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DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin

Dems became the party of corruption: the DNC did conspire against Sanders

Who are those "experts" who tell us those were Russians? Are those the same "experts" who found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Or the same who claim that Hillary bathroom email server was never breached?

“The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unpacking-the-dnc-emails/

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links  Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding Hillary Clinton email scandal Obama: a yet another Neocon
Hillary Clinton email scandal Demonization of Putin Who hacked whom propaganda game Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Deception as an art form
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Bill Clinton Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic Madeleine Albright
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism  Pathological lying Female Sociopaths American Exceptionalism Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite  

Introduction

These people have no shame. Vote Trump!

USMarines, Guardian Jun 25, 2016

I didn’t have a conspiracy with that woman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  HRC

Today, while reading Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables ,
 I unexpectedly came across a passage which fittingly describes the DNC:

They are practiced politicians, every man of them, and skilled to adjust those
 preliminary measures which steal from the people, without its knowledge,
the power of choosing its own rulers…This little knot of subtle schemers
will control the convention, and, through it, dictate to the party.

Roland , July 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

Wikileaks proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Democratic National Committee under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in fact, served as the Hillary Clinton Coronation Committee, operating, step by step, to ensure that the front-runner would become the party’s nominee. There nothing democratic about National Democratic Committee. It is an elitarian structure dominated by neoliberals (Clinton wing of the party), which have nothing to do with democracy, but a lot with Wall Street domination in the political life in the country.   They also served as a powerful catalyst of rising far right nationalism.  Essentially Bill Clinton created Trump.

But instantly after the revelations about DNC hack (and later Podesta email breach -- Podesta essentially gave up his password to people who were behind primitive the fishing attack on his Gmail account) neocon propaganda machine was put in overdrive. They fed the US lemmings (aka voters)  that the diabolical Russian hackers were behind the DNC hack. Everything they do not like now is the result of Russian hack. Primitive but pretty effective strategy. In other words this Rove-style "bait and switch" trick to brainwash the public into believing that what the DNC actually did was not reprehensible, but its exposure was:

For Dem [media] tycoons, it’s habit. They stand behind Hill for Imperial hegemony and Full Spectrum Dominance wherever money can be extorted, always the case in our squalid, half-assed military debacles. They get that looting nations and winning wars are not the same, and only one of them matters. For Repub Capos it’s a stickier wicket but not much. For a Conservative to even consider backing a Democrat, and a Clinton at that, would have been unthinkable last May, but since no Republicans actually are conservative, they figure why cling to yesterday, and they go with their lack of principles. What horrifies them in Trump is not his racism, sexism, or crudity: those are their hole cards, beloved of their Redneck Division. What actually outrages them is that in knocking imperialism, policing the world and puppeteering NATO and Japan, in shrinking empire and friending Russia, he threatens directly the War Machine and its limitless sugar tit from Congress.

After Comey testimony some fragments of the picture of DNC hack fall into place and one interesting hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation performed by the CrowdStrike, the same firm which were later assigned to investigate the hack. Which would be in best CIA traditions, stemming from JFK murder investigation and Warren commission.

 

And I am now not surprised that nobody investigated Comey for outsourcing (or forced to outsource by threats) the "DNC hack" investigation to the very questionable firm with strong Ukrainian connections. Which might well be hired to perform the hack and blame it on Russian to hide Seth Rich story.

If Trump would not be such an idiot, he would site this as a reason of firing Comey (gross unprofessionalism and criminal negligence) and the level of fear in Clinton Mafia after that might help him to survive.

The truth is that FBI never has any access to DNC computers. None. Unlike in case of Hillary emailgate, they never were in possession of actual hardware. And they never explored Ukrainian connection, so to speak. They took all results from Cloudstrike investigation at face value.

So I suspect all opinions of US intelligence agencies about this hack are just a part of color revolution scenario: the attempt to delegitimize the sitting government and install a new government via a coup d'état.

The fighting against Russiagate is about the defense of remnants of Democracy in the USA.

Regurgitation of MSM stories, like Fred is doing, does not add much value to this blog. It is essentially a propaganda exercise. If your urge to share them is too strong, as Mr.Bill mentioned a simple link would be enough (actually the desire to read on this topic NYT might be considered as an early sign of dementia, or Alzheimer)

Despite all this "Russians are coming" smoke screen and attempt to divert attention on Russia that Clinton campaign tried to propagate via subservant MSM, the truth is that the Democratic National Committee under its Obama-installed leader Wasserman-Schultz (and that means with direct blessing of the Obama, who put his political weight behind Hillary and shielded Hillary from criminal prosecution) had from day one schemed against other primary candidates and first of all Bernie Sanders to get Clinton elected. Welcome to the USSR comrades: Politburo knows everything and will decide what is best for you. You need just relax and vote as they say.  Everything will be fine (100-Page Report Shows Staggering Evidence of Election Fraud in Democratic Primary Cosmoso)

A recent report from Election Justice USA shows as many as 184 delegates were stolen from Bernie Sanders due to election fraud in the Democratic Primary

While it’s unclear whether the super delegates would have voted for Sanders, the EJUSA report does make one thing clear: Bernie Sanders won the majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic Primary at 2030 to Hillary Clinton’s 2021.

These numbers were arrived at by EJUSA’s intensive research and verification into claims of voter suppression, unintended party affiliation changes, heavy voter purging, and registrations never being honored by the Board of Elections in various counties throughout the U.S. during the Democratic Primary. In some cases, signatures were even forged on party affiliation documents and evidence of computer hacking being involved has come to light.

The fact that the emails exposed a coordinated effort to rob Bernie (which is a criminal offence in any state that called itself democratic as it interfere with the will of the people) was swiped under the carpet.  The DNC emails released by WikiLeaks showed that the Democratic National Committee has been implementing a coordinated multi-staged plan to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign. It also reveled an attempt to control media coverage (so that it benefitted Hillary) and the neoliberal MSM collusion with the DNC. It is now clear that the democratic presidential primary was rigged from the start and Hillary is an illegitimate candidate.

If nothing else, the crooked primaries process revealed just how much the DNC has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Clinton family, that can't even maintain the pretense of neutrality or impartiality--as the DNC's charter requires. And it's also exposed just how much the Fourth Estate has abandoned even the pretense of being the public's watch-dogs for the role of being the Clinton's lapdogs -- fitting classic definition of the "courtier press".  Now they are shamelessly preying on peoples' lack of understanding of computers trying to hide their criminal behaviour by "Putin did it" smoke screen.  They are also shamelessly preying on naive peoples' trust in experts, which has serious downstream effects when these "experts" are debunked. The way that the Russia-Trump storyline has been pounded into our consciousness by the media and the Democratic Party, including at the convention in prime time, is a calculated effort to take our eye off the ball and is a classic “shoot the messenger” tactic.

Clinton is trying to market herself as the Serious/Safe candidate, but her campaign is acting completely hysterical. Intead of welcoming transparency and investigating corrupt DNC officials involved in the plot against Sanders, they try to "kill the messenger" trick. This whole Putin-hack thing if a pure anti-Russian hysteria. There is no proof that Russia or Russian hackers were involved.  And if hack was really sophisticated there will be no proof as after certain amount of time evidence (connection logs on routers and such) disappeared.  NSA might still have something but they typically do not revel what they know.

\Instead this is another demonstration of how corrupt Hillary is as a politician. Like mafia boss she will stop at nothing at achieving her goals -- in this case the goal is to become the President of the USA. And this is not the first instance of "Hillary" poisonous  effect on anything she touches. Let's remember that she went into State Department to get the foreign policy experience and now has a record on it that should have every sane person saying keep her away from sharp objects and things that go "boom".

Funny though, formally Schultz takes her orders from Obama, as the Chairman of the Party, the DNC Board of Directors and team Hillary.   If any blame should go around, it should splash onto all individuals in DNC, not just Schultz.  Moreover, her boss, "constitutional scholar" Obama, in this particular case also looks like a regular Chicago Mafiosi: he and his DNC accomplishes  swindle the millions of Americans who donated on average $27 to Bernie's campaign hoping (falsely as we know now) that it was a fair contest... 

Why did "Crooked Hillary" directed her puppets in DNC to sabotage Bernie? She didn't need to, as she got super delegates in her pocket from the very start.  But like many sociopaths she did because she can. Now many Bernie backers won't vote for her. 

This election is about establishment (and that means that people are not voting for, they're voting against) and Hillary is an establishment candidate. A female successor of neoliberal "bait and switch" king Obama; who is widely hated because of his support of TPP. )

I think she lost quit a bit of votes due to this scandal.  This election cycle the vote against establishment politicians might be stronger than the vote for them. That's why Jeb Bush lost.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and thier authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarised speech got.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and their authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarized speech got.

Michael109,   

Clinton, who received 3.1m from Wall Street for speeches last year, and who was "extremely careless" with national security and who clearly lied under oath to Congress had the entire system rigged in her favour and millions of mostly younger people who supported Sanders have received a slap in the face by a corrupt Dem Party.

Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

Like Clinton foundation and its affiliate entities, the DNC, could be considered a criminal enterprise or racketing influenced organization. Those who haven’t realized that, or worse, who shill for them are willfully ignorant, amoral, or unethical.  Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

VietnamVet

The 2016 election cannot be looked at in isolation. The wars for profit are spreading from Nigeria through Syria to Ukraine. Turkey was just lost to the Islamists and is on the road to being a failed state. The EU is in an existential crisis due to Brexit, the refugee crisis and austerity. Western leadership is utterly incompetent and failing to protect its citizens.

Globalization is failing. Its Losers are tipping over the apple cart. Humans are returning to their tribal roots for safety. The drums for war with Russia are beating. Clinton / Kaine are 100% Status Quo Globalists. Trump / Pence are candidates of change to who knows what. Currently I am planning on voting for the Green Party in the hope it becomes viable and praying that the chaos avoids Maryland.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and DNC staff served as part of Clinton campaign and designed and amplified phony attacks on Sanders. Krugman plays the role of Clinton surrogate, using campaign talking points and spin to claim that Sanders is “over the edge”. They launched a a systematic attack  basically questioning his authenticity. These are mostly cheap swiftboating attacks and straw man arguments coming from the mainstream media and DNC insiders. The attacks are usually passive-aggressive, as in the New York Times ignoring him for long stretches and then coming up with the occasional dismissive "he can't possibly win, because we say so" tripe. They often reek of cheerful condescension. See this and this.

Then there was more dangerous theme casting Sanders as a convenient prop for Hillary Clinton, a supporting actor who exists only for the cosmetic purpose of "pushing her to the left." This trope is becoming so over-used that people are beginning to notice that it is a dirty trick. These are dangerous times for non-establishment politicians due to domination of neoliberal Political Correctness and corporate neoliberal propaganda (The Swift-boating of Bernie Sanders ):

We had the expected political reaction—the DNC, under the enlightened leadership of Hillary supporter Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has decided PAC money from lobbyists is OK after all, thus freeing up David Brock’s Hillary PAC to do whatever the hell it wants. The head of the Democratic party in Iowa, who has a pro-Hillary license plate, has ruled out any sort of recount on the voting in Iowa, about which a number of questions had been raised, but the media appears to have moved on... 

Hillary definitely has the 1% vote locked up ... but they are, after all, just 1%.

The best analysis of DNC leak that I have found so far is Peter van Buren article in American Conservative Unpacking the DNC Emails The American Conservative (July 26, 2016), His 11 point really cover all the bases:

... ... ...
  1. The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.
  2. Many in Camp Clinton and the media labeled Bernie Sanders’ supporters paranoid when they claimed that the DNC was working against them. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was in fact working against them. One official proposed getting “someone,” presumably a reporter, to ask Sanders if he’s an atheist to discredit him in religious areas.
  3. Claims of pro-Clinton media bias were dismissed during the primaries. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was working closely with the media to seek negative coverage of Sanders and positive coverage of Clinton.
  4. Politico now admits it was a “mistake” sending the DNC an article draft in advance. The writer showed the draft to the DNC even before his own editors saw it.
  5. Facebook admits to blocking WikiLeaks links to the DNC email hack from its newsfeeds (but blames spam filters).
  6. The DNC appears to have expended significantly more effort against Bernie Sanders than it did against any of the Republican candidates.
  7. Instead of focusing on the contents of the hacked emails and the dirty tricks they exposed, many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s. Many of the same stories suggest Trump is some sort of pro-Putin stooge.
  8. On 60 Minutes, Clinton refused to say that intervention by the DNC to favor one candidate was “improper.” Her non-answer was edited out of the broadcast when it ran on Sunday; the network later released it online.
  9. After DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation following this week’s Democratic convention, the Clinton campaign announced Wasserman Schultz would be hired by them as “honorary chair of Hillary’s campaign’s 50-state program to elect Democrats in every part of the country, and as a surrogate for her campaign nationally.”
  10. Wasserman Schultz will be replaced as DNC chair by (only now former) CNN commentator Donna Brazile. Brazile argued the pro-Clinton side of debates on CNN throughout the primary season.
  11. In the hacked emails, Brazile said “I will cuss out the Sanders camp!” over complaints by Sanders of inadequate representation by the DNC. In March, while still employed by CNN, Brazile called Sanders’ decision to run as a Democrat (rather than an independent) for the additional media exposure “extremely disgraceful.”

Sadly, Bernie Sanders, his campaign sabotaged by the DNC—and what were once “paranoid” accusations now proved—still endorses Hillary Clinton and will still speak at the Democratic National Convention. It pains me to say, as his once-supporter, that the man has no courage. Even Ted Cruz stood up for himself in front of the Republicans in Cleveland. It is a sad day when we learn Ted Cruz has more guts than Bernie Sanders.

Those who are calling all this a coup of sorts—they’re wrong. It’s a surrender. But in the words of Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make?

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during the “reconstruction” of Iraq in his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. He writes about current events at We Meant Well. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent. His next work will be a novel, Hooper’s War.

All this dirty tricks define the future of Democratic Party. Seriously. Less and less people are believing that Democrat represents them. I think half of trade union members will vote Trump. That's  a direct result of the sellout by Bill Clinton of Democratic Party to Wall Street.  A vote for Mrs Clinton means a continuation of the rule of financial oligarchy what we've experienced since Reagan, and that is not acceptable.  Another four years of amoral enrichment of transnational corporations that Hillary election guarantee is just kicking can down the road.

Attempt to blame Russians and Putin

Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing.

Only Jedi Knights can stop him.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”
 Donald J. Trump said, referring to messages deemed personal by Hillary Clinton
 and deleted from her private email server.

 

Bullsh**t that MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme  "The Russians are Coming".  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete bulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country; CIA can imitate Russian attack even better then Israel, actually they can imitate attacks from any country; hacks are a perfect opportunity to stage a false flag operation -- they there is not better specialists in this area that CIA ).

When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely  corrupt  DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic  

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Heat on Sanders for betrayal of his supporters

DNC betrayed Bernie Sanders and the rest of America. But at this moment Sanders already folded. In other words, the Clinton mafia again created a mess. And they are now turning to Sanders — the very one they betrayed — to come in and clean it up. In effect Clinton mafia wants Sanders persuade  his supporters not to harbor any ill feelings over being stabbed in the back. That gave him perfect opportunity to reneg of his promised and run as independent or with Green Party

Bernie caved. A pity really, but understandable given the fact that the collusion between a corrupt Hillary campaign and a mendacious "free" media meant that even getting to the Convention floor was a struggle.

NYT now is afraid to open comments on this as they will swamped with denunciation of Hillary.  Sanders lied to his supporters that Trump represents bigger danger then Killary. nobody represent bigger danger then Killary.  Bernie Sanders, hypocrite, or canny operator? Is this another hostage situation and with what Clinton criminal cartel threatened him ?  “This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who sought the presidency,” Sanders told a New Hampshire crowd Tuesday in a speech endorsing Hillary Clinton. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crisis that we face.” Posting under the hashtag #SandersSellsOut, sanders supporters drew parallels with a previous uncomfortable endorsement of a presidential candidate, labeling it “another hostage situation.” Most view his endorsement on Monday, as the infidelity in a relationship and a bad break up.

Democratic voters are now splintered over neoliberal globalization, much like Republican supporters. Most already made decisions whom they will support and Clinton mafia has little chances to move those who reject their criminality and support of neoliberal globalization. It was actually Bill Clinton who sold the party to Wall Street making it another wing on neoliberal party of globalist and transnational corporations.

The Democrats' dirty laundry was aired at a worse possibly time for Hillary and I hope she will pay for DNC manipulations full price. It is clear after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the Republican presidential primaries that voters are revolting against the neoliberal globalization that dominated the US and Britain economic and foreign policy since the 1970th, if not earlier.  The willingness of people to be intimidated by bought neoliberal economists into supporting cosmopolitan outcomes appears for the moment to have been exhausted.

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN are essentially part of the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash skandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard.

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.

Mysterious assassination of Seth Rich

Seth Conrad Rich, a 27-year-old who worked for the Democratic National Committee as the voter expansion data director died of multiple gunshot wounds in the 2100 block of Flagler Place on July 10, 2017. The police reported it as a robbery, but nothing on Seth was taken. Seth’s cash, phone, and belongings were all still on him when he was found.

Before Seth started working at the DNC two years ago, Rich was a research associate for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for two years, according to his LinkedIn page. The 2011 Creighton University graduate also worked for former Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s campaign and interned in his office.

There are a lot of rumors going around about his death and if it was a hit job. Below OAN reported on the murder and below that is a possible explanation of his assassination and all of the information is documented.

From /u/MyKettleIsNotBlack:
    The Clintons have known the Kleebs since at least 2008. Scott Kleeb started a business the Clinton Global Initiative was found fraudulently supporting. Seth Rich was deeply entrenched with the Kleebs from their Nebraska Democratic work. Seth Rich was hired onto a position in the DNC out of a job from a data consulting firm which had previously worked with President Clinton, which was opened up because the Clintons pushed for the Voter Expansion project so that 2008 didn’t happen to Hillary in 2016. Seth Rich has at least 2 connections to the Clintons. Jane Kleeb is a voracious environmentalist/Sanders supporter who might’ve prompted Seth Rich to leak the emails, especially after their business was one month earlier revealed for fraudulency. The best way to cover their tracks would be to make this seem like another right-wing conspiracy. His murder was deemed a robbery, but nothing was missing from his person.

    2007: Seth Rich works on Ben Nelson campaign for Senate as assistant field coordinator https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1
    2004-2007: Jane Fleming is Executive Director for Young Democrats of America http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF17/20130919/101321/HHRG-113-IF17-Bio-KleebJ-20130919.pdf
    2006: Scott Kleeb is running for Nebraska’s 3rd Congr. Seat, beaten by Republicans due to GWBush visit in the district and robo-calls https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2007: Scott Kleeb marries Jane Fleming Kleeb https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2007: Scott is “grassroots” Candidate, should run against Nelson http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lane-hudson/draft-kleeb-in-nebraska-a_b_74236.html
    2008: Scott doesn’t run for Ben Nelson’s seat but takes Chuck Hagel’s vacated nomination https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2008: Seth Rich works for Scott Kleeb for Senate https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1
    2008: Hillary Loses Bid For President
    2009: Scott Kleeb launches Energy Pioneer Solutions https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-kleeb-3335a625
    2010: Keystone Pipeline inspired Jane Kleeb (an environmentalist) to found Bold Nebraska in protest http://watchdog.org/99531/bold-nebraska-sees-keystone-xl-bogeyman-in-wrong-corner/ http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF17/20130919/101321/HHRG-113-IF17-Bio-KleebJ-20130919.pdf
    2010: Clinton Global Initiative gives innappropriate funds to Energy Pioneer Solutions at the behest of Bill Clinton Energy Pioneer Solutions is owned by Bill’s Friends http://nypost.com/2016/05/13/clinton-charity-arranged-2m-pledge-to-company-owned-by-bills-friend/
    McMahon, “Energizer” according to Secret Service for the Clintons, is 29% stakeholder. Kleebs, Weiner also stakeholders http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/bill-clinton-mistress-energizer-julie-tauber-mcmahon-2-million-dollars-charity/ http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/05/13/quid-pro-quo-clinton-foundation-gave-money-to-forprofit-company-run-by-clinton-friends-n2162288
    What happened to Hillary’s Keystone Pipeline stances? Bold Nebraska got what it wanted, but what did Bill get from Scott?
    2014: Clintons push for Voter Expansion Project with DNC http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2014/02/27/283550311/clintons-provide-firepower-behind-dnc-voter-expansion-project
    2014: Seth Rich is hired onto Voter Expansion Project in Data Director Role and away from another job at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/22/the-dnc-knows-everything-about-you.html
    Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is the same firm which advised Bill Clinton for his presidency: https://www.campaignsandelections.com/campaign-insider/greenberg-quinlan-rosner-launches-in-canada
    May 2016: Energy Pioneer Solutions scandal is uncovered, people assume Bill’s just cheating again
    June 2016: Jane Kleeb is a Bernie Supporter, and big time. Beats a Hillary supporter for chair of Nebraska DNC, risking Hillary’s delegates http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/jane-kleeb-elected-leader-of-state-democratic-party/article_95b44a9c-ea5b-58b9-ad7a-1feab2a7bf84.html
    July 2016: DNC emails obtained by someone with access and hatred towards Hillary-run DNC
    July 10: Seth Rich murdered
    July 14/15: DNC emails leak
    7/25/2016: Julian Assange hints at insider http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/25/julian-assange-any-dnc-staffer-could-have-been-the-leaker/
Seth Conrad Rich’s unsolved murder on a Washington D.C. street was very suspecious because he was a staffer and self-described data analyst for the Democratic National Committee and has access to the emails that were leaked.

WikiLeaks is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Rich’s death (that’s in addition to a previous $25,000 reward being offered in the case).

Most recently, Rod Wheeler, a private investigator recanted claims he made to Fox 5 in Washington D.C. about Rich and WikiLeaks – claims that are disputed by Rich’s own family. Newsweek has now reported that the FBI is not investigating the Rich murder, and is quoting the private investigator as denying he has any firsthand knowledge of purported Rich/WikiLeaks contact. According to the New York Times, the Rich family is demanding retractions from Fox.

For more details see

The leak of NSA document by Reality Winner

Skip Intro , June 12, 2017 at 4:36 pm

The NSA document was very important. It basically proved, according to Scott Ritter, that the NSA had no real evidence of any Russian involvement, and relied on speculation from a single source: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, which recently had to retract a similar claim about Russian hacking of Ukrainian artillery. The real story behind 'Reality Winner' remains, I am sure, unknown. This might well be a ploy to undermine the anti-Russia hype, though the media cartel has trumpeted it uncritically for the short-term rush of goosing the Comey spectacle.

This makes the refusal of the DNC to let the FBI examine those servers even more suspect. OTOH, one can see the thought processes in the DNC: A breach was discovered. If we blame the Russians not only do we further the neo-con agenda, but we also get to call anyone who publishes or cites the material taken from the servers a Russian tool.

In fact, if they knew they had internal leakers, it would still be worth claiming to have been hacked by the Russians, so that internally leaked material could be 'poisoned' as part of a Russian plot. Talking points to this effect were ubiquitous and apparently well coordinated, turning virtually every MSM discussion of the content of the leaks into a screed about stolen documents and Russian hackers. It also put a nice fresh coat of paint on the target painted on Assange, turning the undiscerning left against a once valuable ally.

Comey testimony

Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

BURR: "But no content?"

COMEY: "Correct."

BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

Here is  Ray McGovern  analysis NBCs Kelly Hits Putin With a Beloved Canard
Jun 13, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

To prove their chops, mainstream media stars can't wait to go head-to-head with a demonized foreign leader, like Vladimir Putin, and let him have it, even if their "facts" are wrong, as Megyn Kelly showed

NBC's Megyn Kelly wielded one of Official Washington's most beloved groupthinks to smack Russian President Vladimir Putin over his denials that he and his government were responsible for hacking Democratic emails and interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

In her June 2 interview with Putin, Kelly noted that all "17 intelligence agencies" of the US government concurred in their conclusion of Russian guilt and how could Putin suggest that they all are "lying." It's an argument that has been used to silence skeptics for months and apparently is so useful that no one seems to care that it isn't true.

For instance, on May 8, in testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper conceded publicly that the number of intelligence agencies involved in the assessment was three, not 17, and that the analysts assigned to the project from CIA, FBI and NSA had been "handpicked."

On May 23, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's account about the three agencies involved. "It wasn't a full interagency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies," Brennan acknowledged.

But those public admissions haven't stopped Democrats and the mainstream media from continuing to repeat the false claim. In comments on May 31, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton repeated the canard, with a flourish, saying: "Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get."

A couple of days later, Kelly revived the myth of the consensus among the 17 intelligence agencies in her interview with the Russian president. But Putin passed up the opportunity to correct her, replying instead:

"They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. We have talked about it with former President Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence. When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that's how I saw it."

As I noted in a Jan. 20 article about Obama's news conference two days earlier, "Did President Barack Obama acknowledge that the extraordinary propaganda campaign to blame Russia for helping Donald Trump become president has a very big hole in it, i.e., that the US intelligence community has no idea how the Democratic emails reached WikiLeaks? For weeks, eloquent obfuscation – expressed with 'high confidence' – has been the name of the game, but inadvertent admissions now are dispelling some of the clouds.

"At President Obama's Jan. 18 press conference, he admitted as much: 'the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked .'" [Emphasis added]

Explaining the Technology

More importantly, Putin in his interview with Kelly points out that "today's technology" enables hacking to be "masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin" of the hack. "And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Modern technology is very sophisticated and subtle and allows this to be done. And when we realize that we will get rid of all the illusions. "

Later, when Kelly came back to the issue of hacking, Putin expanded on the difficulty in tracing the source of cyber attacks.

"Hackers may be anywhere," Putin said. "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? In the middle of an internal political fight, it was convenient for them, whatever the reason, to put out that information. And put it out they did. And, doing it, they made a reference to Russia. Can't you imagine it happening? I can.

"Let us recall the assassination of President Kennedy. There is a theory that Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States special services. If this theory is correct, and one cannot rule it out, so what can be easier in today's context, being able to rely on the entire technical capabilities available to special services than to organize some kind of attacks in the appropriate manner while making a reference to Russia in the process. "

Kelly: "Let's move on."

However carefully Megyn Kelly and her NBC colleagues peruse The New York Times, they might well not know WikiLeaks' disclosure on March 31 of original CIA documents showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs (like Cyrillic markings, for example).

The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for "proving" the Russians hacked into Democratic Party emails.

In other words, it is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Clapper – the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free report of Jan. 6, that Clapper and Brennan acknowledged last month was not the consensus view of the 17 intelligence agencies.

There is also the issue of the forensics. Former FBI Director James Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee's computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the examination done by the DNC's private contractor, Crowdstrike.

The firm itself has conflicts of interests in its links to the pro-NATO and anti-Russia think tank, the Atlantic Council, through Dmitri Alperovitch, who is an Atlantic Council senior fellow and the co-founder of Crowdstrike.

Strange Oversight

Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?

Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

BURR: "But no content?"

COMEY: "Correct."

BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

Burr demurred on asking Comey to explain what amounts to gross misfeasance, if not worse. Perhaps, NBC could arrange for Megyn Kelly to interview Burr to ask if he has a clue as to what Putin might have been referring to when he noted, "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia."

Given the congressional intelligence "oversight" committees' obsequiousness and repeated "high esteem" for the "intelligence community," there seems an even chance that – no doubt because of an oversight – the CIA/FBI/NSA deep-stage troika failed to brief the Senate "oversight committee" chairman on WikiLeaks "Vault 7" disclosures – even when WikiLeaks publishes original CIA documents.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .

