Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wasserman Schultz, Dutifully At Work Depressing Debate Audiences, Sabotaging Bernie


With the voters from the stupid party busy looking for Agrabah on their maps, tonight's debate will be viewed by... not many people. And that, of course, is how Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic establishment had it all planned out from the beginning-- no other explanation for the Saturday night before Christmas. (Wasserman Schultz has no primary opponent yet. But if one shows up will you pledge to help him or her drive this monstrosity out of politics?) Frank Bruni's OpEd in Thursday's NY Times shed some light on what the horrid Wasserman Schultz has been up to in her efforts to deny Bernie a shot at the nomination.
What a shamefully imbalanced primary season this has been. For all their flaws and fakery, the Republican candidates have squared off frequently, at convenient hours and despite the menacing nimbus of Donald Trump’s hair; the Democratic candidates have, in contrast, hidden in a closet.

Tuesday night’s meeting of Republicans, who sparred in Las Vegas over how to keep America safe, was the fifth. The meeting of Democratic presidential candidates in a few days will be only the third.

And who’s going to watch it? It’s on a Saturday night, when a political debate ranks somewhere between dialysis and a Milli Vanilli tribute concert as a desirable way to unwind.

The last meeting of the Democratic candidates was also on a Saturday night, and fewer than nine million viewers tuned in, down from 15.3 million for the sole Democratic debate so far on a weeknight. All of the Republican debates have been on weeknights; the first two attracted more than 23 million viewers each.

In fact none of the first four Republican debates had an audience of less than 13.5 million. The fifth debate had an estimated audience of 18 million.

The Republican events certainly have seductions that the Democratic ones don’t. There are many more brawlers onstage, fanning out in a motley conga line. There’s Trump. He could say anything, degrade anyone, spontaneously combust.

...But the disparity in viewership is also a function of scheduling, and was thus predictable and obviously intended. When the Democratic debates were set up, party leaders assumed that Hillary Clinton would be their best candidate, put their chips on her and sought to make sure that some upstart didn’t upset their plans or complicate things to a point where Clinton would stagger into the general election all banged up.

Bernie Sanders complained. Martin O’Malley cried foul. So did one of the vice chairwomen of the Democratic National Committee, Tulsi Gabbard, who made a lot of public noise about the paucity of debates and the unwillingness of the head of the D.N.C., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to abide such dissent. It was an ugly sideshow for a few days, then it blew over.

But we shouldn’t be so quick to forgive and forget how the Democratic Party has behaved.

It prides itself on being the true champion of democracy, more vigilant than the Republican Party about the disenfranchisement of voters, more invested in-- and industrious about-- making sure that as many people as possible are drawn into the process.

Then shouldn’t it want its candidates on vivid, continuous display? Shouldn’t it connect them with the largest audience that it can?

...That’s one of the problems with the Democratic debate schedule: It smacks of special treatment, and Clinton, who set up her own home-brewed email account as secretary of state, can’t afford to keep giving voters the impression that normal rules don’t apply to her.

And the Democratic Party can’t pretend that it’s done the right thing here. While these debates aren’t as high-minded as we’d wish or as illuminating as we sometimes pretend, they’re an important piece of the puzzle of figuring out candidates, with a bit more spontaneity and surprise than many other facets of the modern campaign.
A Bernie campaign spokesperson remarked that he supposed the DNC decided on tonight because Christmas Eve was already booked.

24 Hours
by Dorothy Reik

Within 24 hours of Bernie's endorsement by Democrats For America (beating the establishment candidate 88-10), and by the Communications Workers of America-- a union endorsement actually voted on by the membership-- as well as his announcement that he had reached his goal of two million donors-- Debbie Downer struck and struck hard. Accusing the Sanders campaign of taking advantage of a computer glitch to access HRC data on their shared Democratic Party computer system, Debbie Downer shut off the Sanders’ campaign access to its own information thus depriving the campaign of even the phone numbers of Democratic voters. For a grassroots campaign that is an act of war.

The fear in the Democratic Party establishment is palpable. "Don’t go too far down the rabbit-hole" Sanders supporters are warned. But the party  forgets another saying-- "the genie is out of the bottle." Progressives can feel it-- there IS another way-- we can have a president who doesn’t believe in Goldman Sachs or in regime change, a president who really opposes the TPP and the Keystone pipeline. Bernie even won the Time Magazine "Person of the Year Poll"-- but as David Pakman reports, he still didn’t make the finalist list. But Tim Carpenter, don’t roll over yet in your grave yet, the Democrats are not about to give up on a future for their kids and their grandkids.

And the fan is in reverse-- sending the poop right back at DWS! Besides threatening to take the DNC to court, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver strongly implied that the HRC campaign could just as easily have peeked into Sanders’ rear window-- and they wouldn’t have left tracks! The staffer in question, Josh Uretsky, told CNN on Friday that "he probed the Clinton data to get a sense of the full extent of the problem. We knew there was a security breach in the data, and we were just trying to understand it and what was happening," he said. "To the best of my knowledge, nobody took anything that would have given the (Sanders) campaign any benefit." It’s becoming clear to anyone with a brain that the DNC has been taking sides in this race from the start.

