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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

investigating Trump possible linksto Russia, FBI concludes "there could be an innocuous explanation"

Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia - NYT, Oct 31, 2016
(all emphases my own)
Oct 31, 2016

For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

[DIV STYLE="BORDER: 1px solid #000000;padding:10px;"]
I guess it was just a flip of the coin that lead them to disadvantage Trump's opponent rather than Trump. Yeah, that's what it was, a flip of the coin_Bill USA



Mr. Comey would not even confirm the existence of any investigation of Mr. Trump’s aides when asked during an appearance in September before Congress {No doubt because he wouldn't want such info to influence the election_Bill USA}. In the Obama administration’s internal deliberations over identifying the Russians as the source of the hacks, Mr. Comey also argued against doing so and succeeded in keeping the F.B.I.’s imprimatur off the formal findings, a law enforcement official said. His stance was first reported by CNBC.

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In classified sessions in August and September, intelligence officials also briefed congressional leaders on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump. They focused particular attention on what cyberexperts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia’s biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin.

F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages — a first step for one system’s computers to talk to another — to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be {"[font color="red"]could be[/font]"???_Bill USA} an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.
(more)


Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia? - Slate, Oct. 31 2016
[font size="3"]Eighty-seven percent of the DNS lookups involved the two Alfa Bank servers. “It’s pretty clear that it’s not an open mail server,” Camp told me. “These organizations are communicating in a way designed to block other people out.”[/font]
(all emphases my own)


In late spring, this community of malware hunters placed itself in a high state of alarm. Word arrived that Russian hackers had infiltrated the servers of the Democratic National Committee, an attack persuasively detailed by the respected cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. The computer scientists posited a logical hypothesis, which they set out to rigorously test: If the Russians were worming their way into the DNC, they might very well be attacking other entities central to the presidential campaign, including Donald Trump’s many servers. “We wanted to help defend both campaigns, because we wanted to preserve the integrity of the election,” says one of the academics, who works at a university that asked him not to speak with reporters because of the sensitive nature of his work.

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That wasn’t the only oddity. When the researchers pinged the server, they received error messages. They concluded that the server was set to accept only incoming communication from a very small handful of IP addresses.

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Earlier this month, the group of computer scientists passed the logs to Paul Vixie. In the world of DNS experts, there’s no higher authority. Vixie wrote central strands of the DNS code that makes the internet work. After studying the logs, he concluded, “The parties were communicating in a secretive fashion. The operative word is secretive. This is more akin to what criminal syndicates do if they are putting together a project.” Put differently, the logs suggested that Trump and Alfa had configured something like a digital hotline connecting the two entities, shutting out the rest of the world, and designed to obscure its own existence. Over the summer, the scientists observed the communications trail from a distance.

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Weaver’s statement raises another uncertainty: Are the logs authentic? Computer scientists are careful about vouching for evidence that emerges from unknown sources—especially since the logs were pasted in a text file, where they could conceivably have been edited. I asked nine computer scientists—some who agreed to speak on the record, some who asked for anonymity—if the DNS logs that Tea Leaves and his collaborators discovered could be forged or manipulated. They considered it nearly impossible. It would be easy enough to fake one or maybe even a dozen records of DNS lookups. But in the aggregate, the logs contained thousands of records, with nuances and patterns that not even the most skilled programmers would be able to recreate on this scale. “The data has got the right kind of fuzz growing on it,” Vixie told me. “It’s the interpacket gap, the spacing between the conversations, the total volume. If you look at those time stamps, they are not simulated. This bears every indication that it was collected from a live link.” I asked him if there was a chance that he was wrong about their authenticity. “This passes the reasonable person test,” he told me. “No reasonable person would come to the conclusion other than the one I’ve come to.” Others were equally emphatic. “It would be really, really hard to fake these,” Davis said. According to Camp, “When the technical community examined the data, the conclusion was pretty obvious.”
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The NSA Chief Says Russia Hacked the 2016 Election. Congress Must Investigate.- MotherJones, Nov 16, 2016
The possibility that a foreign government covertly interfered with US elections to achieve a particular outcome is staggering and raises the most profound concerns about governance within the United States.

