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Member since: Mon Mar 21, 2016, 08:34 PM
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"Do you think the U.S. election is being tampered with?...I'm 100 percent sure it is."


For those of us who care about democracy and the importance of a healthy political discourse, a story published by Bloomberg this week, “How to Hack an Election,” was incredibly distressing.

In it, Colombian hacker Andrés Sepúlveda comes clean about eight years he spent allegedly using dark, and often illegal, computer skills to help conservative candidates throughout Latin America; some won and a few lost. He describes exploits in major elections in Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico.
Finally, what most caught my eye, and what I think has the most relevance in our broader society, Sepúlveda claims to have maintained an “army” of over 30,000 fake Twitter profiles to “shape discussion” around certain topics in favor of his candidate, “priming the social media pump with views that real users would mimic.”

Which leads me to the scariest quote I have read in a very, very long time, from Sepúlveda:

“When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything.”

In yet another troubling quote from the Bloomberg piece, the authors ask Sepúlveda a blunt question: do you think the U.S. election is being tampered with? His response leaves no room for doubt.

“I’m 100 percent sure it is,”
he said.

Panama Papers Live Update Thread

Source: reddit

Panama Papers Live Updates

Read more: https://www.reddit.com/live/wp1fvdxxwb45/

Altogether, the leak included roughly 11.5 million files — encompassing 40 years of Mossack Fonseca's records.


Only 149 documents have been released so far (11.5 million divided by 149 === 0.000012%)

Does Bernie Sanders deserve criticism for his response to Donald Trump's abortion comment?

MADDOW: After, uh, the word spread that Donald Trump had made those remarks today about abortion, that a woman needs to be punished, uh, if she seeks an abortion and abortion should be banned, you said today that was shameful.
What is shameful about it?

SANDERS: Well, I think it is -- shameful is probably understating that position. First of all, to me, and I think to most Americans, women have the right to control their own bodies and they have the right to make those personal decisions themselves.
But to punish a woman for having an abortion is beyond comprehension. I -- I just -- you know, one would say what is in Donald Trump's mind except we're tired of saying that?
I don't know what world this person lives in. So obviously, from my perspective, and if elected president, I will do everybody that I can to allow women to make that choice and have access to clinics all over this country so that if they choose to have an abortion, they will be able to do so.
The idea of punishing a woman, that is just, you know, beyond comprehension.

MADDOW: And Mr. Trump has made -- is making headlines on -- on this issue today, obviously, because of what he said. It's sort of, you know, taken the media day by storm.

SANDERS: But because media is what media is today, any stupid, absurd remark made by Donald Trump becomes the story of the week. Maybe, just maybe, we might want to have a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America. Donald Trump will not look quite so interesting in that context.

(Sanders then asks rhetorical questions about Trump implying he doesn't have a position on anything....then Rachel responds)

MADDOW: Are you suggesting, though, that the media shouldn't be focusing on his call to potentially jail women who have abortions? Because that's another stupid --

SANDERS: I am saying that every day he comes up with another stupid remark, absurd remark, of course it should be mentioned. But so should Trump's overall positions. How much talk do we hear about climate change, Rachel? And Trump? Any?

MADDOW: He said that he cares more about nuclear climate change, which is a term that he's invented.

SANDERS: Nuclear climate change?

Hillary's Official Transcript Clock: 58 days and counting

Nevada has 43 delegates? 25 State from voters/delegates, 8 from supers, and 10 from where?

10 delegates?

Hillary Clinton's ally David Brock sent out massive email comparing Sanders to Hugo Chavez?!

Can Anyone Ever Truly Trust David Brock? by Lloyd Grove

He burst upon the scene in the early ’90s as the marquee writer for The American Spectator. The magazine is still best known for Brock’s scurrilous hatchet jobs on Anita Hill—whom he famously derided as “a bit nutty and a bit slutty”—and Bill Clinton, whose extramarital dalliances (facilitated, Brock claimed, by Arkansas state troopers on the governor’s security detail) were the subject of a 11,000-word exposé rife with seamy details that he never bothered to verify, part of the so-called “Arkansas Project” to delegitimize the Clinton presidency, generously funded by right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.

