07.05.2016 11:56 AM

Email, cell phones and political folks


Let me you in on a secret. 

Next time you are in a political capital, take a good look at any political folks you happen to meet. Elected, unelected, in power or not. Doesn’t matter. 

They’ll have two devices clamped to their belt, or a couple in their purse. Or, they may have one device – but they will own it, and it will carefully delineate work and non-work accounts. 

Like Hillary Clinton – like every other politico on Earth – they will have at least two digital mailboxes, minimum. One personal, one political. 

Sometimes – usually when they’re in a rush, which happens a lot – the personal and political will get blurred. People will use their Gmail account instead of the government one. The instant they do that, however, the personal will (ultimately) become public. 

The notion that Hillary was ever doing anything “criminal” with emails was always frigging idiotic. Careless, sure. But criminal? How, exactly? 

Governments routinely stamp every document  SECRET, but most aren’t. Political and media people routinely regard every mistake as an indictable offence, but most aren’t. 

I still regard Hillary Clinton as the best choice for President. 

Because she is. 


  1. Respectfully, it doesn’t pass the smell test when her IT guy pleads the 5th more than 125 times.


    This doesn’t pass the smell test. The balance of probabilities is such that there is MUCH more to this story but now we will never know because the FBI is dropping it.

    If the Republicans didn’t have an insane orange-skinned racist with tiny hands as their nominee, this would dog her for the entire campaign.

    • James Hanna says:

      The reason for the 5th amendment – and section 13 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – is to render the phrase “it doesn’t pass the smell test when he pleads the 5th” meaningless.
      Its his right to remain silent and that right means we cannot and must not make any judgement about what he does or does not want to say. Otherwise we are requiring one to testify.

      And the police, media, and prosecution can take any statement out of context and use it to make a proverbial mountain out of a molehill. If I were him, even if I had done absolutely nothing wrong, I’d keep my trap shut too. Especially in the middle of an election campaign.

      • Ah. Blame the media. Well, naturally. It’s all out of context.

        I’m no lawyer, but the optics of taking the 5th are utterly terrible for Clinton. So, it’s meaningful in the optics of a Presidential campaign. Very simply, it’s attack ad manna from heaven.

        She’s as dirty as the day is long. She has avoided, painfully at times, answering crystal clear questions from reporters regarding the status of her emails, so sorry, this doesn’t for me at least, pass the smell test.


    • As a retired IT guy (38 years experience), I would have taken the 5th if I had been faced with the same situation. Your ¨smell test¨ comment is irrelevant to the situation, and no, there is not ¨MUCH more¨ to it.

      • It’s always the cover-up. Any casual or keen observer would tell you there are metric tonnes more to this story that likely won’t come out now that the FBI has succumbed to political pressure.

    • nobonusfornonis says:

      from an American entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles. Yes it’s long but the best thing I’ve read yet on the American election.

      She didn’t obey the rules.

      That’s another thing the working class believes in strongly, right and wrong, respecting the law, and the funny thing is most of us consider ourselves working class, or middle class, be sure to read today’s “New York Times” story on Wigan, a burg that always goes Labour that voted for Brexit, despite only 25% of UK inhabitants being working class, 60% BELIEVE they are working class. You never forget your roots. You might have an SUV and a sports car in the driveway, probably leased, but you remember when you struggled, and retain those underlying values, unless you WIN!

      For far too long the emphasis in America has been on the winners. And that means money. Hell, the media wouldn’t even publicize the MacArthur genius grants if they didn’t come with 125k a year attached. Is it hard to believe we’ve got a culture where the best and the brightest, the elite, bend the rules in their favor in order to succeed?

      Bill Clinton comes from nothing, he’s arguably a hillbilly. Hillary comes from something more. But after his Presidency Bill and Hillary blurred the edges, worked for anybody with the cash, barely different from a nitwit entertainer doing their act for a third world dictator. Couldn’t they say no? And they’ve got that bogus foundation wherein the money goes in and transparency disappears. And now their daughter Chelsea is a millionaire, really… This is what Bernie Sanders was railing against, the closed system, wherein the winners utilize their connections to keep themselves up and others down. Come on, why should Chelsea Clinton be worth eight figures, what has she done other than to be a member of the lucky sperm club?

