When a James Bond villain comes up with a plan to destroy the world, he doesn’t use a simple plan. No, he uses a machination — a complex plot that relies on numerous elements coming together to work.
Not surprisingly, machination derives from the Medieval French machina, meaning "machine." And, like many a machine, a machination is subject to going wrong, often comically (see James Bond movies). Politicians love a good machination, and their machinations are frequently exposed in the press as scandals.