TIME Hillary Clinton

Why the Undercover Clinton Video Doesn’t Sting Much

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting on August 28, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Adam Bettcher—Getty Images Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting on August 28, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The latest sting video from conservative provocateur James O’Keefe centers on a pretty small get: $75 spent on some Hillary Clinton swag at her campaign launch.

In an undercover video by O’Keefe’s sting group Project Veritas, an activist for the conservative organization is seen allegedly playing the role of middleman for a foreign donation to the Clinton campaign.

O’Keefe alleges that the money came from a Canadian citizen who, in effect, passed money to the Clinton campaign in violation of federal law. To the Clinton camp, the video shows nothing more than its staff following the law despite an attempt at entrapment.

At least one campaign finance expert said that if the money is indeed the Canadian’s, the video shows wrongdoing by the Clinton camp.

“If the Clinton staffer knew it was the Canadian donor’s money, then the Clinton staffer (and, consequently, the Clinton campaign) also violated the federal law ban on knowingly accepting a contribution in the name of another and accepting a contribution from a foreign national,” Paul Ryan, senior counsel for the Campaign Legal Center said.

Regardless, given the deadlock at the FEC between commissioners and the tiny size of the donation, the case would be unlikely to ever be pursued. Instead, it’s another political Rorschach test, which shows different things to Clinton’s detractors and her supporters.

The sting is the latest move by O’Keefe, who has yet to match the success he had in getting the liberal group ACORN dismantled with videos that appeared to show the group giving advice on avoiding taxes. O’Keefe’s latest undercover sting operations have attempted to catch Clinton staff skirting the rules on camera, including one that O’Keefe claims to show Clinton staff selectively registering only supporters to vote.

Clinton’s staffers “know the ins and outs of the election code, and we’ve shown you, they’re willing to break the law,” O’Keefe says in the latest video, promising more to come. “Next up, we go even deeper inside the Hillary campaign, to show you how election laws and rules are ignored at every level. Stay tuned, Hillary, and check your email.”

The Clinton campaign brushed O’Keefe off as an annoyance who hasn’t proved anything except that they followed the law.

O’Keefe is a longtime political provocateur who has faced legal challenges for his investigations and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for entering then-Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s office with two allies disguised as repairmen. Critics argue he misrepresents his subjects by heavily editing his videos.

The latest video segment, which plays a little like a camp 60 Minutes expose, begins with a Montreal resident attempting to buy campaign swag. Citing federal law that prohibits donations from foreign nationals, a Clinton campaign official clearly declines the Canadian’s money.

“So, we can’t take contributions from anyone that is not a citizen of the United States,” Erin Tibe, the Clinton campaign compliance manager says in the video. “It’s not my rule; I’m very sorry.”

The Canadian national insists she wants to buy Clinton swag. Then, apparently referring to the Project Veritas employee, the Canadian asks the Clinton staffers, “Can I give her the money? She’s an American citizen, she can buy it for me?” Molly Barker, the Clinton campaign’s director of marketing, appears to respond, “She could make a donation.” The Project Veritas staffer then appears to buy $75 of Clinton campaign swag for the Canadian.

Federal election law prohibits giving and accepting donations by foreign nationals, but it’s unclear from the video whether the $75 belonged to the Canadian or the Project Veritas journalist.

It is legal for an American citizen to buy campaign paraphernalia and give it to a foreign national. But if the money belonged to the Canadian, then Project Veritas could make the case that the Clinton campaign had indirectly accepted a donation from a foreign national, a breach of campaign finance law.

Dan Pollack, a spokesman for Project Veritas, insisted the video shows the Canadian handing money to the Project Veritas employee.

“If you freeze it at the 2:50 mark you can see the cash on the screen being passed over,” Pollack told TIME. “Without question the Canadian passed the money to the Project Veritas journalist.”

The Clinton campaign adamantly denies any wrongdoing. “This video shows a Project Veritas operative yet again unsuccessfully trying to entrap campaigns staffers who very clearly rejected any foreign donation. Our staffers understand and follow the law, as demonstrated even in their selectively edited video,” said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign.