      And she’s fair game, everybody with a profile is fair game. That’s the social media world we live in, there are no sacred cows. Despite the media insisting our leaders, our stars, have gravitas and earned their status, despite Romney putting so many out of work.

      The past has come home to roost. I believe in globalization, but you’ve got to take care of the losers in the equation, like Colin Hewlett in the “Times” article above, he’s 61, his weekly pay got cut from $665 to $318, you can’t make it on that. But you never hear these stories, because these people don’t have a voice.

      And I don’t think Hillary should be indicted, that’s a right wing canard, one that ignores the law, which must show intent in a specific way, to give away secrets. But I do question the judgment of someone who refuses to abide by the rules. What exactly was Hillary protecting herself from here? Who are the people she surrounds herself with who told her to do this? Believe me, she’s not that tech-savvy. Why is it that every successful person made it by breaking the rules and they keep telling us to adore them?

      I’m gonna vote for Hillary, you can’t give Trump the wheel, you can’t put the Supreme Court at risk. But at this late date I’m thinking David Geffen was right, he plays the Clinton game better than they do, he too rose from nothing, and he deemed them duplicitous, untrustworthy, and they are. Funny how the right wing label ends up sticking, being right.

      But the right wing is all about gotcha and gridlock and paying fealty to shadowy rich people who pay their bills and pull the strings. When did it become an honor to be a court jester, that’s who these people are, the right wing representatives and the Clintons too, they like the perks, they’ll do whatever the rich want them to, they’re beholden to them.

      And then you’ve got the Hillary supporters shushing Bernie and burnishing her image.

      Of course Hillary is smart, experienced too. But she lied about the server, of which there were many, actually it was servers, and how are you supposed to trust her after that? She doesn’t care about us so much as herself, accumulating and maintaining power, no different from Microsoft or Facebook or all the other corporations that you ultimately hate. Then again, today we love corporations more than people, their products are more honest, whereas human beings lack backbones, at least those in the public eye.

      We can’t make it here anymore. Whether it be the working class or the educated class that cannot live in Manhattan or afford a concierge doctor. That’s the story of today, how it’s all blown up in our own backyard. Republicans are for drug treatment as opposed to incarceration because suddenly it’s THEIR kids who are shooting up as opposed to THOSE people. And now that college is sixty grand a year…who’s got 240k lying around?

      So the truth is Hillary skated.

      But it feels like she’s guilty.

      And feeling is everything today. That’s why Brexit happened, despite so many voting against their interest, being beneficiaries of the EU.

      It feels like we’re getting screwed in America. Even those who jumped through the hoops. I don’t make a million dollars a year, do you? Exactly what did I do wrong… Not go to work in finance, not be college roommates with Mark Zuckerberg? Finance builds nothing and tech is all about breaking rules, asking permission later. And we need change, but who’s gonna look out for the little guy?

      The musicians have been screaming for years. They’re a perfect metaphor for the country at large. They were swimming along just fine and suddenly their lunch and then their house and nearly their entire income disappeared. You couldn’t ask the government to help them because the government was too busy protecting richer interests. So now it’s a winner take all entertainment world, but the truth is music was just the canary in the coal mine, it’s completely a winner take all world, from top to bottom. Good luck getting a good paying job if you’re over fifty. Service jobs don’t pay the bills. Meanwhile, we keep hearing about billionaires.

      My sense of right and wrong has been inflamed. My radar has gone off. I don’t want to make the Democrats lose, but how are we supposed to mobilize voters when stuff like this happens? Could be the only way to lodge your protest is via voting. That’s a good reason to support Trump. And the Hillary acolytes will pooh-pooh it, and say it’s dumb, and against one’s interests, but that’s exactly why voters are going the other way, they’re sick and tired of being told what’s right by people who believe they’re better than they are, supporting false gods all the way.

