The New York Times reports: Big crowds still mob Donald J. Trump when he comes to town, with fans waiting in long lines to attend his rallies, where they eagerly jeer his Democratic rival and holler happily at his message.
But beneath the cheering, a new emotion is taking hold among some Trump supporters as they grapple with reports predicting that he will lose the election: a dark fear about what will happen if their candidate is denied the White House. Some worry that they will be forgotten, along with their concerns and frustrations. Others believe the nation may be headed for violent conflict.
Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wis., said that if Mr. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton, which he worried would happen through a stolen election, it could lead to “another Revolutionary War.”
“People are going to march on the capitols,” said Mr. Halbrook, who works at a call center. “They’re going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there.”
“If push comes to shove,” he added, and Mrs. Clinton “has to go by any means necessary, it will be done.” [Continue reading…]
The Atlantic reports from Alexandria, Virginia: This Democratic headquarters one warm October night could have been practically anywhere in the country. Volunteers crammed into a dingy, decrepit office suite, complete with fake wood paneling from the era when Hillary Clinton still wore bell-bottoms, filling up every space—crouched over rickety tables or into corners, reciting a script as they called worked through long lists of voters, checking to see if people were supporting Hillary Clinton and whether they’d be willing to volunteer.
The only clue that this was an unusual event was sartorial: Several women wore headscarves, and a man sported a stylish kaffiyeh. The phone bank is one of dozens of Muslims for Hillary events that the Clinton campaign has arranged this year, part of what the campaign contends is an unprecedented effort to court a small but growing population.
On Friday, the Clinton campaign released an ad featuring Khizr Khan, the father of U.S. soldier Humayun Khan, who was slain fighting in Iraq. The ad, set to air in seven battleground states, is notable for its direct invocation of Islam. Telling the story of his son’s death saving comrades, Khan says, “He was 27 years old, and he was a Muslim American. I want to ask Mr. Trump, would my son have a place in your America?”
Such an ad would have been unthinkable as recently as four years ago, as Barack Obama grappled with false rumors that he was a secret Muslim. It’s surprising even now, amid a national campaign that has seen direct demonization of Muslims. But Donald Trump’s decision to demonize Islam has created what the Clinton team sees as an opening, leading the Democrat to court Muslim votes more boldly and methodically than any predecessor. [Continue reading…]
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) October 21, 2016
Why the hell would we fight for Hillary against Russia, when WikiLeaks proves without doubt she and her controllers are 🇺🇸 true enemies? pic.twitter.com/sHht9OrylW
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) October 18, 2016
Trump is the real deal.
Americans, no matter race/religion should be backing Trump. Together we can lockup the common enemies among us. https://t.co/rByoLnnbjz
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) October 20, 2016
Hillary Clinton is the epitome of a race traitor. This deceitful, lying witch does NOT care about European Americans–she is very dangerous. pic.twitter.com/OuaQVUnv6S
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) October 20, 2016
Dana Millbank writes: The need to deal Trump a humiliating defeat has a sociological basis in the “degradation ceremony,” in which the perpetrator (Trump) is held by denouncers (officeholders and others in positions of influence) to be morally unacceptable, and witnesses (the public) agree that the perpetrator is no longer held in good standing.
Psychologist Wynn Schwartz, who teaches at Harvard Medical School, explained to me that what’s needed to have a successful degradation of Trump is an epic defeat. “If it is lopsided enough,” he said, “you don’t have critical masses of people who feel disenfranchised” or “who feel justified in saying that it was stolen.”
But if Clinton’s victory is narrow, the degradation ceremony fails, because a large chunk of the population feels swindled and remains loyal to Trump. “The margin matters a lot,” Schwartz said.
Trump’s recent actions — talking about a “rigged” election while laying the foundation for a Trump TV network — suggest that he will attempt to defy the degradation ceremony that a loss typically confers. Hence the importance of a landslide.
