The Rise Of The “Berniecratic” Political Party

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT)

By David Catanese, Senior Politics Writer | Sept. 15, 2017, at 6:00 a.m.

As Bernie Sanders deliberated his 2016 run for the presidency, he understood that his odds of toppling Hillary Clinton were low.

But winning was never the lone goal for the gruff independent from Vermont.

Despite more than two decades toiling in Congress, Sanders remained a backbench player, he confided to a top adviser at the time, according to “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” He sought a higher profile in the U.S. Senate for the liberal causes he had built his career around. A well-run White House campaign, win or lose, would do the trick.

Fast-forward more than two years and Sanders is seeing that notion bear fruit.

While his former primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, is relitigating the last war, an emboldened Sanders is already making moves to shape the next one. Clinton may technically be right, as she continues to assert in interviews, that Sanders “is not even a Democrat.” But it’s Democrats who are increasingly gravitating to Sanders, as 16 did this week by joining his legislation calling for a Medicare-for-all health care system.

Clinton is indicating she wants to remain active in politics by backing Democratic candidates in 2018 who can help flip Congress. But in a striking role reversal, it’s the 76-year-old Sanders who now wields more power among the next line of budding aspirants in Democratic politics.

“This week looks like a moment where it’s crystallizing in a lot of people’s minds that Bernie Sanders is the future of the Democratic Party,” says Mark Longabaugh, a Democratic consultant and aide to Sanders’ presidential bid. “There’s an assumption within the Democratic Party that a progressive candidate is a weakness. That’s not a weakness, that’s a strength. We have to lose some of the timidity that the party has had for too long on policy issues. How did Donald Trump end up as president? The public is restless and extremely unsatisfied with the performance of government. You have to make an argument. Put big bold ideas on the table. The public may not agree with every aspect, but they’re going to give you credit for trying to do something. Bernie Sanders put it on the table and argued for it.”

Just look at some of the names who stood next to him Wednesday to roll-out his universal health care pitch: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

All are prospective candidates for the presidency in 2020 – and 10 months following the party’s harrowing 2016 defeat, they found themselves moving towards Sanders ideologically and physically, as each waited for his call Wednesday to make remarks at a Capitol Hill podium.



“I want to say thank you to Bernie for all that you have done,” Warren gushed.

Their embrace of a single-payer position comes even as Clinton continues to tar the plan as unrealistic. But if that remains the majority position among Democrats, liberal activists don’t think it will be for long.

“If you look at the list who are co-sponsoring this and those who are rumored to be interested in [the presidency], you see some alignment. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” says Kenneth Zinn, the political director of National Nurses United, a staunch supporter of the Sanders legislation. “This is how change happens. Grassroots action, bottom-up pressure. I think anyone who wants to be considered a progressive has to sign on to this bill. This is indeed becoming a litmus test for the movement.”

When Sanders began crafting the bill back in the spring, his office reached out to senators they considered to be natural allies, as well as those with higher ambitions. After weeks of behind-the-scenes haggling over exact details, Harris, the freshman senator, endorsed the bill at the close of the summer congressional recess during a town hall in Oakland, California, dubbing it “a nonpartisan issue.” The fact that her home state legislature wrestled with an ultimately unsuccessful universal health care endeavor helped move the needle.

Warren followed a week later, citing the GOP’s persistent efforts to repeal the existing Obamacare program. “We owe a huge debt to President Obama,” she wrote in an email to supporters. “But there’s so much more we could do right now to bring down the costs of quality health care for every American.”

Then came Gillibrand who said she’d be “fighting with Bernie”, following her broad support for the concept during a Facebook Live event in June and Booker, who told a New Jersey television station on Monday “this is something that’s got to happen,” billing it as the next civil rights battle.

Even some alumni of the Clinton campaign acknowledge the winds are blowing in Sanders’ direction.

“During the 2016 primary, Hillary Clinton understandably felt that she owed it to voters to only promise what she honestly felt she could deliver as president. But as Democrats engage in this post-2016 rebuilding, progressives appropriately believe it is important to make a statement on principle in favor of a Medicare-for-all system, regardless of the practical hurdles,” says Brian Fallon, the national press secretary for Clinton’s 2016 campaign. “I would bet many Democratic candidates running in the midterms may, for now, hew towards some of the on-ramp style proposals, such as those offered by Sens. [Brian] Schatz and [Chris] Murphy, but anyone seeking to lead the party in 2020 should probably be wary of rejecting the aspiration behind Sen. Sanders’ plan.”

And Sanders’ diehard supporters are watching – and they are keenly aware of who isn’t on board.

Winnie Wong, a co-founder of People For Bernie and an aggressive internet activist, targeted Democrats on Twitter who steered clear of the Sanders bill.

“If @ChrisMurphyCT is smart, he’ll wake up in the AM, tell his staffer to draft a press release saying he’ll be going with Bernie’s bill,” she wrote, targeting the Connecticut Democrat.

“Baby we got your number,” she fired off to the account of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, including a link meant to pressure those not on board.

But in a sign of how far the debate had moved, even Sen. Joe Manchin, who faces a potentially competitive re-election challenge this year in increasingly conservative West Virginia, paid tribute to the legislation’s concept if not its particulars.

“It should be explored,” he told Bloomberg, later issuing a statement clarifying his skepticism about the merits of single-payer.

But Sanders’ team is betting that the concept will gradually gain popularity as he crisscrosses the country in the coming months to promote it.

