PND Commentary

After DNC hack, the case for paper ballots

July 28, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds  

"Somebody (probably, though not certainly, Vladimir Putin’s intelligence apparatus) has hacked the Democratic Committee's email servers and released some of what it found via the Wikileaks site. As Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith notes, this is something new: Although meddling in foreign elections is old stuff for intelligence agencies (including our own), this sort of email release is unprecedented. As disruptive as the DNC email release has been, there's room for something much worse: A foreign government could hack voting machines, shut down election computers, or delete or alter voter registration information, turning Election Day into a snarled mess and calling the results into question regardless of who wins. Worse yet, hackers are already working on this." [editor's note: Still a diversion from the real issue this time, but at least it's about privacy instead of foreign policy - SAT] (07/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/28/dnc-emails-wikileaks-paper-ballots-election-rigging-hack-russia-putin-column/87617928  

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Is Vladimir Putin deliberately destabilizing US politics?

July 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Apps  

"When WikiLeaks dumped tens of thousands of often embarrassing internal Democratic Party emails, it didn’t take long for the finger to be pointed at Moscow. In many ways, that should hardly be surprising. The distinctly idiosyncratic dynamic between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has long been a topic of fascination for pundits. Some of the Republican presidential candidate’s approaches and statements (particularly questioning the U.S. commitment to NATO) are almost certainly appealing to Moscow. The Russian intelligence services have a largely deserved reputation for excellence when it comes to cyber-spying, not to mention dirty political tricks. And, perhaps most importantly of all, a growing number of Western officials and security experts are increasingly convinced that Russia is doing everything it can to politically destabilize the West. Getting through the smoke and mirrors to work out to what extent that is actually happening, however, is another matter entirely." (07/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-putin-politics-commentary-idUSKCN1072WE  

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Repent in prison, Leslie Van Houten

July 28, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"'If the word 'Manson' was not attached to Leslie, she would have been out 20 years ago,' attorney Richard Pfeiffer told me about his client, convicted Manson 'family' killer Leslie Van Houten, who is serving a life sentence for her role in two 1969 murders. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a parole board recommendation to parole Van Houten, 66, because she is remorseful, has accepted responsibility for her crimes and no longer poses a danger to society. 'As our Supreme Court has acknowledged,' Brown wrote, 'in rare circumstances a crime is so atrocious that it provides evidence of current dangerousness by itself.'" (07/28/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/07/28/repent-in-prison-leslie-van-houten-n2198965  

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The science behind Hillary Clinton’s trust deficit

July 28, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Rand & Jillian Jordan  

"Large swaths of the American public want Donald J. Trump to be their president – maybe even a majority, according to an analysis from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight in late July. Many people (Democrats and Republicans alike) find this shocking. Trump made his name as the 'You’re fired' guy. He has never held political office, has arguably failed to generate concrete or realistic policy proposals, regularly changes his positions on issues and consistently gets the facts wrong. This stands in sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton, who has served as secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady of the United States. In his endorsement of her, Barack Obama described Clinton as the most qualified presidential nominee in U.S. history. Presumably experience with, and knowledge of, the system and issues are qualities that make for a good president; so why is this race even close? Research, including new work from our Human Cooperation Laboratory at Yale, suggests Trump may be successful precisely because of his hotheadedness and lack of carefully thought-out proposals. Being seen as uncalculating can make people trust you." (07/28/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135569/science-behind-hillary-clintons-trust-deficit  

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Hillary Clinton’s one-percent dilemma gets more awkward

July 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Gina Chon  

"Hillary Clinton’s 1 percent dilemma just got more awkward. Progressive Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts kicked off the Democratic convention on Monday in Philadelphia blasting the rich. With inequality atop the party platform, they told a cheering crowd that they expect the former secretary of state to rein in millionaires. Yet, they are her biggest donors." (07/26/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/07/26/hillary-clintons-1-pct-dilemma-gets-more-awkward  

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A turn in European terror

July 28, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Arthur Goldhammer  

"Terror attacks in Europe have taken an ominous new turn. On July 26, while America was distracted by the nomination of Hillary Clinton and the continuing disgruntlement of the Bernie-or-Bust faction, terror in Europe took an ominous new turn. An 85-year-old Catholic priest was murdered in front of his altar and members of his congregation by two young terrorists whom ISIS immediately claimed as its 'soldiers.' One of the attackers, 18-year-old Adel Kermiche, had reportedly attempted on two occasions to join ISIS forces in Syria, for which he was arrested and placed under electronic surveillance by French security forces. Why his electronic bracelet failed to prevent the attack will surely be a matter of great concern to investigators." (07/27/16)

http://prospect.org/article/turn-european-terror  

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There are many critical omissions from Clinton’s job application

