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In her book, What Happened, Hillary Clinton discusses Russian interference in our election. She speaks of the the Wikileaks release of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and her campaign chair, John Podesta’s, emails. Some of these emails were altered in the Wikileaks version of the document dump. The objective was to make it appear that the DNC conspired with Hillary’s campaign to defeat Bernie Sanders.

Portions of these emails were then posted on social media platforms targeted to reach Bernie Sanders supporters after Hillary Clinton’s nomination was secured. The objective here, now that we were out of the primary season and into the general, was to sway Bernie voters and Indies away from “unscrupulous” Hillary and the Dems and toward Trump.

Congressional committees are pursuing investigations into the Russia question bilaterally. Several top Republicans have said that this is necessary since the next time it could be their party that is targeted. Hillary quotes James Comey as testifying that this is not a Democrat or Republican thing. That it is an American thing. That they are “coming after America,” and they will do it again.

I wonder if the Republicans are thinking deeply enough. I wonder if they are asking themselves how they ended up with Trump in the first place.

It can’t possibly be that Hillary Clinton and we, her team, were the only people who suffered a late night shock. There were 16 Republican candidates. Some of them, surely, had a primary night they thought they would win handily and did not. How did that happen?

Is it possible that the same forces that manipulated voters in the general election also manipulated Republican primary voters? What do Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich think of this possibility? Does Cary Fiorina really believe she was shoved aside only because she was a woman? Do the Bushes believe Jeb lost because, as Barb said, “Enough Bushes?”

If the Russians managed to manipulate the general election, should we not, down the line, also discover what role they might have played in Trump’s nomination?

It’s an important question. I believe Hillary Clinton had an excellent chance to win against all of those candidates. Each of them thought he/she was the most formidable to face the Democratic nominee. They would not have run to begin with if they did not.

With Mueller’s inquiry evidently reaching into the past well beyond the 2015-2016 election season, you have to wonder. Have the Russians been grooming Trump for many years? If so, was their only target over a two-year period Hillary Clinton? Or were Trump’s Republican opponents also targets of Russian interference?

The inquiries and investigations are only beginning with the Russian effect on the general election. The other question is whether they picked the Republican nominee. If the Republicans are not thinking about this, they should. How else is it possible that Donald Trump, known wheeler-dealer, dead-beat boss, shell game realtor, and political flip-flopper managed to beat out that field of 16?

I hope the Republicans are not focusing only on the forest and missing the foreign entities disguised as trees. (Same goes for the Dems, but I hope they are two or three steps ahead of me here).

 

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Steve Bannon may be gone from the Oval Office, but Breitbart, where he landed on his feet, loomed large in defeating our Hillary Clinton online offensive in 2016. Those of us on the social media campaign bus tried our best to get Hillary Clinton’s message out. When you look at the first few graphics in this report, you may be stunned, as I was, at how little media attention her issues received.

The study illuminates the degree to which opposing sides used social media differently – and postulates as to why. It also shows which major media sources played important roles and how we, the electorate, used them. That Breitbart even figured in as “major” came as a surprise to me.

I am neither a data analyst nor a campaign strategist. I am not sure what we could have done differently based on the results of this study. What I do see is that we failed to battle the Breitbart offensive effectively. It was astoundingly successful. Click on the upper right link on the page to download the full pdf text.

Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Title: Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Author: Benkler, Yochai; Roberts, Hal; Faris, Robert M.; Etling, Bruce; Zuckerman, Ethan; Bourassa, NikkiNote: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
Citation: Faris, Robert M., Hal Roberts, Bruce Etling, Nikki Bourassa, Ethan Zuckerman, and Yochai Benkler. 2017. Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society Research Paper.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: In this study, we analyze both mainstream and social media coverage of the 2016 United States presidential election. We document that the majority of mainstream media coverage was negative for both candidates, but largely followed Donald Trump’s agenda: when reporting on Hillary Clinton, coverage primarily focused on the various scandals related to the Clinton Foundation and emails. When focused on Trump, major substantive issues, primarily immigration, were prominent. Indeed, immigration emerged as a central issue in the campaign and served as a defining issue for the Trump campaign.

We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.

