Remind Me Again About That “Judge Not” Admonition?

Surely “Pastor Pence” is familiar with the biblical injunction about not judging other people “lest ye be judged.” But perhaps he missed that particular passage…

During the Presidential campaign, Pence constantly criticized Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server, insisting that the issue was so serious it should be seen as disqualifying her from holding office.

Now we learn from the Indianapolis Star that Pence

routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.

Emails released to IndyStar in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.

Cyber-security experts say the emails raise concerns about whether such sensitive information was adequately protected from hackers, given that personal accounts like Pence’s are typically less secure than government email accounts. In fact, Pence’s personal account was hacked last summer.

Let’s see…Clinton used a private server that appears to have been more secure than the State Department’s official server (the State Department server has been hacked, while hers never was.) Pence used an AOL email account (raising the possibility that he also continues to have dial-up and a modem…).

Paul Waldman considers Pence’s hypocrisy to be “only a part of the story.” He begins his column in the Washington Post with an appropriately snarky observation:

I have some disturbing news to share: Republicans might not be as deeply committed to proper email management as you’ve been led to believe.

Waldman quoted Pence’s remarks criticizing Clinton’s private server during the Vice-Presidential debate, and his repeated insistence that cybersecurity concerns prohibited such carelessness, and asked the obvious question:

did he consider adding that he knew what he was talking about since he used an AOL account to talk about sensitive security matters and had himself been hacked?

The parallels don’t stop there…“Pence’s office said his campaign hired outside counsel as he was departing as governor to review his AOL emails and transfer any involving public business to the state.” Which was exactly what Hillary Clinton did — and what Pence and Trump so vehemently criticized her for. When Trump invited the Russian government to hack Clinton’s email to recover what had been deleted, it was those personal emails he was talking about.

Waldman references reports that the Trump administration is not only leaving significant amounts of sensitive information vulnerable, but that it is not in compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which mandates that White House staff members retain their communications — including their emails.

In late January, we learned that top White House officials, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner and Sean Spicer, were using email addresses from the Republican National Committee — with a private server! Once the story broke their addresses were deleted, but presumably had it remained secret, they would have continued to use them.

The New York Times reported late in January that Trump was still using his old, unsecured Android phone, which–as Waldman observes– is unbelievably reckless for the president of the United States.

As Wired magazine put it, “All it takes is clicking on one malicious link or opening one untoward attachment — either of which can appear as though it were sent from a trusted source — to compromise the device. From there, the phone could be infected with malware that spies on the network the device is connected to, logs keystrokes, takes over the camera and microphone for surreptitious recording, and more.”

I doubt that these obvious security breaches are intentional. It’s far more likely that they are further evidence–as if we needed any–that America’s government is firmly in the control of the Keystone Kops (or perhaps the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight). After all, this is the group of whiz kids who couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights in the White House cabinet room.

In the aftermath of the disclosures about his own reckless email use, Pence has angrily insisted that his own behavior was “nothing like” Clinton’s.

That’s true. Her server was secure. As a post to Mashable put it,

the real crime here is the fact that Pence still uses an AOL account. Does Pence still use dial-up? Does he rub two sticks together to make a fire? I mean, where does it end?


  1. It’is good to see that proper attention is being paid to Mike Pence at last. It is long past due for the rest of the country to learn what Hoosiers have known about the man, namely that he is an unconscionable hypocrite. And kudos to the Indianapolis Star for its sound and professional reporting.

  2. At least the Keystone Kops were funny. Jimmy Breslin’s “The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight” is much more appropriate.

    All this hypocrisy on the part of Pence should not be surprising. It is characteristic of “Professional Christians.”

  3. Yesterday I commented on some personal AOL problems I deal with to warn of the dangers of our “leaders” having access to any form of “server”. But I neglected to mention one major problem that comes and goes. AOL returns some messages as undeliverable via MAELER-DAEMON which has either replaced the address I entered or added letters at the end of the address. No idea where my messages were sent prior to being returned or why they were returned; who knows how many of these problems Pence has had using his AOL for Indiana state business. And apparently is still using as vice president.

    j. england responded with what may account for a rare hacking problem (also on Facebook) with all on line services but not those hacks which caused serious viruses which can lock up your service or delete important files or the phishing which added hundreds of addresses to send out bogus mailings.

