The Empire Strikes Back
December 19, 2015 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Thursday was a banner day for Bernie Sanders, whose campaign reached two million donations and won two key endorsements. So it came as a shock Friday when Sanders was hamstrung by, of all things, a Clinton data scandal. NGP VAN, the Democratic Party's main vendor for data services, mistakenly lowered the firewalls isolating each campaign's voter info -- and one Sanders staffer peeked. While the (now-fired) staffer claims they were just trying to gauge the scope of the exposure, the Clinton camp accused their rival of downloading valuable data. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed, barring the entire campaign from NGP VAN in response -- potentially crippling their sprint to Iowa. Already dinged for shielding Clinton with favorable debate schedules, the DNC dropped the ban following outcry and a Sanders lawsuit (which Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said might expose collusion). Crisis averted, though not without adding some potential fireworks to tonight's Democratic debate on ABC.
posted by Rhaomi (401 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Except that, from the audit logs, it wasn't one staffer, but four, three of whom are still with the campaign:

According to an audit obtained by Bloomberg, Sanders staffers exploited a temporary glitch in the DNC's voter database on Wednesday to save lists created by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In response, Sanders' team fired national data director Josh Uretsky while the DNC stopped the campaign from accessing all of the DNC's data.
The database logs created by NGP VAN show that four accounts associated with the Sanders team took advantage of the Wednesday morning breach. Staffers conducted searches that would be especially advantageous to the campaign, including lists of its likeliest supporters in 10 early voting states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. Campaigns rent access to a master file of DNC voter information from the party, and update the files with their own data culled from field work and other investments.
After one Sanders account gained access to the Clinton data, the audits show, that user began sharing permissions with other Sanders users. The staffers who secured access to the Clinton data included Uretsky and his deputy, Russell Drapkin. The two other usernames that viewed Clinton information were “talani" and "csmith_bernie," created by Uretsky's account after the breach began.
The logs show that the Vermont senator’s team created at least 24 lists during the 40-minute breach, which started at 10:40 a.m., and saved those lists to their personal folders. The Sanders searches included New Hampshire lists related to likely voters, "HFA Turnout 60-100" and "HFA Support 50-100," that were conducted and saved by Uretsky. Drapkin's account searched for and saved lists including less likely Clinton voters, "HFA Support <30" in Iowa, and "HFA Turnout 30-70"' in New Hampshire.

posted by NoxAeternum at 4:18 PM on December 19, 2015 [14 favorites]


Wasserman Schultz seems like such a tool. Wonder what Clinton's giving her for Christmas.
posted by Lyme Drop at 4:20 PM on December 19, 2015 [16 favorites]


Hillary should have kept her data on her own private server. That's just common sense.



:P
posted by Drinky Die at 4:20 PM on December 19, 2015 [66 favorites]


Seriously though, this should have been kept out of the press. It's absurd the DNC has such a biased position in this race, they are the ones who are supposed to be reminding everybody they are ultimately on the same team. This being in the press makes them all look bad.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:21 PM on December 19, 2015 [43 favorites]


Obviously the DNC is in it for Clinton, and obviously Sanders himself had nothing to do with the data theft (probably overzealous staffers, which campaigns are full of), but I've used NGP VAN and when you get access even to local level data for door-knocking, it is serious access and basically they want you vouched for by a known party operative and you agree to keep the information confidential and they purge access frequently because THIS IS HOW YOU WIN CAMPAIGNS. Downloading a primary opponent's NGP VAN stuff is some SERIOUS SHIT.

I've been seeing a lot of rage from Bernie supporters in my social media feeds, but I'm not sure they understand what a serious violation that staffer committed. I feel like Sanders handled it swiftly and appropriately and I'm satisfied it was an overeager, under-moral individual (or small group thereof), but there's been not a lot of recognition that his employee(s) done fucked up bad.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:22 PM on December 19, 2015 [60 favorites]


Doesn't anybody listen to Admiral Ackbar anymore?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:24 PM on December 19, 2015 [31 favorites]


Seriously though, this should have been kept out of the press. It's absurd the DNC has such a biased position in this race, they are the ones who are supposed to be reminding everybody they are ultimately on the same team. This being in the press makes them all look bad.

Then you should be demanding that Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, either resign or be fired, as he's the main reason this blew up in the news in the first place. Again, three of the four staffers involved have not been removed from the campaign.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:26 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wasserman Schultz seems like such a tool.

I can't help but think about Katherine Harris Everytime I read about Wasserman Schultz these days.

It never struck me that Sanders was going to win against Clinton for the primary, but I at least expected a party apparatus that wasn't putting it's fingers on the scale. Clinton playing that game and makes it look like she can't win without backdoor tricks, the same sort or accusation and weakness that's dogged her campaign as a whole.
posted by Karaage at 4:29 PM on December 19, 2015 [17 favorites]


I was left with my jaw hanging open when I saw the headlines on Friday morning. Bernie? Really?

Okay, so one got fired. And apparently others still remain.

So this lowering of firewalls happened during a time of day when ONLY Sanders staffers observed it and took advantage. Or the other two campaigns also noticed and they didn't take advantage. Or more nefarious plans were afoot. Admiral Ackbar indeed.

I don't know exactly how this is going to be fixed and what the long-term fallout is going to be, but it doesn't feel minor to me.
posted by hippybear at 4:30 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


So it came as a shock Friday when Sanders was hamstrung by, of all things, a Clinton data scandal.

Calling this "a Clinton data scandal" doesn't sound right to me. The Sanders campaign admits that they screwed up. They're just (understandably) unhappy about the consequences. If you don't want to get locked out of the system, don't abuse it.
posted by kat518 at 4:33 PM on December 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


Doesn't anybody listen to Admiral Ackbar anymore?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist


My man!
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:35 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


kat518: "Calling this "a Clinton data scandal" doesn't sound right to me. "

I meant it more as a scandal concerning Clinton's data, but I get what you mean.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2015


Okay, so one got fired. And apparently others still remain.

It could be just one other, from the reporting. The logs show four usernames, but I've only seen two names bandied about. Uretsky creating two new user accounts doesn't necessarily mean they were used by two new users - there are a number of reasons why he might've thought it was a good idea (including deciding to do the bulk of the snooping in a name other than his own, if a little too late).

Does seem unlikely, to be fair, but all we know is that four accounts were involved, not that four staffers were - it could be less than that, or more.
posted by Dysk at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seriously though, this should have been kept out of the press. It's absurd the DNC has such a biased position in this race

The Sanders campaign is the only one that benefits from having it in the press. They're the ones that put it out there. And it worked to their benefit. They regained access, and managed to raise $1 million from their supporters by sending out a fundraising email that slandered the DNC.
posted by mpbx at 4:39 PM on December 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


Clinton playing that game and makes it look like she can't win without backdoor tricks

It's amazing how a story about the Sanders campaign literally using backdoor tricks can get warped in this way.
posted by mpbx at 4:40 PM on December 19, 2015 [62 favorites]


there are a number of reasons why he might've thought it was a good idea (including deciding to do the bulk of the snooping in a name other than his own, if a little too late).

Thinking it's a "good idea" to do snooping like this, whether under your own name or an alias, signals someone who should not be working for an election campaign.
posted by hippybear at 4:40 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


This FPP is so biased and bizarrely one-sided that it's surprising the mods are leaving it up.

It's not a "Clinton data scandal", it was the Sanders campaign who committed the breach. It wasn't that "one Sanders staffer peeked". Four people looked at data they knew they weren't supposed to, including the Sanders Campaign National Data Director. There's evidence that some information was saved by one of the Sanders staffers. The Sanders campaign also lied about what happened initially. Like, this was a pretty huge misdeed by someone who damn well knew it was wrong.

Yet this FPP bizarrely frames this as a case of a minor accident occurring to the Sanders campaign, instead of a serious breach perpetrated by the Sanders campaign, and that the REAL tragedy is the DNC's reaction to their misdeeds.
posted by Sangermaine at 4:41 PM on December 19, 2015 [54 favorites]


The Sanders campaign is the only one that benefits from having it in the press. They're the ones that put it out there.

Yes, you go to the press when you can't expect a fair deal from your own party.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:41 PM on December 19, 2015 [16 favorites]


Well this should make tonight's debate interesting. 15 minutes to go...
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:43 PM on December 19, 2015


Yes, you go to the press when you can't expect a fair deal from your own party.

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
posted by mpbx at 4:43 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


How is it a "Clinton data scandal" when it only involves people from the Sanders campaign?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:43 PM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


So the lesson is everyone running is scum and the usual caveat about anyone wanting to be president applies.

I love campaign season.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


Has anyone from the DNC been fired for changing the firewall settings? That's a question worth asking.
posted by hippybear at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2015 [25 favorites]


It is a scandal involving Clinton data - it is the Sanders campaign's Clinton data scandal.
posted by Small Dollar at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2015


What material advantage does this data give?
posted by Trochanter at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2015


Thanks for hiding this post on a Saturday night Rhaomi!

/s
posted by futz at 4:45 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean, come on, the title of this FPP is "The Empire Strikes Back".
posted by Sangermaine at 4:47 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes, I'd love for someone to explain this to me like I'm 5. What's this data beyond a bunch of names and addresses of potential supporters? If it's more than that, why would the DNC be in charge of this data if it's so specific to the individual campaigns?
posted by monospace at 4:48 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Should have gone with "Attack of the Drones" because it's going to be a heavy foreign policy debate.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:48 PM on December 19, 2015


monospace: that's actually a good point. shouldn't the DNC voter data be shared equally with all candidates?
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's private campaign data the DNC stores for the campaigns. Bernie uses it too, he just has his own lists.

Gizmodo: Presidential candidates need money to campaign. A fuck ton of money. To get cash, they rely on political action committees and individual donations. Some political action committees have been called Super PACs since campaign donation limits were changed in 2010. Bernie Sanders has distanced himself from Super PACS as a political stance, since they can accept unlimited corporate donations. For Sanders, they represent a nasty strain of campaign finance corruption. The Sanders campaign, more than its rivals, relies on individual donations to keep chugging along.

Sanders, Clinton, and other candidates use voter databases to target people they can hit up for those donations. These databases aren’t just “John Doe, Chicago, registered Democrat.” They can be way more specific and detailed, as the Washington Post pointed out: “John Doe, Chicago, registered Democrat, donated $1k to Obama in 2008, divorced, 48” etc. etc. etc. Knowledge is power is money is winning is the reason why these databases are crucial to presidential hopefuls.

posted by Drinky Die at 4:51 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wow, had to read this twice over before realizing the Clinton campaign hadn't done anything wrong. Bizarre, bizarre framing - won't someone think of the heroic Sanders campaign, who took advantage of a data breach to find out who had been supporting their rival, tried to cover it up, and managed to avoid punishment when they raised a public stink about it that hurt his own party.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:52 PM on December 19, 2015 [40 favorites]


My husband pointed out that based on their own statements, the Sanders campaign committed a criminal offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He also pointed out that if Sanders is running as the guy with better ethics and morals, this is not helping.

I haven't used NGP but among the types of info you could get (I think) are things like names of people who are committed Clinton supporters vs. those who are on the fence. If the Sanders campaign hasn't contacted someone and now knows that they either don't have to because that person committed to Clinton or they should reach out to someone because they're undecided, that's valuable information. Time is arguably more important than money in a campaign and not having to waste your time contacting people is an advantage.

The DNC data is shared equally. The stuff in NGP that's proprietary is stuff the campaigns collected themselves. The DNC isn't making calls to see who supports who - they just know who the registered Democrats are (and anyone can get that info, not just the DNC). That's why it was a big deal that the Sanders campaign was locked out - not only did they not have access to all of the DNC data but their own data that they collected themselves.
posted by kat518 at 4:53 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


An expert on the NGPVAN database explains the controversy, and why it matters.

" the access logs do show that Sanders staff pulled not one but multiple lists—not searches, but lists—a fact that shows intent to export and use. And the lists were highly sensitive material... seeing the topline numbers of, say, how many voters the Clinton campaign had managed to bank as “strong yes” votes would be a valuable piece of oppo... it’s undeniable that the Sanders campaign gleaned valuable information from the toplines alone. It’s also quite clear that most of the statements the Sanders campaign made as the story progressed ... were simply not true."
posted by markkraft at 4:53 PM on December 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


Thinking it's a "good idea" to do snooping like this, whether under your own name or an alias, signals someone who should not be working for an election campaign.

Fully agreed. But it doesn't necessarily signal that it's several people with those characteristics.

(And I totally don't think it's a good idea to do that kind of snooping, but I do think that if you're going to do something that is a bad fucking idea, it's probably wise to use an alias if you don't want to be caught.)
posted by Dysk at 4:54 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, so the DNC... as a party organization... stores metadata about voters and donors separately for each politician campaigning for, what? The presidency? National office? State? County? Local?

Why does that feel bizarre to me?
posted by hippybear at 4:54 PM on December 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


There have been some more informative diaries on dailykos but the gist is that a lot isn't known, both about the "firewalls" which might have actually been database user permission flaws and the data itself, which probably isn't all that copious or useful. Apparently the erroneous permissions allowed viewing some header data but not downloading it to local storage in a machine readable way, which really limits its usefulness for anything systematic. But there's still a lot of contradiction in the claims.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:54 PM on December 19, 2015


Yes, I'd love for someone to explain this to me like I'm 5. What's this data beyond a bunch of names and addresses of potential supporters? And why is the DNC holding on to this data if it's specific to the individual campaigns?

The lists also contain how strongly these contacts prefer that specific candidate, which can determine what sort of approach the campaign will take with them. For example, they may just send a "don't forget to vote!" letter to a strong partisan, whereas someone leaning might get mailers detailing the candidates positions to persuade them. These lists also identify which supporters are vulnerable to being picked off, which is why they're jealously guarded.

At the same time, this information is incredibly useful to the party as a whole for their partywide campaigns, which is why the campaigns and the party have a deal - they give the data to the party as a whole, and in return, the party will protect their data from the other campaigns. Some of that protection is technical, with access control, but other parts are more social - like sanctioning a campaign if their staffers are found in data that isn't theirs.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:55 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ultimately, everyone who entered the database *KNEW* they were doing something wrong. and should be unceremoniously booted from the campaign.
posted by markkraft at 4:55 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


The stuff in NGP that's proprietary is stuff the campaigns collected themselves. The DNC isn't making calls to see who supports who - they just know who the registered Democrats are (and anyone can get that info, not just the DNC). That's why it was a big deal that the Sanders campaign was locked out - not only did they not have access to all of the DNC data but their own data that they collected themselves.

Ah. Welcome to the unexpected consequence of the Tyranny of Cloud Services, then.
posted by hippybear at 4:56 PM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


hippybear my understanding is that in 2008 Obama had his own private apparattus for doing this and the DNC saw that it worked so well and was such a good idea that they decided it would be hella better if centralized. That means after the primary all the data is avaialable to the party for the general campaign, but of course in the primaries it does mean the party needs to fairly keep separate what's collected by each campaign for its own use.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:56 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


When Anonymous or Lulzsec steal data from Sony, it's a Sony data scandal, not an Anonymous data scandal or Lulzsec data scandal. Seems perfectly cromulent that when the Sanders campaign steals data from the Clinton campaign that this would be called a Clinton data scandal - that's the naming convention for data scandals!
posted by Dysk at 4:57 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's not a "Clinton data scandal", it was the Sanders campaign who committed the breach.

It's supposed to be [Clinton data] [scandal], not [Clinton] [data scandal].

It wasn't that "one Sanders staffer peeked". Four people looked at data they knew they weren't supposed to, including the Sanders Campaign National Data Director.

Four user accounts as Dysk mentioned, two created during the breach, used by two known staffers, one of whom was the direct deputy of other (fired) one.

There's evidence that some information was saved by one of the Sanders staffers.

Stated and linked in the FPP, along with the Clinton camp accusation and back-up from Wasserman Schultz in her own words.

I mean, come on, the title of this FPP is "The Empire Strikes Back".

Topical joke?

For the record, I was for Obama over Clinton in '08, but I'm not anti-Clinton, think the email thing is hot air, and would be happy voting for her, even without the contrast of the GOP field. I thought the most interesting aspect of the story was the optics of such a severe punishment from an already-criticized DNC so close to the actual voting (and right before a big debate!) Maybe people will actually watch this one now.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:58 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I agree that this is terrible framing but don't see a flag for "this is terrible framing."

Yes, I'd love for someone to explain this to me like I'm 5.

NGP VAN runs data for the Democratic Party.

Some of the data is Democratic Party data.

Other data, also on NGP VAN, is proprietary data created by specific campaigns, including primary campaigns. This makes sense because then individual campaigns don't have to hire some entirely different contractor with entirely different APIs and data requirements to handle the data they generate themselves.

NGP VAN users are really, really not supposed to see other users' proprietary data. NGP VAN maintains firewalls between the users so they can't normally do that.

While NGP VAN were meow meow tech meow, the Sanders users were able to see data generated and held by Clinton. They appear to have actively pursued this information, not accidentally seen it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:58 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


In this case, it's actually a DNC scandal, if you're going to use that naming convention. It was DNC data (tagged as Clinton-only) that was involved, not Clinton private data. If it were private, it wouldn't be in the cloud.
posted by hippybear at 4:59 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm in the great smoky mountains with my family for Christmas.

Dad asked me to work the guide/TV remote so I could put the debate on for him since he was unfamiliar with the remote/TV here.

I couldn't help but notice that the debate is directly preceded by a rerun of Hee Haw.

I don't even know whether to take this as an attempt to lampoon Democrats in general or just the norm for TV programming in these parts.

shrug
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:59 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


If it were private, it wouldn't be in the cloud.


Nice try NSA.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:00 PM on December 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


From a comment on reddit. Perhaps irrelevant but:

The bug that allowed the data leak has been proven to originate with NGP Van, a company founded, in part, by Hillary Clinton's former chief tech adviser Nathaniel Pearlman. The present NGP Van CEO and president is Stuart Trevelyan. a long term staffer of Bill Clinton's administration.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Pearlman

http://www.fireandreamitchell.com/2015/12/18/stu-trevelyan-ceo-ngp-van-worked-for-1992-clinton-campaign/
posted by futz at 5:05 PM on December 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


Re: scandal naming conventions, it was "the Sony data scandal" because people didn't know who did it. And "Clinton data scandal" makes it sound like her team did something wrong. Again, the Sanders campaign admits they screwed up. That's why it's important. The Clinton campaign did not screw up here.
posted by kat518 at 5:05 PM on December 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


There's understandably a lot of confusion, and to me the scope of the access is an important point to tamper down overreaction. Notably, no Sanders campaign staffer had the ability to export or download any of the data they were accessing. While some of the data (aggregate numbers of strong Clinton supporters, for example) was no doubt valuable even if you were just looking at it briefly, for the most part the scope is not as massive as some people are assuming. This is what leads me to believe that this staffer in question was shocked that he had access, shared that access with others to figure out next steps (look at this - this is fucked - it looks like Clinton has the same access to our sensitive data! What do we do?), and that accounts for the breach. It's incredibly, breathtakingly stupid, and warrants a firing. But it's not quite as stupid as actually thinking you can get away with this, when everyone using NGP VAN knows you're being meticulously tracked.
posted by naju at 5:07 PM on December 19, 2015 [20 favorites]


In this case, it's actually a DNC scandal, if you're going to use that naming convention. It was DNC data (tagged as Clinton-only) that was involved, not Clinton private data. If it were private, it wouldn't be in the cloud.

If it wasn't Clinton private data, then why is this a scandal at all, again? But you're right, it should be the DNC data scandal, since it was the DNC that lost the data, not the Clinton campaign (much as it isn't the "Sony's customers data scandal" even if and when it is their data that Sony* loses).

Re: scandal naming conventions, it was "the Sony data scandal" because people didn't know who did it.

No, it was the Sony* data scandal because Sony* were the ones who failed to adequately protect the data they held on customers and/or business associates.

*Don't know why I'm picking on Sony so much today - maybe they're just in the back of my mind because they have had some breaches and they're maybe at the back of my mind because I've been mucking about with my brother's PS4 today. Sorry Sony!
posted by Dysk at 5:09 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


man, i remember the Nixon data scandal...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:10 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


(In short, I tend to believe that Sander's staffers were stupid, not malicious. That's a good rule of thumb when you're dealing with people who are passionate, want to help, but aren't entirely savvy or thinking five chess moves ahead.)
posted by naju at 5:11 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


man, i remember the Nixon data scandal...
quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon

"So it came as a shock Friday when Nixon was hamstrung by, of all things, a Democratic National Committee headquarters scandal. The subsequent persecution of the Nixon administration by the notoriously liberal media and the Senate..."
posted by Sangermaine at 5:14 PM on December 19, 2015 [18 favorites]


Somebody hack ABC so I can find out when this starts and we can stop debating the phrasing of the FPP.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:16 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Veep is a documentary.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


There's a free livestream on abcnews.go.com. It's stuttering a bit for me, but that may be my internet.
posted by mochapickle at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2015


It starts at 9p.m. EST, or 7 minutes from now.
posted by SillyShepherd at 5:23 PM on December 19, 2015


(In short, I tend to believe that Sander's staffers were stupid, not malicious. That's a good rule of thumb when you're dealing with people who are passionate, want to help, but aren't entirely savvy or thinking five chess moves ahead.)

Well, I agree with that. The problem is how Weaver compounded things - instead of saying "hey, some of our guys fucked up, and they've been informed that their services are no longer needed by the campaign," he instead went to the press and pushed the story that the sanctions were due to the DNC wanting to cripple the campaign.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:24 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


[Just FYI, folks, the guideline against editorializing doesn't mean that all political posts have to be completely neutral. If you find this one misleading, feel free to present your version so we can discuss it. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:25 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


ABC's stream appears to be using Hooli technology.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:32 PM on December 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ugh, had to find a mirror on YouTube. Apparently YouTube has streaming chat? It covers the full range between disheartening and downright abusive.
posted by mochapickle at 5:33 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




The problem is how Weaver compounded things - instead of saying "hey, some of our guys fucked up, and they've been informed that their services are no longer needed by the campaign," he instead went to the press and pushed the story that the sanctions were due to the DNC wanting to cripple the campaign.

Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC were the ones who made the decision to go public and make this into a press event, so this seems like a disingenuous argument. As far as Weaver striking back against these sanctions, it makes sense -- they were significant sanctions that would've crippled the campaign right at the Iowa push when it was most crucial. And, to be honest, he has a point that those significantly punishing, crippling sanctions had a biased element to them.
posted by naju at 5:34 PM on December 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


Wow, O'Malley goes straight for the f(ascist)-word re:Trump.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:36 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dang O'Malley. Billionaires with big mouths. Nice shot.
posted by pipoquinha at 5:38 PM on December 19, 2015


Ugh, had to find a mirror on YouTube.

Mind sharing the link?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:39 PM on December 19, 2015


Sanders is blaming the third party vendor.
posted by octothorpe at 5:40 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mind sharing the link?

It stopped streaming. I hopped back on abcnews.go.com & it seems to be working.
posted by mochapickle at 5:43 PM on December 19, 2015


Whew. All is forgiven. Should I bother watching the rest of this?
posted by monospace at 5:43 PM on December 19, 2015


Martin O'Malley: I'm still here, y'all!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:43 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC were the ones who made the decision to go public

I don't believe this is accurate.
posted by mpbx at 5:46 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm glad there's some attempt at perspective and good faith being made here. From the candidates, in any case. They should be taking the high-minded approach. The behavior of the DNC is incredibly troubling, though, and that just won't go away so easily with some public apologies/forgiveness.
posted by naju at 5:46 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


My husband pointed out that based on their own statements, the Sanders campaign committed a criminal offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Well, staffers did this act... Presumably it wasn't authorized by Sanders, or the highest levels of his campaign. At least one head has already rolled, maybe another one will roll.

Maybe it is a criminal offense, but it may be a criminal offense to use something other than your real name on Facebook too (violation of terms and conditions could be unauthorized access to a service), so that's fairly meaningless.
posted by el io at 5:47 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why does O'Malley annoy me so? Every time he starts talking I'm just like "GO AWAY DUDE".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:47 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, what does O'Malley mean by first 9/11 mayor and governor?
posted by mochapickle at 5:48 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Basically none of the coverage of this scandal is remotely literate in NGPVAN, the voter database that was inappropriately used by the Sanders campaign. The Sanders campaign fucked up with a sizable ethical breach, fucked up more by lying about it, and continues to fuck up by misrepresenting what happened to continue the conspiracy narrative it benefits from at the expense of not having a Republican in the white house. Wasserman-Schultz fucked up a bit by arguably overreacting in a way that made the Democratic party vulnerable to the Sanders campaign lying its ass off, and honestly Hilary's campaign is completely innocent here. For an explanation of what actually fucking happened by an insider, see here:
An Explanation of What Bernie Sanders Staffers Actually Did and Why It Matters
posted by Blasdelb at 5:48 PM on December 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


I don't believe this is accurate.

Feel free to correct me. I'm seeing it in multiple places. Sanders just straight-up said it in the debate. The decision to deal with this publicly lies squarely on the DNC.
posted by naju at 5:49 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah I don't think all is forgiven re: the DNC. The accusation that they have their finger on the scale isn't going away all that easily.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:49 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


"What's this data beyond a bunch of names and addresses of potential supporters? If it's more than that, why would the DNC be in charge of this data if it's so specific to the individual campaigns?"

"Wait, so the DNC... as a party organization... stores metadata about voters and donors separately for each politician campaigning for, what? The presidency? National office? State? County? Local?
Why does that feel bizarre to me?"


Okay, so the technical aspects of this were managed by my campaign manager but I can give you an overview. I ran once without NGP VAN and once with it. So, the basic NGP VAN database is nationwide and draws from various public sources. When you run for local office, as I did, you used to get a printout and maps of registered voters, which your county party likely supplemented with information on likely voters, party members, etc. The better your data (especially on likely voters in local campaigns), the better your targeting, and the better your campaign. With NGP VAN, not only do you get this all ON YOUR PHONE with GPS tags instead of in 300 pages of printouts for one weekend's canvassing, but as you do the canvass you enter YOUR findings.

You can mark houses visited/not-visited -- were they not visited because nobody was home? Scary dog? (literally has a spot for "scary dog, can't go to door") Do the same people still live there? Is the house on the market? Does the house have a foreclosure notice? It highlights if someone in the house has turned 18 since the last election -- do they still live there? Are they registered to vote? You can upload surveys to your canvass -- are you going to vote? Who are you voting for? How strongly do you feel about that? You can mark voters who need transportation to get to the precinct on election day. You mark if you leave literature, and if so, what literature. Does the voter have a question for the candidate? You can flag that up in NGP VAN so the candidate can sit down and make phone calls to all the voters who had questions and were visited by his canvassers instead of him personally. What is the voter complaining about? Roads? Budget? Common Core? You can mark all this.

So every door-to-door local canvass operation in every local election now becomes a unified voter canvass that can be accessed by EVERY Democrat, statewide and nationally. In return, NGP VAN gives you access to much more powerful tools for managing voter lists and targeting voters even in your teeny little local elections. Manpower on the ground is the most important part of local campaigns, and NGP VAN makes it possible for you to target with a sophistication that was only available to the top national campaigns in the past.

As an idea of what's in there, my file notes every election I've voted in since I turned 18; that I'm not registered with a party but that I poll democrat and I (almost) always pull a democratic primary ballot; that I'm married to a democrat; that I have children, and cats. It notes that my husband and I are both attorneys (public data). Mine notes that I'm an easy canvass and I sign every petition, but that they definitely should not fucking phone bank call me because I hate that. It has a section called "connections" or "relationships" or something where it notes my personal relationships with local party and elected officials (I'm good buds with my precinct committeeman and my county board rep, so they can send those guys to do an ask if they want to get a donation out of me or some volunteer hours; it also notes I'm close with a republican county board members whose wife is a good friend of mine so that badmouthing him is a bad idea). I know that national campaigns combine all this sort of information with consumer survey type information, like salary data and home value and things like that, but we didn't have that part.

This is a SHITLOAD of powerful data, so access is cordoned off and purged frequently. Downstate here they provide access credentials by county, so I could see the whole county (not just my electoral district), but it's cut up smaller in big cities and your access credentials may just let you see your precinct or your electoral district or town or whatever. The state party purges credentials after every election (so I can't go look at it now, for instance, but if I volunteer to go door-to-door in the spring for municipal elections, I'll get canvasser access). State and national campaigns have access to statewide and nationwide data, respectively.

What Sanders' campaign saw, I believe, was basically the work product of Clinton's voter targeting teams -- hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of their analysts' work sifting through all this data and identifying whom they intended to target and how. It basically gives you access to your opponent's entire strategic playbook (although you have to reverse engineer a bit from what's in their lists, but you can probably guess when you're looking at married white women earning more than $75,000 with two or more children who are going to get "Mailer A" and "Mailer C" and personal phone calls from contacts what the strategic targeting message is going to be).

Part of the deal with NGP VAN is that we all agree as Democrats we're going to use it to advance the Democratic Party's interests, and we'll pool our local data to that end -- and we'll play fair in primary, intra-party campaigns with that data. Because to GET the data that lets us organize efficiently to defeat Republicans, we do have to share it and it does rely on the footwork of every individual Democrat going door to door in every podunk election for town sewer inspector. But for jealous politicians with lifelong grudges against each other, even though they're in the same party, to agree to cooperate, we all have to agree to play fair and keep to that agreement, or nobody will "donate" their data to NGP VAN and it rapidly becomes pointless. So this is a major ethical breach and a major violation.

It is my general observation that younger candidates are quite a bit savvier about NGP VAN than older ones are -- I don't expect that Sanders OR Clinton really understands much about the specifics of how it works, while politicians under 40 can talk pretty fluently about permissions and access and cordons and whatnot, even if they don't personally manage the data for their own campaign or use NGP VAN in any way but what their staff puts on their phone and tells them to do. ("Okay click here if nobody's home ...") So on a big national-level campaign with senior candidates, it's a bit of a staffer nerd-fight and I'd expect the candidates' understand of how the data can be used and misused is a little bit hazier than younger candidates who are growing up with the NGP VAN system starting when they're first canvassing and understand the big picture as well as the small details of it better, if that makes sense. (Which is to say, I wouldn't impute nefarious motives to EITHER Clinton or Sanders personally, but boy howdy do I expect some of their data staff would like to shiv each other right now.)

Like I said, my experience is as a candidate and canvasser using it, so I don't know a TON about the technical aspects, but hopefully that's helpful in understanding the big picture.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:51 PM on December 19, 2015 [223 favorites]


"Can we stick to the topic?" Oh you sweet summer mod.
posted by homunculus at 5:51 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


From Blasdelb's link: Instead, Wasserman-Schultz chose to take it public to attempt to embarrass the Sanders campaign, and merely managed to embarrass herself and the Party’s data security vulnerabilities in the process.

This from someone who otherwise clearly believes the Sanders campaign people are the wrongdoers here.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:55 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Whoa, we have reached the time for popcorn.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:55 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


(That's about tonight's debate, not the campaign in general.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:56 PM on December 19, 2015


Whoah whoah there, Martin.
posted by peeedro at 5:56 PM on December 19, 2015


Get 'em, O'Malley!
posted by homunculus at 5:57 PM on December 19, 2015


Hey-o, glad to be in another stealth-debate thread. ISIS' best recruiter!
posted by box at 6:00 PM on December 19, 2015


Is there a stream that works? ABC sucks.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:01 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


The ABC stream seems to have died for me. This one on youtube seems to work better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su9f3x_dtgw
posted by johnpowell at 6:01 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Stream keeps freezing for me too. Then takes 45 seconds or more to reload.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:01 PM on December 19, 2015


"They're lookin' at Washinagin"
posted by escabeche at 6:02 PM on December 19, 2015


Try checking these:

http://www.livenewschat.eu/

http://www.stream2watch.co/live-tv/us/
http://www.hulkusc.com/

Use pirate streams at your own risk.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:03 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks, johnpowell! That one is much better for me so far.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:04 PM on December 19, 2015


HRC: Manhattan-like tech project re:encryption WTF?
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:04 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


HRC, paraphrasing: We should have encryption without backdoors except for thebackdoors our LEOs really really need
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:05 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well, the Clipper Chip was an idea floated during Bill's presidency (although the program was probably actually initiated by the NSA during the Bush I administration).
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:09 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Man, this is not insane at all. No carpet bombing, no killing suspects families, no goons rounding up Mexicans.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:09 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Where has she been? We already have encryption with backdoors.
posted by indubitable at 6:10 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]




Sanders realizing live on camera complaining about equal time would only lose him time to O'Malley.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:12 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Unless it's proven that he ordered the data theft, or attempted to cover it up, I'm still on Team Bernie.
posted by Beholder at 6:13 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


My husband pointed out that based on their own statements, the Sanders campaign committed a criminal offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.


Probably, but that's a ridiculously written law.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:15 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


If it's vital to defeat them militarily, it's absurd to rule out sending troops.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:18 PM on December 19, 2015


No fly zone to shoot down ISIS fighters?
posted by Drinky Die at 6:22 PM on December 19, 2015


Once again their master plan is working; how the hell was I to know there was a debate. On Saturday night. Before Christmas. WTF?
posted by Justinian at 6:25 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Asking the arsonist to pour more gas.
posted by box at 6:25 PM on December 19, 2015


"different generation"
posted by Small Dollar at 6:26 PM on December 19, 2015


Why did O'Malley's "a different generation's perspective" get booed?
posted by homunculus at 6:27 PM on December 19, 2015


Man, crowd didn't like that O'Malley generation jibe
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:27 PM on December 19, 2015


Thought it was calling them old. Kinda was, but it wasn't his point.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:28 PM on December 19, 2015


It implied they were "Olds".
posted by Small Dollar at 6:28 PM on December 19, 2015


Youth and inexperience.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:28 PM on December 19, 2015


I really appreciate O'Malley calling out the world police tendencies.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:30 PM on December 19, 2015


On Saturday night. Before Christmas. WTF?

I think Bernie's campaign snarked that Christmas Eve must have been booked. DNC and Debbie W. Schultz finger on the scale.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:31 PM on December 19, 2015 [16 favorites]


How is having the debate tonight to Bernie's disadvantage?
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:35 PM on December 19, 2015


OMG they're starting without her
posted by an animate objects at 6:36 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


How is having the debate tonight to Bernie's disadvantage?

Because relatively few people are going to watch it. This, combined with the drastically cut-back debate schedule, is part of a pretty openly orchestrated move by the DNC to keep their anointed candidate from getting into the fray enough to lose her lead.
posted by fifthrider at 6:37 PM on December 19, 2015 [16 favorites]


That "sorry" was excellent.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:37 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you are ahead, you want to reduce variance. If you are behind, you want to increase variance. Clinton started off ahead. The few and hidden debates reduce the chances for change, and thus favor Clinton.
posted by Balna Watya at 6:38 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


That was the worst break I've ever seen. It was filled with editorializing in the middle of the debate by the host organization, and then they start without her. Truly terrible. It should be illegal to have that bullshit pontificating in the middle like that, or at least against the debate rules the parties agree to -- though I guess for those of us who never watch live TV, it's worth the occasional reminder just how idiotic TV news reporters are.
posted by chortly at 6:40 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Everybody should!" :)
posted by Drinky Die at 6:44 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


After reading reaction to the Sanders data scandal here and elsewhere I get the feeling that we could find video of Sanders biting the head off a live chicken and a lot of his supporters would say it shows that the DNC and Clinton are up to their old dirty tricks by mind controlling Sanders into biting the head off a live chicken.
posted by Justinian at 6:47 PM on December 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


9/11! (From the last debate.)
posted by homunculus at 6:49 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


"The bug that allowed the data leak has been proven to originate with NGP Van, a company founded, in part, by Hillary Clinton's former chief tech adviser Nathaniel Pearlman. The present NGP Van CEO and president is Stuart Trevelyan. a long term staffer of Bill Clinton's administration. "

This is perhaps about the most ridiculous, leading comment in this whole discussion.

NGPVAN was basically the first company of its kind, doing voter databases for the Democrats. These centralized voter databases grew directly out of the work of technologists for the Democrats... so it makes complete sense that some people associated with Bill Clinton's campaign would be working for NGPVAN.

"Wasserman Schultz seems like such a tool. "

Gee... maybe it's because millions of supposed Democrats -- and a few in the media who support Sanders -- have been demonizing her for doing her job in a way that balances the interests of the DNC and all of the candidates.

The Sanders campaign has yet to release a single credible bit of evidence suggesting any collusion or cronyism between Clinton and Wasserman Schultz, even as they continue to smear her to the press.

In 2008 -- and in 2000 and 2004 -- there were six sanctioned DNC debates. The big complaint in 2008 was an explosion of *unsanctioned* debates, spread over THIRTEEN months, with major broadcasters -- and a rapidly growing cable TV industry -- taking advantage of a lack of money-making election fervor and a lack of restrictions on unsanctioned debates to have two CNN Democratic debates in just ten days, announced with little advanced warning and no real interaction with others who wished to host debates.

Reports suggest the Clinton team wanted four DNC- sanctioned debates. Wasserman Schultz decided on six... the same amount as in 2004 and 2008 -- twice the number of presidential debates. And the idea of having an exclusionary clause had apparently been discussed by the DNC for quite some time.

“The precedent that was set was six, but there was no mechanism controlling that. We’ve always said that we’d like to come up with a number and stick with it. Every now and then Republicans have ideas that aren’t so terrible, and this was one of them.”
Mo Elleithee, DNC Communications Director, early 2015

In 2008, the lack of an exclusionary clause led to situations where not only were candidates under pressure to decide to enter the race way too early if they wanted to be viable -- Gore, for example, decided not to enter the race, in part because he would've already have missed months of fundraising, debates, and organizing. It also led to situations where candidates would be faced with situations such as three debates in 15 days, clear across the country from each other, with little advanced warning and no time to prepare.

And, with considerable growth in cable news, social media, and internet-driven organizations since then, the expectations for 2016 were even worse. Already in 2016, we've seen MSNBC, Facebook, MoveOn, The Congressional Black Caucus Institute, CSPAN, CNBC, Fox Business, Westwood One Radio, The Wall Sreet Journal, and several newspapers involved in sponsoring debates for the first time, because there's serious money to be made. Because sponsors can charge extortionate rates for spots during debates, we now face a tragedy of the commons, with unrealistic demands on the money and the time of candidates, even when they are just getting started. Those debating had little advanced notice and no time to prepare, causing them to increasingly fall back on changing the subject to match their stump speeches. This was criticized by the media as reducing the importance of debates, with "debate fatigue" becoming a common political term in 2008. It also imposed financial strains on candidates, especially for smaller or newer campaigns. who could be financially pushed out of the race, due to the media's demands.

Some facts that many Sanders supporters get wrong:
- The DNC has not strictly limited the number of debates. Rather, they have exclusively sanctioned six debates, Oct. 13th - March 9th. After that point, *any* media outlet can organize a debate without running afoul of the DNC exclusionary clause. In 2008, Democrats were holding unsanctioned debates, as late as a month-and-a-half later. Given the pacing of non-sanctioned debates in 2008, we could easily see another six non-sanctioned debates occur after March 9th, with another 33 states -- including most of the largest states, and a big majority of the electoral votes -- still up for grabs.

- The DNC does not appear to have intentionally picked bad days for the debates. While two of the debates have been on a Saturday, those remaining are on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

- In addition to the debates, there have been numerous televised events where all the candidates appeared and gave speeches or interviews, often replying directly to each other's previous statements.

- More debates aren't necessary for people to get to know Bernie Sanders. Pollsters are reporting that nearly 100% of voters know about him in the early primary states at this point, with additional debates scheduled before additional primaries.

- In a situation where there are only three presidential debates. six scheduled Democratic primary debates -- plus the potential for more after early March -- hardly seems like the death of democracy. Rather, it seems... kinda reasonable. Certainly more significant than the kind of involvement we see in choosing party leaders in most representative democracies.
posted by markkraft at 6:49 PM on December 19, 2015 [31 favorites]


good lord the feeds ALL suck. wtf?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:52 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's supposed to be [Clinton data] [scandal], not [Clinton] [data scandal].

Calling it the Clinton-data scandal would be the correct way to clarify that it was Clinton's data at the center of the scandal, and not yet-another Clintonian scandal centered on data.

/pedantry
posted by Dashy at 6:53 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Student debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
posted by Small Dollar at 7:01 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


student debt shouldn't exist.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 7:03 PM on December 19, 2015 [46 favorites]


EVERYONE TALK AT ONCE
posted by shakespeherian at 7:04 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


After reading reaction to the Sanders data scandal here and elsewhere I get the feeling that we could find video of Sanders biting the head off a live chicken and a lot of his supporters would say it shows that the DNC and Clinton are up to their old dirty tricks by mind controlling Sanders into biting the head off a live chicken.

What a silly comment! Who DOESN'T enjoy bitting the head off a live chicken?! Maybe you need off making comments about the beauty and grace of Bernie followers and chill the hell out!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:06 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actually, no... it should be the NGP VAN data scandal, as their system was the one which had the security problem... a problem which affected all their clients, presumably including ones that weren't running for POTUS, as it is a database used by state and local candidates as well... though NGP VAN has clarified that ONLY the Sanders campaign attempted to take advantage of the security flaw by trying to go into -- and copying -- another candidate's data.

They also made it clear that contrary to Sanders' assertion, there has been independent confirmation that NGP VAN has not received previous notice of a data breach regarding NGP VAN. Josh Uretsky, the former National Data Director for the Sanders campaign confirmed on MSNBC, and also on CNN, regarding the previous incident: “it wasn’t actually within the VAN VoteBuilder system, it was another system.”
posted by markkraft at 7:07 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


If somebody needs a live stream then go to youtube, click on "live" on the left and you'll be able to find a few.
posted by I-baLL at 7:07 PM on December 19, 2015


This is the livestream that I'm watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9eGccZOPoo
posted by I-baLL at 7:07 PM on December 19, 2015


I would buy O'Malley's used car.
I would take Clinton's unpaid internship on her word.
I would roll up my sleeves and cut a trench for Bernie.
Who's the guy with the weird hair running the country now?
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:09 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Speaking as someone who knows a little about databases and jack squat about politics as a ground game, I don't know anything about this data breach. I don't know who's at fault, who made what mistakes, which features of logged accesses would show mens rea for which parties, or anything at all like that. And this may be an argument from ignorance but I don't think the rest of us know that either.

I mean, this is some straight-up dirty tricks squad stuff. How can we possibly trust anyone who isn't SCRUPULOUSLY neutral to give any sort of account of what happened? Somebody links to a blog entry titled “An Explanation of What Bernie Sanders Staffers Actually Did and Why It Matters” and I find out it was written by:
A few years ago I decided to follow Howard Dean's advice and get involved in making my local Democratic Party a more progressive place. One thing led to another, and on July 24th I was elected Chairman of the Ventura County Democratic Party after serving for two years as a vice chair. As it turns out, I've taken the helm at an extraordinary time when Ventura County (just northwest of Los Angeles County) is nationally watched and going to have a dramatic impact on national politics.
There's no way that's a neutral voice. We can't trust him, we can't trust anyone from the Sanders campaign, or the Clinton campaign, or the DNC, or anyone linked to any of them. They'll all be writing kilowords about “here's the truth” and it's all going to be just as trustworthy as whatever's coming out of the mouths of the candidates in this debate I'm ignoring.

Back in high school a friend of mine found a hole in the school's network security system that let him access everything, including grades. He pointed it out, got a thank-you and a reprimand, and was sent on his way. It could have been much worse and his intentions were completely honest. Was this an honest mistake by NGP VAN? By the Sanders campaign? Both? Neither? Don't bother answering unless you're as all-knowing as Jesus and as neutral as Buddha. I can't trust anyone less.
posted by traveler_ at 7:11 PM on December 19, 2015 [25 favorites]


Hey, great. Arguments against Universal Health Care/College Education in the democratic debate.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:11 PM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


I agree with many of Sanders' positions and views, and he is a fresh face, but politics at this level requires being a team player. Jumping on the Democratic team this late in his career and then complaining that he's not given the deference of someone who has relentlessly worked for the organization for decades strikes me and others as whining.

Sanders' supporters are undoubtedly right that the DNC favors Clinton...because the DNC wants to win! Clinton is the Democrats' best hope of retaining the White House.

Hillary Clinton has plenty of shortcomings, but she has experience, toughness, and shares most of the values of my fellow Democrats and me. She was an effective U.S. Senator and an effective Secretary of State, and she would likely be an effective President of the United states.