The mysterious role of CloudStike and Dmitry Alperovich

Credibility Of Cyber Firm That Claimed Russia Hacked The DNC Comes Under Serious Question Zero Hedge

Before I get to the meat of this post, we need to revisit a little history. The cyber security firm hired to inspect the DNC hack and determine who was responsible is a firm called Crowdstrike. Its conclusion that Russia was responsible was released last year, but several people began to call its analysis into question upon further inspection.

Jeffrey Carr was one of the most prominent cynics, and as he noted in his December post, FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort :

The FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) " Grizzly Steppe " was released yesterday as part of the White House's response to alleged Russian government interference in the 2016 election process. It adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, the email accounts of Democratic party officials, or for delivering the content of those hacks to Wikileaks.

It merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.

If ESET could do it, so can others. It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will.

If the White House had unclassified evidence that tied officials in the Russian government to the DNC attack, they would have presented it by now. The fact that they didn't means either that the evidence doesn't exist or that it is classified.

Nevertheless, countless people, including the entirety of the corporate media, put total faith in the analysis of Crowdstrike despite the fact that the FBI was denied access to perform its own analysis. Which makes me wonder, did the U.S. government do any real analysis of its own on the DNC hack, or did it just copy/paste Crowdstrike?

As The Hill reported in January:

The FBI requested direct access to the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The bureau made "multiple requests at different levels," according to Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a "highly respected private company" would get access and share what it found with investigators.

"We'd always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves if that's possible," Comey said, noting that he didn't know why the DNC rebuffed the FBI's request.

This is nuts. Are all U.S. government agencies simply listening to what Crowdstike said in coming to their "independent" conclusions that Russia hacked the DNC? If so, that's a huge problem. Particularly considering what Voice of America published yesterday in a piece titled, Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data :

An influential British think tank and Ukraine's military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

The CrowdStrike report, released in December , asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine's war with Russian-backed separatists.

But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

The challenges to CrowdStrike's credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year's hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

How is this not the biggest story in America right now?

Yaroslav Sherstyuk, maker of the Ukrainian military app in question, called the company's report "delusional" in a Facebook post . CrowdStrike never contacted him before or after its report was published, he told VOA.

VOA first contacted IISS in February to verify the alleged artillery losses. Officials there initially were unaware of the CrowdStrike assertions. After investigating, they determined that CrowdStrike misinterpreted their data and hadn't reached out beforehand for comment or clarification.

In a statement to VOA, the institute flatly rejected the assertion of artillery combat losses.

"The CrowdStrike report uses our data, but the inferences and analysis drawn from that data belong solely to the report's authors," the IISS said. "The inference they make that reductions in Ukrainian D-30 artillery holdings between 2013 and 2016 were primarily the result of combat losses is not a conclusion that we have ever suggested ourselves, nor one we believe to be accurate."

In early January, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying artillery losses from the ongoing fighting with separatists are "several times smaller than the number reported by [CrowdStrike] and are not associated with the specified cause" of Russian hacking.

But Ukraine's denial did not get the same attention as CrowdStrike's report. Its release was widely covered by news media reports as further evidence of Russian hacking in the U.S. election.

In interviews, Alperovitch helped foster that impression by connecting the Ukraine and Democratic campaign hacks, which CrowdStrike said involved the same Russian-linked hacking group-Fancy Bear-and versions of X-Agent malware the group was known to use.

"The fact that they would be tracking and helping the Russian military kill Ukrainian army personnel in eastern Ukraine and also intervening in the U.S. election is quite chilling," Alperovitch said in a December 22 story by The Washington Post .

The same day, Alperovitch told the PBS NewsHour : "And when you think about, well, who would be interested in targeting Ukraine artillerymen in eastern Ukraine? Who has interest in hacking the Democratic Party? [The] Russia government comes to mind, but specifically, [it's the] Russian military that would have operational [control] over forces in the Ukraine and would target these artillerymen."

Alperovitch, a Russian expatriate and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council policy research center in Washington, co-founded CrowdStrike in 2011. The firm has employed two former FBI heavyweights: Shawn Henry, who oversaw global cyber investigations at the agency, and Steven Chabinsky, who was the agency's top cyber lawyer and served on a White House cybersecurity commission. Chabinsky left CrowdStrike last year.

CrowdStrike declined to answer VOA's written questions about the Ukraine report, and Alperovitch canceled a March 15 interview on the topic. In a December statement to VOA's Ukrainian Service, spokeswoman Ilina Dimitrova defended the company's conclusions.

In its report last June attributing the Democratic hacks, CrowdStrike said it was long familiar with the methods used by Fancy Bear and another group with ties to Russian intelligence nicknamed Cozy Bear. Soon after, U.S. cybersecurity firms Fidelis and Mandiant endorsed CrowdStrike's conclusions. The FBI and Homeland Security report reached the same conclusion about the two groups.

If the company's analysis was "delusional" when it came to Ukraine, why should we have any confidence that its analysis on Russia and the DNC is more sound?

Answer: We shouldn't.

 

 


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[Jul 17, 2017] Tucker Carlson Goes to War Against the Neocons by Curt Mills

max Book is just anothe "Yascha about Russia" type, that Masha Gessen represents so vividly. The problem with him is that time of neocon prominance is solidly in the past and now unpleasant question about the cost from the US people of their reckless foreign policies get into some newspapers and managines. They cost the USA tremedous anount of money (as in trillions) and those money consititute a large portion of the national debt. Critiques so far were very weak and partially suppressed voices, but defeat of neocon warmonger Hillary signify some break with the past.
Notable quotes:
"... Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies." ..."
"... But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject. ..."
"... New York Observer ..."
"... Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, " ..."
"... : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. ..."
Jul 14, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

This week's primetime knife fights with Max Boot and Ralph Peters are emblematic of the battle for the soul of the American Right.

To be sure, Carlson rejects the term "neoconservatism," and implicitly, its corollary on the Democratic side, liberal internationalism. In 2016, "the reigning Republican foreign-policy view, you can call it neoconservatism, or interventionism, or whatever you want to call it" was rejected, he explained in a wide-ranging interview with the National Interest Friday.

"But I don't like the term 'neoconservatism,'" he says, "because I don't even know what it means. I think it describes the people rather than their ideas, which is what I'm interested in. And to be perfectly honest . . . I have a lot of friends who have been described as neocons, people I really love, sincerely. And they are offended by it. So I don't use it," Carlson said.

But Carlson's recent segments on foreign policy conducted with Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and the prominent neoconservative journalist and author Max Boot were acrimonious even by Carlsonian standards. In a discussion on Syria, Russia and Iran, a visibly upset Boot accused Carlson of being "immoral" and taking foreign-policy positions to curry favor with the White House, keep up his ratings , and by proxy, benefit financially. Boot says that Carlson "basically parrots whatever the pro-Trump line is that Fox viewers want to see. If Trump came out strongly against Putin tomorrow, I imagine Tucker would echo this as faithfully as the pro-Russia arguments he echoes today." But is this assessment fair?

Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies."

Even if Carlson doesn't want to use the label neocon to describe some of those ideas, Boot is not so bashful. In 2005, Boot wrote an essay called "Neocons May Get the Last Laugh." Carlson "has become a Trump acolyte in pursuit of ratings," says Boot, also interviewed by the National Interest . "I bet if it were President Clinton accused of colluding with the Russians, Tucker would be outraged and calling for impeachment if not execution. But since it's Trump, then it's all a big joke to him," Boot says. Carlson vociferously dissents from such assessments: "This is what dumb people do. They can't assess the merits of an argument. . . . I'm not talking about Syria, and Russia, and Iran because of ratings. That's absurd. I can't imagine those were anywhere near the most highly-rated segments that night. That's not why I wanted to do it."

But Carlson insists, "I have been saying the same thing for fifteen years. Now I have a T.V. show that people watch, so my views are better known. But it shouldn't be a surprise. I supported Trump to the extent he articulated beliefs that I agree with. . . . And I don't support Trump to the extent that his actions deviate from those beliefs," Carlson said. Boot on Fox said that Carlson is "too smart" for this kind of argument. But Carlson has bucked the Trump line, notably on Trump's April 7 strikes in Syria. "When the Trump administration threw a bunch of cruise missiles into Syria for no obvious reason, on the basis of a pretext that I question . . . I questioned [the decision] immediately. On T.V. I was on the air when that happened. I think, maybe seven minutes into my show. . . . I thought this was reckless."

But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject.

Boot objects to what he sees as a cavalier attitude on the part of Carlson and others toward allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and also toward the deaths of citizens of other countries. "You are laughing about the fact that Russia is interfering in our election process. That to me is immoral," Boot told Carlson on his show. "This is the level of dumbness and McCarthyism in Washington right now," says Carlson. "I think it has the virtue of making Max Boot feel like a good person. Like he's on God's team, or something like that. But how does that serve the interest of the country? It doesn't." Carlson says that Donald Trump, Jr.'s emails aren't nearly as important as who is going to lead Syria, which he says Boot and others have no plan for successfully occupying. Boot, by contrast, sees the U.S. administration as dangerously flirting with working with Russia, Iran and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "For whatever reason, Trump is pro-Putin, no one knows why, and he's taken a good chunk of the GOP along with him," Boot says.

On Fox last Wednesday, Boot reminded Carlson that he originally supported the 2003 Iraq decision. "You supported the invasion of Iraq," Boot said, before repeating, "You supported the invasion of Iraq." Carlson conceded that, but it seems the invasion was a bona fide turning point. It's most important to parse whether Carlson has a long record of anti-interventionism, or if he's merely sniffing the throne of the president (who, dubiously, may have opposed the 2003 invasion). "I think it's a total nightmare and disaster, and I'm ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it," Carlson told the New York Observer in early 2004. "It's something I'll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who's smarter than I am, and I shouldn't have done that. . . . I'm enraged by it, actually." Carlson told the National Interest that he's felt this way since seeing Iraq for himself in December 2003.

The evidence points heavily toward a sincere conversion on Carlson's part, or preexisting conviction that was briefly overcome by the beat of the war drums. Carlson did work for the Weekly Standard , perhaps the most prominent neoconservative magazine, in the 1990s and early 2000s. Carlson today speaks respectfully of William Kristol, its founding editor, but has concluded that he is all wet. On foreign policy, the people Carlson speaks most warmly about are genuine hard left-wingers: Glenn Greenwald, a vociferous critic of both economic neoliberalism and neoconservatism; the anti-establishment journalist Michael Tracey; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation ; and her husband, Stephen Cohen, the Russia expert and critic of U.S. foreign policy.

"The only people in American public life who are raising these questions are on the traditional left: not lifestyle liberals, not the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) group, not liberals in D.C., not Nancy Pelosi." He calls the expertise of establishment sources on matters like Syria "more shallow than I even imagined." On his MSNBC show, which was canceled for poor ratings, he cavorted with noninterventionist stalwarts such as Ron Paul , the 2008 and 2012 antiwar GOP candidate, and Patrick J. Buchanan. "No one is smarter than Pat Buchanan," he said last year of the man whose ideas many say laid the groundwork for Trump's political success.

Carlson has risen to the pinnacle of cable news, succeeding Bill O'Reilly. It wasn't always clear an antiwar take would vault someone to such prominence. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney could be president (Boot has advised the latter two). But here he is, and it's likely no coincidence that Carlson got a show after Trump's election, starting at the 7 p.m. slot, before swiftly moving to the 9 p.m. slot to replace Trump antagonist Megyn Kelly, and just as quickly replacing O'Reilly at the top slot, 8 p.m. Boot, on the other hand, declared in 2016 that the Republican Party was dead , before it went on to hold Congress and most state houses, and of course take the presidency. He's still at the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for the New York Times (this seems to clearly annoy Carlson: "It tells you everything about the low standards of the American foreign-policy establishment").

Boot wrote in 2003 in the Weekly Standard that the fall of Saddam Hussein's government "may turn out to be one of those hinge moments in history" comparable to "events like the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which everything is different." He continued, "If the occupation goes well (admittedly a big if ), it may mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better."

Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, "

Carlson seems intent on pressing the issue. The previous night, in his debate with Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel said that Carlson sounded like Charles Lindbergh, who opposed U.S. intervention against Nazi Germany before 1941. "This particular strain of Republican foreign policy has almost no constituency. Nobody agrees with it. I mean there's not actually a large group of people outside of New York, Washington or L.A. who think any of this is a good idea," Carlson says. "All I am is an asker of obvious questions. And that's enough to reveal these people have no idea what they're talking about. None."

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest . Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills .

Image : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.

[Jul 16, 2017] Will the DNC lose in 2018, because theyre beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if thats good or bad, but Im getting popcorn.

Notable quotes:
"... "We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter. ..."
"... "Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... "All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman. ..."
"... The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | ucgsblog.wordpress.com
ucgsblog says: July 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm Sorry about being MIA, I'm probably going to be MIA until mid-August, but in the meantime, here's an interesting article:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/message-democrats-must-more-talk-russia-122203301.html

"We know that we can be an America that works for everyone, because we believe that our diversity is our greatest strength. And we believe that when we put hope on the ballot we do well, and when we allow others to put fear in the eyes of people we don't do so hot," Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

___

"We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter.

___

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize," Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible.

___

"I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives," Jason Crow, Democratic candidate in Colorado's 6th Congressional District.

___

"Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton.

___

"We will both defend the integrity of our democracy (on the Russian investigation) and we will defend access to health care for tens of millions of people. The resistance is big enough and sophisticated enough to track both of those urgent and important issues," Anna Galland, executive director of Moveon.org Civic Action.

___

"All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman.

___

"We need to be able to explain what we're for just as emphatically as who we are against. Voters need to hear you talking about them more than they hear you talking about yourself, your opponent or the president." Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

!!!!!!-

The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump.

Looks like the DNC is slowly starting to realize what voters want, despite inner party special interest groups. Levin and Crow summarize mainstream Democrats, so I'll just requote them:

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives"

Will the DNC lose in 2018, because they're beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if that's good or bad, but I'm getting popcorn.

[Jul 16, 2017] There you have it, Putin murdered Seth Rich. And the rotten US establishment retains its golden halo of angelic moral authority.

Jul 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

kirill , March 2, 2017 at 11:59 am

http://russia-insider.com/en/straight-clinton-playbook-russia-blamed-murder-dnc-staffer/ri19084

As I posted before, emails are not something that requires hacking beyond a noob script kiddie. Emails are simply not secure and can be easily intercepted by man-in-the-middle relay servers. There is simply no way to establish who runs such computers from the headers on the emails. It is up to the relay server to update the email header and it does not have to do it. BTW, the fake email relay can spoof an IP so that the other email relay servers can't even tell it is not in the pool of existing machines (and there is no global authority that maintains the integrity of this pool of machines anyway).

There is no way Seth Rich would have "discovered Russian email hacking". But for sure he did discover something that got him killed and the perps are 100% Americans.

marknesop , March 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm
The climate today is just so receptive to 'Russia did it' that the temptation to blame Russia for everything that is not going as planned or as desired – or for which one might otherwise be blamed oneself – is apparently overwhelming.

The comments nailed it right away – 'who styles himself as a former US Intelligence Officer' is taking made-up reporting to a new level of absurdity. Now reporters are even qualifying their anonymous sources so you're unsure if they actually are who they won't say they are.

Patient Observer , March 3, 2017 at 3:21 pm
http://www.gocomics.com/frank-and-ernest

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

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WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/

Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT

Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.

Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.

Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.

peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@yeah Nice.

If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".

"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".

Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT

@CCZ

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.

[Jul 09, 2017] Patching It Up With Putin by Patrick J. Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... President Eisenhower did not begin his summit with Nikita Khrushchev by berating him for crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, a more grievous crime then hacking the emails of John Podesta. ..."
"... Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all? ..."
"... Trump would do better to explore where we can work together, as in ending Syria's civil war and averting a new war in Korea. ..."
"... Moreover, when it comes to interference in the internal politics of other nations to bring about "regime change," understandably, Putin might see himself as more sinned against than sinning. ..."
"... Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years. ..."
"... Consider the behavior of post-Cold War America, after Moscow gave up its empire, pulled all its troops out of Europe, let the USSR dissolve into 15 nations and held out a hand in friendship. ..."
"... We gathered all the Warsaw Pact nations and three former Russian Federation republics into a NATO alliance targeted at Russia. We put troops, ships and bases into the Baltic on the doorstep of St. Petersburg. We bombed Russia's old ally Serbia for 78 days, forcing it to surrender its birth province of Kosovo. ..."
"... Among the failings of America's post-Cold War foreign policy elites are hubris, arrogance and an utter absence of that greatest of gifts that the gods can give us ! "to see ourselves as others see us." ..."
"... Can we not see why the Russian people, who saw us as friends in the 1990s, no longer do so, and why Putin, a Russia-First nationalist, has an 80 percent approval rating on the issue of standing up for his country? ..."
"... Trump cannot allow this Beltway obsession with Putin to prevent us from closing, if we can, this breach. If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go? ..."
"... I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story in light of all of the evidence to the contrary including the unexplained murder of Seth Rich and the recent accidental disclosures by CNN executives and pundits that they knew the story was a false one. ..."
"... Trump himself has aptly compared the story to the false "weapons of mass destruction" story used to foment the Iraq war. Bearing in mind that the publisher of the Nazi rag Der Stuermer was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg in 1946 for propaganda, it seems to me that the present media leaders going on about these provably false stories are themselves guilty of war crimes. ..."
"... These Americans, of which you speak, are simply angry that Trump won and are looking for someone to blame because they cannot accept what he stands for to a large portion of the electorate. Foreign powers are of course going to fight, however they can, for the candidate they feel will be the most sympathetic to their interests. For example, Clinton was the preferred candidate for Israel and their efforts showed as much. ..."
"... Claiming that the Russians hacked the election, or meddled, or whatever, is an insult to Trump's supporters and voters. People like Buchanan should choose their words more carefully or they're just playing into the narrative. ..."
"... Finally, to those who follow Russia closely, the idea that it could influence the politics of the world's most powerful nation, while failing to prevent the rise to power of an explicitly hostile government in its next door neighbor with whom it shares millennia of history, is patently absurd. ..."
"... Nukes and credible delivery systems are Kim's insurance policy he saw what happened to leaders like Saddam and Ghadaffi when the failed to go there. ..."
"... There is no credible evidence that the Russians "hacked" our 2016 elections, but there is evidence that DHS did. But even if the Russians did, turnabout is fair play. There is credible evidence HRC's State Department hacked Russian elections in 2012, and there was even a Time Mag cover in the '90s crowing about American influence on Russian elections back then. ..."
"... Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings. I am truly disgusted with this country. ..."
"... If I were the average Russian (or Ukrainian or Pole or German, et al), I'd be far more comfortable with aligning culturally with Putin's Russia than with the "West" of Hollywood and the kosher EU. ..."
"... "Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016." What hacking? Proof? None. ..."
"... Of these the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not an independent intelligence-gathering organization, so that leaves three. Plus, this seems to have been a project run by a handpicked (read: politicized) group of analysts selected from the three agencies instead of independent analysts from three institutions reaching the same conclusion, we actually have just "one group of like-minded people " ..."
"... I'll echo other posters about Pat's mention of the so called "Russian hacking" of the 2016 presidential election. I don't know if Pat truly believes that or if he's throwing the loony left and neo-cons a bone on this for the appearance of objectivity and non-partisanship and/or to gain more appearances on FOX, but the claim has largely been exposed for the fraud that it is. ..."
"... So the claim "Russia hacked the election" boils down to RT posting some stories online unflattering to Hillary. Why is Buchanan participating in this dishonest shell game? ..."
"... . . .Let's begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/computers of the DNC where the alleged hack supposed took place. Instead of insisting that the FBI examine their computers, the DNC turned to a private organization–CrowdStrike. It was CrowdStrike that uncovered the "Russian hacking" of the DNC, and when the DNC refused to allow the FBI access to their servers to see the evidence for themselves, it was CrowdStrike that told the FBI that it was the Russians. ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

President Donald Trump flew off for his first meeting with Vladimir Putin ! with instructions from our foreign policy elite that he get into the Russian president's face over his hacking in the election of 2016.

Hopefully, Trump will ignore these people. For their record of failure is among the reasons Americans elected him to office.

What president, seeking to repair damaged relations with a rival superpower, would begin by reading from an indictment?

President Eisenhower did not begin his summit with Nikita Khrushchev by berating him for crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, a more grievous crime then hacking the emails of John Podesta.

President Kennedy did not let Russia's emplacement of missiles in Cuba in 1962 prevent him from offering an olive branch to Moscow in his widely praised American University address of June 1963.

Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all?

Trump would do better to explore where we can work together, as in ending Syria's civil war and averting a new war in Korea.

Moreover, when it comes to interference in the internal politics of other nations to bring about "regime change," understandably, Putin might see himself as more sinned against than sinning.

Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years.

Consider the behavior of post-Cold War America, after Moscow gave up its empire, pulled all its troops out of Europe, let the USSR dissolve into 15 nations and held out a hand in friendship.

We gathered all the Warsaw Pact nations and three former Russian Federation republics into a NATO alliance targeted at Russia. We put troops, ships and bases into the Baltic on the doorstep of St. Petersburg. We bombed Russia's old ally Serbia for 78 days, forcing it to surrender its birth province of Kosovo.

Among the failings of America's post-Cold War foreign policy elites are hubris, arrogance and an utter absence of that greatest of gifts that the gods can give us ! "to see ourselves as others see us."

Can we not see why the Russian people, who saw us as friends in the 1990s, no longer do so, and why Putin, a Russia-First nationalist, has an 80 percent approval rating on the issue of standing up for his country?

Looking about the world today, do we really need any more crises or quarrels? Do we not have enough on our plate? As the Buddhist saying goes, "Do not dwell in the past concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016. But what was done cannot be undone. And Putin is not going to return Crimea to Kiev, the annexation of which was the most popular action of his long tenure as Russian president.

As D.C.'s immortal Mayor Marion Barry once said to constituents appalled by his latest episode of social misconduct: "Get over it!"

We have other fish to fry.

In Syria and Iraq, where the ISIS caliphate is in its death rattle, Russia and the U.S. both have a vital interest in avoiding any military collision, and in ending the war. This probably means the U.S. demand that Syrian President Assad be removed will have to be shelved.

Consider China. Asked by Trump to squeeze Pyongyang on its nuclear missile program, China increased trade with North Korea 37 percent in the first quarter. The Chinese are now telling us to stop sailing warships within 13 miles of its militarized islets and reefs in a South China Sea that they claim belongs to them, and demanding that we cancel our $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan.

Hong Kong's 7 million people have been told their democratic rights, secured in Great Britain's transfer of the island to China, are no longer guaranteed.

Now China is telling us to capitulate to North Korea's demand for an end to U.S. military maneuvers with South Korea and to remove the THAAD missile system the U.S. has emplaced. And Beijing is imposing sanctions on South Korea for accepting the U.S. missile system.

Meanwhile, the dispute with North Korea is going critical.

If Kim Jong Un is as determined as he appears to be to build an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit Seattle or San Francisco, we will soon be down to either accepting this or exercising a military option that could bring nuclear war.

Trump cannot allow this Beltway obsession with Putin to prevent us from closing, if we can, this breach. If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

exiled off mainstreet > , Show Comment Next New Comment July 7, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

While, as is usual, I agree with Mr. Buchanan's foreign policy views which he again effectively and convincingly expresses, I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story in light of all of the evidence to the contrary including the unexplained murder of Seth Rich and the recent accidental disclosures by CNN executives and pundits that they knew the story was a false one.

Trump himself has aptly compared the story to the false "weapons of mass destruction" story used to foment the Iraq war. Bearing in mind that the publisher of the Nazi rag Der Stuermer was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg in 1946 for propaganda, it seems to me that the present media leaders going on about these provably false stories are themselves guilty of war crimes.

JL, July 7, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016.

These Americans, of which you speak, are simply angry that Trump won and are looking for someone to blame because they cannot accept what he stands for to a large portion of the electorate. Foreign powers are of course going to fight, however they can, for the candidate they feel will be the most sympathetic to their interests. For example, Clinton was the preferred candidate for Israel and their efforts showed as much.

Claiming that the Russians hacked the election, or meddled, or whatever, is an insult to Trump's supporters and voters. People like Buchanan should choose their words more carefully or they're just playing into the narrative.

Besides, if a foreign country really did manage to subvert the US' democracy to such an extent, that speaks volumes about the weakness of the US system, not its adversaries' malicious intents. Finally, to those who follow Russia closely, the idea that it could influence the politics of the world's most powerful nation, while failing to prevent the rise to power of an explicitly hostile government in its next door neighbor with whom it shares millennia of history, is patently absurd.

The Alarmist , July 7, 2017 at 10:36 am GMT

"If Kim Jong Un is as determined as he appears to be to build an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit Seattle or San Francisco, we will soon be down to either accepting this or exercising a military option that could bring nuclear war."

Nukes and credible delivery systems are Kim's insurance policy he saw what happened to leaders like Saddam and Ghadaffi when the failed to go there.

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016. But what was done cannot be undone."

There is no credible evidence that the Russians "hacked" our 2016 elections, but there is evidence that DHS did. But even if the Russians did, turnabout is fair play. There is credible evidence HRC's State Department hacked Russian elections in 2012, and there was even a Time Mag cover in the '90s crowing about American influence on Russian elections back then.

Ludwig Watzal , Website July 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

How come that Pat Buchanan repeats the media lies that the Russians hacked US election? So far, this allegation is fact-free. Has he finally succumbed to the constant lies the corporate media are spreading? He is undoubtedly aware of Nazi-Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels saying: "One must only repeat a lie so long until the people believe it as true."

As the first pictures from this G-20-meeting show, Donald Trump was sidelined by Merkel. Autocrats like the Chinese President, Erdogan, and Russias Putin were standing next to her, Donald Trump has sidelined just before French's Macron.

It's funny that even the US political class regards Merkel as powerful. She is just a Stalinist and a political opportunist who would even sacrifice her loved ones when it would suit her career. The US should not be carried away and blinded by this made-up spin.

nickels, July 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm GMT

Trump and his 'Russia should stop destabilizing Ukraine.'

Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings. I am truly disgusted with this country.

WorkingClass , July 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT

I have always respected Pat Buchanan. But it's time to take away his car keys. The Russians did not hack Podesta. The Podesta files were leaked. Who killed Seth Rich?

Rurik, Website July 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all?

exactly!

... ... ...

If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go?

the irony is that Russia today is far more expressive of the ancient values of the West than the zio-West of Merkel's Germany and Islamic France. Let along the home of Hollywood spiritual sewage spilling out of the ZUSA.

If I were the average Russian (or Ukrainian or Pole or German, et al), I'd be far more comfortable with aligning culturally with Putin's Russia than with the "West" of Hollywood and the kosher EU.

Anon, July 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

I have always respected Pat Buchanan. But it's time to take away his car keys. The Russians did not hack Podesta. The Podesta files were leaked. Who killed Seth Rich?

Yes, that's an odd phrase, particularly as Mr. Buchanan has expressed incredulity at this sort of accusation in the past. Perhaps he simply means that Americans' anger at Russia (which I think he exaggerates; he seems to still believe the media have some actual contact with America) is justified based on their beliefs?

Wally, July 7, 2017 at 10:51 pm GMT

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016." What hacking? Proof? None.

MarkinLA, July 8, 2017 at 4:02 am GMT

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016.

Et Tu Pat? Pat, you are never going to get a network gig again no matter how much sphincter you lick. You know this is bogus.

El Dato, July 8, 2017 at 11:46 am GMT

@MarkinLA NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.

However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman's ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence "assessment was made by four intelligence agencies ! the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."