“I’m aware of at least one meeting in West Virginia of Trump supporters, people who voted for Trump, and when asked if they supported single payer, half the hands went up,” says Jeff Weaver, a political adviser who ran Sanders’ presidential campaign. “This approach has broad-based support among working class, middle class people, small business people, medical professionals, really across partisan lines.”

What’s unclear is if Sanders will harness his skyrocketing influence around other issues, like a $15 minimum wage and his plan for free college tuition.

Longabaugh sees the trend as inevitable.

“Look at the number of people standing with him. [New York Gov.] Andrew Cuomo standing with Bernie Sanders for free college tuition,” he said, referring to their joint appearance in January.

“[Clinton] can talk about registration labels. But when they were in the Senate at the same time, Bernie Sanders voted with Democratic leadership more than Hillary Clinton did.”

Sanders himself may decide to run for president again, but regardless of his personal decision, he’s setting an early bar of what constitutes a true progressive in the era of Donald Trump.

Whereas in 2016 the assumed risk was to be positioned too far to the left of Clinton, heading into 2020, the hazard appears to fall too far to the right of Sanders.

Third Way study warns Democrats: Avoid far-left populism  

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO)

 

Third Way study warns Democrats: Avoid far-left populism

Center-left think tank Third Way on Tuesday urged the Democratic Party to rebrand itself as “the jobs party” in a report that warns of the risks of adopting the policies and rhetoric of the far left.

Landing as the left wing of the party claims ascendancy, the report wades into some of the philosophical disagreements now dividing the party, which is further from power than it has been in decades. Based on extensive, three-day online focus groups with battleground-state voters, the publication aims to diagnose Democrats’ current problem. But it also knocks the kind of economic populism often pushed by prominent figures like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The study, conducted by polling firm Global Strategy Group, involved interviews with persuadable voters who backed Barack Obama and then Donald Trump, as well as with persuadable African-American, Latino and millennial voters. Third Way’s resulting document warns that key voters believe Democrats prioritize poor citizens and some rich ones — but not the middle class.

It says voters intuitively see the Democratic Party as standing against business, and it urges party leaders to put less emphasis on social issues and “recognize that voters want to see a rebalancing of the Party’s priorities.”

“Even as the economy approaches full employment, there remains a real economic anxiety, and people will always aspire to new and better job opportunities. Trump spoke to this — and voters responded,” the report reads. “To rebuild the Party and regain the power to enact their priorities, Democrats need to craft a broad path that’s inclusive of a diverse coalition and sustainable across election cycles. Reclaiming its status as the party of jobs is a unifying way to do just that.”

Voters in the focus groups repeatedly insisted that Trump was focused on jobs after his rhectoric on the campaign trail about securing more, better jobs for Americans, write authors Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, Third Way’s vice president for social policy and politics, and Ryan Pougiales, the group’s senior political analyst. “Almost without fail, focus group participants in both groups identified the issue as Trump’s top priority. There’s a lesson in this for Democrats,” the report states.

To remedy that situation and the related belief that Democrats work for “somebody else,” the report recommends that party officials avoid proposals that can be branded as “handouts,” in addition to staying away from attacking business.

“Rallying around proposals like free college or universal basic income just exacerbate[s] this resentment,” the authors warn, referring to the education policy pitch at the center of Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. “Effective policy solutions to bolster economic security are vital, but they must begin with job creation and be tethered to the values of hard work and earning your way that underscore America’s economic compact.”

What Hillary Clinton still doesn’t understand about Bernie Sanders

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

What Hillary Clinton still doesn’t understand about Bernie Sanders

Source: CNN
Clinton lays blame on Sanders in new book

(CNN)It’s one week until Hillary Clinton’s 2016 memoir “What Happened” is officially released. But, in an excerpt that made the rounds today, Clinton writes critically about her 2016 primary opponent Bernie Sanders. Clinton makes the case that Sanders damaged her chances of winning with his pie-in-the-sky proposals that pleased liberals but could never actually become law.

