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Gender: Female
Hometown: South East Michigan
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Jul 27, 2004, 01:19 PM
Number of posts: 10,559

Journal Archives

Hillary's Email Scandal for Non-Techy People

Okay, it looks complicated - you have questions. Let's walk through this gently!

1) Is the Email scandal important?
Yes, it is a very big, very real scandal. Worst case scenarios: people involved might go to jail, pay fines or lose future security clearance/never be able to work in government again.

2) Will it impact Hillary’s Presidential campaign?
That depends on the results of the currently ongoing FBI investigation, with rumors saying it will be completed “soon” (April/May). If the FBI says “nothing to see”, Democrats will be expected to shut up, but realistically the Republicans will mention it frequently during a General Election campaign, and of course convene committees to investigate until the end of time if they are the Majority Party in Congress if Hillary should win.

3) How many FBI agents have been investigating?
At one point the number was publicized as “147” but is now “currently less than 50/maybe a dozen full time.” It is assumed that the “147” number was “everyone who has ever been involved, from the tech geeks to the secretary to the field agents to the intern who did coffee runs”. The investigation has spanned multiple states, and been going on for more than a year, but the FBI folks have been threatened with Dire Consequences for tattling, so all most of us really need to know is “however many they feel it needed”.

4) Is this just a Bernie thing to get Hillary out?
No. Bernie is not a member of the FBI community, nor did he help Hillary set up her email system. Even if Hillary drops out of the race for “personal reasons”, he is not automatically the nominee unless he has enough delegates. If he doesn't, Hillary can “give” her delegates to someone else (even if they haven't been campaigning), and a behind the scenes “brokered” convention could give us a candidate fill-in-the-blank.

5) What exactly did Hillary do?
Lots of stupid stuff: She put government records (her work email) in her basement. She did not hand them over when she left her job. Later, she did not hand * all * of them over when they were subpoenaed. She made the government “break the law” because they could not turn over stuff they did not have when citizens used the “Freedom of Information Act” and requested it. And she did not make "super sure" bad people (“hackers and spies”) could not see the government records that were about national security.

6) Didn't Hillary say there was nothing confidential or top secret in her emails that spies would care about?
She said that, but she lied. Normally, a polite person would say “mistaken” but deliberately telling a falsehood is called “lying” so let's stick with that word.

7) How can you call her a liar?
The first batch of emails contained over a thousand confidential documents, as well as 22 super secret where-are-the-nuclear-weapons (not a joke – we know at least one is about North Korea and their nukes) burn-your-eyes-out-before-reading types. This makes sense because the nature of the job of Secretary of State involves dealing with that stuff, and she herself wrote over a hundred emails we don't want spies to see.

8) Why would she do this?
She says she didn't like to use a “super secure” desktop AT WORK because she liked to use her Blackberry, especially because she traveled a lot.

9) What's wrong with a Blackberry? Or an iPhone? They are awesome!
Ever seen a television show or movie where the hero “clones” a phone and then uses it to spy on people? Turns out that isn't just a plot thing – the spy folk really do that to each other, so emails like, “hey, Barack, let's meet at Starbucks for some Java” would be bad because assassins and stuff. Plus, nukes, etc.

10) How do you know her email wasn't safe? It was on a server, right?
It was on two different servers (more on that in a minute), actually, and neither was being monitored by the IT Anti-Spying Team that the government uses. Keeping hackers away from government secrets is a little more complicated than remembering to upgrade your anti-virus protections – if you are viewing this on the internet, you know what I mean.

11) Two servers? I am so confused!
She used one for several years, then decided to upgrade. She gave the old one to a small company in Colorado to copy files to the new server. They did not know this was a job that dealt with government secrets that they weren't authorized to view, so they treated it like a normal job (like “Best Buy” would, only they were a small company).

12) I have heard about thousands of emails – sometimes 60,000 and sometimes 30,000. Explain?
There were over 60,000 emails on the “basement” servers. When someone FINALLY noticed her email wasn't ".gov" and subpoenaed her during the Benghazi investigation, she printed out 30,000 or so and deleted the rest because she said they were “personal”. A freak out began when it became obvious “classified” and “confidential” stuff was included in that basement stuff. Then, when someone finished sorting through the papers, they realized she had “deleted” work emails/not just personal stuff when she was subpoenaed about it. They got really mad about it.

13) How do they know she deleted work emails/didn't comply with the subpoena?
Other people turned in emails that she didn't. At least one guy (Sidney Blumenthal) did not work for the government, so it looks like she was hoping he would also “forget” to turn things in and no one would ever know.