If the money did belong to the Canadian woman, Project Veritas could be guilty of breaking the same campaign finance law as the Clinton campaign. According to the law, “it shall be unlawful for a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation” in connection with any election, and for “a person to solicit, accept, or receive” such donations.

Clinton’s campaign accused Project Veritas of seeking to act illegally to entrap campaign officials while also breaking the law itself on occasion.

“Project Veritas … has been caught trying to commit fraud, falsify identities and break campaign finance law—not surprising, given that their founder has already been convicted for efforts like this,” Ferguson added.

TIME

O’Malley Finds Something to Like in Clinton Emails

Democratic Presidential Candidates Speak At DNC Summer Meeting In Minneapolis
Adam Bettcher—Getty Images Democratic Presidential candidate former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting on August 28, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

While Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are blasting each other for praising Hillary Clinton in the past, one of Clinton’s rivals is now using her past praise for him to raise money.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley sent a fundraising email to supporters Tuesday which noted that the former Secretary of State had said nice things about him in the past.

The praise comes from an email that Clinton sent to her friend Sen. Barbara Mikulski in April 2010, long before the two prepared to run against each other for president, in which Clinton complimented O’Malley profusely ahead of his reelection contest for Maryland governor:

“How’s our friend, Martin, doing?” Clinton said in her note to Mikulski. “I know he has a rematch when he should be reelected by acclamation for steering the ship of state so well. Pls give him my best wishes.”

The Clinton email was released by the State Department Monday as part of a public records request of all of Clinton’s electronic correspondence during her time as Secretary of State.

O’Malley noted Clinton’s praise in his fundraising email, saying he was “flattered,” then switched gears to make his pitch for more debates in the Democratic primary, which have been limited by the Democratic National Committee to six.

“Here’s the thing: I didn’t win in Maryland by acclamation. I won because of supporters like you. I won because we fought for progressive change,” O’Malley wrote. “Democrats are not going to win THIS election by acclamation either. We need more debates to get our positions on the issues in front of voters.”

Read Next: Martin O’Malley Plans Revolt Over Democratic Debate Rules

TIME Hillary Clinton

New Hillary Clinton Email Release Contains 150 Now Deemed Classified

The State Department released 7,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server on Monday night, including 150 containing information now deemed to be classified.

The email dump, the third since Clinton handed over the work-related emails on her private server to the State Department, is the largest batch released so far.

None of the emails were classified at the time they were sent, a State Department spokesman told reporters.

Clinton has repeatedly insisted that she did not send emails marked as classified from her private server during her time as Secretary of State. Much of the content on her server has been labeled as classified after the fact, including two that have been called “top secret.”

Two inspectors general concluded that two of Clinton’s emails contained material that was classified at the time they were sent.

“I did not send or receive material marked as classified,” Clinton repeated last week at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Minneapolis.

MORE: Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer Readies for Email War

A federal judge has ordered the State Department to release Clinton’s 55,000 work-related emails in monthly batches as they scan emails to ensure nothing publicly released contains sensitive information.

Clinton’s use of a private email server has weighed heavily on her candidacy, hurting her trustworthiness among voters and stirring up doubts among Democratic Party leaders. Her campaign has sought to frame the controversy over classified material on her server as an interagency battle over classification, insisting that Clinton followed State Department protocol at the time.

The FBI is now analyzing Clinton’s use of a private server to ensure they were handled securely, but there is no criminal investigation into her use of a server.

Read Next: The Legal Question Over Hillary Clinton’s Secret Emails

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Sides With Liberals on Anti-Lobbying Bill

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting on August 28, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Adam Bettcher—Getty Images Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting on August 28, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Hillary Clinton on Monday endorsed a lobbying regulation proposal beloved by the Democratic left, marking a significant win for progressive groups as they seek to shape the Democratic presidential primary.

