Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Bernie finally pulls the plug on his nuisance suit v. the DNC

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 1, 2016

From Iowa Starting Line's Twitter account

From Iowa Starting Line’s Twitter account

Just as the Menendez brothers killed their parents and then demanded mercy from the court for being orphans, the Sanders team’s data people exploited a short-term vulnerability in a DNC server to create twenty-five lists of Hillary Clinton’s voter data – and then sued the DNC. (The alleged pretext was to force the DNC to restore Bernie’s team’s access to the servers, but funnily enough while the server access was restored within a few days, the suit was kept alive and used as a fundraising tool for the past few months, only being dropped this week.)

And just as O.J. Simpson claimed he was going to try and find “the real killers” of his ex-wife Nicole and Ron Goldman, the Sanders team claimed that it was trying to find the problem and accused the Clinton team and DNC of being “the real hackers” who also allegedly stole data from Bernie.

This has been shot down by people who actually know about IT matters. One of the most compelling testimonies is that of Aexia, who was the 2008 data director for Obama in Iowa. Here is the pertinent comment:

In 2008, when a similar vulnerability (of much less sensitive data) happened, Clinton staff immediately stopped what they were doing and reported it to VAN. They did exactly what they were supposed to and what the Sanders campaign did not. The Sanders then misrepresented this incident in their lawsuit to imply that the Clinton staff stole data and went unpunished.

I know because I was Obama’s Data Director in Iowa for the caucuses and believe me, if they had done anything out of line, we would’ve nailed them to the wall over it.

Aexia, in response to fellow Kossack Adam B, who is a friend of Josh Uretsky, one of the people who exploited the temporary vulnerability in the NGP-VAN server, also said this:

For all the people who might feel tempted to take Adam’s misguided-white-hat defense of Sanders’ national data director at face value. He pretty clearly notices what he has access to, escalates the privilege of his deputies, creates a dummy account and starts systematically running searches of target universes and saving lists (not searches) of the results to a folder under the dummy account.

There was no need to create dummy accounts if one was doing honest above-board testing.

Posted in 2016, Bernie Sanders, Datagate | 2 Comments »

No, Trump Isn’t Bringing New Republicans Into The Party

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 5, 2016

Ah, the “Trump is bringing millions and millions of new voters into the Republicsn Party” meme. Consider this yet another myth, along with the one stating that Democratic primary turnout is predictive of general election turnout, that is being promoted by people with vested interests in its being believed:

A better way of looking at that claim is to consider how many new voters are turning out. This is hard to measure without full access to state voter files, but we can estimate.

For example, exit and entrance poll data reported by CNN tells us about how many of the people who’ve come out to vote in that party’s elections this year are first-time voters. Forty-four percent of voters in Iowa were doing so for the first time, compared with 16 percent in New Hampshire and 20 percent in Texas. The high was 62 percent in Nevada — one of the few states where Democrats turned out more heavily than Republicans. Adding it up, we get about 1.1 million people on the Democratic side who’ve come out to vote for the first time in a primary in 2016.

That’s not necessarily new voters. Democrats have a habit of voting only in the general election and skipping the primaries. But it’s an estimate.

We can also estimate how many of those people came out because of Bernie Sanders, the unexpected candidate who’s doing well with new voters on the Democratic side. In states where there were enough new voters for their vote preferences to be statistically significant, about 563,000 of those new voters backed Sanders. It’s safe to assume that he got about another 100,000 from the states where there were too few new voters to break out this measure separately. So, figure that Sanders spurred about 650,000 people go to the polls. That’s out of 6.2 million total voters. Impressive.

On the Republican side, the math is trickier. First and foremost, exit and entrance polls in most states didn’t ask Republicans whether it was their first time voting, only doing so in New Hampshire and Iowa. In those two states, about 127,000 people were voting for the first time, and about 42,000 of those were voting for Trump. That’s actually lower than the number of new voters in Iowa and New Hampshire that backed Sanders; he got about 68,000 votes from new voters in those two states.

That’s the second reason the math is tricky. Sanders has accrued 37.5 percent of all of the Democratic votes, to Trump’s 34.5 percent of the Republican one. (All vote result data is from the irreplaceable U.S. Election Atlas.) Sanders is trailing in the delegate count by a lot, and Trump is winning by a lot — but there are two Democrats and four Republicans. And there are four Republicans now; just over a month ago, there were still a dozen to split up the vote. In Iowa and New Hampshire, Trump got 30 and 38 percent of the new vote, respectively. Sanders got 59 percent and 78 percent.

So it seems safe to assume that, even with increased Republican turn-out, the number of new voters voting for Trump isn’t much higher than the number backing Sanders. It’s hard to believe that it has reached 1 million, much less “millions and millions.”