14) So what is the FBI investigating?
The FBI has been able to retrieve the deleted emails. (The mom-and-pop shop in Colorado kept backups.) We are waiting to see if they think she broke any laws. Plus see answer to #5.

15) What kind of laws?
There are two types: not taking care of government records in the right way (keeping secret stuff safe, for example) and saying/doing stuff that was against the law (based on what is in them). An example of the second would be “not reporting foreign government lobbying by Blumenthal”. The FBI is working with the Justice Department to determine if laws were broken, and what should happen if so.

16) Don't all Secretary of States do this? Albright, Rice, Powell?
No. Albright never used email, Rice didn't do business in email (personal account was just personal), and Powell used a super-secure-no-spyware-allowed desktop at work for business emails. To be fair, these folks didn't have the modern toys we all take for granted now – Powell’s personal account was an AOL account – but no, they never kept stuff in their basement, let alone ALL of their work records.

17) Shouldn't someone have noticed she never used her “.gov” email?
It is reasonable the IT Geek team thought she was just “afraid of email” once they told her she couldn't have a smart phone in the area, but yes, someone should have noticed. There is a guy who took care of things for her that she got a job in the IT department, but his bosses say they didn't know what he did. The FBI has granted him immunity so it is assumed he is going to be testifying in front of a grand jury (if he hasn't already done so).

18) Isn’t this just another Right Wing Attack on Hillary? (Everyone knows they hate her.)
No. The “Republicans Cry Wolf Again" syndrome is strong, but this time they have nothing to do with any of her problems. No member of the Right Wing assisted Hillary in setting up her email systems. No Republican made her sign documents saying she had turned in her work stuff when it was still in her basement. Not even the hate radio folk helped her write her emails. She made all of those decisions on her own. To be fair, her problems mostly began when people found out what she did during the Benghazi hearings/wasn't complying with the subpoenas, but there were already lawsuits in place because of the FOIA stuff, so she will be deposed under oath in those two civil cases per the Judges. She did this on her own.

I hope this helps - please keep in mind this is my translation of everything I have been reading for the last several weeks (and I may have gotten things wrong). I have deliberately NOT included links for ease of reading, but will reference them in Replies/ask that those with other evidence to help with clarification in those sub threads.

The Clinton Meal Ticket: Sympathy for the Recipients

There are two things that have been posted A LOT in the last few days:

1) Bernie isn't raising money for down ticket Dems (which means they don't owe him support)


2) State and Local Democratic officials seem to be "rigging" the game for Hillary.

I think this is all logically tied up to the folks who have gotten comfortable receiving money from the Clinton Fundraising Gravy Train - these people have legitimate fears about where their next paycheck is going to come from if the Clinton Folk (Foundation and Fundraising Team) decide to be done with politics.

While it is easy for those raised in the concept of democracy means everyone has a vote and all the votes count to view this as a bad take on the Godfather franchise ("Someday, I might need a favor..." the Clintons are generating income that pays the bills of A TON of people in the party.

Pretend for one second the Clintons decide to take all of their donations and use them to benefit the planet instead - think Jimmy Carter - by, I don't know, building wells in drought stricken areas, or actually fixing things in Haiti, or whatever. (Seems like they dabbled ineffectively in some of those efforts - it must have been a relief when "helping a few friends with their fracking issues" was so much easier and profitable.)

If the Clintons decide to "be done with politics" where is the money going to come from to pay the bills? Of course they are scared - Bernie isn't offering to cover their bills!

Yes, while it may look like TREASON or CRIMINAL LIKE BEHAVIOR or NOT DEMOCRACY it doesn't FEEL THAT WAY to the people screwing with the registrations, or giving bad directions at a caucus, or trying to remove votes. In fact, for the True Believers ("Hillary or Trump - God save us all!" it might almost be viewed as a sacrifice for the greater good. Soldiers are trained to run toward people shooting guns at them; what would you do to save the country from a Trump presidency?

It is a classic case of SITUATIONAL ETHICS - it is easy to believe in the CONCEPT of Democracy right up until you realize most people are REALLY STUPID and bonus: their dumbass decisions are going to make you unemployed/broke.

So, yes, the party elite prefer Hillary, and yes, they are going to do everything in their power, sometimes unethically, to make sure she wins. And yes, the Bernie campaign scares them silly, because ACTUAL DEMOCRACY IS NOT A MONEY MAKING PROPOSITION and extra bonus: we have a celebrity focused culture, and the Clintons are Celebrities - who doesn't like to rub elbows with them?

