Archive for the ‘2016 Election’ Category

Having studied Russian at Moscow State University and having been a Ford Foundation Fellow in Soviet Studies, Condoleeza Rice was George W. Bush’s Russia expert. No one, Republican or Democrat, questioned her qualifications in that realm.

It is, therefore, stunning that she has chosen to side with Vladimir Putin against her successor at the State Department, Hillary Clinton.


Rice Blames Hillary For Russian Election Meddling

Benny JohnsonReporter At Large

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put some of the blame for Russian election on Hillary Clinton in a wide-ranging MSNBC interview on Thursady

Rice, who has considerable experience with Vladimir Putin, did not hold back on her assessment of the motivations behind Russian election meddling.

She said that then-Secretary of State Clinton criticizing Putin for Russia’s 2012 elections encouraged the foreign leader to seek revenge. Rice said that Putin is an “eye for an eye” kind of person and that he was out to hurt Clinton in order to prove that America could also have flawed elections.

“With Vladimir Putin, this was an eye for an eye. He’s an eye for an eye kind of person, and Hillary Clinton criticized his election. Now he wants to show that he can sow chaos in ours.”


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Condi is wrong on several counts.

1. Hillary commented (no she did not “meddle” – that is something different but back to that later) on the 2010 Russian parliamentary elections not Putin’s 2012 presidential election.

In her memoir of her State Department years, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton portrays Putin’s worldview as “shaped by his admiration of the powerful czars of Russian history” and his view of geopolitics as a zero-sum game. Following the December 2010 parliamentary elections in Russia, widespread reports of fraud brought tens of thousands of protestors out into the frigid Russian streets. Hillary recalls stating, “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted…. That means they deserve fair, free, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.” She goes on to describe Putin blaming her for “setting the tone” for the widespread demonstrations that followed the elections. Nothing in Hillary’s memoir nor elsewhere  provides any account of Hillary speaking out against Putin’s 2012 reelection or any protests, for that matter.

2.  Hillary Clinton was not “meddling” when she made her comments. This is meddling. As secretary of state, Hillary was well within her “paygrade” to make a comment regarding elections and unrest in another country.

3. Victim-blaming is always a cheap shot and always wrong! It is especially disturbing coming from a former secretary of state about her successor. I have this quote in the right sidebar here. It bears repetition. “What I have always found is that when it comes to foreign policy, it is important to remember that politics stops at the water’s edge.” -HRC 11-04-10. Had Condi remained at the State Department in December 2010, she, too, would have been expected to comment on the elections and protests in Russia – especially given her academic background. Would her remarks have been so different?

The cyber attacks against independent election observers that Hillary describes in Chapter 11 of Hard Choices foreshadow some of what we saw happen here in 2016. Some. But not all. Not the worst. We also deserve fair, free, transparent elections and commentary about a foreign country from a candidate never justifies elements from that country interfering in our elections in any way.

Reuters Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets with President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton at the State Department.


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The news, yesterday, of Mueller’s  indictment of 13 Russian nationals who impersonated Americans on social media for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential election should serve as a reminder and a warning.  ABC News reports that Rod Rosentein remarked “This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the internet. The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence and democracy. We must not allow them to succeed.” (Please note his use of the simple present tense: “want to.”)

The creation and proliferation of “U.S. personae,” as referred to in the indictment, is not simply a matter of history or current events. The indictment validates what we have long suspected based on the Steele memos.


Russia also helped Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein in election

Michael Collins, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – It turns out Donald Trump wasn’t the only candidate the Russians allegedly tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign.

A 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation shows that Russian nationals and businesses also worked to boost the campaigns of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued Friday.

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These “U.S. personae”  also are and should be of concern for the future with midterm elections coming up this year and one 2020 presidential campaign already launched (Trump’s).