    My AOL problems were not limited to my on line service but are experienced by others; I send numerous political comments – as you well know – but I do not send or have access to vital government information which requires specialized, heavily protected on line and wifi service for all government officials and private business. We simply have two fools elected to the highest level of government who should not be allowed to use any servers without supervision.

  4. Pence’s mantra is “Do as I Say, Not as I Do”

    It is quite clear that most of the Rs believe rules do not apply to them and how dare we ever think that they should.

  5. Sheila: “I mean, where does it end?”

    Right now, it looks like it will end only when a significant number of Republicans have finally had enough. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily going to happen.

  6. Anyone paying attention to the news coverage of the Trump Support rallies yesterday could clearly see that the bloom was off the rose. Here in Indy, it was a massive rally of tens of people on the circle who “marched” to the State House with, for a few, a stop first at TJMax. At the State House one gun ho supporter had to be asked to get off the state property because he had insisted on wearing his sidearm! Republicans voted here to allow open carry EXCEPT on the State House grounds. You can’t make this stuff up!

  7. The bloom might be off the rose. But the Republicans will support Trump/Pence/Bannon until the stem melts away. That’s why a crash program, to develop what amounts to a lethal political pesticide, is the West’s only answer to this catastrophic plague.

  8. I’m glad to know people are interested in our security. Maybe we need to change state law in regards to himelandcsecurity issues. Did then Gov Pence lie to Congress. Why won’t the attorney general go ahead and investigate Mrs Clinton as the former attorney general told the FBI to only look where they directed them. Did Pence set up a server himself without any security. If we’re so interested in Pence then why weren’t we crying foul against Hillary. The real aim is is to find any dirt to invalidate any official in office we don’t agree with. What he did was admitted by law vs a coverup for personal gain. Let’s keep holding people’s feet to the fire, but calling them hypocritical because they take a stance against a government coverup means no one can who used email because they probably sent something sensitive. That’s almost guaranteed. We’ve got to find common ground on issues that move our country forward, you might say we have to move on. Emails and government security is what our goal is. I’m just hoping we can keep money going where it should to benefit the most needy during this administration.

  9. One of my favorite Mark Twain stories is, “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut.” In the story the narrator slowly chips away at it until his conscience is too weak to keep him from any offense. It describes what has happened to the Republican Party over the last 30 years. Don’t expect Congressional Republicans to do anything to stop 45 and Pence. They have been rewarded for abandoning priciple with total control of the government.

    BTW, Pence is claiming that Hillary used a private server, which he claims is a much greater offense than his use of a really insecure, privately held server.

  10. For the past 30 years I was a republican operative, during that time I have watched the GOP being pulled further and further from the platforms I supported and worked for, for so long. The party I joined after my Vietnam service was about opportunity, education, infrastructure, science , jobs and The RULE OF LAW
    And then that all started to change, more corporate money, more influence by mega wealthy donors, less concern about the environments and much less concern for the American people.
    Maybe I’m just out of touch or just maybe today’s GOP has lost their vision of America and their ability to govern that they once seem to have had.

  11. John; where have you been the past four years when Hillary’s server “situation” was investigated by everyone with authority to investigate anyone for anything, has investigated her server too many times to count? Her initial public response was that opting for a single server was a mistake on her part and she apologized. No mention until much later that Colin Powell, Condaliza Rice and many other government officials opted for the ease of the same type single server; none were ever investigated. All that those many investigations found were occasional careless posts, which she also admitted to and apologized for, but NEVER anything effecting national security or violating privacy requirements for State Department business. During her initial public response she stated she had deleted many personal messages; believing the public had no interest (or business knowing) regarding the plans she made from foreign countries for her mother’s funeral and Chelsea’s wedding or other personal messages to family and friends.