It only looks like a corrupt oligarchy - and who even knows what that word means, right? It's the Road to Hell, and it always starts with the best of intentions.

It is the Politics of Money and Power, and the people who have accidentally steeped themselves in it probably don't even know when they crossed over into Mafia land. It might even feel normal or simply business as usual at this point - we humans are really good at normalizing horrible stuff.

I kind of feel sorry for them. Except for that whole subverting the principles of democracy thing, of course. That just pisses me off.

Q: Would ANOTHER Clinton Presidency be "2 for the price of 1"?

From a December 2007 Washington Post article


Both Clintons are making the case that theirs was a co-presidency -- an echo of Bill Clinton's controversial statement during the 1992 campaign that voters would get "two for the price of one" if they elected him. At times, the former president has seemed to cast the current race as a referendum on his administration.

So, is it going to a co-presidency?

I can't believe I'm typing this: In Defense of Republicans!!!

We have a lot of people on this board who have an "auto ignore" in place when their candidate is criticized. This seems especially true for those who admire, respect and support Hillary Clinton, who has candidly been the target of more right wing vitriol than anyone other than her husband since the pair first came onto the national political scene in the early 1990s. She has NEVER been a "stay home and bake cookies" type of woman, and her keen intellect definitely irked the "sit there, shut up and look pretty" crowd.

I was an adult during the 1990s, and I believed the Clintons were unfairly attacked on a regular basis. Some of it was undoubtedly their own fault as they struggled to adjust to their new neighbood and made a fair share of mistakes, and some of it was bitter partisan politics, and a great deal of it was hypocritical political theater. I though Bill was a good President, but honestly, the ongoing drama got old.

The Bush years were the worst. (shudder)

When Benghazi was mentioned, I started rolling my eyes. Of course the State Department lied a bit to the public in the beginning - duh! Don't reveal the extent of your surveillance of criminals on the nightly news! - and the hearings seemed like "Clinton Witch Hunt 2.0" to the point where after a cursory skim of the topic, I tuned it out. The "silly email scandal" seemed like more of the same...


It's not.

Like it or not, the Republican led subcommittee actually did their jobs. They uncovered a serious, actual real live SCANDAL involving issues of national security. There are dozens of articles and threads on this site explaining the sort-of complicated/but not really difficult to understand story, but bluntly, at the end of the day, this is 100% a Hillary Clinton Epic Screw Up.

And the Republicans caught her.

Now, this is the hard part for me: They did what they were suppose to do.

That is hard to swallow for me, but the reality is we have a two party system so they can keep an eye on each other and make sure neither abuses the system. They are BOTH supposed to hold each other accountable, and we as citizens EXPECT them to do that.

It's only when "both sides" collude to hide wrong doing that things get messed up - the fact the Democrats didn't scream bloody murder about the non-existence of WMDs in Iraq is a great example - because, while we want them to "get along", we also know the more eyes watching each other, the better because we are talking about access to power and money at levels that tempt and corrupt most mere mortals.

Hillary Clinton is now going to be deposed under oath in two separate law suits about hiding government records from groups using the Freedom of Information Act. The FBI is ALSO completing an investigation into whether any criminal charges should or will be brought for her actions. These things are NOT SMEARS - no Republicans took her by the hand and instructed her to behave like an entitled idiot "because she didn't want to carry two devices" to quote her justification.

She screwed up. The Republicans did their jobs. I am stunned to say it, but I think the system worked as intended.

I would have preferred if the offender, however, hadn't been someone on the Democratic Team.

Want to know how Bernie loses?

He stops trying.

The minute that happens, it's over.

But he isn't going to stop trying to win.

The last vote for delegates takes place on June 14, 2016 in Washington, DC but the roller coaster ride includes some hugely exciting bumps on April 19 (New York with 247 delegates), April 26 (Pennsylvania with 189 delegates) and June 7 (California with 475/New Jersey with 126) plus all of the smaller states who also matter.

Bernie has publicly stated he is taking this fight all the way to the convention.

That means his opponent has to keep convincing DEMOCRATIC VOTERS why she will be a good DEMOCRATIC President until then.

That convention will take place on July 25 - 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is to be hoped that leaders of the party will negotiate behind the scenes to make sure key voter motivations are addressed as the Democratic nominee is decided.

Neither candidate has done personal attack advertising. They have done position advertising, which will serve them well in the General Election. Bernie's positions are very old school Democratic values. Hillary's positions are more centrist. There is overlap in goals, but very different perspectives on problem solving approaches.

Meanwhile, the opposition has not rallied around "one" candidate yet, and probably will not until their convention.

