Margaret, if you want to know just how deplorable Trumpsters are, this week they elected two indicted criminals, a Nazi and a dead brothel owner. And the fact that most people reading this are asking themselves “which Nazi?” is just bat shit crazy. To be honest, it could have been multiple Nazis, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a GOP Congressman and a Nazi these days. Some might be just your run-of-the-mill racists. You know what they say about old, white men standing in front of a flag, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump… they all look alike.
A dead brothel owner. I’m sorry. I just had to say that again. The party of family values elected a dead pimp. Bless their hearts but Republicans are nuttier than squirrel shit.
Now, I know that some of you Democrats out there, especially in Florida, Georgia and Texas, are filling a bit blue today and not in a good Blue Wave way. We’re feeling blue because we fell in love with Andrew, Beto and Stacey and hoped that racists in red states would be standing in line at a Cracker Barrel instead of a polling station. Damn you Cracker Barrel! What happened to your all-you-can-eat chicken fried opossum steak on Tuesdays?
Honestly, it was going to be an uphill battle and we got a bit ahead of ourselves. After all, this is Florida, Georgia and Texas we are talking about. They are GOP red mixed with a little scarlet, crimson, cardinal, ruby, magenta, brick, carmine, rose, vermilion, cerise, coral, and burgundy. The fact that Beto was even in the hunt and the other two are still too close to call is pretty amazing. Sure, it stung. But we really do have a great deal to celebrate. We took back the House. Our wave was big enough to overcome gerrymandering and voter suppression, sending several hundred state and federal members of the GOP packing.
If you are feeling a bit down, maybe this will pick you up. Here are a few of my favorite casualties:
Karen Handel. Remember her? This homophobic, she-devil in wolf’s clothing managed to destroy the otherwise stellar reputation of the Susan G Komen Foundation when she picked a fight with Planned Parenthood. Komen recovered somewhat but it never returned to its former glory. Well, now a Democrat in Georgia named Lucy McBath is my new favorite person and Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s newest Representative. Kiss my ass Karen. The only organization I liked more than Komen was Planned Parenthood and you damaged one in order to attack the other. Don’t mess with Planned Parenthood. Ever. By the way, McBath ran on more gun control… in Georgia.
Kim Davis. This walking hairball in need of a hairstyle became famous in Kentucky for refusing to give marriage licenses to same sex couples, claiming Jesus told her to hate people. She then crashed a party pretending to be the Pope’s BFF and became the white trash darling for white trash religious nutjobs everywhere when she traveled to Romania to fight gay marriage there. Wait. What? Listen, folks. The cheese slid off this gal’s cracker years ago. Thank goodness that Kentucky Democrats dropped a house on Kim. To be honest, she lost by less than 700 votes, but that was to be expected considering she was related to, married to, divorced by and otherwise had children out of wedlock with a sizable percentage of the male voting population in the county. Hypocrisy is what the GOP now calls a family value.
Jason Lewis. I bet you don’t remember this asshat from Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District unless you’re a slut… I mean a woman… I mean a slut. Lewis complained that political correctness had gotten so bad that he couldn’t even call a woman a slut anymore without getting in trouble. He lost to Democrat Angie Craig. I don’t know you Angie, but I love you regardless of what Jason is most assuredly calling you at this moment.
Jack Phillips. He’s probably the most famous baker in Colorado, but not because his cakes taste good, bad or otherwise. Jack is the Colorado Baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple and took his argument all the way to the Supreme Court. He then tried to sue the Governor of Colorado because he didn’t want to bake a pink and blue cake for a transgender woman. Guess what? Jack now has a new Governor in Colorado. His name is Jared Polis and he’s gay. Please, please, please Governor Polis, order your inauguration cake from Jack if for no other reason than shits and giggles.
Kevin Yoder. I know nothing about this congressman from Kansas except he was a Republican in Kansas, which is rarely a good thing. He lost to a Native American woman named Sharice Davids. Now Sharice has a remarkable story and you should read about it. But I don’t want to talk about that now because I am being a little selfish. I just want to sit a minute and imagine Donald Trump watching Fox News on Tuesday when they gave a Democratic pick up seat to a woman who happens to be Native American and who also happens to be a lesbian and a mixed, martial arts fighter. Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee… Sharice honey, if you meet the President, please kick him where it counts.
Barbara Comstock. When Florida Parkland Students came to talk to her about gun violence, she refused to meet with them. Barbara lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Bye, bye Barbara. Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.
Listen. I was sad. I wanted Beto as much as anyone. I really did. But here in Texas we picked up so many down ballot Democrats because of Beto that I don’t think being sad is an appropriate way to remember Beto, or Stacey or Andrew. And maybe its not even over for Stacey who is still fighting the good fight. Good luck Stacey. Every vote counts. But no. We can’t be down. We have just too much to be excited about.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee
Chairman Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee
Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Financial Services Committee
Chairman Richard Neal, House Ways and Means Committee
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the woman who gave us the Affordable Care Act the last time she had that title
That is huge. We took back the House and turned a huge section of the country blue, while Trump kept Georgia, Florida and Texas red… barely. We changed everything. He changed nothing.
Maybe the Blue Wave wasn’t as big in some parts of the country as others. As it swept from east to west across the country like an invading army of immigrants… no wait. As it swept from east to west, it hit patches of gerrymandering and mountains of voter suppression. But it indeed swept across the country no matter how large or small it seemed at times. One thing we know for sure, if left unchecked, Trump could bring out the worst in all of us. And sadly, he’s proud of that. But then again, he’s an idiot. The blue wave came, and it was big enough. I mean it. Really.