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The Scandals Of Bernie Sanders

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 9, 2016

For those who think that the guy who backs every recent Iraq and Afghanistan move by President Obama is some sort of progressive dreamboat sent from On High:

First off, Bernie became a congressman in the first place by selling out to the NRA when the Republican who beat him 1988, Peter Smith, realized he couldn’t continue to oppose gun control and look at himself in the mirror:

Once safely ensconced on Capitol Hill, he’s used his power to (among other things) back the F-35 boondoggle, write a 2013 healthcare bill – the basis for his current plan – that not even Elizabeth Warren will co-sign, and collude with George W. Bush to try and poison a small Texas border town called Sierra Blanca:

There’s more to come.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Look out below, Tokyo edition

Posted by Charles II on February 9, 2016

The problem seems to be that people are afraid that oil companies can’t pay their bonds, and that banks, especially European banks, will fail. In any event…



(Image from CNBC ca. 1:30 AM Eastern).

Dax looks to  down 3%, S&P -0.8%.

Expect an ugly start to the day–and the Year of the Fire Monkey– unless the ECB issues some guarantees. One source says:


Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. If you want to have good return for your money investment, then you need to outsmart the Monkey.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Wealth distribution in America

Posted by Charles II on February 3, 2016

H/t Modemocrat at Eschaton:


Posted in poverty, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

This should be a story in The Onion

Posted by Charles II on January 27, 2016

Unfortunately, it’s a story in The Intercept. Jon Schwarz (h/t to NashVegasDawg)


Many news outlets covered Univision Communications’ purchase last week of a stake in The Onion, the world’s leading news publication. According to NPR, Univision bought a 40 percent controlling interest in the company, and also acquired the option to buy the remainder of The Onion in the future.

But what’s gotten no attention at all is that Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan and financial supporter, is Univision’s co-owner, chairman, and CEO. Saban and his wife, Cheryl, are Hillary Clinton’s top financial backers, having given $2,046,600 to support her political campaigns and at least $10 million more to the Clinton Foundation, on whose board Cheryl Saban sits. The Sabans are also generous supporters of the overall Democratic Party infrastructure, donating, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a total of $16.1 million since 1989 to Democratic and liberal candidates, party committees, leadership PACs, and federally focused 527s.

Saban is a rabid supporter of Israel and a business partner of the Murdochs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Can we trust Turkey?

Posted by Charles II on January 26, 2016

Der Spiegel

Can Turkey Be Trusted?

This puts Western intelligence services in a difficult position: Can the Turks be trusted?

Still, European diplomats in Turkey take information provided by MIT about potential IS terrorists seriously. For example, MIT has provided concrete information about possible terrorist attackers who are making their way to Europe or are already there. One diplomat, an expert on security issues, notes that Turkey maintains a “network of informants in Syria and Iraq that should not be underestimated.” Few other intelligence agencies have such good sources in the region. The source says the Turkish government has in fact “perceptibly increased” its efforts to combat IS during the last six months. Still, the source adds, doubts persist when it comes to Ankara’s political agenda.

“There’s always a residual risk about whether Ankara is truly interested in fighting IS, or if it actually has secret sympathies — either because it wants to use it as a means to weaken Assad or because, they feel closer to their fellow believers for religious reasons (as predominantly Sunni Muslims),” the source says.

Other experts draw a less flattering comparison to Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service. With ISI, too, they say, you never know which side it is actually on — whether it is combatting or supporting the Taliban or doing both at the same time.

European diplomats also find it problematic that MIT was given additional responsibilities in 2014 such that it can now be used as a “domestic policy instrument.” The secret service now has much greater access to data from companies, banks and their customers. “It is making life difficult for all people who are unpopular with the government,” the diplomat says. He says this has also resulted in further incursions into press freedoms. Journalists who report on the intelligence agency’s activities can now be subject to prosecution and stiff prison sentences because it can be claimed that they threaten security.

Posted in Turkey, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can we trust Turkey?

Stephen Cohen on Ukraine

Posted by Charles II on January 20, 2016

John Batchelor’s latest interview of Stephen Cohen is here. Is there a secret deal for Ukraine?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Ideological night riders

Posted by Charles II on January 19, 2016

James Carden, The Nation:

In mid-December 2015, Congress passed a 2,000-plus-page omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2016. Both parties were quick to declare victory after the passage of the $1.8 trillion package. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters “we feel good about the outcome, primarily because we got a compromise budget agreement that fought off a wide variety of ideological riders.” The office of House Speaker Paul J. Ryan touted the bill’s “64 billion for overseas contingency operations” for, among other things, assisting ”European countries facing Russian aggression.”

Whether White House spokesman Josh Earnest was referring, in part, to the Conyers-Yoho amendment as one of those “ideological riders” the administration fought to defeat is unclear. What is clear is that by stripping out the anti-neo-Nazi provision, Congress and the administration have paved the way for US funding to end up in the hands of the most noxious elements circulating within Ukraine today.

Thanks, John Conyers and Ted Yoho.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Interested in acupuncture? Take a listen

Posted by Charles II on January 11, 2016

(Short answer: acupuncture works for various pain syndromes, but not in the way that its practitioners think):

The full multipart presentation is worth listening to.

Posted in science and medicine, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Comments Off on Interested in acupuncture? Take a listen

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