If Sanders wanted a better chance at becoming President, he should have started running as a Democrat back in the early 1990s and participated in the Democratic Party from that time, instead of continually positioning himself as the outsider.
posted by haiku warrior at 7:13 PM on December 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


Sanders has moved the Overton window to the left, and he couldn't have done that as effectively as an independent. I'm very glad to see him making these waves within the DNC.
posted by Dashy at 7:18 PM on December 19, 2015 [50 favorites]


Yeah, saying the DNC favors Clinton is like saying the RNC favors anyone but Trump. Well, yeah.
posted by Justinian at 7:20 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Was this an honest mistake by NGP VAN? By the Sanders campaign? Both? Neither?

Two things we know for certain are that the DNC cut off the Sanders' campaign's access to its own data, and when, and only when, they were challenged with a lawsuit they folded.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:21 PM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


Jumping on the Democratic team this late in his career and then complaining that he's not given the deference of someone who has relentlessly worked for the organization for decades strikes me and others as whining.

He has been working in the senate caucusing with the Democratic Party since he arrived there.

Sanders' supporters are undoubtedly right that the DNC favors Clinton...because the DNC wants to win!

Similarly, the RNC perhaps undoubtedly favors Bush (or perhaps Rubio now), but it really shouldn't be the position of the party to be rooting for specific candidates in the primaries.
posted by el io at 7:23 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


O'Malley: I am also here!
posted by mochapickle at 7:25 PM on December 19, 2015


"Sanders' supporters are undoubtedly right that the DNC favors Clinton...because the DNC wants to win!"

I think saying "the DNC favors Clinton" implies a bias that does not need to be there in order for Clinton to have ground rules that are generally beneficial for her campaign.

Debbie Wasserman Schulz is to Sanders supporters as Sidney Bloomenthal is to the foaming mad GOP Benghazi crowd... but not everything is a conspiracy against Bernie. Sometimes - most of the time -- it's just people trying to do their jobs in a way that balances all the interests at hand, including that of a political party that Bernie Sanders only joined about a month ago.

I find it distasteful to see the demonizing of people without one iota of actual, credible evidence to back it up, just because their politics and their decisions aren't in lockstep with someone's candidate of choice.

Everyone doesn't have to be "in the tank" for Hillary in order for her to be better at knowing how to win, given the rules in play. She's got a good deal of experience and knows how to work the system to her advantage... which is actually not a horrible trait to have in a politician.
posted by markkraft at 7:25 PM on December 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


Bringer Tom: Two things we know for certain are that the DNC cut off the Sanders' campaign's access to its own data, and when, and only when, they were challenged with a lawsuit they folded.

It sounds like there are other things we “know” as well, which are necessary to give context to that, but still I personally don't feel comfortable saying I “know” even that: what if, next week, an article comes out describing how that was an oversimplification and what really happened was blah blah blah......?

Likewise, if we assume that's true (and was it the DNC or NGP that cut off access?) was it a sensible precaution to the possibility that people at the Sanders campaign had been hacking the system, or a malicious intentional DOS at a critical pre-debate moment designed to use a planned "vulnerability" as a cover story?
posted by traveler_ at 7:27 PM on December 19, 2015


As someone who grew up in Maryland, O'Malley's accent, like Berger's Cookies is a surprising balm to the soul.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:28 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Moe-dick and Aww-yende
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:30 PM on December 19, 2015


traveler, you may be right. Time will tell. I think the sequence of events as we do know it is pretty damning to the DNC but I think we will learn a lot more in the next few days and I might turn out to be wrong about that.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:31 PM on December 19, 2015


Sanders' supporters are undoubtedly right that the DNC favors Clinton...because the DNC wants to win! Clinton is the Democrats' best hope of retaining the White House.

Why even have primaries.
posted by naju at 7:36 PM on December 19, 2015 [37 favorites]


Good points, markkraft.
posted by haiku warrior at 7:37 PM on December 19, 2015


A big part of Bernie Sanders' problem is his campaign fails to engage with the Democratic Party on its own terms... including choosing not to attend traditional Democratic events, and constantly blaming Democrats, rather than trying to reach out to local politicians.

This is a big part of why he is trailing in Iowa, and has near-zero superdelegate support nationwide. Even if he won the popular vote in New Hampshire -- perhaps the only state outside Vermont which should be in the bag for him -- he would lose the delegate count in New Hampshire at this point, because all their superdelegates have endorsed Clinton, and likely plan on voting for her, regardless of Sanders' support.
posted by markkraft at 7:37 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


We do have primaries, naju, and Obama showed that one can overcome the advantages of the favorite. But Obama was and always had been a Democrat.
posted by haiku warrior at 7:39 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Did Sanders just congratulate Clinton for being an inspirational First Lady, as opposed to a senator and SecState?

Wow. That's patronizing.
posted by markkraft at 7:39 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


No it isn't. The question was about the First Spouse.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:41 PM on December 19, 2015 [17 favorites]


Did Sanders just congratulate Clinton for being an inspirational First Lady, as opposed to a senator and SecState?

Wow. That's patronizing.


It was the frame of the question. It was focused on the role of the First Lady/Potential First Gentleman.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:42 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


" a malicious intentional DOS at a critical pre-debate moment designed to use a planned "vulnerability" as a cover story?"

Fishing for hackers that might never come... with no prior verified reports of vulnerabilities of any kind?

Wow. Worst conspiracy theory ever.
posted by markkraft at 7:42 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


After all the quarreling over speaking time, the moderators made sure to get that pointless bit of fluff about spouses in there. Feh.
posted by homunculus at 7:45 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Bernie was both cranky and classy, in turn. But Hilary got in that great last line. But golly, is there no TV broadcast tonight that doesn't refer to Star Wars?
posted by Bella Donna at 7:50 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did O'Malley just call global climate change a great business opportunity?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:50 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Heeeeee. Great closing move, Hillary.
posted by mochapickle at 7:50 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can only imagine how the conspiracy theory worked..

"Dear Josh Uretsky,

NGP VAN will be doing a system upgrade at noon tomorrow. So, if you notice a folder called ClintonStuff pop up on your database records, please do not click on it, or try to copy anything over.

Many thanks,
Debbie NGP VAN Systems Administration"

posted by markkraft at 7:51 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bernie has that Watto mystique kicking!
posted by clavdivs at 7:57 PM on December 19, 2015


Bernie: Live long and prosperous
O'Malley: The sleeper must awaken
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:57 PM on December 19, 2015


NGP VAN: Hybrid. New Granddaddy Purple x Mystery Mobile. 23% THC.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:57 PM on December 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


@deray's twitter poll, obviously highly unscientific, has Bernie at 74% right now, with 10% undecided.
posted by desjardins at 7:59 PM on December 19, 2015


The sleeper must awaken

Sorry, buddy. That's tinsel, not silver.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:00 PM on December 19, 2015


Why even have primaries.

Look at the timing of this debate, the DNC is trying really, really hard not to, and they're not all that happy that Bernie is making them go through the whole ordeal rather than just anointing Clinton.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:03 PM on December 19, 2015 [14 favorites]


Markkraft, of the actual facts in that article there's an instance of Sanders sending Cornel West to one party event in his stead (quelle horreur!), and an instance of Sanders supporters showing up to a party event but leaving earlier than one county chairman thought they should. It also includes Senator Tony Bisignano saying it's the party giving the cold shoulder to Sanders, not the other way around.

Meanwhile, it started out by quoting a guy calling Sanders a scab because he's been an Independent instead of a Democrat for years. As a proud union guy myself that's fighting words. I can't express how angry I am that Walt Pregler would slander anyone that way. I think the crucial take-home from that article is not “Sanders is failing to Do It Right” but “tempers are hot among Democrats over who to blame about the Sanders situation”.

Wow. Worst conspiracy theory ever.

In many forms of fishing, first you dangle the bait. Then when the bobber twitches, you set the hook. The thing about calling it a conspiracy theory is that these are political campaigns: they're already conspiracies. Everything they do is a conspiracy theory. For only one example, if you know staffers from the X campaign run a certain type of query daily, you just weaken the right permissions boundary at the right time and boom: they've “downloaded” data they shouldn't have. But more crucially, your (and my) understanding of what actually happened with NGP VAN is entirely derived from untrustworthy sources. I can't say how various malicious and/or accidental scenarios might have played out because I have precisely zero trust in any of the facts about this situation.

I mean, I'll admit I have mixed opinions about the two Democratic candidates (I'm probably further left than Sanders, but I remember Nader too. I want to see President-Elect Not Republican sworn in next year.) But you're pretty clearly in the bag here, and I think it's weakening your judgment: “no prior verified reports of vulnerabilities of any kind?” The database that has no vulnerabilities does not exist.
posted by traveler_ at 8:05 PM on December 19, 2015 [23 favorites]


The whole data breach reminds me of Watergate, if it was run by the college cheerleading team. Enthusiastic, stupid, and criminal as hell. And I like Bernie.
posted by irisclara at 8:06 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Trying to cast Bernie as anti-labor is so obviously wrong and doomed that it's a form of comedy.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:06 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


The whole data breach reminds me of Watergate, if it was run by the college cheerleading team. Enthusiastic, stupid, and criminal as hell. And I like Bernie.

Yeah, and speaking of which, is the -gate terminology now passe? Did hashtags kill it or something? 'Cause, my '90s shaped brain assumed this would be Datagate.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:08 PM on December 19, 2015


Wasn't Datagate a, like, season 6 episode of TNG?
posted by hippybear at 8:09 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Even better! Image macros galore.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:10 PM on December 19, 2015


"star wars haha"
[nation roars with laughter and approval]
posted by naju at 8:11 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I some circles -ghazi has replaced -gate.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:11 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd like O'Malley a lot better if he didn't start every speaking point with, "I already did that back in Maryland." Based purely on listening to him, you'd expect the state to be a near-utopia by now.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:12 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]




How is having the debate tonight to Bernie's disadvantage?

He's missing Matlock, which might throw off his routine.
posted by jpe at 8:14 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


"star wars haha"
[nation roars with laughter and approval]


I know, I know. It was totally calculated to grab a headline tomorrow, but I don't even care.
posted by mochapickle at 8:15 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hillary Clinton Says She Wants a Manhattan Project for Encryption. The Fuck?

If it wasn't for the Supreme Court, she's not that much better than Trump.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:15 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Clearly, they should've chosen yesterday instead of today.

Actually, on second thought...
posted by markkraft at 8:16 PM on December 19, 2015


Eh, Deflategate was a big deal and that was barely a year ago.

CheeseDigestsAll: "I'd like O'Malley a lot better if he didn't start every speaking point with, "I already did that back in Maryland." Based purely on listening to him, you'd expect the state to be a near-utopia by now."

Clinton: "If we don't get this election right, we're going to end up with a Republican successor in the White House."

O'Malley: "Now listen here, I already have a Republican successor in my home state of Maryland, something neither of the other fine people on this stage can... oh."
posted by Rhaomi at 8:17 PM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


After reading reaction to the Sanders data scandal here and elsewhere I get the feeling that we could find video of Sanders biting the head off a live chicken and a lot of his supporters would say it shows that the DNC and Clinton are up to their old dirty tricks by mind controlling Sanders into biting the head off a live chicken.

No, I'd say it shows that Sanders has the courage to give our plutocratic poultry oppressors what they deserve.

mind control isn't even real, yo
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:17 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Careful, T.D.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 8:17 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


it's common knowledge that Sanders can't be elected. but, you know, fuck common knowledge.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:25 PM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


I some circles -ghazi has replaced -gate.

Ooh, I want to see #VANGHAZI signs at the next Bernie rally.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:33 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


[It's going to be a long election, folks. Please be civil. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:34 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


it's common knowledge that Sanders can't be elected.

Does he weigh as much as a duck?
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:34 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


If Bernie was a Anarcho-Syndicalist I'd be spending 10 hours a day working on his campaign (which is pretty close to a 'socialist libertarian'), instead of just posting supportive messages about him on Metafilter occasionally.
posted by el io at 8:35 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Hillary Clinton Says She Wants a Manhattan Project for Encryption. The Fuck?

Wait, does she want this project to make strong encryption or break it? The article is a bit vague on details; just what did she actually say tonight? I remember Bruce Schneier was very confident that the NSA was on the "make it" side, because of all the obvious-to-him security reasons why that was the rational choice, but then the Snowden leak—and related information—appeared and it turned out they were on the "break it" side for the most part and had been really hurting our country's information security.
posted by traveler_ at 8:35 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would also probably make a lot of "Colonel" Sanders-related jokes.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:35 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't say how various malicious and/or accidental scenarios might have played out because I have precisely zero trust in any of the facts about this situation.
traveler_

This is pure FUD.

You're muddying the waters by playing dirty. Just because we have some dispute over what happen doesn't mean that therefore all information from everywhere is worthless. We know the basic facts of what happened:
The dispute came after members of Mr. Sanders’s data team were found to have gotten access to, searched and stored proprietary information from Mrs. Clinton’s team during a software glitch with an important voter database.
That happened. It's not in dispute. The reason why it happened, and the propriety of the DNC's reaction to it happening, may be in dispute, but not the basic situation. It's dishonest to claim we just can't know anything about the situation, or that we need to be Jesus or Buddha to be able to say.

Now, the dirty part is you're trying to link the dispute over the reason for the breach and the necessity of the reaction with the conspiracy allegations. "Hey, who knows what happened here, it could be a conspiracy by the DNC for all we know!" Except one thing we do know is that there is absolutely no evidence supporting any claim of conspiracy on the part of the DNC. You can imagine a thousand scenarios that could have occurred, but there is no support for any of them.

And it seems really dirty to mix the thus-far unsupported allegations with the disputed elements of what occurred to make it seem like a conspiracy by the DNC is just one possibility among many and we just can't know, when in fact it's pure conjecture spinning away a damaging ehtical breach by a campaign, the one thing we know happened.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:39 PM on December 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


If Bernie was a Anarcho-Syndicalist

Sadly, you can't run the Western world like a 'zine. Maybe if we had time travel and could hold all the meetings in some other dimension.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:39 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


You know, I'm gonna vote absentee ballot because obviously I live in another country, but shit, at least give me someone decent to vote for as a Democrat. Because frankly all I see here are varying shades of assholes. (And bugger off with rejoinders about the Republican party. At least I know those are confirmed assholes. At this point, I'm either a bad feminist for not falling into lockstep with HRC, or naive to think an super old white guy might be a good idea. Shit, I'm exhausted anymore just thinking about all my bad options.)
posted by Kitteh at 8:41 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wait, does she want this project to make strong encryption or break it?

She wants a way for the government to read encrypted communications, without a "backdoor". She's either A) calling for a "Manhattan Project" to decrypt all encryption that only the government is allowed to have B) calling for a backdoor, but not admitting that's what she's saying, or C) nonsensically mouthing words in blind service of the total surveillance state while trying to sound like she knows what she's talking about. Any option is terrible.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:44 PM on December 19, 2015 [38 favorites]


Sadly, you can't run the Western world like a 'zine.

thats kind of the point
posted by junco at 8:50 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why can't it be all three?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:52 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I lost faith in Sanders' ability to win after the Biden decision and the first debate -- simply put, Obama barely beat Clinton in 2008, and Sanders is a weaker candidate than he was while Clinton is much stronger. Without Biden splitting the establishment vote, and without any new game-changing dynamic to come out of his debate performances against her, I don't see how he has any realistic chance.

That's why the DNC's initial move is so puzzling to me. It's self-destructive overkill -- she's already got a near-insurmountable lead, so reinforcing it by crippling the Sanders campaign gains little while bitterly alienating his biggest supporters, who you're going to need in November. Even if the sanction was justified by the severity of the breach, it doesn't make much tactical sense if it buys you such a PR disaster.

It worries me because I've heard plenty of Naderist grumbling from the hardcore Sanders people, up to and including "letting women and gays burn is an acceptable loss if it means destroying the DNC." And that was before this fiasco. The heavyhanded reaction just inflames those tensions right when the party needs to start coming together.

I disliked Clinton's 2008 campaign style, but it was to her great credit that she set aside differences and campaigned earnestly and wholeheartedly for Obama after her loss. I just hope that Sanders will set an equally gracious standard for his supporters to follow -- the apology tonight was a decent start.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:56 PM on December 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't think he can win either, but I really like having him in the debate and I'll give him my ultimately meaningless vote in the California primary, for whatever symbolic worth it has.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:58 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


[Markkraft, dial it back, please. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:02 PM on December 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


I just hope that Sanders will set an equally gracious standard for his supporters to follow -- the apology tonight was a decent start.

Sanders ended the night talking about how any of the Democratic candidates on their worse day was better than any of the Republican candidates. So it certainly looks like he's ready to give his earnest full support to Clinton. Obviously now is not the time to be doing so, but I think he will be doing so should he lose the primary.
posted by el io at 9:05 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


He hasn't gone negative on her in any serious way this entire campaign, he isn't going to cause trouble after it.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:07 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


It worries me because I've heard plenty of Naderist grumbling from the hardcore Sanders people, up to and including "letting women and gays burn is an acceptable loss if it means destroying the DNC." And that was before this fiasco. The heavyhanded reaction just inflames those tensions right when the party needs to start coming together.

FWIW, the Sanders campaign may be relying on the die hards for logistical support and etc, but they are not responsible for his poll numbers. Most of the people supporting Bernie will ultimately vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever that is.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:07 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's why the DNC's initial move is so puzzling to me. It's self-destructive overkill -- she's already got a near-insurmountable lead, so reinforcing it by crippling the Sanders campaign gains little while bitterly alienating his biggest supporters, who you're going to need in November. Even if the sanction was justified by the severity of the breach, it doesn't make much tactical sense if it buys you such a PR disaster.

Not only that, Clinton is a masterful debater by any reasonable observation, the DNC is trying to shield her from exposure for...why, exactly? They're ceding enormously valuable primetime air time to the Republicans to protect their candidate from one of her areas of strength. The DNC is in the tank for Clinton, clearly, but they're incompetent at even that. I don't have high hope for the general campaign stragedy, establishment Democrats are terrible. Obama won running a parallel campaign apparatus, not through anything that the official party structure did. Clinton will have to reassemble the Obama coalition in the same or better numbers, smooth over any bad blood with the progressive Sanders people (who don't and probably never will really trust or love her like they did Obama 2008 or Bernie), overcome her own personal weaknesses, beat back the tide of Republican ID and the historical forces against two presidents from the same party, all while apparently relying this group of career DNC retreads.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:09 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


I supposed I should have expected that, having described this situation as Dirty Tricks Squad-esque, I would be accused of playing dirty myself. Here I thought I was just lending some context about how technical and complicated the underlying breach story was, and how hard it would be to get trustworthy information about what really happened since there are so many conflicts of interest. I mean, how much CYA is mixed into the statements by NGP VAN here? I guarantee it's not zero, and that's a "conspiracy theory" that's downright mundane in terms of how frequently it happens—seems like every month there's another huge corporate data breach. It's just that this one also affects politicians in a heated campaign.

Sangermaine, that very article doesn't “know” the basic facts about what happened: it presents quotes from various involved parties, two of them anonymous. It includes accusations from the Sanders campaign in a lawsuit they've filed, accusations from the Clinton campaign manager, accusations from the chief executive of NGP VAN, accusations from the Chair of the DNC, accusations from the Sanders campaign manager. As far as I can tell literally the only facts in that entire article are the attributions on the quotes—i.e. who said what—and generic background information about how important data are to modern campaigns.

On the other hand, probably the best news here is that Sanders has sued the DNC. Not because I hope one side or the other will win, but because it means there will be data forensics experts following strict legal procedures to pick over precisely what happened. Call me when the expert testimony in that case starts, because then we can talk about the basic facts of what happened. Until then, when one party in a four-way conflict with massive stakes says “none of this is in dispute”, I recommend not believing them until the other three have had an opportunity to rebut.
posted by traveler_ at 9:11 PM on December 19, 2015 [13 favorites]


The only sensible thing is for Bernie to drop out and his supporters to stay home.
posted by notyou at 9:12 PM on December 19, 2015


I don't have high hope for the general campaign stragedy, establishment Democrats are terrible.

In any other year I'd be worried. But the GOP clown show continues unabated (somehow).
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:14 PM on December 19, 2015


That lawsuit's going to be settled and the independent investigation will be a private DNC-delegated Warren commission type thing that comes up with some anodyne findings months after they matter.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:18 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


The only sensible thing is for Bernie to drop out and his supporters to stay home.

Whew. I am so glad that the pesky DNC has divested me of any options but the one they've chosen for me. Thinking was super damn hard about any candidate.
posted by Kitteh at 9:20 PM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


The only sensible thing is for Bernie to drop out and his supporters to stay home.

You are a rather silly person, aren't you?
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:24 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not only that, Clinton is a masterful debater by any reasonable observation, the DNC is trying to shield her from exposure for...why, exactly?

I am going to search for a cite for my comment but I saw a DNC person on CNN today say that each network airing a debate was responsible for the day and time. They said that it was not up to them which day of the week each debate was scheduled which I find really hard to believe. Off to search...
posted by futz at 9:26 PM on December 19, 2015


"Not only that, Clinton is a masterful debater by any reasonable observation, the DNC is trying to shield her from exposure for...why, exactly?"

Where is the credible evidence of shielding her from exposure? Blocking them from the software for about 16 hours is shielding her? I'm sure they could've gone much longer, had they wished, given that the disclosures on the violation just keep getting more damaging to the Sanders side of the story.

Again... the DNC supported the same amount of debates as in the last two Democratic Primaries. See here for why they did what they did.

The only serious argument of "shielding her" is *if* the DNC were convinced by the Clinton campaign to enact the exclusivity clause, and there has yet to be one email, one witnessed statement, one verifiable shred of evidence suggesting this was the case... and even if there was, it would *still* be the case of a candidate lobbying successfully for rules that *could* benefit them, as opposed to anything remotely illegal.

Indeed, the idea is an old one, that the DNC apparently supported -- along with standardizing on six debates a year -- well before the election.

There have been some articles recently that point out that Trump's supporters, when confronted on his statements, just get more defensive and defend them all the more. It's a shame that this condition seems to affect both the far left, and the far right, with those stuck in the middle just trying to make sure we run our nation -- and ideally decide our elections -- based on the facts.
posted by markkraft at 9:26 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


traveler_,

This is what I mean. You're doing it again.