    I have seen NO accusations that Pence lied to Congress and it matters NOT whether Pence set up his server personally, with or without security. The fact that it was a brainless option for any elected “leader” to perform government business on his personal AOL account…or using gmail to Tweet government business and personal accusations to the public at large at Trump continues to do.

    Try to keep up with us, John.

  12. Peggy,

    “Don’t expect Congressional Republicans to do anything to stop 45 and Pence. They have been rewarded for abandoning principle with total control of the government.”

    You’re right. However, I believe they’ve abandoned one principle that might come back to haunt them: Violating the Rules of Game Theory……. More specifically, don’t use the same strategy again if you lost using it the first time.

  13. In re Pence, the sayings “Physician, heal thyself” and “Don’t throw stones in glass houses” come to mind. His conduct in office where he uses religion as a prop and cover for his darker political motives is disgusting. I am ashamed to admit that he and I are graduates of the same law school. He is a phony and from a religious point of view in great need of forgiveness for his continuing anti-Christian and anti-democratic antics.

    That being said (and I don’t live in a glass house), I want to take this opportunity to advise my fellow commentators who may not know of something that is ancillary but not unrelated to Sheila’s choice of topic for today and it is this: Rachel’s reporting on MSNBC has earned her increasing threats on her life and there is talk of providing body guards to protect her personal safety (unless such provision is a fait accompli and I don’t know about it). Can’t happen here? That’s what they must have said in 1940 when Soviet agents assassinated Trotsky in Mexico (where he was hiding out from Stalin). It can happen here, especially given the love affair between Trump and Putin.

    I am not a Nostradamus and am generally not prone to conspiracy theory unless factually supported to some reasonable degree, but in view of the deaths of Russian opponents (including journalists) of Putin by various means, including fake suicides, bullets and poisoning, I am increasingly aware that a border-defying Trotsky outcome is a possibility since Putin has taken out Russian journalists and could well pull another Trotsky here, especially with a compliant juvenile occupying the Oval Office, so I think we should be aware and awake in advance to such a possibility.

  14. Gerald,

    Very good advice as usual. In this socio/political environment, standing up to power or even speaking truth to power is not a game for the faint at heart, if you’re really willing to “play the game for keeps.”

    Let’s face it, there is no other way you can win against the Trump/Pence/Bannon regime.

  15. Gerald; thank you for joining Natcha and myself regarding our concerns for Rachel Maddow’s physical safety. Maybe – but only maybe – keeping this information public will help protect her. She has become an excellent investigative journalist over the past 8 years; she is one of very few we can fully trust and believe regarding her in depth reporting. Thank you again.

  16. Pat de Caprariis — “Pence, the Professional Christian”– Love it! Thanks
    I also like “christofascist”.

  17. Marv – The “bloom may be off the rose” due to “stemming the rose” at the White House.

  18. irvin; calling Trump “45” due to being the 45th president is one way to look at it. I prefer calling him “45” because he shoots off his mouth like a 45; take your pick.

    Theresa; a crawl across the bottom of the MSNBC channel earlier stated “hundreds of pro-Trump marchers across the country on Saturday”. Hundreds of “marchERS” NOT “”marchES”; and per the Facebook post about the march you saw, 36 of those “marchERS” were here in Indy. Like Trump being easily distracted by shiny objects; they were easily distracted by that TJMax store. Must have been some sale!

  19. JoAnn,
    I watched the Indy march live on FB. There were no more than 20 protesters at the circle. They lost a few to TJMax on the way to the state house where there were perhaps 10 more. No matter what was reported, here in Indy the big rally was a bigly let down. Other rallies across the country were also sparsely attended. Certainly not the support that the organizers thought there would be. Certainly not the support that the media so often says is out there. Of course, events are moving very fast now. Who knows what is coming this week ahead?