Yuanyuan Zhu was walking to her gym in San Francisco on March 9, thinking the workout could be her last for a while, when she noticed that a man was shouting at her. He was yelling an expletive about China. Then a bus passed, she recalled, and he screamed after it, “Run them over.”
She tried to keep her distance, but when the light changed, she was stuck waiting with him at the crosswalk. She could feel him staring at her. And then, suddenly, she felt it: his saliva hitting her face and her favorite sweater.
In shock, Ms. Zhu, who is 26 and moved to the United States from China five years ago, hurried the rest of the way to the gym. She found a corner where no one could see her, and she cried quietly. “That person didn’t look strange or angry or anything, you know?” she said of her tormentor. “He just looked like a normal person.”
As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asians-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.
In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by Muslim-Americans after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But unlike 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of Muslim-Americans, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.
Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are intent on calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” rejecting the World Health Organization’s guidance against using geographic locations when naming illnesses, since past names have provoked a backlash.
Mr. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he was calling the virus “Chinese” to combat a disinformation campaign by Beijing officials saying the American military was the source of the outbreak. He dismissed concerns that his language would lead to any harm.
“If they keep using these terms, the kids are going to pick it up,” said Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., who fears for his son, Larry, 8. “They are going to call my 8-year-old son a Chinese virus. It’s serious.”
Mr. Du said he posted on Facebook that “this is the darkest day in my 20-plus years of life in the United States,” referring to Mr. Trump’s doubling down on use of the term.
While no firm numbers exist yet, Asian-American advocacy groups and researchers say there has been a surge of verbal and physical assaults reported in newspapers and to tip lines.
San Francisco State University found a 50 percent rise in the number of news articles related to the coronavirus and anti-Asian discrimination between Feb. 9 and March 7. The lead researcher, Russell Jeung, a professor of Asian-American studies, said the figures represented “just the tip of the iceberg,” because only the most egregious cases that would be likely to be reported by the media.
Mr. Jeung has helped set up a website in six Asian languages, to gather firsthand accounts; some 150 cases have been reported on the site since it started last Thursday.
Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., said that hearing government leaders call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” had made him afraid for his son, Larry, 8.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times Benny Luo, founder and chief executive of NextShark, a website focused on Asian-American news, said the site used to get a few tips a day. Now it is dozens.
“We’ve never received this many news tips about racism against Asians,” he said. “It’s crazy. My staff is pulling double duty just to keep up.” He said he was hiring two more people to help.
No one is immune to being targeted. Dr. Edward Chew, the head of the emergency department at a large Manhattan hospital, is on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus. He said that over the past few weeks, he has noticed people trying to cover their nose and mouth with their shirts when they are near him.
Dr. Chew has been using his free time to buy protective gear, like goggles and face shields, for his staff, in case his hospital runs out. On Wednesday night at a Home Depot, with his cart filled with face shields, masks and Tyvek suits, he said he was harassed by three men in their 20s, who then followed him out into the parking lot.
“I heard of other Asians being assaulted over this, but when you are actually ridiculed yourself, you really feel it,” he said the following day.
A writer for The New Yorker, Jiayang Fan, said she was taking out her trash last week when a man walking by began cursing at her for being Chinese.
“I’ve never felt like this in my 27 years in this country,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “I’ve never felt afraid to leave my home to take out the trash because of my face.” Attacks have also gotten physical.
In the San Fernando Valley in California, a 16-year old Asian-American boy was attacked in school by bullies who accused him of having the coronavirus. He was sent to the emergency room to see whether he had suffered a concussion.
In New York City a woman wearing a mask was kicked and punched in a Manhattan subway station, and a man in Queens was followed to a bus stop, shouted at and then hit over the head in front of his 10-year-old son.
People have rushed to protect themselves. One man started a buddy-system Facebook group for Asians in New York who are afraid to take the subway by themselves. Gun shop owners in the Washington, D.C., area said they were seeing a surge of first-time Chinese-American buyers.
At Engage Armament in Rockville, Md., most gun buyers in the first two weeks of March have been Chinese-American or Chinese, according to the owner, Andy Raymond.
More than a fifth of Rockville’s residents are of Asian ethnicity, and Mr. Raymond said buyers from Korean and Vietnamese backgrounds were not unusual.But Mr. Raymond said he was stunned by the flow of Chinese customers — in particular green-card holders from mainland China — that began earlier this month, a group that rarely patronized his shop before.
“It was just nonstop, something I’ve never seen,” he said.
Mr. Raymond said that few of the Asian customers wanted to talk about why they were there, but when one of his employees asked a woman about it, she teared up. “To protect my daughter,” she replied.
For recent immigrants like Mr. Du who are in close touch with friends and family in China, the virus has been a screaming danger for weeks that most Americans seemed oblivious to.
Mr. Du is trying to remain hopeful. He spends his weekends training to become a volunteer with Maryland’s emergency medical workers. He is part of a group of Chinese-American scientists who organized a GoFundMe account to raise money for protective gear for hospital workers in the area. In three days, they raised more than $55,000, nearly all in small donations.
But he said he was afraid of the chaos that could be unleashed if the U.S. death toll rises significantly.
Already a gun owner, Mr. Du, 48, said he was in the process of buying an AR-15 style rifle.