The part of the article I quoted are established facts. No one, not the Sanders campaign itself, disputes the basic fact that a breach happened, and that accounts from the Sanders campaign accessed Clinton data.

You're conflating disputes over the reasons behind these actions and the resulting DNC actions with the underlying situation. There's no dispute over the underlying facts, and you're approaching "but guys like, how can anyone know anything" territory.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:27 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's a shame that this condition seems to affect both the far left, and the far right, with those stuck in the middle just trying to make sure we run our nation -- and ideally decide our elections -- based on the facts.

I just rolled my eyes so hard I fell out of my chair.




j/k, it was cause I drank too much during the debate.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:29 PM on December 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


The Washington Monthly explanation seems technically pretty correct to me. I've logged hundreds of hours in VAN since 2008, using it on national and municipal campaigns. It's buggy as all fuck.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:29 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


You are a rather silly person, aren't you?

How do you mean? What is the proper sanction for the Sanders campaign, and how should Sanders supporters respond to that sanction?

The whole point of Sanders' campaign is to inspire otherwise disaffected or disinterested citizens to act. You can't shame people to become involved. You can't guilt them.

The DNC has to walk a fine line with Sanders and as a rather silly person, I sometimes think making the stakes clear helps focus the silly-making.
posted by notyou at 9:33 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Where is the credible evidence of shielding her from exposure? Blocking them from the software for about 16 hours is shielding her?

You are conflating two different things. TD Strange was only talking about the debates.
posted by futz at 9:34 PM on December 19, 2015


Also, I don't really appreciate the personal attack. Just FYI.
posted by notyou at 9:35 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not trying to attack you personally. And perhaps I could have worded that better. But to expect the only other legitimate candidate to drop out of the primary before a single vote has been cast is asking a bit much. As much as I'm sure the party heads would love it.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:40 PM on December 19, 2015


You are a rather silly person, aren't you?

Your ridiculous election is just barely less than a year away. You are all rather silly people.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:41 PM on December 19, 2015 [14 favorites]


Stop that! It's silly!
posted by homunculus at 9:44 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


It doesn't matter what day or year it is. It offends me on a visceral level that other people don't love Sanders like I do. :)
posted by Balna Watya at 9:46 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Your ridiculous election is just barely less than a year away. You are all rather silly people.

The Iowa caucuses are on February 1. American Presidential elections are a season, not a day.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:46 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


But yes, we are completely silly. We all could have been watching Star Wars (again) instead of this.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:47 PM on December 19, 2015


I just rolled my eyes so hard I fell out of my chair. j/k, it was cause I drank too much during the debate.

I'm stone sober and sprained my eye muscles. And if markkraft's conduct in this thread is indicative of Hilary people trying to build bridges, that's about what I would expect. You do realize that her problem is not going to be persuading Sanders people to vote for her after she secures the nomination, right? Theyre never voting for a Trump. It's going to be turnout, getting them to the polls at all. And that is never going to happen with alienating "far left" language.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:48 PM on December 19, 2015 [26 favorites]


Theyre never voting for a Trump.

I have weirdly seen Sanders supporters on reddit declaring that, since this incident is proof the DNC is trying to destroy Sanders, they're going to vote Trump to destroy the DNC.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:51 PM on December 19, 2015


I saw random Hillary supporters say a lot of things in 2008.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:53 PM on December 19, 2015 [13 favorites]


Most commenters on Reddit aren't old enough to vote.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:53 PM on December 19, 2015 [17 favorites]


Well, folks will say stupid shit they don't mean when they're angry, sangermaine. It's more likely they disengage.

TD Strange's point stands. Democrats win with turnout, but only one candidate in the primary is running a credible turnout based campaign. Hilary and the DNC will need those people to remain engaged and forward looking.
posted by notyou at 9:56 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


"The only sensible thing is for Bernie to drop out and his supporters to stay home."

Or, alternately, vote for their candidate of choice, while trying to realize that Bernie Sanders is right about Hillary being infinitely better than the Republicans... and that ultimately, there is no evidence that she is doing anything the least bit illegal or wrong, other than being a far stronger candidate than they hoped.

Bernie is a fighter... but Hillary is a boxer and this is a boxing match with rules. She takes *very* few risks, knows exquisitely how to land a few quick jabs, sidestep, keep her opponent off-balance, and use those rules to her advantage, rather than standing still and getting clobbered.

It's going to be a frustrating lesson for Sanders supporters to learn. Obama was polling only about 4 points ahead in Iowa at this time in 2007, while the latest polls put Clinton 10 points up. Short of a major incident, there will likely continue to be nearly no significant movement in the polls until the next debate, and only 42 days before people in Iowa set the momentum for the whole race. Given the huge lead that Clinton has in Nevada and Carolina, Iowa is about as close to "must win" for Sanders as it can get. He needs to win two of the four races before Super Tuesday -- ideally, more than two, like Obama -- to have any kind of shot of changing the narrative, and possibly winning it all.

Tonight -- and this whole scandal -- probably caused more heartburn than actual bern.
posted by markkraft at 9:57 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Calling it the Clinton-data scandal would be the correct way to clarify that it was Clinton's data at the center of the scandal, and not yet-another Clintonian scandal centered on data.

/pedantry

posted by Dashy at 9:53 PM on December 19


eponyetc.
posted by threeants at 10:04 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bernie is a fighter... but Hillary is a boxer and this is a boxing match with rules.

This is an interesting phrasing because it suggests that, if there were “no rules” -whatever that might mean- Sanders would win. But there’s only one game here, and there’s always been one set of rules, and Clinton is better at it.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:19 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]




[One comment deleted. traveler_, you've made your point several times that we may not have all information, so let's call that stated and leave it now. "Having fun coming up with" more and more "what if XYZ conspiracy?" to fight about is derailing the thread and not a good way to go here.]
posted by taz at 10:34 PM on December 19, 2015


I'm all for Anyone But A Republican, as I suspect most sane US progressive voters are, but when the DNC puts their finger on the scales for their boss Hillary, it pushes voters away of all stripes, progressives and moderates alike. Those out there who support or minimize what the DNC has done need to understand that you are really just making it easier for Bad People like Rubio, Cruz or Trump to be crowned in 2016. Keep the consequences of a Republican presidency in the back of your mind when you support what the DNC has done here to help out Hillary.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:53 PM on December 19, 2015 [21 favorites]


... and what would that be? Do you have any proof of such claims?
posted by markkraft at 10:59 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, thank you. I should have been more clear that I wasn't trying to create more conspiracy theories to fight about, but to disclaim the one I never intended to make in the first place—I was trying to re-broaden my point into the endless different ways that conflicts of interest can cause media reports of the critical details about this incident to be unreliable. And I have to admit I got a bit hot when an accusation got personal.

So, ok, here's some important perspectives on this incident that I believe do contain disputed views on basic facts: posted by traveler_ at 11:13 PM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


when the DNC puts their finger on the scales for their boss Hillary, it pushes voters away of all stripes

I doubt a meaningful number of voters even know what the DNC is.
posted by ryanrs at 11:17 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ooh, I want to see #VANGHAZI signs at the next Bernie rally.

Would that be the first pro-Clinton use of -ghazi?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:28 PM on December 19, 2015


A few days ago, while at the gym, I saw Wolf "Walking Demonstration of All That Is Wrong With CNN" Blitzer interview DWS about the GOP debate. He repeatedly asked questions about Clinton specifically and nothing about the other candidates. DWS said, repeatedly, that she would not speak about only one candidate, and steadfastly refused to give Wolf even a little of what he wanted. Not being familiar with DWS, I thought to myself, "Hey, good for her."

I mentioned it in a thread on Facebook on Wednesday, I think. Several friends were like, "Oh man, DWS is awful and here's why." And then, on Friday, all their comments were borne out. UGH.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:40 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Several friends were like, "Oh man, DWS is awful and here's why."

What, specifically, was she supposed to have done? Did they provide clear, documented evidence of her acting in a way that was clearly biased against Sanders and could not have been her just trying to perform her job in a reasonable manner, as opposed to trying to be neutral, fair, and impartial, as you actually witnessed her being, when repeatedly pressed by a major reporter?

There's a reason that hearsay evidence -- from friends, talking about something they read somewhere on the internet, from someone who might not have been credible -- is hearsay.

There's also a reason that some journalists don't like her, I suspect... and you might have witnessed it with your own eyes.
posted by markkraft at 12:20 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only Republican who matters.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:56 AM on December 20, 2015


What, specifically, was she supposed to have done?

DWS seems to have pretty clearly frozen Lessig out of the debates by shifting the goal posts of what qualified as an acceptable level of support before participating; his candidate might not have been fated to go anywhere, but the DNC did its darnedest to hasten its demise.

As Lessig himself might note, in these circumstances it’s certainly possible that DWS was using her authority as best she could to deal with some legitimate violations by the Sanders campaign. However, her past actions towards a different independent run, as well as the circumstances surrounding Clinton’s own high degree of establishment support -and her own history of involvement with the Clinton campaign- make it easy to conceive of her of having looked at the Sanders campaign’s violations as an opportunity and then seizing upon it.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:57 AM on December 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is all quite simple.

DWS, chair of the DNC, was simply following procedure as per the "memo of understanding" between campaigners and the DNC regarding use of data.

The accusation of bias is hard to prove (even though a paramount question when encountering political party organizations). The easier issue is the classic case of a bureaucrat who followed the letter of a rule instead of the spirit behind it.

It is generally wrong to halt an entire campaign because of some cheaters within it. It is a fact of humanity that every social group has corrupt elements. Thus, if there is reason to believe a few people's cheating didn't, and won't, propagate - if their effects can be isolated - then it is wrong to penalize the entire campaign group. Only if people agree there exists systemic wrongdoing should it be morally okay to sanction the entire campaign organization - the scale of response has to be made appropriate.

That's why DWS's rationale was wrong: she decided on an indefinite suspension, using only the reason of a rather weakly written memo. What would have been a better approach was to allow the Sanders campaign to continue, with investigation in parallel, and if investigation comes up positive, shut down his campaign. It's just that what's needed may not be provided by what structure is in place. And in turn, that's what incentivized DWS's much more limited approach.

In part, this is all happening because of computer technology. People can't keep up - not the programmers, and not political representatives and leaders. And while some believe hi-tech is more efficient, I think tech merely transforms social conflict. As per this incident, as example.

What's funny and pseudo-paradoxical is that DWS's decision - to suspend - was never a Real threat: DWS herself had stated in the interview, she would listen to ongoing advice from investigators and consultants etc., — and voila indeed eventually the suspension was reversed (of course, after much public outcry, which consultants most likely took into account). Too predictable!

It's slightly sad to me that liberalism is buried and inarticulate under superficial disputes like this one.
posted by polymodus at 12:57 AM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


The only Republican who matters.

Alternatively, the hardest-working Republican in show business.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:58 AM on December 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm writing in Alexander Hamilton.
posted by syncope at 1:48 AM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have weirdly seen Sanders supporters on reddit declaring that, since this incident is proof the DNC is trying to destroy Sanders, they're going to vote Trump to destroy the DNC.

We've had posts on this site to that effect even. It's the new Edgy Radical Internet Warrior position to take.

Do not dismiss it as armchair posturing from 15 year olds, several people i was bored enough to check on who i've seen make some comment to this effect was rather quickly verifiable as a college student or beyond by their comment history(on reddit).

Who knows whether they'll really do it, but this "lets just crash the ship into the sun and burn it all down and then we can have an armed insurrection and Reset The Beast" thing is peak edgy white dude.

A nonzero number of people voted for Romney last time around because "Obama is totally ineffectual and i want to scare and piss off enough people to vote for someone truly radical next time around. They have to Feel Some Pain to actually get them off their asses!"

This is a position people only take from a viewpoint of privilege. The terrifying thing is they're probably serious, and these are the same people who buy in to Randian bullshit and voluntary human extinction and shit.

Ugh.
posted by emptythought at 2:04 AM on December 20, 2015 [28 favorites]


In the Snopes article _traveler links to, comparing the things they're identifying as "false" with the quotes from Wasserman Schultz therein do not make her sound at all like a "neutral, fair, and impartial" party official attempting to accurately communicate to the public what has occurred. Also interesting is that the Sanders campaign lawsuit asserts that in 2008 the Clinton campaign of the time did a very similar thing and was not cut off from access to the database or sanctioned in any way, an assertion that Snopes currently categorizes as "undetermined" in terms of validity.

I haven't always found Snopes to be accurate and unbiased but that article does at least seem to do a good job of scoping out what the salient points are that need to be examined.
posted by XMLicious at 3:26 AM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


[One comment deleted; let's avoid the flamebaity "cheap irony" please. If you want to discuss the NGP VAN thing or the debate, that's fine but just discuss normally rather than trolling it up.]
posted by taz at 3:52 AM on December 20, 2015


This is a position people only take from a viewpoint of privilege. The terrifying thing is they're probably serious, and these are the same people who buy in to Randian bullshit and voluntary human extinction and shit.

Hey, don't lump the entirely rational VHE movement in with those assholes.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:17 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only Republican who matters.

#allrepublicansmatter

A nonzero number of people voted for Romney last time around because "Obama is totally ineffectual and i want to scare and piss off enough people to vote for someone truly radical next time around. They have to Feel Some Pain to actually get them off their asses!"

My guess is that there were just as many Republicans voting for Obama because Romney wasn't their preferred candidate, though. To the degree that a tantrum-based voting bloc exists, it probably cuts in the Democrats' favor.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 5:31 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


At some point last year, as I moved between cities without a home planned beforehand, I wound up on the couch of a couple of dudes deep in South Philly.

One of the guys was a Platonic Redditor. Used a triggering word as a username in online games, exploited MMO bugs to trap and torment regular users, was hideously misogynistic. He was 30.

Reddit's userbase is older than you think. The younger users doing crappy things are doing them, in part, as a reflection of behaviors and values that older users more forcefully emit.

==============


The rhetoric from pro-Hillary users in this thread disturbs me. Playing Daily Kos-style leave-no-prisoners hardball feels problematic and alienating even when it does target nutjobs like Trump or Cruz (or Bush, back in the day). Adopting that style of rhetoric while targeting people supporting a left-wing candidate with populist support leaves me feeling worse about Hillary than anything Hillary herself has done, ever.

Bernie Sanders is reaching out and appealing to voters who haven't felt welcome in the Democrat party, voters who feel the Ds are more concerned with the political system than they are with creating significant socioeconomic change. No wonder Bernie fans latch onto this incident as a reason to dislike Hillary, and I say this as a guy who read Eyebrows McGee's comments and walked away feeling like the Sanders campaign had done something definitely crappy. It's not a matter of guilty or innocent, it's a matter of campaigns centered around policy versus campaigns centered around the mechanics of campaigning itself. Party-related muck just emphasizes the reason Bernie's appealed to so many cynical voters, and why Hillary continues to engender so much mistrust and outright contempt.

Bernie's not winning. He's not Obama. But Bernie is great despite his inability to win the primary, and it's because he makes the Democrats feel like a party that's concerned with the people who left-wing parties are supposed to be concerned with. He pushes Hillary leftward, and he makes a national conversation more likely to treat socialism seriously than I've seen it treated in my lifetime. The naked, unempathetic hostility of some of the posters in this thread remind me of why so many people on both ends of the spectrum despise the Dems, and of why national politics are so exhausting and unpleasant for people on the left, to the point where many don't participate at all.

It's hard for me to write this without losing my temper, because it's such a basic thing and people make no effort to understand this really-quite-simple concept. You are not helping.
posted by rorgy at 5:34 AM on December 20, 2015 [81 favorites]


On an unrelated note, anytime any of the Democratic candidates talk about block grants to the states, I wish a moderator would bring up the large number of states that turned down the Medicaid money. Why would the next time be any different?

I also would like to know how many of O'Malley's wonderful accomplishments have already been undone by his Republican successor.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:58 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Adopting that style of rhetoric while targeting people supporting a left-wing candidate with populist support leaves me feeling worse about Hillary than anything Hillary herself has done, ever.

I'm not speaking as a Hillary supporter, but I would hope that people can take these feelings and keep them pointed in the right direction- towards the commenters themselves. You know how Trump incites people at his rallies? Hillary's not doing that here (or anywhere). Whoever is in this thread bothering you is acting independently of her.
posted by Jpfed at 6:58 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


rorgy, I largely agree with you, although I think a Hillary win is both inevitable and will be disastrous. She may be being pushed to the left, but she doesn't believe in progressive causes and she's not going to govern that way.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:37 AM on December 20, 2015 [19 favorites]


The naked, unempathetic hostility of some of the posters in this thread remind me of why so many people on both ends of the spectrum despise the Dems

There are gonna be supporters of every candidate that are looking for an online fight. It's not limited to Hillary supporters and it's sure as hell not limited to the Democratic Party. Honestly, every time a Clinton or Obama topic comes up on Metafilter, no matter how soft news related it is, there will be the same people with knives ready to spring out and just rip into how bad Clinton and Obama are. I do agree that the fightiest people on both sides need to chill out, but find it odd that it's Hillary supporters that are specifically being called out for this when it's not limited to them.
posted by FJT at 8:03 AM on December 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


In 2008, I supported Clinton over Obama in the primaries (a position that was occasionally slightly uncomfortable to hold on Metafilter), and cheerfully voted for Obama when he won the primaries.

Right now, I support Sanders over Clinton in the primaries, but if Clinton wins the primaries, I will cheerfully vote for her.

In both cases, my support was for the same reason -- I was and am supporting the candidate whose policies I thought were further to the left. I was not and am not a fervent or passionate supporter of anybody. Politicians are people I am attempting to hire to do a job, not movie stars. (Although honestly, I feel a little creeped out by the kind of extremely personal passion some people seem to feel about movie stars, too.)

Anyway, for whatever it's worth, my overall opinion of this whole thing is that it was a serious violation of ethics on the part of a Sanders staffer, full stop.
posted by kyrademon at 8:09 AM on December 20, 2015 [19 favorites]


> Given the huge lead that Clinton has in Nevada and Carolina, Iowa is about as close to "must win" for Sanders as it can get.

There's been no recent polling in Nevada. The last poll there was conducted was in early October. We have no idea how the candidates are doing in that state.

Nevada is a difficult state to poll, and the pollsters seem to be avoiding it.

He needs to win two of the four races before Super Tuesday -- ideally, more than two

Agreed. I think Sanders is going to have to win three of the first four states, or at least get two wins and a tie, to have an impact on the outcome in the Super Tuesday states.
posted by nangar at 8:09 AM on December 20, 2015


Sanders' proposed policies and my views are much closer than Clinton's and my views. I've even attended a Sanders campaign event. However if the Sanders campaign did engage in the breach of ethics described above (which they are not denying), why shouldn't the DNC restrict their access. It's hard for me to extrapolate from that to the DNC putting its fingers on the scale in favor of Clinton - why shouldn't the Sanders campaign face the consequences of violating the spirit and likely the letter of its agreement with the DNC when it got access to all this data?
posted by peacheater at 8:30 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because the DNC denied them access not just to DNC data, but also to the campaign's own data.
posted by Dysk at 8:31 AM on December 20, 2015


If the Sanders campaign is accurately describing the agreement with the DNC in their complaint, the DNC had to notify them and give them ten days to correct the breach.

43) The Agreement does not permit the Defendant to suspend or terminate service to Plaintiff in the absence of ten days’ written notice to Plaintiff, and Plaintiff’s failure to cure any breach or default within a period of ten days.

I don't support unethical data access by the staffer(s). If there was a clause in an agreement as described in the quoted text below, I would want a mechanism for ethical auditing, reporting, and timely redress of breaches.

39) The Agreement requires Defendant to implement best practices and reasonable data security to protect Confidential Information and data submitted by the Campaign and the Competing Campaign.

Given the shared nature of the system, any breach a campaign discovers is likely to be available to their opponents against them. It seems naive to not check, but it should be done responsibly.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 9:07 AM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because the DNC denied them access not just to DNC data, but also to the campaign's own data.
From Eyebrows McGee's comment above, it seems that the campaign's own data would be an annotated and added-on to version of the DNC's own data?

If they didn't provide the Sanders' campaign with the 10 days notice that is a more convincing argument.
posted by peacheater at 9:25 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Note also that according to a claim made in the lawsuit, in 2008 the Clinton campaign at the time engaged in similar unauthorized access and this didn't result in being cut off from the database.
posted by XMLicious at 10:01 AM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


peacheater: which they are not denying

After the last mod deletion I'm nervous about harping on about this, but please read the Sanders campaign lawsuit and the Snopes threads I linked to: they are denying and/or giving alternate descriptions of a great many foundational facts of this breach. There's a version of events here where the NGP/VAN VoteBuilder software is crummy and full of holes, many campaigns have encountered breaches before (including Clinton's back in 2008), and like before the Sanders campaign investigated the breach they discovered and reported it to the DNC. But this time, unlike all the others, the DNC came down hard with a database lockout that was itself violating both the spirit and the letter of the agreement between them and the Sanders campaign.

If I had to lay money on it I wouldn't bet on that story being true (actually I'd bet on a modified version of it where all that is basically correct except the Sanders campaign staffers also decide they might as well “investigate” into the juiciest Clinton secrets while they can) but, heck, even the DNC and NGP/VAN are disagreeing with each other about important details of this breach: people should be more careful about what they label as "not denying" or "not in dispute" because—at least read the Snopes article—that's often not true.
posted by traveler_ at 10:04 AM on December 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


I do agree that the fightiest people on both sides need to chill out, but find it odd that it's Hillary supporters that are specifically being called out for this when it's not limited to them.

As someone who doesn't support either Hillary or Bernie, it's because in this thread the Hillary supporters have been ridiculously over the top and aggressive and Bernie supporters have said nothing that even comes close to approaching that level.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:20 AM on December 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


The NGP VAN blog post says,
For a brief window, the voter data that is always searchable across campaigns in VoteBuilder included client scores it should not have, on a specific part of the VAN system. So for voters that a user already had access to, that user was able to search by and view (but not export or save or act on) some attributes that came from another campaign.
That makes it sound to me as though one particular view of the user interface for the database was returning search results that suddenly contained an extra data column on some hits, or something like that. In the Bloomberg article it says,
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told reporter there were "24 intrusion attempts" by the Sanders campaign.
If the Clinton side of the dispute were creatively referring to every single log entry as an "intrusion attempt", but for example in reality one log entry is produced by every search result that included these Clinton campaign "scores" mixed in with other search results free from Clinton campaign data, it seems feasible that the log entries could be produced by one person in a cubicle farm saying "Holy crap, I'm seeing their data... are the rest of you guys seeing this?" and other people within earshot doing one or two searches each.

