On Friday night, This American Life (NPR) explained Hillary's email better than anything else I've read. It's a deep dive into the facts uncovered by the FBI. I haven't read the FBI report, and it's clear that few reporters have read it, and few people talking about the email have read it.
The short version of the story is that there is a scandal. The scandal is that the State Department has all along been shockingly behind even average Americans in the area of IT.
At a time when larger businesses already relied on high speed internet connections, Colin Powell was provided old fashioned dial up service. Very few State Department workers even had desktop computers, a problem that Powell set out to remedy by ordering 40,000 computers.
Hillary was herself computer illiterate when she arrived at the State Department. She used a Blackberry for mail, but didn't know how to use a desktop computer. No one around her appears to have known what they were doing with IT, either. Most likely, Hillary didn't even know what a server is and that email could be hosted on a local, private server or on an external server. She didn't make a choice because she didn't know how email really worked. Lots of people still don't know.
Moreover, the State Department's internal IT system was full of glitches. For example, emails couldn't be printed. That's why Huma forwarded emails to her private Yahoo account. They really were clueless. State Department employees, back to Colin Powell, often used private email because the State Department system was too problematic.
And then there was simple laziness. Hillary didn't want to juggle two phones, switching back and forth to handle personal email and state email. It was legal to send non-classified state department email through a personal account, but the opposite was not the case. Sending personal email through a State Department account wasn't permitted.
Finally, the question of what constitutes "classified" material is more complicated than most people imagine. It isn't binary, classified and non-classified. There are levels, and moreover, classification can shift as email is forwarded. For example, one of those emails with a (c) in the body of the message was a NY Times article about drones that was shared via email, picking up a (c) along the way. By the way, as one congressman at the Comey hearing pointed out, a (c) in the body of an email isn't a proper marking for classified material sent by email. "Classified" is supposed to be indicated in the subject line, as well as at the beginning and ending of the body of the message. As Comey confirmed when asked, someone going by the book might not recognize that (c) as an indicator of classified material.
A couple of personal stories. Last week, I asked a friend who was criticizing Hillary for using a private server if she used a private server for her own email. She answered that she uses a computer. This is very smart person who sends shitloads of email, and she's constantly on her laptop and iPhone. I'm not belittling her. I'm just pointing out that many people, especially older people, especially older people 8 years ago, had no clue about these matters because they generally don't need to know the innards of their systems. My friend has an elaborate system at home, but tech people set it up, and they solve any problems if I can't figure out what's going wrong. I'm not remotely close to an expert, but somehow I've become her computer go-to person.
Another story. Maybe 5 years ago, I was shocked to learn that another friend who has a top-level Wall Street job, didn't know how to use a computer. He had a Blackberry that he used for messages, but relied on assistants to do everything else. He's since learned to use a laptop and he added an iPhone. Still, he doesn't use a laptop often. All of this is to say, it's utterly plausible that someone Hillary's age was computer illiterate when she came to the State Department, and had no clue about how much she needed to know, but didn't know.
I could go on, but I said I would give the short version of the story. The longer version is worth your time if you're interested what really happened with the email. It certainly doesn't look like a crime. It's appalling, yet understandable in the sense that you can see how they got there. As the reporter who studied the FBI report suggested, when you dig deep into most government conspiracy theories, what you find isn't a diabolical plot, but gross incompetence.
I voted on Wednesday. It seems like they're running a tight ship. Plenty of workers to check-in voters. After I presented my voter reg card, the poll worker asked me for another form of ID, "preferably" a photo ID. Photo ID isn't required, you can use utility bills and such. The poll-worker recorded some info from my license, looked me up on a tablet that had my registration signature, then opened a book where I signed my name next to a printed entry of my info. Then they gave me the key to operate a voting machine, which recorded votes electronically and produced a paper tape that I could also view.
This woman in Iowa voted early, and was later arrested for voting a second time. If she's to be believed, she voted twice, in part, because of all the nonsense about rampant voter fraud.
Terri Rote hadn’t planned on voting twice but said it was “a spur-of-the-moment thing” when she walked by the satellite voting location, she told The Washington Post in a phone interview Saturday. “I don’t know what came over me,” Rote said. She added she has been a supporter of Donald Trump since early in his campaign, after Republican candidate Mike Huckabee dropped out of the primary race. Rote told Iowa Public Radio that she cast her first ballot for Trump but feared it would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton.
World Series game 6: Jake Arrieta is starting for the Cubs, and Tomlin starts for the Indians. Per Nate Silver, the Cubs enjoy a slight edge at 52% to 48%.
If the Cubs win tonight, Hendricks will start game 7 against Kluber for the Indians. The Indians have the edge at 55% to 45% if they're forced to game 7.
Since the Indians lead 3 games to 2, the Cubs must win both games.
.52 x .45 = .234, so the probability of the Cubs winning the World series is a little over 23%. I'd much rather see those odds flipped in favor of the Cubs, but this looks a lot better for the Cubs than it looked immediately after Saturday night's game.