Our data supports lines of research on polarization in American politics that focus on the asymmetric patterns between the left and the right, rather than studies that see polarization as a general historical phenomenon, driven by technology or other mechanisms that apply across the partisan divide.

The analysis includes the evaluation and mapping of the media landscape from several perspectives and is based on large-scale data collection of media stories published on the web and shared on Twitter.

Read the full report – click the Download Full Text link >>>>

There were stories here that I never encountered, e.g. the one about immigrants with “blistering STDs.”

There are lessons here. Maybe our team did not spend enough time in the slime of the opposition websites to battle their disgusting lies. We thought the opposition, like us, actually accessed traditional sources, which, as the study shows, did not give Hillary’s issues any kind of fair hearing because, you know, her emails!

I must thank Jen Michigander for sharing this study with me. She is the intrepid one who has spent a lot of time moving among the shadows at the opposition pages.

 

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This article is not new. It dates back to the end of March. In light of this past weekend in Charlottesville, it merits another look. A pro-Bernie faction continues its attempts to muscle into leadership roles in the Democratic party while Sanders himself remains stubbornly an Independent (which is fine with us since we do not want him in the party). They disparage true Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Jon Ossoff  and parrot Bernie’s inflammatory and untrue words, believe propaganda generated abroad, and threaten the very breadth of the party with extreme policy demands. (Bold emphasis below is mine.)

Sanders defends Trump voters: I don’t think they’re racists, sexists or homophobes

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) on Friday defended voters of President Trump, saying that the election was Democrats’ to lose and that the party needs to better represent the working-class voters who supported Trump and other GOP lawmakers

“Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there. Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with, it wasn’t that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election,” Sanders said while speaking at an Our Revolution rally in Boston with fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Sanders went on to say that a “fundamental restructuring of the Democratic party” was needed to win future elections and that problems with party’s current setup is why many were quick to support Trump in the election, not because of some of the rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Please do keep reading >>>>

On the trail, Hillary Clinton was fond of quoting Maya Angelou: “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” Then, she was applying that maxim to Trump.

In March, Bernie told us who he is. I missed this article the first time around, but we should look at it now and understand who Bernie is.

Over the past several days, Trump supporters have claimed on social media as well as IRL face to face with Trump protestors that they support Trump but are not racists or Nazis. The reply from the Resistance has been “Yes, you are.”

In March, Bernie said: “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there.” Been where? He neglected to clarify that. We can agree that there are probably people who voted for Trump who are not among those supporting him at his recent rallies and who would not participate in Nazi/KKK marches, but by not condemning those folks, their support is implicit. Bernie prefers to cut them slack rather than hold their feet to the fire.

As you see, he then went on to blame us for losing an election that was phenomenally well-supported, well-run, and ran the best-prepared, most thoroughly experienced candidate any of us had ever seen in our lives. I take exception to Bernie’s words! Not true!

A “perfect storm,” as Hillary has termed it, of influences and actions robbed the party of a victory and the country of the president we deserved.

Discord is a loaded term with a negative valence. We feel uncomfortable when it intrudes upon what we consider the normal flow of life. On the other hand, we live in a democracy and are accustomed to dealing with the messiness of it – including the inevitable discord and necessary compromise.

Accord, on the other hand has a positive valence. By trying to cozy up to the “populist” Trump supporters, Bernie has told us who he is. His “accord” with the Trump folks, however, is less than comforting or comfortable. He has told us who he is. We should believe him. He and his ilk have no place in our diverse party. Period.

Here’s Hillary. We are #StillWithHer.

Here is the text of her speech connecting Donald Trump to the alt-right.

Hillary Clinton in Reno

Here is her “deplorables” remark in context.

Statement from Hillary Clinton

I cannot suppress this addition.

Bernie Sanders Deletes Numerous Tweets That Blamed Trump for Charlottesville Violence

I come from a blue collar family – not elitist by any standard. My parents worked together in an aircraft plant until I was born. They scraped to send my sister and me to Catholic schools so, not by choice, I did study Latin.

“Alea jacta est.”

Loose translation: “If you are prominent in some way, your first tweet has been screen-saved by somebody.”

Latin is so succinct!