But without knowing what the log entries specifically say and what user actions they correspond to, at the other end ot the spectrum Sanders staffers intentionally dredging through the database to grab the choicest stuff while the window was still open could be consistent with what's been disclosed so far too.
posted by XMLicious at 10:49 AM on December 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


My question: did Wasserman Schultz talk to the Clintonians before locking the Sandernistas out of the database?
posted by tommyD at 10:53 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a misconception that it's because programmers are crummy.

Producing bug-free concurrent distributed transactional systems has been, like, the subject of decades of ongoing research and one of the holy grails of computer science.

Therefore practicing programmers face an impossible task in terms of system reliability and robustness.

Instead, you have top-down policies like "if you steal/tamper with the data, you will be punished", which sounds reasonable, but then has no intuitive application to "what about if the data system interferes with and exposes itself?"

The entire premise of privacy guarantees provided by a subordinated, centralized company is unrealistic using today's engineering technology. The average person does not know this, and cannot intuit the consequences. That's the real exploit, and the result is a social charade of sorts.
posted by polymodus at 11:03 AM on December 20, 2015 [21 favorites]


My question: did Wasserman Schultz talk to the Clintonians before locking the Sandernistas out of the database?

Does it really matter though? If the Sanders campaign was not only treated differently from all other campaigns that have done the same thing before now, but also the "neutral, fair, and impartial" party official went on television within 24 hours of the event and declared the necessity of getting all the facts and a full investigation before restoring access could even be considered—while simultaneously analogizing the Sanders campaign's actions to burglary and announcing "they not only viewed it, but they exported it and they downloaded it" without mentioning (or maybe just not bothering to find out) that this meant at most a single summary page of information was saved by someone, that already seems like a hell of alot more than putting a finger on the scale. Even if it were demonstrated that there was malicious opportunism on the part of the Sanders campaign, this still looks on its face like an obligated-to-be-neutral gatekeeper both using her power to severely handicap Sanders as a counterattack and then personally attempting to directly prejudice public perception of the events.

Apart from an explicit request to do these specific things, just evidence of communication with the Clinton campaign wouldn't add much I don't think.
posted by XMLicious at 12:00 PM on December 20, 2015 [12 favorites]


"DWS seems to have pretty clearly frozen Lessig out of the debates by shifting the goal posts of what qualified as an acceptable level of support before participating"

I supported Lessig, but I don't necessarily agree with that claim by Lessig's team. It is in their best interest to suggest wrongdoing on the part of the DNC. It sounds a lot better than admitting that they made a big mistake in interpreting the rules of eligibility in the debates, misrepresenting them to their supporters.

Specifically, Lessig's person, Steve Garding, said:

"I was told that the DNC participation standard for the debates was for a candidate to be at one percent in three polls conducted, "six weeks prior to the debate"--not the clarified rule ... that a candidate had to be at one percent in three polls conducted "in the six weeks prior to the debate."

In other words, it's splitting hairs, and very well could be a case of the DNC misrepresented their policy earlier, or perhaps Team Lessig misinterpreted what was said. Please note that "I was told..." means that Team Lessig did not have it in writing as to what the policy was... or if they did have it in writing, simply didn't pay enough attention to the letter of the text.

We're also supposed to assume that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has complete authority over these things, but chances are, she does not. Her official title is DNC Chair... but there are also a bunch of co-chairs, committee chairs, etc. We are assuming malice, when it could simply be a very rigid bureaucracy that mirrors our government, that crafts inflexible rules, and tends to stick to them, regardless of who gets hurt.

Frankly, I think it should be looked into more seriously by journalists, to see whether Lessig's story actually holds up, or whether there is some dusty policy somewhere that was there all the time... because the suggestion from teams Sanders and Lessig are that the DNC are capricious and make stuff up on the fly, as opposed to being merely bureaucratic, authoritarian, and a lot like government.
posted by markkraft at 12:21 PM on December 20, 2015


I'm a Clinton supporter in the primaries, and I will support Sanders in the general election, should he win the nomination, just as I supported Obama in 2008, even though I favored Clinton then, too. (Ironically, I voted for Obama in the Pennsylvania primary, because by that time, it was clear that Clinton had lost the nomination, and it was time to rally around the nominee, which was going to be Obama. Doubly ironic was the fact that I got the chance to shake Bill Clinton's hand right after I voted, when he visited my polling place in Pittsburgh.)

There's a lot of love for Sanders on Metafilter, and a lot of hatred for Clinton expressed. The love for Sanders I get. The hatred not so much. Clinton has been in the public eye so long, she is bound to have taken positions with which people do not agree. Sanders has not been in the middle of things so much. Should he win the presidency, I would not be surprised to see many of his supporters turning on him when he cannot deliver all he promises, just like people turning on Obama.

My advice to anyone passionately supporting a candidate who does not succeed: When November 2016 come, don't cut off your nose to spite your face by not supporting the Democrat, either by voting independent or staying home.
posted by haiku warrior at 12:23 PM on December 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


I don't suppose there's any chance that odious corporate conservaDems like Wasserman-Shultz will have to worry about a primary challenger from the left, is there?
posted by indubitable at 12:36 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I recommend reading Why The Bernie Breach Isn't About Technology, because it's written by a guy who was the former Technology Director for the DNC and has cordial relationships with people in both the Hillary and Bernie camps. The gist is that the Democrats' advantage in using tech for mobilizing people for its ground game depends on trust between state-level Democratic parties and the DNC in sharing data, but this informal trust-based relationship could collapse if the DNC doesn't treat data breaches seriously.
posted by jonp72 at 12:37 PM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's a lot of love for Sanders on Metafilter, and a lot of hatred for Clinton expressed. The love for Sanders I get. The hatred not so much.

Iraq.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:41 PM on December 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


I think the whole thread needs a heaping helping of Hanlon's Razor...
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

or, for its predecessor:
"Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent." - Goethe

And for those who insist on unfounded, unsupported, overly complex and tenuous conspiracy theories, remember that there's also the Occam's Razor of conspiracy theories in this campaign... that Bernie is throwing the race intentionally, to help Hillary.

Which I guess is my way of saying that all conspiracy theories kinda suck, are generally unfair to people, and attribute a whole lot more malice and unfettered power to most individuals than they often appear to possess, when operating in complex bureaucracies.
posted by markkraft at 12:45 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Iraq."

No, it absolutely does not fully explain it. There was *NEVER* this kind of hatred for Kerry, Biden, Harkin, Edwards, etc.

If you can't see the decades of demonization from the the Republicans as paying dividends among leftwing Democratic males and overt sexist double standards she faces for being an outspoken, strong woman, well... I can't help you.
posted by markkraft at 12:50 PM on December 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


[One deleted. This needs to not be some kind of personal fight over whether it's ok to dislike Clinton.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:07 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Sanders supporters are people who would line up to vote for Elizabeth Warren. Clinton's Iraq Vote and the perception of centrism compared to Sanders is why a small portion of the Democrats oppose her and are supporting Sanders right now.

The existence of sexism against her is obviously true, but if you think that is the primary reason she is disliked by some on the left and not a secondary reason held by a small minority you have the situation exactly backwards. She is extremely popular and well loved among Democrats. That is why she is destroying her opposition utterly.

Hundreds of thousands of people died in part as a result of a vote she made. For people who do not find her explanation for that vote adequate, it's terrifying to think of what she will do with American foreign policy in the absence of Obama's moderating influence.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:16 PM on December 20, 2015 [14 favorites]


If you can't see the decades of demonization from the the Republicans as paying dividends among leftwing Democratic males and overt sexist double standards she faces for being an outspoken, strong woman, well... I can't help you.

Are you accusing Bernie Sanders supporters of agreeing with / falling for Republican strategies? I'm just trying to make my head not spin here for a second...
posted by naju at 1:17 PM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


We're also supposed to assume that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has complete authority over these things, but chances are, she does not. Her official title is DNC Chair... but there are also a bunch of co-chairs, committee chairs, etc.

Who says we are supposed to assume that? I think it's probably a general consensus that she has responsibility over these things, but authority?

I know this kind of undercuts the "bureaucracy, whaddyagonnado?" sense of DWS & DNC activities, but consider that her job is to be a figurehead for that bureaucracy, its face and mouth, and her success in the role depends on what she says and does. Taking your reasoning, if she is indeed beset on all sides by co-chairs and whatnot, being that figurehead is her only job.

It's no crime not to be a good DNC chair in a campaign year, but I don't accept that DWS has nothing to do with what happened, nor that a campaign year DNC chair is just riding a wave of organization activity without significance or consequence.
posted by rhizome at 1:18 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


markkraft: Ultimately, everyone who entered the database *KNEW* they were doing something wrong. and should be unceremoniously booted from the campaign.

Funny how this "forget malice, assume stupidity" principle didn't apply when it came to accusing people in the Sanders campaign of malice.
posted by XMLicious at 1:19 PM on December 20, 2015 [12 favorites]


There's also her unequivocal support for the worst excesses of the Patriot Act and NSA. Ive never once seen her credibly disavow any part of the surveillance state, and just yesterday she more or less called for making encryption illegal. Obama is the same, but that's exactly why he lost a lot of progressive fervor between 2008 and 2012, and a lot more now. Hilary is worse on civil liberties and executive power across the board than Obama, who turned out to be a two-faced liar in continuing everything Bush started.

Or you know, sexism. Because that's clearly the only reason anyone could have for disagreeing with her.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:22 PM on December 20, 2015 [31 favorites]


Like they say, when all you have is a nail, everything looks like a hammer.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:32 PM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


[And to repeat and amplify r_n's note from above: markkraft, stop threadsitting aggressively in every discussion about Clinton or the election.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:36 PM on December 20, 2015 [20 favorites]


Partitioning datasets and enforcing access controls isn't exactly rocket magic in the 21st century, though...
posted by mikelieman at 1:40 PM on December 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


There's also her unequivocal support for the worst excesses of the Patriot Act and NSA. Ive never once seen her credibly disavow any part of the surveillance state, and just yesterday she more or less called for making encryption illegal.

Clinton has been f'ing Secretary of State, she could EASILY counter challenges to her voting record by telling us "how it really is," even if only to justify it in hindsight. "It was an ignorant vote, but I found out later that I luckily voted on the right side of history." That kind of thing, which admittedly is a sentence that should never be uttered out loud. But on Iraq, she obviously can't say anything too bad about it lest she implicate herself. Thus: perpetual war.

But yeah, this kind of crystallizes her contempt for the populace who are addressed by Bernie. Whether by chance or design, I don't really care. At the end of the day, Hillary has never been a disadvantaged citizen, and it shows.
posted by rhizome at 1:41 PM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Are you accusing Bernie Sanders supporters of agreeing with / falling for Republican strategies? I'm just trying to make my head not spin here for a second...

The Republican anti-Clinton machine has been rolling for over twenty years. It's been going for far longer than most Sanders supporters have even known of Bernie Sanders. Antipathy or even disregard for Hillary has been the easy "okay let's say something that'll sound conciliatory to Uncle Red State so we can defuse Thanksgiving/Christmas" target for a generation now. It's that easy common ground lefties look for in order to sound reasonable to someone who is basically unreasonable -- because if you don't, then you're obviously part of the problem, too, and "both sides" are fighting.

Don't pretend that hasn't had an effect beyond true believer Republicans.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:04 PM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm a little disappointed that this isn't opening a broader dialog about whether or not companies like NGP VAN should be allowed to exist.

As others have alluded to in this thread, their database is incomprehensibly massive. To a person, the first reaction I've seen from people who are introduced to NGP VAN has been "How is this legal?"

A general data breach of NGP VAN's database would be catastrophic. Lives would be ruined. I'd wager that 99% of the voters who have "contributed" data to NGP's database had no idea that it would be retained indefinitely, and non-anonymously.

Similarly, the ability for one company to have so much leverage is a little frightening. I don't think that anybody is questioning the Sanders campaign's assertion that access to NGP VAN is absolutely critical for a Democratic candidate to win an election. That's a frightening amount of power for a private company to have.

Disclaimer: I interviewed for a position with NGP VAN a few years ago. My experience with the interview was fairly negative, and I did not receive an offer.
posted by schmod at 2:05 PM on December 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


Obama, who turned out to be a two-faced liar in continuing everything Bush started.

That's some garbage, right there.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:12 PM on December 20, 2015 [22 favorites]


To a person, the first reaction I've seen from people who are introduced to NGP VAN has been "How is this legal?"

Remember CGI Federal?
posted by rhizome at 2:24 PM on December 20, 2015


Funny how this "forget malice, assume stupidity" principle didn't apply when it came to accusing people in the Sanders campaign of malice.

You can't assume stupidity when there are server logs that show workers in Bernie Sanders' campaign taking advantage of the breach to make unauthorized downloads from a rival primary campaign. Sure, it's possible that curiosity could lead you to blunder into data that you've not been authorized to access, but actually downloading portions of the data to folders on your personal computer is most definitely not something you can do inadvertently.
posted by jonp72 at 2:29 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Voting for the use of military force in Iraq was a mistake that quite a few Democrats made. Similarly many voted for the Patriot Act. I don't see them receiving the same kind of vitriolic criticism that Clinton gets.

I just don't understand, and I welcome a dispassionate explanation of the apparent inconsistency here. Seriously, what am I missing, gang?
posted by haiku warrior at 2:31 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The other Democrats with voting records similar to Clinton's aren't running for president right now. And if you think the blue dogs aren't targets of vitriol, you obviously aren't on mailing lists like DailyKos and ActBlue.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:55 PM on December 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


These progressive-minded left men who are yukking it up with their republican relatives and calling Hillary a stupid bitch over Thanksgiving dinner - I don't actually know any. But in any case, surviving one night with awful people sounds different from who you're personally supporting in the primaries.
posted by naju at 3:04 PM on December 20, 2015


for whatever it's worth, I'm a soft Bernie supporter who's been inspired to become a much harder Bernie supporter because of this incident. This is not because I think Clinton supporters in the party are playing too rough by getting Sanders (temporarily) locked out of the VAN. I expect and demand my candidates do everything possible to win the game of electoral politics, and one of the things that separates incompetent outsider campaigns from insider campaigns and competent outsider campaigns both is that incompetent outsider campaigns often operate under the delusion that electoral politics is friendly and fair.

Instead (and maybe this is wishful thinking), I think the way that DWS and other Clinton supporters are trying to make hay off this incident (both in the press and through the direct action of locking Sanders out of NGP VAN) indicates that they're (rationally or irrationally) afraid of the Sanders campaign actually getting traction once the primaries and caucuses start.

Most of the people I know who are invested in the Sanders campaign aren't doing it because they think Sanders might win, but instead because the organizations that Sanders supporters will build and/or join after the campaign will have a long-term influence beyond Sanders. But, man, if the DNC is maybe trying to ratfuck the guy, maybe he's got a real chance.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:07 PM on December 20, 2015 [19 favorites]


You can't assume stupidity when there are server logs that show workers in Bernie Sanders' campaign taking advantage of the breach to make unauthorized downloads from a rival primary campaign. Sure, it's possible that curiosity could lead you to blunder into data that you've not been authorized to access, but actually downloading portions of the data to folders on your personal computer is most definitely not something you can do inadvertently.

That sounds exactly like something you might stupidly do to document security not working as it ought to, in order to present it to your higher-ups, or the company in question with "what is happening here, please fix it, are we similarly exposed?" or something like that. It doesn't have to be an accident to not be malicious.

If you say that that's unlikely, I would agree. But it is at least a shield of plausible deniability.
posted by Dysk at 3:07 PM on December 20, 2015


The other Democrats with voting records similar to Clinton's aren't running for president right now.

And when it was Kerry, he faced a bunch of people running to Dean instead. There is a portion of the base who is unwilling to let the Democratic contributions to the national disgrace of the Iraq War be ignored.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:12 PM on December 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


We've had posts on this site to that effect even. It's the new Edgy Radical Internet Warrior position to take.

Do not dismiss it as armchair posturing from 15 year olds, several people i was bored enough to check on who i've seen make some comment to this effect was rather quickly verifiable as a college student or beyond by their comment history(on reddit).


@emptythought

There's actually a name for it, and an entire subreddit dedicated to the philosophy behind it on reddit. The name is Accelerationism, and it comes in two major flavors, one that assumes that capitalism accelerates processes, and that this is the new way forward and will save humanity, and another that assumes capitalism accelerates processes, so since capitalism will eventually eat itself alive, we should allow it to accelerate to that position as quickly as possible so there can be a socialist revolution.

A friend of mine who has a masters degree and is in his late thirties and is a hardline socialist absolutely calls himself an Accelerationist at this point, absolutely in the socialist sense. He flat out hopes capitalism will eat itself alive and it has very little to do with being an Edgy Internet Tough Guy on Reddit. He hardly uses social media and uses tons of privacy-enhancing softwares.

Suffice to say, this new attitude isn't limited to Edgy Internet Kids, or even Edgy Internet Adults, it is actually spreading quite quickly in the philosophy community.
posted by deadaluspark at 3:16 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know about explaining vitriol, but regarding policies and the view from the left on Clinton: Clinton is running for President, and thus gets a lot more scrutiny than a random Senator or minor primary candidate. That seems fairly reasonable. Moreover, she has an unusual amount of latitude in where she can position herself in the general election, since any of the plausible Republican candidates will be so far to her right that ideology will play very little role in winning the election (the undecided centrist voter who decides based on policy nuances is virtually non-existent these days).

Given that latitude, many believe she has chosen to position herself well to the right of where she could have been without significantly harming her electoral chances, by all accounts because these are the policies she actually believes in. I personally don't dislike her (in fact, I like her quite a lot personally), but there are plenty of policy reasons to dislike her positions, independent of one's feelings for Sanders. Her proposals for education reform, child care, health care, etc, are generally market-based compromises like Obamacare, the sorts of things Republicans used to espouse before they went crazy. She supports the death penalty, was in favor of TPP for years, has weak suggestions for finance reform, has refused to rule out social security and medicare "reform" (ie, cuts or raised retirement), supports the $12 vs $15 minimum wage, seems to support encryption back-doors and other NSA and Patriot Act powers, supported Iraq, is generally hawkish about foreign policy and as Secretary of State oversaw quite a lot of bombing, has very weak proposals for gun reform (to the left of Sanders, though that's not saying much), and as first lady played a fairly large and public role in "ending welfare," with lots of DLC-ish comments about "dependency."

Anyway, none of those are necessarily reasons to hate her candidacy, and I could probably write an equally long paragraph of positives, and probably will when the general election rolls around. But for those to the left of her -- which probably encompasses the majority of the Democratic party these days -- there are plenty of strong reasons for disappointment as well.

Regarding the Sanders/Obama2008 comparisons, Sanders is farther to the left than any major primary candidate has been since the 70s. Obama, to anyone paying attention in 2008, was always clearly in the ballpark of HRC, and to her right on a number of different issues. There's a weirdly cathartic effect of hearing someone say something on a national stage that you've never heard said there before (for those born since the 70s). Obama got a lot of love because he implied a lot of those things, but Sanders is actually saying them. That said, there are quite a few people well to the left of even Sanders, so there's less of a need to get worked up since it's pragmatic compromises all the way down...
posted by chortly at 3:19 PM on December 20, 2015 [18 favorites]


I get supporting someone who did not vote for the Iraq war, a la Howard Dean over Kerry, and now Sanders over Clinton. But both Kerry and Edwards voted for the Iraq resolution, and I don't recall either of them being on the receiving end of the vehemence directed at Clinton.

Am I not remembering correctly? With respect to Clinton, am I just dumber than I look? Because the explanation(s) so far haven't enlightened me.

And I don't understand what you are saying naju.
posted by haiku warrior at 3:25 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


haiku warrior: "I just don't understand, and I welcome a dispassionate explanation of the apparent inconsistency here. Seriously, what am I missing, gang?"

I think Hilary Clinton hate occurs in a Venn diagram of 1) Generalized dislike of the Clintons; 2) Disapproval of her actual record; 3) Sexism; 4) irrational visceral hatred; and 5) circular firing squad lefties who turn on every significant Democratic leader (who I think come in two subsets: Disappointed idealists, and really angry people who desperately want some kind of Stalinist purge of the insufficiently ideologically pure). Note I'm not saying that anyone who dislikes Clinton has all of these reasons! Most people have just one or two and I'm not saying people who disapprove of her record are sexist (or lining up for Stalinist purges).

The thing is that it's sometimes VERY DIFFICULT to discern when someone objects to her record, and when someone is ragingly sexist and is coming up with objections to her record as a cover for their sexism. Because they use the same language, and because there's so much misogyny in the wider culture that someone may coopt sexist language without realizing it. And lots of anti-Hilary sexists are very good at cloaking their hatred in the language of the reasonable objectors to her record. Wolves in sheep's clothing, sheeps in wolves' clothing, IT'S CONFUSING ALL THE WAY DOWN.

And of course here on metafilter we definitely have some lefties who cheerfully join every circular firing squad available to tear down every available Democrat; you should just roll your eyes and move on because it will occur no matter what.

As for the other two reasons, dislike of her as part of "The Clintons" is both inevitable (as it is for our friend JEB!) and, especially for Americans with our dislike of hereditary power structures, not entire unfair. As for irrational visceral hatred, sometimes a politician just strikes you that way, and she seems to be one who just sets some people's teeth on edge for no real reason. I don't get it because she doesn't strike me that way, but I've had a similar feeling towards other politicians -- Aaron Schock, to use a disgraced example, made my skin crawl from way back when he was just in local politics, from way before I had any reason to dislike him. I just could not stand him, viscerally could not stand him, for no reason. (Obviously I feel super-justified in my hatred now, but the truth is my original dislike of him was based in nothing at all except that I couldn't STAND him.)

Personally I've enjoyed the Democratic primary season more than usual because I've thought both Clinton and Sanders have enjoyed engaging in actual substantive policy questions (they are both policy dorks, let's face it), and they've done a nice job refusing to attack each other on campaign gaffe-type things (Hilary's e-mail, Sanders' data breach), which, I don't even care if it's pandering for PR, at least they're PANDERING FOR PR BY PRESENTING A UNITED FRONT and acting like the important issues are the ISSUES, not media scandals. It's been refreshing! (And yeah, it is TOTES refreshing to have someone as left as Bernie speaking plainly and clearly on the national stage.)