July 28, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Jack Dresser  

"Bill and Hillary have been a close working team for over three decades and she stands on his record. Never has she publicly objected or disconnected herself from his deplorable abuses of power and betrayals of public trust. So we have a conjugal employment record to review in evaluating her job application. ... Trump is a novice, a political wild card with no relevant work history or resume to evaluate, but Hillary has a long, deeply corrupt and repeatedly deadly work history. How can prospective employers ignore that?" (07/28/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/There-are-Many-Critical-Om-by-JACK-DRESSER-Clinton-Bill_Clinton-Campaign_Clinton-Cash_Clinton-Foundation-160728-824.html  

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Can Jill Stein lead a revolution?

July 28, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Clare Foran  

"So, can Stein really lead a political revolution? Her diagnosis of the problems plaguing the country isn't so different from Sanders's assessment. Like the senator, she sees a country overrun by big money and corporate power. She wants to make health care a right, break up big banks, and ensure that high-quality education is accessible for Americans. Stein has also embraced positions that put her to the left of the senator. At the Bernie-or-Bust rally, she called for reparations as part of a conversation on fighting racism rooted in the 'criminal institution of slavery.' Add all that up and the campaign's most effective selling point may be that Stein can act as a kind of stand-in for Sanders now that his campaign has reached an end. But political revolutions are the stuff of bold promises, not plan Bs and second-choice candidates." (07/28/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/jill-stein-third-party-bernie-sanders/493292/  

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Night of the hollow men: Notes from the Democratic convention

July 28, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Jeffrey St Clair  

"Since my co-editor Joshua Frank prefers to go surfing rather than do his reportorial duty and watch the DNC Convention from gavel-to-gavel, he's telling me that I have to write another account of tonight's proceedings. I'm not sure I'm up to it 'frankly.' What would Hunter Thompson do? Oh, yes, he would get his body and mind in fighting form by having breakfast. I guess I'll follow the good Doctor's example: 'Four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert.' All to be consumed while naked. Snarf! Sniff! Belch! ALRIGHT! I’m primed. Bring on Biden!" (07/28/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/28/night-of-the-hollow-men-notes-from-the-democratic-convention/  

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Election 2016: Think three’s a crowd? Try 2,000

July 28, 2016
posted by

Thomas L Knapp -- photo by Avens O'Brien William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"OK, I admit it: History and money say the odds are with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton -- that one of them will be the next president of the United States. The last time a third party or independent candidate really threatened to win the White House was 1992, when Ross Perot knocked down nearly 20% of the popular vote, having at one time polled ahead of both Republican incumbent George HW Bush and the eventual winner, Democratic nominee Bill Clinton. But it's strange year. It feels like almost anything could happen. And while Clinton and Trump are the frontrunners, the field is, well, YUGE. As of July 27, the Federal Elections Commission lists 1,814 candidates for president on its web site." (07/27/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/6928  

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The DNC is one big corporate bribe

July 28, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"To get to the Democratic National Convention, you take the subway to the AT&T Station and walk to the Wells Fargo Center. Along the way, you’ll stroll by the Comcast Xfinity Live complex, where delegates and honored guests can booze it up. You’ll also see the 'Cars Move America' exhibit, an actual showroom sponsored by Ford, GM, Toyota, and others. Finally, you’ll reach your seat and watch Democrats explain why we have to reduce the power of big corporations in America. Party conventions have always been collection points for big money. But many major corporations sat out last week’s Republican gathering for fear of Trump contamination. There’s no such reticence here in Philadelphia; in fact, it feels like they’re making up for that lack of investment." [editor's note: Given how obvious this all is, I continue to chuckle at the "progressive" Dems who think their party will change things - SAT] (07/27/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135564/dnc-one-big-corporate-bribe  

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Will this be the year Latino votes make the difference?

July 28, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Andres Martinez  

"You could have made a successful career in American politics warning, or promising, that the Latino vote is about to become the deciding factor in presidential elections. For decades. In the aftermath of the 2012 race the Republican Party establishment itself highlighted the importance of Latino voters. Bemoaning the fact that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney received only 27 percent of the Latino vote, an autopsy by the party of its defeat noted that by 2050 nearly 30 percent of all Americans will be of Hispanic origin. This made the party’s inability to connect with Latino voters all the more alarming: 'If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence.'" (07/27/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-election-voters-latino-commentary-idUSKCN1062O9  

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Oh smoke-filled room where are you now? (continuted)

