Women are ready to run—for office. EMILY’s List is expanding to help them.

In 2015 and 2016, as Hillary Clinton ran for president, EMILY’S List got a record 920 inquiries from women across the country interested in running for office. Since the election, the number is 16,000, and the organization is ramping up to help as many of them as possible:

EMILY’s List officials said the group is currently in touch with 130 women across 80 U.S. House districts about the possibility of running in down-ballot races. What happens with the 16,000 more broadly comes down, in part, to scale. The team tasked with state and local candidates has nearly tripled in size, but still only stands at 14 people. Eight are “advisers” based regionally in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Virginia, and North Carolina, officials said.

The revamped training department, led by Mũthoni Wambu Kraal, an EMILY’s List official since 2009, is now working to create a digital platform that

Continue reading “Women are ready to run—for office. EMILY’s List is expanding to help them.”

Women are ready to run—for office. EMILY’s List is expanding to help them.

In 2015 and 2016, as Hillary Clinton ran for president, EMILY’S List got a record 920 inquiries from women across the country interested in running for office. Since the election, the number is 16,000, and the organization is ramping up to help as many of them as possible:

EMILY’s List officials said the group is currently in touch with 130 women across 80 U.S. House districts about the possibility of running in down-ballot races. What happens with the 16,000 more broadly comes down, in part, to scale. The team tasked with state and local candidates has nearly tripled in size, but still only stands at 14 people. Eight are “advisers” based regionally in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Virginia, and North Carolina, officials said.

The revamped training department, led by Mũthoni Wambu Kraal, an EMILY’s List official since 2009, is now working to create a digital platform that

Continue reading “Women are ready to run—for office. EMILY’s List is expanding to help them.”

Democrats may finally be seizing on a moment rife with opportunity—let’s see if they deliver

Democrats appear to have finally recognized the opportunity that is staring them in the face. After riding a populist wave of anger to office, a fatally flawed Republican president is readily tossing aside those that brung him in a seemingly limitless quest to feed his insatiable ego. In the meantime, on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a deeply uncreative and uninspired group of middle managers known as Republican lawmakers have failed to grasp the lessons of 2016—that the only thing that ever made Trump’s candidacy viable was the disdain he expressed, even if insincerely, for nearly everything that defines the GOP and its preferential treatment for the rich in every policy debate from trade to health care to taxes and more. The fact that the guy who now sits in the Oval Office took a wrecking ball to the core of the Republican agenda has left them rallying around the crumbling remains of an

Continue reading “Democrats may finally be seizing on a moment rife with opportunity—let’s see if they deliver”

South Carolina wasn’t competitive yet hackers targeted its voting systems 150,000 times Election Day

Forget the states that swung the election, South Carolina went for Donald Trump with nearly 55 percent of the vote and hackers still bombarded its registration system nearly 150,000 times on Election Day alone. The revelation from the state’s election commission provides some insight into just how extensive the 2016 hacking efforts were and will be again in 2018. The Wall Street Journal’s Alexa Corse writes:

In harder-fought Illinois, for instance, hackers were hitting the State Board of Elections “5 times per second, 24 hours per day” from late June until Aug. 12, 2016, when the attacks ceased for unknown reasons, according to an Aug. 26, 2016, report by the state’s computer staff. Hackers ultimately accessed approximately 90,000 voter records, the State Board of Elections said.

Unlike in Illinois, South Carolina didn’t see evidence that any attempted penetration succeeded, said Chris Whitmire, the State Election Commission’s director of

Continue reading “South Carolina wasn’t competitive yet hackers targeted its voting systems 150,000 times Election Day”

South Carolina wasn’t competitive yet hackers targeted its voting systems 150,000 times Election Day

Forget the states that swung the election, South Carolina went for Donald Trump with nearly 55 percent of the vote and hackers still bombarded its registration system nearly 150,000 times on Election Day alone. The revelation from the state’s election commission provides some insight into just how extensive the 2016 hacking efforts were and will be again in 2018. The Wall Street Journal’s Alexa Corse writes:

In harder-fought Illinois, for instance, hackers were hitting the State Board of Elections “5 times per second, 24 hours per day” from late June until Aug. 12, 2016, when the attacks ceased for unknown reasons, according to an Aug. 26, 2016, report by the state’s computer staff. Hackers ultimately accessed approximately 90,000 voter records, the State Board of Elections said.

