Democrats copout on fight against carbon polluters. Their money is “clean”. Uh-huh!

❝ The Democratic National Committee passed a resolution Friday afternoon that activists say effectively reverses a ban on fossil fuel company donations.

The resolution introduced by DNC Chair Tom Perez states that the party “support[s] fossil fuel workers” and will accept donations from “employers’ political action committees.” It was approved by a 30-2 vote just two months after the committee adopted another resolution prohibiting donations from fossil fuel companies by a unanimous vote.

❝ The new resolution nods to “forward-looking employers” that are “powering America’s all-of-the-above energy economy and moving us towards a future fueled by clean and low-emissions energy technology, from renewables to carbon capture and storage to advanced nuclear technology.”

What a crock! Same as it ever was still means — same as it ever was. What needs to be different this time is that clean environment voters have two tasks ahead – not just a single action that makes you feel good and accomplishes nothing but continued control for creeps like the Fake President.

One. We have to get control of Congress away from corporate pimps. Two. With Democrats and Independents in the majority – including the whole range from center to left – we fight for progressive programs – continuing the fight to replace the copout brigade. But, please, don’t be foolish enough to think we can skip stages and run the risk of even two more years of criminal incompetence and corruption.

How Russian cyberwar hackers invaded the U.S.


A filing cabinet broken into in 1972 as part of the Watergate burglary sits beside a computer server that Russian hackers breached during the 2016 presidential campaign

❝ When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government…

❝ Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor…

❝ It was the cryptic first sign of a cyberespionage and information-warfare campaign devised to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, the first such attempt by a foreign power in American history. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.

❝ Like another famous American election scandal, it started with a break-in at the D.N.C. The first time, 44 years ago at the committee’s old offices in the Watergate complex, the burglars planted listening devices and jimmied a filing cabinet. This time, the burglary was conducted from afar, directed by the Kremlin…instead of Republican President Richard Nixon.

RTFA. Journalism from the NY TIMES mostly unadulterated by editorial requirements. Well done tale of the level of cyber-ignorance common to much of our government, a significant chunk of the global corporate world.

A worthwhile read for you and me – long before the movie comes out. And it will.

Obama unveils grassroots caucus as DNC “project”


Daylife/AP Photo by Alex Brandon

President-elect Barack Obama has announced the formation of a group to continue the grass-roots engagement that was a hallmark of his presidential campaign, but lobbying now for his policy priorities in the White House.

“As president, I will need the help of all Americans to meet the challenges that lie ahead,” Obama said in a video message e-mailed to supporters and reporters. “That’s why I’m asking people like you, who fought for change during the campaign, to continue fighting for change in your communities.”

The new group, called Organizing for America, will be a “special project” of the Democratic National Committee, according to Obama transition spokesman Ben LaBolt, and it appears to be the primary vehicle for issue advocacy for Obama’s agenda. It will also be the keeper of Obama’s e-mail list, which has 13 million addresses.

By keeping Organizing for America within the DNC, and running it with a small handful of campaign operatives, Obama is ensuring that the political machine, and political brand, he built during the campaign are preserved and protected over the coming years.

Sounds like a caucus within the Democratic Party – which is OK by me. Something like that exists in many urbane centers. Especially where and when folks are fed-up with old-line party hacks.

I wonder whether this attempt to completely reform the Democratic Party – contains a subtle threat to break away if stonewalled by the Old Guard?

Howard Dean stepping down as DNC chief

Howard Dean will not seek a second term as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, ending a tenure marked by an aggressive attempt to reshape the mission of the committee – and to court support by the so-called Netroots – but also marked by frequent quarrels with Democratic leaders over his abilities and the direction he was taking the party.

Mr. Dean’s decision not to seek a second-term was expected after the victory of a Democrat, Barack Obama, in the presidential election last week. New presidents typically install their own leaders of their political party.

Beyond that, Mr. Dean’s advisers said he had little interest in being party chairman with a Democratic president in the White House, if only because, historically, the power and visibility of a party chairman is substantially diminished in such circumstances, when much of the political power goes to the White House political director.

Mr. Dean’s name is circulating in Washington circles as a possible member of Mr. Obama’s cabinet, potentially as secretary of Health and Human Services. He is, by profession, a medical doctor, and as governor of Vermont, his tenure was marked an aggressive effort to expand the state’s health care coverage.

Mr. Dean was a unusual chairman, defeating a slate of more established candidates, in no small part because of the broad support he enjoyed among the Netroots. Mr. Dean was a pioneer in appealing to this emerging constituency and the legacy of his otherwise unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign was his use of the Internet to organize and raise money; it provided a template upon which Mr. Obama built.

Bravo, Howard. Trying to rebuild the Democratic Party as a fifty state-party was an admirable goal. One that Obama appears to have come close to realizing.

Backbone for Congress is next. Who knows? Maybe even recognizing the Constitution, again.