So, is she right? CNN’s Greg Krieg and I spent the afternoon exchanging emails about that very question. Our conversation — edited only lightly for flow — is below.
Cillizza: All right, Greg, We’re getting bits and pieces of Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 election as we get closer to it hitting bookstores (are they even a thing anymore?) next week. The new nugget features Clinton running down Bernie Sanders for his primary challenge in 2016.
The part I cared about was where Clinton compares Sanders to a one-upper. That no matter what she proposed, he would propose something even more appealing to the party’s liberal base — entirely without any consequence.
Recollects Clinton: “We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept promising four-minute abs, or even no-minutes abs. Magic abs!”
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To my mind, she’s not wrong!
Clinton was forced to be mindful of how the positions staked out in a primary would impact her in a general election. Sanders, who no one — including him! — thought could or would win, had no such constraint. He could propose whatever he wanted in a largely consequence-free environment while she lived in an all-consequences, all-the-time environment.
Sanders was running a cause. Clinton was running a campaign.
Tell me how I’m wrong.
Krieg: Let me start by saying, the timing of this book is truly remarkable. I know these things are set way in advance and wouldn’t be shocked if Clinton herself — despite all the frustrations we’ve read about in just these few pages — might wish this debate, both ours and the one now blazing on Twitter, could be put off a bit.
Or not!
Anyway, I’m struck right off the bat by how little nuance there is in Clinton’s assessment. For such a smart, savvy and accomplished person, she comes off as weirdly blinkered. These paragraphs are pretty narrowly composed and make no real account for why Sanders was so popular. Perhaps it’s comforting to dismiss his popularity and, implicitly, the desires/frustrations of his supporters, as being rooted in the desire for free ponies or “magic abs.” But that really undersells the issue at the heart of this.
Sanders was, of course, coming at this campaign from a very different angle. By his and his aides’ own admission, they were surprised at how quickly a movement-based candidacy turned into an electorally viable one. But even then, he was pitching a fundamentally different view of politics. Now, you can dismiss that as unreasonable or unlikely to happen, but it’s a losing strategy, in broad terms, to quit the conversation there.
Did America want a pony? Perhaps. Though I’d say Americans were and are frustrated by their debt and economic inequality and medical bills, etc. Essentially saying that their desire for relief was wishful (and frankly, silly) puts a pretty fine point on her shortcomings a candidate.
Cillizza: Look. I love a free pony as much as the next guy, but you make a fair point.
I think one of Clinton’s biggest problems in the race was that she never understood that Sanders’ appeal wasn’t totally about his proposals — which weren’t radically different than hers — it was about his tone and willingness to confront Republicans at all times and on all fronts.
Her political background was forged in the 1980s and 1990s — when bipartisanship was something to be aimed at. That wasn’t the mindset of the Democratic Party, whose nomination Clinton was seeking. They wanted confrontation. They viewed the GOP worldview as not just wrong but immoral. They didn’t want carefully poll-tested policies designed to barely keep them on board while also peeling off moderate Republicans.
Sanders intuitively understood that because he has made charging at GOP-constructed windmills his life’s work. All the way to the end, Clinton never grasped what Democrats really wanted from her.
I think the tendency to dismiss Sanders in the book is representative of the fact that she still doesn’t get that reality.
ALL of that said: I still think running a campaign against a candidate running a cause is really, really hard. I would be fascinated by what would have happened if, after his New Hampshire victory, Sanders had been able to score a few more wins in big important states over that next six weeks. It might have changed the perception of the race — and forced Sanders and the Democratic Party to come face-to-face with the real possibility that he might be the nominee.
Krieg: Last things first. I agree entirely — with you and Clinton — that Sanders did not have as fully developed of a policy portfolio. During the debates and in some interviews during his early 2016 surge, his lack of clearly defined foreign policy ideas sometimes made plain his shortcomings. As it happens, part of the reason he didn’t win much in those post-New Hampshire weeks was that he didn’t have the infrastructure or the time to develop a compelling enough message to win down South. (And even with more time, winning there was certainly no guarantee.)
I also agree that, on balance, Sanders’ proposals weren’t too far from Clinton’s. The debate over higher ed is a great example. Clinton wanted debt-free college. Sanders went a bit further, suggesting a tuition-free approach. They eventually hashed out a compromise plan. This is why so many progressives, in the days before the election, were confident of having a seat at the table in a Clinton administration.
But again, the fundamental issue here — as you note — is that Clinton didn’t then, nor does she now, seem to accept the legitimacy of the Sanders wing’s underlying argument. Which is, (overly) simply stated, that the country has — over the last 30 or 40 years and with the Democratic Party’s acquiescence — been moving away from public control of public goods. For example: Those “market-based solutions” that seem to do more for the market than those looking for solutions.
This was always tough and clearly annoying to Clinton. She’s been in the arena; Sanders was a mayor in Vermont, then a back-bencher in Congress. But — and look to the UK and Jeremy Corbyn for further evidence here — that is not enough of an argument for many voters. In fact, lots of Sanders supporters will tell you that his unwillingness to play ball and make compromises they view as having damaged the working class is not a bug, but a feature piece of his appeal.
Here’s a question: Where are you on the “his attacks caused lasting damage” argument? A lot of Sanders people will say that, if anything, he pulled punches.
Cillizza: Absolutely not!
I agree with Sanders’ people who say he pulled punches. He refused to ever talk about her email server which was, literally, a hanging curveball that he could smash out of the park. And, on her speech-giving to massive corporations — including Goldman Sachs — Sanders went WAY easier than he could have if he wanted to portray Clinton as a corporate shill.
Hillary Clinton lost because she was never the “heart” candidate of the activist base, because she never grasped what the email server really meant to people (that the Clintons think the rules don’t apply, that the Clintons think they are deserve different treatment), because of James Comey announcing the re-opening of the email investigation, because of WikiLeaks/Russia and mostly because she was the status quo candidate in a change election. But, she definitely didn’t lose because of Bernie Sanders.
One last thing that this conversation has got me to wondering about: Is there going to be a candidate from the “Clinton wing” of the Democratic party in 2020? Joe Biden? Can he qualify? He never loved or ascribed to Clinton’s sort of politics — and is much more willing to speak out than she ever was. But, if it’s not Biden, then who is that candidate?
Krieg: One other thing on the Clinton-Sanders dynamic before I get to the (fun) 2020 stuff. Clinton here notes — correctly! — that she had better fleshed-out policy positions. But I think what frustrated people on the left, and certainly some of her most ardent supporters, is that she did not always center them during her campaign. These things are visceral, and always have been, so when you reply to some questions with, “Go look on my website,” that’s going to frustrate people.
Ironically, what was on Clinton’s website would have appealed — tweak here, tweak there — to a whole lot of Sanders supporters. Obviously there was an element within his support that, on a personality level (heightened in some cases by very real sexism), was never going to give her a look. But there were others, I think, who had/have room in their hearts for both Bernie and Hillary! (In fact, I’d say that’s the majority of Democrats.)
As for 2020… oy. A few months ago I’d have said this primary is 100% going to boil down to a Clinton winger vs. a Berniecrat. Though I think some people will see it that way no matter what, as we go forward, I’m thinking the Democratic Party is going to square this stuff away before then. Maybe not in terms of its larger message, but as it relates to a national candidate. (See Kamala Harris, and surely others, co-sponsoring Sanders’ single-payer test bill. Or Elizabeth Warren, who basically everyone in the party and on its left could rally behind right now.)
So, could it be Biden? I doubt it. People who tout him, I think, believe that Clinton’s loss was mostly about personality and that Ol’ Joe could run on about the same policy and win over the working class voters she lost. My bet is that a group of younger candidates with fewer attachments to the ’80s and ’90s will emerge.
One caveat: Sanders himself. If he runs, which I personally don’t think he will do, it upends all of the above. The 2016 scars come right back out. And maybe Biden does get drawn back in.

