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Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail 306

Earthquake Retrofit writes The Washington Post reports the governor of Iowa denying he uses e-mail, but court documents expose his confusion. From the article: "Branstad's apparent confusion over smartphones, apps and e-mail is ironic because he has tried to portray himself as technologically savvy. His Instagram account has pictures of him taking selfies and using Skype... 2010 campaign ads show him tapping away on an iPad. 'Want a brighter future? We've got an app for that.' Earlier this month, the governor's office announced that it had even opened an account on Meerkat, the live video streaming app." Perhaps he's distancing himself from e-mail because it's a Hillary thing.
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Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

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  • *sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday March 27, 2015 @10:55PM (#49359239) Homepage

    Why must we keep electing people who are so fucking stupid?

    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Friday March 27, 2015 @10:59PM (#49359257)

      Because smart people don't seem to want the job.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Those who are too smart to get involved in politics end up being ruled by idiots.

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Friday March 27, 2015 @11:08PM (#49359279)

        Right, smart people realise that the real way to get power is to pull the strings on the dumb people

        • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2015 @12:09AM (#49359503)

          Right, smart people realise that the real way to get power is to pull the strings on the dumb people

          That only covers a particular subgroup (manipulators). A more general answer is the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          Smart people are smart enough to know they are underqualified to make rules affecting millions of other people in both subtle and obvious ways. Dumb people are bereft of self-doubt and will happily charge off the edge of a cliff because, hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jader3rd ( 2222716 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @12:10AM (#49359505)

        Because smart people don't seem to want the job.

        It's not that smart people don't want the job, smart people aren't electable. During an election they'll inevitably make a comment that hurts a special interest group and get whisked out of the public spot light before the next sun rise.

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

        by The Evil Atheist ( 2484676 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @12:20AM (#49359541) Homepage
        Wrong way around. People don't want smart people in the job.

        People want easy slogans and pipe dreams. They don't like people better than them in positions better than them. That's why "elitist" is an insult in politics today.

        People should stop over estimating their intelligence and their need to have their stupid opinions dignified.
      • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@nOSpam.worf.net> on Saturday March 28, 2015 @06:14AM (#49360283)

        Because smart people don't seem to want the job.

        Let's not make the equivalence between tech savvy and intelligence, because /., is a perfect example of people who claim to be intelligent, yet painfully ignorant at the same time.

        Just because you can use a computer doesn't mean you know how the world works. Heck, tech-savvy people are among the worst people in the world for a job that requires extreme interaction with people who are unpredictable, where how you say something is extremely important (more than what you say), and where how you dress and appear is critical.

      • That was seriously the worst part of Limitless (2011). Super Intelligence means you clean your apartment religiously and run for president.
    • They buy the vote and the big player like comcrap like the dumb ones that they can BS them on the golf course.

    • My question is this

      So because hillary is found to be lying... i mean in the dark about her email, why are we all of a sudden asking everyone about theirs??

      Is it to try and shift the topic?

      Is it to actually try and get electronic document reform?

      is it for nothing but gotya moments on old guys who dont understand tech?
      • So because hillary is found to be lying... i mean in the dark about her email, why are we all of a sudden asking everyone about theirs??

        My hope is that people have figured out that all politicians are lying assholes who think the rules don't apply to them.

        My fear is this is just a brief trend and reporters will go back to ignoring the fact that politicians are lying assholes who think the rules don't apply to them.

        • Some politicians (i.e. the Clintons) are steamier sacks of shit than the usual, though.

          It's going to be a 'fun' 8 years if retread (either retread, actually) manages to get elected.

      • No it is partisan politics.
        If Hillary personal email server was really an issue, it would have brought up years ago before the start of the next presedential run.
        But because she is a political threat it is a good discression that the republicans can make a fuss about, and this time the media is on their side, because they want access to her personal email. While the media touts government transparency they really want to see if Hillary is on good terms with Bill.

        Now if Hillary stunk up the bathroom. The rep

        • a good discression

          I really hope you meant "an indiscretion" here, otherwise I have no idea what you're talking about.

          So, enquiring minds want to know: are you semiliterate, or are you trying to say something else entirely?