Arizona would offer an ideal rebuke. Carolyn Goldwater Ross, granddaughter of the conservative icon, introduced Obama on Thursday by saying, “I come from a long line of Republicans and I’ve stayed independent. . . . But this time it’s different.” She submitted that Trump violates her grandfather’s “basic values.”
Apparently, many Arizonans agree. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the anti-immigrant icon and Trump backer, is trailing his Democratic opponent by 15 points in polling by the Republic. The newspaper endorsed Clinton, its first embrace of a Democrat for president in its 126-year history. Arizona’s junior Republican senator, Jeff Flake, is an outspoken Trump critic, its senior Republican senator, John McCain, has been attacked by Trump, and former Republican attorney general Grant Woods has endorsed Clinton. [Continue reading…]
Thomas Rid writes: On an April afternoon earlier this year, Russian president Vladimir Putin headlined a gathering of some four hundred journalists, bloggers, and media executives in St. Petersburg. Dressed in a sleek navy suit, Putin looked relaxed, even comfortable, as he took questions. About an hour into the forum, a young blogger in a navy zip sweater took the microphone and asked Putin what he thought of the “so-called Panama Papers.”
The blogger was referring to a cache of more than eleven million computer files that had been stolen from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm. The leak was the largest in history, involving 2.6 terabytes of data, enough to fill more than five hundred DVDs. On April 3, four days before the St. Petersburg forum, a group of international news outlets published the first in a series of stories based on the leak, which had taken them more than a year to investigate. The series revealed corruption on a massive scale: Mossack Fonseca’s legal maneuverings had been used to hide billions of dollars. A central theme of the group’s reporting was the matryoshka doll of secret shell companies and proxies, worth a reported $2 billion, that belonged to Putin’s inner circle and were presumed to shelter some of the Russian president’s vast personal wealth.
When Putin heard the blogger’s question, his face lit up with a familiar smirk. He nodded slowly and confidently before reciting a litany of humiliations that the United States had inflicted on Russia. Putin reminded his audience about the sidelining of Russia during the 1998 war in Kosovo and what he saw as American meddling in Ukraine more recently. Returning to the Panama Papers, Putin cited WikiLeaks to insist that “officials and state agencies in the United States are behind all this.” The Americans’ aim, he said, was to weaken Russia from within: “to spread distrust for the ruling authorities and the bodies of power within society.”
Though a narrow interpretation of Putin’s accusation was defensible—as WikiLeaks had pointed out, one of the members of the Panama Papers consortium had received financial support from USAID, a federal agency—his swaggering assurance about America’s activities has a more plausible explanation: Putin’s own government had been preparing a vast, covert, and unprecedented campaign of political sabotage against the United States and its allies for more than a year.
The Russian campaign burst into public view only this past June, when The Washington Post reported that “Russian government hackers” had penetrated the servers of the Democratic National Committee. The hackers, hiding behind ominous aliases like Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks, claimed their first victim in July, in the person of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, whose private emails were published by WikiLeaks in the days leading up to the Democratic convention. By August, the hackers had learned to use the language of Americans frustrated with Washington to create doubt about the integrity of the electoral system: “As you see the U. S. presidential elections are becoming a farce,” they wrote from Russia.
The attacks against political organizations and individuals absorbed much of the media’s attention this year. But in many ways, the DNC hack was merely a prelude to what many security researchers see as a still more audacious feat: the hacking of America’s most secretive intelligence agency, the NSA.
Russian spies did not, of course, wait until the summer of 2015 to start hacking the United States. This past fall, in fact, marked the twentieth anniversary of the world’s first major campaign of state-on-state digital espionage. In 1996, five years after the end of the USSR, the Pentagon began to detect high-volume network breaches from Russia. The campaign was an intelligence-gathering operation: Whenever the intruders from Moscow found their way into a U. S. government computer, they binged, stealing copies of every file they could.