Despite all the news being generated by the change of power underway in Washington, there is one story this week that deserves top priority: Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. On Tuesday, the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, was asked about the WikiLeaks release of hacked information during the campaign, and he said, "This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect." He added, "This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily."

This was a stunning statement that has echoed other remarks from senior US officials. He was saying that Russia directly intervened in the US election to obtain a desired end: presumably to undermine confidence in US elections or to elect Donald Trump—or both. Rogers was clearly accusing Vladimir Putin of meddling with American democracy. This is news worthy of bold and large front-page headlines—and investigation. Presumably intelligence and law enforcement agencies are robustly probing the hacking of political targets attributed to Russia. But there is another inquiry that is necessary: a full-fledged congressional investigation that holds public hearings and releases its findings to the citizenry.

If the FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies are digging into the Russian effort to affect US politics, there is no guarantee that what they uncover will be shared with the public. Intelligence investigations often remain secret for the obvious reasons: they involve classified information. And law enforcement investigations—which focus on whether crimes have been committed—are supposed to remain secret until they produce indictments. (And then only information pertinent to the prosecution of a case is released, though the feds might have collected much more.) The investigative activities of these agencies are not designed for public enlightenment or assurance. That's the job of Congress.

~~
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Yet there is a huge difference between an FBI inquiry that proceeds behind the scenes (and that may or may not yield public information) and a full-blown congressional inquiry that includes open hearings and ends with a public report. So far, the only Capitol Hill legislator who has publicly called for such an endeavor is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). On Tuesday, Graham, who was harshly critical of Trump during the campaign, proposed that Congress hold hearings on "Russia's misadventures throughout the world," including the DNC hack. "Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?" Graham said. He pushed Congress to find out.
(more)



Comey's FBI on Trump's server communications with Alfa Bank's server and possible connections to Russia: "there could be an innocuous explanation."

Comey on Hillary Clinton's emails: "there is evidence that they (Secretary Clinton or her colleagues) were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information"

(note: what Comey forgot to say is that the State Dept did not and does not agree that the information in certain selected emails, sent to or forwarded to Secretary Clinton, is Classified information.)

What all of M$M forgot to say in their reporting on the Clinton email investigation, is that NONE of the emails in question was initiated by Sec Clinton. They were all sent to or forwarded to Sec Clinton.


The NSA Chief Says Russia Hacked the 2016 Election. Congress Must Investigate.


I searched for this and didn't find it already posted...

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/will-congress-investigate-russian-interference-2016-campaign


Despite all the news being generated by the change of power underway in Washington, there is one story this week that deserves top priority: Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. On Tuesday, the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, was asked about the WikiLeaks release of hacked information during the campaign, and he said, "This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect." He added, "This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily."

This was a stunning statement that has echoed other remarks from senior US officials. He was saying that Russia directly intervened in the US election to obtain a desired end: presumably to undermine confidence in US elections or to elect Donald Trump—or both. Rogers was clearly accusing Vladimir Putin of meddling with American democracy. This is news worthy of bold and large front-page headlines—and investigation. Presumably intelligence and law enforcement agencies are robustly probing the hacking of political targets attributed to Russia. But there is another inquiry that is necessary: a full-fledged congressional investigation that holds public hearings and releases its findings to the citizenry.

If the FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies are digging into the Russian effort to affect US politics, there is no guarantee that what they uncover will be shared with the public. Intelligence investigations often remain secret for the obvious reasons: they involve classified information. And law enforcement investigations—which focus on whether crimes have been committed—are supposed to remain secret until they produce indictments. (And then only information pertinent to the prosecution of a case is released, though the feds might have collected much more.) The investigative activities of these agencies are not designed for public enlightenment or assurance. That's the job of Congress.

