Huge New York Times investigation on Russia's role in the elections, and Trump's upset victory: "The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the US.” It's a riveting tic-tock narrative, and no doubt those in the intel/security biz will debate the contents.
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An examination by The Times of the Russian operation — based on interviews with dozens of players targeted in the attack, intelligence officials who investigated it and Obama administration officials who deliberated over the best response — reveals a series of missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of the cyberattack.
The D.N.C.’s fumbling encounter with the F.B.I. meant the best chance to halt the Russian intrusion was lost. The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact. And the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.
The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committee’s network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems. In the meantime, the hackers moved on to targets outside the D.N.C., including Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, whose private email account was hacked months later.
Even Mr. Podesta, a savvy Washington insider who had written a 2014 report on cyberprivacy for President Obama, did not truly understand the gravity of the hacking.
As news of the CIA's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election spreads, top Hillary Clinton adviser and likely Russian hacking victim John Podesta today publicly voiced support for a push by some members of the Electoral College to receive an intelligence briefing ahead of their formal vote next week.
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I recently became an American citizen. I just voted for the first time in my life. Ballot selfies are legal in PA, but it's all on computer and all you get printed for you is this wee receipt! I'm a sexy anarchist, but I voted for Hillary Clinton and recommend that you do too, because she's the second-best choice this system has ever given us and the best one's already got the job. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a racist cheapjack, a gallon baggie of apricot pruno left to go rancid in the sun until it bursts like a beached whale.
Go and vote.
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The FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton over the "new" emails found on disgraced Democratic politician Anthony Weiner's seized computer. The emails, which the FBI thought may be relevant to an earlier investigation of Clinton's inappropriate use of a private email server while in office, turned out to be mostly duplicates of those already covered by the investigation.
FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Sunday the agency hasn't changed its opinion that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of new emails.
"Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July," Comey wrote in the new letter to congressional committee chairmen.
Comey dropped a bombshell on the presidential race last month when he sent a letter to Congress saying the FBI had discovered emails in a separate investigation that could be connected to the now-closed probe of whether Clinton mishandled classified information. The move infuriated Democrats and emboldened Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The announcement brings to an end a week of political chaos triggered by Comey's vague letter insinuating—at least to Republicans and the media—that Clinton once again risked legal sanction over the personal email account. Comey, in an oddly Comey-centered press event earlier this summer, then described the private email server as inappropriate but not something worthy of indictment.
In the days that followed Comey's letter to congress, sent barely two weeks before election day, even Clinton's foes found themselves discomfited by the FBI's exquisitely-timed involvement in domestic politics. Trump, though, exalted as polls tightened: though Clinton still leads, the possibility of a landslide (or indeed a Democrat Senate) is now deemed less likely by poll trackers. Read the rest
None of the ongoing federal investigations into Russian cyber-hijinks this election season have found “any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government,” the New York Times reports, citing unnamed officials. Even the hacking of Democratic emails, say FBI and intel sources, is “aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.”
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Hillary Clinton's email woes won't die.
Federal investigators today obtained a fiercely-sought warrant to begin searching a large cache of emails sent to or from Huma Abedin, longtime confidante and senior aide to Hillary Clinton. Federal law enforcement officials told reporters the warrant was in on Sunday, as prosecutors with the Justice Department and agents from the F.B.I. rushed to review as much of the emails as possible before Election Day, which is now only one week away.
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George Clinton has spoken. George supports Hillary for President.
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But George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic has built an empire of funk and he has this to say: "No funk in da’ Trump."
Clinton, the musical impresario who founded P-Funk in a barbershop in Plainfield, supports Hillary Clinton (no relation!) for president and is strong in his opposition to Trump.
“He couldn’t possibly be in there (the White House), beyond no circumstances, I don’t care,” Clinton said. “I’m for her and that’s just cut and dry. You have to say something about that and he ain’t qualified for that, he’s just no way.”
