Archives for category: Clinton

 

 

James Dowson, an extremist in Britain, ran a pro-Trump, anti-Hillary website, spreading fake news and conspiracy theories.

 

 

The Patriot News Agency website popped up in July, soon after it became clear that Donald J. Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination, bearing a logo of a red, white and blue eagle and the motto “Built by patriots, for patriots.”

 

Tucked away on a corner of the site, next to links for Twitter and YouTube, is a link to another social media platform that most Americans have never heard of: VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It is a clue that Patriot News, like many sites that appeared out of nowhere and pumped out pro-Trump hoaxes tying his opponent Hillary Clinton to Satanism, pedophilia and other conspiracies, is actually run by foreigners based overseas.

 

But while most of those others seem be the work of young, apolitical opportunists cashing in on a conservative appetite for viral nonsense, operators of Patriot News had an explicitly partisan motivation: getting Mr. Trump elected.

 

Patriot News — whose postings were viewed and shared tens of thousands of times in the United States — is among a constellation of websites run out of the United Kingdom that are linked to James Dowson, a far-right political activist who advocated Britain’s exit from the European Union and is a fan of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. A vocal proponent of Christian nationalist, anti-immigrant movements in Europe, Mr. Dowson, 52, has spoken at a conference of far-right leaders in Russia and makes no secret of his hope that Mr. Trump will usher in an era of rapprochement with Mr. Putin.

 

His dabbling in the American presidential election adds an ideological element that has been largely missing from the still-emerging landscape of websites and Facebook pages that bombarded American voters with misinformation and propaganda. Far from the much-reported Macedonian teenagers running fake news factories solely for profit, Mr. Dowson made it his mission, according to messages posted on one of his sites, to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.”

 

He said his mission was to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites.”
“Together, people like us helped change the course of history,” one message said, adding in another: “Every single one of you who forwarded even just one of our posts on social media contributed to the stunning victory for Trump, America and God.”

 

In a recent email interview from Belgrade, where he has met with Serbian nationalists, Mr. Dowson explained how his decision to establish an American social media presence was similar to the move into European markets by Breitbart News, the conservative provocateur media operation run by Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist.

 

“Simple truth is that after 40 years of the right having no voice because the media was owned by the enemy, we were FORCED to become incredibly good at alternative media in a way the left simply can’t grasp or handle,” Mr. Dowson said. “Bottom line is: BREXIT, TRUMP and much more to follow.”

 

While it is easy to overstate the influence of fringe elements whose overall numbers remain very small, the explosion of fake news and propaganda sites and their possible impact on the presidential election have ignited alarm across the American political spectrum. A recent study found that most people who read fabricated stories on Facebook — such as a widely circulated hoax about Pope Francis endorsing Mr. Trump — were inclined to believe them.

 

Then there is the added element of Russian meddling. The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Moscow put its thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump through the release of hacked Democratic emails, which provided fodder for many of the most pernicious false attacks on Mrs. Clinton on social media.

 

Some of those attacks found a home on Russian websites such as the one for Katehon, a right-wing Christian think tank aligned with Mr. Putin. Katehon recirculated anti-Clinton conspiracies under headlines like “Bloody Hillary: 5 Mysterious Murders Linked to Clinton.”

At last count, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 2.7 million votes. She won 48.2% of the popular vote to his 46.2%. This is unprecedented. Never has the loser had a lead of 2.7 million votes over the winner.

 

It is time to abolish the Electoral College.

 

When people say that the Electoral College protects sparsely populated states against domination by the big cities, I say hogwash.

 

Why should the vote of someone in a rural area count more than the vote of someone in a big city?

 

Democracy means one person, one vote. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

The Electoral College is a vestige of a mindset that feared democracy, that sought mechanisms to protect against the rule of “the mob.” The Electoral College was designed to protect the power of the slave-holding states. Read law professor Paul Finkelman’s essay on “The Proslavery Origins of the Electoral College.” See also this article in The Nation.

 

The Constitution as originally written did not permit direct election of Senators; they were selected by state legislatures. That was changed by amendment in 1913. The Constitution as originally written did not permit voting by nonwhites, women, and people who did not own property. All of that was wiped away over time as undemocratic.

 

Now we are left with the last remaining protection against democracy: the Electoral College.

 

When people write in defense of the Electoral College, I ask whether they would be okay about having their Governor elected by district representatives, rather than popular vote. It makes no sense.

