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Samantha

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,077

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I will try to answer your questions

but in the interest of full disclosure, I am supporting Sanders. I also think whether Ms Clinton is indicted or not will have zero impact on Sanders' success or failure as a candidate. Should for any reason she drop out, the DNC will drop kick a New Dem or Third Way politician in so fast, it will make both our heads spin. Other than that, I have followed this issue closely because I have a keen interest in national security issues, and I wanted to know the truth, independent of political spin.

Your questions:

1. Who had authority to approve the use for State Department officials to use a private email server system?

2. What were the systems administrators plans to comply with FOIA?

3. Why was a permanent IG not in place during Secretary Clinton's tenure, and why was one appointed immediately following her departure?


My responses:

1. I believe the answer is no one since the very strict rules were outlined in print, Hillary Clinton signed a statement saying she was aware of the rules and would adhere to them. Barring a wholesale, legitimate change in those rules which applied to everyone (I am not aware any such thing happened or is every likely to happen), she committed to performing her work through the official State Department system with its security protections in place. I have read there were other channels for Top Secret communications a limited number of people could access for superlative top secret information. I believe she at times accessed that system.

Additionally, President Obama had a specially designed security system for his Blackberry (I believe) and it had cost a lot of money, and was difficult to do. So someone with the authority did okay this, Hillary requested the same thing, but was turned down because of the cost for one thing, and because it was decided the President and only the President would be allowed to work outside the boundaries, using the safeguards put in place for him. I do not know, pertaining to your question, who had the authority to authorize this, others here might know.

2. Many FOIA requests sent to the State Department were answered with "We have no records." That was literally true as far as information on its system, but the many people at the State Department did not know Hillary was storing her work on a private server. So the proverbial excrement hit the fan one day in court when a judge who knew there had to be records in the case under review at hand was told the State Department responded to its FOIA request "We have no records." The judge knew there had to be records, and ultimately in Round 2 the reason was reported that the records were stored by the Secretary of State on her home server. (Fireworks go off here). There are now a number of lawsuits over this and I believe rightfully so.

3. A stall started to occur about appointing a permanent IG. Then it started lasting longer and longer, and it was quietly said Hillary was blocking it because she did not want anyone looking over her shoulder. That is what many speculated; I have no links. I do believe that though. I do not know why there is not one now unless Kerry didn't want one in place either.

My opinion and not a fact with links:

I believe Hillary Clinton was running her own rogue state department and she did many things she did not want people in the official State Department or the President to know. While it has often been said she did this for convenience, my opinion is that she did this because she did not want much of her work disclosed. Work stored on the State Department set-up could be viewed by many employees; work stored on home server, not.

There has been much information posted on the web, specifically I am thinking of the emails Wikileaks spilled, and I do believe there is no question that Federal laws have been broken. And while there may not be evidence of deliberate intent to break the law, I see no wiggle room for anyone to state unequivocally criminal negligence has not occurred (also a crime).

I sure I will get flamed for answering your honest, sincere question with my honest, sincere opinion but your politeness in the way you asked deserved an answer.

Sam



I do not see the conflict

One can have rules at a website but one also has civil rights, which is outside the boundaries of a website. The right to vote and keep one's vote private is a civil right. You don't have to keep your vote private if you don't want to -- it is your decision. Some people will say that (they are not voting for the nominee) which only invites a lot criticism and scorn. Some people prefer to avoid that and just say nothing. What you do is your choice. Just keep in mind do not try to derail the official candidate once that person is named.

The common sense rules are do not use a website that is privately owned and supports the official Democratic nominee (meaning the person so named at the convention) to advocate for members of that website to form a third party. If you want to form a third party, do it out of the auspices of The DemocraticUnderground. Don't purloin its resources to do so. There have been people in the past who advocated for a third party here and tried to convince members to join that campaign. That is definitely against the rules. Attacking and trying to derail the official nominee of the party would be a problem as well.

Over the years, many longstanding friends have developed, and some people do not want to lose those.

I do not understand why you think you cannot advocate for democracy and progressiveness and not vote for the nominee. I feel confident in saying there are Sanders supporters who will remain at the DU but not vote for the official nominee if that is Hillary Clinton. I say that because they say it.

DU is a very expansive website with many different forums. Simply visiting those forums and learning new information is a commodity in and of itself.

The name of the website has historic importance. It was founded during the inauguration period of George W. Bush*. Many people who joined were outraged at the handing of the election to Bush* via the Supreme Court. (and many of us are STILL outraged over that). So Democrats who viewed Bush* as illegitimate found a way to gather together and discuss the whole debacle and the ascent of Bush* to the Oval House. I do not think the owners of this website would ever consider changing the name, nor would many people here want that.