That, funnily enough, is a conveniently revisionist and rather unreliable account of what Brock actually wrote in his Hillary biography, which attributed the failure of her healthcare reform initiative to “not just surprisingly poor judgment on her part but character flaws of a particularly dangerous and self-destructive sort.”

Indeed, in an observation that could be applied to the current email scandal by Clinton’s present-day detractors, Brock wrote two decades ago: “Hillary has failed because she never really accepted the simple truth that legal and ethical structures and standards of accountability exist not just to protect us from the ambitions of the wicked but from the hubris of the good.”

One can only imagine the righteous wrath that today’s David Brock would bring down on the hapless pundit who expressed a similar opinion.

Brock did his candidate no favors this week when Correct the Record circulated a controversial email that tendentiously attempted to link Clinton’s main rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, to comments praising the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and claimed to identify troubling similarities between Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, the new leftist leader of Britain’s Labour Party, who (according to the email) has called the death of Osama bin laden “a tragedy,” has invited representatives of Hezbollah to discuss peace in the Middle East, and has sided with Russia over America’s NATO allies.

List of Written Work:
1. The Real Anita Hill
2. The Seduction of Hillary Rodham
3.1997 Esquire piece, “Confessions of a Right-Wing Hit Man”
4. 2002 memoir, Blinded By The Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative.

1. Media Matters for America
2. super PAC American Bridge 21st Century
3. super PAC Correct the Record
4. super PAC Priorities USA Action (Resigned Feb 10, 2015).
5. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Once a hit man, always a hit man? That is the cross Brock realizes he must bear.

Nevada Counties Delegate Total (Bernie now leads with 55% of the pledged delegates)

County Delegates going into the 2016 State Convention:
Sanders = 2124 (55%)
Clinton = 1722 (45%)

Compared to 2008:
Obama = 1645 (49%)
Clinton = 1718 (51%)

State Convention:
Obama = 1365 (55%)
Clinton = 1112 (45%)

"Why Socialism?" by Albert Einstein

Published in 1949, click here to read the full article.

I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

The Clintons’ former nemesis (David Brock) created an apparatus to fend off their enemies.

How David Brock Built an Empire to Put Hillary in the White House by Michelle Goldberg

Who is David Brock?

David Brock, the conservative journalistic assassin turned progressive empire-builder, is sitting in a conference room in the Park Avenue South offices of the MWW Group, a public-relations firm owned by Democratic mega-donor Michael Kempner. Fifty-two years old with a silver pompadour, and wearing round glasses with wire frames, he’s barely recognizable as the skinny, dark-haired operative who, during the Clinton administration, had an answering-machine message that said, “I’m out trying to bring down the president.”

That, of course, was before he publicly repented, first in a 1997 Esquire article, “Confessions of a Right-Wing Hit Man,” and then in 2002’s self-flagellating book, Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative.

First among the lessons he learned on the other side, he says, “is the idea of permanence. Ideological campaigns for our values have to be waged on a permanent basis and not only in election years.”

David Brock of Clinton's Dark Money Alliance files ethics complaints against Sanders

David Brock of Clinton's Dark Money Alliance files ethics complaints against Sanders by Kevin Gosztola

The complaints were made by the American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF), which was founded by David Brock, whose fingerprints have been on many of the dishonest attacks against Sanders during the 2016 election.

To some extent, Brock’s group is deliberately creating a false equivalency between the work of a nurses union and a progressive activism group, and the alliance of super PACs propelling Clinton’s presidential campaign.

It is the kind of attack one might expect from a right-wing group like Crossroads GPS, founded by Karl Rove.

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