“Katrina is not far away,” he said, alluding to the unrest in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “And when all these bad things come, I am a minority. People can see my face is Chinese clearly. My son, when he goes out, they will know his parents are Chinese.”
For American-born Asians, there is a sudden sense of being watched that is as unsettling as it is unfamiliar.
“It’s a look of disdain,” said Chil Kong, a Korean-American theater director in Maryland. “It’s just: ‘How dare you exist in my world? You are a reminder of this disease, and you don’t belong in my world.’”
He added: “It’s especially hard when you grow up here and expect this world to be yours equally. But we do not live in that world anymore. That world does not exist.”
One debate among Asian-Americans has been over whether to wear a mask in public. Wearing one risks drawing unwanted attention; but not wearing one does, too. Ms. Zhu said her parents, who live in China, offered to ship her some.
“I’m like, ‘Oh please, don’t,’” she said. She said she was afraid of getting physically attacked if she wore one. “Lots of my friends, their social media posts are all about this: We don’t wear masks. It’s kind of more dangerous than the virus.”
A 30-year-old videographer in Syracuse said he was still shaken from a trip to the grocery store on Monday, when the man ahead of him in the checkout line shouted at him, “It’s you people who brought the disease,” and other customers just stared at him, without offering to help. That same day, he said, two different couples verbally abused him at Costco.
“I feel like I’m being invaded by this hatred,” said the man, Edward, who asked that his last name not be used because he feared attracting more attention. “It’s everywhere. It’s silent. It’s as deadly as this disease.”
He said he had tried to hide the details of what happened from his mother, who moved to the United States from China in the 1970s. But there was one thing he did tell her.
“I told her, whatever you do, you can’t go shopping,” he said. “She needed to know there’s a problem and we can’t act like it’s normal anymore.”
Despite liberals frequently referencing God, the Bible, and Jesus, there is no “Religious Left.” It is an oxymoron because the two “sets of belief systems” are mutually exclusive. The Bible speaks of such people, Paul wrote, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for […]
Bible believing “Jesus” followers must not be “confused” merely by a person’s quoting of “Scripture,” remember Satan himself quoted Scripture to Jesus during the “temptation”and frequently twists it in today’s society to “deceive” Christians who do not yet have a “firm foundation in God’s word.”
AMR ResponseFunny isn’t it? How one of the first modes of attack against the Christian Left is to denigrate and dehumanize them? That is the first line of attack along with projection by the ChristoFascist Reich-Wingers of their actions upon the Christian Left. Blame the Christian Left for what the ChristoFascists of the Reich-Wingers do.
It is the same trick that Adolph Hitler and his Aryian White Supremacist ChristoTaliban “Positive Christianity” Nazis did during WWII.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTaliban invaders of this country and put the original inhabitants the Native Americans to death in their mass genocide against us. They demonized us, projected all their evil upon us and then it made it easier for other Christians to slaughter us.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used against the Pagans when they invaded their countries in their forced conversion programs.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used to put to brutal deaths those they proclaimed as witches, heretics and our scientists whom proved the religious Reich-Winger ChristoFascists wrong in their teachings and theology.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used to go to war against each other. Catholics calling Protestants not True Christians and Protestants doing the same to Catholics, each demonizing and dehumanizing each other which made it easier for them to get their brain-washed and mind controlled zombie Christian followers to go out and slaughter each other just because they worshiped the same God and Jesus Christ in different ways.
This is the same kind of attack against the Christian Left, of which? There are many more True Christians in their midsts than there ever will be in the ChristoTaliban Fascist Reich-Wingers like the idiots of Andelino’s Reich-Wing blog. And this is why the Fake Christians like Andelino attack the True Christians of the Christian Left.
ChristoTalibans like this fool always play the projection and dehumanization game to denigrate and defame their opponents.
Ahhhh yes, here we have the infamous Trumpanzee Repugnant Andelino spewing all kinds of shit about Nancy Pelosi in their Nancy Pelosi Derangement Syndrome, which is typical of Trumpanzees and their hypocrisy of lies.
But there is a cure for these Trumpanzees Nancy Pelosi Derangement Syndrome, as well as their President Barack Obama Derangement Syndrome and all their other Democrat and Liberal Derangement Syndromes. And that cure is a self inflicted, full frontal lobotomy. Just like their hero, Commander Bone Spurs should do to really Make America Great Again.
So lets look at the video of Traitor Trump shall we?
Trump mispronounces words in front of 100,000-strong crowd in India
Trump’s Best Words: 2018 Edition | The Daily Show
Trump’s mispronunciation in intel briefing stuns Brooke Baldwin
President Donald Trump Swears At Rally, Accusing Democrats Of ‘Ridiculous Bull—-‘ |
‘If you Google the word idiot, a picture of Donald Trump comes up’
Trump’s Vocabulary & Speech Deteriorating Rapidly
FUNNY WORDS TRUMP SAYS: TRY NOT TO LAUGH
Trump slurs his words and can’t say United States of America
Trump Can’t Say ‘Anonymous’
Drinking problem: Trump has awkward water moment
Melania Trump Hates Holding Donald’s Hand: Melania Trump has a really hard time holding her husband’s hand. Don’t believe it? Here’s the proof.
Trump gets corrected on his pronunciation of ‘Nevada’
Trump has testy exchange, insults female reporter: During a Rose Garden news conference called to highlight the revamped US-Canada-Mexico trade agreement, President Donald Trump insulted a female reporter telling her that she “never” thinks even before she had a chance to ask her question.