Unlike in Illinois, South Carolina didn’t see evidence that any attempted penetration succeeded, said Chris Whitmire, the State Election Commission’s director of

Continue reading “South Carolina wasn’t competitive yet hackers targeted its voting systems 150,000 times Election Day”

State election officials aren’t getting the answers they need on Russian hacking and 2018

There were multiple Russian efforts not just to spread disinformation to influence the outcome of November’s U.S. elections but to hack into voter registration systems. That’s something that could reasonably concern state election officials … and it sounds like they’re not getting what they need to allay those concerns:

But both Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State, who are responsible for carrying out elections in many states, said they have been frustrated in recent months by a lack of information from federal intelligence officials on allegations of Russian meddling with the vote. They say that despite the best efforts by federal officials, it may be too late in to make substantive changes.

“I’m doubtful,” said Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, a Democrat. “We shouldn’t feel like we’ve been tied to a chair and blindfolded … It’s very hard to help further instill public confidence that you know what you’re doing if

Continue reading “State election officials aren’t getting the answers they need on Russian hacking and 2018”

Trump bows to Russia on Syrian conflict and election interference ahead of his Putin meeting

Donald Trump and his minions are really rolling out the proverbial red carpet for Russian President Vladimir Putin in advance of Trump’s Friday meeting with him at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Russia was so pleased with Trump’s assertion Thursday that Russia “could well” have hacked the U.S. election but “nobody really knows for sure,” a Kremlin spokesman responded to the speech by urging that people “please note the nuances” of what Trump said. Moscow may as well have said, “Please note the talking point we gave Trump.”

The Trump administration is also striking a conciliatory tone on the Syrian conflict, where Russia has worked assiduously to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. After finding Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people several months ago so objectionable that Trump green lit a U.S. air strike in Syria, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is

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Trump ‘the one individual in America’ who doesn’t believe Russia attacked our democracy

Sean Spicer couldn’t tell us Tuesday whether Donald Trump believes Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, but former Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson didn’t mince words on the topic during a House Intelligence hearing Wednesday. Here’s a transcribed back and forth between Johnson and Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell:

Rep. Swalwell: Was our democracy attacked this last election?

Johnson: ‘Yes.’

Swalwell: By who?

Johnson: “The Russian government.”

Yet Trump isn’t sure, or at least he and his White House won’t say so publicly. In fact, Johnson testified Wednesday that Trump’s promotion last fall of the election’s vulnerability dissuaded him, at least in part, from making a more high-profile public case about Russia’s interference at the time. NPR’s Brian Naylor writes:

One of the candidates, Johnson said, not naming but clearly referring to Donald Trump, “was predicting that the election was going to be rigged,” Johnson said, and so we were concerned that

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Trump warned of endless executive investigations—he just got one small detail wrong

In light of reports that Donald Trump is now being investigated for potential obstruction of justice, NBC News has a quick campaign trail flashback from the Don:

Endless investigations. The biggest scandal since Watergate. Coverups. An inability to govern. A possible constitutional crisis.

Ah, yes. It was all going to be horribly “crooked” and disastrous. And indeed it is, which has to make one wonder if Trump’s predictions were born of pure projection. Because nearly every evil he once cast on Hillary Clinton’s potential presidency has actually come true with swift precision—except it’s the Don who’s at the center of that political tempest.

Let’s string together some of the phrases NBC dug up from Trump at campaign rallies during the final weeks of the election, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 6.

“The investigation is the biggest political scandal since Watergate … a criminal massive enterprise and cover-ups like probably nobody ever before … it would create

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Time to get serious about paper ballots for 2018

With news that Russia targeted voting systems in 39 states in 2016, it’s high time we start thinking about protecting our votes in 2018.

Though no authorities have gone so far as to suggest that the Russians managed to change vote tallies, doing so is entirely possible despite the fact that voting machines aren’t directly connected to the internet. Computer scientist Alex Halderman explained to NPR what such a process would look like:

“Before every election, the voting machines have to be programmed with the design of the ballots — what are the races, who are the candidates,” says Halderman.

