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Member since: Mon Jan 30, 2006, 06:07 PM
Number of posts: 103,168

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The absurdity of retroactive classification in a nutshell.

"Former ambassador Dennis Ross, who has held key diplomatic posts in administrations of both parties, said that one of his exchanges now marked “secret” contained information that government officials last year allowed him to publish in a book." From the WA Post link, below.

As head of the State Department, Hillary was vested legally with the full authority to determine the classification status of any State Department document. Only Obama himself had greater authority.

But 104 of the emails that are now being retroactively classified by "analysts" from other departments in response to a FOIA request were written by Hillary herself -- the one person at State with the ultimate authority to determine whether classification was needed.

So these analysts, all clearly victims of CYA syndrome, are deciding to retroactively classify documents that the SoS decided, when she wrote them, didn't need classification. The analysts are doing this just in case, and because there are never any consequences for needlessly classifying documents.


Hillary Clinton wrote 104 emails that she sent using her private server while secretary of state that the government has since said contain classified information, according to a new Washington Post analysis of Clinton’s publicly released correspondence.


Sec. 1.3. Classification Authority. (a) The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by:

(1) the President and the Vice President;

(2) agency heads and officials designated by the President; and

(3) United States Government officials delegated this authority pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Officials authorized to classify information at a specified level are also authorized to classify information at a lower level.

(c) Delegation of original classification authority.

(1) Delegations of original classification authority shall be limited to the minimum required to administer this order. Agency heads are responsible for ensuring that designated subordinate officials have a demonstrable and continuing need to exercise this authority.

(2) "Top Secret" original classification authority may be delegated only by the President, the Vice President, or an agency head or official designated pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(3) "Secret" or "Confidential" original classification authority may be delegated only by the President, the Vice President, an agency head or official designated pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, or the senior agency official designated under section 5.4(d) of this order, provided that official has been delegated "Top Secret" original classification authority by the agency head.

MSNBC: Sanders surprises with his super delegate switch strategy

So Bernie and his campaign are indicating that they might adopt the win-with-super-delegate strategy that they were so concerned Hillary might use.


Strictly speaking, Democratic primary and caucus voters are principally responsible for choosing their presidential nominee, but the power is not entirely in their hands. While those voters elect pledged delegates for the party’s national convention, the Democratic process also includes superdelegates – party officials who are able to cast their own votes, separate from primary and caucus results.

The system is not without critics. Though it’s never happened, the existing Democratic process leaves open the possibility that actual, rank-and-file voters – the folks who participate in state-by-state elections – will rally behind one presidential candidate, only to have party officials override their decision, handing the nomination to someone else. For many, such a scenario seems un-democratic (and un-Democratic).

It therefore came as something of a surprise this week when Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign first raised the prospect of doing exactly that. Sanders aides told reporters that he may not be able to catch Hillary Clinton through the primary/caucus delegate process, but the campaign might come close, at which point Team Bernie might ask superdelegates to give Sanders the nomination anyway, even if he’s trailing Clinton after voters have had their say.

On the show last night, Rachel asked the senator himself about the possibility. Initially, Sanders responded by talking about his optimism regarding upcoming contests and some national polling, but he didn’t answer the question directly.


Polk Co. Florida Democratic voters falsely told by election workers that they couldn't vote

in the Florida primary. Then the workers "found" the ballots in a closet.


Florida woman said poll workers tried to turn her away, saying the primary was for Republican voters only.

Theresa Wibert said a poll worker at her Polk County precinct handed her and her husband Republican ballots and told them Democrats could not vote in Tuesday’s primary, reported WFLA-TV.

“The boss came over and said we could vote for Republicans only,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. I told them I wasn’t leaving … It sure wasn’t politically correct.”

A third Democratic voter was also denied a ballot at the Winter Haven precinct but was eventually allowed to vote.

“We would have been turned away if we weren’t forceful about it,” Wibert said.


Why no one here should be concerned about the upcoming contests in western

and northern state primaries and caucuses.

First, none of these contests involve large numbers of delegates.

But even if Bernie takes every single delegate from the March 22 – April 9th primaries and caucuses (most of which are closed), he still wouldn’t close the 300+ gap in delegates that he’s facing now.

If, more realistically, he did as well as Obama in 2008, he’d pick up about 60 delegates more than Hillary in the March 22 – April 9 primaries/caucuses (leaving him more than 250 delegates behind) before entering the large, diverse, primary states like New York, where she is extremely well positioned . . . though with her current delegate lead, she has a large cushion to protect against unexpected losses.

In the list below, the last pair of numbers for each primary/caucus shows how many pledged delegates went to Obama/Clinton in 2008. (By the time of these races all the other candidates had dropped out, so it was a two-candidate race.)

Tue, Mar 22 Arizona Closed 25/31

Tue, Mar 22 Idaho Caucus Closed 15/3

Tue, Mar 22 Utah Closed 14/9

Sat, Mar 26 Alaska Caucus Closed 9/4

Sat, Mar 26 Hawaii Caucus Closed 14/6

Sat, Mar 26 Washington Caucus Closed 52/26

Tue, Apr 5 Wisconsin Open 42/32

Sat, Apr 9 Wyoming Caucus 7/5



The Nina Simone biopic, starring Zoe Saldana (with prosthetics)

It's hard to believe they couldn't find another good African American actor who wouldn't have needed dark makeup and prosthetics to more closely resemble Nina Simone.



We are being told that Nina Simone’s face bears no real import on the new eponymous movie about her life, starring Zoe Saldana. “The most important thing,” said Robert Johnson, whose studio is releasing Nina, “is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness.” This is obviously false. Saldana could be the greatest thespian of her time, but no one would consider casting her as Marilyn Monroe. Indeed Nina’s producers have gone to great ends—tragicomic ends—to invoke Nina Simone’s face, darkening Saldana’s skin, adorning her with prosthetics. Neither the term blackface nor brownface is entirely appropriate here. We are not so much talking about deliberate mockery as something much more insidious.

It’s difficult to subtract the choice to cast Saldana from the economics of Hollywood—Saldana is seen as bankable in a way that other black women in her field are not. It’s equally difficult to ignore the fact that, while it is hard for all women in Hollywood, it is particularly hard for black women, and even harder for black women who share the dark skin, broad nose and full lips of Nina Simone. This fact is not separable from this country’s racist history, nor is the notion of “darkening up” a lighter skinned black person. Producers did it to Fredi Washington in Emperor Jones. They did it to Carmen de Lavallade in Lydia Bailey. (The make-up was called “Negro Number Two.”) They did it because they wanted to use the aura of blackness while evading the social realities of blackness. It’s possible that the producers were not, themselves, personally racist. This has no bearing whatsoever on anything. In America, racism is a default setting. To do nothing, to go along with the market, to claim innocence or neutrality, is to inevitably be a cog in the machine of racist hierarchy.

The producers of Nina are the heirs of this history—not personal racists, but cogs. Jezebel’s Kara Brown researched the team behind Nina. It is almost entirely white. Doubtless, these are good, non-racist people—but not good enough. No one on the team seems to understand the absurdity at hand—making a movie about Nina Simone while operating within the very same machinery that caused Simone so much agony in the first place. I do not mean to be personally harsh here. I am not trying to hurt people. But there is something deeply shameful—and hurtful—in the fact that even today a young Nina Simone would have a hard time being cast in her own biopic. In this sense, the creation of Nina is not a neutral act. It is part of the problem.

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