Things That Go “Bing” With President Trump: Donald Trump has a way with words — just ask him. During his campaign, Trump famously stated that he had “the best words.” And there are a few he likes to use a lot, like the onomatopoeic “bing.
Getting Worse: Trump Visibly Struggles to Speak: Donald Trump visibly struggles to speak in recent video from the long weekend, raising more questions about his cognitive state
Trump tells Howard Stern that he regularly drops by pageant dressing rooms: In an interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump claims he is able to see naked beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms because he owns the pageants
Full tape with lewd Donald Trump remarks (Access Hollywood): This video was taken directly from the website of Access Hollywood, and it is longer than the version published by the Washington Post.
Donald Trump’s comments about daughter raise eyebrows: Donald Trump has raised eyebrows for comments he’s made and how he has acted towards his daughter Ivanka. CNN’s Deborah Feyerick reports.
Trump’s Awkward Moments With Ivanka: There are a lot of aspects of Donald Trump’s personal life that have made headlines during the course of his administration, but his ways of displaying affinity for eldest daughter Ivanka Trump may be the most unusual. Unlike his other children, Donald Trump has given Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner official positions in the West Wing, which means the scrutiny surrounding their personal history is even more heightened. Not only are there several photos of them together in positions that are not typical for a father and a daughter, but Donald Trump has also publicly spoken of her in terms that many find to be totally inappropriate. Here are just some of the times Donald Trump acted inappropriately when it came to how he treated Ivanka
Donald Trump Makes Lewd Remarks About Women On Video
Trump Talk: All Our Best Mashups In One Video
A running list of Trump’s demeaning comments on women since he ran for president
Trump defends crude language from 2005 as “locker room” talk
Language Expert: Donald Trump’s Way Of Speaking Is ‘Oddly Adolescent’
Prayer Breakfast Rant Shows Trump Doesn’t Understand What Love Is
Psychiatrist on Trump’s Dangerous response to the Coronavirus
Pelosi’s constant “brain freezes,stammering, stuttering, glassy looking wide eyes, wrong pronunciation of simple words” are all a result of all the “demons” she is hosting inside, which are trying to manifest themselves all at once, just like a computer that has to many tasks going on and freezes up.
At an appearance in San Francisco, Nasty Nancy Pelosi told her story that the “spirits of women’s of rights activists” Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul…
The corruption of Barack Obama By J.B. Shurk The national media are “flabbergasted” that Americans won’t consent to President Trump’s “removal” from office. How can so many of his compatriots be “indicted” and so many government bureaucrats condemn his “behavior” without giving them what they desire: self-assurance that they are “on the right side of history”? […]
Ahhh yes, here we have another Trumpanzee going all psychotic over his President Barack Obama Derangement Syndrome while they defend the perverted, proven pathological lying, con-artist, thief, and overall Putin dick sucking Puppet. Yes, they bitch and complain about President Barack Obama and just patently lie about him, while they protect and defend and cover for all the shit that Traitor Trump spews on a daily basis.
They do not care that he has had his University and Charity shut down for theft and fraud. They do not care he grabs women by the pussy or is a pedo pervert to young girls and a sick and disgusting scumbag incestual pervert towards his daughters. They do not care he has been divorced twice and got caught in numerous adulterous affairs and paying off porn stars and Playboy models. They do not care about his bragging about walking into his Miss Teen USA pagaent dressing room to oggle naked underage girls.
Why? Because his Trumpanzees are just as sick, just as twisted, just as perverted, just as much a bunch of misogynist pigs who think they can rape women and young girls without penalty. Who think they can dress up as drag queen racist pig fuckers in their Nazi, KKK and White Supremacist outfits and that makes them oh so special. That these fat pig fuckers who huff and puff to their corner store to get their 30 packs of natty ice and Jim Beam are going to be real tough guys dressed in their camos walking around with their tiny penis substitues on their sholders being led by their Commander Bone Spurs to take back Merica for the white supremacist shitstains on the underwear of humanity.
Most of these Cocksuckers for Christ, these Treasonous Traitor Trumpanzees? Had to drop out of second grade home schooling cause they either knocked up their teachers or got knocked up by their teachers and had to marry them. But you know how much these Twisted Trumpanzees love their habit of generational inbreeding and farm animal mating.
These Trumpanzees should stick to what they are truly good for. Playing Dueling Banjos on their front porches, while they chew tobacco, swill their moonshine and fuck each other up their asses.
Awwww look. Here we have another mental midget moron Trumpanzee, playing with their Obama Derangement Syndrome. Of course? All this shows is how much a bunch of shitstains on the underwear of humanity these racist pig fucking Trumpanzees are.
Now? Let’s look at the reality of Traitor Donald J Trump.
Now? Let’s look at the reality of what Trumpanzees truly are shall we?
Don’t you just love all these Trumpanzees with their Obama Derangement Syndrome, their Hillary Derangement Syndrome and their Democrat Derangment Syndrome. But we have a cure for this for them. It is called a self-inflicted, full frontal lobotomy. All Trumpanzees with ODS, HDS and DDS should? Take the damn cure.
Wherever crowds gathered in the flat, lake-dotted swath of Florida between Orlando and Ocala, it seemed that Cheryl Hall was there: clad in red, white and blue, clipboard in hand, signing up new voters at the Mount Dora Arts Festival, the Ocoee Founders’ Day party, the Taste of South Lake fair in Clermont and more.