The Republican convention takes place July 16 - 18, 2016 in Cleveland. It is unlikely to make most of the Republicans happy regardless of their final candidate.

The instant Bernie quits, the voice of the people who support him is silenced and/or strongly muted. The same is true for Hillary.

Bernie is NOT GOING TO QUIT. Hillary is going to have to fight to the end - including avoiding any legal trouble - if she wants to become President.

If your fear is that this lack of unity by Democrats behind one candidate at this point in the election cycle will increase the odds of a Republican winning the White House in the fall, ask your own candidate to step aside in favor of Bernie, and throw her millions behind supporting him.

He is not fighting HER. He is fighting FOR US and the only way he loses is by quitting AND HE IS NOT EVER QUITTING.

He has already proven that a Senator from a small state can compete against Super PAC money, which means the Citizens United decision is simply legalized corruption and not a necessary fact of political reality.

He has already proven that core Democratic values matter to millions of voters.

He has already proven that young people will engage in the political process.


And so have the American people.

"How to Talk to Your Kids About the 2016 Election"

This is interesting from advice columnist Leanna Landsman; her focus is on education, with advocacy work for both teachers and parents.


Q: My fifth-grade daughter's class has been watching presidential debates as homework. She is upset that candidates say things that would get kids into trouble if they said them in school. She's developing a cynical attitude that I want to counter. What's the best way?

A: In classrooms and living rooms, discussing the road to the White House should be a fun, every-four-year opportunity to teach civics, history and "why we value living our democracy," says Marissa Gehley, a youth counselor with deep experience in California school districts. "But lately, I've been getting calls from parents and teachers saying, 'How do I deal with the bullying and name calling and the hate we're seeing on TV?'"


She acknowledges that kids have real questions, like "'Will my family have to leave our home? Will this or that candidate send my dad to war again? Will my aunt be hurt if she attends a rally?' Give kids a chance to ask their questions and discuss them honestly. Just having you listen can dispel a child's fear."

An Orlando, Florida, fifth-grade teacher wrote to me complaining that she "never expected to hear a question about a candidate's genitals in our social studies class."

(more at link)

I have been seeing similar stories from friends on my Facebook feed. (I have a very diverse set of friends all over the country due to my work with preemie and special needs issues.) This is so upsetting that we are even having to have these talks - leave our home? Go to war? Be hurt at a rally? But that is what the GOP has brought to the American public as acceptable discourse - a return to old hatreds.

My twins just turned 9 a few weeks ago, and just completed their 3rd grade Social Studies curriculum dealing with American values and patriotism. I now understand where I get my own idealism - "equality under the law" and "rights and responsibilities" were front and center in the textbook, along with some candid, age appropriate discussion of civil rights issues and Martin Luther King. These common sense values aren't even discussed by the Republicans.

I am truly convinced our politicians need to be able to pass a standard high school civics test before we let them run for office.

Bernie & the Bird: Good Friday & Purim

Much focus has been on the fact that the Sparrow Incident occurred on Good Friday. Bernie quickly recovered from the startlement of the experience with a joke about the bird "really being a Dove asking for World Peace."

May I remind everyone that Friday was also the ending of the Jewish holiday of Purim?

I love the Purim story. For those not familiar, it is recounted in the Book of Ester, and is about bravery in the face of potentially deadly authority, and finding a way to save the Jewish people from being legally killed for the "crime" of being Jewish.

From Wikipedia:


Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. This took place in the ancient Persian Empire. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Ester מגילת אסתר in Hebrew).

According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus/Achashverosh (presumed to be Artaxerxes I of Persia, "Artakhsher" in Old Persian), planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing.

Based on the conclusions of the Scroll of Esther (Esther 9:22): "... that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor."

Ester's bravery - chancing death by appearing before the King without invitation - seems incredibly symbolic to me as people all over the country are standing up to "the Establishment" in order to prevent the death and destruction of our people as not only a Nation, but also (with climate change concerns) as a World.

I am proud to support the Jewish guy who cares about the poor during this election cycle, and I hope this post reminds everyone of the value of courage against what looks like impossible odds.

Impossible things happen every day. I saw a video of sparrow alight upon the podium of a man who will become President.

Impossible, some say. Everything is against him. But thousands of years after the fact, Ester's courage and Mordechi's wisdom are still remembered, and I believe in such miracles. What is one more impossible thing in the scheme of the universe?

Arizona is the perfect place for Bernie to prove he will FIGHT FOR VOTERS.