As a nonprofit, the Yale Record has never endorsed a political candidate. Even in this most momentous of elections, some things have to remain sacred.
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In particular, we do not endorse Hillary Clinton’s exemplary leadership during her 30 years in the public eye. We do not support her impressive commitment to serving and improving this country—a commitment to which she has dedicated her entire professional career. Because of unambiguous tax law, we do not encourage you to support the most qualified presidential candidate in modern American history, nor do we encourage all citizens to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all by electing Secretary Clinton on November 8.
Hillary Clinton's campaign team "scrambled" after coming to believe Joe Biden would oppose her for the Democratic presidential nomination, reports Fox News. Some delicious, if insidery machinations turned up in campaign chief Joe Podesta's hacked email, as published by Wikileaks:
just three days later, the Biden threat appeared vanquished. Ron Klain, a former Biden chief of staff who is now an operative for the Clinton campaign, emailed Podesta with a cryptic note of thanks.
“It’s been a little hard for me to play such a role in the Biden demise – and I am definitely dead to them -- but I’m glad to be on Team HRC, and glad that she had a great debate last night,” Klain wrote.
Six days later, on Oct. 21, Biden, with Obama by his side, gave a news conference from the White House declaring he wouldn’t run.
Biden would have sailed away from Trump much earlier and faster than Hillary Clinton did. But beyond the easy victory she's likely to win anyway all told, he doesn't have much to recommend him over her, and lacks many of her — yes, I know! — her scruples.
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Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell says he's going to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton instead of his own party's candidate, millionaire reality TV star Donald Trump.
“I am voting for Hillary Clinton,” he said, according to Matthew Cohen, a spokesman for the association. Mr. Powell went on to praise Mrs. Clinton for her skills as a leader and her experience.
Paule Pachter, a Long Island Association board member, said that Mr. Powell was blunt.
“He said he would support Hillary Clinton and he also elaborated on several reason why he felt that Donald Trump was not the right candidate,” he said. “He spoke about his inexperience, he spoke about the messages that he’s sending out every day to his supporters, which really paints our country in a negative light across the globe with all our allies.”
Powell had recently expressed some annoyance at Mrs. Clinton dragging him into the private email server imbroglio. I wonder if Trump's foolish and clueless remarks about the attack on Mosul was the last straw.
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At the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation white-tie event in New York last night, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sat within groping distance of one another—and delivered speeches for a largely-Catholic audience. A traditional and restrained roasting of oneself and one's opponent, the dinner speeches mark the final public event where the two will tangle before election day. And, as you may already have predicted, Donald Trump managed to get himself booed at a charity dinner.
Here's the Washington Post's cut of the best moments:
He joked about the size of his hands and the size of his rival Hillary Clinton's rally crowds, then compared himself to Jesus. ...
“Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission,” Trump said, citing a false Internet rumor as the crowd turned on him and started to boo, something that simply doesn't happen at lavish charity dinners at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. The face of one the guests sitting on the stage behind him was suddenly struck with horror.
“Hillary believes that it's vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private,” Trump said, as the booing intensified.
Trump would go on to accuse Clinton of “pretending not to hate Catholics” and mock the Clinton Foundation's work in Haiti. At one point, he wondered aloud if the crowd was booing him or Clinton, to which someone in the crowd answered: “You!”
He screwed it up because he could not restrain his spite toward his opponent, had little for himself, and wasn't very funny. Read the rest
Ezra Klein has a wonderful piece on Vox, "Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins," that well describes the master class in managing a bully into hanging himself these general election debates have been. Klein points out how Clinton pushed all Trump's buttons and practically had him performing tricks on command.
Trump’s meltdown wasn’t an accident. The Clinton campaign coolly analyzed his weaknesses and then sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them.