Of these the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not an independent intelligence-gathering organization, so that leaves three. Plus, this seems to have been a project run by a handpicked (read: politicized) group of analysts selected from the three agencies instead of independent analysts from three institutions reaching the same conclusion, we actually have just "one group of like-minded people "

KenH, July 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT

I'll echo other posters about Pat's mention of the so called "Russian hacking" of the 2016 presidential election. I don't know if Pat truly believes that or if he's throwing the loony left and neo-cons a bone on this for the appearance of objectivity and non-partisanship and/or to gain more appearances on FOX, but the claim has largely been exposed for the fraud that it is.

Let's make no mistake that neo-conservatism, liberal interventionism, Israelphilia and Russophobia rule Washington, D.C. with an iron fist. Any elected leaders who don't play ball quickly find themselves marginalized and under attack. Either Trump was playing us during the campaign with his calls for warmer relations with Russia and a more humble foreign policy or he saw the writing on the wall after taking office and surrendered without a fight.

I think Trump's loyalty to Israel trumps his loyalty to American first principles and that's not good.

Priss Factor , Website July 8, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT

@JL Buchanan has a kneejerk mentality on Russia as the enemy even as he argues for peace and reconciliation.

The formative and crucial period of his life was defined by the cold war.

Bill Jones, July 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT

Paddy seems to take it as given that Russia hacked Podesta, despite the utter lack of evidence.

the raven, July 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

@KenH "Hacked the election" is a weasel phrase. You can go to shitlib sites and plenty of them think that Putin changed votes by hacking voting machines. Of course, this hasn't been alleged, let alone proved. The dishonest pundits using that phrase can claim they meant that Putin hacked the DNC emails. There's also no evidence for this, but it's hard to prove or disprove (but given that Podesta fell for a phishing scam, it could have been done by a 15 year old anywhere in the world). The only thing they can credibly claim is that Russia "interfered" in the US elections by their state media posting articles that the CIA disagrees with.

So the claim "Russia hacked the election" boils down to RT posting some stories online unflattering to Hillary. Why is Buchanan participating in this dishonest shell game?

Don Bacon, July 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

from the web– No, The Russians Did Not Meddle in Our Election by Publius Tacitus

. . .Let's begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/computers of the DNC where the alleged hack supposed took place. Instead of insisting that the FBI examine their computers, the DNC turned to a private organization–CrowdStrike.
It was CrowdStrike that uncovered the "Russian hacking" of the DNC, and when the DNC refused to allow the FBI access to their servers to see the evidence for themselves, it was CrowdStrike that told the FBI that it was the Russians.

Here's the problem with this: CrowdStrike's reputation is currently unraveling. Why? It seems that CrowdStrike is as politically motivated as everyone else in Washington, D.C. The company is itself an opponent of Vladimir Putin and Russia and was recently caught fabricating a report that attempted to blame Russian hacking for problems with Urkainian military technology. . .

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/no-the-russians-did-not-meddle-in-our-election-by-publius-tacitus.html

fuzzy, July 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT

Hacked the election? How exactly? Go talk to Mr. Binney about it.

Avery, July 8, 2017 at 7:16 pm GMT

@MarkinLA { . no matter how much sphincter you lick.}

Brutal dude, brutal.

( ..well, I guess Pat asked for it: regurgitating unadulterated B____S____, to presumably appear 'balanced'.).

Bill Jones, July 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm GMT

This is worth a read

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/09/remarks-president-trump-regulatory-relief

The True and Original David, July 9, 2017 at 8:35 am GMT

@Ludwig Watzal Pat is an old USA conservative. The style of old USA conservatives is agree with the opponent on all essentials of fact and value then remonstrate defensively. Perfect example: "Yes, Putin hacked, but we have bigger fish to fry."

USA liberals were called "knee-jerkers," that is people whose liberal reaction is so automatic it is brain-free. But old USA conservatives also have their "knee-jerk": this is accepting the opponent's premises then quibbling.

"You're a racist!" "No, I'm certainly not, I swear."

"America is sexist!" "We are doing better lately. Salaries for women are showing progress."

"Putin hacked!" "Yes he did, but there are bigger fish to fry."

An old USA conservative would consider such replies as "fighting back"; but they are only whiny protests in response to blows.

The old USA conservative style is dated and being replaced by styles more adversarial. Pat the man is a decent guy and I wish him well.

Mr. Hack, July 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years.

Buchanan here exhibits his supericial knowledge of Ukrainian/Russian history. Large swaths of Ukrainian territory never were under Russian hegemony until the middle part of the 20th century, but were part and and parcel of other European states including the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Hapsburg Empire. Also, insinuating that Trump need to cower in front of Putin during a hypothetical question and answer series regarding some sort of U.S. directed plot against Russia in Ukraine is also based on fluff and inuendo, and he should know better. Any 'cookies and milk' support offered to Ukrainian patriots who paid for their new found freedom by sacrificing their lives came long after altercations had already started on the Maidan. American ingenuity could not have created a protest movement of this scope and magnitude, and Buchanan should know better:

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016."

Pat,

You are just echoing and lending credence to the news media, including Fox News as well as the power elite. This is not the first time you have done this.
I fail to understand why anyone would believe anything the security(spy) agencies promote. They are incessant liars, as is most of our government. People should never take anything our government says at face value .always demand proof.

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet " . I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story ."

Exactly

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT

@nickels Trump and his 'Russia should stop destabilizing Ukraine.'
Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings.
I am truly disgusted with this country. "I am truly disgusted with this country."

Rightly so.

[Jul 08, 2017] Russiagate The Stink Without a Secret by Craig Murray

Neoliberal presstitutes are now completely discredited. This is just another Iraq WDM case. But people soon forgot about Iraq WDM thing. None of pressitutute went to jail for misinforming the public.
Notable quotes:
"... After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged. ..."
"... As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again. ..."
"... The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download. ..."
"... So those "17 agencies" are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia's security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place? ..."
"... Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks"Vault 7" leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation. ..."
"... Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which "had hacked" the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited. ..."
"... Some of the more crazed "Russiagate" allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah. ..."
"... The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there. ..."
"... Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. ..."
Jul 08, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged.

I do not support Donald Trump. I do support truth. There is much about Trump that I dislike intensely. Neither do I support the neo-liberal political establishment in the USA. The latter's control of the mainstream media, and cunning manipulation of identity politics, seeks to portray the neo-liberal establishment as the heroes of decent values against Trump. Sadly, the idea that the neo-liberal establishment embodies decent values is completely untrue.

Truth disappeared so long ago in this witch-hunt that it is no longer even possible to define what the accusation is. Belief in "Russian hacking" of the US election has been elevated to a generic accusation of undefined wrongdoing, a vague malaise we are told is floating poisonously in the ether, but we are not allowed to analyze. What did the Russians actually do?

The original, base accusation is that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. (I can assure you that is untrue).

The authenticity of those emails is not in question. What they revealed of cheating by the Democratic establishment in biasing the primaries against Bernie Sanders, led to the forced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. They also led to the resignation from CNN of Donna Brazile, who had passed debate questions in advance to Clinton. Those are facts. They actually happened. Let us hold on to those facts, as we surf through lies. There was other nasty Clinton Foundation and cash for access stuff in the emails, but we do not even need to go there for the purpose of this argument.

The original "Russian hacking" allegation was that it was the Russians who nefariously obtained these damning emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. The "evidence" for this was twofold. A report from private cyber security firm Crowdstrike claimed that metadata showed that the hackers had left behind clues, including the name of the founder of the Soviet security services. The second piece of evidence was that a blogger named Guccifer2 and a website called DNCLeaks appeared to have access to some of the material around the same time that WikiLeaks did, and that Guccifer2 could be Russian.

That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual "evidence" of Russian hacking. I won't say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than "Russian hacking" being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney , former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails traveled over the Internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn't one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SqIY8KvuoJo

The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download.

Not actually examining the obvious evidence has been a key tool in keeping the "Russian hacking" meme going. On 24 May the Guardian reported triumphantly , following the Washington Post, that

"Fox News falsely alleged federal authorities had found thousands of emails between Rich and WikiLeaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich's laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI."

It evidently did not occur to the Guardian as troubling, that those pretending to be investigating the murder of Seth Rich have not looked at his laptop.

There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake "Russian crime", while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks. WikiLeaks The clue is in the name.

So those "17 agencies" are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia's security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place?

Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks"Vault 7" leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation.

Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which "had hacked" the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited.

Some of the more crazed "Russiagate" allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah.

Given there is no hacking in the Russian hacking story, the charges have moved wider into a vague miasma of McCarthyite anti-Russian hysteria. Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?

Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us. As are the Clintons and the owners of the mainstream media who are stoking up the anti-Russian hysteria. It is all good for their armaments industry interests, in both Washington and Moscow.

Trump's judgment is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.

The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there.

Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. I remain positive that the movement Bernie Sanders started will bring a new dawn to America in the next few years. That depends on political campaigning by people on the ground and on social media. Leveraging falsehoods and cold war hysteria through mainstream media in an effort to somehow get Clinton back to power is not a viable alternative. It is a fantasy and even were it practical, I would not want it to succeed.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster, human rights activist, and former diplomat. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. The article is reprinted with permission from his website .

Read more by Craig Murray

[Jul 07, 2017] 'RussiaGate' Alone Isn't Going to Put Progressives Back in Power

Notable quotes:
"... In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift. ..."
"... "We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like." ..."
"... John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus and the author of the dystopian novel Splinterlands . ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | fpif.org
John Feffer ,

June 28, 2017 .

Shortly after Democrat Jon Ossoff lost a close race in Georgia this month, Democrats began to speak up about the electoral implications of RussiaGate. Reports The Hill :

In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift.

"We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like."

At one level, this same debate recurs every election cycle - do people care more about foreign policy questions or pocketbook issues? The answer is almost always: the economy. At another level, the debate is about whether Trump's unpopularity can be used against him. It's another enduring debate: take advantage of the incumbent's negatives or field a positive alternative? As the 2004 and 2012 election results suggest, the opposition has to offer something intrinsically appealing or risk defeat.

... ... ...

According to the triple backlash argument , Trump benefited from a worldwide rejection of [neo]liberalism: economically, politically, and culturally. Large sections of the United States that didn't benefit from economic globalization watched the disappearance of well-paying jobs from the Rust Belt, rural areas and small towns, and certain big cities.

These residents of America B blamed politicians from both parties for pushing economic reforms that shifted wealth upward and out of their communities. And they also blamed a range of "others" for what was wrong with the country: immigrants, people of color, social liberals. This economic-political-cultural backlash prepared the ground for a political outsider with an anti-immigrant agenda and a promise to revive America's sunset industries.

The triple hack argument is much more focused. Trump "hacked" the system in three important ways, exploiting vulnerabilities to gain his narrow win.

The first hack was of the Electoral College. Trump didn't care about the popular vote. He knew that he could write off large swathes of the American electorate and concentrate his forces in a few swing states. So, for instance, the campaign pulled resources out of Virginia, an otherwise important state for Republicans to win, to focus on the Midwest.

The second hack was the news media. The Trump campaign exploited the mainstream media's fascination with the outrageous by constantly feeding it new outrages. It also generated a spate of "fake news" about Hillary Clinton that it distributed on the margins, in places like Breitbart News and through social media like Facebook and Trump's own Twitter account. Here, Russian journalists and trolls played a role, though probably not a pivotal one.

Finally, the campaign hacked Facebook in two critical ways. It poured money into an advertising campaign tailored to the preferences of over 200 million Americans contained in ... ... ...

The investigation into Russian meddling in the American election has inevitably acquired a partisan taint. The Democrats have used it to question the legitimacy of the election and of the Trump administration more generally. Trump and the Republicans have accused their detractors of conducting a witch-hunt.

... a supposed effort to "demonize" Vladimir Putin as part of a campaign to revive Cold War tensions between Washington and Moscow.

... ... ...

Donald Trump has an answer for the crisis of liberalism and the triple backlash that produced his electoral victory.

He's challenged the existing global economy by pulling the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership and has promised to tear up - or significantly renegotiate - a number of other trade deals. He's challenged the liberal administrative state by attempting to gut social welfare and the government regulatory apparatus across the board. He's challenged liberal norms of inclusion with his travel ban, an anti-immigrant crusade, and other policies that will adversely affect women, people of color, and the LGBT community

... ... ...

Russia versus jobs is in some ways a false dichotomy. Progressives have to devise a comprehensive alternative that responds to both the challenge of Russia and the failures of liberalism. If we don't, we'll not only lose the mid-terms and the next presidential election in the United States. We'll lose the planet. John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus and the author of the dystopian novel Splinterlands .

[Jul 06, 2017] DNC Fraud Lawsuit is the Biggest Story in Politics that No One is Talking About

Notable quotes:
"... Chairperson, the designated Vice Chair as provided for in Article Two, Section 12(b) of the Bylaws, or the next highest ranking officer of the National Committee present at the meeting shall preside. Section 4. The National Chairperson shall serve full time and shall receive such compensation asmay be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee. In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process. ..."
Jul 06, 2017 | www.msn.com
In June of 2016 Jared and Elizabeth Beck filed a lawsuit in Florida against the DNC, (Wilding v.s. DNC Services Corporation) known mostly online as the #DNCFRAUDLAWSUIT. The case has slowly wound its way through the courts but has picked up steam in 2017 as court transcripts and allegations of intimidation have become public.

The plaintiffs have filed a class action suit on behalf of three classes of people, arguing that the DNC must return all donations given in the 2016 cycle to Bernie Sanders Donors, DNC Donors and Democrats in general. Why? They claim the DNC defrauded donors in the 2016 primary by failing to remain neutral during the contest. Article 5 section 4 of the DNC bylaws state s:

CHARTER

Chairperson, the designated Vice Chair as provided for in Article Two, Section 12(b) of the Bylaws, or the next highest ranking officer of the National Committee present at the meeting shall preside. Section 4. The National Chairperson shall serve full time and shall receive such compensation asmay be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee. In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.

Beck and Beck cite the hacked emails from Wikileaks as evidence of Democratic Party leaders tampering with the primary process.

[Jul 01, 2017] Gaius Publius An Investigation in Search of a Crime by Gaius Publius

Notable quotes:
"... http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hayes_drussiafakenews_170627 ..."
"... Start at 2:25. Chris Hayes to Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" Note Swalwell's carefully phrased non-answers, as well as Hayes' seeming failure to know that not registering is a very common practice. (If video doesn't play in your browser, go here and listen, again starting at 2:25.) ..."
"... The big story is that these chicken-little stories all seam to serve as cover for the bought-and-paid for chicken little politicians ..while those elected politicians who give a damp about their office and those they represent are sidelined. ..."
"... And why do you thing tyrants, despots, emirs and dictators generously donated so much to the phoney Foundation? Because they wanted to further its good works, just like the Saudis are very worried about AIDS prevention? No, they wanted to buy influence. And Clinton gave them what they wanted. And why did these same tyrants, despots, emits and dictators stop donating once Clinton lost? Because she could no longer deliver. ..."
"... Corruption in high places is the norm. It is childish, all this virtue signaling. I would respect the sore losers more if they were honest they want to put Obama in as President for Life the US is Haiti now. Or the Kissinger faction of the MIC could install one of our TV generals as our version of Gen. Pinochet. ..."
"... It was the filthy Clintonites who gave us Trump to begin with. ..."
"... No doubt plenty of insulating layers if money-laundering took place via real estate, though its worth plumbing those depths. But given Trump appointees' soft-ball approach to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, I'd guess that's an arena well worth the time of journalists, insulating layers or not. I recall Sheldon Adelson's disdain for the FCPA likely increasing his fervor to dump Democrats. ..."
"... as I keep reminding people, you can turn on the spigot of MacCarthyism, and you may think that you can turn off that spigot, but you can't. In the case of Joe MacCarthy himself, it didn't truly end till about the time of his premature death from alcoholism. ..."
"... One aspect of the now-thoroughly-rotten system in the U S of A is the constant contesting of election results. As Lambert Strether keeps writing, the electronic voting machines are a black hole, and both parties have been engaged in debasing the vote and diminishing the size of the electorate. The gravamen in both parties is that the voters don't know what they are doing and the ballots aren't being counted properly. Maybe we can do something about that ..."
"... This is an implicit warning about impeachment. I interpret this as a recommendation to vigorously oppose Trump's actions over the next three and a half years, and to effectively campaign against him in 2020. Trump really is a terrible President, but Mike Pence would be terrible, too. And so would Hillary Clinton, but I hope we won't have to worry about her any more. ..."
"... In case you're wondering why I think that Trump is a terrible President, here's a short summary: ..."
"... None of the left-leaning writers who have been pooh-poohing the Russia investigation* have demonstrated a working knowledge of counterintelligence. I've also noticed that they correlate a lack of publicly-known evidence to an actual absence of evidence, which is the purview of the investigation. Investigators will be holding any evidence they discover close to their vests for obvious reasons, but even more so in this case because some of the evidence will have origins where sources and methods will statutorily need to be concealed. ..."
"... If they had anything concrete on Trump we've have heard about it by now. The spooks have been leaking for months – they aren't going to suddenly clam up if they've discovered something that's actually a crime. ..."
"... Until someone presents actual evidence, this investigation is nothing more than Democrat payback for Benghazi, which itself was a BS investigation in search of a crime that went on for years. Unfortunately for sHillary, a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while and they did manage to uncover actual criminality in her case (and brushed it right under the rug). ..."
"... Russia disseminates propaganda that (it hopes) will sway the American election in a direction more favorable to their interests! ..."
"... This is what gets me. We're supposed to me a great power, and we're going nuts on this stuff. It's like an elephant panicking at the sight of a mouse. The political class has lost its grip entirely. ..."
"... How sad, then, that the Pied Piper email showed that the Clinton campaign wanted Trump for their opponent. Or Was she ..."
"... OK, so you are saying that we should trust the word of anonymous leakers from the intelligence community, that is, anonymous leaks from a pack of proven perjurers, torturers, and entrapment artists, all on the basis of supposed evidence that we are not allowed to see. ..."
"... For that matter, how do we know the leakers even exist? When some media outlet wants to publish some made-up story, they can just attribute it to an anonymous source. ..."
"... As Constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz pointed out, the DOJ reports to the President. Trump was completely within his authority to give instructions to Comey and fire him. Dershowitz also points out Trump can pardon anyone, including himself. But Trump doesn't read and oddly no one seems to have clued him in on what Dershowitz has said. ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
...Gaius quotes Matt Taibbi's line of thought that the relentless Trump investigations will eventually turn up something, most likely money laundering. However, it's not clear that that can be pinned on Trump. For real estate transactions, it is the bank, not the property owner, that is responsible for anti-money-laundering checks. So unless Trump was accepting cash or other payment outside the banking system, it's going to be hard to make that stick. The one area where he could be vulnerable is his casinos. However, if I read this history of his casinos correctly, Trump could have been pretty much out of that business since 1995 via putting the casinos in a public entity (although he could have continued to collect fees as a manager). Wikipedia hedges its bets and says Trump has been out of the picture since at least 2011 . He only gets licensing fees and has nada to do with management and operations. So even if Trump got dirty money, and in particular dirty Russian money, it's hard to see how that begins to translate into influence over his Presidency, particularly since any such shady activity took place before Trump was even semi-seriously considering a Presidential bid.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hayes_drussiafakenews_170627

Start at 2:25. Chris Hayes to Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" Note Swalwell's carefully phrased non-answers, as well as Hayes' seeming failure to know that not registering is a very common practice. (If video doesn't play in your browser, go here and listen, again starting at 2:25.)

"And most pitiful of all that I heard was the voice of the daughter of Priam, of Cassandra" - Homer, The Odyssey , Book 11 PRIAM: What noise, what shriek is this?
TROILUS: 'Tis our mad sister; I do know her voice.
It is Cassandra.
-Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida , Act II, scene 2 "I'll be your Cassandra this week." -Yours truly

So much of this story is hidden from view, and so much of the past has to be erased to conform to what's presently painted as true.

Example of the latter: Did you remember that Robert Mueller and Bush's FBI were behind the highly suspicious (and likely covered-up) 2001 anthrax investigation - Robert Mueller, today's man of absolute integrity? Did you remember that James Comey was the man behind the destruction of the mind of Jose Padilla , just so that Bush could have a terrorist he could point to having caught - James Comey, today's man of doing always what's right? If you forgot all that in the rush to canonize them, don't count on the media to remind you - they have another purpose .

Yes, I'll be your Cassandra this week, the one destined not to be believed . To what do I refer? Read on.

How Many Foreign Agents Register as Foreign Agents? A Number Far Smaller Than "All"

Today let's look at one of the original sins pointed to by those trying to take down Trump, leaving entirely aside whether Trump needs taking down (which he does). That sin - Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort's failing to register as "foreign agents" (of Turkey and Ukraine, respectively, not Russia) until very after the fact.

See the Chris Hayes video at the top for Hayes' question to Rep. Eric Swalwell about that. Hayes to Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" What Swalwell should have answered: "Almost forever by modern American practice."

Jonathan Marshall, writing at investigative journalist Robert Parry's Consortium News, has this to say about the current crop of unregistered foreign agents (my emphasis throughout):

The Open Secret of Foreign Lobbying

The alleged hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign's emails and the numerous contacts of Donald Trump's circle with Russian officials, oligarchs and mobsters have triggered any number of investigations into Moscow's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 election and the new administration .

In contrast, as journalist Robert Parry recently noted , American politicians and the media have been notably silent about other examples of foreign interference in U.S. national politics. In part that's because supporters of more successful foreign pressure groups have enough clout to downplay or deny their very existence . In part it's also because America's political system is so riddled with big money that jaded insiders rarely question the status quo of influence peddling by other nations .

The subject of his discussion is the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Under the Act, failure to properly register carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Marshall notes that while the influence of foreign agents was of great national concern during World War I and World War II, very little is done today to require or enforce FARA registration:

Since the end of World War II, however, enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act has been notably lax. Its effectiveness has been stymied by political resistance from lobby supporters as well as by the law's many loopholes - including Justice Department's admission that FARA "does not authorize the government to inspect records of those not registered under the Act."

A 2016 audit by the inspector general of the Department of Justice determined that half of FARA registrations and 62 percent of initial registrations were filed late , and 15 percent of registrants simply stopped filing for periods of six months or more. It also determined that the Department of Justice brought only seven criminal cases under FARA from 1966 to 2015, and filed no civil injunctions since 1991 .

The result - almost no one registers who doesn't want to.

Here's Russia-savvy Matt Taibbi , who is looking at the whole Russia-Trump investigation and wonders what's being investigated. Note his comments about FARA at the end of this quote:

When James Comey was fired I didn't know what to think, because so much of this story is still hidden from view .

Certainly firing an FBI director who has announced the existence of an investigation targeting your campaign is going to be improper in almost every case. And in his post-firing rants about tapes and loyalty, President Trump validated every criticism of him as an impetuous, unstable, unfit executive who additionally is ignorant of the law and lunges for authoritarian solutions in a crisis.

But it's our job in the media to be bothered by little details, and the strange timeline of the Trump-Russia investigation qualifies as a conspicuous loose end.

[So] What exactly is the FBI investigating? Why was it kept secret from other intelligence chiefs, if that's what happened? That matters, if we're trying to gauge what happened last week.

Is it a FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) case involving former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or a lower-level knucklehead like Carter Page?

Since FARA is violated more or less daily in Washington and largely ignored by authorities unless it involves someone without political connections (an awful lot of important people in Washington who appear to be making fortunes lobbying for foreign countries are merely engaged in "litigation support," if you ask them), it would be somewhat anticlimactic to find out that this was the alleged crime underlying our current white-hot constitutional crisis.

Is it something more serious than a FARA case, like money-laundering for instance, involving someone higher up in the Trump campaign? That would indeed be disturbing, and it would surely be improper – possibly even impeachable, depending upon what exactly happened behind the scenes – for Trump to get in the way of such a case playing itself out.

But even a case like that would be very different from espionage and treason . Gutting a money-laundering case involving a campaign staffer would be more like garden-variety corruption than the cloak-and-dagger nightmares currently consuming the popular imagination.

Sticking narrowly with FARA for the moment, if this were just a FARA case, it would be more than "somewhat anticlimactic to find out that this was the alleged crime underlying our current white-hot constitutional crisis." It would be, not to put to fine a point on it, highly indicative that something else is going on, that other hands are involved, just as the highly suspicious circumstances around the takedown of Eliot Spitzer indicate the presence of other hands and other actors.

My best guess, for what it's worth, is that Trump-Russia will devolve into a money-laundering case, and if it does, Trump will likely survive it, since so many others in the big money world do the same thing. But let's stick with unregistered foreign agents a bit longer.

John McCain, Randy Scheuneman and the Nation of Georgia

Do you remember the 2008 story about McCain advisor Randy Scheunemann, who claimed he no longer represented the nation of Georgia while advising the McCain campaign, even though his small (two-person) firm still retained their business?

And all this while McCain himself was trying to gin up a war between Georgia and Russia that he would benefit from politically :

In the current [2008] crisis, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia fell into a Soviet trap by moving troops into the disputed territory of South Ossetia and raining artillery and rocket fire on the South Ossetian capital city of Tskhinvali, with a still undetermined loss of civilian life. As in 1956, the Soviets responded with overwhelming force and additional loss of life. Once again the United States could offer only words, not concrete aid to the Georgians.

It is difficult to believe that, like the Hungarians in 1956, the Georgians in 2008 could have taken such action without believing that they could expect support from the United States . Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denies that the Bush administration was the agent provocateur in Georgia. To the contrary, a State Department source said that she explicitly warned President Saakashvili in July to avoid provoking Russia.

If this information is correct, then, by inference, John McCain emerges as the most likely suspect as agent provocateur . First, McCain had a unique and privileged pipeline to President Saakashvili (shown to the right in the photo to the right). McCain's top foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, was a partner in a two-man firm that served as a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government . Scheunemann continued receiving compensation from the firm until the McCain campaign imposed new restrictions on lobbyists in mid-May. Scheunemann reportedly helped arrange a telephone conversation between McCain and Saakashvili on April 17 of this year, while he was still being paid by Georgia...

McCain has benefited politically from the crisis in Georgia. McCain's swift and belligerent response to the Soviet actions in Georgia has bolstered his shaky standing with the right-wing of the Republican Party. McCain has also used the Georgian situation to assert his credentials as the hardened warrior ready to do battle against a resurgent Russia. He has pointedly contrasted his foreign policy experience with that of his Democratic opponent Barack Obama. Since the crisis erupted, McCain has focused like a laser on Georgia, to great effect . According to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released on August 19 he has gained four points on Obama since their last poll in mid-July and leads his rival by a two to one margin as the candidate best qualified to deal with Russia.

Was Scheunemann a paid lobbyist for Georgia at the time of these events? He says no. Others aren't so sure :

Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal-leaning watchdog group, said Scheunemann still has a conflict of interest because his small firm continues to represent foreign clients. The records that show Scheunemann ceased representing foreign countries as of March 1 also show his partner, Michael Mitchell, remains registered to represent the three nations. Mitchell said Tuesday that Scheunemann no longer has any role with Orion Strategies but declined to say whether Scheunemann still is receiving income or profits from the firm .

If almost no one registers under FARA who doesn't want to, what's the crime if Flynn didn't register? The answer seems to be, because he's Trump appointee Michael Flynn, and FARA is a stick his enemies can beat him with, while they're looking for something better.

The fact that FARA is a stick almost no one is beaten with, matters not at all, it seems. Not to Democratic politicians and appointees; and not to many journalists either.

An Investigation in Search of a Crime

Questioning the Michael Flynn investigation leads us (and Matt Taibbi) down a further rabbit hole, which includes two questions: what's being investigated, and how did this investigation start?

Short answer to the first question - no one knows, since unlike the Watergate break-in, this whole effort didn't start with a crime that needed investigating. It seems to have started with an investigation (how to get rid of Trump) in search of a crime. And one that still hasn't found evidence of one.