Introduced by Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the bill is aimed at slowing the so-called revolving door between Wall Street and government regulatory positions and controlling the influence of lobbyists on Capitol Hill.

In an op-ed in the Huffington Post, Clinton and Baldwin acknowledged that “Americans’ trust in government is eroding.”

“The American people need to be able to trust that every single person in Washington—from the President of the United States all the way down to agency employees—is putting the interests of the people first,” they wrote.

The bill strengthens the wall between the private sector and government employees, with the goal of making it more difficult for the private sector to influence their former colleagues in government.

Clinton won immediate praise from progressive groups including Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, American Family Voices and CREDO Action.

Her endorsement of the Baldwin bill comes just six weeks after Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for all the presidential candidates to endorse it. Warren’s move was widely seen as specifically targeting Clinton.

MORE: Elizabeth Warren Sends Hillary Clinton a Message

Clinton’s main Democratic competitors have endorsed the bill as well. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has long supported limiting the influence of lobbyists in Washington, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has set specific anti-lobbying measures, some of which go even further than Baldwin calls for.

Introduced along with Rep. Elijah Cummings, the legislation prohibits so-called “golden parachutes,” or bonuses for private sector employees who take government jobs, a tool seen as encouraging employees to help private companies gain a potentially influential foothold in government.

It also lengthens the period in which government employees and members of Congress can lobby the government after quitting their posts from one to two years. Under the bill, federal examiners would be prohibited from accepting employment with financial institutions they oversaw for two years.

The bill also requires financial regulators to recuse themselves from actions that would benefit former employers for two years, instead of one.

Finally, it tightens the legal definition of lobbying, clamping down on former government officials who exploit loopholes in lobbying rules.

Last week, progressive groups called on Clinton to ban golden parachutes and endorse Baldwin’s bill. Democracy for America was quick to claim credit along with other progressive that have put pressure on Clinton recently, with a spokesman calling it a “pretty clear response to the letter.”

“Secretary Clinton deserves real praise for listening to Elizabeth Warren wing Democrats and taking this vitally important first step in slowing down the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington,” Charles Chamberlain, executive director of DFA said in a statement.

Baldwin is campaigning for Clinton in Iowa on Monday.

TIME

VICE Journalists Charged With Working for ‘Terrorists’ in Turkey

Backers of the journalists say they are facing unsubstantiated terrorism charges

Turkish authorities on Monday charged three Western news reporters in southeastern Turkey with working for a “terrorist organization,” said their employer VICE News on Monday, days after the journalists’ detention caused an outcry among human rights groups.

Jake Hanrahan, Philip Pendlebury, as well as a fixer and a driver were detained by the Turkish authorities while reportedly filming clashes between police and supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the province of Diyarbakir.

On Monday, they were charged in a Turkish court, VICE said. “Today the Turkish government has leveled baseless and alarmingly false charges of ‘working on behalf of a terrorist organization’ against three VICE News reporters, in an attempt to intimidate and censor their coverage,” said a spokesman for VICE.

A Turkish official said earlier that the reporters were detained “for questioning.” “They were detained at a sensitive area for questioning,” a senior Turkish official told Al Jazeera. “It is up to the judiciary now. And if there are no illegal findings about them, it is likely that they will be released.”

According to Amnesty International and VICE, the Turkish police said that the journalists were arrested on suspicion of assisting ISIS. “It is completely proper that that journalists should cover this important story,” Amnesty said. “The decision to detain the journalists was wrong, while the allegation of assisting Islamic State is unsubstantiated, outrageous and bizarre.”

Clashes between the PKK and Turkey have escalated in recent months as Turkey has launched an air campaign in northern Iraq and within Turkey.

TIME

Auschwitz Caretakers Defend ‘Showers’ at Museum

Spokesman tells TIME temporary mist sprinklers were needed to cool down visitors

The caretakers of the Auschwitz concentration camp museum in Poland have defended their use of a misting hose to keep visitors cool in the intense August heat, after being criticized for evoking memories of Nazi-era gas chambers disguised as showers.