Otherwise intelligent people have questioned why I am concerned about foreign agents posing as Americans passionately imploring Hillary Clinton to run again in 2020.  They don’t see the inherent flaw and hypocrisy in prosecuting Trump forces for Russian influence peddling and turning a blind eye to an eastern European entity doing the same thing on the Dem side – specifically, repeatedly calling on HRC to run again and using the hashtag #Hillary2020 on every post. They do not see the peril in recruiting potentially hundreds of thousands to a false campaign claiming that only one person can cure our ills. That alone should set off bells and whistles. When did we hear that before? From whom? Trump!

One particular foreign entity was recently appointed “administrator” at a Hillary Clinton Facebook page boasting 165K “likes.” Think of the damage possible. This is not simply a campaign that will end in disappointment for many. It is crafted to engender rage and division within the party when Hillary does not run.

I was gratified to see this article since it coincides with what I have been saying in my own series of troll chronicles. Often it is the tiny function words that non-native speakers get wrong.

The Slatest

The FBI special counsel’s Friday indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three companies including a notorious online troll farm did a few things: It revealed that the surge of grass-roots organizing for the 2016 presidential election was at least partly astroturf. It confirmed that the whirligig of ire directed at Hillary Clinton was not completely genuine. And it reasserted the importance of correct grammar.

The indictment includes charges against Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov and Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik for creating aliases like “Matt Skiber” and “joshmilton024@gmail.com,” part of an alleged effort to organize anti-Clinton rallies and wire money to unwitting U.S. collaborators. The social media campaign was vast: One agent bragged about creating “all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”

It was altogether an impressive undertaking. But while Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reminded us that “people are not always who they appear on the Internet,” maybe we should have known. It wouldn’t have taken the FBI: A fastidious English major could have seen the Russians’ inexplicable capitalizations, stiff sentences, and missing articles.

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OK! I plead guilty. I was an English major as an undergrad and taught high school English back when we still devoted some hours of every week to grammar instruction. I followed that up with doctoral studies in applied linguistics. As a linguist, I am a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist – that simply means I am not a member of the uniformed grammar police. Nevertheless, as I have mentioned in the troll chronicles, language usage provides a powerful clue in sniffing out false U.S. personae.

Here are a few annotated examples of Facebook posts by the pro-Hillary Hungarian troll I have been investigating. Bolded emphasis is mine.

Our Hillary, the doer she is, already has a vision of a better future and she warns us we all need to show up at the polls and vote blue¹. Mama is delighted and proud to see that Women’s March had drawn² millions of protesters, she says women are strong and resilient. Women of all colors and ages had enough², and together we are unstoppable. Mama’s hometown, Chicago as well as Los Angeles and even Texas saw a record number of protesters, and we expect to see a beautiful #BlueTsunami in the fall of 2018. We learned resilience from Hillary, from the way she stood her ground through the hard-fought campaign. Protesters say that the majority wore Hillary gears³ – thank you for the wonderful news, Lisa Leikus. #Hillary2020 #Onward #PowerToThePolls

¹ We see many instances of 1st person plural pronouns implying that the writer is a U.S. voter.

² Two inappropriate uses of the past perfect tense which normally indicates an action that began and was completed in the past. In the first instance, the present perfect would have been the choice of a native speaker who knows that the “drawing” is not complete and continues in the present. In the second instance the same is true. “Women have had enough.” The present perfect would have been the choice of a native speaker since this state continues in the present.

³ They were not wearing Hillary “gears” unless they were wearing analog Hillary Clinton watches. They were wearing Hillary gear – a mass noun (non-count) including all manner of clothing and accessories associated with any of Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns. Mass nouns operate as if singular.

THIS. This is Hillary gear.

Image result for images of gears

NOT THESE. These are gears.