When traumatic events and scandals that threaten the nation or its government have occurred—Pearl Harbor, Watergate, the Iran-contra affair, 9/11—Congress has conducted investigations and held hearings. The goal has been to unearth what went wrong and to allow the government and the public to evaluate their leaders and consider safeguards to prevent future calamities and misconduct. That is what is required now. If a foreign government has mucked about and undercut a presidential election, how can Americans be secure about the foundation of the nation and trust their own government? They need to know specifically what intervention occurred, what was investigated (and whether those investigations were conducted well), and what steps are being taken to prevent further intrusions.

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Keith Olberman: Pretending this isn't abnormal

http://dp8hsntg6do36.cloudfront.net/582cedbeb57ac3034900003b/750ff677-0a84-46f3-b3b1-020d6d8e3036low.webm

Donald Trumps Business Dealings Test a Constitutional Limit - NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us/politics/donald-trump-conflict-of-interest.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=politics&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Politics&pgtype=article


WASHINGTON — Not long after he took office, President Obama sought advice from the Justice Department about a potential conflict of interest involving a foreign government. He wanted to know whether he could accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

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It took David J. Barron, a Justice Department official who is now a federal appeals court judge in Boston, 13 single-spaced pages to answer Mr. Obama’s question.

Two things were clear, he wrote. The Emoluments Clause “surely” applied to the president, and the prize, which included a check for about $1.4 million, was the sort of thing that would be barred if it came from a foreign state. In the end, however, Mr. Barron concluded that Mr. Obama could accept the prize because the committee that chose him was independent of the Norwegian government and the prize itself was privately financed.

But he said that the answer would be different if a foreign government sought to make a payment to a sitting president. In a footnote, Mr. Barron added, “Corporations owned or controlled by a foreign government are presumptively foreign states under the Emoluments Clause.”

Mr. Trump’s companies do business with entities controlled by foreign governments and people with ties to them. The ventures include multimillion-dollar real estate arrangements — with Mr. Trump’s companies either as a full owner or a “branding” partner — in Ireland and Uruguay. The Bank of China is a tenant in Trump Tower and a lender for another building in Midtown Manhattan where Mr. Trump has a significant partnership interest.
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Donald Trumps Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia - GOP sublimely unconcerned with natnl security

http://time.com/4433880/donald-trump-ties-to-russia/

Russian intelligence agencies have allegedly recently digitally broken into four different American organizations that are affiliated either with Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party since late May. All of the hacks appear designed to benefit Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations in one fashion or another.

When asked about this, and his affection for Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump said any inference that a connection exists between the two is absurd and the stuff of conspiracy. “I have ZERO investments in Russia,” he tweeted after the Democratic National Committee was apparently hacked by Russia and the emails released by Wiki Leaks on the eve of the DNC convention to nominate Clinton as its 2016 presidential candidate.

Most of the coverage of the links between Trump and Putin’s Russia takes the GOP presidential nominee at his word—that he has lusted after a Trump tower in Moscow, and come up spectacularly short. But Trump’s dodge—that he has no businesses in Russia, so there is no connection to Putin—is a classic magician’s trick. Show one idle hand, while the other is actually doing the work.

The truth, as several columnists and reporters have painstakingly shown since the first hack of a Clinton-affiliated group took place in late May or early June, is that several of Trump’s businesses outside of Russia are entangled with Russian financiers inside Putin’s circle.

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Donald Trump's Presidency as Branding Venture: The Scam Goes Even Deeper Than We Thought

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trumps-presidency-branding-venture-scam-goes-even-deeper-we-thought


One of the odder events of 2016’s very odd presidential campaign was Donald Trump’s pilgrimage to an event held by the Republican Hindu Coalition in Edison, New Jersey, during the last weeks of the presidential campaign. It’s not as if he made other forms of outreach to small ethnic or religious minorities, and this appearance seemed particularly obscure for a campaign concentrated on big rallies in battleground states.

