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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow blasts Florida’s ‘impotence’ in fighting election hacking after Homeland Security blows them off

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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) sounded the alarm that the 2018 Florida elections were already in the process of being hacked. So, when counties reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI for help, all they got was: “we’ll get back to you.”

Early voting began this week in Florida, but according to Nelson, “the Russians have already penetrated certain counties in the state and now they have free reign to move about.”

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Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) has criticized Nelson, saying that he’s making things up and can’t back up his claim.

When Rachel Maddow’s team reached out, the FBI and DHS said that they would respond to the issue directly to the Secretary of State of Florida on the matter. The SOS did reach out to the agencies for help after Nelson made the claim.

“The agencies wouldn’t tell us any more, but they did tell us, ‘We’ll get back to them,'” Maddow relayed. “Here’s what I want to know, though. Doesn’t that seem kind of important? I mean, do the individual counties here, even after this warning from their home state senator, do they have to figure out if Russian military intelligence operatives really are in their systems moving about with free rein?”

She explained that it was absurd to think that these counties could fight it on their own, or even afford to try and fight it.

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“Or, if they get a call back from DHS maybe they get some help or advice? Doesn’t this seem like a losing debate?” she said.

The news comes two years after the 2016 election, in which Russians were found to have hacked into several entities from power grids, to election results at the state level, as well as both party committees.

Maddow brought in former U.S. Attorney David Hickton, who brought the first ever charges against five Chinese hackers for espionage, to explain the dire nature of the security.

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“I do feel like there is a mismatch between what we’re told now, at several levels of government, is a Russian military intelligence operation ordered from the highest levels of that government,” she said. “It is a state operation and how we are playing defense as a country. Is there more that than I am seeing?”

Hickton explained there is a greater need for leadership from the president as well as state officials. Florida isn’t the only concern. He noted that the FBI had to alert the state of Maryland that they were using software from a company that was owned by a Russian oligarch.

Maddow noted that Nelson is upfront about the concern, but he’s also saying that he can’t tell anyone more or reveal how he knows the information. It has left counties in the awkward position to figure out how to defend what he’s warned them.

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Scott has put Nelson in a bind saying that either he’s lying or he’s revealing classified information. However, Hickton remarked that one could warn of a general hacking without disclosing anything that is classified. He explained that Nelson probably isn’t allowed to say much more than he already has.

He noted that intelligence agencies could spell out the exact information the way that he did with the Chinese hackers and that special counsel Robert Mueller did with the indicted Russian hackers. The problem is that it might be too late.

Watch the interview below:

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2020 Election

Virginia was the bellwether of 2017’s big blue wave — but could it happen again?

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In November 2017, powered by a surge of grassroots activism one year after Donald Trump’s election, Democrats wiped out a Republican supermajority in the Virginia House of Delegates, and came within one disputed ballot and a random drawing of sharing power in a 50-50 chamber — an early harbinger of the 2018 blue wave. Now they’re back to finish the job, aiming to recapture control of both legislative chambers for the first time in 26 years and set the tone for the 2020 election.

Swing Left, a key player in flipping the House of Representatives last year, has targeted 15 races in the House of Delegates and five in the State Senate. Their main focus is people power, but they’ve also raised more than $550,000 in grassroots donations as of Sept. 11. Just two seats are needed to flip each chamber, and a court-ordered redistricting has made flipping the House much more doable.

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‘Did Obama know?’ Rudy Giuliani flings wild new accusations against Biden in overnight tweet rant

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President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani hurled accusations of Ukraine corruption at Joe Biden and his son in a series of middle-of-the-night tweets.

The president admitted Sunday to speaking to Ukraine's president about an investigation of Hunter Biden's business dealings with a natural gas company in the country, after a series of reports revealed his efforts to pressure that government to come up with dirt on the former vice president.

Early Monday morning, Giuliani accused Kiev of laundering $3 million to Hunter Biden and suggested the Obama administration was aware but did nothing, although the former New York City mayor offered no supporting evidence of those allegations.

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Chronically underpaid EMTs are being assaulted at record rates

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If Upton Sinclair were to write the modern equivalent to “The Jungle,” he might make the setting the metaphorical meat grinder of today’s emergency medical services industry.

Across the nation, emergency medical service professionals, the front-line workforce upon which so much of a patient outcome rests, are grossly underpaid for brutal work schedules that put them at risk of both serious physical injury and burnout.

The cherry on the top of this abuse sundae is that they are 14 times more likely to be violently assaulted on the job than a firefighter.

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