  20. Nancy – I am honored by your request and thanks but no thanks. I would rather be called upon by a liberal president to serve on his or her Council of Economic Advisers but, unfortunately, I have only one degree in the discipline, so it appears I am relegated to blogging and commentary in the future. We once had a presidential candidate who said that he would rather be right than president, but given the connotation of “right” today, I would in another time and day rather be president. One other such more humorous anecdote this warm and leisurely day here in Florida and then I will stop: When my wife and I were returning from a motor trip to Mexico and had just arrived in Texas we saw a lot of parked cars along the road. We stopped and joined in gawking at a feeding armadillo. We then developed car trouble, found a mechanic in nearby Orange, Texas, and told him that we had just seen an armadillo outside of town. His reply was “You saw a what?” and we said “an armadillo.” His response was priceless: “We don’t call them armadillos down here. We call them Hoover hogs ’cause that’s all we had to eat during the Depression.” We broke up, but I note in a more sober vein that nothing has changed in these intervening 48 years, Nancy. The Republicans are still trying to put the rest of us on an armadillo diet while their Wall Street patrons are gobbling up the filets.

  21. As a reminder, to make things worse, the AOL account traffic is on a commercial service over a public network. Sure, the email sign-in is https, but that’s not the same as a vpn. And I’ll bet Pence has never heard of PGP. AOL likely retains emails on its servers or, more likely, its cloud infrastructure provider’s servers, which means the emails are passed not just to one third party (AOL), but to two (the service provider). So, any content that would be subject to non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality requirements would likely create a security policy violation for Pence. And as I said to a friend of mine, I’ll bet there’s no documented risk assessment and risk acceptance for the use of the AOL account for state business. Any of these steps would be understood as standard information security practice and would be consistent with State IS policy which, last I checked, was based on ISO 27001 and ISO 27002. If I were running an audit against ISO 27001, the use of the AOL account to conduct state business would be a glaring nonconformity. And they wonder why shit happens…

  22. Greetings Jo Ann and Gerald. Thank you both for your answers. And also for not saying “THE 45th PRESIDENT you dumb ass!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Irvin


    All of you are wrong about Trump.
    “He’s our man, if he can’t do it nobody can”

    I just returned from shopping for a new broiling pan at Walmart. While checking out I noticed a new copy of the National Enquirer. Front Page: Something like “Psychological Exam for Trump.”

    According to the article, I believe it was 13 psychologists or psychiatrists, who have come to the CONCLUSION that Donald Trump is one of the most together presidents that we have ever had.

    This is 100% NIHILISM. Joseph Goebbels is now out of the picture.

  24. It’s not surprising that politicians are partisan, that’s always been true. What’s new is the degree that it has grown to and more importantly the degree to which voters fall for it.

    I think that is mostly because of the power of modern media as a vehicle for it.

    The extremism that we suffer from is a product that was sold to us through advertising.

    Of course it was not sold through commercials like soap and cars are but as fake news. Think Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

    Political infighting as been nurtured to epic proportions and it turns out to be surprisingly effective in its purpose.

    Can democracy survive it?

    I certainly hope so but honestly can’t be sure anymore.

  25. Cool it, we’re just witnessing a 50-year CUMULATIVE reaction to the Voting Rights Act. That’s all. It shouldn’t be a problem. Although, maybe I’m wrong.

  26. Donald Trump doesn’t need anyone to march for him. All he needs is fear. Like threatening calls to the Jewish community and turned over gravestones in Jewish Cemeteries. That gets out his message better than any march at this time. Marches create counter marches. Who needs that?

  27. Pence is such a douche. He is quoted as complaining about his homely wife’s email address, still active, being contained in the emails that were released, because people were sending her emails criticizing him in a vile and offensive manner. If he wasn’t such a douche, this wouldn’t have happened. Also, he should blame Holcomb’s office for not redacting the address. If you get a chance to see Rachel Maddow’Friday show, she played tapes of every Pence rant about Hillary’s emails. It is priceless, and proves what a complete hypocrit he is.

    BTW: I wouldn’t have commented about Karen Pence being homely if she didn’t insist on being front and center in this most odious Presidential administration ever, attempting to validate him and his policies. She gazes lovingly at her douchebag husband. It makes me want to vomit. People will likely die because of him and Trump, if not due to them starting a war, then due to loss of health insurance.