So, The Habitual Lying President Says He Will Testify Under Oath That He Is Not A Liar

 

Folks, this is not an article that pleases me to have to write about, yet pretty much everyone in the ‘wired world’ will know that what I am going to say is the truth. Most everyone knows that it is a trait of almost all (I’m being nice) American politicians to have a forked tongue. Last November in the elections the American people were basically given a choice between two people that were well known for being very crooked and habitual liar’s. There really was no way to win if the voter was looking for an honest, non-habitual liar to be our leader. The DNC rigs their side of elections via using the so-called ‘Super Delegates’ to make sure that who they want and only whom their party leaders want will be their Candidate for President. I honestly believe that if the DNC leadership had acted in a Constitutional manner that Bernie Sanders would have not only beaten out Ms. Hillary, he would have quite easily beaten out Mr. Trump last November. So, in a sense I do blame the DNC for Mr. Trump sitting in Our Oval Office.

 

Today’s New York Times headline says that Mr. Trump will testify under oath that he is not a liar but that former FBI Director James Comey is. I personally believe that it is Mr. Trump who tells everyone, not just the people that he has surrounding him, but everyone, so many lies everyday that he has proven over and over again that he can’t remember what he lies about one day to the next. I am simply a person who would like to have all people in every government in the world to be honest with the people they govern, yet I think we all know that is just a fantasy. I personally believe that Mr. Trump is the most clueless, ignorant, lying, egomaniac’s that has ever set foot in Our Oval Office. I know that statement is really saying a lot, I never really thought that we could ever have a bigger idiot than George W. Bush as our President but then up steps Mr. Trump. To me it is still a debate which family is more crooked though, the Bush family, the Clinton family, or the Trump family.

 

I have no doubt that if Mr. Trump does go through with testifying under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee (if he isn’t also lying about doing it) that he will lie many times during that event. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Democrat or a Republican, but I am a voter. I like everyone else, under our current two-party system we voters can either not vote, or we can vote for one of the two main party candidates, or they can do like I did last November and vote for a third-party candidate whom we know in advance has no chance of winning. So, ‘We The People’ are put into the position of choosing which habitual liar we want as our ‘Leader.’ Over the last year or so I have been closely watching Mr. James Comey the now former Director of the FBI and I have found him to be one of the most honest, sincere and intelligent people I have ever come across. Mr. Trump on the other hand has totally proven to the whole world that he is basically clueless of real world realities which in part has shined a huge spotlight on his lack of basic knowledge and on his continues lying.

BERNIE SANDERS MEETS WITH NORTHERN CHEYENNE NATION LEADERS

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NATIVE NEWS ONLINE)

BERNIE SANDERS MEETS WITH NORTHERN CHEYENNE NATION LEADERS

Bernie Sanders with Northern Cheyenne President L. Jace Killsback

Published May 22, 2017

BILLINGS, MONTANA — A delegation of Northern Cheyenne Nation traveled to Billings to attend the campaign rally for Montana Democratic Candidate Rob Quist, who is seeking to fill the lone House of Representative seat in the United States Congress left vacant when Ryan Zinke resigned to become secretary the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Candidate Rob Quist was joined in Billings by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and for a one-on-one consultation with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe that included, Northern Cheyenne President L. Jace Killsback, Vice-President Conrad Fisher, Executive Assistant Brandon Woodenlegs and Tribal Councilman Waylon Rogers.

Senator Bernie Sanders listens to concerns of Northern Cheyenne tirbal leaders.

During the meeting with Quist and Senator Sanders the Northern Cheyenne Delegation was able to address topics that have impacted the day-today life on the reservation such as public safety on U.S. Highway 212, healthcare and the failing Indian Health Service system on our reservation, education funding and the economy. Also during the one-on-one consultation, Vice-President Fisher was able to discuss cultural resource management issues such as preservation and protection of historic sites such as the Rosebud Battlefield, National Park Service Little Bighorn Battlefield, Wolf Mountain Battlefield and other sites important to the tribe.

Councilman Rogers was able to share his concerns in regards to the meth epidemic, related drug abuse on our reservation. He also included the lack of proper mental health services for our Northern Cheyenne People to be able to utilize the program to help improve the quality of life for our Northern Cheyenne People.