By 1998, when the FBI code-named the hacking campaign Moonlight Maze, the Russians were commandeering foreign computers and using them as staging hubs. At a time when a 56 kbps dial-up connection was more than sufficient to get the best of Pets.com and AltaVista, Russian operators extracted several gigabytes of data from a U. S. Navy computer in a single session. With the unwitting help of proxy machines—including a Navy supercomputer in Virginia Beach, a server at a London nonprofit, and a computer lab at a public library in Colorado—that accomplishment was repeated hundreds of times over. Eventually, the Russians stole the equivalent, as an Air Intelligence Agency estimate later had it, of “a stack of printed copier paper three times the height of the Washington Monument.” [Continue reading…]
Politico reports: Donald Trump angrily insisted on Wednesday night that he is not Vladimir Putin’s “puppet.”
But at a minimum, in recent months he has often sounded like the Russian president’s lawyer—defending Putin against a variety of specific charges, from political killings to the 2014 downing of a passenger jet over Ukraine, despite the weight of intelligence, legal findings and expert opinion.
Wednesday, for instance, Trump dismissed Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Russia was behind the recent hacking of Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails.
“She has no idea whether it’s Russia or China or anybody else,” Trump retorted. “Our country has no idea.”
As Clinton tried to explain that the Russian role is the finding of 17 military and civilian intelligence agencies, Trump cut her off: “I doubt it.”
On Oct. 7, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement saying that the U.S. intelligence community “is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.” That finding has also been relayed directly to Trump in the classified national security briefings he receives as a major party nominee. [Continue reading…]
Motherboard reports: On March 19 of this year, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta received an alarming email that appeared to come from Google.
The email, however, didn’t come from the internet giant. It was actually an attempt to hack into his personal account. In fact, the message came from a group of hackers that security researchers, as well as the US government, believe are spies working for the Russian government. At the time, however, Podesta didn’t know any of this, and he clicked on the malicious link contained in the email, giving hackers access to his account.
Months later, on October 9, WikiLeaks began publishing thousands of Podesta’s hacked emails. Almost everyone immediately pointed the finger at Russia, who is suspected of being behind a long and sophisticated hacking campaign that has the apparent goal of influencing the upcoming US elections. But there was no public evidence proving the same group that targeted the Democratic National Committee was behind the hack on Podesta — until now.
The data linking a group of Russian hackers — known as Fancy Bear, APT28, or Sofacy — to the hack on Podesta is also yet another piece in a growing heap of evidence pointing toward the Kremlin. And it also shows a clear thread between apparently separate and independent leaks that have appeared on a website called DC Leaks, such as that of Colin Powell’s emails; and the Podesta leak, which was publicized on WikiLeaks.
All these hacks were done using the same tool: malicious short URLs hidden in fake Gmail messages. And those URLs, according to a security firm that’s tracked them for a year, were created with Bitly account linked to a domain under the control of Fancy Bear. [Continue reading…]
Politico reports: Donald Trump is pointing to a stream of hacked emails as proof that Hillary Clinton would be a compromised president, but a surprising number of progressives are drawing similar conclusions — albeit for a totally different reasons.
Some of the left’s most influential voices and groups are taking offense at the way they and their causes were discussed behind their backs by Clinton and some of her closest advisers in the emails, which swipe liberal heroes and causes as “puritanical,” “pompous”, “naive”, “radical” and “dumb,” calling some “freaks,” who need to “get a life.”
There are more than personal feelings and relationships at stake, though.
If polls hold and Clinton wins the presidency, she will need the support of the professional left to offset what’s expected to be vociferous Republican opposition to her legislative proposals and appointments.
But among progressive operatives, goodwill for Clinton — and confidence in key advisers featured in the emails including John Podesta, Neera Tanden and Jake Sullivan — is eroding as WikiLeaks continues to release a daily stream of thousands of emails hacked from Podesta’s Gmail account that is expected to continue until Election Day.