January 31

Our beautiful Hillary should hold a State of Union speech today, since the sane majority wants her. The psychopath is already plagiarizing her! Why would any of us watch him or click on the news that feature him? Like Auntie Maxine said, “I do not trust him, I will not listen to his lies, he does not deserve my attention.” Plus, the lowest rating views he get, the less support he will receive* from American press. It will also hurt his fragile ego. Let’s skip everything that features Trump! Hear the lies already? Clean coal does not exist, and no, the economy is not booming, the dollar’s value is steadily down since Trump occupied the White House, and the Trump bubble will burst. Plus, unlike Bill and Obama, he will increase debt and deficit. #Hillary2020 #StillStanding #StillWithHill

*Native speakers would have opted for the comparative rather than the superlative here, and there is the issue of subject-verb agreement – “he gets” not “he get.”

Our beautiful Hillary was sharp, smart, and straightforward at the Makers Conference. She warned us to #VoteBlue in the midterm elections to make a difference – we must remember how crucial it is, our future depends on it. Mama warns us that we see an all-out attack against democracy and a war on facts, truth, and reason, and the only way to defend ourself for a brighter future is to vote. We also need more women in politics – we already say a record number of women running for office, thanks to Hillary. Nobody did more for the safety and dignity of women than Hillary Rodham Clinton. #Hillary2020 #Onward

All those first person reference words!!!! And there is that incongruous singular form of a plural reflexive pronoun: ourselves not ourself.

From today: February 17

It is official now, at least 13 Russian persons were involved with Trump’s hate-filled campaign against our Hillary. The Russians used false American personas, false Facebook accounts and false email addresses. Campaign rallies that featured an actress, Hillary in prison uniform, were organized by Russians. Hillary warned us in advance, saying 17 intelligence agencies warned us against Russia’s suspicious moves. Mama also gave us an insight in her What Happened. Thank goodness for Robert Mueller who casts lights in the shadows*, it is frightening what we find there. Those who accused us of making up the Russian interference story must feel embarrassed by now. #Hillary2020 #HillaryWarnedUs #Onward

*I can’t even! The irony of this post! And, of course, there is another issue of a mass noun – light – being treated as a count noun.

Another grammatical indicator of a foreign troll is the linguistic variation exhibited by these entities indicating multiple writers on a single page or a feed from a managing source mixed with commentary by an individual. Some posts are letter perfect while others contain language usages atypical of native speakers. Other dead giveaways at this particular page:

1/ Ignorance of our bicameral legislature – “she” doesn’t know Senators from Congressional representatives. They are all “leaders.” Why bother with specifics?

2/ Timing. It took her six days to figure out that we had elections in November.

3/ Some picked up the “mama” references from the getgo. Americans do not call HRC “mama.”

4/ If you go back far enough, you will see that “she” apparently never heard of Hillary Clinton until 2015.

I am cognizant that there are bona fide American voters whose English is not perfect. My point here is that language usage is a clue. Having picked up these clues, I did confront this persona via a series of private exchanges. The nationality I guessed was verified. I encouraged  a change of pronouns contending that the use of the first person was a lie that encouraged readers to infer that they were interacting with an American.  That was when “she” shut me down by blocking me. I remain unsure that this is a she. It may be a they, and they may include a few “he”s. I can say this: when confronted, first she argues by trying to justify or rationalize the error in the post. After 4 exchanges or so, she employs the Kellyanne Conway strategy in reverse. When Kellyanne is backed into a corner, she switches to the “What about Hillary?” mode. This troll switches to the “You must be a Trump supporter” mode.

The objection is not that she is a foreign national. The objection is that she is impersonating an American while:

1. Encouraging protest against Democrats other than HRC,

2. Attacking U.S. law enforcement,

3. Running polls to collect data on American voters,

4. Encouraging Americans to react online to fake news, e.g. the market “crash.” If it is wrong for Trump & Co. to benefit from Russian intrusion, it should be equally repugnant for our side to encourage Hungarian intervention.

To be clear: The objection is not to a foreigner supporting Hillary. The objection is to a foreigner impersonating an American and “guiding” American voters.