I am just trying to be helpful to you in finding some ways to stay here and be comfortable. The election will be over soon and DU will go back to its normal self, which will erase a lot of the hostilities one sees now. I have been here since 2001, I am used to it, and I refuse to allow myself to be intimidated or to be provoked by interlopers trying to get members tombstoned here. So I hope I have been able to help.

Sam

It was my privilege today to vote in College Park, Maryland for Bernie Sanders for President

Steny Hoyer left a voice mail message saying they were expecting long lines in P.G. County. The sample ballot previously mailed to me suggested that between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. would be the best time to show up and have the smallest chance of facing long lines.

I arrived at 3:05 p.m. and got the last parking place in the lot of the Methodist Church, in the basement of which the voting was taking place. It is not that large of a parking lot, and I was surprised so few people were there. Before I had pulled into the lot, I noticed a large sign which had large-print words saying in effect, "No electioneering permitted past this point." And so there was none.

I had carefully reviewed the sample ballot mailed to me. This is the first year of the State of Maryland's voting "rewind" to paper ballots. I marked the sample ahead of time so I could refer to it as I voted. I specifically needed the section on choice of delegates.

When I walked inside, I was first in line. Two other voters were there already voting behind curtains. The woman at the table motioned me over and smilingly welcomed me. She asked only for my name and address and quickly found it on the main register. She printed a receipt which I was asked to sign, verifying all the information. No identification was requested. Then I was directed to another table, given my official ballot, instructed to mark it as I chose fit in one of the booths, and then go to the mark on the floor to signal my ballot was ready to be scanned. I finished very quickly and walked to the mark on the floor in the middle of the room.

Another poll worker stood by the scanning machine and told me to insert my ballot. Effortlessly, it rolled through, and she gave me a sticker saying "I voted." I was done.

Time elapsed from the moment I entered the door until I exited: 6 minutes. As I walked out, I looked at my watch and it was 3:11 p.m. I felt buoyed by the knowledge that in all probability my vote was safely cast and would definitely be counted. Paper is the way to go, I do believe.

As I walked to my car, I cannot describe the happiness I felt had having voted for Bernie Sanders for President. I have admired him and his political positions long before he announced he would run for President. His reputation in the State of Vermont has prompted an 86 percent approval rating from the people who reside therein. He garners about 25 percent of the Republican vote because Republicans say he is the only politician who has been honest with them. That reputation preceded him into this contest, and despite what opposition personnel say, his record for being a person of integrity has maintained the test of time for decades and has been authenticated by people who know him best.

And so it was my pleasure to vote for Bernie Sanders in this 2016 contest. As I left the parking lot of the church, past the church property and on public land was a Bernie for President sign.

That made me smile, and I will rest peacefully tonight. I wanted to share the voting experience here in Maryland because I believe the American people should always be able to cast a vote for their preferred candidate in an easy, quick and safeguarded manner. I hope every state converts to paper.

Sam

The Constitution delegates the right to run Presidential elections to the states

as long as the rules are outlined in the state constitution. In Florida, about a year or two or so before Election 2000 a mayoral race was overturned and the person occupying that chair was ejected and the opposition party installed. The latter had filed a lawsuit and won.

Florida revised its State constitution over this. When Election 2000 became a controversy, the Bush* campaign was using the superseded rules; the Gore campaign was using the new and correct rules.

The Florida State Supreme Court should have had the last word on that election. "The right to vote is paramount." It opened its finding with those words ordering a recount to continue. That should have been it.

The United States Supreme Court had zero standing to interfere. But once it jumped in, the laws it cited for halting the recount were laughable on their face. That Safe Harbor law was written right after this Country was formed. States sent their slate of electors to the Electoral College via Pony Express. Often the slates were late for the count. Thus a deadline was set for states to dispatch their Pony Express riders so that the votes would be received in a timely manner. So an approximately two-hundred year old obsolete law was used to discredit The Florida Supreme Court's decision -- rendered at the turn into the 21st Century. That alone is stunningly absurd.

That equal weight argument is also a manufactured legal argument. The Court held to allow the recount to continue and to incorporate the votes of those who had been unsuccessful in voting the first round would give those recounted votes more weight than those originally cast. And that would be unfair to those who had successfully voted the first round. That was the second justification used. It was more than fair to George Bush but less than fair to Al Gore and and a middle finger to those who had been disenfranchised in Florida.

The official final count for Bush gave him a margin of 537 votes. In preserving that margin for Bush in Florida, the Supreme Court effectively nullified the national popular vote margin of 540,000 votes Gore won. In my opinion, those were the voters whose votes did not receive an "equal weight" as a result of the Supreme Court's unconstitutional intervention. In other words, "we was robbed" and the impact to the Country and parts of the world was indeed a heavy price considering the administrations in office Bush* conducted.

We are still to this day trying to recover from the damage and will be for years to come.