“Because of the extreme heat wave we have experienced in August in Poland, mist sprinklers which cool the air were placed near the entrance to the Museum,” Pawel Sawicki, a museum spokesman told TIME. “The mist sprinkles do not look like showers and the fake showers installed by Germans inside some of the gas chambers were not used to deliver gas into them.”

The sprinklers, which Auschwitz museum officials said were located near a ticket line at the entrance to the museum where tickets are collected, offended some visitors to the museum. “As a Jew who has lost so many relatives in the Holocaust, they looked like the showers that the Jews were forced to take before entering the gas chambers,” visitor Meir Bulka, 48, told The Jerusalem Post.

Southern Poland has experienced a harsh heat wave in recent weeks, with temperatures reaching into the upper 90s. Some visitors to the Auschwitz museum have fainted in the heat, Sawicki said. “The safety and health of visitors are our priority during the period of extreme heat. Cooling air have been really helpful to visitors in this difficult situation,” Sawicki said.

TIME Internet

Michigan Man Says He’ll Trade Kanye West Sneakers for a ‘Working Kidney’

Kanye West Yeezy Shoes
Taylor Hill—FilmMagic/Getty Images Kanye West's Yeezy Adidas shoes at the 2015 CFDA Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015 in New York City.

He says he's been flooded with responses to the offer

Kanye West’s Yeezy shoe model may cost an arm and a leg on eBay, but no one said the footwear would be worth a kidney.

Matt Neal, a 26-year-old Michigan resident, is promising a pair of Yeezy shoes to anyone who donates a kidney with his matching blood type, according t0 a Facebook offer. A pair of ultra-rare Adidas Yeezy Boost normally sells for $1,000 or more on the Web.

“People are always joking that they would give a kidney for a pair of yeezy’s!!” Neal says in a Facebook post. “Well here’s your chance, I’m 26 with 2 failing kidneys.”

Waiting for a kidney transplant can take years in most states in the country, a luxury of time many do not have. Neal said in a Facebook post that he has been flooded with responses to his shoe offer. Neal’s shoe-kidney trade may not actually be possible, however, as federal law bans the exchange of merchandise for organs on an open market. He didn’t immediately respond to an interview request.

“With all the people getting in touch with me about getting tested it is going to be really hard to message everyone individually,” Neal said on Facebook. “I’m going to find time over the coming days to get back to you all individually. Thank you for all of your love and interest!”

TIME Crime

Parents of Slain TV Journalist ‘Cannot Be Intimidated’ on Gun Control

Alison Parker's parents say they have a new mission in life

The parents of a Virginia TV journalist who died in a grisly on-air shooting last week said in a new interview that they are committed to waging a campaign for more gun control measures in the wake of their daughter’s death.

“You can’t change the world in a day,” Barbara Parker, Alison Parker’s mother, told CNN in an interview. “But we cannot be intimidated, we cannot be pushed aside.”

 

A disgruntled former employee fatally shot Parker along with a co-worker during a live broadcast outside Roanoke, Va., a bloody act that has since spurred renewed calls for gun control legislation. The Parkers have become some of the most vocal advocates, saying that ending gun violence has become one of their missions in life.

Andy Parker, Alison Parker’s father, said he’s been speaking with influential gun control advocates, including Mark Kelly, the husband of shooting survivor and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, about pushing “sensible gun control legislation.” Like other gun-control advocates who have emerged from shootings like those at Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Co., the Parkers face an influential and well-funded gun lobby.

“Alison would be really mad at me if I didn’t take this on,” Andy Parker said. “And I promise you, these people are messing with the wrong family. We are going to effect a change.”

[CNN]

 

TIME 2016 Election

Democratic Contenders Make Their Case to Party Leaders

Democratic Presidential Candidates Speak At DNC Summer Meeting In Minneapolis
Adam Bettcher—Getty Images Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Minneapolis on Aug. 28, 2015.