July 28, 2016
posted by

Unqualified Offerings
by Thoreau  

"Donald Trump shooting his mouth off to say that Russia should spy on Hillary Clinton does not both me as much as it bothers some people. I pretty much expect him to say terrible things. It's part of his media strategy. And while all of the experts seem to agree that the hack of the DNC was done by Russians, I am willing to wait just a bit to see ... If (notice that I put that word in) the security apparatus honestly believes that the DNC hack was a pro-Trump operation by Russians, and if Trump encourages these speculations both in his rhetoric and in his choice of paid advisers, then this reinforces my conviction that the GOP's current incarnation is about to collapse." (07/27/16)

http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2016/07/27/19274  

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In Brazil, a pre-Olympics folly

July 27, 2016
posted by

Sam Pizzigati Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"Hardly anything about the Olympic dream these days is feeling particularly dreamy. The Rio de Janeiro games, some are charging, have already turned into 'a large-scale catastrophe,' with everything from massive evictions and expenditures billions over budget to doping scandals and degraded environments. Have the Olympics become, asks veteran sportswriter Sally Jenkins, anything more than 'an unwieldy cash-and-corruption-engorged monster that descends on the host country with a ravenous maw and leaves a swath of human and economic casualties in its wake'? My, how things have changed since 2009, the year Rio celebrated winning the hosting rights for this summer’s games. The 2016 Olympics, Brazil’s proud leaders figured, would amount to a spectacular 'coming out party' for the world’s newest economic powerhouse." (07/27/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160727/in-brazil-a-pre-olympics-folly  

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Hillary haters’ fixation on Saul Alinsky

July 27, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Peter Dreier  

"Forty-seven years after she graduated from Wellesley College, Hillary Clinton is still having to defend her senior thesis. That’s because right-wing activists and their media allies are assailing Clinton’s research paper on Saul Alinsky, a key figure in the world of community organizing whom conservatives have labeled a dangerous radical and a diabolical influence on both Barack Obama and Clinton. Ben Carson kicked off the Saul Alinsky hatefest on the second night of this year’s Republican convention in Cleveland, declaring during his primetime speech: 'Now, one of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. And her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone she greatly admired and let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky.'" [editor's note: I feel so righteous; my "senior thesis" was on "The Ethics of Individualism" - SAT] (07/26/16)

http://prospect.org/article/hillary-haters%E2%80%99-fixation-saul-alinsky  

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Inside the corporate utopias: Capitalism [sic] rules, labor laws don’t apply

July 27, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Matt Kennard & Claire Provost  

"Under Cambodian law, the right to organize is supposed to be ironclad. No employer, government agent or citizen may impede union activity. Inside the walls of Cambodia’s largest special economic zones (SEZs), however, In These Times’ reporters saw a system designed to tightly control the workforce by keeping workers fenced in and unions out. More than a dozen workers and labor activists confirmed that, while it's not easy to independently organize anywhere in Cambodia, the law is flagrantly violated in SEZs. The result is seething discontent. Over the past 50 years, more than half of the world’s countries have carved out pieces of their territories to hand over to foreign investors as SEZs. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that more than 66 million people (most of them young migrant women) work in the world’s more than 3,000 SEZs." [editor's note: Those who would defend true free markets cannot possibly endorse this bastardization of the concept - SAT] (07/25/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/special-economic-zones-corporate-utopia-capitalism.html  

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Money, influence are here to stay

July 27, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David Keating  

"Winston Churchill said, 'It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' The leaked DNC emails shed light on some sausage making going on in campaigns. But is anyone surprised that fame, wealth or influence gets you access to top officials? The Obamas are much more likely to give an interview to USA TODAY than the Billings Gazette. Money and influence are never going to disappear from campaigns, and shouldn’t. Even if people couldn’t give to campaigns, big employers, big labor, celebrities and big media would all gain influence. Those with money would just find another way to influence government." [editor's note: As long as Congress & Co. can grant favorable treatment to the rich and powerful, votes will continue to be bought by some means - SAT] (07/26/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/26/dnc-emails-campaign-finance-center-for-competitive-politics-editorials-debates/87584546  

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The party’s over

July 27, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Richard Moser  

"The corporate elites and the Clinton machine have no idea how deep the divisions go. Trump not Clinton will most likely be the beneficiary of the election fraud, voter suppression and discontent. The DNC has made a historic blunder and its not going to be pretty either way. Fighting Fascism with the corporate power seems a doomed project since it is precisely the merger of the corporation and government that sets the conditions for the rise of fascism. That is the historical moment we are in and paradox we face." (07/27/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/27/the-partys-over-2/  

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Don’t get cornered

July 27, 2016
posted by

Splice Today
by Crispin Sartwell  

"When people get cornered into supporting candidates they mistrust, disagree with, or despise, I blame the victims. For example, watch as Paul Ryan registers that Donald Trump is a racist and then supports him anyway, his face a mask of confusion and pain, on the grounds that he's not Hillary Clinton. Then watch the DNC deep-six Bernie Sanders and mobilize all its resources -- including Sanders himself -- to elect the oligarchy, arguing only that it's better than Trump the bogeyman. These people are trapped, by 'party loyalty' or some raw calculation of self-interest. But you needn't be; don't let powerful people trap you into voting against your own deepest beliefs and interests, collude in your own oppression, or annex you to their manic need for fame, power, and wealth." (07/26/16)

http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/don-t-get-cornered  

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Design your own American party system!