Sam

And it is a big swing and a huge miss

Bernie Sanders is a secular Jew. He is proud of his heritage but describes himself as "not particularly religious."

http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/judaism/bernie-sanders-religion-and-religious-beliefs

Sanders considers himself a secular Jew but only in heritage or tradition and not necessarily religious. In a media interview last year, he cites “I’m proud to be Jewish” but eventually added that “I’m not particularly religious.” Sanders was a descendant of a Polish Jewish family who migrated to the U.S. during the great depression and Holocaust period. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941 and since childhood he was raised in Jewish tradition and has also attended Hebrew school.


In Feelthebern.org which serves as an informative campaign website for the presidential nominee, Bernie Sanders is said to be a firm believer of the constitutional provision of church and state separation, religious freedom as well as non-faith expression, and of social and economic justice.

* * *

The senator is also a firm believer of religious freedom, the non-discriminatory right to express faith or non-faith. For him religious freedom is “the right to be protected if choosing to practice and express faith in a lawful manner.” He also believes that having such freedom does not entitle an individual to impose his/her belief on others. The website also cited examples wherein employers shouldn’t be allowed to impose their religious beliefs or rules to their employees.

Read more at World Religion News: "Bernie Sanders’ Religion and Religious Beliefs" http://wp.me/p45VCq-5Sj


The Clinton campaign said it was taking off the gloves, but it does not do well with landing blows. But shame on them anyway for venturing into this terrain.

Sam

"20,000 first-time voters that registered in New York is an “unprecedented surge” of voter interest"

http://thebernreport.com/first-time-voters-in-new-york-registered-in-record-breaking-numbers/

While the registration period for voters in the state of New York has now passed, the surge of last minute registers seems to bode well for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

In the 10 day period between March 10th and 20th, close to 41,000 new voters, energized by a platform that many of them can relate to, took the next step in getting involved with the political process. Nearly half of those have never voted before, a Demographic that Sanders has dominated by large margins in states all over the country that have already voted.

The 20,000 first-time voters that registered in New York is an “unprecedented surge” of voter interest according to officials in that state. The delegate rich state of New York votes on April 19 and is a key part of the campaign for Bernie Sanders and another chance for him to make up ground in the fight for pledged delegates.


We need to give credit to those stepping up and voting for the first-time instead of acerbically repeating the mantra too bad those people coming to Sanders' rallies don't show up to vote .... Looks like quite a few will be!

A little birdie told me to post this before I turned in this evening. Goodnight.

Sam

Wisconsin Voter-Id Law could block 300,000 registered voters from voting

http://www.thenation.com/article/wisconsins-voter-id-law-could-block-300000-registered-voters-from-the-polls/

 Johnny Randle, a 74-year-old African-American resident of Milwaukee, moved to Wisconsin from Mississippi in 2011, the same year the state legislature passed a law requiring a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. Randle, with the help of his daughter, petitioned the DMV to issue him a free ID for voting because he could not afford to pay for his Mississippi birth certificate.

After a five-month “adjudication process,” the DMV denied his request. His daughter ultimately tracked down his Mississippi birth certificate, but the name listed, Johnnie Marton Randall, did not match the name he’d used his entire life, Johnny Martin Randle. The DMV said that he would either need to correct his name through the Social Security Administration and get a new Social Security card reflecting the name on his birth certificate or go to court to “change” his name and “provide court documents reflecting that your name has legally been changed to read as ‘Johnny M Randle.’” But Randle worried that any change to his Social Security information might interrupt the monthly disability payments he survives on. (This account comes from a new lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s voting restrictions filed by Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, Hillary Clinton’s campaign counsel.)

Randle was forced to choose between his livelihood and his right to vote. As of the April 5 presidential primary, he is still not able to vote in Wisconsin. After voting without incident in the formerly Jim Crow South, he was disenfranchised when he moved to the North. Stories like Randle’s are why the Wisconsin Supreme Court dubbed the voter ID law a “de facto poll tax” and it was blocked in state and federal court until a panel of Republican-appointed judges reinstated the measure in 2014.


This is a very interesting article. I am posting it and then turning in so I won't be making any comments tonight (sorry). Also, if this a dup, I apologize for that.

Sam

500,000 currently receiving food stamps will be ineligible April 1st

Just saw this crawler under CBS News Channel 9. My first instinct was to just start crying. Now I am thinking, who do we hold accountable for this? Who do we call, who do we write?

This is outrageous.

Sam

Looking at Bernie's face now as he talks to Rachel Maddow

His face looks noticeably thinner. Looks like he is losing weight. He seems to be working really hard. I hope he takes care of himself.

Sam

Here is some terrific news: Flint's water pipes could be fixed by May!

My heart goes out to the people of Flint. This debacle should have never happened. But The Hill reports Flint's pipes might be fixed by May:

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/274340-flints-water-pipes-could-be-fixed-by-may

By that time, hopefully, those responsible for this betrayal to this community will be facing retribution. One cannot allow a poisoning of a community to happen and then walk away simply as if it didn't.

Sam
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