Four of the five Democrats running for president spoke at the DNC summer meeting

One candidate wants everyone to relax over those emails. A second is convinced he can start a political revolution. Another demands more debates. The other hopes you remember who he is.

What began as an orderly quorum to rally Democrats for the 2016 general election spiraled on Friday into a chaotic pageant of candidates slamming debate schedules, assuaging fears over emails, lambasting Donald Trump and demanding political revolution.

Four of the five Democratic candidates for president addressed the Democratic National Committee members and leaders at the party’s summer meeting in Minneapolis, each seeking something different.

The three-day confab is a key forum for the Democratic candidates to garner establishment support for their campaigns. Their speeches on Friday evinced tensions within the party and a wide range of interests. But one battle line was clear: there’s the establishment wing of the party, and there’s everyone else.

Here’s what each of the candidates aimed to prove at the DNC summer meeting, in the order that they spoke.

Lincoln Chafee: The former Rhode Island governor and senator, who has the mild demeanor of a mid-level manager, is polling at an unenviable 0.5%.

So Chafee spent most of his brief speech reminding the Democratic Party who he is. He boasted of his qualifications, telling the audience that as a prescient senator from Rhode Island in the early 2000s he voted against the Iraq War, warned of the dangers of climate change and supported a bipartisan immigration bill.

Plus, he has never been accused of a major scandal. “And all through these 30 years of public service, I’ve had no scandal,” Chafee said. “I’m proud of that.”

Hillary Clinton: The Democratic frontrunner, firmly in the lead for the nomination with nearly 50% in an average of recent national polls, aimed to assure the DNC’s leadership that she is the strongest candidate to rebuild the party after bad losses in the 2010 and 2014 midterms.

She vowed on Friday to help rebuild a Democratic Party whose ranks have been thinned by losses at the local and state level, telling top leaders of the Democratic National Committee that her campaign will help Democrats “win up and down the ticket.”

“I’m building an organization in all 50 states with hundreds of thousands of volunteers who will help Democrats win races up and down the ticket, not just the presidential campaign,” Clinton said. “You know, in 2010 Republicans routed us on redistricting, not because they won Congress but because they won state legislatures. It’s time to rebuild our party from the ground up. And if you make me the nominee that’s exactly what I’ll do.”

Meanwhile, her surrogates rounded up super-delegates at the DNC three-day meeting in an effort to build up a bulwark of support before the primary contests next year. Her goal is to assure Democrats uneasy after a rough August of press around her use of a personal email server.

Clinton also told reporters after her speech that the obsession with her emails is a passing fad. “I’m not frustrated,” she said in response to a reporter’s question, who asked her how she is feeling about a kerfuffle that has damaged her trustworthiness among voters. “I’m just trying to explain for people who have never had to follow this before that is is complicated. There’s nothing unique about [the] process being conducted around my emails.”

Clinton, whose Priorities USA super PAC was trailing behind Jeb Bush’s fundraising efforts by nearly $100 million as of June, compared high-dollar fundraisers to the wealthy industrial magnates of old. “The robber barons of the late-19th century handed public officials bags of cash,” Clinton said. “Now we have secret unaccountable money that distorts our elections and drowns out the voices of everyday Americans.”

The Republican Party, Clinton said, is scrambling over itself to look backwards. “The party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump,” she said.

The Democrats, on the other hand: “We’re building something that will last long after next November,” she said.

Martin O’Malley: O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has had the most trouble gaining momentum in the race despite months of campaigning and 15 years as an executive first in Baltimore and then in the Annapolis statehouse.

What’s more, the governor’s impassioned calls in primetime national television interviews for more Democratic debates have gone entirely unheeded. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has repeatedly defended the debate rules, which limit the number of debates to six and prohibit candidates from participating in any others.

That may explain why O’Malley delivered a barn-burning speech attacking the Democratic establishment for limiting the number of debates.