I haven't really worried about who I'm going to vote for in the primary because I'm after Super Tuesday so typically my primary vote doesn't matter in presidential races. (In fact, I'm in an open primary state so I may pull a Republican ballot, since most of the relevant local races to me are being contested solely on the GOP side this year, and it typically matters a whole lot more who gets elected judge or sheriff than that I participate in the national primaries. However, I've never pulled a GOP ballot in a presidential year and I really don't want to vote in their national primary? But maybe I'd be morally obligated to if I pulled that ballot and it were down to someone really evil and the lesser of two evils? Ugh, do not want. I don't want to have to vote strategically, it seems icky.) I will comfortably vote for either Clinton or Sanders in the general, so I'm not TOO worried about my primary vote "not counting" this year, I feel pretty good about both candidates. I mean obviously neither is perfect and both require compromises I'd rather not make, but it's a big country and you've got to coalition-build among 350 million people, I'm comfortable with my candidate only being "good enough."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:26 PM on December 20, 2015 [21 favorites]


You can't assume stupidity when there are server logs that show workers in Bernie Sanders' campaign taking advantage of the breach to make unauthorized downloads from a rival primary campaign.

Riiiight, those logs that record the date and time every time a user presses the "maliciously take advantage of breach" button along with whether the user's heart is one, two, or three sizes too small. I had forgotten about those logs.

BTW if you go Googling for logs related to this and you find documents with entries like "Attempts to run a search. At this point cannot access page sections." those are also things which some human slapped together for PR purposes, or most charitably are someone's notes, not the output of an automated auditing system.

Sure, it's possible that curiosity could lead you to blunder into data that you've not been authorized to access, but actually downloading portions of the data to folders on your personal computer is most definitely not something you can do inadvertently.

There seem to be some links in this thread you need to re-read. Particularly the NGP VAN blog entry.
posted by XMLicious at 3:33 PM on December 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


(or lining up for Stalinist purges)

I never understood why my campaigns' slogan of "Bring Back the Gulag!" polled so poorly. /s
posted by deadaluspark at 3:33 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


But both Kerry and Edwards voted for the Iraq resolution, and I don't recall either of them being on the receiving end of the vehemence directed at Clinton.

Am I not remembering correctly? With respect to Clinton, am I just dumber than I look? Because the explanation(s) so far haven't enlightened me.


Both of those campaigns were conducted much closer to 2003 than what is going on today, and the continuing revision of the Iraq decision in light of what the passage of time has revealed has created a different general attitude about those events than was common those years ago.
posted by hippybear at 3:34 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


oh god I want to get in a fight over accelerationism but I can't, I just can't.

oh fine I will. it's such a bro thing to propose running the machine so fast that it breaks down spewing pieces everywhere clearing off space for us to establish Year One after. It's the same old "after Hitler, us!" stuff that turned out so well in Weimar. Regardless of whether or not "us" should be put in charge, no amount of "us" is worth all that destruction and murder along the way. It's anecdata, I know, but nevertheless I think it's telling that every accelerationist I've ever met is from the demographics that typically drive the machine rather than the demographics that typically get run over by it.

One of the reasons why I need to be a little bit less of a loudmouth keyboard revolutionary on this site that, as a white dude in the Bay Area, I have to always be on guard against letting myself fall into the same traps that other white dudes here fall into. One of these traps is thinking that loudmouth oppositional talk fixes anything. It doesn't — by itself it's just a balm for cranky dudes who don't think they'll be exposed to the downsides of their ideas.

That said, my favorite take on accelerationism is probably Steven Shaviro's. The conclusion he reaches (it's been a while since I've read it so apologies if I'm misremembering details or misrepresenting his argument) is that accelerationist science fiction is a really good idea, but actual accelerationist praxis is to be avoided. Imagining accelerationism is good for jarring us out of conventional modes of thinking, but actually implementing accelerationism just gets people killed for no good reason.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:36 PM on December 20, 2015 [24 favorites]


Haiku Of Thanks

Eyebrows McGee rules!
A superb explanation
Boarding flight wiser.
posted by haiku warrior at 3:37 PM on December 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


oh god I want to get in a fight over accelerationism but I can't, I just can't.

No need for a fight, it sounds like you're on the same page as I am, and the guy I was originally responding to. I fail to see the argument for accelerationism as much of anything other than just giving up in the face of what absolutely seem like insurmountable odds.

I'm with Yanis Varoufakis on this, despite how many Marxists/Socialists act like he is the King of False Promises because he thought saving people from suffering by trying to save capitalism from itself was more worthwhile than letting people suffer just to we could have a "revolution." (That, if we have learned anything from history, will result in the same kind of power structures eventually taking hold, just like they always have, after every single revolution.)

Anyway, I think your description here is most apt:

it's such a bro thing to propose running the machine so fast that it breaks down spewing pieces everywhere clearing off space for us to establish Year One after.

Absolutely. It reminds me of bros who are super into working on their cars, just to red-line them until it kills the fucking engine, just so they can, I don't know, try to score pussy in their trash-heap of a car? However, it's absolutely an attitude I see all the time, just push it until it breaks, and then try to fix the problem after. It doesn't seem like an exactly progressive way to deal with anything, which is part of why I think I'm regularly dumbfounded by accelerationisms embrace by the socialist set.
posted by deadaluspark at 3:44 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think Hilary Clinton hate occurs in a Venn diagram of [...] 5) circular firing squad lefties who turn on every significant Democratic leader (who I think come in two subsets: Disappointed idealists, and really angry people who desperately want some kind of Stalinist purge of the insufficiently ideologically pure). Note I'm not saying that anyone who dislikes Clinton has all of these reasons! Most people have just one or two and I'm not saying people who disapprove of her record are sexist (or lining up for Stalinist purges).

Doesn't even have to be a circular firing squad. Lots of pragmatist lefties are seeing a (semi) viable candidate to the left of her, and so think the Clinton campaign is actively dragging the Democrats to the right, which isn't going to do a lot to endear her to them. In a different field, she might be the one they threw their weight behind.
posted by Dysk at 3:46 PM on December 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah, just to be clear, I think many people totally do prefer other candidates to Hilary Clinton and do so without partaking of the haterade! Those are fair and reasonable things in a democracy and why we have primaries! I'm really talking more about the people who HATE her, which I do think she comes in for an unusual amount of (or perhaps a normal amount of, presented with unusual vitriol), and why she might inspire more hate-fueled frothing than other, superficially-similar candidates. If someone's like, "I don't like the direction she's steering the party and I think Sanders is a better candidate with better policies for Americans," my response is, "That is a totally good reason to vote for Sanders and not vote for Clinton, you sound like a sane person who has thought about the issues and is passionate because these issues matter a lot to you!"

(Personally I was pretty un-thrilled this year that the two presumed front runners were the wife of a former president and the son and brother of two former presidents, it offends my anti-aristocratic sensibilities. But I'm just going to make a Marge Simpson disapproval noise about it, not get worked up into actual hate over it. I'll reserve my irrational hatred for Ted Cruz for looking like Count Chocula, it seriously drives me crazy, I do not even care how terrible his positions are, I just cannot stand his stupid Count Chocula face, I know this is petty and trivial but WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:00 PM on December 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'll reserve my irrational hatred for Ted Cruz for looking like Count Chocula, it seriously drives me crazy, I do not even care how terrible his positions are, I just cannot stand his stupid Count Chocula face, I know this is petty and trivial but WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

Could be worse -- he looks a little like my adoptive father (who's kind of a dick). Like, if you made a wax bust of him and melted it a little, you'd get Cruz.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:10 PM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


teddy reminds me of a silent movie actor but i can't remember which one.
posted by futz at 4:16 PM on December 20, 2015


Yeah, just to be clear, I think many people totally do prefer other candidates to Hilary Clinton and do so without partaking of the haterade!

Right, but I think there is a not-insignificant number of people who DO partake of the haterade, not out of ideological purity as such, but because they feel like any right-thinking democrat or lefty has a responsibility to support the furthest left viable candidate, and Clinton is not only not it, but is beating that candidate (obviously Sanders, depending on how viable you consider his candidacy) which makes the hate flow freely.
posted by Dysk at 4:18 PM on December 20, 2015


Is the DNC Unfairly Targeting the Sanders Campaign? featuring the author of My Turn (Doug Henwood)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 4:20 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Right, but I think there is a not-insignificant number of people who DO partake of the haterade, not out of ideological purity as such, but because they feel like any right-thinking democrat or lefty has a responsibility to support the furthest left viable candidate, and Clinton is not only not it, but is beating that candidate (obviously Sanders, depending on how viable you consider his candidacy) which makes the hate flow freely.

I think you're making a giant number of assumptions about a giant number of people here, and I'm not sure you're being fair or even accurate.
posted by hippybear at 4:27 PM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


She wants a way for the government to read encrypted communications, without a "backdoor".

No, she wants a back door for the government. Perhaps she is hoping that industry could be persuaded to put it there voluntarily, before they outlaw non-backdoored stuff. One of the few things Clinton and I have in common is that we are both old enough to remember the clipper chip fiasco. Twenty years and they still haven't given up the dream of breaking everyone's crypto.
posted by sfenders at 4:27 PM on December 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think you're making a giant number of assumptions about a giant number of people here, and I'm not sure you're being fair or even accurate.

I'm not talking about a giant number of people, but I do think that accurately describes some (or at least more accurately than the 'circular firing squad' comments). For the record, I count myself in the group I described.
posted by Dysk at 4:29 PM on December 20, 2015


I mean, I know I'm much more eager to pull her down a peg than any other US democrat, because I would genuinely love to see Sanders get the nomination instead. Pretty sure I'm not alone in that.
posted by Dysk at 4:31 PM on December 20, 2015


Given that latitude, many believe she has chosen to position herself well to the right of where she could have been without significantly harming her electoral chances, by all accounts because these are the policies she actually believes in.

chortly nailed it.
Clinton is Bob Dole, when a big part of her base is clamoring for Actual Socialism.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:34 PM on December 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can see the appeal of accelerationism in this era. It's because nobody in politics offers a compelling counter-proposal to reform our system which is fundamentally broken to the core.

One thing to like about Hillary is that she doesn't pretend she has such a solution. You will get an avatar of the Democratic Establishment as a President, and that avatar will accomplish the maximum they can for their donors and for you when that isn't in conflict.

Obama offered hope and change but couldn't deliver even with a supermajority (or close to it).Trump offers a dictatorial disregard to avoid the system, but that doesn't work in a nation of laws. Sanders offers a political revolution of millions to get his agenda through anyway, but where are they? This whole process is a joke. None of them can do anything they claim they can, even the far more restrained Hillary is spinning fantasies.

So anyway, the truth is maintaining the status quo and getting marginal improvement at best is all we can do for the people living today, so we vote to maintain it because actually overturning or collapsing a government looks like Syria, not like any of our fantasies about a second American revolution. You just accelerate into something worse for your wellbeing.

So yeah, accelerationism is dumb but for people screwed by this system, a group going far beyond the middle class men some apply the dumb stereotype label "bro" to, the feeling of being crushed by a system that can't be stopped can drive you to despair. That's pretty much where I am, don't feel like voting anymore, you folks figure it out without me and I'll keep watching the debates like I watch football (sometimes I even get to watch them at the same time, thanks DWS!), for fun and to cheer for my side without believing my own contribution really matters to the big picture. But if you make a decision that kills hundreds of thousands of people and destabilizes a region for decades to come, yeah I hate you. Why don't you fix our own problems instead of worrying about the rest of the world? Oh right, you can't, nobody can.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:39 PM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Landed Grand Rapids
More informative comments
The best of MeFites.
posted by haiku warrior at 4:42 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Clinton is Bob Dole, when a big part of her base is clamoring for Actual Socialism.

The base will still vote for her. If she starts talking like Bernie she puts the General Election at risk. The progress that actually works is incrementalism. Hillary gets this. I'll take a centrist Democrat in the oval office over the great socialist hope screaming in the wilderness any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:49 PM on December 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


we vote to maintain it because actually overturning or collapsing a government looks like Syria

Or France.
posted by rhizome at 4:51 PM on December 20, 2015


The base will still vote for her. If she starts talking like Bernie she puts the General Election at risk. The progress that actually works is incrementalism. Hillary gets this. I'll take a centrist Democrat in the oval office over the great socialist hope screaming in the wilderness any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Well sure, the ones who bother to show up. Will that be anywhere near as many that turned out for Obama? I guess we'll find out.

But I do know that taking the base vote for granted, as Clinton has made a career of doing, and her supporters are doing in this exchange, is a pretty piss poor way of inspiring turnout.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:03 PM on December 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


Is the DNC Unfairly Targeting the Sanders Campaign? featuring the author of My Turn (Doug Henwood)

After reading that, I think I do not want to hear any more from Clinton supporters. I just want the media to do its job and investigate the DNC and Schultz for collusion with the Clinton campaign, to report the extent to which she and Clinton campaign officials are in communication about DNC activities and strategy. The rest of the stuff about accelerationism is just dumb noise at this point.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:05 PM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


I just want the media to do its job and investigate the DNC and Schultz for collusion with the Clinton campaign

For all the talk of "breaking up the banks" notice the issue conspicuously absent from the debates is "break up big media," despite media mergers probably being some of the most prolific, and potentially having much more far reaching consequences than the financial industry, as the media (attempts to) control the narrative.

I honestly think that if Sanders was saying "break up the media oligarchies" he would have met the same fate as Lessig. Concentration of media is actually a huge deal, and a big part of why this election is such a fucking mess, and why people don't trust establishment candidates. Essentially, a lot of people don't necessarily trust mainstream US news anymore, and for good reason.

For those who don't know, via Wikipedia:

In 1983, 90% of US media was controlled by fifty companies; today, 90% is controlled by just six companies.
posted by deadaluspark at 5:20 PM on December 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


But I do know that taking the base vote for granted, as Clinton has made a career of doing, and her supporters are doing in this exchange, is a pretty piss poor way of inspiring turnout

The spectre of President Ted Cruz will do a pretty good job of inspiring turnout, I think.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:28 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think you're making a giant number of assumptions about a giant number of people here, and I'm not sure you're being fair or even accurate.

I didn't get the impression he was talking about people here on Metafilter, specifically. But I might be wrong about that.

It is certainly fascinating (from my perspective) how genial the relationship between Clinton and Sanders is compared to the absolutely vicious way many (certainly not all) of their supporters interact.

In real life, I've started using a fairly simple test. When someone starts ranting (usually a Sanders or Paul person, I don't know a lot of Tea Party conservatives and my Clinton-supporting friends are pretty low key), I start asking them about legislative elections - who are they supporting for senatorial and representative appointments, also who they'd like to see as governor, etc. Often enough, they shut up. This, to me, is genuinely disturbing.

Maybe it's just the demographic I tend to hang around with (and belong to) - late twenties to early thirties, not in the best place economically speaking, in an area where engaging in progressive politics is hard because there isn't much infrastructure. But this is something I see a lot of and on a national level it's not knew and its very dangerous: messianic presidentialism. We'll elect our Great Progressive Leader and Everything Will Be Fine. We already did that. In 2008. And while a lot of people just cried "betrayal!" and dethroned the idol, the fact is what should have been learned is that winning the presidency isn't even half the battle, isn't even a quarter of the battle.

The few people I know who are deeply engaged in local and state-level politics - really engaged, they know their candidates, they know who they want to see stand and who they'll settle for and usually who they're likely to be facing - are conservatives. Mild conservatives, I don't know a lot of straight-up Tea Party enthusiasts, but nevertheless conservatives who are often voting primarily along one or two issues that are very important to them (pro-life candidates, supporters of charter schools, etc.). These are the people who have integrated politics into their lives, along with career, church and taking care of the kids. They understand, even take as simply accepted, that you fight the battle on every front, from state representatives up to the Oval Office. And again, the picture I am painting is doubtless colored by where I live. Conservatives can draw on long-standing local political infrastructure, can find a sympathetic audience more easily. Fair enough. But I see the same sort of thing from people (presumably) more or less evenly distributed over the national landscape, here on the Internet - and not just on Metafilter - whose local activities I can't gauge but who sound a lot like the despairing and disengaged folks I chat with at work or at the bus stop or wherever.

The nomination of Sanders or Clinton is, in either case, going to result in the same situation in Washington. That's my two cents on the matter. They will be resisted by Republicans in Congress no matter their policies, since the role of the Republican Party at this point is merely to prevent anything useful being done by a Democratic administration. They will appoint non-conservatives to the Supreme Court. If nominating Sanders will make people feel better, that they've made a statement about the state of the Democratic Party, fair enough. But I don't believe that his election will result in significant policy differences. Unless.

Unless we have a Democratic Congress (34 Senate seats are up for grabs in 2016). Unless a larger proportion of governorships (12 in 2016) and state assemblies go blue. Unless we see pressure at the local and state levels for progressive legislation and its enforcement. So, you know, if you have enough time and energy to rage at the unacceptable betrayal of your fellow Dems who are supporting the other candidate, I'd just ask you (as I ask myself, repeatedly, since I'm often very bad at this too) to divert some of that energy towards other races, other less dramatic and media-saturated causes, towards the broader political context within which the election of a Democrat to the Presidency - much less the election of a specific Democrat, vs. another Democrat, to that office - will be made meaningful or meaningless.

And, y'know, maybe everyone in this thread is doing all they can, or as much as can be expected given their situation. Maybe this is just where people go to blow off steam. Fair enough. But it's worth asking of ourselves, and of others. Because Messianism is just as futile, and ultimately frustrating and disempowering, as the Accelerationism which was mentioned upthread. Or the fetishization of a Great Movement (the Dean Machine, Occupy Wall Street, doubtless there will e more to come) which will change everything. It's a search for a cheat code, for a way around the hard slog. And that does not exist. Sanders will achieve what the system allows him to achieve. Changing the context is the only way to make his election matter. Otherwise, he'll be another Obama - someone we feel very good about electing because of the statement it makes.

It's because nobody in politics offers a compelling counter-proposal to reform our system which is fundamentally broken to the core.

You know, I've written enough now, and I'm exhausted and headed to bed, but: this. Is. Not. True. This is what we tell ourselves so that we can feel exculpated for not fighting. There is no shortage of good "counter-proposals". There is no shortage of achievements we can look to (from gay marriage to getting a minimum wage increase back on the table, just to pick to recent examples). The system was "fundamentally broken" in 1870, in 1912, in 1934, in 1945, pick any other year between then and now, in any number of ways. People worked hard - worked over the course of multiple election cycles, over the course of decades, to fix them. Many people today seem to believe that we are special, and we do not need to do the work to get the reward. That everyday politics is for lesser people, living in lesser times. And so we claim that we - the most privileged generation in our nation's history, are helpless in the face of events. This is nonsense, and it is self-exculpatory nonsense. And, pertinently and significantly, it is maybe the only kind of self-serving nonsense which the other side of the political divide has actively avoided falling for.
posted by AdamCSnider at 5:40 PM on December 20, 2015 [38 favorites]


the fact is what should have been learned is that winning the presidency isn't even half the battle, isn't even a quarter of the battle.

This is especially interesting, because Sanders himself says this all the time about his own campaign, and that there is nothing he can follow through on unless there is a real political revolution in who we vote for at the city level, state level, and federal level. You are absolutely correct that the question is whether or not the citizens who back him will have the energy to actually make changes in elections that will affect whether or not he will be blocked at every turn (and inevitably end up being another Jimmy Carter), or whether he will actually have a support network in government for his policies.

You have to wonder sometimes if his followers are really listening. ( I say this as a Sanders supporter no less.)
posted by deadaluspark at 5:48 PM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


The midterm elections are so important. Much could have been done over the last seven years had Democrats turned out for the 2010 and 2014 elections. 2010 was particularly damaging with the effect it had on redistricting.
posted by haiku warrior at 5:56 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


> In real life, I've started using a fairly simple test. When someone starts ranting (usually a Sanders or Paul person, I don't know a lot of Tea Party conservatives and my Clinton-supporting friends are pretty low key), I start asking them about legislative elections - who are they supporting for senatorial and representative appointments, also who they'd like to see as governor, etc. Often enough, they shut up. This, to me, is genuinely disturbing.

Here's my test: do you know how to book a meeting space? Do you know how to get flyers and doorhangers printed? Have you phonebanked recently? If so, you're politically active. If not, you're just a spectator. Sitting around and talking about who you're going to vote for and why your vote makes you a better person is fun, but it's not politics, not exactly.

> The few people I know who are deeply engaged in local and state-level politics - really engaged, they know their candidates, they know who they want to see stand and who they'll settle for and usually who they're likely to be facing - are conservatives. Mild conservatives, I don't know a lot of straight-up Tea Party enthusiasts, but nevertheless conservatives who are often voting primarily along one or two issues that are very important to them (pro-life candidates, supporters of charter schools, etc.). These are the people who have integrated politics into their lives, along with career, church and taking care of the kids.

I just wanted to highlight this: there are people out there who are devoting a very large part of their time on a regular basis — not just during election season or whatever — to doing very, very bad things. Unforgivable things. We have a duty to meaningfully fight back: to devote as much time and effort as we can to booking meeting rooms and planning in meeting rooms and putting together ballot initiatives and finding candidates and running candidates to do good things. It's hard, because for the most part they have more time than us, because for the most part they have more money than us, but we must anyway.1

If you're in one of the badass cities where organizing for socialism and anarchism and radical environmentalism and Black Lives and Black Power and you know revolutionary awesomeness is possible, you have a responsibility to put some time into helping — a duty to your immediate neighbors, and a duty to your fellow Americans. The people living in more conservative places don't stand a chance unless we push as hard as we can and as effectively as we can to shove the public discourse as far to the left as possible — to show that it is possible to organize and fight and win. It is much easier for people in the rest of the country to organize for the 15 dollar an hour minimum wage (for example) now that Seattle's done it and the sky hasn't fallen in. It will be easier for people in the rest of the country to organize for a genuine living wage once Berkeley establishes its 19 dollar an hour minimum wage and the sky doesn't fall in.

What's great is that if you carve out time you can meaningfully contribute no matter who you are, because the contributions that really make a difference don't come from charismatic leaders or from bigthinkers with great big brains and weird new ideas. They come from the people who know how to book a room and get flyers printed and set up a phonebank list.