“She just seemed like a diligent, hard-working lady,” said Alan Hays, the supervisor of elections in Lake County, who appears in a photo on Ms. Hall’s Facebook page, his arm firmly clasped around her shoulder. “No one suspected anything was amiss until we got phone calls from people.”
Something was indeed amiss: Ms. Hall, a 63-year-old and very ardent Republican whose ranch house in Clermont sports life-size cutouts of Donald and Melania Trump and a MAGA poster in the window, was charged last week with 10 felony counts of submitting false voter registration forms. On at least 10 forms traced to Ms. Hall, officials said, the party affiliations of already-registered Democrats and Independents had been switched to Republican. More than 100 others that may be tied to her contained missing or bogus data such as wrong birth dates.
Ms. Hall was a canvasser for Florida First Inc., a recently created nonprofit that is financed at least in part by a dark-money group formed by Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and other Trump associates.
The Florida nonprofit group, which has filed more than 30,000 new registrations according to the Florida secretary of state, is part of a $20 million bid by the group, America First Policies, to register Republicans in battleground states before November. State officials have said there is no evidence so far of widespread fraud in Florida First’s voter-registration efforts.
But the improprieties of which Ms. Hall stands accused are hardly unheard of in voter-registration drives — particularly those that, like Florida First, have partisan backing. Signing up new voters is a low-paying temp job that requires few skills, and in states that allow it (Florida does not), workers have quotas or are offered cash incentives to sign up as many new registrants as possible.
The result is a small but steady trickle of fraudulent registrations, enough to demand added vigilance by election officials, but rarely to pose any serious threat to election integrity. Republicans have been most vocal about allegations of voter fraud, but Ms. Hall’s case is a reminder that neither party has a monopoly on virtue.
In north Florida’s Leon County, home to the state capital, Tallahassee, authorities are scrutinizing registrations by a liberal-backed nonprofit in which two voters have complained that their party registrations were switched and one newly registered voter was found to be dead, as first reported by the Miami Herald.
Lake County officials have said they still are not certain what prompted the bogus forms attributed to Ms. Hall, which contained such obvious errors that they were quickly caught.
Florida court records suggest her life has been checkered by both financial and legal problems, including a 2003 charge of unemployment compensation fraud, which resulted in probation, and a 2014 arrest for stealing donations from the Salvation Army. That charge was dropped after she entered a pretrial diversion program.
Ms. Hall was active in local Republican Party circles, and her Facebook page was festooned with photographs — some of which have been recently removed — of her posing with conservative luminaries, such as Donald Trump Jr., Sean Hannity, Roger J. Stone Jr. and the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
She was a member of the Lake County Republican Party county executive committee, in charge of getting out the vote in her precinct, said Walter B. Price, Sr., chairman of the county party. He said proceedings have begun to remove her from those posts.
Ms. Hall did not respond to requests for comment, including a note left at her house.
Mr. Hays, the Lake County election supervisor, said she helped file more than 500 registration forms in his county alone before being arrested.
“We already had extensive quality control measures in place that helped us assist the supervisor of elections in their investigation,” said Chris Gober, Florida First’s attorney, adding that there is no financial incentive for any canvassing employee to rack up additional voter registration applications. “Our mission is to register voters and ensure that every Florida resident has an opportunity to vote, regardless of ideology or political affiliation.”
Mr. Hays said Florida First traced the questionable forms to Ms. Hall because they included a number assigned to her for registration work. He said he hopes to meet with other election officials and voter groups soon to “find out what measures we can take to prevent this from happening again.”
The most cited example of registration irregularities involved the left-leaning community organizing group commonly known as ACORN whose registration drives became a target of fraud accusations by Republicans during the 2008 presidential campaign. The group said it had hired 13,000 registration canvassers and signed up 1.3 million new voters in 2007 and 2008; a handful of those workers were found guilty of fraud, such as registering children and nonexistent voters.
The group said most charges were politically inflated — in some cases, it maintained, workers were cited for bogus registrations that they actually had flagged for election workers. But it said in a statement in 2008 that “in any endeavor of this size, some people will engage in inappropriate conduct.” The controversy forced ACORN to shut down in 2010.
Other examples have occurred over time: a Los Angeles voter drive that paid $2.50 in 1992 for each new registration and enrolled a dead person and a baby; an Orange County, Calif., drive in 2006 by a Republican contractor that switched 65 voters from Democrats to Republicans; a 2010 campaign by a pro-Democrat labor union that filed as many as a thousand suspicious forms; a Pennsylvania college student who pleaded guilty in 2017 to creating 18 fake registrations to help a co-worker meet a quota.
While such fraud is a serious matter, it generally poses a less serious threat to the integrity of elections, said David J. Becker, the director of the Center for Election Innovation and Reform, who helped create a clearinghouse for verifying voter registrations that is used by election officials nationwide.
“Election officials have to be vigilant against such attacks, and in this case, they were,” he said in an email. “I think the likelihood of detecting an attack like this is very high, as is the chance to mitigate any negative impacts, even if it makes things more difficult for election officials. But in this era of foreign interference and win-at-all-costs partisanship, add this to the list of things that election officials are worrying about.”
The cases have often fueled a political divide between Democrats who have long relied on sign-ups of new voters to build their ranks and Republicans, whose supporters historically tended to be better educated and more likely to register without prompting.
