27,000 attend Sanders rally in LA

Bernie Sanders continues to pack record-breaking crowds into stadiums to hear his message, being received more like a rock-star than a white-haired politician. After 15,000 in Seattle and 28,000 in Portland, he then pulled in 27,000 in Los Angeles. He was introduced by comedian Sarah Silverman.

While he has been slowly closing the gap between him and Hillary Clinton, it is not clear how concerned her camp is about him. But now comes a new poll that shows him leading Clinton 44-37% for the first time in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, Clinton continues to have trouble concerning her emails. I have not been following that particular issue very closely, suspecting that it is being hyped by Republicans wanting to discredit her as much as possible because they see her as the likely opponent. But on a casual basis, I was surprised that she would have set up her own email server for official work and that it was apparently legal when she did so and that other people like Colin Powell have also done so in the past.

But it seems like such an obviously bad practice and reflects a poor judgment call on her part even if there was no malicious intent, especially since she was extolling the need to protect classified government information in the course of criticizing Chelsea Manning. She has now agreed to hand over the servers.

Government officials, especially at that high level of policy-making, should not be allowed to use private servers to conduct official business. Apart from the whole issue of security, official business should be part of the public record and preserved as such. This is not only important for accurate record-keeping, these emails also serve as source material for historical research and should be subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Allowing government officials to privately store emails used for official business and make decisions on whether to release or destroy them seems wrong.

Why would she not have used a government-run server for official work and a private-run one for private communications? It would not be so hard.

(You can go to Sanders’s website to join the campaign and contribute and here to see where he stands on the issues. Despite the media trying to paint him as some kind of extremist candidate, a majority of Americans actually support him on most of the issues he stands for.)


  1. Chiroptera says

    Why would she not have used a government-run server for official work and a private-run one for private communications? It would not be so hard.

    I was just reading about this the other day.

    Quote: Using State Department email outside the building involved “incredibly unreliable software,” said one former senior official. “If you had to write a priority message that was more than a paragraph long, it could leave you streaming sweat and screaming at the screen. And that’s when people would turn to their private accounts out of desperation.”

    This is consistent with what I’ve read in the past about this issue. Evidently most government agency’s IT is so cumbersome, out-of-date, and unreliable that people really are forced to use private resources if they are expected to get any work done.

    This is similar to the hacking incident at the Office of Personnel Management. Updating and maintaining IT resources take a lower priority in the budget than giving rich people tax cuts.

  2. brucegorton says


    It is actually one of the reasons why cost cutting is such a bad idea in a business.

    Someone who is not cost cutting will look at their IT infrastructure and replace and update it, because the cost of maintaining the old one is generally actually higher than an upgrade given that the old parts aren’t available anymore.

    The same thing happens with software to an extent -- old, outdated software requires more in the way of technical support, because it is generally no longer supported by the developer and nobody quite knows what they’re doing with it. This in turn means that you end up spending far more on it, than if you just got the latest version.

    However psychologically, buying new stuff feels more like spending than “fixing” the old stuff, even when the repair costs more, so people in cost cutting mode invariably end up upping their cost-to-productivity ratios.

  3. lanir says

    About the mail server… The other aspects you brought up are on-point. The security one… It’s hard to say. Generally when people say “old” in reference to software what that translates to in security terms is “vulnerable as hell”. Some of the most secure systems I use, if not updated in the last year or so, would be vulnerable to a bug that allows a trivial effort to grant full system privileges. And generally my personal systems are more secure than anything I run into at work (and I get around… I’d rather not but the IT scene in my area likes to shuffle people to new jobs every six to twelve months).

    I can’t say she had better security practices than the IT staff could manage with what they were given but it’s not as ludicrous an idea as it might at first appear.

  4. doublereed says

    It should also be mentioned that higher ups like cabinet members are given special privileges with classified information (because I think they’re given a sort of secure home office or something). I found it unsurprising that the rules allowed her to use her own mail.

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