Well, we may know the primary reason now. It was revealed over the weekend that the president-elect has been holding Trump Organization business meetings during the transition, and one of his meetings was with Indian developers with whom he has some luxury apartment deals cooking in Mumbai. The New York Times reported:

“We will see a tremendous jump in valuation in terms of the second tower,” said Pranav R. Bhakta, a consultant who helped Mr. Trump’s organization make inroads into the Indian market five years ago. “To say, ‘I have a Trump flat or residence’ — it’s president-elect branded. It’s that recall value. If they didn’t know Trump before, they definitely know him now.”


Somebody close to Trump must understand this isn’t a good look:

Photos of Trump with Real Estate Partners from India are disappearing from view. No worries. We grabbed them. https://t.co/VlcCyldC05 pic.twitter.com/nBdOHXkned


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60 Minutes: Frank Luntz focus group argues. Frank asks "how did we get here?" INCREDIBLE

.. 60 Minutes, Nov 6, had a segment about how everybody is pissed off at the election. They had GOP propaganda consultant, Frank Luntz assemble a group of people (nothing was said as to whether it was a random sample) who he asked various questions. The people expressed varying degrees of disgust.

that they had Frank Luntz on what is purported to be a fact based news program was incredible. Even more incredible was Luntz expressing dismay that the people were arguing with each other. Frank Luntz was the sonofabitch who helped the GOP weaponize their rhetoric. IN the notorious GOPAC memo to Republicans from Newt Gingrich entitled: Language: a Key Mechanism of Control

[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1pc solid #000000;padding:10px;"]Luntz also served as Newt Gingrich's pollster in the mid-1990s for the Contract with America.[15] During that time, he helped Gingrich produce a GOPAC memo that encouraged Republicans to "speak like Newt" by describing Democrats and Democratic policies using words such as “corrupt,” "devour," "greed," "hypocrisy," "liberal," "sick," and "traitors."


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-american-voters-on-trump-clinton/

For those interested, CBS is very well set-up for comments. One of the best of M$M sites. As always, I encourage others to let CBS 60 Minutes know what you think of this segment. I think it would be great if 60 Minutes got a deluge of criticism from Democrats on this segment.

FWIW, I dropped the following comment on their site (this was written 'on the fly' so there may be some non-standard sentences in there, although I tried to edit for errors before posting here).

[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1px solid #000000;padding:10px;"]This 'report' achieved Kafka-esque levels of irony.

Frank Luntz asking "How did we get to this point where everyone of you ..., all of you gave me a negative reaction? How did we get here? "

How did we get hear? asked by Frank Luntz - INCREDIBLE!!!

Luntz had a central role in starting the GOP's campaign to use language cynically to make your opponents (Democrats) appear not only wrong but despicable for disagreeing with you. This all began with the notorious GOPAC memo to Republican candidates, Language: A Key Mechanism of Control, which included a list of key words for attacking Democrats...

"Luntz also served as Newt Gingrich's pollster in the mid-1990s for the Contract with America.[15] During that time, he helped Gingrich produce a GOPAC memo that encouraged Republicans to "speak like Newt" by describing Democrats and Democratic policies using words such as “corrupt,” "devour," "greed," "hypocrisy," "liberal," "sick," and "traitors."._WIKIPEDIA (Frank Luntz article)


Yes, Luntz was there from the beginning of the 'Attack' rhetoric designed to depict those who disagree with you in the very worst light, caricaturing them as moral degenerates, or otherwise despicable people. Luntz was the one who coined the term "Death tax" for Inheritance tax.

Now, after about three decades of raging rhetoric from the Right (it began, before Luntz, in a less organized way, on Right Wing cable tv, in the mid-1970s) amplified by Gingrich, with Luntz help, taking things to a more organized use of weaponized language and downright propaganda, Democrats are getting tired of this. After about three decades of this sort of assault, people who are interested in seeing Government get something done (mostly this would be Democrats) have become fed up with this one way barrage of raging rhetoric AND are starting to speak up when they hear disinformation, unsupported accusations and propaganda.