He notes that the programming is usually done on a computer in a central election office or by an outside vendor. The ballot program is then installed on individual voting machines with a removable memory card.

“So as a remote attacker, I can target an election management system, one of these

Map of counties in MI, WI, and PA that forego paper ballots entirely. While WI and MI have none, PA counties are predominantly paperless.

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Russia hacked into election systems in 39 states. Think what they can do between now and 2018.

Russian hackers didn’t just attack the DNC and the DCCC (and various Republicans whose information mysteriously never leaked)—they went after voting systems in 39 states, Bloomberg reports. In Illinois:

In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections. The hackers had gained access to the state’s voter database, which contained information such as names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s licenses and partial Social Security numbers on 15 million people, half of whom were active voters. As many as 90,000 records were ultimately compromised. […]

In Illinois, investigators also found evidence that the hackers tried but failed to alter or delete some information in the database, an attempt that wasn’t previously reported. That suggested more than a mere spying

Continue reading “Russia hacked into election systems in 39 states. Think what they can do between now and 2018.”

View from the Left: Russia was ‘coming for America’ and nobody told us

The most patriotic moment of former FBI director James Comey’s testimony this week came when he attempted to jolt the nation awake to the subversive force that in many ways has already stormed our shores.

“They’re coming for America,” Comey said of Russia, “and they will be back.”

In fact with each passing month since the November election, an unsettling picture of the kaleidoscope of Russia interference last year has come more clearly into focus. Initially, we learned of how ferociously “fake news” infected our digital digest, largely at the direction of a Russian bots and trolls. That was November. Then in early January, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified 25-page report detailing the intelligence estimate of 17 agencies that Russia had engaged in a widespread and highly sophisticated propaganda effort to hack political targets (both Democratic and Republican), create misinformation campaigns, and drive coverage

Continue reading “View from the Left: Russia was ‘coming for America’ and nobody told us”

View from the Left: Russia was ‘coming for America’ and nobody told us

The most patriotic moment of former FBI director James Comey’s testimony this week came when he attempted to jolt the nation awake to the subversive force that in many ways has already stormed our shores.

“They’re coming for America,” Comey said of Russia, “and they will be back.”

In fact with each passing month since the November election, an unsettling picture of the kaleidoscope of Russia interference last year has come more clearly into focus. Initially, we learned of how ferociously “fake news” infected our digital digest, largely at the direction of a Russian bots and trolls. That was November. Then in early January, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified 25-page report detailing the intelligence estimate of 17 agencies that Russia had engaged in a widespread and highly sophisticated propaganda effort to hack political targets (both Democratic and Republican), create misinformation campaigns, and drive coverage

Continue reading “View from the Left: Russia was ‘coming for America’ and nobody told us”

Russians hacked US voting systems and intelligence officials are still sitting on the information

The ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner told USA Today Tuesday that the Russian effort to hack US voting systems in 2016 was “much broader” than what was gleaned from the leaked NSA document published by The Intercept this week. After saying he didn’t “believe” the Russians succeeded in “changing actual vote outcomes,” Warner added:

“But the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far.” He said he was pushing intelligence agencies to declassify the names and number of states hit to help put electoral systems on notice before midterm voting in 2018.

“None of these actions from the Russians stopped on Election Day,” he warned.

Warner’s comments harken back to a spate of stories last fall suggesting that almost half of the states were targeted by Russian efforts to hack voter rolls.

On Sept. 29, ABC News reported:

Nearly half

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Mind-meld: Trump’s fictional ‘400-pound’ hacker meets Putin’s ‘3-year-old’ hacker

Two heads of state in the world right now maintain that the Russian government didn’t perpetrate a cyber attack on the U.S. election last year: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Following on his assertion Thursday that a Russian patriot might have just taken matters into his own hands, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday advanced his version of Trump’s fictitious “400-pound hacker” when he was pressed on it by NBC’s Megyn Kelly at an economic conference in St. Petersburg (as translated in real time):

“What are you talking about? IP addresses, they can be invented… A kid of yours can send it, your girl that is 3-year-old can perpetrate such an attack, they present it like this, they can pass it off like this, and the specialists can invent anything and then they will blame someone else. These are not proofs.

