t the only race on the ticket. In a small county like mine imagine about 30 people waiting for the raw vote totals. They’re volunteers, or local electeds, or candidates. They get handed a sheaf of paper. It has precinct totals and a final number. They fall on this like jackals and start talking. The new township trustee in Central 7 ( or whatever) declares victory. The school levey goes down. We see that Obama got 7,603 and we know he got 8531 last time, because we’ve been trying to hit the 08 number for months.
    So you’re telling me they add voters, across 88 counties, but only to the presidential race? 150 new votes appear in my county and that # is different than the # the county submitted and different than the # that has been passed to 30 people but ONLY in the presidential race?

  96. 96
    Marc says:

    @shano:

    Maybe that patch was ‘fixed’ by an Anonymous firewall. They told Karl in October they would be watching him. what if Orca only had to connect to these voting machines for a minute or less? Waiting for a tech guy tell me if this is possible.

    Orca didn’t connect to voting machines, period. Volunteers entered data about who voted at their polling places, and Orca was supposed to send that data to a server at Romney HQ. One server, on a Comcast business internet connection, so even the claim that Anonymous crashed it is highly doubtful; the sheer volume of traffic crashed the system. You don’t need a tech guy to tell you if this is possible; you could read basically any article about Orca and learn it all for yourself.

    Pro tip: if your argument starts with “Maybe” and is based on a “what if,” it’s a conspiracy theory.

  97. 97
    kay says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    So we could split the OH vote into 4 categories. There’s in person early vote ( electronic and paper ballot) absentee ( paper ballot) election day in-person ( paper ballot and electronic) and provisional ( paper ballot).

    They’re only changing totals on the e- voting machines, so of a universe of maybe 25% of the vote they have to add 250k votes and go undetected and create a record in each if 88 counties, w/ out flipping a down- ticket race?

    Keep in mind there’s always a down- ticket recount ( or ten) right now there are 2 statehouse races that are too close to call, so that’s two recounts right there.

  98. 98
    Xboxershorts says:

    @kay:

    They don’t add votes, they “flip” candidate vote totals. 2% up for Romney, 2% down for Obama.

    The total vote count never changes.

    That’s what Spoonamore’s 2004 testimony in the King-Lincoln lawsuit says. And he draws a diagram showing how they did it.

    If you know the format of the data stream and you have obtained direct access to it (Like they did in 2004), then manipulating that data is simple.

    Electronic voting is insane. Votes can be either anonymous but not secure, or secure but not anonymous. Data security requires transaction ID for each vote. A transaction ID makes it not anonymous.

    That video really is that important because so many people just can’t believe that Ken Blackwell would have been that audacious in the general election in 2004.

    Yet, he was.

    At 9:32pm on election night 2004, records show that the county tabulator destinations shifted from the SoS central collector in Columbus to a GoP owned data center in Lexington, KY. No reason has ever been given for this change of destination. No failures reported, no system crashes…just a mid election shift in destinations to a partisan data center. Why?

    It’s all there in court testimony in the King-Lincoln lawsuit, including the network schematic.

  99. 99
    kay says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    Okay, sorry, I get what you’re saying. Just to start I’m not that persuaded by the fact that it’s “testimony”. Anyone can file anything and anyone can say anything. In the video he’s acting as an expert which is fine, but it’s not persuasive or conclusive all by itself. You probably know “we” could find a competing expert who would punch holes in everything he says.

    You still haven’t told me how they reverse engineer the record in each county. There were recounts in races in 2004, there just wasn’t a state-wide recount. They start with the raw vote total in the area or county or district as reported and check it against the state-reported totals. Then they go through the ballots. They’re going to come up with the same number they came up with on election night locally, and that won’t match the (fraudulent) state-wide number. The county numbers have two columns, a vote total and a percentage. That percentage would have to change. Just to give you an idea how closely this is tracked, Obama had 44% of this county in ’08 and we tried to get 42% this time out. That’s roughly consistent with the difference between 4.8 points (2008) and 1.9 points (2012) statewide.