During a speech given by President L. Jace Killsback, he expressed how important it was for Montana to get Rob Quist to D.C. “We have to ensure that not just the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, but all the other tribes in Montana stand in solidarity, because this Republican Administration cannot continue to divide and conquer our people” and “Our tribe has never been to the table with this administration, and we believe that Rob will lead us there.” Prior to leaving the stage, the Northern Cheyenne President and other leaders present, announced that the tribe officially endorses Candidate Rob Quist for U.S. Congress.

DNC battling class-action suit alleging Sanders was robbed in 2016: DNC Fraud Catching Up with Them?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX NEWS)

DNC battling class-action suit alleging Sanders was robbed in 2016

The 2016 presidential campaign is still being litigated – literally.

As Trump administration controversies command media attention, a little-noticed set of lawsuits against the Democratic Party continues to play out in the courts – including one claiming coordination with the Clinton campaign against Bernie Sanders amounted to election fraud.

The case being heard in a Florida courtroom dates back to last summer, when the Democrats were thrown into turmoil following the leak of documents that appeared to show some DNC officials sought to undermine Sanders in the party primary. Jared Beck, a Harvard law expert, shortly afterward filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of residents of 45 states against the DNC and former chairwomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The DNC has been trying for months to have the case dismissed, and scored a temporary victory last year when it was decided the plaintiffs had improperly filed paperwork.

Beck has been fighting the DNC every step of the way, and is demanding the party repay individuals and Sanders supporters for contributions made during the election, alleging misappropriation of funds.

“If we can’t trust the two political parties to run an election in a fair manner, who can we trust?” Beck told Fox News.

SANDERS-INSPIRED DEM SEEKS UPSET OVER PELOSI

During the most recent hearing on April 25 before a judge in the southern district of Florida, the DNC made a strictly legal argument – one that surely would have rankled Sanders supporters.

Bruce Spiva, a lawyer for the DNC, argued in its motion to dismiss that the party holds the right to select its candidate any way it chooses and is not bound by pledges of fairness.

“We could have voluntarily decided that, ‘Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way.’ That’s not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right,” Spiva argued.

Although the Article 5, Section 4 of the Democratic Party charter stipulates that it will function with total neutrality during Democratic primaries, the DNC lawyer argued the promise was non-binding.

“And there’s no right to not have your candidate disadvantaged or have another candidate advantaged. There’s no contractual obligation here,” he said.

“This lawsuit has nothing to do with politics or political disagreements within the DNC. This case should concern everyone because it goes to the heart of the country’s democratic institutions,” Beck told Fox News.

A victory by Beck could have a profound impact on how the Democratic Party conducts business in 2020 and beyond. However, those familiar with election law say he faces an uphill climb.

“I don’t think it is going to amount to much,” said Michael Toner, a lawyer with the Wiley-Rein and a former legal counsel for the Republican National Committee.

“Courts don’t typically get in the middle of intraparty disputes and while I am sure the DNC does not appreciate having to fight this lawsuit, judges are very reluctant to exercise their jurisdiction over politics,” Toner said.

The DNC attorneys also contend the suit is meritless, arguing most Sanders donors do not even support the lawsuit.

“The vast majority of whom almost certainly do not share Plaintiffs’ political views—have no realistic means of disassociating from this action, brought in their name against the political party they likely support,” the DNC lawyers wrote in their motion.

Toner said the danger to the DNC would come if the lawsuit entered the discovery phase, which is why an affiliated case alleging the DNC failed to pay overtime wages poses a potentially greater threat.

The DNC this week filed a motion to dismiss in the second class-action lawsuit, which alleged workers at the Democratic National Convention and through the election were not paid a minimum wage, while others were refused overtime compensation guaranteed by federal and state law.

The 2016 Democratic platform characterized the current federal minimum of $7.25 per hour as “a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage. No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty.”

The suit also names the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and others involved in the party’s 2016 national convention in the lawsuit. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party did not return calls for comment.

“While the DNC was not the employer in this case, the DNC follows all employment and wage laws to make sure that everyone who works a full time job receives a fair wage,” DNC spokesman Michael Tyler said in a statement to Fox News.

Although the individuals participated in party-building activities, such as voter registration, soliciting volunteers and knocking on doors, the national party argues they were not officially DNC staff.

Justin Swidler, the lawyer behind the suit, told Fox News, “We believe in fair pay for fair work. The lawsuit seeks only that. We believe these ideals are consistent with the platform of the DNC.”

According to individuals familiar with the case, the DNC filed another motion to dismiss this week, but neither side anticipates a prompt resolution of the case given the court’s full docket.

The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

WASHINGTON — When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.

Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

Continue reading the main story

“I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The New York Times, that detailed his contact with the F.B.I.

It was the cryptic first sign of a cyberespionage and information-warfare campaign devised to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, the first such attempt by a foreign power in American history. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Like another famous American election scandal, it started with a break-in at the D.N.C. The first time, 44 years ago at the committee’s old offices in the Watergate complex, the burglars planted listening devices and jimmied a filing cabinet. This time, the burglary was conducted from afar, directed by the Kremlin, with spear-phishing emails and zeros and ones.

What is phishing?

Phishing uses an innocent-looking email to entice unwary recipients to click on a deceptive link, giving hackers access to their information or a network. In “spear-phishing,” the email is tailored to fool a specific person.

An examination by The Times of the Russian operation — based on interviews with dozens of players targeted in the attack, intelligence officials who investigated it and Obama administration officials who deliberated over the best response — reveals a series of missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of the cyberattack.