1: It's like Assata taught us: "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:17 PM on December 20, 2015 [16 favorites]


If Cruz wins the nomination, I am going to appropriate his weird obsession with The Princess Bride for my own nefarious purposes and mass produce bumper stickers that say:
Cruz 2016
Get used to disappointment.

posted by mochapickle at 6:31 PM on December 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think you're making a giant number of assumptions about a giant number of people here, and I'm not sure you're being fair or even accurate.

I didn't get the impression he was talking about people here on Metafilter, specifically.


Neither did I. My "here" was meant to indicate "in this set of statements" not "here, in this online community".

Poor wording on my part.
posted by hippybear at 6:31 PM on December 20, 2015


I've said it before and I'll say it again: volunteer to deliver and pick up yard signs. You don't have to interact with humans, it's kind of a time-consuming hassle, but it is DEAD EASY and requires no eloquence or expertise ... just reading a map. I take my kids and we make it a treasure hunt identifying all the red signs to yank out and throw in the car. You can free up more senior volunteers for more complicated work.

Also if you've never canvassed, it's good exercise -- you can take off 20# in a campaign season if you go every weekend -- and they send you out with someone more experienced. It seems daunting but its kinda fun once you get going.

I also deliver home baked cookies to leftie protestors. Everybody likes cookies. I often can't be out protesting for several hours because Life, but I can deliver sustenance to the kids out there all day doing it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:35 PM on December 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


oh my god yes. please volunteer to deliver and pick up yard signs. Most especially if you're in one of those hip lefty cities, cause um one thing about socialists and anarchists and radical environmentalists is that we very often don't have cars.

Like for reals even if you think you don't have anything to bring to the movement, if you've got four wheels you absolutely have something to bring to the movement.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:45 PM on December 20, 2015


I'll take a centrist Democrat in the oval office over the great socialist hope screaming in the wilderness any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:49 PM on December 20 [+] [!]



welp
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:47 PM on December 20, 2015 [19 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: I take my kids and we make it a treasure hunt identifying all the red signs to yank out and throw in the car.

Can you clarify? I don't like the red signs either, but it seems wrong to take them.
posted by mochapickle at 6:51 PM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


also: normally I'm stymied when people not from Oakland or Seattle ask me how to get involved, but right now there is a totally easy way to get involved. man, this is weird. I've legitimately never talked up the guy this hard. Okay, deep breath, here goes:

If you don't know where to start on getting involved, you could volunteer on the Sanders campaign.

Yeah, I know, it's hella awkward to say. The guy has weird positions on gun control and he's sort of not as left as people say he is and all those fucking reddit bros like him and everything . But volunteer on the Sanders campaign. You'll meet people to Sanders's left. You'll meet people to your left. You'll meet people to my left. You'll find your tribe. They'll show you where to go after Sanders.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:51 PM on December 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's because nobody in politics offers a compelling counter-proposal to reform our system which is fundamentally broken to the core.

Somebody could always break it worse. We have a Republican frontrunner who views Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, not as dystopian sci-fi, but as a frickin' how-to manual. If you think it's broken now, you have no idea how badly somebody could break things.
posted by jonp72 at 7:05 PM on December 20, 2015


> We have a Republican frontrunner who views Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, not as dystopian sci-fi, but as a frickin' how-to manual.

I don't know if you're talking about Trump or Cruz but I have to tell you I'm having a wonderful time thinking of either of them consulting the I Ching on what policy positions they should take.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:39 PM on December 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: I take my kids and we make it a treasure hunt identifying all the red signs to yank out and throw in the car.

Can you clarify? I don't like the red signs either, but it seems wrong to take them.


After the election is over.
posted by gaspode at 7:39 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it was a stop sign joke
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:51 PM on December 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm a fan of Clinton, for reasons, not just as some sort of default. I like Sanders, a lot. He should come out strongly disavowing his staff stealing data; it's wrong. Clinton should be gracious and cautious. To expect the DNC to be anything but purely political is - do you understand who and what they are? Yeah, they're being ham-fisted and stupid, but you knew they were a totally political organization.
posted by theora55 at 12:26 AM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Frankly, I think that if politicians consulted the I Ching more often before making decisions, it would relatively infrequently cause worse outcomes.(Because it's a lens, because many political decisions aren't unilateral, because the I Ching is super oblique so the idea of it providing instant guidance is funny, and because ha ha politicians and their choices are totally arbitrary amirite?)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:44 AM on December 21, 2015


Drinky Die's comment on the appeal of accelerationism got me riled up, as these kinds of complaints always do. Not to minimize the problems that the country and the world face, but we are very, very privileged to live at this time in history and in the US. Just the fact that we have the capability of communicating in this medium, and the freedom to do so, is an example.

Perpetual war? 38 years ago the first "Star Wars" film appeared in theaters. 38 years before that "Gone with the Wind" was the blockbuster. In the approximately four decades between the release of those two motion pictures there was World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In December 1939 Hitler held power in Germany, Franco ruled in Spain, Mussolini in Italy, Stalin in Russia, and Tojo and his militarist faction in Japan.

Don't like Clinton? 100 years ago it would not have been legal for her to vote. Don't like Obama? 50 years ago he would not have been allowed to vote in much of the South, nor even allowed to use the men's room in many establishments, and his parents would not have been allowed to marry in many states. In fact, one of my earliest memories is the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just ten years ago only Massachusetts allowed same sex marriage, and now it is the law of the land in the USA. Go back 20 years, and it was illegal all over the world.

If anything illustrates the importance of voting, it is same-sex marriage. It is the law of the land, because of the Supreme Court, and who becomes president will determine the make up of that body. We only have to see the damage wrought by the Roberts court to realize what is at stake.

Yes, it's frustrating and heartbreaking and even despairing to see back sliding on economic and social issues. But throwing up one's hands allowing others to determine the course of the country is either cutting off your nose to spite your face (one of my favorite sayings) or simply riding the wave of privilege that others provided with their sweat and often their blood.

Don't like Clinton? Okay. Don't vote? Absolutely not okay. Too much rides on who occupies the White House, in particular, and the make of up of Congress and state and local governments.
posted by haiku warrior at 12:50 AM on December 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


> Frankly, I think that if politicians consulted the I Ching more often before making decisions, it would relatively infrequently cause worse outcomes.(Because it's a lens, because many political decisions aren't unilateral, because the I Ching is super oblique so the idea of it providing instant guidance is funny, and because ha ha politicians and their choices are totally arbitrary amirite?)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:44 AM on December 21 [+] [!]


hey man, I'm down. The I Ching isn't exactly my thing — as far as unexpected sources of inspiration for Philip K. Dick go, I prefer information-rich pink laser beams shot by a satellite that is also god — but nevertheless on the whole I am a legit fan of stochastic methods for democratic decision-making.

what do we want? flip a coin! when do we want it? now!
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:54 AM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I didn't get the impression he was talking about people here on Metafilter, specifically. But I might be wrong about that.

She. And no I wasn't. And again, I wasn't talking about a giant number of people (and I'm not sure how anyone got that impression) just describing one group's motivations with no reference at all to its size.

And so we claim that we - the most privileged generation in our nation's history, are helpless in the face of events.

I don't think that's entirely fair - it's not events that leave us helpless, it's the entrenchnebt of the political establishment, and the increasing lunacy of said establishment. It'd be great if everyone who was behind Sanders had a local senatorial and gubernatorial candidate they were behind as well, but practically speaking, that might be a choice between a bunch of Republicans and Clintons (i.e. not-quite-Republicans). Large parts of the democratic party are actively hostile to genuinely left-wing members, nevermind politicians, and consequently, a lot of people's local politics may be completely uninspiring, and frankly irrelevant to a lot of people - what does it matter if centre-right Democrat number 1 or centre-right Democrat number 2 gets office? Neither represents anything good on any level. There simply isn't a Sanders to put your support behind in every race, and there's often a Democratic establishment that works hard to keep it that way.

Now yes, you could work against that, to try and change that, to try and end up with better candidates. But that shit is exhausting as well as incredibly intimidating. I think most people who do engage in politics on that level only avoid burnout if there's at least some meaningful support, or at least not antagonism, from the political party they're trying to work within, and I think people generally get drawn into that level of engagement slowly, by working with or for campaigns they believe to at least some degree as a starting point - if there are no campaigns you believe in to at least some degree, how does your involvement start? Where's the inspiration to? And if you start out working on the fringes and never having any meaningful success, how do you not burn out quickly?
posted by Dysk at 1:28 AM on December 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


> It'd be great if everyone who was behind Sanders had a local senatorial and gubernatorial candidate they were behind as well, but practically speaking, that might be a choice between a bunch of Republicans and Clintons (i.e. not-quite-Republicans). Large parts of the democratic party are actively hostile to genuinely left-wing members, nevermind politicians, and consequently, a lot of people's local politics may be completely uninspiring, and frankly irrelevant to a lot of people - what does it matter if centre-right Democrat number 1 or centre-right Democrat number 2 gets office?

senatorial/gubernatorial is way too big, unless you're in a very, very small state. city council races are where it's at; it's much easier to find a candidate with good values, and much easier for you to make a mark on the campaign as a whole.

ymmv if you're in a conservative city, of course.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:35 AM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


teddy reminds me of a silent movie actor but i can't remember which one.
posted by futz at 4:16 PM on December 20 [+] [!]


Is it Hobart Henley?
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:56 AM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a fan of Clinton, for reasons, not just as some sort of default. I like Sanders, a lot. He should come out strongly disavowing his staff stealing data; it's wrong. Clinton should be gracious and cautious. To expect the DNC to be anything but purely political is - do you understand who and what they are? Yeah, they're being ham-fisted and stupid, but you knew they were a totally political organization.

Once it's established that the DNC is so abjectly corrupt and "stupid" that they can't stop themselves from trying to kneecap the inconvenient non-anointed candidate when the opportunity arises, doesn't that in itself cast doubt on the narrative that the Sanders staffers were obviously just "stealing data"?

I mean if the DNC is so manifestly malicious and/or incompetent that the rest of us have to accept as unremarkable whatever their actions here might have been, doesn't that also lend a great deal of credence to the notion that it would have been foolish on the part of this Uretsky guy who has since fallen on his sword to immediately stop using the voting data system as soon as he saw what was happening and turn over the matter to the DNC and their chosen IT contractor? And that in fact what he says he was doing, spending half an hour to independently verify just what the hell was going on, is something that even a scrupulous campaign official in this environment might do?

Yeah, the show must go on, but until proven otherwise this really ought to be remembered as a case of long knives held to the throat of the Sanders campaign, not as something innocuous. We should not be simply acceding to the major institutions of our democracy doing whatever the hell they want, especially when the voter-tracking system we're dealing with here is basically a society-wide political surveillance apparatus unrestrained in even the paltry ways our government is because the two parties are "private organizations".
posted by XMLicious at 4:30 AM on December 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


As for the other two reasons, dislike of her as part of "The Clintons" is both inevitable

I also think it's import to note that we're also starting to re-evaluate the legacy of her husband's presidency and the underlying political philosophy that they seem to share. I don't think that it's aging well with time.

Bill seemingly did very little to slow the country's slide toward the right, but managed to frame it in terms that were seemingly favorable to the Democrats (without changing the substance of what was happening). The Clintons have always gone with the tide, and I'm racking my mind to come up with a single example of Bill or Hillary taking a stand on an issue that they knew would be unpopular.

At the end of the day, Bill sold out the civil rights of people like me (for little to no political gain), and Hillary became a vocal supporter of the Iraq War.

I have a hard time looking past her support of the war. If there's going to be an automatic disqualifier, that's it. I worry that the 2016 Election is turning into a decision of how (not if) the United States will actively work to provoke World War III.
posted by schmod at 6:20 AM on December 21, 2015 [17 favorites]


The Clintons have always gone with the tide, and I'm racking my mind to come up with a single example of Bill or Hillary taking a stand on an issue that they knew would be unpopular.

It may be difficult to think about how different America is now, but nominating Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn't a slam-dunk in 1993.
posted by psoas at 8:44 AM on December 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


the feeling of being crushed by a system that can't be stopped can drive you to despair. That's pretty much where I am, don't feel like voting anymore

If you're going through some serious shit in your life, definitely disengage from this mess and fix yourself. But, it sounds more like you are trying to ascribe your own motivations and feelings to millions of people who are not you. There are a lot of people out there who are screwed by the system. But even among that group, a lot of those people don't believe in accelerationism.
posted by FJT at 8:49 AM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Clintons have always gone with the tide, and I'm racking my mind to come up with a single example of Bill or Hillary taking a stand on an issue that they knew would be unpopular.

That's easy. Gays in the military. Came out for what we have now, couldn't get it because of huge opposition. One of those things that was instantly and dramatically unpopular.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:14 AM on December 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Clintons have always gone with the tide, and I'm racking my mind to come up with a single example of Bill or Hillary taking a stand on an issue that they knew would be unpopular.

Famously, "...it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights."

Of course taking a stand isn't the same thing as accomplishing anything. But her positions on women's rights were then, and remain, profoundly unpopular.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:48 AM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


> The spectre of President Ted Cruz will do a pretty good job of inspiring turnout, I think.

Because that sort of attitude worked out so great in 2004, vs. the absolutely loathed-by-the-left GWB.

A couple of things to say in this thread - As a Bernie donor, I first found out about this whole incident via the email blast from Jeff Weaver that basically said "Due to a fault in their own platform, the DNC has cut us out!" It left out so much of the story that it left a really bad taste in my mouth. I was really glad to see Bernie straight-up admit that the campaign staffers did something wrong, and they are dealing with it appropriately, and I was really frustrated to not see that from the get-go.

Also, I've mentioned this before, but I think we need look no further than the rise of the tea party to see how energizing a base that has felt neglected will get results in the form of voter turnout -- and the way to do that is by engaging them, as opposed to hoping they turn out to vote against an opposition they can't stand.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:57 AM on December 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Something that might be being missed about why so many people easily swallow the Sanders-campaign side of the story without looking deeper into the details:

The way it happened sounds eerily similar to something many people who work in tech experience a good deal.

They find a flaw in the system, they report it, management says its been fixed.

A week later, they find the same flaw, still at large, report it again, management says ignore it, its being worked on.

Eventually, the person gets fed up with being ignored, goes out of their way to prove how dangerous this flaw is, and then when they presents this to the higher-ups, instead of getting praise, they are quickly treated as though they are the source of the problem, not the program itself.

There's a long history of corporate America ignoring real programming problems, and then lashing out at the people who report them when they go out of their way to make the problem an issue that maybe the heads of the company will listen to.

Does that mean this is what happened in this case? No, and sadly, there is plenty of information that points to Sanders doing the right thing by removing the staffer from his position.

However, I think perhaps this can explain the emotional reasons behind a lot of Sanders supporters jump on his side of the bandwagon, because it reminded too many of their own experiences being ignored when they try to bring up important information, only to then be later blamed for bringing the problem to light.

Sanders does really well with the tech-inclined crowd, to boot. Places like Slashdot and /r/technology have just been absolutely ruthless to Clinton over her "I don't know enough about the technology." (To be fair, I agree with them. That was the biggest load of horseshit in the debate. She wants us to go nuclear online with a Manhattan style project? WTF? She proved she doesn't know enough about it, because any computer scientist worth their salt would tell her what she is proposing reduces security for everyone.)

So, I suspect a lot of it is emotions tied to their own personal experiences with things like that, and not even their own personal experiences, stories of the nature of "report bug, get blamed for it" are all too common on places like Slashdot. It really is a thing and unfortunately can probably color a lot of people's perceptions about it, instead of getting them to think critically about it.
posted by deadaluspark at 11:32 AM on December 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


[A few comments removed. markkraft, cool it meant cool it; take a day off and next time that's it for good, you've had way too many chances over the years with this just-won't-drop-it behavior.]
posted by cortex at 11:36 AM on December 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


well... I can't help you.

Has anyone ever said this on Metafilter when there was a single person left who actually wanted their "help"? I imagine it's inevitable that I have said it myself after so long, but this has convinced me never to say it again.

Every once in a while I wonder whether my distaste for being a joiner of anything is keeping me from actually committing to a political party and there's not really some more significant external problematic things discouraging me. The use of phrases like "supposed Democrats" here should probably inoculate me for at least a few years. I can't imagine voting any way other than (D) for the foreseeable future, given the other choices, but man I have no interest in doing anything to support a machine with that sort of empty tribalism.
posted by phearlez at 11:42 AM on December 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I've said it before and I'll say it again: volunteer to deliver and pick up yard signs.

OK, so it sounds like a lot of your political experience is at the local level where this can make a lot of sense (most people have never even heard the names of their school board candidates, for example, so yard signs can be helpful for name-recognition), but it's for reals not the case for something like a presidential primary and/or general election.

I have one cycle (and, as much as I loved it, it will forever remain at one since the hours were just too god damned insanely grueling) as the state (Oregon, in my case) director of data, operations and digital media for a (successful) presidential campaign, and can tell you that yard signs were (and, I assume, still are) a running joke among pretty much everybody who's done field work for a national campaign.

While they (yard signs) may have some utility for races in which candidate name-recognition is low, they are pretty much useless in a national election. In fact, they are in some ways worse than useless, as dealing with them creates a drain on resources that could instead be used to do something actually effective.

Here is what yard signs don't do:

1. Vote.
2. Persuade anyone of anything, ever.

The first of these is (I hope) obvious on its face, and there are multiple studies confirming the second.

Here is what yard signs actually do (again, when name recognition is not at issue):

1. Cost campaigns money.
2. Fool supporters into thinking they're doing something useful.
3. Waste tremendous amounts of the time and energy of campaign staff and highly-engaged volunteers who have to deal with waves of people coming into the campaign offices demanding yard signs for free so that they can "help" by sticking them in their front lawn.

Here's what does make a difference:

1. Volunteering to do the work that has been shown repeatedly to have an actual, measurable effect on whether people turn out to vote: knocking on (the right) doors and talking to (the right) people face-to-face, or (to a lesser-but-still-measurable extent) phone-banking.
2. Volunteering to enter the data gleaned from (1), which helps to ensure that the right people are being contacted in the right way at the right time.
3. Donating money.

I mean, sure, there are a few other things that need doing and/or donating, but, on a presidential campaign, those three are pretty much the way for the average supporter to make a measurable difference.
posted by dersins at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


1. Cost campaigns money.
2. Fool supporters into thinking they're doing something useful.
3. Waste tremendous amounts of the time and energy of campaign staff and highly-engaged volunteers who have to deal with waves of people coming into the campaign offices demanding yard signs for free so that they can "help" by sticking them in their front lawn.


This is totally why my armchair activism takes the form of changing the name of my WiFi connection from "NETGEAR" to "Sanders4Prez."

At least in that case, the only time and money I am wasting is my own. I think it's a pretty good modern equivalent of a road sign.

...however the reality is my WiFi is actually named "SHUT THAT FUCKING DOG UP."
posted by deadaluspark at 11:54 AM on December 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hate the line of "vote for us because even if you don't agree with many of our views we're the least bad" marketing that seems to be popular with the two major parties and which seems to also drive candidate cohort cannibalism.

If I go along with the exhortation to choose what seems least-bad what might that candidate do in my name claiming to have a "mandate" from the people? What share of the blame do we hold when we check that box, knowing about a rise and institutionalization of injust extrajudicial killings (or whatever is next) in the previous four years and expecting more of the same, accepting unconscionable violence but fearing the worst some other might do?

And if I vote for some candidate who does seem to represent my interests and ethos, but not a prime candidate, then either side who thinks I more rightly belong to them will see me as a traitor hamstringing their goals of progress. I hate it.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 11:59 AM on December 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Every once in a while I wonder whether my distaste for being a joiner of anything is keeping me from actually committing to a political party and there's not really some more significant external problematic things discouraging me.

The 21st century seems to be effectively turning a lot of us into Groucho Marx: "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member."

but man I have no interest in doing anything to support a machine with that sort of empty tribalism.

Yeah, I don't necessarily support the machine of the human race either. Go Dolphins!
posted by deadaluspark at 12:04 PM on December 21, 2015


> The spectre of President Ted Cruz will do a pretty good job of inspiring turnout, I think.

Because that sort of attitude worked out so great in 2004, vs. the absolutely loathed-by-the-left GWB.


Or from the other perspective against Obama both times. Most people vote for leaders, that's why Obama and Bush won. Their supporters felt they were someone they could follow.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:09 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]




dersins: "OK, so it sounds like a lot of your political experience is at the local level where this can make a lot of sense (most people have never even heard the names of their school board candidates, for example, so yard signs can be helpful for name-recognition), but it's for reals not the case for something like a presidential primary and/or general election."

Well, yes. I work with the county party, so while they coordinate with national and state races, it's mostly county board and below. They know I like collecting signs, so they e-mail me a list of candidates who need their signs picked up and what locations they want me to go to. I go pick them up for six or seven candidates at a time, usually including our US Rep (who leverages the county party machinery quite a bit), but not usually our statehouse rep who has his own operation and does his own sign management.

I also canvass every week during the season, which is where volunteers are most obviously needed, but it's a harder sell convincing people to knock on strangers' doors to talk about politics. :)

Local races are important. It's how you develop bench.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:56 PM on December 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I don't necessarily support the machine of the human race either.

Picking a party parallels to this how? Both how this is supposed to be funny or truth-telling is beyond me, sorry.
posted by phearlez at 12:58 PM on December 21, 2015


deadaluspark, how about you simply provide these deep details that apparently haven't been mentioned in the thread so far rather than holding forth at length about emotional states?

Because at this point I'm expecting that, were it to come to light that the staffers of other campaigns did the exact same things—particularly staffers from the 2008 Clinton campaign—it will suddenly turn out that the campaign not firing those people in a matter of hours and the DNC not taking any action at all would be very easily "swallowed" by everyone and would be pronounced perfectly reasonable reactions, certainly if based on the same kind of evidence I've seen so far concerning the actions of this Uretsky guy.
posted by XMLicious at 1:00 PM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Picking a party parallels to this how? Both how this is supposed to be funny or truth-telling is beyond me, sorry.

Maybe it's just being an atheist, but thinking that I'm somehow "above" petty human shit like tribalism is ignoring that I am as much of a human as anyone else. Nietzsche was right dude, we have to leave our very humanity behind to become something more and be able to leave such absurdity behind us.