    • Easy...there need to be enough smart people voting to cancel out the less intelligent folk, which outnumber the smart folk by a wide margin. Dismiss Idiocracy [imdb.com] all you want. The future is now and it craves electrolytes! [youtu.be]
      • Problem with that is you need stupid people, special interests, and fringe nutcase to extreme of your party in the primaries. Rational smart folks need not apply.

        You need to be either a radical socialist or extreme tea party who wants to abolish most of the government who make special rules for corporations and monopolies and very sharp TV commercials with a team of as trot urging posters to troll Facebook to fire up the low information voters with promises of no compromise.

        Sorry slashdotters. That is no on

    • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Friday March 27, 2015 @11:41PM (#49359395)

      Why must we keep electing people who are so fucking stupid?

      Well, we're about to elect Hillary Clinton. She's not stupid. She thinks everyone else is stupid, and she's got enough supporters who don't care whether or why she's being feloniously coy about things like her email use (her lawyer just this evening explained that Clinton has destroyed all of her email that wasn't printed out to lamely respond to demands for her records from her tenure at State).

      When she's president, don't ask why we elected a stupid person. As why we stupidly elected her. We'll have eight years to think it through. Yay.

      • All politicians are emissaries of Satan but Hillary Clinton is only a 1st level Imp while all of the Republican candidates are first level commanders right below the Great Satan himself with a direct link to the orders of the dark lord.

        I'd rather have GW Bush back in office again for 8 years rather than ANY of the republicans running for office these days.

        But if a Clinton get's elected again, I know at least one thing for sure, that is that she won't start approving tax cuts while boosting spending (gotta b

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        who don't care whether or why she's being feloniously coy about things like her email use...[emph. added]

        Cite one clear-cut law that she broke.

        Politicians may be naive about technology, but it seems techies are naive about law. Touche!
         

    • In spite of all this, Centers continues to insist that Branstad does not use e-mail. But checking your e-mail on your phone counts as using e-mail. Receiving e-mails from your staff counts as using e-mail. Sending accidental e-mails with your Blackberry counts as using e-mail.

      Checking a group distribution list because that's how you get news is not really "using" e-mail.

      Checking a group mail is not checking "your" e-mail.

      Sending e-mails which demonstrate that you have no idea what you are doing does certain

      • by readin ( 838620 )

        In spite of all this, Centers continues to insist that Branstad does not use e-mail. But checking your e-mail on your phone counts as using e-mail. Receiving e-mails from your staff counts as using e-mail. Sending accidental e-mails with your Blackberry counts as using e-mail.

        Checking a group distribution list because that's how you get news is not really "using" e-mail.

        Checking a group mail is not checking "your" e-mail.

        Sending e-mails which demonstrate that you have no idea what you are doing does certainly not count as "using" "e-mail".

        Obviously, this craptastically ignorant fuckstain is not tech savvy.

        I was with you until you said he "obviously" is not "tech savvy". So we know from reading the article that he recognizes that his Blackberry is "old-fashioned". And he apparently doesn't waste a lot of time digging into how the company that makes Blackberry markets them (they call them "smart phones" but there are much smarter phones our there these days).

        As for the email? He had his staff set something up and he checked in on a regular bases using an app that probably hid details from him. Did he

    • Are they really stupid, or smart people playing stupid?

      Perhaps it doesn't matter. All that matters is how they act and if they act stupid ...

    • by nwf ( 25607 )

      He's still smarter than the average voter from what I see.

      Generally, I think that anyone who can get elected isn't really qualified for the job. The qualified people can't get elected because people vote on stupid things almost entirely, despite what they say.

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      Not sure if they are dumb or just act dumb to try to excuse their decision making...

    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wickedsteve ( 729684 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @01:18AM (#49359697) Homepage
      George Carlin had some insight: "Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out."
    • Based on the headline, you've decided the governor is stupid. Presumably, you'd vote against stupid politicians, or at least wouldn't vote for him.

      The article expalins that the governor once accidentally sent a completely blank email from his Blackberry - he sat on the button or whatever. A guy whose only email was a blank'one sent accidentally is a guy who doesn't use email. Exactly as the governor said, after he was elected he quit using email, to avoid a Hilary situation. He's exactly right - sitti

    • Why must we keep electing people who are so fucking stupid?

      This is the result that democracy produces. *SO* many people want to deny it despite all available supporting data.

      Maybe because admitting it would demand some sort of corrective action.

    • Why must we keep electing people who are so fucking stupid?