July 27, 2016
posted by

Reason Reason
by Jesse Walker  

"This morning Bernie Sanders urged his followers not to vote for the Green Party's presidential nominee. Speaking at a breakfast event in Philadelphia, the Vermont senator expressed respect for the Greens but argued that this election was a binary choice, The Washington Post reports. 'If we were in Europe right now, in Germany or elsewhere,' Sanders said, 'the idea of coalition politics of different parties coming together -- you've got a left party, you've got a center-left party, coming together against the center-right party -- that's not unusual. That happens every day. We don't have that.' What would this election look like if we did have a parliamentary system? It's an interesting thought experiment, because it's easy to imagine this as a five- or six-way race." (07/26/16)

http://reason.com/blog/2016/07/26/design-your-own-american-party-system  

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Why Bernie Sanders supporters won’t just go away

July 27, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Bill Schneider  

"Why are the Bernie Sanders people so determined to make trouble for the Democrats? Don't they understand that disrupting the convention and sabotaging the Hillary Clinton campaign will only help elect Donald Trump? Guess what? Many of them don't care. They include a lot of young independents who have no loyalty to the Democratic Party. Sanders himself is an independent who chooses to caucus with Democrats in the Senate. His support for Democrats is contingent. If he doesn't agree with them on the issues, he can go his own way." [editor's note: And when they figure out there's no place for them in the crony-corp Dem ranks ... - SAT] (07/26/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-election-sanders-commentary-idUSKCN1061PH  

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LOL at the DNC

July 27, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Democrats have every reason to rage against the Democratic National Committee: Newly leaked DNC memos confirm that Donald Trump was right when he said the party machine was 'rigged' in Hillary Clinton's favor. The latest CNN/ORC poll shows that 68 percent of voters think Clinton is not 'honest and trustworthy.' As a Republican unhappy with the Trump nomination, I at least can take heart in the knowledge that GOP leaders tried in their fashion to stop The Donald's surge. Democrats have to live with the fact that their party leaders engineered the primaries and debates to hand Miss Unpopularity the nod on purpose." (07/26/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/07/26/lol-at-the-dnc-n2197784  

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Clinton pick gives Trump an opening

July 27, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Norman Solomon  

"Two crucial priorities for the upcoming fall election campaign (defeating Donald Trump and advancing a progressive agenda for the U.S.) have been harmed by Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine as her running mate. Sen. Kaine has some admirable qualities. But Clinton’s choice for VP has given Trump yet another opening for his demagogic efforts to pose as some kind of populist against powerful elites." (07/25/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/24/clinton-pick-gives-trump-opening-opposing-view/87510186  

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The sighted and the blinkered

July 26, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson  

"There comes a time in the life of all revolutions when circumstance erodes solidarity, when cracks, splits, and factions emerge. As anyone who’s been watching the Democratic Convention can attest, that time has come to the Sanders Revolution. The factions this time around aren’t Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. They’re more like the Realos (realists) and Fundis (fundamentalists) who fought each other in Germany’s Green Party once the party began to win some power. That’s not a bad way to describe the two wings of Sandersism, though the Sighted and the Blinkered might do as well." [editor's note: There MAY be lessons to learn from this, even for the most hardcore libertarian. Just sayin' ... - SAT] (07/26/16)

http://prospect.org/article/sighted-and-blinkered  

1 Comment »

Democrats not in disarray, they’re practicing democracy

July 26, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"My favorite line from Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove is when President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) breaks up a scuffle between the Soviet ambassador and an Army general, and exclaims, 'Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room!' In Philadelphia on Day One of the Democratic Convention, I found the same incredulousness coursing through my Twitter feed. To paraphrase President Muffley: 'Gentleman, you can’t have politics breaking out in here, this is a political convention!' Since major-party conventions gradually morphed from business gatherings into made-for-TV infomercials, partisans have feared politics breaking out the way a child fears the dark. They repeat the mantra of party unity, dread that the media will play up any tension, get queasy at how an untactful chant at the wrong time in July might lose an election in November." (07/26/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135507/democrats-arent-disarray-theyre-practicing-democracy  

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