 

It makes no sense that we elect a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

 

If the shoe were on the other foot, if the candidate of the other party had won, I would say exactly the same. We now have a national election and national media. Whoever is chosen by the majority of voters should be President of these United States.

 

 

 

 

 

I attended a lecture recently at the New York Public Library and heard Paul Krugman speak. The general atmosphere was somber, as it was clear that he was depressed about the election, as were the 1,500 or so people in the audience. To all the pundits who extract lessons for the Democrats, Krugman pointed out that Hillary now has a lead of 2.7 million votes. But she lost because of the Electoral College, which was put into the Constitution to placate the slave states. He also talked about the carelessness of the media, which pushed Trymp’s trope about the emails, when there was nothing in them. He faulted the media for making a big deal out of Trump’s over-publicized deal to save 750 or so jobs. He pointed out that 75,000 people are fired or laid off every single day, so this was an insignicant blip.
His lecture reminded me of a post-election analysis by Nate Silver. He is a numbers guru who has an interesting website. I followed him during the campaign, and he was more cautious than other pollsters but still predicted a Clinton win. By analyzing voting patterns, he discovered that the best predictor of votes for Trump or Clinton was education. Where there were high levels of BA degrees, Clinton won. Where there were the lowest, Trump won. 
Trump was right when he declared during the GOP primaries: 
“I love the uneducated!”
Let’s watch and see what he does to their healthcare, their schools, and the economy.

According to New York magazine, the votes in three swing states--Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin–are suspicious and should be audited. Clinton’s lead over Trump in the popular vote is now 1.75 million and still rising. 

 

Hillary Clinton is being urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump, New York has learned. The group, which includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, believes they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked. The group is so far not speaking on the record about their findings and is focused on lobbying the Clinton team in private.

 

Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee…

 

The Clinton camp is running out of time to challenge the election. According to one of the activists, the deadline in Wisconsin to file for a recount is Friday; in Pennsylvania, it’s Monday; and Michigan is next Wednesday. Whether Clinton will call for a recount remains unclear. The academics so far have only a circumstantial case that would require not just a recount but a forensic audit of voting machines. Also complicating matters, a senior Clinton adviser said, is that the White House, focused on a smooth transfer of power, does not want Clinton to challenge the election result. Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri did not respond to a request for comment. But some Clinton allies are intent on pushing the issue. This afternoon, Huma Abedin’s sister Heba encouraged her Facebook followers to lobby the Justice Department to audit the 2016 vote. “Call the DOJ…and tell them you want the votes audited,” she wrote. “Even if it’s busy, keep calling.”

It’s over. Thank goodness.

Just one thing more is needed.

Go to the polls and vote. Knock on your neighbors’ doors and encourage them to vote. Offer them a ride.

Vote.

That is your duty as a citizen.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Please vote.

Rachelle Horowitz was the transportation director of the l963 March on Washington. She was arrested protesting lunch counter discrimination on Route 40, Maryland, protesting Soviet Nuclear Testing at the Russian Embassy in New York City, protesting anti-labor and discriminatory policies at the World’s Fair in Queens, New York, protesting Apartheid at the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. She was the Administrative Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and Political Director of the American Federation of Teachers. She sits on the board of the National Democratic Institute.

Thinking about a protest vote?

An open letter from an old protest voter to new ones

Dear Protest Voter,

I was once you.

In l960 when John F. Kennedy ran against Richard Nixon, I was 21. I was about to cast my first vote for President of the United States.

In my heart, I knew John F Kennedy was a far better choice to lead our country than Richard Nixon. I was a civil rights activist, a democratic socialist, a protester and JFK was not radical or even liberal enough for me. So I wrote in Norman Thomas.

After voting I helped organize a protest march and rally for civil rights in New York City. We were demanding an end to segregation and discrimination. The speaker was a southern hero, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. He had risked his life – literally – that morning by voting in Birmingham, Alabama, and had then flown to New York to speak at our rally.

We chatted a little as he waited to speak, and he casually mentioned how happy he was to have voted for JFK. I confessed my Norman Thomas write-in. He was incredulous and horrified. I felt like a silly, white, northerner who had the luxury to protest while his life and the fate of the nation was at stake.

I knew then that I would never waste another vote. I would protest; I would march; I would let my opinion be known. But when there were lives at stake, I would not demand political purity or total agreement with what I thought was right.