It all goes to show you the power of the little words. The function words that seem so obvious to native speakers can be challenge for English language learners. For trolls, they can also be a hidden weapon to be deployed at a strategic moment in the future when, once again, we will wonder what hit us.

If you remember how you felt late on Election night 2016, be very wary of trolls like this. If we want to unseat Donald Trump, buying into a fake Hillary Clinton campaign is the surest path to defeat. That is the power of “we.”


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Everyone knows that Catholics confess. Not everyone knows that, before they do, they perform an examination of conscience: a mental inventory of their sins. It is a purposeful, conscious act. But it is not the only way for the conscience to bring past failures to the surface. Conversations revisiting the past can serve that purpose. Apparently that is what happened to Jeffrey Toobin.

Before posting this, I want to say that, among media personalities, Toobin is one that I found least offensive in the 2015-2016 election cycle, yet he feels some guilt.

Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on stage during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis in October 2016. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)

So long as President Trump continues disgracing the Oval Office, thoughtful people will probe their own role in helping him get there.

Such appeared to be the motivation behind a mea culpa issued by CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on comedian Larry Wilmore’s “Black on the Air” podcast. In a discussion of presidential politics, Wilmore argued that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, was the victim of a “coordinated attack” coming from Republicans. “Benghazi was … the expression of that attack. In fact, what’s his name, was it [former Rep. Jason] Chaffetz who actually kind of agreed that that’s what they were doing, was weakening her as a candidate.” (Wilmore may have been referring to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who said in 2015, ““Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”)

No question about the attack on Clinton, responded Toobin, citing “all that bogus stuff about the Clinton Foundation” — perhaps a reference to the Uranium One story or even to the pre-election reporting of Bret Baier — later withdrawn — that there would be an indictment relating to the foundation.

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Perhaps it is time for other media personalities to examine their roles in the avalanche of false equivalences that preoccupied reportage during the election cycle. After all, their “normal” role is to communicate postions on issues and policies put forth by candidates. There was an imbalance to these false equivalences. Trump’s bad behavior and prejudices were right out front for all to see. Of course they merited reporting. Bells and whistles should have gone off when the negatives they reported on the other side were obscure and lacked evidence.

Donald Trump was an unusually immoral candidate. Reporting his indiscretions and outrageous remarks should not have precipitated a hunt for transgressions on the other side so assiduous as to co-opt fictions being circulated by questionable sources. Their normal job should have been to question those sources and to report the excellent and extensive policies and plans Hillary Clinton was outlining at every campaign stop.

It is time for all of them to examine their consciences. We can thank Jeffrey Toobin for leading the way.



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What a week! Talk about men who crucified Hillary getting their #JustDesserts! #PoeticJustice! #Karma!





Kushner Is Said to Have Ordered Flynn to Contact Russia

by Eli Lake @elilake More stories by Eli Lake

National Security

Now that the retired general has pleaded guilty, the president’s son-in-law could be one of the next dominoes to fall.

Jared Kushner back when he was willing to be photographed next to Mike Flynn.Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea Friday for lying to the FBI is alarming news for Donald Trump. But the first person it’s likely to jeopardize will be the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Two former officials with the Trump transition team who worked closely with Flynn say that during the last days of the Obama administration, the retired general was instructed to contact foreign ambassadors and foreign ministers of countries on the United Nations Security Council, ahead of a vote condemning Israeli settlements. Flynn was told to try to get them to delay that vote until after President Barack Obama had left office, or oppose the resolution altogether.

That is relevant now because one of Flynn’s lies to the FBI was when he said that he never asked Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, to delay the vote for the UN Security Council resolution. The indictment released today from the office of special prosecutor Robert Mueller describes this lie: “On or about December 22, 2016, Flynn did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.”

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To everyone feeling surprised, disappointed, or even sorry that Matt Lauer has met his deserved fate, perhaps you missed this event last year. Reposted from last September. #JustDesserts #Karma #PoeticJustice

Rereading this,  I remembered how furious I was that night.