Journalist Robert Parry, who himself was a key Iran-Contra investigator, makes the same point :

In Watergate , five burglars were caught inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972, as they sought to plant more bugs on Democratic phones. (An earlier break-in in May had installed two bugs, but one didn't work.) Nixon then proceeded to mount a cover-up of his 1972 campaign's role in funding the break-in and other abuses of power.

In Iran-Contra , Reagan secretly authorized weapons sales to Iran, which was then designated a terrorist state, without informing Congress, a violation of the Arms Export Control Act. He also kept Congress in the dark about his belated signing of a related intelligence "finding." And the creation of slush funds to finance the Nicaraguan Contras represented an evasion of the U.S. Constitution.

There was also the attendant Iran-Contra cover-up mounted both by the Reagan White House and later the George H.W. Bush White House, which culminated in Bush's Christmas Eve 1992 pardons of six Iran-Contra defendants as special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was zeroing in on possible indictment of Bush for withholding evidence.

By contrast , Russia-gate has been a "scandal" in search of a specific crime. President Barack Obama's intelligence chieftains have alleged – without presenting any clear evidence – that the Russian government hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta and released those emails via WikiLeaks and other Internet sites. (The Russians and WikiLeaks have both denied the accusations.)

The DNC emails revealed that senior Democrats did not maintain their required independence regarding the primaries by seeking to hurt Sen. Bernie Sanders and help Clinton. The Podesta emails pulled back the curtain on Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street banks and on pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.

Hacking into personal computers is a crime, but the U.S. government has yet to bring any formal charges against specific individuals supposedly responsible for the hacking of the Democratic emails. There also has been no evidence that Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russians in the hacking.

Lacking any precise evidence of this cyber-crime or of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign, Obama's Justice Department holdovers and now special prosecutor Robert Mueller have sought to build "process crimes," around false statements to investigators and possible obstruction of justice.

I've yet to see actual evidence of an underlying crime - lots of smoke, which is fine as a starting point, but no fire, even after months of looking (and months of official leaking about every damning thing in sight). This makes the current investigation strongly reminiscent of the Whitewater investigation, another case of Alice (sorry, Ken Starr) jumping into every hole she could find looking for a route to Wonderland. Ken Starr finally found one, perjury about a blow job. Will Mueller find something more incriminating? He's still looking too.

Note that none of this means Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of . It just means that how he's gotten rid of matters. (As you ponder this, consider what you think would be fair to do to a Democratic president. I guarantee what happens to Trump will be repeated.)

What Was the Sally Yates Accusation Against Flynn Really About?

Short answer to the second question of my two "further rabbit hole" questions - How did this investigation start? - may be the Sally Yates accusation that Flynn was someone who could be blackmailed.

Here's Parry on that (same link):

In the case of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, acting Attorney General Sally Yates used the archaic Logan Act of 1799 to create a predicate for the FBI to interrogate Flynn about a Dec. 29, 2016 conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, i.e., after Trump's election but before the Inauguration .

Green Party leader Jill Stein and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn attending a dinner marking the RT network's 10-year anniversary in Moscow, December 2015, sitting at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Logan Act, which has never resulted in a prosecution in 218 years , was enacted during the period of the Alien and Sedition Acts to bar private citizens from negotiating on their own with foreign governments. It was never intended to apply to a national security adviser of an elected President, albeit before he was sworn in.

But it became the predicate for the FBI interrogation - and the FBI agents were armed with a transcript of the intercepted Kislyak-Flynn phone call so they could catch Flynn on any gaps in his recollection, which might have been made even hazier because he was on vacation in the Dominican Republic when Kislyak called.

Yates also concocted a bizarre argument that the discrepancies between Flynn's account of the call and the transcript left him open to Russian blackmail although how that would work – since the Russians surely assumed that Kislyak's calls would be monitored by U.S. intelligence and thus offered them no leverage with Flynn – was never explained.

Still, Flynn's failure to recount the phone call precisely and the controversy stirred up around it became the basis for an obstruction of justice investigation of Flynn and led to President Trump's firing Flynn on Feb. 13.

Do I need, Cassandra-like, to say this again? None of this means that Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of . It just means that how he's gotten rid of matters.

"So Much of the Story Is Still Hidden From View"

I'm not taking Robert Parry as the final word on this, but he's one word on this, and his word isn't nothing. If we were looking down rabbit holes for the source of this investigation, for where all this anti-Trump action started, I don't think Yates' concerns are where it begins.

I think this story starts well before Trump took office , a rabbit hole I don't want to jump into yet, but one with John Brennan 's and James Clapper 's fingerprints - Obama's CIA director, Obama's DNI - all over it. Models of honesty all.

What's down that hole? Who knows.

What I do know is that Manafort and Flynn not registering as foreign agents puts them squarely in the mainstream of Washington political practice. The fact that these are suddenly crimes of the century makes me just a tad suspicious that, in Matt Taibbi's words, "so much of this story is still hidden from view."

I warned you - I'll be your Cassandra this week. crime

TomDority , June 30, 2017 at 6:50 am

I would think that a crime in search of an investigation would be Clinton's private server while at state and, the tie in thru the Clinton foundation .just saying.

The big story is that these chicken-little stories all seam to serve as cover for the bought-and-paid for chicken little politicians ..while those elected politicians who give a damp about their office and those they represent are sidelined.

Ed , June 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

While some might think there is some tie in with donations to the Clinton Foundation and favors granted by the political wing of the Clinton Conglomerate and the sudden dissolution of said donations after the toppling of Dame Clinton by Der Trumpf it appears all such talk originates in the fever swamp of the right wing echo chamber and it's shot caller the GRU.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Oh, what a load of bullcrap!

Present us evidence that the GRU has any influence, much less is the "shot-caller" with respect to the "right-wing echo chamber".

And why do you thing tyrants, despots, emirs and dictators generously donated so much to the phoney Foundation? Because they wanted to further its good works, just like the Saudis are very worried about AIDS prevention? No, they wanted to buy influence. And Clinton gave them what they wanted. And why did these same tyrants, despots, emits and dictators stop donating once Clinton lost? Because she could no longer deliver.

different clue , June 30, 2017 at 9:12 pm

I cannot tell if Ed's comment is straight or satire or snarcasm or what. The internet is a poor place to try such things.

I am going to take it as a straight comment. The Clintons have been grooming Chelsea for public office and will try desperately to get her elected to something somewhere. That way, they will still have influence to peddle and their Family of Foundations will still be worth something.

I hope Chelsea's wanna-have political career is strangled in the cradle. And hosed down with napalm and incinerated down to some windblown ashes.

Thor's Hammer , June 30, 2017 at 9:35 am

That investigation has been firmly crammed down the rabbit hole and cemented over.

If it had taken place in a nation where laws meant anything it would have likely disclosed:

  • Clinton set up a private computer server center to control the information about her background, financial dealings, and political arrangements while serving as Secretary of State in the Obama administration.
  • Obama was aware of the arrangement
  • Clinton transferred classified and top secrete documents to her private server. This is by definition theft.
  • Clinton defied subpoenas, refused to turn over documents, and destroyed evidence. This is by definition obstruction of justice.
  • In spite of being informed that the server was not secure, Clinton placed classified and sensitive national security information on the server. This is equivalent to printing the same documents on paper and walking through Central Park throwing them at the squirrels. And it fits the legal definition of treason.
  • Failure to prosecute Clinton is graphic proof that the US is not a nation of laws, but rather one where power, bribes and influence peddling determine who the law applies to.
Disturbed Voter , June 30, 2017 at 7:09 am

Corruption in high places is the norm. It is childish, all this virtue signaling. I would respect the sore losers more if they were honest they want to put Obama in as President for Life the US is Haiti now. Or the Kissinger faction of the MIC could install one of our TV generals as our version of Gen. Pinochet.

RenoDino , June 30, 2017 at 8:16 am

"None of this means that Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of."

I guess this means, he needs to go, but not this way. This way is anti-democratic. But isn't that the point?

Carolinian , June 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

Did Obama "deserve getting rid of"? Oh heck yes. You pays your money and you makes your choice. Next chance: 2020.

Crazy Horse , June 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Since he won't be impeached, I assume Gaius meant Trump should be assassinated? In the USA every four years we have the opportunity to battle over the control of voting machine software, voter disqualification and hanging chads. But if we want to change Presidents in mid-stream the traditional method is to have them shot.

different clue , June 30, 2017 at 9:15 pm

It was the filthy Clintonites who gave us Trump to begin with. Let Trump be smeared all over their face and shoved way deep up their noses till 2020. And if the Clintonite scum give us another Clintonite nominee in 2020, then let Trump be elected all over again. I'll vote for that.

Alice X , June 30, 2017 at 8:17 am

As regards the 2008 Georgian situation discussed here, Russia seems to have been referred to as Soviet . Twice. This happened for some years in the '90s but it is rather late to do so these days. Maybe I misunderstood something?

Vatch , June 30, 2017 at 9:50 am

You did not misunderstand; yes, the author of that article was sloppy. He was switching back and forth between events of 1956 and 2008, and he failed to adequately proofread what he wrote about 2008.

Skip in DC , June 30, 2017 at 8:39 am

Gaius offers a realistic and well-put caution for Democrats and journalists taking their eye off the ball of the Mnuchin crowd.

I've a good friend who's exasperated when I utter such blasphemies, asking how I could have missed the constant swell of opinion by Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Meadow, etc

When I reply that prospects outside the courts of comedians and MSNBC infotainment pundits goosing their base are different – and I'm not so sure I'd prefer a less crass and crazed President Pence armed with Trumpster strategies – I'm asked "But what about justice?!!!"

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

No doubt plenty of insulating layers if money-laundering took place via real estate, though its worth plumbing those depths. But given Trump appointees' soft-ball approach to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, I'd guess that's an arena well worth the time of journalists, insulating layers or not. I recall Sheldon Adelson's disdain for the FCPA likely increasing his fervor to dump Democrats.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm

The right-on set ask "What about justice?"

Hell, let's see some evidence before we proceed to the sentence and verdict.

TheCatSaid , June 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm

And let's apply the justice to everyone , not just the "enemy camp" of whoever happens to be speaking.

And let's apply justice to those at the top first. Only after cleaning out all the top, most privileged layers, then the layers beneath them, should justice be applied to those at the bottom socio-economic layers. IOW, the opposite of the strategy we've seen applied over most of our history in many or most places.

DJG , June 30, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yves Smith: Thanks for this. Astute observations. And as I keep reminding people, you can turn on the spigot of MacCarthyism, and you may think that you can turn off that spigot, but you can't. In the case of Joe MacCarthy himself, it didn't truly end till about the time of his premature death from alcoholism.

Hence the observation above in the posting that the rightwingers will pull out the same techniques if a Democrat wins the next election.

One aspect of the now-thoroughly-rotten system in the U S of A is the constant contesting of election results. As Lambert Strether keeps writing, the electronic voting machines are a black hole, and both parties have been engaged in debasing the vote and diminishing the size of the electorate. The gravamen in both parties is that the voters don't know what they are doing and the ballots aren't being counted properly. Maybe we can do something about that

Crazy Horse , June 30, 2017 at 9:49 am

Perhaps we should look at the fairest electoral system in the world as a model. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8935

I'm sure readers will be shocked to learn that the electoral system referred to is that used in Venezuela in 2012. And it will be the rare person who can distinguish between a superior system for conducting an election and a result that they don't like.

Stephen Douglas , June 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

Do I need, Cassandra-like, to say this again? None of this means that Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of.

No. You didn't need to say it even once. Another interesting analysis utterly ruined by the writer's incessant feverish need to virtue signal himself as a Trump hater. Ugh!

You write an article chock-full of information clearly pointing to corruption, venality, un-democratic machinations, and still you feel the need to repeat over and over and over again that does not mean that you don't want to remove Trump. Remove him? Like how, Gaius? And why? Why not remove the people you write about in your article? Why not say 40 times you want to remove them. Undemocratically, of course. As you say in your article, be careful of how the talk about removing people one does not like.

You're a Cassandra alright. And methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Vatch , June 30, 2017 at 11:13 am

Here's another paragraph from the article:

Note that none of this means Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of. It just means that how he's gotten rid of matters. (As you ponder this, consider what you think would be fair to do to a Democratic president. I guarantee what happens to Trump will be repeated.)

This is an implicit warning about impeachment. I interpret this as a recommendation to vigorously oppose Trump's actions over the next three and a half years, and to effectively campaign against him in 2020. Trump really is a terrible President, but Mike Pence would be terrible, too. And so would Hillary Clinton, but I hope we won't have to worry about her any more.

In case you're wondering why I think that Trump is a terrible President, here's a short summary:

Scott Pruitt
Betsy DeVos
Jeff Sessions
Steven Mnuchin
Tom Price
Neil Gorsuch

There are other reasons, but that list should suffice for now.

Jay , June 30, 2017 at 11:10 am

None of the left-leaning writers who have been pooh-poohing the Russia investigation* have demonstrated a working knowledge of counterintelligence. I've also noticed that they correlate a lack of publicly-known evidence to an actual absence of evidence, which is the purview of the investigation. Investigators will be holding any evidence they discover close to their vests for obvious reasons, but even more so in this case because some of the evidence will have origins where sources and methods will statutorily need to be concealed.

Furthermore, many of these writers appear to be unfamiliar with the case law governing the major features of the case. Yes, money laundering may be a part of the case and a financial blog may emphasize that aspect of the case because that's what they're familiar with, but what we're fundamentally looking at is possible violations of the Espionage Act, as well as the obstruction of justice by certain players to hide their involvement. Not a single one of these articles (or any of the cable news shows) have taken note of one of the juiciest and obscure pieces of evidence that's right there out in the open, if you'd been following this as closely as I have. As much as I admire Gaius Publius and Matt Taibbi, and trust their reporting within their demonstrated and reliable competencies, neither have really written about intelligence activities in a thoroughgoing manner in order to be identified as journalists specializing in matters pertaining to intelligence, espionage, spies. Publius writes about political economy and Taibbi is as "Russia savvy" as your average Russian citizen; maybe less so. And being Russia savvy does not make you FSB savvy. Now if Sy Hersh wrote something about L'Affaire Russe, that would be worth seriously considering.

*I won't even address the seriousness or motives of the people on the right who have been pooh-poohing the Russia investigation. But it is curious for otherwise "GOP-savvy" lefties to align with people who spout Fox News talking points all the live long day, and who are wrong about everything, all the time, and not in a "broken clock tells correct time twice a day" sort of way.

lyman alpha blob , June 30, 2017 at 11:44 am

If they had anything concrete on Trump we've have heard about it by now. The spooks have been leaking for months – they aren't going to suddenly clam up if they've discovered something that's actually a crime.

Until someone presents actual evidence, this investigation is nothing more than Democrat payback for Benghazi, which itself was a BS investigation in search of a crime that went on for years. Unfortunately for sHillary, a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while and they did manage to uncover actual criminality in her case (and brushed it right under the rug).

shinola , June 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Just what makes Putin "the enemy"? Russia disseminates propaganda that (it hopes) will sway the American election in a direction more favorable to their interests! and in other news, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:45 am

> Russia disseminates propaganda that (it hopes) will sway the American election in a direction more favorable to their interests!

This is what gets me. We're supposed to me a great power, and we're going nuts on this stuff. It's like an elephant panicking at the sight of a mouse. The political class has lost its grip entirely.

NotTimothyGeithner , June 30, 2017 at 2:15 pm

"but we've been hearing new evidence on a daily and weekly basis. Mueller isn't going to show his hand until the investigation has concluded,"

Ah we've been hearing new evidence, but Mueller is simultaneously keeping it secret wait did you mean we've heard new innuendos?

Jay , June 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Mostly it's been gumshoe reporters getting interviews. No need for inside sources for this story: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/republican-claimed-flynn-tie-clinton-emails-article-1.3289348

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:51 am

This is the story where the main source is dead?

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:49 am

> Putin must be delighted to have a vainglorious ignoramus presiding over a US government paralyzed by division

How sad, then, that the Pied Piper email showed that the Clinton campaign wanted Trump for their opponent. Or Was she Putin's stooge? Perhaps the server she left open to the world for three months with no password provided the Russkis with some kompromat ? Really, there's as much evidence for that theory as anything else

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:55 am

> so must also likewise concede that there may be more there than you suppose

So either there's something there or there isn't. That does seem to exhaust the possibilities. If only Maddow, the Clintonites, whichever factions in the intelligence community that are driving the "drip, drip, drip" of stories, the Jeff Bezos Shopper, cable, and all the access journalists writing it all up would take such a balanced perspective .

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

OK, so you are saying that we should trust the word of anonymous leakers from the intelligence community, that is, anonymous leaks from a pack of proven perjurers, torturers, and entrapment artists, all on the basis of supposed evidence that we are not allowed to see.

Because secret squirrel counterintelligence. Ah, now I get it.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm

We don't know who the leakers are. They're anonymous, but they willingly associate themselves with an intelligence community, the very organizations that commit perjury, that engage in torture, that do entrapment, all on a regular basis. Not to mention other crimes for which men have hung, such as gin up up evidence to drive this country towards aggressive war. So nothing to be suspicious of here.

These organizations have been leaking on a regular basis but they have not leaked evidence. That by itself is suspicious, since in a white collar crime case, a serial killer case, etc. we don't usually have a flood of anonymous leaks coming from supposed investigators.

Nor in a garden-variety criminal investigation do we have the suspect laid out in advance, and any leaks are intended to make the suspect guilty in the mind of the public, before charges or brought or a crime is determined.

ian , June 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

For that matter, how do we know the leakers even exist? When some media outlet wants to publish some made-up story, they can just attribute it to an anonymous source.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:34 am

> name the leakers who have committed perjury, torture, and entrapment.

We can't. They're anonymous.

> Is everyone in the intelligence community a perjurer, a torturer, or engaged in entrapment?

No, just the leadership. Clapper (perjury), Mueller (entrapment), Brennan (torture). Those come to mind immediately; there are doubtless others.

WeakenedSquire , June 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Nope. Telling us prawns to wait until the evidence is in, or, worse, that only the specialists can be trusted, is one of the tactics of repression that the elite use while they are busy manufacturing and/or hiding said evidence. And surely by now we all know that "specialists" have no clothes.

different clue , June 30, 2017 at 9:21 pm

If you want serious analysis by seriously non-left people who have broken rocks in the quarry of intelligence, you can read Sic Semper Tyrannis. They have offered some hi-valu input on this whole "Putin diddit" deal.

They also offered some hi-valu input on the Hillary server matter. And Colonel Lang had a thing or three to say about the Clinton Family of Foundations . . . including a little-remarked-upon stealth-laundry-pipeline registered in Canada.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:35 am

Philip Giraldi at The American Conservative also does good work.

different clue , July 1, 2017 at 3:10 am

Philip Giraldi has also written guest-posts at Sic Semper Tyrannis from time to time. The name "Philip Giraldi' is one of the pickable subject-category names on the right side of the SST homepage.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:59 am

> Not a single one of these articles (or any of the cable news shows) have taken note of one of the juiciest and obscure pieces of evidence that's right there out in the open, if you'd been following this as closely as I have.

OK, what is it?

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:19 pm

An investigation seeking to find evidence that a pre-selected target has commited a crime is I believe called a "witch hunt".

Byron the Light Bulb , June 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Or, you know, probable cause to investigate based on very public admissions. Production before a grand jury is secret under penalty of criminal prosecution. Once probable cause is affirmed, then the indictments will be under seal for what could be some time. I think it's probable that there may already be indictments against some of the players. DJT may already be a John Doe. The Fed GJ's in DC are three months long, the current one wrapping up third week of August [a guess based on past experience as a 3rd party]. Expect movement early this fall.

Yves Smith Post author , June 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

As Constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz pointed out, the DOJ reports to the President. Trump was completely within his authority to give instructions to Comey and fire him. Dershowitz also points out Trump can pardon anyone, including himself. But Trump doesn't read and oddly no one seems to have clued him in on what Dershowitz has said.

Nixon was a completely different case. There had been an actual crime, a break in. Archibald Cox was an special prosecutor appointed by Congress. Firing him raised Constitutional issues.

Jay , June 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm

You mean this Alan Dershowitz? http://abovethelaw.com/2016/11/alan-dershowitz-thinks-black-lives-matter-is-anti-semitic-sticks-up-for-steve-bannon/

witters , June 30, 2017 at 8:47 pm

Yes. And?

Katje Borgesius , July 1, 2017 at 12:38 am

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole, read the complaint in "Kriss et al v. BayRock Group LLC et al" [ 1:10-cv-03959-LGS-DCF ] in NY Southern District. It's a RICO. It goes from the 46-story Trump SoHo condo-hotel on Spring Street to Iceland [?] and beyond. Then check out DJT's deposition in Trilogy Properties "LLC et al v. SB Hotel Associates LLC et al" [ 1:09cv21406 ] and his D&O doc production.

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

Yves Smith Post author , July 1, 2017 at 12:49 am

Help me. This is the best you can do?

I've said repeatedly that people should stop hyperventilating about Trump and Russia and if anything should be bothered that he was in business with a crook, as in Felix Sater. I was on this long ago. Sater is Brighton Beach mafia. That means Jewish mafia, BTW; he worked Jewish connections overseas. He's not connected to anyone of any importance in Russia. No one with any sophistication would do business with a felon who turned state's evidence. Means he can't be trusted (by upstanding people, because he's a crook, and by crooks, because he sang like a canary).

Oh, and the former employees lost that suit.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:36 am

Or a fishing expedition.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm

For "super secret" investigations, the investigators sure leak like sieves. I wonder why.

Lambert Strether , June 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm

On the latest one, " GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn ," unlocked at the WSJ, the main source, long-time Republican oppo researcher Peter W. Smith, left the land of the living on May 14 of this year, at the age of 81. So, on the up side, we've finally got a source with a name. On the down side, he's dead. Do better!

[Jul 01, 2017] MUST SEE video explains the entire 17 Intelligence Agencies Russian hacking lie

Political hacks picked up be Clinton stooges in intelligence agencies and guided by Clapper produced what was required on them...
Notable quotes:
"... Stefan Molyneux opens the below video with the song lyrics, "When the walls come crumbling down", as the political analyst comprehensively explains the bullsh**t lie Hillary Clinton and her mainstream media cronies feed the world so as to sabotage Trump's presidency, at the risk of war with Russia. ..."
"... It is a must watch, must share video which puts yet another US Deeep State lie to bed ..."
"... As a reminder as to how stupid the "17 Intelligence Agencies" Russian hacking narrative The FBI did not even get access to the DNC servers. It relied upon data provided by private security firm CrowdStrike, who had to walk back their audit conclusions on the hacks. ..."
"... Because we are certain that the Coast Guard Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Intelligence Agency, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are authorities when it comes to US election hacking, and thus should be trusted when they sign off to being "highly confident" of Russian election meddling. ..."
Jul 01, 2017 | theduran.com

Yesterday The Duran reported that the New York Times was finally forced to admit that the "17 US intelligence agencies" narrative is completely made up fake news.

The "17 Intelligence Agencies" Russian hacking narrative was the core foundation for which the entire Trump-Russia collusion/cooperation/connection was built upon.

Stefan Molyneux opens the below video with the song lyrics, "When the walls come crumbling down", as the political analyst comprehensively explains the bullsh**t lie Hillary Clinton and her mainstream media cronies feed the world so as to sabotage Trump's presidency, at the risk of war with Russia.

watch-v=6vvPx7AqDl8

It is a must watch, must share video which puts yet another US Deeep State lie to bed

As a reminder as to how stupid the "17 Intelligence Agencies" Russian hacking narrative The FBI did not even get access to the DNC servers. It relied upon data provided by private security firm CrowdStrike, who had to walk back their audit conclusions on the hacks.

Below is a complete list of the 16 intelligence agencies in the US Intelligence Community, headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), whose statutory leadership is exercised through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), who under the Obama White House was James R. Clapper making 17 total agencies.

Why the list?

Because we are certain that the Coast Guard Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Intelligence Agency, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are authorities when it comes to US election hacking, and thus should be trusted when they sign off to being "highly confident" of Russian election meddling.

The 16 members of the IC are:
Agency/Office Parent Agency Federal Department Date est.
Defense Intelligence Agency none Defense 1961
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency none Defense 1996
National Reconnaissance Office none Defense 1961
National Security Agency none Defense 1952
Military Intelligence Corps United States Army Defense 1863
Office of Naval Intelligence United States Navy Defense 1882
Twenty-Fifth Air Force United States Air Force Defense 1948
Marine Corps Intelligence United States Marine Corps Defense 1939
Coast Guard Intelligence United States Coast Guard Homeland Security 1915
Office of Intelligence and Analysis none Homeland Security 2007
Central Intelligence Agency none Independent agency 1947
Bureau of Intelligence and Research none State 1945
Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence none Treasury 2004
Office of National Security Intelligence Drug Enforcement Administration Justice 2006
Intelligence Branch Federal Bureau of Investigation Justice 2005
Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence none Energy 1977

[Jun 30, 2017] What Might a Civil War Look Like Matt Bracken on The Hagmann Report June 29 2017

Published on Jun 29, 2017

There are many keyboard warriors itching for a civil war in the U.S. Some even type "bring it on" and post to popular Internet forums and comment boards. But do they really know what they are asking for?

Matt Bracken has seen civil wars in various countries where he's served in our armed forces. He's been there, and it ain't pretty.

This is an important broadcast that anyone wanting to understand the war of ideologies taking place right now - the cultural war we are seeing within the United States - should hear.

Original broadcast date: 6/27/17

Matt Bracken's website: https://www.enemiesforeignanddomestic...

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattBracken48
Follow Doug Hagmann on Twitter: @HagmannPI

Show Website: http://www.HagmannAndHagmann.com
News./Information: http://www.HagmannReport.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HagmannReport
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HagmannReport
Doug's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/douglas.hagmann

Pedro Wiegmann 10 hours ago

He's telling the truth. The left is using the language of incitement to war. It's the leaders and Hollywood scumbags MUST be taken out and tried for treason. They will start a massive war if we don't neutralize them immediately.

Scott F Davis 9 hours ago

As the instrumentalities of DOJ governance are rebuilt, We The People will probably have to wait until after the August recess before new US Attorneys and new FBI Director are confirmed. Pivotal window of time - July/ August 2017

Lori Snow 1 hour ago

I love Matt Bracken. I never miss what he has to say. Scary stuff but reality is scary. Who can deny his knowledge and patriotism? NOT me.He knows what he talks about and we better listen people. . I look for him here, on Infowars and Caravan to Midnight too.Thank you Matt.I like to say..."Release the Bracken.".

[Jun 28, 2017] Democrats Help Corporate Donors Block California Health Care Measure, And Progressives Lose Again

Jun 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , June 27, 2017 at 07:11 AM

How does one describe this faction of Democrats? Corporate Democrats. Neoliberals? What's the shorthand way of distinguishing them from Berniecrats?

http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/democrats-help-corporate-donors-block-california-health-care-measure-progressives

Democrats Help Corporate Donors Block California Health Care Measure, And Progressives Lose Again

BY DAVID SIROTA ON 06/26/17 AT 4:06 PM

As Republican lawmakers grapple with their unpopular bill to repeal Obamacare, Democrats have tried to present a united front on health care. But for all their populist rhetoric against insurance and drug companies, Democratic powerbrokers and their allies remain deeply divided on the issue - to the point where a political civil war has spilled into the open in America's largest state.

In California last week, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon helped his and his party's corporate donors block a Democrat-sponsored bill to create a universal health care program in which the government would be the single payer.

Rendon's decision shows how progressives' ideal of universal health care remains elusive - even in a liberal state where government already foots 70 percent of the total health care bill.