The D.N.C.’s fumbling encounter with the F.B.I. meant the best chance to halt the Russian intrusion was lost. The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact. And the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committee’s network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems. In the meantime, the hackers moved on to targets outside the D.N.C., including Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, whose private email account was hacked months later.

Even Mr. Podesta, a savvy Washington insider who had written a 2014 report on cyberprivacy for President Obama, did not truly understand the gravity of the hacking.

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Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, incorrectly legitimized a phishing email sent to the personal account of John D. Podesta, the campaign chairman.

By last summer, Democrats watched in helpless fury as their private emails and confidential documents appeared online day after day — procured by Russian intelligence agents, posted on WikiLeaks and other websites, then eagerly reported on by the American media, including The Times. Mr. Trump gleefully cited many of the purloined emails on the campaign trail.

The fallout included the resignations of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the D.N.C., and most of her top party aides. Leading Democrats were sidelined at the height of the campaign, silenced by revelations of embarrassing emails or consumed by the scramble to deal with the hacking. Though little-noticed by the public, confidential documents taken by the Russian hackers from the D.N.C.’s sister organization, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, turned up in congressional races in a dozen states, tainting some of them with accusations of scandal.

In recent days, a skeptical president-elect, the nation’s intelligence agencies and the two major parties have become embroiled in an extraordinary public dispute over what evidence exists that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.

Many of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aides believe that the Russian assault had a profound impact on the election, while conceding that other factors — Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses as a candidate; her private email server; the public statements of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, about her handling of classified information — were also important.

While there’s no way to be certain of the ultimate impact of the hack, this much is clear: A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.

GRAPHIC

Following the Links From Russian Hackers to the U.S. Election

The Central Intelligence Agency concluded that the Russian government deployed computer hackers to help elect Donald J. Trump.

OPEN GRAPHIC

“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind,” Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command, said at a postelection conference. “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,” he said. “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

For the people whose emails were stolen, this new form of political sabotage has left a trail of shock and professional damage. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a key Clinton supporter, recalls walking into the busy Clinton transition offices, humiliated to see her face on television screens as pundits discussed a leaked email in which she had called Mrs. Clinton’s instincts “suboptimal.”

“It was just a sucker punch to the gut every day,” Ms. Tanden said. “It was the worst professional experience of my life.”

The United States, too, has carried out cyberattacks, and in decades past the C.I.A. tried to subvert foreign elections. But the Russian attack is increasingly understood across the political spectrum as an ominous historic landmark — with one notable exception: Mr. Trump has rejected the findings of the intelligence agencies he will soon oversee as “ridiculous,” insisting that the hacker may be American, or Chinese, but that “they have no idea.”

Mr. Trump cited the reported disagreements between the agencies about whether Mr. Putin intended to help elect him. On Tuesday, a Russian government spokesman echoed Mr. Trump’s scorn.

“This tale of ‘hacks’ resembles a banal brawl between American security officials over spheres of influence,” Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on Facebook.

Democratic House Candidates Were Also Targets of Russian Hacking

Over the weekend, four prominent senators — two Republicans and two Democrats — joined forces to pledge an investigation while pointedly ignoring Mr. Trump’s skeptical claims.

“Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyberattacks,” said Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed.

“This cannot become a partisan issue,” they said. “The stakes are too high for our country.”

A Target for Break-Ins

Sitting in the basement of the Democratic National Committee headquarters, below a wall-size 2012 portrait of a smiling Barack Obama, is a 1960s-era filing cabinet missing the handle on the bottom drawer. Only a framed newspaper story hanging on the wall hints at the importance of this aged piece of office furniture.

“GOP Security Aide Among 5 Arrested in Bugging Affair,” reads the headline from the front page of The Washington Post on June 19, 1972, with the bylines of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Andrew Brown, 37, the technology director at the D.N.C., was born after that famous break-in. But as he began to plan for this year’s election cycle, he was well aware that the D.N.C. could become a break-in target again.

There were aspirations to ensure that the D.N.C. was well protected against cyberintruders — and then there was the reality, Mr. Brown and his bosses at the organization acknowledged: The D.N.C. was a nonprofit group, dependent on donations, with a fraction of the security budget that a corporation its size would have.

“There was never enough money to do everything we needed to do,” Mr. Brown said.

The D.N.C. had a standard email spam-filtering service, intended to block phishing attacks and malware created to resemble legitimate email. But when Russian hackers started in on the D.N.C., the committee did not have the most advanced systems in place to track suspicious traffic, internal D.N.C. memos show.

Mr. Tamene, who reports to Mr. Brown and fielded the call from the F.B.I. agent, was not a full-time D.N.C. employee; he works for a Chicago-based contracting firm called The MIS Department. He was left to figure out, largely on his own, how to respond — and even whether the man who had called in to the D.N.C. switchboard was really an F.B.I. agent.

“The F.B.I. thinks the D.N.C. has at least one compromised computer on its network and the F.B.I. wanted to know if the D.N.C. is aware, and if so, what the D.N.C. is doing about it,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo about his contacts with the F.B.I. He added that “the Special Agent told me to look for a specific type of malware dubbed ‘Dukes’ by the U.S. intelligence community and in cybersecurity circles.”

Part of the problem was that Special Agent Hawkins did not show up in person at the D.N.C. Nor could he email anyone there, as that risked alerting the hackers that the F.B.I. knew they were in the system.

Photo

An internal memo by Yared Tamene, a tech-support contractor at the D.N.C., expressed uncertainty about the identity of Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the F.B.I., who called to inform him of the breach.