Hillary was the first candidate to appear at the MSNBC/NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum tonight.  Matt Lauer began with a question about what Hillary saw as the most important characteristic for Commander-in-Chief.  Hillary replied: steadiness.

Our next Commander-in-Chief needs to have the steadiness, strength, and judgment to make life and death decisions.

Then Lauer launched into the emails. Hillary re-explained for the nth time the classification markings. Then came the Iraq war vote.  Hillary explained that succinctly and went on to speak about her record on her broader work on legislation for the military. Said she views force as a last resort.

Hillary has spent decades fighting for veterans, members of the military, and their families.

Re: Iran nuclear deal “if Iran cheats.”  Hillary pulled that deal back into context and provided a rationale for putting together the coalition and imposing the sanctions.

“I will not let the VA be privatized.” —Hillary

We need to do everything we can to remove barriers to the health care our veterans need—whether physical or mental.

Unlike her opponent, Hillary’s plan to defeat ISIS is not a secret.

It should be noted that Hillary popped up out of her seat, stood, and walked while addressing questions several times.  Trump remained enthroned throughout.  So much for the question of who has stamina and who does not.

Trump came on and spoke at length about Hillary and President Obama when he was told not to.  He also informed all and sundry that Iraq has oil!  He said people do not know that.  Really?  Most kids entering 5th grade this week know that as they also knew before his “big reveal” in Detroit that Abe Lincoln was a Republican.  What is wrong with him? He seems uneducated even at a basic level. That or he thinks we are.  So supercilious.  So arrogant.  So infuriating!

Trump was allowed to bash Hillary and President Obama throughout and even compared President Obama unfavorably to Vladimir Putin and accepted Putin’s compliment about him.  That was disgusting!

Lauer was exceptionally contentious with Hillary and repeatedly interrupted her especially when she referred to Trump.  He was very lenient with Trump’s attacks on Hillary.  He made no effort to control that and allowed Trump to misquote her.  Hillary never said the plan to privatize the VA was Trump’s plan.  She said there is a plan, not that it was his plan, but is supported by him. We all know Trump doesn’t have any plans!  And why was he allowed to hear everything Hillary said???? What???

In the post-forum analysis, very smart people do not know what Trump means by “take the oil.”  What do you mean “What does he mean?????”  ISIS knows what he means!

And there is this!

Trump cites resignation of Mexican official as proof his Mexico visit was successful

Donald Trump pointed to the resignation earlier Wednesday of a high-ranking Mexican official as proof that his trip to Mexico last week was a success.“If you look at what happened, look at the aftermath today, the people who arranged the trip in Mexico have been forced out of government,” Trump said in a commander-in-chief forum hosted by NBC News in New York. “That’s how well we did, and that’s how well we’re going to do have to do.”

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My final two cents: Matt Lauer was a terrible choice for moderator, and he performed pretty much as we knew he would.  I would have been happier with Lester Holt or Joy Reid.  OK three cents: I blame the Republican Party for Donald Trump. Not that Cruz or Rubio would have been better, but there were sane traditionalists there, Jeb, Kasich, Lindsey. You gave us this guy to contend with and even you all don’t want him!

Here is an annotated transcript from WaPo.

The first Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump showdown of 2016, annotated

By Aaron Blake, Amber Phillips and Callum Borchers September 7

Hillary’s campaign would like you to see this:

Is Donald Trump ready to be our next Commander-in-Chief?

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un will be rooting for him tonight.

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No, not the impeachment you are thinking of and hoping for. Some people want Hillary Clinton impeached. Jimmy Kimmel had his reporter on the street asking folks.