      We didn’t see this coming.

      But a rising tide did not lift all boats.

      And despite the public being unfamiliar with the details, they know how they feel…left out. And they’re sick and tired of those who don’t respect the rules being rewarded again and again and again.

      I certainly am.

      “Wigan’s Road to ‘Brexit’: Anger, Loss and Class Resentments”: http://goo.gl/EkbGeB

  2. Manuel says:

    “Governments routinely stamp every ducument SECRET, but most aren’t. Political and media people routinely regard every mistake as an indictable offence, but most aren’t.”

    Governments never routinely stamp a document TOP SECRET Special Access that aren’t. All I know, is that if Hillary Clinton were an officer in any NATO country’s military she’d be charged, possibly jailed and most likely her career would be over. There is a difference between an unintentional data spill and deliberate and wilful negligence. One set of rules for the masses and one set of rules for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

    Oh, and there quite the difference between having two phones for work and personal use and setting up a personal email server for work use.

    • Lyn says:

      Manuel: You are so right one set of rules for the masses and one set of rules of the presumptive Democratic nominee! Vote TRUMP!

      • nobonusfornonis says:

        and if Trump wins prepare yourself for another HUAC and a blacklist of anybody who Trump feels offended him from Obama to Jon Stewart.

        Are you or have you ever been a member of the Democratic Party. Oh, what a web we weave.

  3. smelter rat says:

    Bernie is the only sane choice for President, but America is mostly insane, so there’s that.

  4. Peter says:

    …the American public in free and fair elections chose two major-party candidates whose preening self-regard, dishonesty, moral cowardice, and incompetence is in each candidate’s case the best and only argument for the other candidate. Well done, America.

    —Kevin Williamson

  5. Corey says:

    Good old Dubya did the same thing, as did many other politicians.
    Interesting that you don’t hear about it though, probably because he was a Republican 😉


    What a joke.

  6. Francis says:

    Look, if foreign hackers want top secret intel from American servers then they’re gonna figure out any goddamn way to get it. Lets not pretend like Hilary exposed American confidentiality to the world by sending a bunch of over-rated emails through an unprotected server.

    The US still stood after Snowden and Manning, and its still standing now.

    I don’t understand how a) Americans value their own information so much that their willing to ignore the fact they repeatedly spy on other nations and even their own citizens in order to steal their secret information, and b) why anyone would think that Clinton intentionally did what she did or that Trump would be any bit better; the guy who regularly talks about his small dick in public should be expected to hold on to top secret information? Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the face and ask yourself if you think John Miller/Donald Trump would exercise any more discretion provided his history.

    Politically speaking, it hurts Clinton to the degree that people who already dislike are going to think “fuck me, voting for her is going to be hard as is but its better than voting for that orange baboon with a barbie-doll hairs glued to his head.

  7. Joe says:

    Idle curiosity makes me ask the question: If Donald Trump were now president would the FBI director say the same thing about Hillary’s email problem? I’m simply glad that I am not an American faced with those two choices. The only thing that makes me want to vote for Hillary is Donald. Of course the only thing that makes me want to vote for Donald is Hillary.

    • Lyn says:

      Joe: Vote for Trump unless you want 3 for one Hillary/Bill/Obama!

      • Joe says:

        Not an American and so I can’t vote however I do suspect that barring massive voter fraud Trump will win. Comey just gave Trump and his allies a ton of material to use including pointing to corruption in the Obama administration. Then I watched Obama and Hillary at the rally and I got the impression that Obama, at least, is running for opposition. So much of his speech focused on Trump and how bad Trump was it reminded me of the Conservative ads pointing out that Trudeau was just not ready. In short order it became clear that the Conservatives were running for opposition and not government and has been said before “Those who run for opposition usually win it”.

  8. Mark says:

    It has never been about “two digital mailboxes … One personal, one political” (as previous Secretaries of State have had). The issue is that she explicitly rejected a secure government set up account, and chose to use a privately set up server for both personal and government work. The FBI, even in rejecting the option of pursuing criminal charges, made it clear it was extremely likely her correspondence was compromised.