As much as I care about things and try to be involved, I'm pretty sure we're shaping up to be a failed species, and it's absolutely because of all of us think we're the rational ones, and its just all those other irrational people who are the problem.

The truth is, we're all animals, we're all, at some level, irrational, and it's really hard to push down and ignore all that biology that makes us human. Which is why I get annoyed when people act like "tribalism" is something they have managed to escape, because they really likely haven't and probably, in truth, are just about "enlightened" as anybody else in the world, which is to say not enlightened at all.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:08 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Local races are important. It's how you develop bench.

To be clear, I 100% agree with you on this. Local races are incredibly important for developing candidates, volunteers and field staff. Given that we're discussing the presidential primaries here, though, I just wanted to clarify to the less-experienced that, if they want to help their (presidential) candidate of choice, yard signs-related tasks should be way, way down on their list of priorities.

Note that this is not the case for Trump supporters. It has been scientifically proven in tests that yard signs are by far the best bet for Trump supporters.
posted by dersins at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because at this point I'm expecting that, were it to come to light that the staffers of other campaigns did the exact same things—particularly staffers from the 2008 Clinton campaign—it will suddenly turn out that the campaign not firing those people in a matter of hours and the DNC not taking any action at all would be very easily "swallowed" by everyone and would be pronounced perfectly reasonable reactions, certainly if based on the same kind of evidence I've seen so far concerning the actions of this Uretsky guy.

Slow down there, pardner. I wasn't trying to be a Clinton/DNC apologist as much as I was trying to talk about my own feelings about the situation while trying to refrain from admitting it was really about me and the people I know. I'm fully a Berner who will vote Green Party if he doesn't get the nomination, but that doesn't mean I can't step back, look at the situation, and realize that yeah, Uretsky probably should have handled it better. The fact that he later admitted that the "first time" he reported the problem turned out to be an entirely different problem with an entirely different system is what made me step back, because man, when I first heard about this shit, I was so fucking pissed at the DNC. I mean, really, I still am, but all I'm attempting to do is consider it from another point of view, or think about why that original story spoke to me emotionally. It was absolutely because its a story I'm very familiar with in tech.

I don't disagree with anything you said. You're absolutely right, and the fact that Sanders fired the staffer is a big deal because "firing" people doesn't generally happen when it comes to the DNC, period. Hope that clears it up a bit.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:13 PM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


What are you saying that Uretsky should have done differently due to realizing that he was looking at a novel security problem that wasn't the same as the one he'd examined previously? That just doesn't seem material to me, nor a reason to not act as he did.

At least not to act as he did according to the information I've seen so far. I suppose I may not be in touch with my emotions enough to rationally evaluate that though; maybe I need to step back, or look deep, or whichever one it is now.
posted by XMLicious at 3:10 PM on December 21, 2015


I think the way that DWS and other Clinton supporters are trying to make hay off this incident

The Sanders campaign is using this incident to fund-raise, casting themselves as the victims.

You were saying?
posted by caryatid at 6:21 PM on December 21, 2015


Edward Snowden: Clinton's Call for a 'Manhattan-Like Project' Is Terrifying

"The debate was notable for what was not covered: Just as at the most recent Republican debate, the moderators failed to ask a single question about climate change — as though the historic global accord reached in Paris last week never happened."

Ridiculous.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:25 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


> > I think the way that DWS and other Clinton supporters are trying to make hay off this incident

> The Sanders campaign is using this incident to fund-raise, casting themselves as the victims.

You were saying?


I refer you to the rest of the comment that you took that sentence fragment from.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:24 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Okay, I finally have time to write about the Sanders/DNC thing, which is infuriating. Here are some helpful notes for context.

There are three players here, NGPVAN, the DNC, and A Campaign. The DNC owns the Voter File. The Voter File is the master dataset ("universe") of all contacts known to the party. The DNC leases a limited version of the voter file to a state party or campaign for a fee. That smaller file is the campaign's core dataset. (Changes and appendations the campaign makes to the voter file may roll up to the party's master voter file, which is why you can NEVER escape election email from multiple campaigns)

DNC provides the data, and NGPVAN is a 3rd-party contractor who operates the database and tools for interacting with the data, all of which are terrible. Data *NEVER* leaves the NGPVAN database instance—it is only updated (or appended). All interactions with the voter file happen within NGPVAN--and not even in cool ways; NGPVAN fears people using raw access to do anything cool, so (with a few exceptions) access is restricted to clunky, rate-limited WSYIWYG tools.

...
I worked for VAN, but it was a very long time ago, and I have not seen it since. The writer quoted above has used it recently.

But this sounds much like the way it used to work. And given their haphazard release process, level of quality control (they had no QA people when I worked there), and resistance to very basic software engineering practices (using source control for development and accepting that functions with over 1000 lines in them can cause problems), I am not at all surprised that something like this happened. The product was started with prototype-quality code written by plucky people who did not really know much about building software. Last I saw, it never reached a level of maturity anywhere close to other code that runs at that scale. Blood and sweat and extra hours keep it going and stretching to meet user needs.

Rather than some kind of hacking, this is incident is likely more like Facebook accidentally showing people posts they shouldn't see, and calling the reading of those posts a "data breach." I don't know if Sanders himself understand this or not, but if he does, I bet it's more expedient to fire a staffer, apologize, and move on than try to explain all of this to everyone.
posted by Foot Garment at 7:26 PM on December 21, 2015 [16 favorites]




This whole thing has been a DNC data security scandal, not really a Bernie scandal. Maybe his staffers fucked up, but he fired them, what else do you want?

That the DNC took the opportunity to try and do what they wanted to from the start, stab Bernie in the back on a public platform, speaks more to DNC dysfunction and Clinton insecurity than anything about Bernie or the general election.

This never should've come out, nothing good for the Democratic cause could've possibly come from it. Clinton has a commanding lead, she (and her subcommittee of the DNC) didn't need to alienate Bernie supporters by starting the circular firing squad. Let's hope this is the end of it and Clinton/the DNC can just accept their victory without rubbing it in further. Contrary to what some some demonstrative Clinton supporters represented here seem to think, she's going to need a big turnout from all corners of the Obama coalition to win, including hardcore progressives. And reminding them of the stacked deck in favor of Clinton is not going to help her any. She needs Bernie to be gracious, and convince the left to graciously accept and support her flawed candidacy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:55 PM on December 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Obviously people formally connected to the party will know better, but the way I read this is as a ham-fisted attempt to keep big campaigns using NGP VAN instead of just rolling their own solutions. It's safe to use NGP VAN during primary season because even if there is a breach, we will come down on any transgressors with great vengeance and furious anger. That way data keeps flowing into NGP VAN where it can do good for general analytics, downticket races that year, races in two years, all that jazz, instead of big campaigns like Clinton's working hard to keep a lot of that data off of NGP VAN where their primary competitors might see and act on it. Still stupid and ham-fisted, though.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:34 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


From my perspective as a Clinton supporter and a Sanders liker, this incident is already water under the bridge. Sanders fired the staffer most responsible, and he apologized to Clinton on national television at the debate. Clinton accepted that apology at the debate and basically said words to the effect of "let's move on, to the real issues." Both candidates exhibited maturity and class under the circumstances.

The passionate supporters of both candidates ought to take a cue from their standard bearers by dialing back the venom, concentrating on the issues, and especially making sure that the person that wins the White House will be someone who will nominate more SCOTUS justices like Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. The country has already been set back greatly by Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, and giving even one more vote to that faction would be a disaster that will last far longer than the four years of the term of the next POTUS. Either Clinton or Sanders would do well in that regard.
posted by haiku warrior at 9:20 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


This whole thing has been a DNC data security scandal, not really a Bernie scandal. Maybe his staffers fucked up, but he fired them, what else do you want?

One, stop deflecting blame. The fact that the access control lists got munged did not predicate that those staffers would nose around in data they knew damn well they had no right to be in. It's the "you're to blame for letting me do wrong" argument, and it shouldn't be flying here.

Two, Weaver needs to go. This is the second time he's been caught with his pants down, and this time it's much more serious. Yes, I get that with the initial story he got from his data director, he may have felt like he had been wronged by the DNC, but once the audit report came out, he should have realized that he got sold a bill of goods by the staffers involved.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:12 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


> HRC, paraphrasing: We should have encryption without backdoors except for thebackdoors our LEOs really really need

I wish someone had briefed her better, because she had a chance to fix a badly-framed debate. She said "Maybe the backdoor is the wrong door, and I understand what Apple and others are saying about that." A traditional backdoor is a way in for anyone who has the secret.

Key escrow works. Only the holder of the primary key and the recovery key can decrypt the message in less than life-of-the-universe time (assuming no bugs and no quantum computers, which are also risks of crypto-systems without key escrow).

You can frame the recovery key as backdoor because anyone who has it can decrypt, but traditionally backdoors are really fucking weak & subject to attack without having a multi-kilobit key.

Debates on who should hold the keys, whether bulk collection should be allowed and when escrowed keys can be used are more important than technical handwaving on the part of high tech CEOs.

That's where I'd probably differ with Secretary Clinton. I don't like private companies holding keys in escrow for disclosure (one account at a time) in response to warrants, but it does comport with the rule of law and the way things worked in the filing cabinets and wired telephones. Revealing keys in response to administrative subpoenas and national security letters breaks the separation of powers but at least leaves most people (though not political enemies of the state) alone.

Bulk collection of cryptext for decryption with a warrant (even a FISA warrant) isn't great, but I'm afraid there are a lot in govt. who want to keyword search everything again. That's the question for candidates: what would you do if you had this power? Maybe more importantly: how is this supposed to work for dissidents under oppressive regimes? Who holds the keys then?
posted by morganw at 10:54 AM on December 22, 2015


One, stop deflecting blame. The fact that the access control lists got munged did not predicate that those staffers would nose around in data they knew damn well they had no right to be in. It's the "you're to blame for letting me do wrong" argument, and it shouldn't be flying here.

Like I said, what else do you want here? Shutdown Bernie's entire campaign? Kick him out of all data access for good, which is the same thing? Fire all the staffers and start over? Would firing a few more make it all better? Do you want him to come to your house and personally fall on his knees?

Thankfully the actual Hilary campaign seems to be over it, unlike her partisans. Probably because they recognize it's a distraction she doesn't need to further, and continuing a fight she's already won with progressives, who she actually needs, isn't worth it for literally no gain.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:23 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Like I said, what else do you want here? Shutdown Bernie's entire campaign? Kick him out of all data access for good, which is the same thing? Fire all the staffers and start over? Would firing a few more make it all better? Do you want him to come to your house and personally fall on his knees?

I think I was pretty clear on that point - stop blaming his staffers' malfeasance on the DNC, like he did on the Sunday shows. That's been the one point that has bothered me with all this - the inability to say "our people screwed the pooch" without any follow-up attempting to deflect the blame.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:58 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Key escrow isn't even a good technical solution, without even addressing the 1st and 4th amendment problems
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:13 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hillary supporters, get over it. She moved on, and so should we who support her.
posted by haiku warrior at 12:23 PM on December 22, 2015


Yes, I get that with the initial story he got from his data director, he may have felt like he had been wronged by the DNC, but once the audit report came out, he should have realized that he got sold a bill of goods by the staffers involved.

What audit "report" is this? Are you talking about that .pdf floating around which is obviously an export of a word processing document without even an author's name on it that contains only some tables of timestamps, most rounded off to the even minute, and a bunch of obviously human-written notes attached to the timestamps? Which the Clinton campaign claims to show 24 "intrusion attempts"? If that's all you're talking about, why do you suppose the actual audit logs can't be released?

Even if that were an accurate representation of log events that had to be paraphrased for some reason rather than just redacted, and even if each entry in the .pdf corresponds to only one UI action in the interface, the "bill of goods" seems to me to be the claim that a few minutes worth of entries involving creating users with different combinations of permissions and saving searches within the system—as opposed to the false statement about data being "exported" as the Chair of the DNC made on national television—can be unambiguously declared evidence of dastardly nefarious high crimes and misdemeanors rather than what you'd do to analyze and document how proprietary data is being exposed.

Especially if as claimed this type of thing has happened constantly during the history of this system, the people doing this stuff knew that all of their actions were being logged, and this is the only occasion ever that the DNC has treated an incident of it as cause to break their contract with a campaign and shut them out of the database with no notice. (Which is not a matter of "feeling wronged" btw.)

I really do not think this situation is something that should just go undiscussed or be forgotten. Yeah, no need for the candidates to answer questions about it at debates or from the press or anything like that as though it's an election issue, but whether it's computer-facilitated espionage or disruption of a campaign's IT operations these types of things are going to happen again in the future.
posted by XMLicious at 12:56 PM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


> Key escrow isn't even a good technical solution

The only technical argument I see against escrow in general (vs. e.g. Clipper+LEAF) is that you can't do forward security with it. The arguments against it are silly "A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too."

The escrow key is a juicy target, but it isn't "under the doormat."

The argument I can't (and I suspect Hillary couldn't either) counter is the China-Yahoo one: who holds the keys there? The authoritarian regime can't be trusted and the high tech company will fold under pressure because it wants to stay in the market. There are already separate SKUs for China-market iPhones.
posted by morganw at 1:06 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]




Well, isn't the main technical problem that no one has yet devised a working threshold crypto system? If you accept that one agency can't be trusted with the entire escrow key, you need a system of splitting the key across multiple authorities, which doesn't seem to exist.

And Apple's arguments are a little more serious than you're giving them credit for, look at the Juniper hack just this week, a weakness in the system can be exploited not just by the government, but by other governments, hackers, whoever. There's no distinction really between a back and a front door when you're talking about accessing encrypted data.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:35 PM on December 22, 2015


Last Wednesday morning around 10:40 AM, NGP VAN, the company whose software hosts the Democratic National Committee’s voter file, released a routine software update. The update introduced a bug that allowed members of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns, among others, to filter the voter records they share using “scores” they do not (about which more shortly).

-snip-

To hear the Clinton camp tell it, something analogous to discovering an open filing cabinet and frantically photocopying its contents took place. As the foregoing explanation should make clear, this is a false equivalence.


Weird bit of side trivia in there: Uber is a customer of the VAN, too.
posted by Foot Garment at 11:05 AM on December 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


That's very informative on the technical issues and what specifically happened, though I wish he'd gone into what the history of previous security breaches has been. I think this is a more illustrative quote:
Amusing as it’s been to find that some of the technical minutiae of my old job has become a hot topic of conversation, coverage of the story so far has been tendentious and often plainly inaccurate. The Clinton campaign has exploited the obscurity of the software and the institutional context in which it’s used to grossly mischaracterize the actions of Sanders staffers. That said, Uretsky’s statements of intent do not accord with the logs released by NGP VAN.
By my reading, he's saying that Uretsky's actions can't be reconciled as merely diagnostic due to the number of searches and a focus on early races, but the information he'd have gotten, while sensitive, was high-level summary stuff as opposed to the impression that might be left due to analogies about burglaries and stolen playbooks.

What still seems pivotal to me is that the gross mischaracterizations weren't just being made by the Clinton campaign as the author says but also by the Chair of the DNC, who more importantly exploited her position so as to extensively disrupt and imperil the Sanders campaign upon the same pretense. But the Clinton partisans can legitimately say "they started it."
posted by XMLicious at 12:36 PM on December 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: "Man, this is not insane at all. No carpet bombing, no killing suspects families, no goons rounding up Mexicans."

Dude. I have a....ern...friend who is a member of the SomethingAwful forums, and...ummm... he tells me that they are leaving Mexicans alone. Rabid Star Citizen fans, OTOH...
posted by Samizdata at 9:53 AM on December 26, 2015


The top Sanders adviser told Yahoo News one of the remaining concerns is that Uretsky was recommended to the campaign by people with ties to the DNC and NGP VAN.
-
The Sanders adviser described the fact Uretsky was recommended to the campaign by people with links to the DNC as astonishing in light of what happened. Specifically, the adviser pointed out that the campaign was slammed by Clinton’s team for the breach and punished by the DNC.

“I just think it’s utter hypocrisy on their part,” said the adviser. “I mean here we are being attacked for the behavior of an individual, which we ultimately fired. We agree he acted improperly, but it’s just amazing to me that this … individual that actually caused this trouble in our campaign was recommended by these guys.”


I think the adviser has a bit of a point there.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:01 PM on December 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Regardless of the truth here, the incestuous revolving-door of this world means everybody has an out that both raises questions and absolves them.
posted by rhizome at 11:36 PM on December 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the adviser has a bit of a point there.

He really doesn't, at all. The only "astonishing" thing here is the level of paranoia on display.

There is an extremely small pool of people with sufficient, relevant experience to fulfill the role of data director on a national dem campaign, so of fucking course the person they hired was recommended by people "with ties to the DNC and NGP VAN."

Anyone who has worked in dem politics on a national level for more than five seconds has "ties to the DNC," pretty much by definition, and anyone who's worked with data on a dem campaign knows people at NGP VAN. Many (most?) I dunno) of the people who work for VAN came from other dem campaigns, so the odds are that any decent candidate for a data director position probably worked with some of them on other campaigns.

Pretty much the only way the Sanders campaign could have hired somebody who didn't have those kinds of recommendations would have been if they had hired someone who was utterly unqualified.

And, to be clear, this is not evidence of some sinister pro-Clinton, anti-Sanders cabal, it is evidence of the fact that this is a job that requires a very specific kind of experience and a highly specialized set of skills. That experience and those skills may not be overwhelmingly difficult to acquire given the opportunity, but they are pretty goddam rare simply by virtue of the fact that there are not a ton of opportunities to acquire them.
posted by dersins at 11:58 AM on December 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think that's actually the point, though—the Yahoo article doesn't appear to be engaging in paranoid speculation about this being a planned incident with Uretsky as a sleeper agent but rather is pointing out that they all know each other so well that Uretsky was recommended by NGP VAN and the DNC themselves.

Which makes it all the more incongruous that the DNC would just so happen on this particular occasion to take the extraordinary measure of penalizing the entire Sanders campaign by disregarding the terms of their contract and carrying out a campaign-wide crippling of all voter-data-based operations, rather than simply holding accountable the member of this small circle who many people knew personally, if he'd actually done something unusual and unforgivable. A person who would also need to get a job within the same small network of specialists serving at the DNC's pleasure come next campaign season.

Not only that, but if this is true:
According to the adviser it was ”outrageous” the Clinton campaign was given the audit logs that it showed to the media and Sanders’ team was not. The adviser said these logs were unquestionably given to the Clinton campaign by NGP VAN or the DNC.
and Uretsky was saying the same things in private that he has said in public interviews, Sanders would have been forced to fire him purely on blind faith that the DNC was being impartial, with his own team unable even to confirm through the system's UI what was being claimed to have happened—the only place the vast majority of what had been done would be visible, since contrary to the public statements of the DNC and Clinton campaign data hadn't been exported—much less able to examine the log summaries that made their way into the hands of the Clinton campaign and thence into the hands of the press alongside helpful "24 intrusion attempts" interpretations.

The theme is that the whole way along the DNC and the Clinton campaign had command of much more in-depth knowledge about Uretsky himself, the particulars of the data breach, and how similar data breaches had been handled in the past than the Sanders campaign did but that...
At the debate on Saturday, Sanders personally apologized to Clinton for the incident. He also called for “an independent investigation” and blasted the DNC’s decision to lock the campaign out of the voter file as an “egregious act.” Clinton accepted the mea culpa and said she agreed on an independent inquiry. However, the Sanders adviser said the DNC is blocking efforts to review the matter.

“We have demanded a full investigation from top to bottom,” the adviser said. “Hillary Clinton agreed to it in the debate Saturday, and the DNC continues to stonewall a full investigation.”
...little of that information is likely to ever reach the public eye.
posted by XMLicious at 3:02 PM on December 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's possible that every word of that Yahoo! article is true, but I'll withhold judgement until I hear more than the anonymous, seemingly-uncorroborated allegations from one of Sanders' media people that it's relying on. As it is, it just reads like the reporter is being played.
posted by dersins at 3:29 PM on December 28, 2015


it is evidence of the fact that this is a job that requires a very specific kind of experience and a highly specialized set of skills.

I'm not trying to take sides here, per se, but doesn't your thrust mean that Uretsky was likely versed in the rules that these actions violated?
posted by rhizome at 8:22 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Presumably Pete Rose was versed in the rules about how gambling on games was illegal…
posted by Going To Maine at 9:03 PM on December 28, 2015


If only he had been born in the FanDuel era.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:58 PM on December 28, 2015


My new favorite song

Dave Moore - #feelthebern

My little girl went off to college, I was proud as a dad could be. Working at night, I'd done everything right. Just a state university. She had her dreams, but she got reamed. It was a trip that was badly bent. Tryin' to make a stand, owing 40 grand and getting ripped for 10%.

(semi sing/ semi aside) Then I went and heard Bernie, and he said maybe just maybe, we could lower the interest rates to maybe where the banks interest rates were when they got bailed them out. And he said maybe just maybe, with these billionaires enough is enough.

(CH) I been feelin' the bern, I been feelin' the bern maybe just maybe, enough already, baby I'm feelin the bern

All across this country, filling up the prison cells. Some of those kids they haven't done shit but they're living in a livin' hell. Bernie say its time to say the real crime, is how its heavy on the black and brown. Man he sounds like a country preacher, tryin' to tear that building down.

They talk about their family values, man I got a family too, and I'm worried my wife, ain't gonna have time after the baby comes due. But Bernie believe in the family leave, I heard it in an interview, he said "its a big day for the family, also for the baby too".

You can call it class warfare, well that sounds good to me, cause the one tenth of the one percent, man they hit on a hell of a spree. We had the class to nicely ask, try walking in the peoples shoes, they said "no". We say, "its time to go, and make an offer that they can't refuse"

Then a chump in a suit, had a toot, said "you'll never raise the minimum wage", then the corporate dough said "no, no, no, you ain't turnin' that page". Bernie knows about a million folks, he gonna set them on the Washington Mall. He gonna say "maybe, just maybe, you ought to look out your window now".

posted by phoque at 8:36 PM on January 9, 2016


These are fun too.
Revolution! (Feel the Bern) by Sandy and Richard Riccardi
Vote for Bernie: Green Day Parody Song by Keith52Yo
Bernie Sanders Rap - "Bern It Up" by DJ Steve Porter
Whatta Mensch by Schmaltz and Schlepper
Bernie, Bernie, Bernie by Pants Velour
posted by phoque at 8:47 PM on January 9, 2016


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