Liberal groups and activists are assembling opposition research-style dossiers of the most dismissive comments in the WikiLeaks emails about icons of their movement like Clinton’s Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders, and their stances on trade, Wall Street reform, energy and climate change. And some liberal activists are vowing to use the email fodder to oppose Clinton policy proposals or appointments deemed insufficiently progressive. [Continue reading…]
The Wall Street Journal reports: With the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, U.S. officials say Russia has unleashed a strengthened cyberwarfare weapon to sow uncertainty about the U.S. democratic process.
In doing so, Russia has transformed state-sponsored hackers known as Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear from internet spies to political tools with the power to target the country’s adversaries, according to U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts.
The attacks are the harder side of parallel campaigns in the Kremlin’s English-language media, which broadcast negative news about Western institutions and alliances and focus on issues that demonstrate or stoke instability in the West, such as Brexit. Moscow seeks particularly to weaken the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has expanded its defense against Russia.
“The underlying philosophy of a lot of these attacks is about establishing information as a weapon,” said Alexander Klimburg, a cyber expert at the Hague Center for Strategic Studies. “Hacking for them is literally about controlling information.”
President Vladimir Putin denies Russian involvement in the hacking, but in a way that telegraphs glee about the potential chaos being sown in the U.S. democratic process.
“Everyone is talking about who did it, but is it so important who did it?” Mr. Putin said. “What is important is the content of this information.”
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden said the Kremlin doesn’t appear to be trying to influence the election’s outcome, noting Russian involvement has provided fodder for both Republicans and Democrats. “They are not trying to pick a winner,” he said Tuesday at a cybersecurity conference in Washington. Rather, Russia is likely unleashing the emails “to mess with our heads.”
Pro-Kremlin commentators in Russia have seized on the DNC leaks to cast doubt on the American democratic process and argue that Washington has no right to criticize Moscow. They have said the hacked DNC emails, which showed party officials working to undermine primary runner-up Bernie Sanders, prove Americans are hypocritical when they malign Mr. Putin’s authoritarianism. [Continue reading…]
A science reporter for Business Insider seems somewhat disturbed about the likelihood that Hillary Clinton might be receiving unscientific advice on how to debate Donald Trump in Nevada tonight:
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are set to face off tonight in the third and final presidential debate of the 2016 election.
In August, The New York Times reported that Clinton’s campaign brought in psychology experts to help her prepare for her first debate with Donald Trump — which is weird, because that’s not really what psychologists do.
Here is the relevant part of The Times’ article (emphasis mine):
Hillary Clinton’s advisers are … seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him … at the first presidential debate … Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage. They are undertaking a forensic-style analysis of Mr. Trump’s performances in the Republican primary debates, cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways.
There’s not a tremendous amount of information here, but it’s enough to work from if we want to find research relevant to the work these psychologists (or “psychology experts”) are reportedly doing. The strange part is that there isn’t much to find.
Much as I can bemoan the reporting language of the New York Times on stylistic grounds, I will credit its reporters for their precision and/or intentional vagueness in their choice of words. To wit: psychology experts. If this report was referring to psychologists, I venture to assume that’s the term that would have been used.
While professional psychologists should be experts in psychology, there are all kinds of people who can be loosely described as psychology experts even if they aren’t actually psychologists — they might be lawyers, boxing coaches, politicians, or come from any walk of life through which they have acquired particular insight into the workings of the human mind. Psychology experts don’t need to licensed.
As for Clinton’s psychology experts, their particular skill need be no broader than in unlocking the operations inside one mind: Donald Trump’s. Or to be precise: one person. Trump’s way of being is so unreflective and so visceral that his thinking generally appears subordinate to the way he feels for which reason the Clinton campaign should probably have also sought some input from a primatologist.
Much as America and the whole world is already sick this man’s facility to generate a kind of universal consciousness — never before in human history has one living person captured the attention of this many people (an insane observation but surely true!) — one of the political payoffs for the Clinton campaign from the excessive media coverage Trump has received is that his insistence on being in the spotlight has rendered him all the more easy to analyse. What need is there for emails and tax returns when there is an endless supply of pure Trump?