      Where have you been all your life?

      They aren't stupid (most of them, anyway). On the contrary. They:

      (A) think WE are stupid, and

      (B) want US to think THEY are stupid. While the entire time their hired pickpocket is sneaking into our wallets.

    • Why must we keep electing people who are so fucking stupid?

      I'm no political wiz, but it seems to me that the skills required to get elected and the skills to do the job well are nearly orthogonal.

      • "I know he can GET the job, but can he DO the job? I'm not arguing that with you. I'm not arguing that with you!"

        (memorable quote from a really funny movie)

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      Getting elected requires saying false things, convincingly, year after year. To do that requires being a sociopath, uninformed, or genuinely mentally ill. Or more than one of the above.

  • by ralphdaugherty ( 225648 ) <ralph@ee.net> on Friday March 27, 2015 @11:18PM (#49359311) Homepage

    and you'll find:

    "In a court deposition released last week, Governor Branstad acknowledged he has a Blackberry smartphone and receives email on it."

    http://whotv.com/2015/03/25/go... [whotv.com]

  • by McGruber ( 1417641 ) on Friday March 27, 2015 @11:18PM (#49359313)
    Crooked politicians & public officials may receive email, but their actual communication is done by text messages... because they usually can hide their text messages from freedom of information act requests.

    Here's an example: In Georgia, fired Dekalb County School System Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson did all her business via text messages:

    WSB-TV: Lawsuit raises concerns about DeKalb Schools corruption (Dec. 4, 2012)/ [wsbtv.com]

    According to the article, the school district was willing to give 12 people their jobs back if the attorney withdrew an open records request for a copy of Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson's text messages.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      because they usually can hide their text messages from freedom of information act requests.

      This is probably because IT policies for maintaining compliance with the law and the courts in some regards to retention of public records simply haven't caught up with the new technology.

      The electronic records laws generally do not exclude new methods of stored documents or communications. Once upon a time when e-mail was brand new.... e-mail messages were also "claimed" not to be records.

      It's just a matte

  • by QuasiEvil ( 74356 ) on Friday March 27, 2015 @11:27PM (#49359345)

    Yeah, well, we didn't call him Governor Braindead for nothing. I still would rather have him there than some of his immediate predecessors. Seems to be able to run my home state without completely screwing things up.

  • In fairness.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Livius ( 318358 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @12:00AM (#49359463)

    A lot of contemporary software is so bloated that it's quite a convoluted process to read the underlying e-mail in the form of an actual e-mail in the 'classic' sense.

    And while I would concede that Brandstad seems less informed about technology than average, we really could use some clearer terminology to distinguish the proliferation of forms of communication.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @01:08AM (#49359675)

    Not literally every government official, but all high government officials should have all their orders tracked. The literal execution of their power should require putting it in writing. At the very fucking least they should have a wax seal and put their chop on whatever document they want obeyed.

    This notion that "we don't get recorded if we don't use email" is offensive. No subordinate government official should accept an order that is not duly recorded. State or federal.

    Anything out of a mayor's office should get recorded. Governors, cabinet ministers, heads of departments, heads of bureaus, etc. That ay if there is wrong doing, a court can peel the records open and audit when the orders were given.

  • "... Perhaps he's distancing himself from e-mail because it's a Hillary thing."

    Isn't someone supposed to be editing the story to remove this sort of commentary?
  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @06:08AM (#49360269) Homepage

    The summary goes on about how he uses Instagram and Skype, but doesn't actually get to the point brought up in the headline, which is that the guy does use email, on his Blackberry, apparently without knowing what it is.

  • For instance I have several e-mail accounts, you need them if you want to sign up or buy anything online. I never use them to correspond though, and might only log in every couple of months. So I could say I don't use e-mail.
  • A previous Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, claims he doesn't use email either. He showed how really smart he was at the time by choosing the brilliant Sarah Palin as his running mate. I remember the interview of her with him sitting there responding to the questions she stumbled over in her responses. Anyway, the non-use of email may be a Republican thing. Then again by not using email there's no written evidence in that form of a politician's intelligence or lack of intelligence. If everyth
  • Texting is not email. Emails are going the way of Yahoo messenger. Texting has the advantage of the counterparty being pre-approved. Although even that is beginning to break down. Donald Knuth said many years ago that he stopped using emails.

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