Until Rendon's move, things seemed to be looking up for Democratic single-payer proponents in deep blue California, which has been hammered by insurance premium increases. There, the Democratic Party - which originally created Medicare - just added a legislative supermajority to a Democratic-controlled state government that oversees the world's sixth largest economy. That 2016 election victory came as a poll showed nearly two-thirds of Californians support the creation of a taxpayer-funded universal health care system in a state whose population is roughly the size of Canada - which already has such a system.

California's highest-profile federal Democratic lawmaker recently endorsed state efforts to create single-payer systems, and 25 members of its congressional delegation had signed on to sponsor a federal single-payer bill.

Meanwhile, after Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had twice vetoed state single-payer legislation, California in 2010 elected a governor who had previously campaigned for president on a pledge to support such a system. Other statewide elected officials had also declared their support for single-payer, including the current lieutenant governor, who promised to enact a universal health care program if he is wins the governorship in 2018.

None of that, though, made the difference: Late Friday, Rendon announced that even though a single-payer bill had passed the Democratic-controlled state senate, he would not permit the bill to be voted on by the Assembly this year.

"As someone who has long been a supporter of single payer, I am encouraged by the conversation begun by Senate Bill 562," Rendon said. But "senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation."

Since 2012, Rendon has taken in more than $82,000 from business groups and healthcare corporations that are listed in state documents opposed the measure, according to an International Business Times review of data amassed by the National Institute on Money In State Politics. In all, he has received more than $101,000 from pharmaceutical companies and another $50,000 from major health insurers.

In the same time, the California Democratic Party has received more than $1.2 million from the specific groups opposing the bill, and more than $2.2 million from pharmaceutical and health insurance industry donors. That includes a $100,000 infusion of cash from Blue Shield of California in the waning days of the 2016 election - just before state records show the insurer began lobbying against the single-payer bill.

While Rendon oversees a supermajority, it had never been clear that Assembly Democrats would muster the two-thirds vote needed under the state constitution to add the new taxes needed to fund the single-payer system proposed by the senate-passed bill. That is because the Democratic Assembly caucus includes progressive legislators but also more conservative members who are closer to business interests.

In addition to the money given to Rendon, the groups opposing the single-payer measure have delivered more than $1.5 million to Democratic assembly members since the 2012 election cycle. In all, the 55 Democratic members of the 80-seat Assembly have received more than $2.7 million from donors in the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries in just the last three election cycles.

Complicating matters for this year's single-payer bill was the fact that the pharmaceutical industry had just spent more than $100 million to defeat a 2016 ballot measure in California aimed at lowering drug prices. That wave of money was a powerful reminder that major industries opposed to single-payer have virtually unlimited resources to spend against California's Democratic incumbents in the next election if those Democrats ultimately try to pass a bill.

"Subject To Enormous Uncertainty"

The episode in California was the latest defeat for single-payer health care advocates, who have faced a string of losses at the hands of Democrats whose party has continued to attract significant cash from the health care industries that benefit from the current system.

In the last decade, Barack Obama raised millions of dollars from health care industry donors and then backed off his previous support for single-payer. He and other administration officials explicitly declared that the Affordable Care Act would not become a Medicare-for-all system. The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate then failed to pass a proposal to create a publicly run insurance option to compete with private insurers.

More recently, Vermont's Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin abandoned his state's high-profile push for single-payer in 2014 - just as he was serving as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, a group whose top donors included UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross, AstraZeneca and the pharmaceutical industry's trade association.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign was boosted by millions of dollars from health care industry donors, and she derided Bernie Sanders for pushing single payer, saying such an idea would "never, ever come to pass." In the same 2106 election, prominent Democratic Party consultants helped lead an insurer-funded campaign - backed by prominent Democratic lawmakers - to kill a single-payer ballot measure in Colorado.

And yet despite those defeats, single-payer advocates were thinking big at the beginning of 2017. Heading into the new legislative sessions, Democrats controlled both governorships and legislatures in six states - and another Democratic-leaning state with a Democratic governor, New York, appeared to have legislative support for single-payer. With its Democratic supermajority, California was the biggest focus of attention among progressive healthcare advocates.

According to a June report by California senate analysts, the single-payer legislation that was introduced in Sacramento this year would have created a government agency called Healthy California that would be "required to provide comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage system for all California residents." The program would have been prohibited from charging participants premiums and co-pays and would have covered "all medical care determined to be medically appropriate by the members' health care provider," according to the Senate report.

While the report said fiscal estimates "are subject to enormous uncertainty," it projected that $200 billion worth of existing federal, state and local health care spending would offset about half of the estimated $400 billion annual cost. Shifting that money, though, could require California to secure waivers from the federal government that would allow it to redirect the federal money into the new program.

The original bill did not include a specific tax proposal to raise the rest of the needed revenue. However, the report estimated that the other $200 billion could be funded by moving state payroll taxes up to 15 percent , a levy the report said "would be offset to a large degree by reduced spending on health care coverage by employers and employees."

"The Only Health Care System That Makes Any Sense"

At the start of California's legislative session, bill proponents pitched the sweeping measure as a way to protect the state from Trump administration health care policy. They may have been banking on support from California's top Democrat, Gov. Jerry Brown, who endorsed single payer during his 1992 presidential campaign.

"I believe the only health care system that makes any sense is a single-payer system," Brown said during a March 1992 Democratic presidential forum. "I don't see any way, after having worked on this problem in the largest state in the union, which, after all, has the highest medical costs, to really contain costs without establishing a single payer for all basic services."

But as the the California legislation began moving forward, Brown cast doubts on it in comments to reporters in March.

"Where do you get the extra money?...This is the whole question. I don't even get ... how do you do that?" said Brown, who has collected more than a quarter-million dollars of campaign contributions from groups opposing the bill.

Supporters of the legislation tried to answer the governor's question with a detailed economic analysis asserting that the legislation could save the state money through lower administrative costs and drug prices.

"Providing full universal coverage would increase overall system costs by about 10 percent, but ... single payer system could produce savings of about 18 percent," concluded a May 2017 study led by University of Massachusetts-Amherst economist Robert Pollin. "The proposed single-payer system could provide decent health care for all California residents while still reducing net overall costs by about 8 percent relative to the existing system."

That same month, U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - California's highest-ranking federal official -- seemed to give the idea a boost. At a Capitol Hill press conference, she said "the comfort level with a broader base of the American people is not there yet" for a federal Medicare-for-all bill, but she promoted state efforts.

"I say to people, if you want that, do it in your states. States are laboratories. It can work out. It is the least expensive, least administrative way to go about this," she said. "States are a good place to start."

Economist Pollin echoed that argument, telling IBT that the California situation is fundamentally different than Vermont, which in 2014 abandoned its high-profile effort to create the nation's first state-based single-payer system. While single-payer could still be feasible in small states, he said, the concept was particularly well suited to a very large state like California.

"The issue of bargaining power is important relative to pharmaceutical companies, and that's one big area of savings," he told IBT. "If the pharmaceutical companies say we're not interested in selling to Vermont, they can walk away from Vermont. But they can't do the same thing with California because it's too large a market. It's the same thing with doctors - they are not going to run away from a market of 33 million people just because their reimbursement rates will be at Medicare levels. And the state of California is already used to running big operations, so it has the administrative power to do this kind of thing."

"Woefully Incomplete"

Despite Brown's lack of support, and opposition from Republican lawmakers and health insurers, the California senate passed the single-payer bill in June. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pressed the Democratic governor and California lawmakers to enact the bill.

"As we sit here tonight, the California state senate has passed single-payer," Sanders told a gathering of thousands of activists in Chicago. "Now it's up to the California House and the governor to do the right thing and help us transform health care in this country by leading the way."

All of the pressure, however, was not enough to persuade Rendon. Calling the legislation "woefully incomplete," he announced that "SB 562 will remain in the Assembly Rules Committee until further notice."

The move was instantly polarizing. Inside the labor movement, the California branch of the Service Employees International Union - which has long supported single-payer health care - issued a statement supporting Rendon's decision, saying the organization wants changes to the legislation. SEIU's affiliates have previously negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with insurer Kaiser Permanente, which would be "dismantled" under the single-payer bill, according to Kaiser's lobbyist.

By contrast, the California Nurses Association, which represents 100,000 unionized nurses in the state, slammed Rendon, asserting that he had acted "in secret in the interests of the profiteering insurance companies" and that he had "destroy[ed] the aspirations of millions of Californians for guaranteed health care."

The internecine attacks were equally fierce within the Democratic Party.

"Today's announcement that the Assembly will not be moving forward on single-payer, Medicare-for-All healthcare for California at this time is an unambiguous disappointment for all of us who believe that healthcare is a right for every Californian," said newly elected California Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman, who until the middle of June had worked in the Assembly speaker's office under Rendon, and ran his Southern California office. "We understand that SB 562 is a work in progress, but we believe it should keep moving forward, especially in light of the widespread suffering that will occur if Trump and Congressional Republicans succeed in passing their cold-blooded, morally bankrupt so-called healthcare legislation."

Perhaps seeking to bridge the divide, Rendon left open the possibility that the bill will come up next year.

"Because this is the first year of a two-year session, this action does not mean SB 562 is dead," he said. "In fact, it leaves open the exact deep discussion and debate the senators who voted for SB 562 repeatedly said is needed. The Senate can use that time to fill the holes in SB 562 and pass and send to the Assembly workable legislation that addresses financing, delivery of care, and cost control."

Rendon's focus on financing underscored the fact that passing tax increases to generate hundreds of billions of dollars of new revenue is generally no easy political task - and such initiatives can be particularly tricky in California. There, a 1988-passed measure called Proposition 98 typically requires that a significant amount of any new tax revenue must go to education. Another 1979 measure known as the Gann limit also aims to restrict spending increases. Funding a single-payer system could require complex legislation or even a separate ballot measure.

Bill proponents, though, say those potential roadblocks are navigable within the scope of the bill they are pushing. In an interview with IBT, Michael Lighty of the California Nurses Association noted that the Senate version of the legislation included language to make sure that the new health care system would not launch unless state officials certified that adequate funding was available.

"The speaker says the bill is 'woefully incomplete' but he stopped the process that would have completed it," Lighty said. "We have a failsafe mechanism in the legislation. In the event anticipated monies are not available from whatever source for whatever reason, we can address it before full program operation. There are all sorts of options, but you can't do any of it if the bill doesn't move forward."

Bauman told IBT that despite the opposition within his own party, he expects progressive Democrats to continue pushing for single payer.

"What Democratic activists need to be doing every day is educating our elected officials and the public on just how important the fight for health care is, and on why this is the moral and ethical fight of the day," he said.

JohnH -> Christopher H.... , June 27, 2017 at 07:24 AM
If the poll is correct and 2/3 of Californians support single payer, they should do an initiative.

The only way to buck the corporate Democrats is often the initiative process.

BTW I call them Wall Street Democrats because it's the Rubin-Summers-Geithner wing of the party that is stifling progress.

Christopher H. -> Christopher H.... , June 27, 2017 at 07:24 AM
PGL, above:

"Yes the California Senate pased(sic) a "single payer" proposal but it is not moving in the House until someone does the hard work of deciding: (a) what are the details about what is being provided; and (b) how it will be paid for."

[Jun 28, 2017] Norman Solomon: Is 'Russiagate' Collapsing as a Political Strategy? by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... By Norman Solomon, the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." ..."
"... The Hill ..."
"... "While the voters have a keen interest in any Russian election interference, they are concerned that the investigations have become a distraction for the president and Congress that is hurting rather than helping the country." ..."
"... In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summarized the post-election approach in a Washington Post ..."
"... Polling data now indicate how wrong such claims are. ..."
"... Initially in lockstep this year, Democrats on Capitol Hill probably didn't give it a second thought if they read my article published by The Hill ..."
"... I find political strategy-speak such as "an adjustment in party messaging" to be sickening. The Democrats still seem to be talking about manipulating perception, rather than actually doing anything fundamentally different. ..."
"... Identity politics is basically a divide and rule strategy to keep progressive candidates off the ballot, the real purpose of the Democratic Party establishment. That is what they are being paid for. ..."
"... The first world has had enough neolib, pendulum has started moving the other way. Macron shows the desperation to try something new without embracing right wing LePen an option not available here, so revulsion to neolib resulted in Trump.. ..."
"... There are already significant legal barriers to the creation of a new party. Both parties will probably gang up on any new party development too. ..."
"... The Dims – because that's what these people truly are – will just assume that they haven't put enough effort into "Russia" and go triple- or quadruple-up on every failed candidate, strategy, platform, message, consultant, focus-group and whatever else a sane leadership should by now have been tarring, feathering and releasing the hounds upon. ..."
"... for Dims. The Russia thing is irresistible because it's supposed to get nationalistic rubes to turn against Trump while sucking up to the military-industrial complex. And yet, it didn't work during the campaign either. ..."
"... The fixation of Clintonites, or frustrated dems with russiagate is very telling and well explained here. It strikes me how the russiagate has treated so uncritically by the "liberal" press in Spain. ..."
"... Even if "evidence" would appear after all this time, do we not suspect it has been cooked in the truth-telling factories of the FBI, CIA, and NSA, all in bed with right-wing warmongers who own both parties ( not just Republicans – sorry, integer )? ..."
"... Comment was to your saying the security establishment "which is primarily GOP owned or aligned". Both parties, in a sense, "own" it, and use segments of it to advantage when necessary. But further, both the parties and agencies are "owned" by the power of capital as it is currently operating, and this power behind the throne makes the security and party establishment dance. You and I are on the ground, trying to avoid the footwork. ..."
"... This is one reason why russiagate is inevitable. Who wants to tell the donors that the Team D brain trust pissed away a billion and a half, with nothing to show for it? But if the election was somehow stolen (eeevil Russkies!) then it wasn't really Team D's fault you see, and then ..."
"... The entire Russia-gate issue ignores/insults the voters the Democrats hope to influence. To some extent, the Democrats are telling the deplorable Trump voters, "The Russians influenced you to vote for Trump, someone who you have been aware of for many years, over the other well-known candidate Hillary Clinton" ..."
"... The Trump voter is probably more than a little irritated to have their voting actions viewed this way, they do not see themselves influenced by the Russians and do not understand why the Russians COULD significantly influence the election when the USA spends so much money on the CIA, FBI, NSA and US military. ..."
"... The entire Russia-gate issue ignores/insults the voters the Democrats hope to influence. ..."
"... To some extent, the Democrats are telling the deplorable Trump voters, "The Russians influenced you to vote for Trump, someone who you have been aware of for many years, over the other well-known candidate Hillary Clinton" ..."
"... Unfortunately for the voters Bill Clinton and Obama and the Dem estab are neoliberals. Bill and O were neoliberals running in New Deal clothing. The current Dem estab is neolib. A better "message" sans better policies isn't any better than focusing on Russia, imo. ..."
"... Gore Vidal (among others) used to point out that the dirty little secret of America's anti-communist right was that they were actually jealous of the brutal tactics the commies could use against their dissenters and secretly – and in many cases, not so secretly – wished they could do the same thing here. ..."
"... What if "RussiaGate" was only really intended to pressure Trump hard against any diplomatic rapprochement with a country the Neocons have targeted? ..."
"... Trump's foreign policy has been relentlessly steered into a direction the Clintons always intended to take it. Ticking off the last countries on Israel's 'enemy list' as compiled by the PNAC creeps. Recall the statement of Col. Wilkerson or one of those old guard people who wandered into an office in the Pentagon to find that there was a list of countries to be destroyed, starting with Iraq and ending finally with Iran. Syria and Libya were on it. ..."
"... This whole thing is about a high level grand strategic plan that involves destabilizing and overthrowing governments the US and Israel find annoying and insufficiently obeisant. The ultimate goal will be breaking the Russian Federation into a bunch of independent statelets. This isn't 'conspiracy theory' – it's what Brzezinski advocated and aligns neatly with the needs of the military-industrial-financial complex and its obsession with total control over world energy supplies as a lever for domination. ..."
"... Cold, you bring up a topic often ignored that I find highly credible. The Deep State with all its power to manufacture information and create chaos has a long-standing interest in maintaining Russiaphobia. The Soviet Union was certainly the best enemy they have ever known. Without it trillions of dollars of armaments would have never been sold and billions of dollars of spy agency bureaucracies never have been funded. ..."
"... This has been mission accomplished for the Dems. You just have to assume they want the country to move right. ..."
Jun 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Norman Solomon, the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

The plan for Democrats to run against Russia may be falling apart.

Now, Democrats in Congress and other party leaders are starting to face an emerging reality: The "winning issue" of Russia is a losing issue.

The results of a reliable new nationwide poll - and what members of Congress keep hearing when they actually listen to constituents back home - cry out for a drastic reorientation of Democratic Party passions. And a growing number of Democrats in Congress are getting the message.

"Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia," The Hill reported over the weekend. In sharp contrast to their party's top spokespeople, "rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare."

The Hill coverage added: "In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift."

Such assessments aren't just impressionistic or anecdotal. A major poll has just reached conclusions that indicate party leaders have been operating under political illusions.

Conducted last week, the Harvard-Harris national poll found a big disconnect between the Russia obsession of Democratic Party elites in Washington and voters around the country.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch, a progressive Democrat, put it this way: "We should be focused relentlessly on economic improvement [and] we should stay away from just piling on the criticism of Trump, whether it's about Russia, whether it's about Comey. Because that has its own independent dynamic, it's going to happen on its own without us piling on."

Welch said, "We're much better off if we just do the hard work of coming up with an agenda. Talking about Trump and Russia doesn't create an agenda."

Creating a compelling agenda would mean rejecting what has become the rote reflex of Democratic Party leadership - keep hammering Trump as a Kremlin tool. In a typical recent comment, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pounded away at a talking point already so worn out that it has the appearance of a bent nail: "What do the Russians have on Donald Trump?"

In contrast, another House Democrat, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, said: "If you see me treating Russia and criticisms of the president and things like that as a secondary matter, it's because that's how my constituents feel about it."

But ever since the election last November, Democratic congressional leaders have been placing the party's bets heavily on the Russia horse. And it's now pulling up lame.

Yes, a truly independent investigation is needed to probe charges that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. election. And investigators should also dig to find out if there's actual evidence that Trump or his campaign operatives engaged in nefarious activities before or after the election. At the same time, let's get a grip. The partisan grandstanding on Capitol Hill, by leading Republicans and Democrats, hardly qualifies as "independent."

In the top strata of the national Democratic Party, and especially for the Clinton wing of the party, blaming Russia has been of visceral importance. A recent book about Hillary Clinton's latest presidential campaign - "Shattered," by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes - includes a revealing passage. "Within 24 hours of her concession speech," the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta "assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up."

At that meeting, "they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summarized the post-election approach in a Washington Post opinion piece : "If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they'll be with us."

Polling data now indicate how wrong such claims are.

Initially in lockstep this year, Democrats on Capitol Hill probably didn't give it a second thought if they read my article published by The Hill nearly six months ago under the headline "Democrats Are Playing With Fire on Russia." At the outset, I warned that "the most cohesive message from congressional Democrats is: blame Russia. The party leaders have doubled down on an approach that got nowhere during the presidential campaign - trying to tie the Kremlin around Donald Trump's neck."

And I added: "Still more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency to Trump, top Democrats would much rather scapegoat Vladimir Putin than scrutinize how they've lost touch with working-class voters."

But my main emphasis in that January 9 article was that "the emerging incendiary rhetoric against Russia is extremely dangerous. It could lead to a military confrontation between two countries that each has thousands of nuclear weapons."

I noted that "enthusiasm for banging the drum against Putin is fast becoming a big part of the Democratic Party's public identity in 2017. And - insidiously - that's apt to give the party a long-term political stake in further demonizing the Russian government."

My article pointed out: "The reality is grim, and potentially catastrophic beyond comprehension. By pushing to further polarize with the Kremlin, congressional Democrats are increasing the chances of a military confrontation with Russia."

Here's a question worth pondering: How much time do members of Congress spend thinking about ways to reduce the risks of nuclear holocaust, compared to how much time they spend thinking about getting re-elected?

In political terms, The Hill 's June 24 news article headlined "Dems Push Leaders to Talk Less About Russia" should be a wakeup call. Held in the thrall of Russia-bashing incantations since early winter, some Democrats in Congress have started to realize that they must break the spell. But they will need help from constituents willing to bluntly tell them to snap out of it .

If there is to be a human future on this planet, it will require real diplomacy between the U.S. and Russia , the world's two nuclear-weapons superpowers. Meanwhile - even if the nuclear threat from continuing to escalate hostility toward Russia doesn't rank high on the list of Democrats' concerns on Capitol Hill - maybe the prospects of failure in the elections next year will compel a major change. It's time for the dangerous anti-Russia fever to break.

EndOfTheWorld , June 27, 2017 at 3:55 am

The "Russiagate" farce had its waterloo moment when three CNN faux journalists were asked kindly to resign for being too faux even for the Clinton News Network.

Yes, the Democrat politicians who have enough functioning brain cells to actually go back to their districts and meet with their random constituents can plainly see that the people want this BS to come to and end immediately if not three months ago.

Louis Fyne , June 27, 2017 at 9:29 am

CNN producer on video admitting that it's all bunk courtesy of James Okeefe. Expect Fox News to run this clip 24/7. http://www.veritaslive.com/06-26-2017/americanpravdacnn.html

shinola , June 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Thanks for the link – confirms what I've suspected for months. If any of y'all have about 9 minutes to spare, this vid. is really interesting (& damning).

Thor's Hammer , June 27, 2017 at 11:31 am

Debates about whether the Democrat wing of the Property Party should change its PR focus from trying to manufacture Russiaphobia to pretending to care about the welfare of the working class are worse than debating about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It's embarrassing to watch a highly intelligent group of people like the NC readership engage in discussions like this while ignoring the facts before them.

  • The US is not a democracy. Policies bear little or no correspondence to the desires of the vast majority of citizens while being highly correlated with the belief systems and self-interest of a tiny ruling class.
  • Elections are circuses organized for the distraction of the underclasses. They are never contested on the basis of fundamental issues that determine the future of the country. Rather, they are pissing contests between advertising agencies who employ all means at hand to temporarily manipulate public opinion.
  • Regardless of which party wins, promises in party platforms are meaningless the day after the election and have little correlation to candidate behavior.
  • It follows that it matters little which candidate/figurehead is elected since they are simply entertainment, while the country continues to be governed by the banksters, war hawks, medical extortionists, and greedhead trillionaires who own it.

NC has diligently documented the bankster fraud that characterized the 2007-2008 financial meltdown. Exactly how many of the perpetrators of this massive theft went to prison?

The US has been at permanent war in the middle east for 20 years under Democrat and Republican administrations, employing fabrication of events, torture of prisoners, shock and awe bombing attacks, assassination by remote control drones, false flag attacks, and proxy funding of Islamic terrorist organizations. How many CIA torturers, generals, and politicians have been held accountable for their lies and war crimes?

Thor's Hammer , June 27, 2017 at 4:18 pm

By "people who have been living in terror" I assume your mean people who find themselves on the Trump banned country list? Unjust and anti-humanitarian perhaps, but hardly equivalent to terrorism.

Terrorism is when your wedding party is bombed by a drone being piloted by a computer operator half a world away because the cyber spy satellites have detected too many cell phone conversations directed at one of the guests. Terrorism is when a delusional religious fundamentalist straps explosives to her body and blows herself up in a crowded nightclub. And terrorism is when a government funds the anti-human belief systems that lead to such mad acts.

Allegorio , June 27, 2017 at 5:10 pm

The first and foremost action should be government funded elections. Take the money out of politics. Open up ballot access. Election day should be a national holiday. Paper ballots publicly counted. Free electioneering on our public airwaves. Run off elections so that the elected truly have a mandate. The malefactors of wealth completely control the electoral process. Tall order but nothing else can be accomplished unless we take back the electoral system, foundation of democracy.

Lord Koos , June 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I find political strategy-speak such as "an adjustment in party messaging" to be sickening. The Democrats still seem to be talking about manipulating perception, rather than actually doing anything fundamentally different.

Allegorio , June 27, 2017 at 5:12 pm

That was absolutely Nancy Pelosi's line on CBS the other morning. We're not doing anything wrong we're just not getting our message out there. Delusional bought and paid for party hack. She has got to go.

oh , June 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Agree. Here's slight modification of one of you points:

  1. Elections are circuses organized for the distraction of the underclasses.
  2. They are never contested on the basis of fundamental issues that determine the future of the country.
  3. Rather, they are pissing contests between advertising agencies who employ all means at hand to temporarily manipulate public opinion while maximizing their revenue.
ChrisPacific , June 27, 2017 at 5:03 pm

All largely true; however, there remains a large contingent of non-NC readers (and traditional Democrat supporters) who remain unaware of most of this and who need to be convinced. Many of these people are our friends and relatives, and penetrating their illusions is essential if we are ever to reform the Democrat party by starving its more problematic members of voter support. The four points you mentioned, while largely accepted by NC readers, remain very much to be demonstrated when talking to these kind of people. We can't just lead with something like "Hillary is a warmongering crony capitalist who sold out the working class a long time ago." They will switch off if we do. We need to offer concrete, real-world examples that demonstrate it, along with the necessary context for them to understand the problem. If they follow along with the arguments then they will eventually reach the conclusion on their own. While this article may not be telling NC readers anything they don't already know, it's a good example of a narrative that we can use in those situations.

EoinW , June 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

Trojan Horse. It's the Guardian(and CNN) saying: "we deal with faux news the moment it happens. Look at how clean we are!" The entire MSM will jump all over this and pretend they've cleaned house, fixed the one isolated incident, therefore we can once again trust them to be the truth tellers they are. A wonderful script for the Lefties and the pseudo-Left media, like the Guardian. It's BS because they lie all the time about everything!

Allegorio , June 27, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Please don't conflate the left with the "Liberal Media". There is no left mass media in this country.

integer , June 27, 2017 at 5:16 am

https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/878773715147902977

Why the Democratic party is doomed:

1. The Democratic establishment has vortexed the party's narrative energy into hysteria about Russia (a state with a lower GDP than South Korea). It is starkly obvious that were it not for this hysteria insurgent narratives of the type promoted by Bernie Sanders would rapidly dominate the party's base and its relationship with the public. Without the "We didn't lose–Russia won" narrative the party's elite and those who exist under its patronage would be purged for being electorally incompetent and ideologically passé. The collapse of the Democratic vote over the last eight years is at every level, city, state, Congressional and presidential. It corresponds to the domination of Democratic decision making structures by a professional, educated, urban service class and to the shocking decline in health and longevity of white males, who together with their wives, daughters, mothers, etc. comprise 63% of the US population (2010 census). Unlike other industrialized countries US male real wages (all ethnic groups combined) have not increased since 1973. In trying to stimulate engagement of non-whites and women Democrats have aggressively promoted identity politics. This short-term tactic has led to the inevitable strategic catastrophe of the white and male super majorities responding by seeing themselves as an unserviced political identity group. Consequently in response to sotto-voce suggestions that Trump would service this group 53% of all men voted for Trump, 53% of white women and 63% of white men (PEW Research).

2. The Trump-Russia collusion narrative is a political dead end. Despite vast resources, enormous incentives and a year of investigation, Democratic senators who have seen the classified intelligence at the CIA such as Senator Feinstein (as recently as March) are forced to admit that there is no evidence of collusion
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BS5amEq7Fc ]. Without collusion, we are left with the Democratic establishment blaming the public for being repelled by the words of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party establishment. Is it a problem that the public discovered what Hillary Clinton said to Goldman Sachs and what party elites said about fixing the DNC primaries against Bernie Sanders? A party elite that maintains that it is the "crime of the century" for the public and their membership to discover how they behave and what they believe invites scorn.