    I wasn’t following politics on the internet in 2004. I didn’t know that Drudge had reported exit polls, or Kos had predicted a Kerry win. We, here, thought Kerry was losing at 4 PM. I was hoping the Dem counties would come in strong, and he would eke it out, but there’s a real understanding in Democratic circles here how these counties fit together to make (or indicate) a Democratic win, and OUR county was not going the way we had hoped. I wasn’t surprised that he lost.

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    I would just ask you to consider this. In each and every Ohio county there is a bd of elections that is composed of rabid partisans and political junkies, both sides. They grab the county numbers and see how they did. It’s competitive. My problem with a lot of these theories is they have very competent and devious Republicans, and no Democrats, at all. It isn’t like that here. It’s this huge fight. We’re all completely engaged and anyone can see these numbers. We ALL look at them.
    I was upset with the state in 2004 not because of vote-switching, but because of boring, nasty process bullshit (long lines in Dem areas) but I was ALSO pissed at the Democrats in those counties because THEY didn’t get off their ass and get more voting machines to Dem areas or file for injunctive relief, etc. It was incompetence, IMO, not a conspiracy. Broadly, I would say that the Kerry campaign had tons of outside money that they couldn’t control or coordinate and tons of paid grifters who weren’t doing much of anything (not the campaign people, who worked like dogs, but the alphabet soup of liberal orgs). It was a MESS. We had terrible lists, we spent fruitless months on “persuasion” rather than getting our base out in what was a base election, we used 100% phone calls, we spent a ridiculous amount of time on YARD SIGNS, we had no local “base” organization (I was running this half-ass effort out of the law office and my house, and I had never done it before). I could go on and on.

  101. 101
    kay says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    I’ll just give you another example of why I take this stuff apart. The “Romney owns the voting machines” panic. The Hart machines, the machines that were the object of suspicion, were purchased IN RESPONSE to Democratic fears of Diebold in two counties. That’s what happened. Democrats in two counties insisted on a different company so we wouldn’t have uniformity or a single company providing machines, as a “check”. So, that DEMOCRATIC initiative then becomes the basis for fear and suspicion, in 2012, as a GOP conspiracy. Reading that on 50,000 liberal sites, I’m sitting here amazed. So I take everything with a huge grain of salt.

  102. 102
    Xboxershorts says:

    @kay:

    I don’t do Drudge and I spend little time at KOS so I can’t say with any certainty what those two sites have on this. I doubt it’s anything of significance.

    Also, too…you don’t have to do every county, just those locations that tabulate and report in ways that are not conducive to oversight. (88 counties in Ohio and Husted only “patched” tabulators in 39…?)

    Also in 2004, they practiced the same vote suppression techniques we’ve all come to love and know….shorting of voting machines in targeted precincts.

    A hell of a lot more evidence was presented other than the network schematic of the installation used by the SoS’ office in 2004. And the schematic is the only thing Spoonamore was asked to testify about, as in…”what’s the purpose of this kind of network setup and why would tabulator destinations have shifted at 9:32pm on election night 2004?”

    That question has never been answered. And a LOT of people really are afraid of the answer to that question.

    Spoonamore had to testify because the guy who designed that network (Mike Connell – a name you really should familiarize yourself with if you care about election fraud) died in a plane crash near Akron 2 days before he was scheduled to take the stand. How fortuitous…

    The King-Lincoln lawsuit:
    http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/elect...../klbna.php

  103. 103
    kay says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    Also, too…you don’t have to do every county, just those locations that tabulate and report in ways that are not conducive to oversight. (88 counties in Ohio and Husted only “patched” tabulators in 39…?)