Thus, very recently, some of us Democrats have started firing back. But what we are firing back at is Disinformation crafted by RW propaganda groups. In the group you assembled, people who, in the past, would have put up with disparaging, baseless attacks and charges against a Democratic candidate, are starting to fight the disinformation and baseless charges.

When some in the group described Clinton as 'corrupt' and 'dishonest' many in the group knew these characterizations were based on Nothing but Disinformation. For example Three years of Benghazi Inquisitions (8 or 9 by now) which everyone knows were NOT intended to find out the truth but to damage Hillary Clinton as possible presidential candidate. The email/server inquiry is the more of the same. Republican Reps McCarthy and Richard Hanna, admitted that the whole point of all the Benghazi Inquisitions was to damage Clinton politically.

Point in fact: NOT ONE of the emails purported to contain classified info had a Classified Header on it. When Comey was questioned about this by Rep Matt Cartwright, he had to admit that in fact NOT ONE of the emails in question had a classified header on it. NOTE THIS HAS NOT BEEN REPORTED ON M$M, ANYWHERE!

Point in fact: All of the emails in question were sent to or forwarded to Sec Clinton - NOT ONE was initiated by Clinton.

(Question: IF Comey thinks these emails SENT TO CLINTON contain classified information, why is he NOT INVESTIGATING THE PEOPLE WHO AUTHORED THE EMAILS???)

Point in fact: the State Dept DOES NOT AGREE (not now, not ever) that the information in those emails is classified.

Point in fact: Colin Powell used a personal email account with a commercial email service provider to conduct Government business on AND HE ADVISED Clinton TO DO THE SAME. Classified information was found in some of Powell's emails. Clinton chose to use a server operated by Government IT people, guarded by Government personnel (Secret Service) as safer.

Point in fact: According to the State Dept's IG report MANY individuals were found to be using personal email accounts to conduct Government business.

Point in fact: In order to do their jobs State Dept officials here and in foreign assignments will occasionally communicate Classified information over non -secure networks. IT IS UNAVOIDABLE! Sometimes someone has a 'situation' they need guidance on in A VERY SHORT TIME-FRAME. Officials in D.C. can't say to them, as soon as I get this message encrypted, you will get your answer, ..probably by tomorrow. THAT is NOT ACCEPTABLE. When Dept of State officials communicate about classified matters they use vague language so only somebody who already knows what they are talking about -- would know what they were talking about.

POWELL HAS NOT TURNED IN ANY OF HIS EMAILS. HE HAD THEM ALL DELETED (but they can still be found on commercial email service providers archives) - EVEN THOUGHT THE STATE DEPT HAS ASKED FOR THEM THREE TIMES - HE HAS NOT BOTHERED TO RESPOND TO THEIR REQUESTS FOR HIS EMAILS. The Powell emails spoken of above were found in someone else's inbox. As for the bulk of Powell's emails - HE HASN'T TURNED IN ONE EMAIL. Does that comply with Government Information archiving laws???

If you have heard of some of the above information for the first time, there is a good reason for it. M$M HAS NOT BEEN TELLING YOU OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO MAKE SENSE OUT OF WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON IN WASHINGTON.

Emails Warrant No New Action Against Hillary Clinton, F.B.I. Director Says -

Comey added: "Still kept you from getting the Senate. Ha haaa!" (no, that's what Comey's thinking)


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/07/us/politics/hilary-clinton-male-voters-donald-trump.html?_r=0
The F.B.I. informed Congress on Sunday that it has not changed its conclusions about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, removing a dark cloud that has been hanging over her campaign two days before Election Day.

James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, said in a letter to members of Congress that “based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

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Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said in a post on Twitter that the campaign was always confident that she would be cleared of any wrongdoing.