3. The Democrat establishment needs the support of the security sector and media barons to push this diversionary conspiracy agenda, so they ingratiate themselves with these two classes leading to further perceptions that the Democrats act on behalf of an entrenched power elite. Eventually, Trump or Pence will 'merge' with the security state leaving Democrats in a vulnerable position having talked up two deeply unaccountable traditionally Republican-aligned organizations, in particular, the CIA and the FBI, who will be turned against them. Other than domestic diversion and geopolitical destabilization the primary result of the Russian narrative is increased influence and funding for the security sector which is primarily GOP owned or aligned.

4. The twin result is to place the primary self-interest concerns of most Americans, class competition, freedom from crime and ill health and the empowerment of their children, into the shadows and project the Democrats as close to DC and media elites. This has further cemented Trump's anti-establishment positioning and fettered attacks on Trump's run away embrace of robber barons, dictators and gravitas-free buffoons like the CIA's Mike Pompeo.

5. GOP/Trump has open goals everywhere: broken promises, inequality, economy, healthcare, militarization, Goldman Sachs, Saudi Arabia & cronyism, but the Democrat establishment can't kick these goals since the Russian collusion narrative has consumed all its energy and it is entangled with many of the same groups behind Trump's policies.

6. The Democratic base should move to start a new party since the party elite shows no signs that they will give up power. This can be done quickly and cheaply as a result of the internet and databases of peoples' political preferences. This reality is proven in practice with the rapid construction of the Macron, Sanders and Trump campaigns from nothing. The existing Democratic party may well have negative reputational capital, stimulating a Macron-style clean slate approach. Regardless, in the face of such a threat, the Democratic establishment will either concede control or, as in the case of Macron, be eliminated by the new structure.

Carolinian , June 27, 2017 at 8:34 am

I agree with 6. The fact that the Dems reacted to their presidential loss by immediately accusing their opponent of treason shows how low they have sunk. Perhaps they thought they were justified in imitating Trump's own shoot from the lip style but someone has to be the adult in the room. Meanwhile the country's two leading newspapers turn themselves into social media sites. The ruling class seems to be cracking up.

Suggested name for new third party: the Not Crazy party.

fresno dan , June 27, 2017 at 9:56 am

integer June 27, 2017 at 5:16 am
Thanks for that! Again and Again and Again:
"It corresponds to the domination of Democratic decision making structures by a professional, educated, urban service class and to the shocking decline in health and longevity of white males, who together with their wives, daughters, mothers, etc. comprise 63% of the US population (2010 census). Unlike other industrialized countries US male real wages (all ethnic groups combined) have not increased since 1973. In trying to stimulate engagement of non-whites and women Democrats have aggressively promoted identity politics. This short-term tactic has led to the inevitable strategic catastrophe of the white and male super majorities responding by seeing themselves as an unserviced political identity group. Consequently in response to sotto-voce suggestions that Trump would service this group 53% of all men voted for Trump, 53% of white women and 63% of white men (PEW Research)."

Allegorio , June 27, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Identity politics is basically a divide and rule strategy to keep progressive candidates off the ballot, the real purpose of the Democratic Party establishment. That is what they are being paid for.

Tim , June 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm

The only way to create a new party of actual importance is for it to not be originated from disenfranchised republicans or disenfranchised democrats, lest it be branded as extreme by existing power structures, and be resigned to a fate similar to the libertarian and green parties, which are spoilers at best.

It would need to be a party that grows out of the moderate center. This is doable, because will all the gerrymandering they are becoming the least represented block of voters, that is compounded by the fact that in general 98% of the population are not represented by their representatives anyways. The center is open to facts and reasonable arguments as to policy solutions, such as single payer and a restructured health care industry. That is the executable path to republican and or democrat obsolescence.

John k , June 27, 2017 at 2:36 pm

The first world has had enough neolib, pendulum has started moving the other way. Macron shows the desperation to try something new without embracing right wing LePen an option not available here, so revulsion to neolib resulted in Trump..

Course, the something new macron is just neolib with a pretty face, French will be disappointed, either the left will join forces next time or French desperation will bring LE Pen to power.

Fully agree dems have hollowed themselves out enough to create a vacuum, country desperate for third party. New media is displacing corp mouthpieces, never been easier to start new. Still think take over greens, make functional, because ballot access hard to get, particularly with dems fighting tooth and nail. Come to think of it, maybe they're not completely dysfunctional, they did manage to get on the ballot in most states, not easy, and certainly dems didn't help, they hate the greens.

Dems 30, reps 30, indies 40.
Bernie heading progressive greens gets 1/3 dems, 1/6 reps, 3/4 indies? 45 in three way race is landslide.

oh , June 27, 2017 at 5:13 pm

I don't think I'd count on Bernie. He loves his committee appointments too much and will never leave the DImRats.

integer , June 27, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Just to be clear, the text in my comment above was written by Julian Assange, not me. See the link at the top of said comment.

Andrew Watts , June 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm

In response to point number six: There are already significant legal barriers to the creation of a new party. Both parties will probably gang up on any new party development too.

Secondly, Macron can't be compared to Trump/Sanders. He's just neoliberalism's Potemkin village in France. Both Trump/Sanders aren't really comparable as they both contained genuine political outsiders such as Bannon in Trump's case. I wouldn't compare Melenchon to Sanders either. Melenchon kinda seems like the Le Pen of the French left. By which I mean he would govern as a authoritarian.

integer , June 27, 2017 at 9:08 pm

There are already significant legal barriers to the creation of a new party. Both parties will probably gang up on any new party development too.

Granted, however it shouldn't be forgotten that there are significant barriers to reforming the D-party too.

Lambert Strether , June 27, 2017 at 11:33 pm

Invert "legal barrier" to "asset to be seized"

fajensen , June 27, 2017 at 5:19 am

The Dims – because that's what these people truly are – will just assume that they haven't put enough effort into "Russia" and go triple- or quadruple-up on every failed candidate, strategy, platform, message, consultant, focus-group and whatever else a sane leadership should by now have been tarring, feathering and releasing the hounds upon.

Just imagine the staff meetings: 'We gotta be right eventually, because Vince Lombardi said: "Winners never quit and quitters never win"' and politics is exactly like football. "Ohhh How Deep. Surely advice like that is worth paying 50 kUSD for".

Darn , June 27, 2017 at 5:37 am

+ for Dims. The Russia thing is irresistible because it's supposed to get nationalistic rubes to turn against Trump while sucking up to the military-industrial complex. And yet, it didn't work during the campaign either.

polecat , June 27, 2017 at 11:08 am

'If you are constantly pounding the pudding, shrieking endlessly, and hysterically so, about the evils of the PUTIN and his supposed orange-coiffed minion, while refusing to look into a mirror !!! . You just might be a DIMOCRAT !"

sid_finster , June 27, 2017 at 11:14 am

Team D will continue to double down because it is in the interests of those running Team D to do so.

Ignacio , June 27, 2017 at 5:50 am

The fixation of Clintonites, or frustrated dems with russiagate is very telling and well explained here. It strikes me how the russiagate has treated so uncritically by the "liberal" press in Spain. Nobody, and I say nobody, has even thougth twice about the political risks associated with the demonization of Russia that coincides with Ukraine isues and natural gas supplies in Europe. Interestingly Germans have recently agreed with Russia a new pipeline through the Baltic sea and there is clamor against these agreement amongst other European countries that do not benefit from the pipeline, and apparently the clamor is leaded by the US (the supposedly pro Russian Trump government).

Germany's gas pact with Putin's Russia endangers Atlantic alliance

mundanomaniac , June 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm

and the German journalists, print or TV were ready 2014 like their colleges were1933, when Goebbels called . And no physical threat this time, only probe of character.
And as the Germans since long have learnt to be eager to please their masters they did the trick again, alas now, when they are the paragons of success in the west.

But the president Donald, thank God, is disclosing all veils and Putin is showing a decent kind of leader on the planet. Cheers from Bavaria's

mundo http://astromundanediary.blogspot.de/2017/06/6_18.html

Benedict@Large , June 27, 2017 at 6:02 am

So the bottom line is that Hillary, who wouldn't work for anything better than ObamaCare, is ending up sacrificing ObamaCare itself, all because she got in a powder about people not buying her messageless campaign? We are literally a handful of days away from losing not only ObamaCare, but Medicaid as well, and the Democratic establishment has no strategy except to worry that Bernie Sanders might score a few points for merely repeating back to the party's base what that base was already saying? Forty years of trying to create a "centrist" third party is in shambles, and these people still believe they are entitled to lead what little remains of the party of the working people.

No wonder we were supposed to worry about the Russians. It was the furthest place they could find from where the problem really was.

Mike , June 27, 2017 at 8:38 am

As a side note, no one is mentioning the "progressive" bloggers and news sites (Young Turks, Majority Report, I'm lookin' at ya) who jumped on this bandwagon after showing support for Sanders, then switched to standard form to oppose the "fascist" Trump. It says to me that, just like the more well-known Democratic Party fronts who could have made an effort to show independence, they are ultimately fronts, just more distantly positioned for maximum believability. It all smells, and progressives need to examine their principles before looking to these "saviors".

Even if "evidence" would appear after all this time, do we not suspect it has been cooked in the truth-telling factories of the FBI, CIA, and NSA, all in bed with right-wing warmongers who own both parties (not just Republicans – sorry, integer)? If anything shows the necessity of party realignment (creating new ones to replace existing), this idiocy is not just a brick in the wall, but an entire edifice.

integer , June 27, 2017 at 11:23 am

Even if "evidence" would appear after all this time, do we not suspect it has been cooked in the truth-telling factories of the FBI, CIA, and NSA, all in bed with right-wing warmongers who own both parties ( not just Republicans – sorry, integer )?

Disappointed to read this, as I have never made that claim.

Mike , June 27, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Comment was to your saying the security establishment "which is primarily GOP owned or aligned". Both parties, in a sense, "own" it, and use segments of it to advantage when necessary. But further, both the parties and agencies are "owned" by the power of capital as it is currently operating, and this power behind the throne makes the security and party establishment dance. You and I are on the ground, trying to avoid the footwork.

RenoDino , June 27, 2017 at 8:42 am

http://nypost.com/2017/06/24/inside-the-shadowy-intelligence-firm-behind-the-trump-dossier/

It looks like the Fusion GPS Trump dossier, that is the basis for all of the Russian collusion accusations, is getting ready to become even more of a major embarrassment, hence all the talk about backing away from the current strategy.

Even Planned Parenthood hired this opposition research firm to get dirt on right to lifers. Your tax dollars and donations at work.

Arizona Slim , June 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

In the last six months, I have gone from being curious about Russia to learning how to speak Russian. Thanks for the inspiration, Democrats.

Andrew Watts , June 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Ahah! Most Americans don't learn foreign languages. This is irrefutable proof of a fifth columnist element in America plotting against Moose and Squirrel. Somebody tell the Hillary campaign!

Tertium Squid , June 27, 2017 at 8:54 am

Now I remember where I first heard of Norman Solomon. http://dilbert.com/search_results?terms=Norman+Solomon

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/162106845381/why-the-new-healthcare-bill-will-be-a-loser

Tom Stone , June 27, 2017 at 8:54 am

But, but, it was HER TURN! And her investors are really pissed off. $1.5B up in smoke and not even a blue dress to show for it.

NotTimothyGeithner , June 27, 2017 at 9:31 am

If Hillary with her celebrity and money can't win, what does it say about the potential future political dreams of the Dems who enthusiastically supported her? Or even corporate gigs? What good is a Democrat who can't deliver?

NBCNews has hired Greta, Megan Kelly, and now Hugh Hewitt. The NYT hired a host of climate change deniers.

For the Clintonistas especially, why would anyone hire them again? It's really no different on their part than the "OMG Nader" narrative. In an election with voter suppression, misleading ballots, bizarre recounts, Joe Lieberman, high youth non-Cuban Hispanic turnout for Shrub, Katherine Harris, and the fantasy of simply winning Tennessee, who did Democrats blame? A powerless figure in Nader.

sid_finster , June 27, 2017 at 11:19 am

This is one reason why russiagate is inevitable. Who wants to tell the donors that the Team D brain trust pissed away a billion and a half, with nothing to show for it? But if the election was somehow stolen (eeevil Russkies!) then it wasn't really Team D's fault you see, and then

Darius , June 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

It also is attacking the Republicans from the right, always a Team D wet dream.

Karl Kolchak , June 27, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Problem is, anyone smart enough to earn that much dough is likely too smart to fall for the Russia stole the election BS, which is why Dumbocrats' fundraising has cratered.

John Wright , June 27, 2017 at 8:58 am

The entire Russia-gate issue ignores/insults the voters the Democrats hope to influence. To some extent, the Democrats are telling the deplorable Trump voters, "The Russians influenced you to vote for Trump, someone who you have been aware of for many years, over the other well-known candidate Hillary Clinton"

The Trump voter is probably more than a little irritated to have their voting actions viewed this way, they do not see themselves influenced by the Russians and do not understand why the Russians COULD significantly influence the election when the USA spends so much money on the CIA, FBI, NSA and US military.

The USA is also widely viewed as attempting to influence elections overseas, with none other than Senator Hillary Clinton recorded stating that 'We should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win' in a Palestine election.

http://observer.com/2016/10/2006-audio-emerges-of-hillary-clinton-proposing-rigging-palestine-election/

Disclaimer, this link is from Trump's son-in-law's publication, but the audio has not been questioned AFAIK..

I suspect the American voter does not believe they were "played" by the Russians.

But they may believe that is what the Democrats are attempting to do with the entire Russia-gate campaign

As James Carville said, "It's the economy, stupid" when running Bill Clinton's Presidential campaign.

The Democrats need to see this is still good guidance.

Left in Wisconsin , June 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm

The entire Russia-gate issue ignores/insults the voters the Democrats hope to influence.

To some extent, the Democrats are telling the deplorable Trump voters, "The Russians influenced you to vote for Trump, someone who you have been aware of for many years, over the other well-known candidate Hillary Clinton"

I think this is not right. The Dems have no interest in the votes of the deplorables. What only matters is the meme that HRC should have won. The charitable interpretation is that DNC is still convinced that demographics are in their favor (in the long run). So they do not have to diss their corporate patrons and offer real help to real people; they just need to hold out long enough for the demographics to kick in. The meme that HRC should have won is a rationale for staying the course.

Of course, the uncharitable explanation is that they would rather lose than change.

flora , June 27, 2017 at 9:18 am

"As James Carville said, "It's the economy, stupid" when running Bill Clinton's Presidential campaign. The Democrats need to see this is still good guidance."

Yes, it is. Unfortunately for the voters Bill Clinton and Obama and the Dem estab are neoliberals. Bill and O were neoliberals running in New Deal clothing. The current Dem estab is neolib. A better "message" sans better policies isn't any better than focusing on Russia, imo.

Kevin Horlock , June 27, 2017 at 9:29 am

Please just go away, Hillary and Hillary clones. When you think about it, increasing ever so slightly the risk of actual nuclear war, damaging the Democratic party, and doing untold damage to legitimate (hate to use the word anymore) "progressive" causes is more or less the end-game of all this. And all in service of, what? Vindicating the failures of the inane pundit class? (God forbid) setting up Hillary 2020? Shameful shit right there

John D. , June 27, 2017 at 10:13 am

Even on a purely political level, the whole Russiagate bullshit was doomed to failure, methinks.

Gore Vidal (among others) used to point out that the dirty little secret of America's anti-communist right was that they were actually jealous of the brutal tactics the commies could use against their dissenters and secretly – and in many cases, not so secretly – wished they could do the same thing here. It wasn't that long ago that the right wing blog-o-sphere and certain wingnut writers were all swooning over Putin's manliness (as opposed to Obama's alleged 'weakness') like a pack of horny schoolgirls. The dumb bastards were composing mash notes to the butch Mr. Putin. It was embarrassing.

So if the Dem "leadership" was hoping to turn our own home-grown reactionaries against Trump over being in bed with Putin, they should have known better. We all know the right are hypocrites. Even if there was anything to Russiagate, they wouldn't care. And the rest of us wouldn't give a shit, not if it meant ignoring every other problem that needs dealing with. Since it's all a bunch of bullshit anyway

Jonathan Holland Becnel , June 27, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Good to see this Neoliberal farce go away.

Indrid Cold , June 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm

What if "RussiaGate" was only really intended to pressure Trump hard against any diplomatic rapprochement with a country the Neocons have targeted?

Trump's foreign policy has been relentlessly steered into a direction the Clintons always intended to take it. Ticking off the last countries on Israel's 'enemy list' as compiled by the PNAC creeps. Recall the statement of Col. Wilkerson or one of those old guard people who wandered into an office in the Pentagon to find that there was a list of countries to be destroyed, starting with Iraq and ending finally with Iran. Syria and Libya were on it.

This whole thing is about a high level grand strategic plan that involves destabilizing and overthrowing governments the US and Israel find annoying and insufficiently obeisant. The ultimate goal will be breaking the Russian Federation into a bunch of independent statelets. This isn't 'conspiracy theory' – it's what Brzezinski advocated and aligns neatly with the needs of the military-industrial-financial complex and its obsession with total control over world energy supplies as a lever for domination.

Assad is really secondary to the main goals of:

  1. Getting the Russian naval presence out of the Mediterranean (note that Nuland -another PNAC operative- leverages unhappiness with the corruption in Ukraine to install a fascistic government that would certainly have seized the Russian naval assets at Sevastopol had Russia not seized the Crimea.
  2. Turning Isreal's neighbors into a collection Mad Max style bantu-stans that can be manipulated easily by Saudi -which is ironically Israel's ally.
  3. Controlling energy transit and access points.

Again, I'm not saying anything that isn't in the record.

John Wright , June 27, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Re the country list. It was Wesley Clark who saw the list of middle east/African countries the USA would attack and destroy.

http://www.salon.com/2011/11/26/wes_clark_and_the_neocon_dream/

Per Clark, "He said: "Sir, it's worse than that. He said – he pulled up a piece of paper off his desk – he said: "I just got this memo from the Secretary of Defense's office. It says we're going to attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years – we're going to start with Iraq, and then we're going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.""

It was all supposed to occur within 5 years, so by 2008 the dream would have been accomplished. But maybe the neocons haven't given up, not installing HRC was a downer, but maybe Trump can be pulled into line..

Thor's Hammer , June 27, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Cold, you bring up a topic often ignored that I find highly credible. The Deep State with all its power to manufacture information and create chaos has a long-standing interest in maintaining Russiaphobia. The Soviet Union was certainly the best enemy they have ever known. Without it trillions of dollars of armaments would have never been sold and billions of dollars of spy agency bureaucracies never have been funded.

The real power centers in the US are the bankster cabal, robber baron capitalists, medical extortionists, and the Homeland Insecurity war hawks. The first three have nothing to fear from a Trump presidency– indeed they probably will fare better than if the Clinton Crime Syndicate had triumphed. However (to the extent that he actually stands for anything) Trump's goal of defusing tensions with Russia and doing oil deals with them is a direct threat to the War Hawks, and more than sufficient reason to cut him off at the knees

You do fall into the trap of repeating Deep State propaganda though. Russia did not seize Crimea. Crimea has been part of the Russian sphere of influence for generations. It probably is as much Russian as Texas is American. It's temporary incorporation into Ukraine when the Soviet Union fractured probably had as much to do with Khrushchev being Ukrainian as it had to do with creating the best fit. And when the choice was put before a popular referendum in 2014, 83% of the population turned out to vote and 96.77% voted to join the Russian Federation. Try getting that kind of turn out and consensus in an American election! And even if there was plenty of arm twisting behind the scenes, its hard to believe that the result didn't represent the actual choice of the citizens.

Indrid Cold , June 27, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Re Crimea – you're correct of course. The Texas analogy is pretty good. There was no distinction between Russians and Ukrainians during the time of the Czars anyway. The territory used to be controlled by the Hellenes and then the Byzantines. The Germans wanted to annex it as part of their war goals in ww2

kurtismayfield , June 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm

This has been mission accomplished for the Dems. You just have to assume they want the country to move right.

  1. Kick the left. Always.
  2. Pretend to #resist, while really you are in it to keep the political money spigot flowing.
  3. While distracting their supporters with Russia gate/GA-06/Trump's latest twit, Medicare and ACA get gutted.
  4. Run on returning to the status quo on 2018, taking single payer will be off the table.

It's brilliant... If you know their goal is to move the country right and be a bulwark against the left.

[Jun 27, 2017] I am so fucking tired of Russian hacking bullshit by now,

Jun 27, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Lyttenburgh , June 26, 2017 at 1:49 am
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]

Level of sophistication – rock bottom Ukraine.

[ ]
[ ]

I'm so fucking tired of this bullshit by now, so – here you go:

[Jun 26, 2017] Dems push leaders to talk less about Russia

Notable quotes:
"... "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like ." ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , June 26, 2017 at 3:34 am

The Hill via Antiwar.com: Dems push leaders to talk less about Russia
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/339248-dems-push-leaders-to-talk-less-about-russia

But rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare.

In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift.

"We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like .
####

Reality bites? There are only a finite amount of resources available and the more spend on Russia bashing means less on domestic issues that people actually vote on, not foreign policy. We'll see, but even seguing to blaming Obama for 'not doing anything about Russian hacking' doesn't seem to cut it, though it does allow the Democrats to lightly step back without having to admit that they are full of bs all along. It's the usual 'never admit you are wrong/lying', just change the conversation and forget all that has gone before.

marknesop , June 26, 2017 at 5:44 pm
"They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like ."

America has never been so well-off that there was not a significant demographic which was absorbed with those worries. But the Democrats always act as if they had just discovered it through careful research and lots of listening to the voters. Bullshit.

And the Republicans are no different – both go through these periods of soul-searching, resulting in great enlightenment and epiphany, when it's really nothing more than "Our message is not resonating with voters. They're pissed off with us. We must be doing something wrong. Until we find out what it is, let's go with 'You talked – we listened. We hear you, and we feel your pain'"

[Jun 26, 2017] Report: Democrats Are About to Hang for Debunked Trump Dossier by The_Real_Fly

"False flag" operation charges for various "hacks" and "dossiers" now have additional validity. The DNC hack is the most prominent of them.
Notable quotes:
"... The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House. ..."
"... "These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary's chances of winning the White House." Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. ..."
"... In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary's campaign. Property records show that in June 2016, as Clinton allies bankrolled Fusion GPS, Fritsch bought a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Bethesda, Md., for $2.3 million. Fritsch did not respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Fusion GPS said the firm's work is confidential. ..."
"... Senate investigators are demanding to see records of communications between Fusion GPS and the FBI and the Justice Department, including any contacts with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch , now under congressional investigation for possibly obstructing the Hillary Clinton email probe, and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who is under investigation by the Senate and the Justice inspector general for failing to recuse himself despite financial and political connections to the Clinton campaign through his Democrat activist wife. Senate investigators have singled out McCabe as the FBI official who negotiated with Steele. Like Fusion GPS, the FBI has failed to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking documents. ..."
"... This pee-pee dossier is a side show compared to dozens of special access program intelligence documents Clinton ran through that server and we still have 30,000 emails that were deleted. Destruction of evidence under subpoena. ..."
"... The FBI is obviously corrupted. Comey backed Crowd Strike on the Russian hacking hoax. Invented "intent" as a new defense to felonies. ..."
Jun 25, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

So many of you are triggered to the point of feverish insanity. What sort of subhuman will you become when Trump is vindicated from all Russian collusion claims and the DOJ starts tossing faggots into dank prison cells for ginning up fake intelligence reports to take down a President? Paul Sperry from the NY Post is out with a report tonight, stating the Senate is about to ramp up their efforts in investigating the birthplace of the debunked Trump-Russian dossier, the one thar claimed germophobe Trump enjoyed getting urinated on by Russian hookers. For democrats, this might lead to a Mortal Kombat fatality move if implicated. Criminal charges might rain fire upon them -- like the second coming of Jesus. Many of you still believe said dossier was, in fact, correct. To those people, dare I say, prove it.

The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.

What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a "research and strategic intelligence firm" founded by "three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters." But congressional sources say it's actually an opposition-research group for Democrat s, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda. "These weren't mercenaries or hired guns," a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. "These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary's chances of winning the White House." Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

And in 2015, Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group. More, federal records show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.

In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary's campaign. Property records show that in June 2016, as Clinton allies bankrolled Fusion GPS, Fritsch bought a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Bethesda, Md., for $2.3 million. Fritsch did not respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Fusion GPS said the firm's work is confidential.

Both partners of Fusion GPS have ties to Mexico -- with Fritsch a former Journal bureau chief in Mexico City, married to a Mexican woman who worked for Grupo Dina -- a beneficiary of NAFTA. His partner, Thomas Catan, formerly from Britain, once edited a Mexican business magazine. Perhaps we should now investigate the Democrats' ties to Mexico?

Senate investigators are demanding to see records of communications between Fusion GPS and the FBI and the Justice Department, including any contacts with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch , now under congressional investigation for possibly obstructing the Hillary Clinton email probe, and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who is under investigation by the Senate and the Justice inspector general for failing to recuse himself despite financial and political connections to the Clinton campaign through his Democrat activist wife. Senate investigators have singled out McCabe as the FBI official who negotiated with Steele. Like Fusion GPS, the FBI has failed to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking documents.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ov5gaMFmvus

I'm here for the chaos.

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

Chupacabra-322 , Jun 26, 2017 4:59 PM

Criminal at Large Loretta Lynch also had a DOJ tax payer slush fund to fund Political Leftists groups.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and a group of his colleagues are calling on the newly appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to immediately investigate how US taxpayer funds are being used by the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support Soros-backed, leftist political groups in several Eastern European countries including Macedonia and Albania. According to the letter, potentially millions of taxpayer dollars are being funneled through USAID to Soros' Open Society Foundations with the explicit goal of pushing his progressive agenda.

As Fox News pointed out, USAID gave nearly $15 million to Soros' Foundation Open Society - Macedonia, and other Soros-linked organizations in the region, in the last 4 years of Obama's presidency alone.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-16/senators-demand-investigation-t ...

Justapleb , Jun 26, 2017 2:58 PM

Why this, when Clinton committed multiple felonies with her private server conducting state department pay-to-play business for Clinton Foundation cash?

This pee-pee dossier is a side show compared to dozens of special access program intelligence documents Clinton ran through that server and we still have 30,000 emails that were deleted. Destruction of evidence under subpoena.

The FBI is obviously corrupted. Comey backed Crowd Strike on the Russian hacking hoax. Invented "intent" as a new defense to felonies. Etc.

goober -> Justapleb , Jun 26, 2017 4:31 PM

The dossier is not and was not a side show, it was a deliberate creation that failed. I hope all of these cocksuckers have their assets seized and go to jail ASAP !

I completely agree with Barnes on this one https://youtu.be/oA6FHBCWAyY Most of you are not any where near pissed off enough and you should be ! No wonder nothing much gets done and we end up with shit like this in our government when people are so fucking apathetic and acquiescent. We should all be livid and demand accountability or we certainly won't get it !

Herdee , Jun 26, 2017 2:48 PM

The Clinton influence peddling runs deep into the FBI. Nut job Comey was just the start.

RTUT , Jun 26, 2017 2:37 PM

FBI leadership is in it up to their necks too. It could not have ended up this way if they weren't.

flea , Jun 26, 2017 11:33 AM

McCain is apoplectic trying to stop the Senate from going any further. (He's on the Fusion GPS payroll)

goober -> flea , Jun 26, 2017 5:08 PM

Yes the fusion centers nationwide are all part of the Phoenix project brought to us by CIA and in more recent times the invention of DHS and all the other control mechanisms created here in USA today. The Phoenix project has morphed into the playbook of all these chicken shit worthless wars that are really just corp control and political control mechanisms for the insane psychopaths and sociopaths that have dominated Amercian governemnt for a very long time. The terrorism was a creation of these same people to be used as a tool and controlled. BHOs crew put it all on steroids for all of us to see and in a perverse way that is a very good thing indeed ! At least now many Americans see some of it. Americans are very slow to comprehend even their own demise.