 

 

 

 

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Congrats to Adam Parkhomenko and Emmy Ruiz! It’s like old home week with Ruby Cramer breaking this story about our friends from the campaign trail. Great to see that Dennis Cheng is also there.

Hillary Clinton Hires Two Former Campaign Aides For “Resistance” PAC

Onward Together, the group formed earlier this year, has hired Emmy Ruiz and Adam Parkhomenko, veterans of both Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

Originally posted on August 4, 2017, at 6:31 p.m.
Updated on August 4, 2017, at 8:19 p.m.

With Adam and Emmy on board, the grassroots are sure to coalesce into a mighty engine ready to roll through the upcoming contests for statehouses and Congressional and Senatorial seats. All Aboard!

 

 

 

 

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There was some discussion over the weekend regarding remarks Chuck Schumer made last week. One reason I did not bring that up was that last we were also in the middle of a battle royal to preserve the ACA, and Senator Schumer was central to the effort to shepherd every Democratic vote – which he successfully did. In that context, I made a judgment call and decided not to distract from the important votes taking place in the Senate.  Some readers disagreed with me, but from my point of view, an angry rant from me probably would not have accomplished anything positive and could have distracted from the important work in the Senate last week.

Sometimes hesitation reaps rewards. Skilled teachers and actors know the value of a well-placed pause. While those are planned, this one turned out to be serendipitous. Also over the weekend, a petition popped up on Hillary Clinton Express that can accomplish far more than a rant from me. D Michael Sawyer posted this.

Hillary friends!
I’m asking for your support for this petition. It was developed by a friend who lead the effort in Knoxville. I helped draft some of the language here, particularly focusing on future candidates and 2018. It addresses schumer’s comments concerning hillary spoken last weekend. My friend who wrote this was a strong supporter for hillary in 08 and worked hard for her in 16, and we are all concerned what this attack on her will mean for both our democracy because we are signaling to to Republicans we will tolerate more investigations into her and to democratic women we are leaving a legacy of sexism. Please join us.

I think you will all agree that this petition is much more productive than any sputtering rant I might have posted, and the targets are Senator Schumer and the DNC.  They are looking for 500 signatures. Perhaps we can help them get even more!

Petitioning Senator Charles Schumer and 1 other

Tell Democratic Party leaders they must respect Hillary’s legacy!

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer chided Hillary Clinton for the loss to Trump in last year’s presidential election: “When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things – Comey, Russia – you blame yourself”. Sen. Schumer’s comments are coded sexism at its worst, part of a disturbing trend of disrespect toward Hillary taking hold in the Democratic Party leadership. Hillary’s campaign inspired millions of women to stand up, take power, and believe in their own potential. Most of the Democratic rank-and-file still support her. Hillary’s loss to someone as offensive as Trump proved that sexism is still alive and kicking. Instead of denouncing this injustice, Schumer wants Hillary to shut up, get lost, and blame herself for the discrimination and election interference that undermined her. As the highest-ranking leader of the Democratic Party in government, Sen. Schumer owes Hillary and the party more respect! Tearing down Hillary Clinton as a foundation for Democrats’ 2018 message supports and perpetuates sexism in the party and the nation and potentially undermines future campaigns of Democratic women. It offends the majority of Democrats who are still with her. Hillary did have an affirmative message, despite Schumer’s claims to the contrary. Most Democrats, women and men, still believe that we are “Stronger Together”. Schumer must reaffirm this message of unity by reversing his position on the reason for the Democrat’s loss. Sign this petition demanding that Schumer publicly acknowledge the historic importance of Hillary’s campaign and admit that un-examined sexism robbed her of victory.

This petition will be delivered to:

Sign the petition here >>>>

Thanks to Sarah Young for starting this petition and to D Michael Sawyer for posting it!

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When the POTUS is scheduled to speak to the Boy Scout Jamboree during the week his own administration has designated “American Heroes Week,” you would expect an inspiring speech citing a variety of patriotic historical figures and lessons young people can draw from their examples. It did not go that way. Instead Donald Trump used raw language, talked about yacht parties, and encouraged his teenaged audience to boo Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Most found it unseemly. Many were shocked. That was how the week began.

Then there was shock #2.

Some way to celebrate American heroes!