    I would submit that there is no Ohio county that isn’t conducive to oversight. We have the small rural counties (like mine) and those get a lot of attention because the idea is to limit GOP gains, we only have 15,000 votes, so it’s not like they can flip 1,000 votes and no one will notice, and then you have the large urban counties and those have maniac Democrats (county chairs, precinct captains, labor people, down-ticket candidates and representatives of down-ticket candidates) who are trying to run up the score for the Dem President OR win their own race. I just think there are so many deeply invested people that this idea of Ken Blackwell running rough-shod amid a complete absence of OUR interested parties is a little misguided. We had an AP reporter on site in MY county this cycle. They send a reporter out to OH bd of elections because that’s how they get such reliable projections. She’s looking at the same county number we’re all looking at.

    I would just say that caution is also called for because damage can be done when people are running off crazy in different directions. The lawsuit on the patches could have screwed things up, because (initially) they were insisting on a hand count. That takes days. We then would have had a situation where the GOP members of bds of elections in 39 counties would have an opportunity to contest/screw with ballots WITHOUT a recount trigger. That’s a disaster for us. It defeats the whole point of busting ass to come in with a vote total better than 1/2 a point (the trigger for a recount). Honestly, when I read they were suing on the patches I thought “they’re working for the other side. no one is this stupid” :)

    It’s bad lawyering. It’s baby-bathwater.

    The most important voter protection action this cycle was the Obama campaign lawsuit on early voting, IMO.

  104. 104
    Xboxershorts says:

    @kay:

    The most important voter protection action this cycle was the Obama campaign lawsuit on early voting, IMO.

    I agree. The 2nd most important protection action this cycle was the GOTV activity. More votes were tallied than could possibly be manipulated without it becoming blatantly obvious.

    And I thank you profusely for your efforts in that regard.

    But as a network engineer with 3+ decades in IT, I am not so quick to dismiss genuine concerns such as that patch Husted implemented nor the legitimate complaints and questions brought forth in the King-Lincoln lawsuit.

  105. 105
    shano says:

    @Xboxershorts: Thanks for some insight. People dying in plane crashes right before testifying in court is never a good sign for some reason.

  106. 106
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    This thread should be dead by now, but look; I’m not averse to the possibility of electoral system hanky-panky, or the idea that Anonymous ( if they really are uber-hackers, ) might try to do something about it.

    It’s that this theory doesn’t have any technical explanation. It’s all a bunch of Hollywood pseudo-tech hooey.

    And if you’re really that much an expert, I would expect you to address at least a bit of public knowledge, like the SSL certificates used to identify precinct reports and how those can be stolen ( possible ) or faked ( not ). A simple man-in-the-middle attack is powerless with certificate authentication.

    You’re using the language of Hollywood hackers, not actual, factual hackers, much less a real network expert.

    Unlike many commenters here, I don’t do the childish “tinfoil hat” mocking, but please give us a theory with some meat, or admit ignorance. Don’t pull the “I’m an expert, watch me wave my hands!” BS.

  107. 107
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    I’m not the expert who testified to this in 2004. Stephen Spoonamore is. His credentials, especially in regards to network security, exceed mine.

    And it actually did happen in 2004. At 9:32 pm on November 2nd 2004, DNS records shifted from the Ohio SoS’s election office network address to a host identified as residing in the SmarTech facility operated by the RNC located in Lexington KY.

    Evidence of this DNS change is part of the King-Lincoln lawsuit linked to above, which also includes the network design schematic prepared by the now deceased Mike Connell.

    I’m not saying I’m “THE” expert in this regard, in fact, I’ve never said that…I’m saying I know enough to say this expert’s testimony is very believable.

  108. 108
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    OK then. DNS record changes are suspicious, but if what I’ve read is correct; that these systems are using SSL certs for server and client identity verification, then nasty servers won’t be able to establish any connection at all.

    If it turns out that we’re sending official election results over the Internet without using full SSL for encryption and identity verification, then I’ve been misled and we’re all pretty stupid.

    IMO we shouldn’t use computers at all for elections, but in several ways we’re a lazy and foolish nation.

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