All of the government agencies are well past out of control, not just the spooks. Look at what IRS did and so far giot away with ? They also need to be prosecuted and dealt with severely, but they won't unless we demand such and raise hell about all of it !

Posa , Jun 26, 2017 10:31 AM

So the entire DC Ruling Class is assembled in a circular firing squad, each faction investigating the other and threatening long prison sentences for all playerswhile the rest of America sits in mortified silence... real Banana Republic stuff... much of this overlaid with assassination talk, impeachment and vicious propaganda...

Meanwhile the ROW must be amused to watch the Pax Americana Empire self-immolate.

batushka , Jun 26, 2017 8:07 AM

From Way Back Machine:

Glenn R. Simpson is FUSION 's President and Managing Partner. Simpson has over 20 years of experience in research and investigations, including 14 years with The Wall Street Journal as the Washington bureau's lead investigative reporter. Since entering the commercial intelligence field in early 2009, he has managed complex projects in the US, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Simpson specializes in the banking and securities sectors. He is a seasoned expert on the relationship between government and business and in particular in financial regulation, and is well known in the capital's financial policymaking, regulatory and enforcement communities. For his articles in The Wall Street Journal and more recently for private clients, he has analyzed numerous multinational corporations including difficult international subjects such as banks in the Middle East. He is well versed in the arcana of tax havens, offshore banking, and securities and accounting fraud. He is also in expert in political influence and is widely known among Washington's top lobbyists, lawyers, journalists and lawmakers.

In addition to his long tenure in Washington, Simpson was stationed for three years in Brussels. There he developed strong knowledge of European business practices and structures as well as many contacts in the corporate world and media. His recent research work includes a matter resulting in a significant win for a major government contractor, the exposure of political corruption in Latin America and the exposure of a case of securities fraud in the UK. In December 2010, his nearly two-year investigation of a prominent family ended in a favorable client verdict worth over $70 million.

Simpson is a recipient of numerous awards for his articles, speaks frequently in academic fora and has appeared on many broadcast news programs including CNN, Nightline, Jim Lehrer NewsHour and the BBC. He is the co-author (with Larry J. Sabato) of the book, Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics (Times Books/Random House, 1996).

Peter R. Fritsch is a FUSION Partner and Project Leader. Fritsch is a multilingual investigator, writer and manager with 24 years of experience on four continents. As a reporter and bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, he led and participated in Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigations from Mexico, Brazil, Southeast Asia, Brussels and Washington, DC. He founded the WSJ's Sao Paulo bureau in 1997.

Fritsch has written widely on the global petroleum industry, guided a global team investigating the oil and natural resource industries for the WSJ, and has run top caliber corporate coverage around the world. He enjoys a large network of contacts in business, media and politics in Latin America, Asia and Europe.

His U.S. bases have included Houston, Boston and New York. While based in Singapore, he worked extensively in important emerging markets like Vietnam, Indonesia and India and oversaw newsgathering across South and Southeast Asia.

Most recently, Fritsch led the WSJ's national security and foreign affairs coverage in Washington, DC. In addition to spearheading coverage of the Pentagon and intelligence community, he has reported extensively on Iran's efforts to evade nuclear sanctions.

Fritsch's work has been recognized with several industry awards. His investigation of a Mexican corporate executive ended in the executive's eventual prosecution by Mexican authorities. He was among the first to sound the alarm regarding a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme in the Caribbean. His work in Europe included major terror finance and corporate bribery investigations.

Benjamin S. Schmidt is FUSION 's Managing Director. Schmidt is a former government intelligence analyst. Most recently, he served as Team Lead in the Middle East and Europe office of the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

Over 7 years at Treasury, Schmidt ran complex transnational cases involving banking and other forms of financial activity. His work was often included in the President's Daily Brief and used to guide policy decisions with global ramifications.

Schmidt has worked extensively with Middle East governments and is schooled in identifying and mapping financial networks. He has wide knowledge of financial regulation, international monetary transfer systems and open-source corporate research. At Treasury, he collaborated with the intelligence community, regulators, policymakers and foreign partners to design economic sanctions programs, and has wide knowledge of sanctions laws.

Ben has served as a mentor to a cadre of junior Treasury investigators, instructing his partners in the art of transnational discovery. He is especially adept at devising databases and customized technological solutions to research problems. He is the recipient of several prestigious internal awards for his work and holds an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Call them: 202-558-7142

Demologos -> batushka , Jun 26, 2017 12:55 PM

Well-pedigreed spooks. Handmaidens of the Deep State.

AntiLeMaire , Jun 26, 2017 6:27 AM

Burn baby burn!

Daily Caller: Grassley: Schumer Knew Trump Was Not Under Investigation When He Publicly Claimed Otherwise http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/24/grassley-schumer-knew-trump-was-not-un...

Washington Examiner: Byron York: On Russia, a senator's deception, and a timeline of Trump frustration http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-on-russia-a-senators-decept...

Legal Insurrection: Grassley: Schumer Publicly Stated Trump Was Under Investigation Knowing Full Well It Was Untrue http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/06/grassley-schumer-publicly-stated-tr...

Breitbart: Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley: Chuck Schumer Knew Trump Wasn't Under Investigation but Said He Was Anyway http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/23/grassley-schumer-knew...

LOL

Tarzan -> Keyser , Jun 26, 2017 8:19 AM

Funny you ask, but when the FBI doesn't cooperate with a congressional inquiry, their boss should fire them!

THE PRESIDENT is the FBI's boss!

He should immediately fire any FBI official who refuses to cooperate with a congressional investigation.

Same for the CIA, NSA, IRS, and all the other Executive branches of Government. The congress holds the purse, but the President is the person who ultimately holds oversight over these rogue branches of Government.

What the hell is he waiting for, Isn't "Your Fired" part of the mans DNA, did he not promise to drain this swamp?

Fire them!

Hata Mari -> Tarzan , Jun 26, 2017 2:56 PM

I'd actually prefer imprisonment for Contempt of Congress.

In this atmosphere, if a weasle is fired, they'll just find some other lucrative position within the weasle pack (see Wasserman-Schulz).

But imprisoned! Now there's a concept.

[Jun 25, 2017] UKRAINE meddled in US 2016 election. In conspiracy to blackmail Trump, Ukraine provided DNC with false accusations against Manafort, hoping to derail Trump and install Deep State figurehead Hillary Clinton

Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

RobinG June 24, 2017 at 4:32 am GMT

DEMOCRATS & REPUBLICANS: ONE BIRD, 2 WINGS . SAME SHIT

UKRAINE meddled in US 2016 election. In conspiracy to blackmail Trump, Ukraine provided DNC with false accusations against Manafort, hoping to derail Trump and install Deep State figurehead Hillary Clinton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjZ5gI9GaM UNREAL: The real election interference scandal HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

See the timeline, and smoking-gun email from Alexandra Chalupa. To steal election, DNC fabricated Trump-Russian collusion stories which have poisoned US-Russia relations in this administration and stoked impeachment fever. Anti-Russian hysteria serves Israel by killing Syria & Iran diplomacy. Great journalism by Lee Stranahan.

Exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 5:59 am GMT

The fabricated collusion stories strike me as efforts to force Trump to put the US on an aggressive war footing against Russia in Syria and elsewhere. As such the constitute war crimes efforts and are not only criminal, but stupid in light of the unnecessary risk they put us to.

[Jun 23, 2017] Some People "Would Rather Have 1st Class Seats on the Titanic Than Change the Course of the Ship"

Notable quotes:
"... Being in control of the losing party is still being in control: deals can be made, hands can be shaken, backs can be rubbed. A reformed progressive party means that the current elite lose their relevance, influence and power. And they will have none of that. ..."
"... "Change cannot occur if the displaced ruling class is left intact after a revolution against them." Dems have been running away from Henry Wallace (Roosevelt too) since way before my time. ..."
"... outside ..."
"... The Dems are never going to change unless challenged from outside the party. Sanders' Titanic analogy isn't particularly valid since the first class passengers in this case have their own private lifeboats. ..."
"... Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton, Hoyer. They are all old. In 5 years time, the whole Democratic party could change. There is a saying attributed to Max Planck, "Science advances one funeral at a time.", I suggest the same applies to politics. ..."
"... I'm not sure how you look at the last election cycle and conclude that the 'Democrat' party is even remotely capable of reform from within. For all of Mr. Sanders laudable goals, I think he is still suffering from the delusion that enough people in the party have the courage and moral conviction to do the right thing rather than looking out for their own skin. The money suggests otherwise. ..."
"... These closet elitists espouse popular progressive policies on their face, but when push comes to shove they will happily throw a few people under the bus if it means they won't have to wait in line for their morning latte at Starbucks. ..."
"... Freud, referring to nationalism. called it "the narcissism of superficial differences." It seems to apply very well here, too. ..."
"... Fascinating stuff really, how in America Socialism=USSR=Stalin=Terrorism=Obama. Reminds me of that excellent wikileaks document talking about how they are content to have erased civics and worked to create a clueless population ..."
Jun 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on June 23, 2017 by Yves Smith By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

... ... ..

Protecting Their First Class Seats on the Titanic

The quote in the title of this piece is from Bernie Sanders , said in a recent interview with David Sirota. Here's just a part (emphasis and paragraphing mine):

Sirota: The Democratic Party leadership has lost the White House, Congress, 1,000 state legislative seats and many governorships. Why is the party still run by the same group of people who delivered that electoral record?

Sanders: Because there are people who, as I often say, would rather have first class seats going down with the Titanic, rather than change the course of the ship . There are people who have spent their entire lives in the Democratic Party, there are people who've invested a whole lot of money into the Democratic Party, they think the Democratic Party belongs to them . You know, they own a home, they may own a boat, they may own the Democratic Party.

I mean, that's just the way people are, and I think there is reluctance on some, not all, by the way - I mean, I ran around this country and I met with the Democratic Party leaders in almost every state in the country. Some of them made it very clear they did not want to open the door to working people, they did not want to open to door to young people. They wanted to maintain the status quo.

On the other hand, I will tell you, there are party leaders around the country that said, "You know what, Bernie? There's a lot of young people out there who want to get involved. We think that's a great idea, and we want them involved."

Those who said "You know what, Bernie? There's a lot of young people out there who want to get involved. We think that's a great idea" - they don't run the Party when it comes to its top layers of leadership. Not by a very long shot.

For the Message to Change, the Leadership Must Change

So what's a progressive to do? It should be obvious. The Democratic Party has to change its policy offering, from "You can't have what all of you want" to "If the people want a better life, we will give it to them."

Yet this is not so easily done. For the message to change, the leadership must also change.

Which raises the critical question: How do we depose Chuc​k Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and the rest of their kind and make people like Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley the Party leaders instead?

After all, if someone like Bernie Sanders isn't Senate Majority Leader, if a Sanders-like politician (Ted Lieu perhaps) isn't Speaker of the House, what's the point of electing more back-bench progressives, more "supporting cast" players? ​

If there's no way to do that - and soon, given the ticking clock - we're Sisphus pushing the same heavy bolder up the same high hill, year after year, decade after decade, till we die or the game is finally truly over. 2018 is around the bend. 2020 is coming. Après ça, le déluge . Not much time to solve this one.

Completely filling the Second Class cabins on the Titanic with our people (that is, populating Congress with progressives who are nevertheless kept from leadership and control) won't change what goes on in the Captain's cabin and on the bridge.

Put more simply, we need to control the Party , or when the clock truly runs out, all this effort will truly have been pointless. I'm not fatalistic. I assume there's a way. So here's my first shot at an answer.

Elected Progressives Must Openly Rebel Against Their "Leaders"

In order for the revolution inside the Democratic Party to work, our elected progressive congressional representatives senators, must work to depose Pelosi and Schumer (etc.) and take power. More - they must do it visibly, effectively and now , in order to convince the 42% of voters that someone inside the Party is trying to knock these people out of the Captain's chair.

We voters and activists have our own challenges. This is the challenge for the electeds we've already put in place. If our elected progressives don't do this - or won't do this - "tick-tick-tick" says the world-historical clock on the wall. And we can all go down together, steerage and First Class alike.

It's time to step up, elected progressives. It's also time to be seen to step up . Read the Paul Craig Roberts quote at the top again. If the Party's failed leaders aren't deposed, the revolution will have failed.

It's a moment for real courage, and moments of courage bring moments of great fear. I understand that this kind of open rebellion, open public confrontation, a palace coup in front of the TV cameras, is frightening.

It's also necessary.

My ask: If you agree, write to your favorite elected progressive and say so. No more gravy train for Democratic elites. Meat and potatoes for voters instead. Complete the Sanders revolution by changing House and Senate leadership - now.

I know this puts some very good people on the spot. But maybe that's a feature, yes?

Isotope_C14 , June 23, 2017 at 12:42 am

Though I believe climate change is well past the point that it can be mitigated, the attempt to depose the corporate democrats is a noble enough endeavor. Stephen Jaffe is running against Nancy Pelosi, a very thoughtful and progressive candidate.

https://twitter.com/Jaffe4Congress

David Hildebrand is running against Feinstein. Also very progressive and well worth some research. https://twitter.com/David4SenateCA

I'm sure these guys could use any help anyone is willing to offer. I believe they are both against PAC money, but they can accept donations through actblue.

xxxx, June 23, 2017 at 9:04 am

Yeah but so we have two white men running against women, and on top of that if my google is correct Jaffe is > 70yrs old?

No disrespect to the quality of the candidates, but . seems like more wheel spinning. Like I keep saying, I don't trust Tulsi as far as I can throw my gas guzzler, but she has the kind of profile we need.

Vatch , June 23, 2017 at 11:07 am

[Tulsi Gabbard] has the kind of profile we need.

Yes, she does. But she's from Hawai'i, and a 50 state strategy is needed. Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein are both Californians, and they're a couple of phonies. Despite the difficulties, any progressive Democrats who oppose them in the primaries deserve to be seriously considered for support. Here are some more web sites for these candidates:

David Hildebrand http://www.davidforcalifornia.com/

Stephen Jaffe https://jaffe4congress.com/

Tim Canova, who opposed Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the 2016 Democratic primary, has endorsed Stephen Jaffe:

https://jaffe4congress.com/endorsements/

Jaffe is 6 years younger than the 77 year old Pelosi:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-meet-the-liberal-who-is-trying-to-1494004055-htmlstory.html

Kim Kaufman , June 23, 2017 at 1:43 am

I love the spike in 2007 from Dems to Independents. That would be about the time Pelosi said "impeachment is off the table." They came back to vote for Obama and have been cratering ever since. And Pelosi is still there. But the problem is: the leadership has not been developing any new leaders. Pelosi is a disaster but whoever might replace could easily be worse.

jefemt , June 23, 2017 at 9:01 am

I shake my head in wonder at how 'middle America" seems to have been suckered by Trump, and continues to vote against its self-interest. Yet I see a comment with a 'conditional but(t) about Pelosi, and I think, "Well, that is just as inane?"

We need to dump BOTH sides of the same neocon , self-interested corrupt to the core coin, BOTH parties, and completely re-tool.

The collective 'we' must come up with a simple platform, over 300 new candidates for congress, as many candidates as there are for the upcoming Senate seats, in the next 18 months. Tall order, but, it really is up to 'us'. We 'the people'.

The platform that would rally the votes, or a Constitutional convention and re-work that would satiate the broad center of America is daunting if even possible.

I have trotted out some ideas, and they just don't resonate with closest like-minded friends, so how am I going to gain traction with folks that are of a deeper opposite philosophical perspective?

– Single payor, one system, NOT insurance, but care: same one for congress, the president, the military, and lowly tax mules like me
– No-deduction, simplified flat-rate income tax with four tiers, 5% 12% 20% top rate 40%- you tell me where we draw the gross income lines between the % rates
-Tax return has taxpayer- directed check boxes in front of a simplified matrix of 'government' , where individuals choose where they want their money to go. Initial 10 year period of a declining sliding scale- 90% goes general fund first year, 80% 2nd year, and so on so that by year 10 each taxpayor only gives 10% to the general fund, 90% is taxpayor-directed (direct democracy?) Allows lead time for the government to see the direction the nation, and not the elected officials, want to see their money go (infrastructure? Bombs and depleted uranium bullets destined for distant shores and brown people? National Parks and monuments? Starving disabled widows and children? Public universities and Community College/ Trade Schools?
-Currency tied to BTU/ energy– value of BTUs based on full-life cycle costs- including carbon or waste management externalities (Coal, oil/gas, nukes, hydro) analyzed energy units– incentivize individuals to print their own money with rooftop solar, wind, conservation, etc ( a new Gold standard :This is where all the displaced accountants and insurance/ medical staff can go after the tax code is simplified )
-Reintroduce The Draft, with mandatory service to include civilian work corps, get parents involved in directing our elected 'reps' to ponder the slelf licking ice cream cone of perpetual war

I'm sure I am missing many things but boy, between Trump. Pelosi, McConnell, Schumer, Ryan, Gianforte, we are according to my values and preferences headed in a 180 degree wrong direction!

B1whois , June 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Honestly, at this point, every single vote cast in the presidential election could be argued as being "against one's best interests". This hackneyed phrase needs to subsume under real qualitative analysis.

jrs , June 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm

it's going to be against one's self interest in all likelihood as the system one lives in is against most of our self-interest (including our corrupt money drenched political system). Some votes can at best be damage control, which I suppose is in one's self interest to a degree, but only to a degree.

Crazy Horse , June 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

This entire discussion is based upon the false premise that there are two political parties in the United States. Objectively there is only one party- the War Party, Empire Party, Kleptocracy Party- call it whatever you wish. Within it are two factions with slightly different players and ownership, but both are totally unrepresentative of the real interests of 99.99% of the citizens.

From the standpoint of the commoners, the two parties are similar to football teams where fan support is based upon social conformity and quasi-religious delusion. Loyalty is fostered by staging huge circuses where the two contestants compete to see which one can fabricate the most appealing set of lies which they never intend to try to implement.

"Change cannot occur if the displaced ruling class is left intact after a revolution against them" The idea that one of these "political parties" can be captured and transformed into something other than its very essence is ludicrous. What exactly does the displaced ruling class (not being) left intact mean? Nancy Pelosi finally succumbing to old age? Pelosi, Obama, or Trump are hardly the ruling class- merely its' hired servants who can be replaced. Having the ruling class overthrown is more likely to mean the Buffets, Bezos', and Dimons of the world thrown into a maximum security cell In Guantanamo or burned at the stake than a mere shuffling of political actors.

And Gaius, what basis do you have for calling Trump the worst presidential candidate in modern history? In order to achieve that honor he will have to outperform Obama, he of the silver tongue who ruled for 8 years as a "progressive" while overseeing the destruction of the middle class, enabling the financialiization of the economy and the greatest transfer of wealth in history, and becoming the world's most prolific assassin using a fleet of remote controlled drones. Or be more evil than George Bush, who sat in the back row of an elementary classroom while Dick Cheney stage managed the false flag attack upon New York and the Pentagon and used that to turn the country into a Homeland Insecurity police state. Granted, Trump is trying hard to be even more destructive than his predecessors, but he hasn't yet succeeded.

Johnny Pistola , June 23, 2017 at 6:33 pm

You effectively echo my thoughts, Mr Horse. The children of the American Revolution are afraid to revolt perhaps they fear they will be demoted to economy class on the Titanic if they rebel?

Rhondda , June 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Excellent comment.

redleg , June 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Missing 2 big ones:
1. MONEY IS NOT SPEECH, and shall be subject to regulation by legislation and/or administrative rules;
2. Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE and have absolutely ZERO inherent rights. Any rights assigned to corporations by legislation shall be subordinate to those of living beings.

Yes, I'm shouting.

jrs , June 23, 2017 at 2:18 pm

The U.S. Constitution IS ONE F'D UP DOCUMENT, that makes things so hard to change.

But really since it seems this requires an amendment to change these things, and that is nearly impossible to achieve (well we haven't had a new amendment in 45 years unless you count congressional pay – yea approaching near half a century without one), it does just underscore what a screwed up political construct we live under.

UserFriendly , June 23, 2017 at 2:00 am

I could not agree more if you paid me to.

Kim Kaufman , June 23, 2017 at 2:05 am

And here's something to listen to on the good ship Titanic:

Gavin Bryars – The Sinking Of The Titanic (1975, Obscure)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oVMRADOq5s

I've always liked Gavin Bryars but just read the above is on Tom Waits' top ten list of music favorites. So here's something he did with Bryars, also part of the sinking of the Titanic:

Gavin Bryars Feat. Tom Waits – Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet (Long version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT0wonCq_MY

Lambert Strether , June 23, 2017 at 2:10 am

> They've totally had it.

Exactly.

Ignacio , June 23, 2017 at 3:13 am

This article shows that the Democratic party, all political parties with possibilities, are run like corporations. Period.

WobblyTelomeres , June 23, 2017 at 9:54 am

Or a crime syndicate.

allan , June 23, 2017 at 11:14 am

Or a lobbying firm. A flexian lobbying firm:

Prominent Democratic Fundraisers Realign to Lobby For Trump's Agenda [Intercept]

[ Long laundry list horror show of Obama/Clinton bundlers lobbying to advance Trump agenda. At the end:]

The Intercept spoke to several progressive activists who expressed outrage that leading Democratic Party officials are now advancing the Trump agenda, but were reluctant to comment on the record, for fear of angering powerful Democrats. But a few activists, like Democracy Sping's Newkirk, decided to speak on the record.

Becky Bond, an activist and former Bernie Sanders adviser who also spoke out, said, "When Democratic insiders team up with Comcast and the private prison industry, they make it pretty difficult to see how the party can recruit relationships with the voters it needs to bring back into the fold."

"Destroying the internet and maximizing the profitability of mass incarceration," she added, "is not what I would call a winning strategy for Democrats who want to take back power in 2018."

If the DNC wanted input from granola crunchers, they would ask for it.
Or, rather, have Blue State Digital ask for it and bill the DNC six figures.

I Have Strange Dreams , June 23, 2017 at 3:23 am

The doctor has correctly diagnosed the disease, but there is no cure; the prognosis is terminal. The D party are American to the core: grifting, hustling, murdering, stealing, tech-douchebaggery, vagina-hatted buffoonery, egotistical, self-obsessed anti-social psychopathic angry drunks of selfish parents. I.e, all-American.

HotFlash , June 23, 2017 at 8:56 am

There is a lot of truth in what you say. But perhaps you could make some new friends?

relstprof , June 23, 2017 at 3:29 am

"By my count, with the Georgia election Democrats have just blown their fifth chance in a row to make a new first impression"

Direct and simple. Publius has it right, like Hillel:

"There was an incident involving a Gentile who came before Shammai and said to him: 'Convert me to Judaism on condition that you will teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot.' Shammai pushed the man away with the building rod he was holding. Undeterred, the man then came before Hillel with the same request. Hillel said to him, 'That which is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. This is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary.'" ( Shabbat 31a)

Imagine this scenario with a fast-food worker, a coal miner, an adjunct professor, a docks trucker. (Evidently Ossoff didn't imagine this, as reports surface that he didn't campaign for these kind of voters.)

Do not exploit. Single-payer. Debt relief. Free tuition. It's not going to be easy, but there's no need for fear.

relstprof , June 23, 2017 at 3:36 am

Edit: fearmongering ought to be the last word above.

HotFlash , June 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

I think leaving it at 'fear' is better.

Carla , June 23, 2017 at 7:53 am

"Do not exploit. Single-payer. Debt relief. Free tuition. It's not going to be easy, but there's no need for fearmongering."

As long as we keep bombing the shit out of Syria, Yemen, and anywhere else we please?

Oh, I forgot. "Do not exploit" only applies to Amuricans

cripes , June 23, 2017 at 3:47 am

As much as I would like to see a viable third party that owes nothing to the POS legacy Dems, it does seem like the more likely scenario is a takeover of the entire party apparatus and leadership.

The hour is getting late. (hat tip J Hendrix)

Hayek's Heelbiter , June 23, 2017 at 5:19 am

Actually, the line is by Nobel Laureate, Bob Dylan, from "All Along the Watchtower." which was, importantly, preceded by the line, "There's no reason to talk softly now."

ratefink , June 23, 2017 at 10:56 am

Eeeee

"Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

voteforno6 , June 23, 2017 at 6:28 am

Actually, hat tip B. Dylan (b. R. Zimmerman).

Johnny Pistola , June 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Yeah, but I still like Jimi's version better.

Eureka Springs , June 23, 2017 at 8:17 am

I like PCR's quote.

"Change cannot occur if the displaced ruling class is left intact after a revolution against them .

I don't even detect this as a sincere goal among progressives/demos which is yet another reason I'm not d partying.

If anyone takes over the party without changing nearly every process then they are just seeking the same results by new faces.

Binding platform/policy established and maintained by as many people/votes as possible. And this should be done by nearly anyone but candidates/office holders. Officeholders should represent with instructions much like a jurist.

True party membership.

No more caucus. Individual private votes on paper ballots for all party processes. All off which must be counted immediately. Votes should be scheduled far in advance, with no last minute changes to questions/issues as we witnessed when given glimpses of inner party shenanigans.

Transparent, real time monitoring of all incoming and outgoing funds. Down to the office pencils and after hours beers if on party or contracted dimes.

Otherwise it's a private anti-democratic exclusionary party and you ain't in it.

Eclectic , June 23, 2017 at 4:59 am

Being in control of the losing party is still being in control: deals can be made, hands can be shaken, backs can be rubbed. A reformed progressive party means that the current elite lose their relevance, influence and power. And they will have none of that.

wellclosed , June 23, 2017 at 5:38 am

"Change cannot occur if the displaced ruling class is left intact after a revolution against them." Dems have been running away from Henry Wallace (Roosevelt too) since way before my time.

habenicht , June 23, 2017 at 6:26 am

Michael Hudson said this back on this site in March:

"It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims. At the time these essays are going to press, Sanders has committed himself to working within the Democratic Party. But that stance is based on his assumption that somehow he can recruit enough activists to take over the party from Its Donor Class.

I suspect he will fail. In any case, it is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation. Both U.S. parties are committed to this neoliberal program – and seek to blame foreign enemies for the fact that its effect is to continue squeezing living standards and bloating the financial sector."

Further I find it hard to conclude that the Democratic party is salvagable reading the post here. They have proven time and time again where their interest lie.

Unless there is a mutiny on the horizon for the democrats, maybe it is better to abandon ship!

Moneta , June 23, 2017 at 7:41 am

Donor money attracts the status seekers pushing for the status quo, guaranteeing low voter turnout. Leaders probably love it when the dissenters just give up and become even more individualistic.

A new party needs to get started promoting:
– pension protections
– universal healthcare
– affordable post secondary education

Susan the other , June 23, 2017 at 11:21 am

Interesting how Macron managed to recruit enough members of parliament to make his EM party viable – just that easily he ousted and replaced people. I thought it was all too smooth. Here it's a cat fight all the way. And in the end party politics gets corroded anyway. I'm thinking a party is secondary to policy, because it is always shifting. Whereas some bedrock policy, regardless of which "party" might be marching for it, can survive all the ups and downs of sack-of-potato politics. What we need is a movement that demands human rights. A constitutional convention would just be another cat fight – we need to start demanding the basics, as you list them and maybe a few more like a jobs guarantee program – the right to work for a living wage.

Moneta , June 23, 2017 at 11:45 am

IMO, the manifesto has to list requests that are

Human rights are too nebulous: one could see walking down the street holding a gun a god given right while the other sees being able to walk in a gun free city
a god given right.

Job guarantees are just as nebulous. Instead of offering job guarantees, you'd have to guarantee the creation of specific jobs: cleaning polluted areas, universal daycare, research into X, etc.