    Secret and Top Secret designations are only “routine” insofar as there is a lot of sensitive information that gets circulated, but they are definitely not used arbitrarily. They have a very serious purpose. Circulating secret documents is an indictable offence according to US law, regardless if it was intentional or not. Clinton has avoided any penalty in this case because of some combination of power/wealth/position, or just status as nominee. Others have been fired, fined, and/or imprisoned for less.

    Despite all this, your conclusion is still spot-on. She IS the best choice for President.

    Because Trump isn’t.

    I hope her judgement is better when she’s in the Oval.

  9. Hugh Whalen says:

    One reason politicians are held in such contempt is that they believe that they themselves should be held to the lowest possible standards.

    That is, if they are not convicted beyond a reasonable doubt of a criminal offence, they believe they have been vindicated and are victims of a witch hunt. So, if it’s not proven criminality then it’s perfectly acceptable.

    This seems to apply all across the political spectrum.

  10. Lance says:

    So a few days ago her husband just happens to have a private meeting with the Attorney General where they “talk about family” and nothing more, and a couple of days after that, the FBI declares that what she did was wrong, but that she just didn’t know what she was doing, so they won’t be prosecuting. That is it in a nutshell then – the Secretary Of State was an absolute incompetent at her job. Here is your Democratic nominee for a promotion to President. Lets go with that, then.


    Her entire experiential quality in this whole sordid affair, among so many other examples, can be summed up with the statement that she is “a total fuck-up.” Has she EVER done ANYTHING successfully?

  11. Tim White says:

    But she didn’t confuse her personal and public accounts. She conducted state business through her personal private server. That’s quite different from making a few honest mistakes. An appalling lack of judgement is a pretty charitable analysis.
    If the GOP wasn’t in such a state, she’d have no chance at all, and I still won’t be making a bet that she’s going to be the President elect come November.

  12. Yukon Cornelius says:

    Well, she’s a better candidate than Trump. I’ll give you that.

  13. P. Brenn says:

    its all stinky …but you gotta hold your nose and vote for Hillary …

  14. lou says:

    As always, it is not the “crime”, it is the cover up that is damning. From taking the fifth, all the way up to Bill walking over to AG’s plane. Let’s be clear. This is a person that will very likely (thank god) be the next POTUS. It shows careless acts followed up by contrived actions to cover up or justify the careless act. When there is already a concern regarding honesty, the LAST thing you do is stonewall an investigation. All politics is retail, and this looks like shit. Eventually if you throw enough shit at the wall, some will stick. And this will not be easy to clean up.

  15. Billbc says:

    She is certainly the best choice for prez, but only because Trump is much more awful than she is

  16. Gord says:

    Interesting point, Warren. I recall a photo essay the NYT did during the Obama transition called “Obama’s People”, and I remember being struck by the number of people that were either clutching two devices or had two clipped to their belt, and thinking it was pretty odd. I have multiple email accounts that go to my iPhone – work, Gmail (personal) and Hotmail (an old personal account I’ve had for 20 years now). It strikes me as odd now, as it did then, that people would see the need to have multiple devices to keep their email accounts separate.

    • Warren says:

      You have to turn over the government-issue one if requested. Ones you own, you don’t.

      • Gord says:

        Ahh. Makes sense. I work in the private sector and although the firm pays for the phone and the bills, I have the option to buy it out if I ever leave.

  17. Bernie Orbust says:

    “The notion that Hillary was ever doing anything “criminal” with emails was always frigging idiotic. Careless, sure. But criminal? How, exactly?”

    What is the purpose of setting up a private email server in the basement of your house? Especially when you’re the Secretary of State and can snap your finger and have ultra-secure fiber-optic internet access hooked up to your house?

    The only difference is that with a private server you can delete emails (i.e., destroy evidence,) but on a non-private server these emails can and will be subpoenaed.

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