  28. Natasha,

    “People will likely die……due to a loss of health insurance.”

    Since I’m a potential victim, I agree with you. One count in the indictment will probably be prosecution of mass murder by the loss of health insurance, when the Nuremberg-like trial starts, possibly in Indianapolis, in the not too distant future.

  29. Gerald,

    Thanks for the reply. You really would make a great President, even if you are in your nineties. Your intelligence and ability to explain issues is praise-worthy.

  30. It still amazes me how the republicans can have such a two-faced approach to every issue. They investigated every possibly questionable move of the Clintons and spent millions on special prosecutors (Ken Starr) and never found anything, but even with potential national security at stake they stubbornly to even consider asking questions. The US is really start to look like a kingdom or dictatorship.

  31. daleb,

    “The US is really starting to look like a kingdom or dictatorship.”

    When it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it usually is a duck.

  32. Nancy – I am not 90 yet but will be this coming Saturday. I don’t know whether to celebrate or commiserate. I think the former since I have three kids flying in from Indiana to take me out for dinner Saturday night. I’ll save my whining for the Orange One, who was elected by geography and not voters, who rather overwhelmingly voted against him (and I was one of them).

  33. I really loved the group of Harry Potter readers who called President Trump “He who must not be named” or 45 for short.

  34. Gerald,

    I apologize for the age mistake. I thought you had mentioned that as your age months ago. Must have been someone else.

    How wonderdul that your children are flying in to take you out for dinner to celebrate your birthday! Happy Birthday and wishing you many more!

  35. Gerald,

    If your children are half as intelligent as you are then your conversations must be very interesting and stimulating.

  36. Nancy – No apologies necessary and thanks for your compliments but I’m not sure I’m all that intelligent. What I bring to the table is a heavy exposure to reading books such as those by Piketty, Stiglitz and other such brilliant economists. I took a degree in economics with a minor in political science before going to law school and often tell people I’m so ancient that Adam Smith was one of my econ profs. Not! I think that in order to be aware of what’s going on today you have to be aware of what happened yesterday, but that history is linear and should be a guide rather than a straitjacket for future planning. Things change, and the nature of change itself changes.
    As to my children, FYI, my older daughter works for the federal government in Washington. She is a so-called disaster expert and was at Katrina, Oklahoma City, at several tornado sites, an HIV outbreak (in Scott Country, Indiana, by the way), and was the federal liason person to the five states affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf. She has some interesting stories to tell about how the Alabama state disaster people responded to her presence as the federal liason person since she was both a woman and a Democrat, which they did not appreciate. When they heard from her in no uncertain terms that while she didn’t have the checkbook she might have some influence with the guy who writes the checks, they mellowed instantly. The Yankee dollar was welcome even if its representative was not. I kidded her that I had been in a war but that she had seen more dead people than I have. But I wander – enough of these sea stories. . . . . until next time.

  37. A year ago, Indiana Governor Mike Pence was running for reelection. A strange thing started happening in predominantly Republican neighborhoods. “Pence Must Go” signs began appearing. Pence made a lot of enemies, especially in the field of education. Many Republicans predicted he would be ousted.
    And then along came Fake President Donald Trump and rescued the mighty Mike. The “Pence Must Go” sign owners had their wishes granted. Pence went. Many voters in this neck of the woods were flabbergasted. They did not feel there was a chance in the world Pence would be elected. They didn’t believe he would amount to anything. At least they were right about that.

  38. it should be noted that Hillary’s private server contained important foreign policy decisions and information about sources (people) that may well have been executed. It is impossible to believe that foreign states, including Russia, Syria, China, North Korea, and Iran, have not hacked her server, and smartly enough that there is no obvious proof of it unless someone brags about it. Mike Pence, working on a regular commercial server, really had little of value or risk until he became vice president. Bad choice, but nowhere near the magnitude of the threat to America from Hillary. N.B. I have never voted for Mike Pence, although I did vote for Rex Bell for Governor last time.

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