Mr. Tamene’s initial scan of the D.N.C. system — using his less-than-optimal tools and incomplete targeting information from the F.B.I. — found nothing. So when Special Agent Hawkins called repeatedly in October, leaving voice mail messages for Mr. Tamene, urging him to call back, “I did not return his calls, as I had nothing to report,” Mr. Tamene explained in his memo.

In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was “calling home, where home meant Russia,” Mr. Tamene’s memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. “SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.”

Mr. Brown knew that Mr. Tamene, who declined to comment, was fielding calls from the F.B.I. But he was tied up on a different problem: evidence suggesting that the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton’s main Democratic opponent, had improperly gained access to her campaign data.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz, then the D.N.C.’s chairwoman, and Amy Dacey, then its chief executive, said in interviews that neither of them was notified about the early reports that the committee’s system had likely been compromised.

Shawn Henry, who once led the F.B.I.’s cyber division and is now president of CrowdStrike Services, the cybersecurity firm retained by the D.N.C. in April, said he was baffled that the F.B.I. did not call a more senior official at the D.N.C. or send an agent in person to the party headquarters to try to force a more vigorous response.

“We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana,” Mr. Henry said. “We are talking about an office that is half a mile from the F.B.I. office that is getting the notification.”

“This is not a mom-and-pop delicatessen or a local library. This is a critical piece of the U.S. infrastructure because it relates to our electoral process, our elected officials, our legislative process, our executive process,” he added. “To me it is a high-level, serious issue, and if after a couple of months you don’t see any results, somebody ought to raise that to a higher level.”

The F.B.I. declined to comment on the agency’s handling of the hack. “The F.B.I. takes very seriously any compromise of public and private sector systems,” it said in a statement, adding that agents “will continue to share information” to help targets “safeguard their systems against the actions of persistent cybercriminals.”

By March, Mr. Tamene and his team had met at least twice in person with the F.B.I. and concluded that Agent Hawkins was really a federal employee. But then the situation took a dire turn.

A second team of Russian-affiliated hackers began to target the D.N.C. and other players in the political world, particularly Democrats. Billy Rinehart, a former D.N.C. regional field director who was then working for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, got an odd email warning from Google.

“Someone just used your password to try to sign into your Google account,” the March 22 email said, adding that the sign-in attempt had occurred in Ukraine. “Google stopped this sign-in attempt. You should change your password immediately.”

Mr. Rinehart was in Hawaii at the time. He remembers checking his email at 4 a.m. for messages from East Coast associates. Without thinking much about the notification, he clicked on the “change password” button and half asleep, as best he can remember, he typed in a new password.

This Is My Opinion How To Make U.S. Presidential Elections Much More Fair And Honest

 

Folks, I floated this idea by my wife on Election Night a couple of weeks ago and after giving it a lot of thought we decided that it sounds like a pretty good idea, now see what you think of it. When I was a kid and I first learned of the Electoral College I thought that it sounded like a horrible idea. Then after studying the history of the issue it really ticked me off. The Founding Fathers thought that ‘We The People’ were actually to stupid to elect our own Officials so they put in a ‘cheat formula’ sort of like the current day Democrats do with their ‘Super Delegates’.  The Democratic leadership has proven that they have no interest in letting the people, Democrats or otherwise to get to elect their party’s nominee. In my honest opinion, this is why Donald Trump is the President-Elect today and not Bernie Sanders, it is the fault of the Elite who run the DNC. When I was a kid back in the 1960’s I remembered studying to find if the people had ever voted one way just to have the Electoral College vote another person into the Presidency. I was only able to find one time where it had happened and it was back in the early 1800’s, I remember thinking how irate the American people would be if this ever happened in these ‘modern’ times. I honestly thought that it never would, then the 2000 election came along and Al Gore beat George W. Bush by about half a million votes but the Supreme Court gave the election to Mr. Bush by one electoral vote. The people sat on their hands and did nothing. Now just 16 years later it has happened again. It looks like Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over two-million votes but she got her butt kicked in the Electoral College vote. You know, when the Founding Fathers set up our political system maybe they were right, the American people do seem to be ignorant sheep. Remember though that when they put in the phrase ‘All People Are Created Equal’ they were only referring to ‘White Male Landowners.’ You know, our ‘Founding Fathers’ had some serious issues.

 

Okay, now I will get to the meat of this article which is the idea about how to make the Presidential Elections more fair. I don’t like the Electoral system because I do not believe that it creates equality Nationwide. Yet if we only count the popular vote then Presidential hopefuls would only visit or care about the States with the biggest population centers, in fact they would only concern themselves with the biggest cities. Why would they bother wasting time and money on States like Wyoming, North or South Dakota or Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada or Utah? You can see where the current Democratic Party has been doing this in recent elections, this time, it cost them the White House. Here is my suggestion for your thoughts. So as to make the Presidential Elections much more equal and fair so that every State has equal representation like we all do with Federal Senators (2 each) no matter how big, small, or populated a State is, or not. Keep an Electoral College (sort of) but with this huge change, every State gets one vote. Whomever wins a State’s popular vote gets that State’s one vote. We have 50 States, if there is a tie of 25 each then and only then we look at the ‘popular vote’ to see who won the most votes Nationwide, then give the Election to the one who won the most total votes. If our political system ever gets to where we have more that the two big contenders let’s say a viable third, fourth or fifth political party to where their Candidate’s win States but no Candidate won at least the 25 States then one week later have another election with only the top two finishers on the ballot. I personally believe this system would be better than what some Countries do with their ‘Coalition’ Governments. That system is a train wreck because it causes too many elections and gives way to much power to a very small Party that happens to be part of the Ruling Coalition, they know that all they have to do is to threaten to leave the Coalition and they can bring down the whole Government. Okay folks, that’s it, what do you think of this idea?