Even Jim Webb sided with Bernie tweeting "Good for Bernie. The DNC is nothing more than an arm for the Clinton campaign.," echoing Weaver’s claim that the DNC was using the incident to "sabotage the Sanders campaign." Since the race began candidates have accused the DNC of rigging the debates to favor Clinton who has close to 100% name recognition by scheduling the debates on weekends in competition with football games and, this weekend, holiday celebrations: "They’ve scheduled it during shopping season, December 19th," Mr. O’Malley said. "I don’t know why that is. I think it’s out of a false sense that they have to circle the wagons around the inevitable front-runner." And we all know who the "front-runner" is. Debbie’s BFF, her highness Hillary Royal Clinton.

Well, if people didn’t know who Bernie was before, they know now-- and people sympathize with someone who is obviously being bullied: "Can anyone imagine the DNC suspending access to Clinton’s campaign for a staffer improperly accessing modeling data from Sanders’ campaign? Of course not. Since Sanders’ campaign has fired the staffer in question, the continued DNC suspension smacks of bullying. It seems as if the organization is gleeful at the opportunity to penalize Sanders’ campaign for its audacity to continue to exist." Jeff Weaver, Bernie's campaign manager, sent this e-mail out to his supporters yesterday, just before filing this lawsuit.
Here's the truth: from the first day of this campaign, our success has shocked many of the Democratic Party Establishment who would have preferred a coronation over a competitive campaign.

And the reality is that the huge turnouts that we've had at our meetings, our strong fundraising, our volunteer base, and quick rise in the polls have caused the Democratic National Committee to place its thumb on the scales in support of Hillary Clinton's campaign. You see that fact evidenced in their decision to bury he Democratic debates on weekends during nationally televised football games. It's more or less an open secret.

This week, due to a fault in their own technology platforms, the DNC took unprecedented steps to take away our access to data accumulated through tens of thousands of voter contacts made by our volunteers-- supporters like you who power our political revolution. In essence, the Democratic Establishment is effectively shutting down our ability to access the information we need for field campaigns and volunteer activities just six weeks before the Iowa Caucuses. And they haven't told us when they will turn it back on.

In other words, the leadership of the Democratic National Committee is attempting to undermine our insurgent campaign. This is not acceptable. We can and must respond.

...That the Democratic Party would deny our staff and volunteers access to data needed to contact voters in Iowa and New Hampshire on the day we reached two million individual contributions and received two of our most prominent endorsements is disconcerting.
Downer was on MSNBC last night smearing Bernie in the ugliest of ways but his campaign's lawsuit against her seems to have had an impact. The DNC released this statement a few minutes later signed by their deceitful, utterly unqualified chair:
For Immediate Release
December 19, 2015
Contact: DNC Press – 202-863-8148
DNC Chair Statement on Voter File Access

Today, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement:

"The Sanders campaign has now complied with the DNC’s request to provide the information that we have requested of them. Based on this information, we are restoring the Sanders campaign’s access to the voter file, but will continue to investigate to ensure that the data that was inappropriately accessed has been deleted and is no longer in possession of the Sanders campaign. The Sanders campaign has agreed to fully cooperate with the continuing DNC investigation of this breach. The fact that data was accessed inappropriately is completely unacceptable, and the DNC expects each campaign to operate with integrity going forward with respect to the voter file."
UPDATE: Wasserman Schultz was lying looked at Wasserman Schultz's smear of Bernie and determined that she lied when she claimed-- presumably to boost the campaign of the establishment machine candidate (who is worse than any of the Republicans but still utterly unfit for the presidency)--"the data were accessed over a lengthy period; the data were 'exported' or otherwise extracted; the data were of high value to the Sanders campaign." Washerman Schultz, the worst of American politics; pray she gets a primary opponent this in 2016.

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At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonder if Wasserman Schultz is the daughter of the notorious Lew Wasserman who reports say was close to the Mafia in his heyday. And now his grandson who leads the Wasserman Foundation pours money into the charter school movement like his hero, Eli Broad.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger John Hall said...

DNC: Democratic National Committee? No, more like Debbie Nominates Clinton.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

Nathaniel Goss Pearlman was the chief tech officer in Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008 when a similar data breach occurred, giving the Clinton campaign access to Obama’s information; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, current head of the DNC, was Clinton’s campaign manager.

Today the DNC’s computer program is run by NGP-VAN (the NGP = Nathaniel Goss Pearlman), the same people who ran Clinton’s technology in 2008. Stu Trevelyan, the CEO of NGP-VAN, has been a Clinton political operative since at least 1992 and Bill’s first presidential run. That’s a 23-year history.

Yesterday, instead of shutting down the program’s access while putting in a software upgrade to the program, NGP-VAN’s representatives merely took down the firewall, thus allowing anyone using the program (for ex, Sanders’ campaign) access.

Sanders’ campaign has repeatedly told the DNC of previous firewall failures. Sanders’ team has said it was gathering up information to prove how bad the DNC security was. Whether true or not, Sanders fired the man responsible. The man responsible for Clinton’s access to Obama’s files in 2008 is now in charge of the DNC computers and his company has been responsible for repeated firewall failures, including yesterday’s. Wasserman Schultz, who had been the beneficiary of Obama’s information going to the Clinton campaign in 2008, apparently decided that what she did in 2008 is now a crime in 2015.

Either Wasserman Schultz and her crew at the DNC are so feeble-minded as to not remember 2008, or they set up a gotcha. Very Nixonian.

Feel free to connect the dots.


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