Ultimately, however, irrespective of the extent to which Hillary Clinton’s debate preparation has been guided by genuine insight into her opponent, her success will hinge as much if not more on the moves she makes as they do those of Trump.
At this juncture in the campaign there is a real danger she may suffer from over-confidence — however much she has been told and tells herself to take nothing for granted.
Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth Action, writes: Friends of the Earth Action endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president a year ago but today we are encouraging our members and supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton for president. While we align with many facets of the Green Party platform, we do not support Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein for president.
We have vigorously disagreed with Sec. Clinton on many issues. We have fought over the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Trans Pacific Partnership, her interventionist foreign policy, her support for fracking, her ties to fossil fuel lobbyists and her neo-liberal economic platform. Yet without equivocation, we would rather have Hillary Clinton in the White House and push like hell for her to create better policy than fight Donald Trump to save basic human rights and centuries-old social agreements.
Urging our members and supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton does not constitute what Dr. Stein describes as being trapped in the two-party “duopoly.” Our assessment comes from a deep political and strategic analysis: Dr. Stein and the Green Party are not credible standard barriers for the progressive movement or Sen. Sanders’ Revolution. [Continue reading…]
Bill McKibben writes: It’s an odd feeling to be working for the election of someone you know dislikes you and your colleagues. I’ve spent a good chunk of this month trying to register voters on campuses in Pennsylvania and Ohio — registering them to vote against Donald Trump, which means pushing for the election of Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t how I wanted to spend the fall—I’d much rather have been campaigning for Bernie Sanders.
It didn’t get any easier when Wikileaks released a tape of Clinton talking to backers in the building-trades unions about the environmental work so many of us (including much of the rest of organized labor) have been engaged in for the last few years. “They come to my rallies and they yell at me and, you know, all the rest of it. They say, ‘Will you promise never to take any fossil fuels out of the earth ever again?’ No. I won’t promise that. Get a life, you know.”
I know the young people Clinton was talking about, and they weren’t demanding she somehow wave a wand and stop the fossil-fuel age overnight. They were asking her about the scientific studies showing that we can’t actually keep mining and drilling new supplies of coal, oil, and gas if we’re going to meet the temperature targets set with such fanfare in Paris last year. They were asking her to support the “Keep It In the Ground” Act introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and endorsed by a passel of other senators, from Barbara Boxer of California to Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. (Oh yeah, and that guy Bernie.) They were also asking her to take a stand against fracking, since new studies demonstrate quite clearly that the release of methane from the use of natural gas makes climate change worse. Publicly, she hemmed and hawed. When Bernie said in a debate that he was against fracking, period, Clinton said, “By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.” That was a pretty weak hedge to begin with, but we now know that privately she reassured the building trades unions: “My view is, I want to defend natural gas…. I want to defend fracking.”
Truth be told, these aren’t revelations. All of us working on climate issues have known this is how Clinton feels; she set up a whole wing of the State Department devoted to spreading fracking around the world. She’d favored the Keystone Pipeline from the start, and it was abundantly clear that only Sanders’s unexpected success in the primaries convinced her she’d have to change. (And it was only his refusal to endorse her until after the platform was agreed upon that made the platform into the fairly progressive document that it is, on climate and other issues). Still, it stings to see in black and white exactly how little regard she has for people fighting pipelines, frack wells, coal ports. Though truth be told, that was no huge surprise either: Politicians are forever saying they want people engaged in the political process, but most of them really just want people to vote and then go home.
So why are many of us out there working to beat Trump and elect her? Because Trump is truly a horror. He’s man who looks at fourth-grade girls and imagines that he’ll be dating them in ten years. He’s a racist. He knows next to nothing and lacks the intellectual curiosity to find out more. He’s a bully. He’s almost a cartoonish villain: If a writer invented a character this evil, no one would believe them. But he’s very nearly president.
Because environmentalists are not just concerned about the climate — we have allies and friends whom we support. And on some of those issues Clinton actually seems sincere: She clearly cares about women’s issues and understands that we are a nation of immigrants. [Continue reading…]