“We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited,” Mr. Fallon said. “Now Director Comey has confirmed it.”
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The real Clinton email scandal is that a bullshit story has dominated the campaign

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/4/13500018/clinton-email-scandal-bullshit


Some time ago, Hillary Clinton and her advisers decided that the best course of action was to apologize for having used a personal email address to conduct government business while serving as secretary of state. Clinton herself was, clearly, not really all that remorseful about this, and it showed in her early efforts to address it. Eventually aides prevailed upon her to express a greater degree of regret, which they hoped would lay the issue to rest.

It did not. Instead, email-related talk has dogged Clinton throughout the election and it has influenced public perceptions of her in an overwhelmingly negative way. July polling showed 56 percent of Americans believed Clinton broke the law by relying on a personal email address with another 36 percent piling on to say the episode showed “bad judgments” albeit not criminality.

Because Clinton herself apologized for it and because it does not appear to be in any way important, Clinton allies, surrogates, and co-partisans have largely not familiarized themselves with the details of the matter, instead saying vaguely that it was an error of judgment and she apologized and America has bigger fish to fry.

This has had the effect of further inscribing and reinscribing the notion that Clinton did something wrong, meaning that every bit of micro-news that puts the scandal back on cable amounts to reminding people of something bad that Clinton did. In total, network newscasts have, remarkably, dedicated more airtime to coverage of Clinton’s emails than to all policy issues combined.

This is unfortunate because emailgate, like so many Clinton pseudo-scandals before it, is bullshit. The real scandal here is the way a story that was at best of modest significance came to dominate the US presidential election — overwhelming stories of much more importance, giving the American people a completely skewed impression of one of the two nominees, and creating space for the FBI to intervene in the election in favor of its apparently preferred candidate in a dangerous way.

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I never agreed with the stupid, silly notion that "If we just ignore it, it will go away.". I always said it would have been better if they had countered the insinuations and baseless, wild conjectures with reality based information. Today there are millions of people who are convinced she lied about her emails, and jeopardized national security with her server. Why? ... Because most of the content about the email/server issue came from the Rabid Right Wing who love to go hysterical on anything - and the GOP Toadies of M$M who are only too happy to use RR hysterics as sources for their scripts on this matter. Maybe if people had had something else that was rational and fact based to read, it wouldn't have gotten so bad and Clinton's 'trust' numbers wouldn't be ridiculous as they are now.

A dirty trick that won’t change the outcome - Katrina vanden Heuvel

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-dirty-trick-that-wont-change-the-outcome/2016/11/01/0b94b1de-9fc0-11e6-8832-23a007c77bb4_story.html




Boo. Last week, FBI Director James B. Comey decided to scare up this election’s October surprise, writing to inform 16 congressional committee chairs and ranking members that the FBI had discovered emails in an unrelated investigation that potentially could be linked to the probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Subsequent leaks led the New York Times to report that the emails were found on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced ex-New York congressman and estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s closest aide and “surrogate daughter.”

Frenzy ensued. Donald Trump immediately embraced the agency he had excoriated; the Clinton campaign attacked Comey directly. The New York Post called it the “stroking gun.” “Could Anthony Weiner’s E-Mails Cost Hillary Her Job?” asked the ever-hyperbolic Larry Kudlow. Livid Democrats opted for Kremlin-baiting. Former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, a Clinton surrogate, tweeted that Comey, a Republican, “put himself on the same side as [Vladimir] Putin.” Senate leader Harry Reid charged that Comey had “explosive information” about “coordination” between Donald Trump and “the Russian government.”

Early polls suggested that most Americans would not be influenced by the news, but some might. In a race that was already tightening — as both major candidates firmed up their support in their own parties — partisans on both sides escalated the spitball volleys.

Let’s be clear. Comey’s astounding act was a deplorable and reckless dereliction of duty. He spurned Justice Department objections and ignored long-standing guidelines that the Justice Department or the FBI not release information about investigations within 60 days of an election. “There’s a longstanding policy of not doing anything that could influence an election,” George J. Terwilliger III, former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration, told the New York Times on Saturday. “Those guidelines exist for a reason. Sometimes, that makes for hard decisions. But bypassing them has consequences.”
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