Published on Nov 15, 2017

After public encouragement from Donald Trump, the Department of Justice is reportedly deciding whether or not to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton. Trump and his supporters are so very passionate about Hillary Clinton, it seems like maybe they forgot she lost. She is not the President but we went out on the street and asked people if Hillary Clinton should be impeached. She does not have a job but did that stop people from demanding she be removed from office?


It has been a year since the 2016 presidential election and it seems some Americans are still a little confused about the result. Newsflash: Hillary Clinton is not president, therefore she cannot be impeached.

But don’t let that stop you from trying, folks. On Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the comedian took to the streets to reveal that an inordinate number of Americans want Clinton impeached.

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It’s gallows humor to be sure. Certainly if she were president there would be an effort underway that would be further along the road than current actual efforts against Trump are, although this just happened.


The thing to keep in mind here is that these people are American voters! Chew on that!

In the same vein, yesterday, while grilling AG Jeff Sessions, Illinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez suggested that he would ask Hillary to resign if Sessions would make the same request of Trump.



Gutiérrez to ask Hillary to resign so country can move on

By Nikki Schwab, U.s. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat, had a creative way to kill off the probes into President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton taking place on Capitol Hill.

‘I’ll go to Hillary Clinton and you can go to Donald Trump and we’ll tell them both to resign,’ he said, looking at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was testifying today before the House Judiciary Committee. ‘Then we can move on as a nation from an election that never seems to end.’

Gutiérrez added that his ‘solution’ would ‘save the American taxpayers a lot of grief and a lot of money by eliminating the need for the investigations.’


‘Now, I did Google organizations that Hillary Clinton leads and came up zero,’ he noted. ‘So I’m not quite sure what you’re going to get her to resign from because she doesn’t appear to be in charge of anything.’

Read more and see video >>>>

Nevertheless, she persists. As she told an enthusiastic audience at UVA yesterday, she is not going anywhere!

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Interesting, disconcerting, upsetting, disappointing, and depressing to see some longtime Democratic veterans engaging negatively in an unsourced (as is the practice) post by a pro-Hillary eastern European troll discrediting Joe Biden. This is but one of the dangers of trolls writ large, broad, and general. Not just anti-Hillary trolls. Pro-Hillary trolls, too.

Trolls target emotions and get visceral responses. It’s their MO. In the long run, this can be damaging to the party and to future primaries no matter how the Unity Reform Commission transforms the primary process. Trolls can, as we saw last year, influence the vote and interfere with the democratic process. The bottom line is that this borders on illegal. The fact that the troll is for Hillary should be irrelevant.

Here are some comments made by Joe Biden this morning.

Joe Biden has insisted that under no circumstances would he have agreed to replace Hillary Clinton last year as the Democratic presidential nominee running against Donald Trump.

The former US vice-president was asked about former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile’s book, Hacks, which says she considered replacing Clinton with Biden because of health concerns, particularly after the nominee suffered a fainting spell at a 9/11 anniversary commemoration in New York.

Biden told NBC’s Today show on Monday: “I give you my word, the first time I or any of my staff heard of anything about that was in the book, number one. And number two, I would never have taken it.”

He added: “I was for Hillary. I did 83 campaign events for Hillary. I think I can say I did more events and worked as hard for Hillary as anyone else. She would have been a first-rate president.”

Has Joe made critical comments about Hillary’s campaign? Sure. He said it lacked joy, a subjective judgment with which campaign staff, volunteers, rally attendees, and voters disagree strongly. (He was never at any of our parties.) He also said there was no discussion of issues.” That simply is not true. The evidence is here on this blog as well as at Hillary’s website ,which is promoted by the best indexsy seo company. The truth is that the media chose to focus on emails and bogus health reports rather than on the issues she spoke about routinely on the trail. We can agree to disagree with him on these remarks.

Here is the portion of a Facebook post that elicited a firestorm of negativity against Vice President Joe Biden today.

Joe Biden publicly adored Hillary all the time when she had great chances (yes, great chances) to be POTUS, and now that she is robbed, he turns against her? It is hypocrisy and backstabbing in my book. Plus, horrible tactics: Hillary fans are the majority.