Texas Republicans enacted perhaps the nation’s strictest curbs on voter registration drives. Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature crimped Democratic registration efforts in the 2012 campaign season by enacting such tough restrictions on signing up voters that some groups gave up. The law later was overturned in court.
Mo Norai has worked in Silicon Valley for a decade. He’s done stints at Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Apple, but only as a contract worker, meaning he has missed out on the tech giants’ storied perks, benefits and job security. So when he was approached last April by a recruiter from a company called Tech Jobs Box about a full-time job, he was intrigued.
A woman named Kelly Dale contacted him via LinkedIn promising that “salary and benefits would be competitive.”
“It really hooked me,” Norai told me last month.
After a brief phone conversation, Dale said he seemed like a great candidate and set up in-person interviews with her colleague and an investor in the company. Those went well and for four months last year, Norai thought he had a new job. He was in regular communication with his new colleagues, meeting up with them for dinner, drinks, and a baseball game, but they kept pushing his start date back, saying they were securing office space and finalising funding.
But in fact, there was no job. Tech Jobs Box wasn’t a real company. Kelly Dale and the rest of his new “colleagues” were actually operatives for Project Veritas, a conservative investigative group founded by James O’Keefe that specialises in secretly recording people. It’s perhaps best known for catalyzing the downfall of ACORN, a low-income advocacy group that lost its federal funding after Project Veritas released undercover videos of the group’s employees counseling a sex worker and her “pimp” (a disguised O’Keefe).
Project Veritas traditionally targets politicians, government agencies, and media organisations, but decided to go after Silicon Valley last year because of its perceived biases against conservatives. “Big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter have become media monopolies and they are censoring people,” said O’Keefe by phone.
In January, Project Veritas released three videos about Twitter’s content-moderation practices that feature hidden camera footage of nine current and former Twitter employees – one woman and eight men, including Norai. They even secretly filmed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey by having an operative pose as a homeless person and confront him at a Blue Bottle coffee shop.
The videos don’t contain blockbuster information. The employees reveal that there aren’t a lot of conservatives at Twitter; that Twitter tries to make spammy content less visible on the platform; that many of the sock puppet Twitter accounts banned in the last year posed as Trump supporters; and that Twitter would cooperate, as required by law, in any investigation of President Trump by handing over his private Twitter messages. The most surprising part was a former engineer’s claim that Twitter historically “shadow banned” users. (A “shadow ban” means that a user’s content on a platform can’t be seen and the user doesn’t realise it.)
Project Veritas points out that Senator Ted Cruz cited their videos while questioning tech companies during a hearing about content moderation, terrorism, and Russia in January.
“The individuals depicted in these videos were speaking in a personal capacity and do not represent or speak for Twitter,” said a Twitter spokesperson by email, pointing me to a page that explains how and why Twitter accounts are censored or made less visible. “Twitter does not shadowban accounts. We do take actions to downrank accounts that are abusive, and mark them accordingly so people can still click through and see this information if they so choose.”
While Project Veritas’s findings weren’t particularly shocking, how they were obtained was. Project Veritas didn’t just fake-recruit its targets, it fake-seduced them. Many of the male employees were secretly recorded while on dates at dimly-lit restaurants, sipping wine. Based on the number of times he appears in the videos in different locations and dress, one security engineer, Clay Haynes, appears to have been enamoured enough with the operative pumping him for information to go out with her at least three times. All of the Veritas operatives’ faces are blurred, but you can see his date’s jangly bracelets and long blond hair. It’s unclear just how far the seduction of Haynes went, but they became serious enough to go on a double date to Morton’s Steakhouse with her friend, a disguised James O’Keefe.
“NO ONE should have to experience this,” said Haynes via Facebook message. Haynes, who is still employed by Twitter, ultimately opted not to talk to me at the company’s request.
Beyond the questionable journalistic ethics of exploiting people’s desires for work and love, Project Veritas’s tactics broke the law, says John Nockleby, a professor who specialises in privacy at Loyola Law School-Los Angeles. While consent laws for recording conversations vary from state to state, California is a two-party consent state, meaning you have to tell someone if you’re recording them, or face up to a year of jail time and a $US2,500 ($3,240) fine. “You’re allowed to do video in a public place without getting consent, but not take audio, unless it’s someone like a politician giving a speech to a crowd,” Nockleby told me by phone. “In California, even in a public place, if you’re audio recording without consent, that’s not legal.” In California, even in a public place, if you’re audio recording without consent, that’s not legal.
O’Keefe, who paid a $US100,000 ($129,600) settlement in 2012 to an ACORN employee who sued him over California’s law against surreptitious recording, expressed the belief that his operatives are allowed to record people in public places, like bars, restaurants or a conference room where a door is open.
“We have a number of lawyers who handle compliance for us. California is a two-party state but we can operate in areas where there are no expectations of privacy,” said O’Keefe by phone. “With the Twitter story, we did not break the law. Period.”
In a follow-up email, a Project Veritas spokesperson pointed to an exception in the law for circumstances in “which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.”(Norai says the door to the conference room where his interviews took place was closed.)
The story Silicon Valley likes to tell about itself is that it conquered the world by making it more open and connected, and by getting strangers to trust each other. Project Veritas exploited that ecosystem of connection and trust to wage its year-long investigation, turning the tools that Silicon Valley created against it. In a phone interview, O’Keefe declined to reveal how many undercover journalists were involved or how much it spent on the operation, saying only that it “was very expensive” because travel and lodging in San Francisco “was outrageous.” (Project Veritas doesn’t seem to be having money problems; its budget has nearly doubled every year, according to financial filings. O’Keefe says it raised more than $US7 ($9) million in 2017.) He said he couldn’t talk about his group’s methods because the investigation of tech companies is ongoing. Google and Facebook employees should beware. The investigation of tech companies is ongoing. “We still have active investigators out in the field,” said O’Keefe.