Sadly, I didn’t get a second chance to vote for JFK. Years later, I became active in Ted Kennedy’s 1980 campaign. My husband and I became his friends. Yet, I never had the courage to tell him about l960.

Well, its 56 years later. I don’t think Hillary is perfect.

But I do think she is plenty good enough… And I hope you don’t waste your vote.

I wrote in Norman Thomas in NYC – JFK won without me…

But in this election if you live in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and a bunch of swing states, your vote may do more than weigh on your conscience. It may plunge this country into a Trumpian nightmare.

So get out there and protest, march, rally and lead this country in the right direction. But, please, make your vote count. You can’t afford not to.

Rachelle Horowitz

This is important information.

Think about it before you vote.

Would you vote for this woman for President?

This shocking story appeared this morning. It was written by Wayne Barrett, who is known to New Yorkers as a tenacious investigative reporter with a long memory.

To understand the Comey memo, Barrett dug back into Giuliani’s close ties to the FBI over the years. He hinted that he knew what Comey was about to do last week, when he came out with his announcement that he was re-opening the review of Clinton’s emails, even though he did not know what was on Anthony Weiner’s computer and did not have a warrant yet to search it. This was an explosive development that probably suppressed Hillary Clinton’s vote, as Trump strategists have said is their goal.

Barrett writes:

Two days before FBI director James Comey rocked the world last week, Rudy Giuliani was on Fox, where he volunteered, un-prodded by any question: “I think he’s [Donald Trump] got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I’m talking about some pretty big surprises.”
Pressed for specifics, he said: “We’ve got a couple of things up our sleeve that should turn this thing around.”

The man who now leads “lock-her-up” chants at Trump rallies spent decades of his life as a federal prosecutor and then mayor working closely with the FBI, and especially its New York office. One of Giuliani’s security firms employed a former head of the New York FBI office, and other alumni of it. It was agents of that office, probing Anthony Weiner’s alleged sexting of a minor, who pressed Comey to authorize the review of possible Hillary Clinton-related emails on a Weiner device that led to the explosive letter the director wrote Congress.

Hours after Comey’s letter about the renewed probe was leaked on Friday, Giuliani went on a radio show and attributed the director’s surprise action to “the pressure of a group of FBI agents who don’t look at it politically.”
“The other rumor that I get is that there’s a kind of revolution going on inside the FBI about the original conclusion [not to charge Clinton] being completely unjustified and almost a slap in the face to the FBI’s integrity,” said Giuliani. “I know that from former agents. I know that even from a few active agents.”

Along with Giuliani’s other connections to New York FBI agents, his former law firm, then called Bracewell Giuliani, has long been general counsel to the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), which represents 13,000 former and current agents. The group, born in the New York office in the early ’80s, was headed until Monday by Rey Tariche, an agent still working in that office. Tariche’s resignation letter from the bureau mentioned the Clinton probe, noting that “we find our work—our integrity questioned” because of it, adding “we will not be used for political gains.”

When the FBIAA threw its first G-Man Honors Gala in 2014 in Washington, Giuliani was the keynote speaker and was given a distinguished service award named after him. Giuliani left Bracewell this January and joined Greenberg Traurig, the only other law firm listed as a sponsor of the FBIAA gala. He spoke again at the 2015 gala. The Bracewell firm also acts as the association’s Washington lobbyist and the FBIAA endorsed Republican Congressman Mike Rodgers, rather than Comey, for the FBI post in 2013. Giuliani did not return a Daily Beast message left with his assistant.

Back in August, during a contentious CNN interview about Comey’s July announcement clearing Hillary Clinton of criminal charges, Giuliani advertised his illicit FBI sources, who circumvented bureau guidelines to discuss a case with a public partisan. “The decision perplexes me. It perplexes Jim Kallstrom, who worked for him. It perplexes numerous FBI agents who talk to me all the time. And it embarrasses some FBI agents.”

Kallstrom is the former head of the New York FBI office, installed in that post in the ’90s by then-FBI director Louis Freeh, one of Giuliani’s longtime friends. Kallstrom has, like Giuliani, been on an anti-Comey romp for months, most often on Fox, where he’s called the Clintons a “crime family.” He has been invoking unnamed FBI agents who contact him to complain about Comey’s exoneration of Clinton in one interview after another, positioning himself as an apolitical champion of FBI values.