Senator Bernie Sanders Is A Traitor To All Of His Followers!

 

Well its official, Hillary (The Queen of Treason) Clinton is now the Democrats official nominee to be our next President. I say she is Americas Queen of treason because of her laziness with her job as our Secretary of State concerning our Nations secrets that she made available to hackers thus putting many of our military personnel and our Spies lives in harm’s way. The other issue with her treason was her actions about Benghazi Libya and just leaving four of our personnel to die without even trying to do anything to help save them. Our Nations Military code of ‘we don’t leave anyone behind’ is something she totally broke. Tell me that if Chelsea and Bill were in that Compound that this lazy coward would have reacted the same way.

 

Now, about Senator Bernie Sanders, it was only about one year ago that he decided to become a Democrat as he has represented the state of Vermont as an Independent for several terms in the Senate. He now has the gall to tell all of those who have supported him with their heart, souls, and money to vote for this woman who has done nothing but belittle him and with the aid of the DNC leadership, stab him in the back for the past year. How does a person of any values do as he has done? Senator Sanders has proven that he is a traitor to all the people who believed in him and worked so hard for him, he has totally betrayed them all. What is obvious to all but the blind is that his followers wanted him to continue his push to be President through him running as an Independent in the November election. Quite honestly Senator Sanders should have never ran as a Democrat and the recent revelations of the DNC and the ‘Super Delegates’ of their party have proven they have no loyalty to him and that they never have had. Senator Sanders, you absolutely disgusts me, your actions make it appear that you have been bought out, literally.

Meet In The Middle: Have The Trump Wall (We Pay For It); And Have Direct Path To Citizenship

Yesterday the Republican Convention opened in Cleveland Ohio to a chorus of hate and infighting among the Republicans as many tried to ‘dump Trump’ from ‘their’ ticket. What they were trying to do was to annul all of the voters voices in all of the states primaries. You see, they so not care what ‘the people’ want or what the people have had to say. Before you jump on the Republicans remember that next week the Democrats have their Convention in Philadelphia Pa  and there are going to be a lot of very upset Bernie Sanders followers there who will never vote for Ms. Hillary even though Bernie sold them out by endorsing her. Remember it was mostly Bernie backers who started most of the violence outside at the Trump rallies.

If Mr. Trump or Mr. Sanders become the next President of the United States, how much can/will actually change in D.C. politics? If either one of these two out-lairs becomes our next President both sides of the Congressional Isle, Republican and Democratic will fight against the will of the people by fighting against our elected President. Both of these grand old parties leaderships are off base in not knowing that it is they themselves who do not represent the actual base of their own party. Personally I still think that this November first there should be at least five names on the Presidential ballot for ‘we the people’ to get to vote on. I think Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump as Independents, Mr. Cruz as the Tea Party Representative, Ms. Hillary as the Democratic Party’s Representative and Mr. Kasich as the Republican Party’s Representative. I just think that this would give the American people a more ‘honest’ vote. What I mean by this is simply that I believe the American people and these Party’s leaderships would know much more clearly where ‘we the people’ stand on the issues. In my thoughts we then take the top two candidates (provided that no one got above 50% in the first election) square them in another election two weeks later. I’m just saying, it could work, what do you think?

 

What I am asking is for all party’s to meet more toward the center, that way a lot will get accomplished where only gridlock rules right now. The ‘far-right’ wants the Trump Wall and much tighter security at our borders, let America have this wall but have it built along the American side so that we control it. Have it built with American money by legal American workers. Make several legal entry points in each border state. Make it as easy for people on our southern borders to legally enter as we do for our Canadian friends. Then make the penalties for being caught here illegally much more severe.

 

Now the back-end of this argument, the reality of the financial cost and the human cost of deporting a minimum of eleven million people? How about the reality of the children whom were born here? Are we a Christian Nation? Are we, really? We have to make a direct pathway to citizenship for all people living here regardless of nationality. My exception to this rule would have to be is if a person is a convicted felon or has a felony warrant out for their arrest. Those folks wishing to live here should be given a fair and open hearing on their request for citizenship. I hope that you can see that what I am trying to do is to be fair to both ‘extreme’ factions of the two main party’s.  Good diplomacy means that neither side is happy but both sides get good movement in their direction on the issue that they say concerns them the most. Gridlock is destroying our country from the inside and it is not what the majority of the people want. What this election cycle is showing is the fact that the RNC and the DNC don’t give a damn what ‘we the people’ think.

 

 

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A personal comprehensive compendum of related personal thought, diary, articles geared towards championing and alleviating the course of humanity towards the achievement of a greater society whereby all the inhabitants of the world are seeing as one and treated equally without any division along religious affinity, social class and tribal affliation.This is all about creating a platform where everybody interested in the betterment of the society will have a voice in the scheme of things going on in the larger society.This is an outcome of deep yearning of the author to have his voice heard across the globe.The change needed by all and sundry all over the globe starts with us individually.Our world will be a better place if every effort at our disposal is geared towards taking a little simple step that rally around thinking outside the box.

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