The blindsided Joint Chiefs and Pentagon, not to mention the rank and file, spent Wednesday and Thursday trying to untangle what those tweets were supposed to mean. Meanwhile, a great many Americans celebrated transgendered troops on the social nets. Protests are planned this weekend.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the Senate was preparing for a vote-a-rama intended by the Republicans to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act) also known as “Obamacare.” One by one the proposed Republican “bills” were defeated. The real action began late Thursday night with a defeated Democratic motion to move the bill to committee. When the last bill came up for a vote, it was after 1 a.m. EDT. This one, known as the “skinny repeal,” was simply a hollow shell.

There was high drama on the Senate floor. Pence appeared and conferred with John McCain. Observers speculated about the conversations, body language, gestures as senators milled around on the floor. Shock and awe! In the end, three courageous Republicans, one a veteran the other two women, voted against the bad bill. The Democrats voted against it in lock step.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, closeup

So thank you, John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski!  Thank you also, all the Democrats who voted against this potentially harmful bill. You are American heroes! You saved health insurance for millions.

Let’s be clear on this too: none of this would have happened had it not been for the grassroots. Thank you, everyone who made phone calls, went to town halls, demonstrated at the Capitol and legislators’ offices, sent emails, and signed petitions. Thank you to the Resistance! American heroes!

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton congratulates President Barack Obama on the House vote to pass health care reform, prior to a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, March 22, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“American Heroes Week” was full of surprises, some awesome, some shocking and confusing.

We lost a four-legged war hero this week too. See the touching story of USMC Corporal Jeff De Young and his  partner, Cena – a bomb sniffing dog.

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Those watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu cannot be faulted for thinking they might be living a cyncial version of the old 1940s “Road” pictures with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. (Who gave her that name?!) A movie called “The Road to Gilead.” Emily Peck has other ideas, but there are portents that cannot be denied.

Women In The U.S. Don’t Live In A Dystopian Hellscape. Yet.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” resonates, but there’s reason for hope.

Peck is pretty optimistic positing that the road to Gilead is fraught with lots of potholes and obstructions, but we do well not to focus too narrowly on the falling rock on one side of the highway thereby missing the sheer cliff on the other side.

I am not watching “The Handmaid’s Tale,” much as I would like to. I simply refuse to pay another dollar beyond my already expensive FiOS service, so Hulu and Netflix are out for me.  I have, however, read the book. The coincidence of the airing of the mini-series with the Democratic “Unity Tour” should set off some bells and whistles.

This is the axiom Peck offers that Bernie supporters continue to reject.

“Progress does not happen in a straight line. Setbacks are inevitable. What’s critical is what comes next.”

They rejected it during the 2016 primaries renouncing any and all incremental policies proposed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and stubbornly continued their opposition during the general election.  They persist in their unwillingness to allow the Democratic Party to evolve naturally and have set out to take it over and overturn the common sense principles that have been its warp and woof since the groundbreaking days of FDR.  Rather than empowering women, the party is rolling back its liberating positions on women under the influence of a man who refuses to join the party.  No, this is not a relitigation or extension of the 2016 primaries.  It is a fight for the future.

The parallels between the dystopia Atwood projected and perceived potential effects of the new administration are not limited to Trump’s positions and those of his cronies. The BernieBros continue to have a hand in suppressing female issues, concerns, and voices within the only party likely to continue to highlight them.

Women have a stake in resisting efforts on either side to curtail our rights and freedoms. Resisters must do it for ourselves.  But we must be careful not to lose the party.  That is where the strength is.  The reason the BernieBots are fighting to usurp that power is because they know that a third party will have no muscle except to do what they have done in 2000 and 2016 – split the progressive vote.

We must remember that there was a reason why, at the end of her senior thesis, Hillary Clinton spurned Saul Alinsky’s methods (i.e. change from without the system rather than within) as well as the job he offered her and opted for the discipline of law school instead.  We have to be in it to win it.

Leaving the party  is no solution.  Think hard before you do that because it is not only the Trump crowd that would happily see us in shades of red, blue, green, and stripes according to their designations of how we serve.  We cannot determine our fate from the outside.  The Bernie crowd knows this, and that is why they fight to take over the party.  Let’s not just abandon it to them.

Crossposted at The Department of Homegirl Security.

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