In theory, it is a great opportunity for Hillary, too, but I am cynical. If she joins in, I will acknowledge it.

Back in 2004 there were serious discrepancies in voting issues. I ended up instigating a recount of New Hampshire where things were extraordinarily "odd" but it wasn't easy. You can look up some of the posts from those early days in the DU archives.

As an IT person, I had to explain an "IT secret" - we copy code A LOT, then modify it as needed. The upside is we can be fast, but sometimes that means we copy "mistakes".

I spoke with one of the highest people in the Kerry campaign, and was bluntly told they would NOT support a recount of New Hampshire because "they would look like fools recounting a state they won". My pointing out that "buggy code" in one state undoubtedly meant "buggy code" elsewhere did not sway the decision maker. The Kerry campaign basically walked away from the hundreds of reports of election fraud, leaving the 3rd party candidates to lead the charge on behalf of the disenfranchised voters.

Kerry did not FIGHT for us. Will Bernie? Will Hillary?

In Arizona there are documented issues and problems affecting thousands of voters. Lifelong Dems discovered they were listed as registered Republicans. New Democrats were listed as "blank".

This primary election is a blatant wake-up call that something is hinky in Arizona. It needs to get cleaned up BEFORE the General Election.

Bernie Sanders has nothing to lose and a team of people with nothing to do until the convention.

Will Bernie Sanders FIGHT for the voters of Arizona? Will Hillary?

This is a test of character. It would be extremely easy to walk away and deal with the next primary state. There are those who will always impugn the motives of those who FIGHT (ah, the "sore loser" routine - been there, done that).

Will Bernie Fight? Will Hillary?

Who really cares about the voters of Arizona? Who cares about the people of this country?

This is a test. We are ALL watching.

Is he REAL or just RHETORIC?

"How much do I have to PAY to make this woman GO AWAY?"

Sick of the non-stop Hillary posts that are ruining your DU experience? Tired of arguing with True Believers over whether her sainthood makes her more or less qualified as Ruler of the Known Universe? Wincing at the idea of endless drivel about her perfection and nauseous at the idea of the endless attacks the GOP will be launching?

You've tried the Ignore Feature. You've tried the Trash Thread feature. You've been polite, and you've even tried snarky, but just when things started feeling pleasant again, the timeout ban was lifted and the rudest rabid supporters began posting the same way AGAIN. ARGH! The painful irritation is excruciating - near Sarah Palin worthy!

Your rising blood pressure is putting your health at risk. The endless flip-flops (that wasn't what she said last week - oh, right! new focus groups) make your head spin. The "forgetfulness" on important issues makes you question your own memory. ("Nancy Reagan the AIDS advocate - wtf?" WILL IT EVER END?

Until indictments are filed or Bernie wins, She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is going to keep popping up in your DU experience. Is there anything you can do about it?


Your small donation is actually something that will not only STOP THE ENDLESS HILLARY BABBLE, but also send a clear message about who our politicians actually work for - big money donors or the PEOPLE of this country!

Do it. Do it NOW. In fact, every time you find a new thread DEMANDING A HILLARY LOYALTY OATH, donate $5 to the cause of MAKING HER GO AWAY!

You have the power - send money now!

Donate to DU for Bernie at Act Blue here: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/duforbernie

Jury: This is intended as a humorous, tongue in cheek take from a Bernie supporter, posted in a protected group. Any insulting resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.

"I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords."

Just a reminder to both Bernie and Hillary supporters that counting on voters to be "smart" about picking a Democrat in the fall is not the best strategy.

50% of the population, by definition, is below average. A large majority are unclear as to the duties of a President (see Trump), don't understand what the 1st Amendment actually means (see anyone who mentions 1st Amendment and protesters in the same breathe), and even think "War Crimes" an entertaining reality show that deserved better ratings.

Yes, there are good and thoughtful people who will support a sensible choice, BUT DO NOT COUNT ON IT.

Trump is an Ass. Cruz is a Nut. Hillary is Untrustworthy. Bernie is Grumpy. Jesus flipped tables in a temple. Etc.

And to this day, there are a large number of people who proudly proclaim that they voted for Bush Jr., aka Disaster President.

Don't count on a smart electorate. At the end of the day, this is a POPULARITY CONTEST, and one guy has more media experience than the rest of the candidates put together. He is also a very effective DEMAGOGUE - look the word up - and has been portrayed as a boss For Years.

I have hopes for the election. Candidly, they are not high.

I will not, however, welcome ANY new overlords - even if my side loses, I will still work to help the people who need it, because we WILL survive it.

Most of us anyway. I hope.

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