Who Funded It?

AI deep fakes aside, (I’m not qualified to advise you on detecting them), there will be a lot of disinformation out there between now and Election Day. In fact, it has already started.

I did not watch the Super Bowl nor any of its pre-game, post-game or halftime shows. That said it was still impossible to escape it. (Note to right wing mythology believers: If Joe Biden did fix the game he certainly is very, very bad at it. It went to an overtime that had two scoring plays.)

One of the commercials was a $7 million plagiarism of a classic JFK campaign ad. (I remember the 1960 race well.) The commercial was in support of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. who is running as some sort of supposedly “independent” candidate. It was paid for by a Super PAC that is aligned with Donald Trump. Kennedy has no chance of winning but if he syphons off enough votes in a swing state or two, he could throw the election to Trump which is what his financiers are hoping for. He is just a temporarily useful idiot in this case.

As an aside I’d like to do a brief – and for other than snark, rather valueless – side-by-side comparison of JFK and Trump. Both were notorious womanizers. JFK counted at least two household name Hollywood sex symbols among his most famous encounters; Trump a Playboy bunny and a porn actress.

I know a lot of voters are less than thrilled with both Biden and Trump but, like it or not, it is a binary choice. A vote for an “independent” candidate is effectively a vote for Trump. If you are considering that just cut out the middleman and vote for Trump.

The disinformation is not limited to the top of the ticket. A Super PAC funded by cryptocurrency interests is about to launch a series of ads targeting Katie Porter in the California Senate primary. I can see why a group of basically con artists would want to oppose a woman who is at her core a consumer advocate. Making her doubly dangerous she is super smart and always well prepared.

California has what I will call a modified jungle primary system. All candidates compete in the primary and the top two vote getters regardless of party make it to what is effectively a runoff on the November ballot. The conventional wisdom at this point – the primary is on Super Tuesday (March 5th) – is that Porter and fellow Democrats Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee along with Republican Steve Garvey all have a shot at finishing in the top two.

I’m not prepared to make an endorsement at this point but my regular readers know I’ve long been a Porter fan. For now, I’ll just leave it at that I find three of the four much more acceptable than the other.

Be careful out there and consider the funding source(s). They are not giving you or America a Valentine’s Day present, I may just have.

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