“We still have active investigators out in the field, which is why I can’t reveal the techniques used to gather information,” he told me. “I wish these companies would be honest about what they are doing. Unfortunately, we live in a society where there is so much dishonesty that it requires undercover work.”
In other words, deceit requires more deceit. I was able to unearth some of the group’s methods of deception: It sent targets messages on LinkedIn and dating apps, built false identities on social networks, and operated a fake start-up out of a WeWork blocks from Twitter’s headquarters.
The larger revelation of the project is not that Twitter is biased against conservatives; it’s that Silicon Valley has given strangers who bear you ill will all the tools they need to infiltrate your life. Our identities are scattered across the web on multiple platforms, giving people countless ways to make contact with us as well as dossiers of what we do, whom we like, and where we go.
“You’re on the national news talking about Twitter,” a friend told Mo Norai via Facebook message after the first video was published. Norai had no idea what she was talking about at first. “You know I don’t work at Twitter anymore, right?” he sent back.
Then he went to Project Veritas’s site and watched the video. “Oh fuck, this is bad,” he thought.
In the videos, Norai is dressed formally, wearing a tie and a black suit vest, his long hair pulled back in a ponytail. Norai’s experience at tech companies is in content moderation — deciding, essentially, what speech needs to be taken down. He’s removed spam from iTunes and reviewed posts as a contractor for Facebook. He was hired as a contract worker at Twitter after the Paris attacks in November 2015 because terrorism results in increased offensive postings on social networks. “We were warned it was going to be grisly,” Norai told me.
He was there for just three months, and was gone by March 2016, months before Trump became the Republican presidential nominee. Having “Content Review Agent” for Twitter on his LinkedIn résumé, though, made him a target of Project Veritas. Vaporware,a successful strategy for many a start-up in Silicon Valley, also works well for deceptive investigative operations.
Norai had two interviews with the fake start-up, which was allegedly going to make content recommendations to people based on their location and buying patterns. He says he typed the company’s name into a search engine and didn’t find anything. (Vaporware, a successful strategy for many a start-up in Silicon Valley, also works well for deceptive investigative operations.) “It seemed weird but I met the people,” Norai told me. “They said they wanted to start a start-up. It made sense it wasn’t in existence yet.”
Both his interviews were in May. Kelly Dale, the supposed recruiter, said the office was in downtown San Francisco and gave Norai an address on Mission Street. When Norai got there, it turned out to be a WeWork co-working space, which, again, is not that strange. Lots of early-stage start-ups are based out of WeWorks around the country, because they offer easy plug-and-play office space. The WeWork-Civic Center that Project Veritas used rents office space for as little as $US780 ($1,011) per month.
I went to the WeWork last month – it’s a seven-minute walk from Twitter’s headquarters, in a stylish building on an otherwise seedy street in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district – and asked for Tech Jobs Box. The receptionist recognised the name, but said they weren’t there anymore. She wouldn’t say how long they were there or how many people came in to meet with them. WeWork declined to answer any questions about the fake company that rented space from it.
Norai’s interviews were with a doughy-faced guy who introduced himself as Eric Williams. A grey-haired “investor” named Dan, who Norai later discovered was Dan Sandini, a known operative of Veritas, came to the second interview, the one posted online. Dan and Eric said they lived on the East Coast but wanted to recruit talent in the Bay Area.
Norai thought the interview questions were odd. They asked him theoretical questions about how he might have dealt with tweets from aggressive Trump supporters.
“The political questions were strange but I just thought it was because they weren’t from here,” said Norai, a life-long Californian who grew up in the East Bay.
Norai hadn’t worked at Twitter during the bulk of the 2016 campaign, nor had he dealt with Trump-related content moderation. But his theoretical comments were presented as if from experience. Project Veritas’s habit of presenting comments out of context is part of why people question the credibility of their videos. James O’Keefe says Project Veritas recently formulated a code of ethics that includes “not breaking the law” and not deceptively editing videos or “putting words in people’s mouths.”
After Norai’s interview ended, Eric and Dan took him out for celebratory cocktails at two swanky San Francisco bars, Local Edition and the View. They said Norai was hired. At the View, Norai took out his phone to Snapchat the moment. Dan protested and asked Norai not to put it online. “I just thought he didn’t want to look silly because I gave him cat ears,” said Norai. ”Current or prior Facebook or Twitter experience preferred.”
When Eric came back to town in June, he invited Norai to a Giants game with two other men, who said they were Department of Justice lawyers. The four men sat behind home plate, and Eric asked for Norai’s help in recruiting other people for the start-up. Afterwards he sent him job descriptions for two positions: “software engineer, machine learning” and “spam operations.” “Current or prior Facebook or Twitter experience preferred,” the listings read, suggesting Facebook may get the Veritas treatment next. Norai put Eric in touch with two friends who had experience at Twitter and Facebook, respectively.
The night ended at bars again. After drinks at the Starlight Room, Norai got on the train home to the East Bay. “It felt like we’d established a friendship,” said Norai.