Last October, after President Obama told 60 Minutes that the Clinton emails weren’t a national security issue, Megyn Kelly interviewed Kallstrom on Fox. “You know a lot of the agents involved in this investigation,” she said. “How angry must they be tonight?”

“I know some of the agents,” said Kallstrom. “I know some of the supervisors and I know the senior staff. And they’re P.O.’d, I mean no question. This is like someone driving another nail in the coffin of the criminal justice system.”

Kallstrom declared that “if it’s pushed under the rug,” the agents “won’t take that sitting down.” Kelly confirmed: “That’s going to get leaked.”
When Comey cleared Clinton this July, Kallstrom was on Fox again, declaring: “I’ve talked to about 15 different agents today—both on the job and off the job—who are basically worried about the reputation of the agency they love.” The number grew dramatically by Labor Day weekend when Comey released Clinton’s FBI interview and other documents, and Kallstrom told Kelly he was talking to “50 different people in and out of the agency, retired agents,” all of whom he said were “basically disgusted” by Comey’s latest release.

By Sept. 28, Kallstrom said he’d been contacted by hundreds of people, including “a lot of retired agents and a few on the job,” declaring the agents “involved in this thing feel like they’ve been stabbed in the back.” So, he said, “I think we’re going to see a lot more of the facts come out in the course of the next few months. That’s my prediction.”

Kallstrom, whose exchanges with active agents about particular cases are as contrary to FBI policy as Giuliani’s, formally and passionately endorsed Trump this week on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business show, adding that Clinton is a “pathological liar.”

Do read it all. The fix was in. Rudy Giuliani knew about it before Comey spoke. That violates FBI rules. Who will investigate the leaks? The FBI?

I read this article last night and decided that it was too meretricious to post on my blog. But since readers have commented on it, here is the story.

The Hate-Clinton/Love-Trump forces held a press conference at the National Press Club (where anyone can rent a room for a few hundred dollars) to announce that Bill Clinton has an illegitimate son, now 30 years old, the result of a relationship with a black prostitute. He asks for a sample of Bill Clinton’s DNA from Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.

Milbank writes:


Filmmaker Joel Gilbert, the conspiracy theorist who believes President Obama has a secret Muslim prayer inscribed on his wedding ring, made a splash in 2012 when he said Obama had plastic surgery to conceal that his real father was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis, who raised his son to lead a communist revolution.

Four years later, and just in time for Election Day, Gilbert is back with a new film alleging that Bill Clinton has a 30-year-old son he sired with a black prostitute. And on Tuesday, Gilbert hauled the young man to Washington and gave him a speech to read to the TV cameras at the National Press Club.

“As you can see I’m the black son of former president Bill Clinton and the stepson of Hillary Clinton,” the young man, Danney Williams, read as Gilbert, off to the side, mouthed many of the words.

Actually, you could only see him as Clinton’s son if you imagined Clinton six inches shorter, with a different build and different facial features. But no matter.

“At this time I am reaching out to Miss Lewinsky, Monica Lewinsky,” Williams went on, looking to Gilbert for instruction and holding up a letter. “I’m asking that Miss Lewinsky allow me to borrow her blue dress in order to obtain a DNA sample of my father’s, former president Bill Clinton, in order to finally prove that he is my father….”

In fact, Williams’s DNA was tested, 17 years ago, when his mother sold it and her story to a tabloid, which compared the boy’s genetic material to Clinton’s DNA markers and concluded Clinton wasn’t his father.

That essentially ended the intrigue — until late last year, when longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone declared: “I will get justice for Danney Williams — stay tuned.” The Trump confidant had decided the original DNA work was wrong, and he teamed up to make that case with conspiracy-minded radio host Alex Jones, an avid Trump backer who lent his InfoWars news outlet to the cause.

I can only watch with astonishment as the Trump campaign and its surrogates fall farther and farther into the nether world in pursuit of any rumor to try to salvage the election.

A new poll by the Washington Post poll reports that Clinton and Trump are in a tie, with Trump ahead by 1 point.

Prepare for a president who will name at least 2 new Supreme Court justices, dedicated to rolling back Roe v Wade, gay marriage, civil rights protections, climate change regulations, and limitations on torture. Prepare for a president who will remove all restrictions on drilling for oil anywhere, on fracking, on coal, and who supports any and every pipeline.

Prepare for a president with a foul mouth and a dark heart.

For the first time in my life, I am afraid of who will be elected.