Minus a single quote from him or a link to a story attributing remarks, Facebook friends came down on Joe Biden like Sharknado based solely on this Facebook character’s allegations.


Aside from the fact that Americans for Hillary object strenuously to being called “fans” since we worked our hearts out, voted for her,  and consider ourselves supporters, the problem here is two-fold.

  1. There are no links to remarks indicating that Biden has “turned against” Hillary. This source routinely eschews posting links. Readers are supposed to trust “her” as the source. The Facebook character who posted this offered no basis for the “report.” (I am not certain “she” is not a coalition, i.e. electronic troll farm, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that her name is also the name of a fictional character.)
  2. That Facebook character is neither a Democrat nor even an American. Technically, a foreign agent has no business influencing any Americans regarding any internal issues be they national or partisan.

As to the first issue, a few commenters asked for links to source material on this subject or argued with the assessment. One who asked for a source was told to “Look around on the news, it is everywhere that he is criticizing Hillary, AGAIN.”  (Let me remind you, this account is operating out of eastern Europe.) A few objected to the effort to sow discord within the party. One chap said the discussion was getting “too tribal” for him. A few, having heard Biden’s remarks, said they did not interpret recent remarks as negative. Another veteran handful tried to argue that Hillary, in fact, has no intention of running again, to the chagrin of the character in charge of that page.

The overwhelming majority, however, went after Biden ruthlessly. (Think kids with tin cans at the end of “Suddenly Last Summer.”)

On the second issue, there is much to be wary of. There is no reason why a foreign fan of Hillary’s cannot say “we Hillary fans” or “we Hillary supporters.” Lots of my friends are foreign nationals who like Hillary but do not refer to themselves as “we Democrats” or imply by omission that they are Americans. They do not say “We (emphasis mine) however have a candidate to vote for in 2020 and IT IS HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON.” This character does that regularly leading friends to believe that they are interacting with an American who lives here and can vote. Untrue on both counts. This is a foreign agent.

Aside from the deception and subterfuge, which is despicable, there is the emotional impact a post like this delivers. The Facebook friends have faith that these comments 1)come from an American and 2)are true.

That troll stirred up a mighty reaction against Vice President Joe Biden today. Think about that. Digest it. It was an attack by a foreign agent on a former vice president of our nation who is now a private citizen not running for any office.  Anything here sound familiar? This actually qualifies as a border skirmish in the cyberwar we fight with outside infiltrators. Chew on that.

When no one but Hillary Clinton is an acceptable candidate, the clear objective of this troll account, there are a few imaginable ways, none of which I choose to entertain, to throw this nation into chaos such as we have yet to see although we thought we had seen it all.

In the end, for me it is interesting, disconcerting, upsetting, disappointing, and depressing that smart, battle-tested veterans of campaigns take this bait. It is divisive and dangerous for Democrats, for the party, for Americans, and for future elections.

It imperils the nation when politically aware people cannot see that they are being played by a troll even when five full days after Election Day that character finally but vaguely refers to “the Blue Wave of the last few days,” and no one catches on.

We know exactly when we saw that Blue Wave. We can pinpoint it. It was last Tuesday night and most of us were up late on social media posting and celebrating.

It did not take us until Sunday to know about it or to mention it. We whooped and hollered and drank all kinds of Chardonnay and other spirits. It did not take days. We knew right away that night. We exploded the social nets with it.

So what kind of comment is that? It is a troll comment from someone who had no idea that we were even having elections here.

Disinformation on this account has been called out in the past. The reaction is never to correct the original statement but rather to blow off the truth and then act hurt. Saying you “try to be as accurate as possible” doesn’t cut it when you refuse to be accurate about who and where you are.

You don’t like backstabbers? I don’t like liars … especially when they stab other Democrats in the back with lies.


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