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‘Ineptitude’: Maricopa County Destroys Top AZ GOP Senator’s Recount Company as ‘Grifters and Con-Artists’

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Arizona’s Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in a letter sent Monday slammed both the State Senate Republican President and the company she chose to perform a highly-controversial recount of the 2020 presidential election ballots.

That recount, which has been going on for nearly four weeks, has been plagued by regular reports of irregular and suspicious actions and, as the Board of Supervisors said today, “ineptitude.”

Already the U.S. Dept. of Justice has notified the company performing the recount, Cyber Ninjas, that it is watching their actions and warning them their actions may violate the law.

The Maricopa Board of Supervisors – which is made up of four Republicans and just one Democrat – Monday did not hold back, blasting Senate President Karen Fann, accusing her of lying, among other disturbing actions.

Fann, in a false accusation picked up and repeated by Donald Trump over the weekend, claimed Maricopa County deleted an entire database. The accusation was made either out of ignorance or political vengeance, or both, but the damage has been done.

The County responded today, calling the accusations “false, defamatory, and beneath the dignity of the Senate.”

“We demand that you immediately rescind your false and malicious tweet,” the county tells Senate President Fann in a 13-page letter, “asserting that Maricopa County ‘spoiled evidence’ in the days before we provided the server to the Senate. Your tweet, which relies on the ‘modified date’ shown in the screenshot as evidence of wrongdoing, is demonstrably false; the only thing it does demonstrate is your auditors’ incompetence. Their stunning lack of a basic understanding for how their software works is egregious and only made worse by the false tweet sent defaming the hardworking employees of Maricopa County.”

The Senate, Maricopa County adds, “is only interested in feeding the various festering conspiracy theories that fuel the fundraising schemes of those pulling your strings.”

You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call “kinematic artifacts” while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.

A few more excerpts:

“Your various questions about our election procedures reveal a serious lack of understanding of election law.”

“a spectacular lack of understanding on your part”

“we cannot give you a password that we do not possess any more than we can give you the formula for Coca Cola. We do not have it; we have no legal right to acquire it; and so, we cannot give it to you.”

“We will not be responding to any additional inquiries from your “auditors”. Their failure to understand basic election processes is an indication you didn’t get the best people to perform in your political theatre. We have wasted enough County resources. People’s tax dollars are real, your ‘auditors’ are not.”

“Your ‘audit’ is harming all of us, and we ask you to end it.”

But perhaps among the most disturbing accusations Maricopa County makes, is, as The Guardian’s Sam Levine reports, Cyber Ninjas is “just straight miscounting ballots.” Read this short tweet:

Jack Sellers, the Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, concluded a meeting Monday afternoon by announcing to the Arizona Senate, “Finish your report and be ready to defend it in a court of law.”
Image: Screenshot from Maricopa County May 17 press conference via YouTube

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President Biden Had Two Vulgar Words to Say When He First Encountered One of Trump’s ‘Toys’ in the White House

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According to the book “Peril,” as newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden first toured the White House after Donald Trump vacated it January 20, he encountered one room of the former president’s “toys,” and responded with a two-word vulgarity.

“Trump’s existence permeated the White House, even the residence,” Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write in the new book, per an excerpt cited by ABC News, HuffPost reports. “One night, Biden wandered into a room where a huge video screen covered the wall. To relax, Trump used to upload programs to virtually play the world’s most famous golf courses.”

The new President had just two words to say about the golf “toy.”

“What a fucking asshole,” President Biden responded.

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz via Flickr

 

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Watch: Madison Cawthorn Challenger Accuses Him of Being ‘Radicalized’ in Devastating Ad That’s Going Viral

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One of U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn‘s Democratic challengers has just released an ad accusing the North Carolina Republican of appearing to have been “radicalized by extremists,” and it’s going viral, with more than 300,000 views in about ten hours.

“Like too many young people before him from around the world to right next door, Madison Cawthorn exhibits the signs of a young man who has been radicalized by extremists and is now dangerously radicalizing others,” Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, one of four Democrats and seven Republicans running to unseat Congressman Cawthorn, says in her new ad accusing him of “stoking insurrection.”

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is a North Carolina county commissioner, ordained minister, and founder and executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. She announced her run for Congress in March.

Her campaign website says: “Jasmine attended public schools through high school and received her undergraduate degree from Brown University. She holds a Master of Fine Arts and completed her Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School. She served on the Biden Foundation’s Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality.”

The ad is emblazoned with images of young Nazis in Hitler’s Germany, along with neo-Nazis and white supremacists from the Unite the Right “rally” in Charlotte, NC, along with white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and mass murderer Dylann Roof who slaughtered nine Black bible study group members, and alleged teenaged killer Kyle Rittenhouse who goes on trial in November.

The video says eight months after the January 6 insurrection, Cawthorn “calls these violent insurrectionists ‘hostages’ and can’t let go of the Big Lie.”

The ad also features images of Beach-Ferrara with her wife and children, as she says, “as a mom, an ordained minister and a county commissioner, I’m running to defeat Madison Cawthorn, not by confronting hate with more hate, but with love of neighbor, love of community, and love of country. Because violent extremism has no place in western North Carolina. This isn’t who we are. We need to be crystal clear about the difference between right and wrong.”

Beach-Ferrara calls Cawthorn “a danger to our democracy,” and says, “I’m asking for your help, not just to defeat him, but to come together to create the America our kids deserve.”

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The ‘Rosetta Stone of the Far Right’ Just Got Hacked — and Its Secrets Are Being Exposed

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported on the hack of Epik, a domain hosting website that has become synonymous with far-right groups and causes.

“Online records show those sites have included 8chan, which was dropped by its providers after hosting the manifesto of a gunman who killed 51 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019; Gab, which was dropped for hosting the antisemitic rants of a gunman who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018; and Parler, which was dropped due to lax moderation related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack,” reported Drew Harwell, Craig Timberg, and Hannah Allam.

Epik also briefly hosted the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer, and prolifewhistleblower.com, the website set up to facilitate bounty-hunting snitches for the new Texas abortion law.

According to the report, experts are combing through the data of the leak, which came courtesy of the hacker group Anonymous and includes everything from client names to home addresses to the account credential of far-right site administrators.

“Extremism researchers and political opponents have treated the leak as a Rosetta Stone to the far-right, helping them to decode who has been doing what with whom over several years,” said the report. “Initial revelations have spilled out steadily across Twitter since news of the hack broke last week, often under the hashtag #epikfail, but those studying the material say they will need months and perhaps years to dig through all of it.”

One of the revelations provided by the leak, said the report, was that Epik had weak security measures.

“Epik’s security protocols have been the target of ridicule among researchers, who’ve marveled at the site’s apparent failure to take basic security precautions, such as routine encryption that could have protected data about its customers from becoming public,” said the report. “Similar failings by other hacked companies have drawn scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which has probed companies such as dating site Ashley Madison for failing to protect their customers’ private data from hackers. FTC investigations have resulted in settlements imposing financial penalties and more rigorous privacy standards.”

You can read more here.

 

Image by Kjetil Korslien via Flickr and a CC license

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