He never saw any of them again. At some point, Norai tried to email Kelly Dale and it bounced. Eric told him she’d gotten married and had a new email address, which made little sense given that her email was “email@example.com.” A few months later, Eric’s number stopped working. Dan told him Eric had been let go. Still jobless months later, Norai began to wonder if it had been some kind of scam. He decided to take a contract work position at Facebook last September.
When the Project Veritas video came out in January, he found out exactly what kind of scam it was. The videos didn’t include the two friends he put Eric in touch with.
In January, an investigator from Twitter reached out to him to ask if he had known he’d been filmed and asked whether he’d been contacted on Tinder or other dating apps, as others had been. While Norai says he mostly worries about potential professional damage, he also bears psychological scars from the episode. He says he’s paranoid now about meeting new people, and worries when a phone is out during an interview because it could be secretly recording him. He didn’t feel comfortable with me until I showed him my driver’s licence.
He asked me if I’d ever done anything like this before, which was an uncomfortable question, because I have. A couple years ago, I created a nonexistent business — the Freakin’ Awesome Karaoke Express, or F.A.K.E. — and made it a website as well as accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, in order to explore the fake reputation economy. I do believe that some stories can only be told well by going “undercover,” and while I hate to admit it, part of me is impressed by all the work that Project Veritas put into its Twitter exposé. Many a journalist knows it can be hard to get people who work at tech companies to talk. But their specific tactics were deplorable and cruel. They didn’t go undercover to find out how an industry actually works; they went undercover to exploit people’s vulnerabilities in the pursuit of information that could have been unearthed with a more traditional journalistic approach.
O’Keefe disagrees with that sentiment. “It’s hard to get [tech companies] to be honest on the record. You call them as a journalist and they say they don’t do it. We got tipped off to shadow banning and set out to confirm it. And we basically confirmed it,” he told me by phone from an Uber. “Sometimes that’s when you’re most honest, when you’re being recorded in private.”
Twitter disputes the honesty of the investigation. “We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative,” said a spokesperson by email. “Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.”
Since the Twitter investigation was published, Project Veritas hasn’t done much to cover its tracks. Kelly Dale’s LinkedIn profile is still up, with over 200 followers and claims that Dale worked at CUNY and went to Pace. Neither have records of her for obvious reasons: She doesn’t exist. According to Nexis’s people search engine, there are no Kelly Dales who live in Massachusetts. The profile photo looks to me like it belongs to Allison Maass, who did not respond to a media inquiry sent via LinkedIn. Maass left Project Veritas last year to work for Circa, an online media group owned by the media behemoth Sinclair Broadcasting, which famously requires its television stations to air conservative news daily, and is currently trying to expand its footprint by acquiring Tribune Media. Project Veritas and Sinclair Broadcasting have collaborated in the past.
Leaving behind the traces of abandoned identities is pretty common for Project Veritas, said Lauren Windsor, an executive producer at the web show Undercurrent who was working at Democracy Partners when the group of political consultants was infiltrated by Project Veritas in 2016. After Democracy Partners realised it had been duped and secretly filmed by an intern named “Angela Brandt,” who was in fact Allison Maass, Windsor began preserving evidence for a million-dollar lawsuit against the group. She realised it would be useful to publish that evidence – photos and details of faked identities — to help others avoid the same fate. In January, she published an online dossier with the photos and known aliases of over 150 Project Veritas operatives.
When shown a photo of “Eric Williams,” Windsor recognised him from another Project Veritas operation and sent me photos of him filming activist group Voces de la Frontera in Milwaukee in 2016.
“They have gotten a lot of funding. They have been on a recruitment surge to try to staff up before 2018,” she said by phone. “I think they’re a real threat to media and political organisations, and, most importantly, to candidates.”
O’Keefe echoes that. “We have an untold amount of people inside organisations and they don’t know that,” he told me. “We are going from the smash-and-grab to the long con.” We are going from the smash-and-grab to the long con.
Windsor says the group’s techniques are “inhumane.” “They see themselves as being at war with the Left but the [people they secretly film] are real people despite how much Project Veritas dislikes them politically,” she said. “A lot of people [who are infiltrated and secretly filmed] have described the experience to me like psychological rape. It felt like that to me. They’re destroying lives and it’s really important to expose their political espionage as much as possible.”
Windsor has been training liberal groups how to spot a Veritas operative, mainly by thoroughly researching the online identity of anyone who offers free help or dangles the offer of donor money. If their online footprint is thin, it can be a clue. But there are, of course, legitimate reasons why someone might have a thin online footprint, so it’s not a sureproof solution.
I don’t actually have any sureproof solutions for you. We could ask social media companies to try to protect us from deceivers by authenticating people’s identities – Tinder could require users’ driver licenses; LinkedIn could ask for business records in order to list a new workplace — but that would simply invite a different sort of dystopia. We’re never going to be able to completely eradicate fake bots on Twitter or faked videos or con men on dating sites. Trolls will always find a way.
Maybe just keep in mind that, despite Silicon Valley marketing to the contrary, being in a more open and connected world has downsides. Project Veritas may not be particularly great at spycraft, but with enough manpower and enough online information at its disposal and enough hidden cameras in enough places, it will compromise people and organisations in damaging ways, fairly or unfairly. It’s the real-life manifestation of the faceless algorithms and unknown data brokers that scrape our profiles for information and constantly sit in the backgrounds of our browsers tracking everything that we do. Instead of using it to serve you Instagram ads for shoes, they’re trying to take down your organisation. You will just be a casualty along the way.