“The Republicans stand before the nation, malign our President’s record of achievements, denigrate women and immigrant families, double-down on trickle-down, and tell their false story,” O’Malley said. “We respond with crickets, tumbleweeds, and a cynical move to delay and limit our own Party debates.”

And then—with Wasserman-Schultz standing feet away from O’Malley—the kicker.

“This is totally unprecedented in our party,” O’Malley continued. “This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. Whose decree is it? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve?”

The Sanders section of the crowd roared their enthusiasm.

“We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic Party,” O’Malley continued. “Our party must not cower from this debate, we must engage the debate.”

When the speech was over, Wasserman-Schultz gave O’Malley a terse handshake. “Thank you, Governor O’Malley,” she said.

Bernie Sanders: The Vermont Senator has convinced much of the Democratic base that he’s the strongest candidate for the job. The next big step for his campaign began on Friday, with the Independent from Vermont aiming to convince the Democratic leadership that he is the best candidate for the Democratic nomination.

At the heart of Sanders’ message: Clinton can’t win the same grassroots support he can.

“Democrats will not retain the White House—will not regain the Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives, will not be successful in dozens of governors races all across this country—unless we generate excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout,” Sanders said.

Sanders offered somber advice for the party heads. But he was more polite than O’Malley. “With all due respect, and I do not mean to insult anyone here, that turnout—that enthusiasm—will not happen with politics as usual.”

He also aimed some subtle jabs at Hillary Clinton, reminding his audience that he voted against the Iraq War (Clinton voted for it), and he opposes the Keystone Pipeline and the Trans Pacific Partnership (which Clinton has declined to take a stance on).

Jim Webb: The former senator for Virginia, who is at 1% in national polls, was the only candidate to skip the DNC meeting. Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz explained that Webb is “taking his daughter to college.”

Webb’s campaign, however, added another perspective. “His daughter off to college, yes,” spokesman Craig Crawford in an email to TIME. “But also think, just my opinion, you don’t have to read Machiavelli in his native language to understand that the DNC has picked their nominee. The DNC/HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] hookup is a shotgun wedding with no need for bullets.”

Also, Crawford told the IJReview that Webb talking to the DNC is “about as useful as sticking one’s hand into a wood chipper.”

By July 2016, the party will have chosen its candidate for president, and the DNC hopes that the losing candidates will fall in line. To hear the DNC leadership tell it, that won’t be a problem. “We are very happy with the cooperation and thank the candidates for the cooperation that we’ve seen from them to date,” Wasserman-Schultz said at the end of her prepared remarks Friday morning. “On to victory in 2016, my fellow Democrats, thank you so much!”

Read next: History Indicates That Donald Trump’s Campaign Could Be Trouble for the Left

TIME 2016 Election

Democrats Obtain Key Obama Campaign Email Lists

US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA
Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images US President Barack Obama celebrates re-election on stage in Chicago on Nov. 7, 2012.

Obama used the list to raise $690 million online in 2012

The Democratic National Committee has inherited the most prized voter email list on the market: President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign email data.

The Obama 2012 campaign list, which the DNC obtained this month and includes details about the amount donors gave and how they prefer to be contacted, will be a key tool in winning the 2016 election. With it, the Democratic nominee next year will gain access to a trove of millions of names and likely donors.

“The email list will help the DNC expand its reach online, build support for a new generation of leadership, and test new tactics for activating Democratic voters in future elections,” said DNC digital director Matt Compton. “Email is critically important tool for fundraising, grassroots engagement in support of key issues, and setting the record straight about the Republican candidates as well.”

The Obama 2012 campaign used its extensive, highly targeted email list to bring in small-dollar donations. The campaign raised $690 million online, and $214.3 million from donors giving less than $200.

The email list is the second strategic victory the DNC announced on Thursday: earlier, the Democratic party said it had concluded an agreement with Hillary Clinton that allows the party frontrunner to raise money for the DNC, to be allocated for a general election contest.

Obama’s turnout models and voter information were handed over to the Democratic party in late 2013.

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