Putin went on to say there’s “no specific

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The nation’s pollsters mull over what went wrong (and right) in 2016

One thing compounding the pain of the 2016 election—on top of, y’know, the actual consequences of losing—was the way that the loss seemed to come out of nowhere. Polls, for the most part, showed Hillary Clinton winning, both at the national level and in the key states that decide the electoral college. And predictive models—which by definition aren’t any better than the polls that get fed into them—as a result showed that Clinton had very high odds of winning overall, thanks to leading outside the margin of error in enough states to get over the 270 mark in the electoral college, meaning that the only way Donald Trump could win would be through catastrophic error throughout the polling industry. And yet, here we are today!

To their credit, the nation’s pollsters have been have been studiously trying to figure out what went wrong since then, in an effort to make

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Clinton argues Russians had American help figuring out how to ‘weaponize’ information in 2016

Hillary Clinton gave her most extensive and candid remarks to date Wednesday concerning how she believes the Russians tilted the 2016 elections in favor of Donald Trump.

The Russians, she explained, have been hacking and stealing digital information for decades and using that intelligence for internal purposes. The difference in 2016 was that they figured out how to “weaponize” that information in the context of an American election.

“I think it is fair to ask,” Clinton said at the Recode Conference in Southern California, “how did they know what messages to deliver? Who told them?”

The Russians had to have input into how to make the information they stole matter in the course of a U.S. election, she argued.

The Russians, in my opinion—and based on the Intel and counter Intel, people I’ve talked to—could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided.

Clinton then offered a

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Trump defends himself on ‘collusion’ but throws rest of his campaign under the bus

During Donald Trump’s joint press conference Thursday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump took time to distance himself and himself only from any “collusion” with Russia.

“The entire thing has been a witch hunt,” Trump said of the inquiry into ties between his campaign and Russian operatives. “There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign—but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians, zero.”

Naturally, Trump mangled “only speak for myself” and appears to have technically said “always,” but the implication was clear.

It’s a moment CNN’s Jake Tapper and Jeffrey Toobin turned over following the press conference. Toobin called it “a very categorical denial” of Trump’s own conduct.

“But as for his campaign, it was a lot more cautious and less definitive,” Toobin added.

Wonder what Trump’s campaign staff thinks of that. Hey, thanks Don, nice workin’ for ya. Next time you need me, feel

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Race and education make a bigger difference in who you vote for than ever before

If you’d told me before the 2016 election that the Democratic candidate was going to finally win Orange County, California (the most legendary Republican stronghold of all), as well as Fort Bend County, Texas, and Cobb County, Georgia (the suburbs that gave us Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich, respectively), it would have been safe to assume that would be part of a crushing Democratic victory, something on the order of LBJ vs. Goldwater.

On the other hand, if you’d told me that the Republican candidate was going to win places like Kenosha County, Wisconsin, Trumbull County, Ohio, or Monroe County, Michigan (bastions of organized labor that kept the Democratic faith over the decades, even during their 1980s low-water mark), that would have sounded like a catastrophic Dem wipeout, probably wore than Walter Mondale’s benchmark of futility.

But if you’d told me that both things would happen in the same election, if I hadn’t slowly and cautiously backed out

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Former House intelligence chairman calls Russian election interference ‘wildly successful’

If only there was something we could do about this:

Russia’s efforts to interfere with last year’s U.S. presidential election were “wildly successful,” former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Tuesday, and are still bearing fruit today in the form of continued infighting at the highest levels in Washington.
“Their purpose was to sow discontent and mistrust in our elections. They wanted us to be at each others’ throat when it was over,” Rogers said, according to Reuters, at a panel discussion hosted by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “It’s influencing, I would say, legislative process today. That’s wildly successful.”

It’s long been true that Russian hacking efforts against other nations have been an effort to “sow discontent and mistrust” in those elections. It’s a cheap way of discrediting democracies for a crony-filled government trying their level best to avoid democracy happening to them. But whether

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