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Clinton’s successful execution of this strategy has been, fittingly, the product of traits that she’s often criticized for: her caution, her overpreparation, her blandness. And her particular ability to goad Trump and blunt the effectiveness of his political style has been inextricable from her gender. The result has been a political achievement of awesome dimensions, but one that Clinton gets scarce credit for because it looks like something Trump is doing, rather than something she is doing — which is, of course, the point.
It began in the first debate. "Donald," she kept saying. No one quite knows why Trump so loathes the sound of his first name, but he does. He quickly tried to shame Clinton into showing him more respect. "Secretary Clinton -- yes, is that okay?" he said, after she once again called him Donald. "Good. I want you to be very happy. It's very important to me."
Clinton’s next answer: "In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis..."
Each debate has followed the same pattern.
Remix of the 3rd un-presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from with a hip-hop "Hail To The Chief" backing track, by Eclectic Method.
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Millionaire Republican Donald Trump isn't just on the ropes: he's practically upside-down and tangled up in them, trailing his opponent by huge margins and seemingly finished in the race to become the next president of the United States of America. But Hillary Clinton is an infamously weak closer, leading to amusements like this New Yorker cartoon...
... which reminds us that the older Millennials are nearing 40 and have New Yorker subscriptions.
All the "what to expect from the third debate" articles--which I had intended to aggregate here--are surprisingly bland, given the sheer insanity of the campaign and its increasingly deranged closing weeks. I guess this is because everyone acknowledges that there is such a huge difference in expectations between the two candidates that it's not really a "debate" at all. If Trump manages to get through it without sniffing or frotting his chair, he's done OK. If Hillary umms and ahhs too much, she's missed an opportunity to crush the bug. No-one--not pundits, not journalists, not viewers--expects anything of substance to be said. It is all about the performance, about the hope that one of them will lose it and do something entertaining.
Trump's invited president Barack Obama's half-brother as his guest, a choice so inexplicable it suggests a return to Birtherism amid rumors Trump's been ditched by advisor Roger Ailes and simply has no idea what to do. Hillary's invited the least awful billionaire she can think of, just to remind Trump that he isn't one.
All that said, it's going to be the most-watched third debate ever. Read the rest
The New York Times' presidential forecast has millionaire Republican Donald Trump at his lowest ebb of the campaign, with only an 8 percent chance of winning the Nov. 8 general election.
A victory by Mr. Trump remains possible: Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 31-yard field goal.
The analysis corresponds closely with that of FiveThirtyEight, though it gives Trump a little more space with a 12 percent chance (as of Wednesday Oct. 19)
The situation is so dire, with only three weeks to go, that polls are finding the candidates within the margin of in Texas, a Republican stronghold where a Clinton victory would represent a spectacular obliteration of the party's ticket.
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...it seems utterly unlikely that Clinton could actually win Texas. Though the state's large Latino population, combined with where Trump has led the GOP with his rhetoric about Mexicans and policy on immigration, could soon make winning Texas a real possibility for Democrats.
There are other reliable Republican states where the Clinton campaign is investing more seriously, which is a sign of where the race stands. Clinton is positioned to win the White House if she gets just the battleground states that are already leaning to the Democrats. Her campaign says it's putting the "lion's share" of resources in traditional battleground states like Ohio and North Carolina, which remain toss-ups. But they also have the luxury of being able to invest in some states that traditionally go to Republicans.
Vogue today endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton as the first ever female president of the United States of America, and ran this gorgeous portrait of our future POTUS by photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vogue, in December 1993.
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The Clinton campaign has released a tool that compares notable events in the Democratic and Republican candidates for President lives, year over year. Someone at the Clinton campaign has a wonderful sense of irony, and humor, as the entries are frequently regrettably hilarious.
It also stands as sad testimony to the state of our union, when a woman whose life has clearly been dedicated to public service has to suffer the meaningless, hate filled rage of a misogynist billionaire blowhard. The Trump campaign continues to tarnish our national dignity.
Hillary could simply respond to Trump in the next debate by reading these.
The Making of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Read the rest