Moneta , June 23, 2017 at 11:50 am

Very specific.

Rhondda , June 23, 2017 at 6:53 pm

I don't think you can compare the situ with the Dems to Macron's feeble sweep up. He's a Globalist banker construct, a cutout. Obama v 2.0 a la Français. IMHO, of course.

Carolinian , June 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

Thank you. The Dems are never going to change unless challenged from outside the party. Sanders' Titanic analogy isn't particularly valid since the first class passengers in this case have their own private lifeboats. Of course you can get melodramatic and claim the fate of the world is at stake and therefore the planet itself is the Titanic due to AGW but that's a problem much bigger than political parties and changing one for the other isn't likely to make much of a difference.

Since the article brings up Walmart and Amazon perhaps they could serve as better analogies. They aren't really monopolies of course since they fear competition including each other and that may be all they fear. I see this in my own town as new competitors move in and Walmart cleans up its stores, offers new services etc.

So Michael Hudson had it right. Sanders would have made far more of a difference if he had started a third party rather than sheepdogging for the Dems. The barriers are huge and designed to be so but the people running the Dem party are not going to step aside for our convenience. It's the duopoly system itself that needs to be overturned and not this perpetual suggestion–that we've been hearing forever–that the Dems somehow reform themselves. Their idea of reform is to bring on somebody like Obama to fix the p.r.

a different chris , June 23, 2017 at 9:11 am

Lifeboats? They have manned helicopters.

a different chris , June 23, 2017 at 9:16 am

>Sanders would have made far more of a difference if he had started a third party

Not sure I agree with this. Now you can possibly convince me that he should, but I feel strongly that the initial attack right in the belly of the beast was necessary. Now everybody's heard of him, know who he is. He's on the TeeVee, he brings them eyeballs.

If he started a third party he would have just been ignored in the media, and the media is all.

DanB , June 23, 2017 at 11:09 am

He could have started a third party with the justification that the DNC sabotaged him. We'll never know what would have been the outcome in 2016, but since I see Bernie as a "first pancake" (don't eat it but it's necessary to get things going) breaking with the Dem. Party would have been important on several levels.

Vatch , June 23, 2017 at 11:16 am

You are absolutely correct - as a third party candidate, Sanders would have received even less media coverage than he did get from the mainstream media. I think he would have done better than the Greens, but he still would have lost badly. One of the major lessons of 2016 is that the deck is heavily stacked against third parties in the United States; neither the Greens nor the Libertarians in combination could muster 5% of the Presidential vote. To ignore that lesson would be tragic.

UserFriendly , June 23, 2017 at 2:09 pm

At the end of the primary this poll came out.
http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=16a737fe-f202-42b4-965f-e76b137ba826

In a 4-way election for President of the United States today, 06/10/16, with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Gary Johnson all candidates on the ballot, Trump defeats Clinton 35% to 32%, with Sanders at 18% and Johnson at 4%, according to SurveyUSA research conducted for The Guardian. Of those who vote for Sanders if his name is on the ballot, 73% say theirs is a vote "for" Sanders, 19% say theirs is a vote "against" Trump, and 7% say theirs is a vote "against" Clinton.

In a 4-way election for President with Sanders' name not on the ballot, Clinton defeats Trump 39% to 36%, with Johnson at 6% and Jill Stein at 4%. 5% of all voters tell SurveyUSA they would "stay home and not vote" in this ballot constellation. Of those who vote for Sanders when Sanders' name appears on the ballot, 13% say they will stay home if Sanders name is not on the ballot, 41% vote for Clinton, 15% vote for Johnson, 11% vote for Stein, and 7% defect to Trump.

I can't help but think that as Sanders got to put his message out at the debates, when most voters are just starting to tune in, and then with comey and pussy grabbing there would be a significant shift to the only not insane candidate with a shot. That is if the media didn't go ape shit on him for 'handing the election to trump' as soon as he decided to go 3rd party. That is a big IF, but now I wonder how much of an effect that would have had with how much everyone loves the media ..

charles leseau , June 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

If he started a third party he would have just been ignored in the media, and the media is all.

Exactly.

HotFlash , June 23, 2017 at 9:46 am

The Dems are never going to change unless challenged from outside the party.

Sanders' Titanic analogy isn't particularly valid since the first class passengers in this case have their own private lifeboats.

To your point the first, it is not an either-or situation. And think how effective it would be if the Dem Party leadership was challenged from *both* inside and outside!

To your point the second, the *very* first class passengers feel assured that they have lifeboats (and they could be wrong), but the hangers on? Not really. They have not adequately prepared, they are as few paychecks from disaster as the rest of us are, they are riding on their employers' ticket, and that is why they are hanging on to the "donor class" like grim death. The actual "donor class" doesn't pull the levers of power, they have staff to do that. It is the staff that we are after.

EricT , June 23, 2017 at 10:18 am

Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton, Hoyer. They are all old. In 5 years time, the whole Democratic party could change. There is a saying attributed to Max Planck, "Science advances one funeral at a time.", I suggest the same applies to politics.

Jeremy Grimm , June 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm

The history of third parties in the U.S. is not encouraging. Much as I respect Michael Hudson's writings on economics I tend to adhere to the writings of G. William Domhoff for analysis of power. [ http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/class_domination.html ] From the section "The Power Elite and Government":

" there can be only two main parties due to the structure of the government and the nature of the electoral rules."

"The fact that Americans select a president instead of a parliament, and elect legislators from "single-member" geographical areas (states for the Senate, districts for the House) leads to a two-party system because in these "winner-take-all" elections a vote for a third party is a vote for the person's least desired choice. A vote for a very liberal party instead of the Democrats, for example, actually helps the Republicans."

This last election cycle the Democratic Party too plainly exposed its empty hull within. It appears vulnerable to take over by mutiny or pirates from within.

Abandoning ship? - That sounds like a good way to drown. Neither of the main alternative parties show promise and riding the currents of the present seas will not carry us to a new island home.

Adam Eran , June 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

The current situation is an echo of the post-Civil-War elections when the Farmers' Alliance and Peoples' Party actually elected officials from local to Federal. They lost, ultimately, to J.P.Morgan and his interests, but sparked genuine change (a central bank, among other things).

Hard to say we'll do much better now.

Chronic Illness , June 23, 2017 at 7:02 am

I'm not sure how you look at the last election cycle and conclude that the 'Democrat' party is even remotely capable of reform from within. For all of Mr. Sanders laudable goals, I think he is still suffering from the delusion that enough people in the party have the courage and moral conviction to do the right thing rather than looking out for their own skin. The money suggests otherwise.

I think it has been proven rather conclusively that political animals are first and foremost self-serving creatures. That being said, it's probably time people take the bull by the horns and proceed with forming a party that actually represents their collective interests rather than "the system".

I have been involved in a discussion group with some highly intelligent people (mostly PhD types here), and it is fascinating how many of them will apologize for the destruction created by the previous administration's policies. These people aren't necessarily wealthy, but they see themselves as the "resistance" when they are part and parcel part of the problem.

They, like many in the 'Democrat' party, still cling to the Hamiltonian principles that have alienated so much of the country. Obama was a perfect example of how destructive this mindset can be. These closet elitists espouse popular progressive policies on their face, but when push comes to shove they will happily throw a few people under the bus if it means they won't have to wait in line for their morning latte at Starbucks. These faux progressives see themselves as the thinkers and leaders in modern society (much like Orwell's Animal Farm pigs), and they have no intention of letting the peons without proper pedigrees institute change which would level the playing field for a more just and humane social and economic structure.

HBE , June 23, 2017 at 10:08 am

These closet elitists espouse popular progressive policies on their face, but when push comes to shove they will happily throw a few people under the bus if it means they won't have to wait in line for their morning latte at Starbucks.

This is a perfect definition of a dem tribalist, in all but words they are the exact same as those suburban republicans the dem party so desperately longs for, but will never have for the simple reason they are tribalists as well.

Dems are enraged enough to don little pink hats and march by the millions, not because of gross inequality, injustice or global warming, but because their moderate Republican lost.

They say they hate racists and racism, but they steadfastly support the policies that institutionalize racism. Mass incarceration, economic injustice, global war, the biggest drivers are just fine with them. The racism they don't like is the crass kind displayed by individuals that they see or here. Not really because it's racist but because it tarnishes their virtue bubble.

Dems are moderate suburban Republicans who don't have stiff enough constitutions to see, and own the effects of the policies they support. They are delusional hypocrites.

Third party please.

Michael Fiorillo , June 23, 2017 at 11:46 am

" they are they exact same as those suburban republicans the dem party so desperately longs for "

Freud, referring to nationalism. called it "the narcissism of superficial differences." It seems to apply very well here, too.

oh , June 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm

The crooked leadership in the DimRat party are only interested in fooling people so they can collect campaign contributions which they promptly lop off for their personal gain. They don't if they win or lose an election as long as they can fool people and loot campaign money. They'll swindle the honest people who stay within the DimRat party and throw them away like used rags. The people who desire to change the party from within are deluded. Bernie might have meant well and spoken some truths but when push came to shove, he ran back to Momma! Let's get with the program and support a third pary like the Greens who already have registration in ove 40 states.

David, by the lake , June 23, 2017 at 7:04 am

I washed my hands of the Democrat Party and national politics after the primary, with the exception of a possible Constitutional convention, which I see as the best chance we have to dismantle the American empire peaceably. I'll still vote, as disruptively as I can, but I'm not investing my energy in national issues only to be left a dry husk. Rather, that energy is being focused on my garden, my community, and my family.

David, by the lake , June 23, 2017 at 9:02 am

Your comment is appreciated, perhaps more than you realize. One can feel quite alone in a decision like this when the massed crowd insists on marching off the cliff and expects me to not only go along, but to agree that it is a good idea. Thank you.

Arizona Slim , June 23, 2017 at 9:40 am

You're very welcome.

And, shhh, don't tell anyone, but there are many more people like us. Our numbers are growing.

ErnestMold , June 23, 2017 at 10:44 am

Yep. Many, many more. We should create a secret handshake to identify one another in public. Or maybe we identify our comrades by the dirt under their fingernails, or the beet left dangling from their back pocket as a sign of solidarity.

freedeomny , June 23, 2017 at 2:16 pm

I don't think you are alone at all. I have been planning similarly for the past 3 years and know several other people who are doing the same. We have paid off mortgages, pinched pennies and are living a simple, anti-materialistic life with the end goal of moving to a rural/small town where we can be largely self-sustaining, focus on our communities and make due with a much smaller income.

That being said-I will continue to use my voice (in any way that I can) to express my outrage at the current state of the USA .

Johnny Pistola , June 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm

Yes! And you can find us at the local community food and music festivals across North America. National politics has become a toxic playground for futile argument.

Vatch , June 23, 2017 at 11:19 am

I'm not investing my energy in national issues only to be left a dry husk. Rather, that energy is being focused on my garden, my community, and my family.

Simply voting in the Democratic primary doesn't take a lot of energy. Your family and your community could benefit if you do so (I'm not sure about your garden).

Jeremy Grimm , June 23, 2017 at 1:14 pm

I strongly second this view! Independents and the alienated [David, by the lake you seem "alienated"] should register to one of the two parties - preferably Democratic. Registering for a party means you can vote in that party's primary and it means you might be called by pollsters and receive requests for contributions - all offering great potential for disrupting which are not otherwise available to Independents and the alienated.

Michael Fiorillo , June 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Not that I'm happy with what he does or plans to do, but isn't Trump already doing a pretty good job of dismantling the American empire?

Given our circumstances, and the patterns of history, isn't it a delusion for the anti-imperialist Left to think that the empire will shrink/dissolve into something resembling its preferred model, whatever that is? In fact, doesn't history show cronies/grifters/looters/shitheel relatives (think Kushner) as the ones who inherit a failing empire, and get their skim from the excess energy/capital generated by it collapse?

I've no patience at all for the "Putin did it" memes, but according to the Caligula/Nero model of imperial decline, he'd have been wise to do everything in his power to get Trump elected, since Donnie is likely to do more to undermine the empire than anyone imaginable.

Jeremy Grimm , June 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

In the BBC series "I Claudius" - Claudius believed favoring Nero would help bring a return of the Republic.

My chief hope from Trump was that he might draw down our Military and stop a few of our ruinous wars. Instead he seems to have "outsourced" control and direction of the Military to the Military. And Trump's domestic agenda seems oriented toward reducing most of the population to the condition of self-supporting slaves transferring what wealth they still hold into the hands of the very wealthy. I suppose this is one way to dismantle the American Empire.

redleg , June 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm

Trump and the GOP are doing exactly what they do. This might be dismantling (privatizing) society, but this is what they are and have been so for many years. They are malevolent, but relatively honest about it.

The Dems, however, speak through their hats. They are also malevolent, but do not broadcast it. They are masters of scapegoating and rationalization. They have been moving right since at least the Carter Presidency (yes, Carter) and appear to covet the GOP so much that they have effectively become the GOP of 5 to 10 years ago on a sliding scale. Since every election is The Most Important EVAH ™, they have kept those attempting to move the party back to the left unhappily in the party as "they have nowhere else to go". But the results over the last 50 years reveal the Dems as liars, and eventually the lessor of 2 evils strategy (not a typo – they are for lease) stops working as people slowly realize that the benefits of voting blue no matter who are minimal. Thus the increase in independents on the above graph.

We have hit the point, globally IMO, where people have had enough. "Vote GOP/fascist, and those empty-promise Dems/liberals will suffer with us- and we get to keep our guns." Or don't vote at all. Schadenfreude is a powerful motivator.

The Dems were the party of conservatives back in the 1800s (remember slavery?), took a little detour in the 1930s, and have reverted to what they were. The left (not the vichy-left that is left only relative to the GOP, but the progressive left) has no representation in US politics. The future for progressives lies outside of the Dem party – let the aristocratic Dems and GOP become one party with 2 factions discriminated by the amount of bible thumping they do.

Progressives need to start over very publicly, and the sooner the better. They need to clearly, loudly describe what they will do, how they intend to do it, and how it will benefit people. Corbyn and Sanders have demonstrated that there is a significant fraction of the population that will support this. It also uses the existing Schadenfreude as a political tool.
\rant)

FWX341844 , June 23, 2017 at 7:15 am

"For the message to change, the leadership must change."

For the Democratic-Party leadership to change, we have to get the new message [we will give you a better life] through to them. They're not listening to that new [old-school] message, because roughly half of us will vote for them no matter what the message is [say, the alternative is worse, ya' know] and the other half of us don't vote at all [read: what difference does it make?].

Let's address that last part first. We should be able to convince the people that their votes would make a difference if only they'd cast them for at least five consecutive election cycles. That might entail electing more of the same sort of Democrats that we have today. But if voter participation on the Democratic side of the choice increased sufficiently and persistently, then even the worst of the Democrats would have to remove the tampons from their ears to hear the people demanding a better life.

Be advised, though, that when the better life arrives–as it briefly did following the GI Bill, The Interstate Highway Act, the expansion of the suburbs, the era of urban decay and municipal budget crises wrought by bond down-grading–a fair number of the people will become Republicans and the great cycle of rent-seeking expropriation will begin anew.

Kokuanani , June 23, 2017 at 7:19 am

The foolish Democrats continue to send our house "surveys" as part of their begging. Usually I just throw them out or write a brief, nasty message in red marker. This time, with the two that are awaiting my action, I'm going to add a more detailed "get rid of Pelosi, Schumer, Hoyer etc." message.

Having worked in a Congressional office, I know that I'm not really "communicating" with anyone, but perhaps if they get a few more of these specific "suggestions," a light will go on in their lizard brains.

Northeaster , June 23, 2017 at 8:44 am

Bernie Sanders? Really? He is a hypocrite and a Socialist – GTFO of here with that nonsense.

This country may just have to duke it out and see what's left after the ashes fizzle out. It won't be Bernie Sanders, that's for sure.

Arizona Slim , June 23, 2017 at 9:45 am

You are saying "socialist" like it's a bad thing. Ever gone for a drive? To the library? You just dealt with two socialist entities, roads and libraries. I could go on, but the hour is getting late.

IsotopeC14 , June 23, 2017 at 9:54 am

Fascinating stuff really, how in America Socialism=USSR=Stalin=Terrorism=Obama. Reminds me of that excellent wikileaks document talking about how they are content to have erased civics and worked to create a clueless population

tegnost , June 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

Bernie played it masterfully, disrupting the democrat party and exposing the fraud, while maintaining an operational voice as a senator. The aforementioned elites would like nothing more than seeing him go away.

Big River Bandido , June 23, 2017 at 10:29 am

The entrenched power within the Democrat Party in Washington lies with the campaign committees (DNC, DCCC, DSCC) who are under the thumb of some of the most sleazy, corrupt people in politics - Democrat "consultants".

There will be no kind of change without decapitating the party of those scumbags. They, in turn, owe their jobs to the members of Congress who are elected by their caucus to "oversee" those campaign committees. DCCC is headed by Pelosi apparatchiks Lujan and Israel. Israel, in particular, is a poster child for the corrupt, antideluvian Democrat Party hack. Similar dynamics apply in the Senate, although the caucus "leaders" are not always what they appear to be on paper. (Feinstein has long been the "leader" of the Senate Democrats, though she has never held the title.)

roadrider , June 23, 2017 at 8:57 am

You might as well try to reform the Mafia.

The Democrats are dead to me and have been since 2006 when they "took impeachment off the table" and acquiesced to the "surge" in Iraq. Whatever inclination I might have had to remain with them was shattered in the 2008 primaries when any candidate voicing actual progressive thoughts was shunted aside by the party leadership and their media sycophants in favor of the two most conservative, war mongering (take another look at the second Obama-McCain debate if you think only Hellary was a war monger) , corporate/MIC lackeys.

It doesn't matter how many elections Pelosi, Schumer, et. al. lose or how hollowed out their representation in Congress and state houses become, They will continue to be supported by the mega-rich neoliberal establishment, celebrities, tech elites and the coastal intelligentsia. Without an outside challenge from the left nothing will change inside the party since they are correct in their observation that the left "have nowhere else to go", well except to stay home (like they did in 2016). This will result in more Trumps (who are smarter and more competent than the original model) and then the Dems will play the "unity" and "resistance" cards.

a different chris , June 23, 2017 at 9:29 am

I agree with 99% of what you say but, if they continue to lose then they will not be supported by the mega-rich etc.

The sad thing is we now have the Imperial Presidency, and I'd still probably bet (lightly) against Trump in 2020 so the Dems will probably get the Presidency again without Congress and the country will continue to spin its wheels.

lyman alpha blob , June 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

They have been losing for decades now and yet they do continue to be supported by the mega rich. That's not going to dry up any time soon as those types do like to hedge their bets.

The Imperial Presidency didn't start in January. And I'll remind you that statusquObama had a Democrat majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate when he took office. He had no need to compromise with the other side and could have pushed through any truly progressive reforms that he and the Democrats wanted to and yet the wheels continued to spin. All that came of that was a pro-corporate health insurance scam that is now on its last legs.

Please don't continue to labor under the delusion that if only they controlled more branches of government things would be different. If they actually wanted to help out the working class in this country they would have done so already. That they'd rather lose than help the 'deplorables' has become abundantly clear.

RenoDino , June 23, 2017 at 8:57 am

It's ALL one party with a scrum at the margins. St. Bernie stands atop the burning dumpster, railing about the injustice of it all, while being consumed by its flames. This is an Empire backed by a full-blown Police State. Nobody is going anywhere.

You are now free to go about your business enjoying the benefits of our consumer society. Thank you.

PKMKII , June 23, 2017 at 9:20 am

Democratic consultants are to politics as mutual fund managers are to Wall Street: Put on fronts of intelligence, talent, and insight well beyond their abilities, act like their expertise is crucial for success when their actual track record is mixed at best, act like their much more important to the process than they really are, and it doesn't matter if they win or lose, they get their hefty fees regardless.

Arizona Slim , June 23, 2017 at 9:52 am

I know such a consultant. He is oh-for-two with his last couple of candidates.

An acquaintance just hired this consultant to manage his campaign. Said acquaintance reminds me of Ossoff. And not in a good way.

Methinks that the well-paid consultant is about to go oh-for-three.

Daniel F. , June 23, 2017 at 9:47 am

Reforming the so-called Democratic Party is impossible in my opinion. It's torn between a corporate leadership (appeal progressives) and its regressive fringes. Let it burn to the ground and make a new party, for true progressives (am I going in the direction of a "no true Scotsman"?), who would represent the interests of "We, the people".

Then you have the real radicals, BLM, AntiFa, and the n th wave intersectional feminists, respectively crying about "systemic oppression", "goddamn nazis everywhere", "the Patriarchy", and collectively: "fugg da po-pos!". Yes, the Republicans also have their corporate leadership and fringes, but actual nazis and delusional AnCaps seem a lot less vocal or significant (at least from Europe) compared to any riot or the madness at the Evergreen State College. Then again, this is coming from someone living in Europe, so my perspective isn't very good. Still, I don't feel really good about the self-proclaimed Leader of the Free World (which it actually used to be) devolving further.

Louis Fyne , June 23, 2017 at 9:49 am

That's why as small donors, people need to starve the beast--no contributions to the any DC-based organization (to culturally appropriate Ronald Reagan). Support local individuals. Even $20 spent on a losing well-chosen local state rep. is better spent than $10 for the DNC.

Carolinian , June 23, 2017 at 10:01 am

Some relevant observations from St. Clair https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/23/democrats-in-the-dead-zone/

Left in Wisconsin , June 23, 2017 at 1:37 pm

I like the description of the Ossoff race as a Pyrrhic loss – so much invested by Dems into a candidate with so little to offer, that the loss looms larger than it would otherwise.

I'm for trying anything that might work, inside or outside the D Party. I am convinced the rules of the game in the US make it almost impossible for a 3rd Party to succeed. But there is no permanent reason the D Party has to be one of the two.

The problem/difficulty with taking over the D Party is not just the handful of leaders in DC. By my count, there are maybe 20 truly left-progressive Dems in the House and no more than 5 in the Senate (being truly charitable to people like Warren). So changing the nature of D representation in DC with require primary-ing the vast majority of current DC Dems. So the question is, does it make more sense to try to do this in D primaries and try to take over the D Party apparatus – no doubt against virtually the entire existing apparatus – or to run a complete slate of 3rd party candidates in Nov elections. I used to think the former strategy has a much higher likelihood of success. Now I am not so sure.

DJG , June 23, 2017 at 10:09 am

One concept that may help here is "party system." We are in the sixth party system of the U S of A. And it sure looks like we are opening the door to the seventh party system. So ruling out "third parties" isn't a great idea: Both of the political parties (D and R) are structures that are dry-rotted. One kick may send either or both tumbling. In some respects, Trump won the nomination because Republican voters perceived how corrupted the Republican party is. (He may be the stereotypical spoiled American businessperson, but to Republican voters, he was somehow more "real" and "new" than Romney, the well-scrubbed spoiled Republican businessperson.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_system#United_States

The parties aren't permanent. Is anyone nostalgic for the Whigs? Should we argue that there was no way to get rid of the American Party (the Know-Nothings)?

justanotherprogressive , June 23, 2017 at 10:30 am

Sanders: "Because there are people who, as I often say, would rather have first class seats going down with the Titanic, rather than change the course of the ship."

And then there are those propaganda-gulping people who think that someday they too will get one of those 1st class berths if they just keep going along with what the elite wants

I can't believe some of the people I meet who think that somehow that the neoliberal game plan is going to make their lives better someday

Mike , June 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

Many here commenting upon G. P.'s post truly hope and wish for change (heard this one before?), both within the Democratic Party and outside. In both cases, the answers and suggestions given are very innocent.

To cleanse the entire nation of the influence of corporate cash, corrupted lackeys, and warmongers is absolutely necessary to accomplish both of those goals, and we often do not see this nor do we see any method to be used. How can anyone have the slimmest belief that the moneyed interests, their toadies, and the hired hands at DoD, State, the Fed, and NSA, FBI, CIA, etc. will go peacefully into the night when we challenge their puppets within the twin parties of death? Will they not double down on preserving this system that promises so much to them? Have they not killed those opposing them in other countries, as well as here in the good ol' USA? What do we do when we go to phase two (sorry- a wannabe poet)?

I'd like to see a discussion based upon that reality, with backup plans to initiate and defend a strategy that knows a "win" in one area of division of this system guarantees nothing until total victory over the entire ball of wax is accomplished. In short, we have no global ideology, no encompassing

My gut feeling is that the working poor know, deep in their bones, it was never as simple as presented by radicals of the sixties or those of us who have not thought this through to its conclusion. That is why they "oppose" such ideas and presentations (and, partly, due to well-earned suspicion that some ideas are meant to rope the poor into a losing proposition, all the better to hang them out to dry, eh?).

Plan piecemeal, if you must, but "act locally, think globally" means more than just a surrender to local politics and school board elections. It can also mean your whole philosophical outlook and approach to the question " after this, what do we do?".

tegnost , June 23, 2017 at 11:27 am

"around here" it's long been known that the reality is the dems can't win a school board election. You don't need a gut feeling. Their demise is as certain as their inability to see it coming.

Carolinian , June 23, 2017 at 12:10 pm

OK I'll bite .what do we do?

The sad truth is that history's lurches and spurts are usually the result of great violence–wars, revolutions. The Russian revolution shaped the history of the 20th century because the western oligarchs were so afraid that would happen to them that they had–temporarily it seems–to make concessions to the welfare state. Their other tactic was to try to destroy the source of the infection. Hitler and those backing him really had eliminating the Commies as their principal concern. Lots in the west were hoping he'd do it and this carried on into the Cold War.

At any rate while waiting for the cataclysm we can at least nibble at the edges and try to revive the Left to a degree. Sitting around worrying about what's going on with the hopeless Dems probably isn't all that useful.

Left in Wisconsin , June 23, 2017 at 1:46 pm

All true. But we are a young species still, and the world has changed so much in the last 100 years that I'm not sure how much of what happened before sets limits on what we can achieve going forward.

OTOH I certainly agree with Mike that electoral politics is just the tip of the iceberg. OTO we won't really know what we are up against until we have some electoral power. But, just as one example, I am not at all convinced that the grunts in the military would back a soft (or hard) coup against a left populist with a real strategy and political operation to improve the lives of most people. (I do think most cops probably would.) And it is still the case that corporations need customers to make money – in both the 1910's and 1930's, there were important splits in the world of big business that provided openings for left politics. One of our biggest problems is that a huge proportion of the remaining manufacturing in this country feeds the MIC and it will be hard to get working people to oppose that.

casino implosion , June 23, 2017 at 11:17 am

I did my part for the Sanders revolution by voting for Trump, who campaigned far to the left of Clinton. But I'm just a het white male brocialist, so what do I know.

Susan the other , June 23, 2017 at 11:34 am

Just one quibble. I don't want us to be at cross purposes. We have a global way of doing things – for lack of a better description it is "capitalism" but it falls way short of replacing government – even tho' it has been trying to do just that for a century. Government is basically a distribution system – the more equitable the better – and we still rely on Government to deliver. That is one side of the coin. And it is, so far, all about money. The other side of the coin is the planet, which has been polluted and exploited almost beyond recovery by a human population that is way too big and a blind faith in capitalism and trade. We are already living a contradiction. And we need to fix it quickly. In order for policies to do us any good they have to repair the planet while they keep us all alive at some level of comfort. An angry revolution that has all sides talking past each other won't help anybody. It will just waste precious time. And I submit that politics is the art of talking past each other. We need to get above it.

Left in Wisconsin , June 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Gov't is more than just distribution – it also structures the whole capitalist market system – there is no capitalism without limited liability, bankruptcy, contract law, etc. None of that should be taken as given or unchangeable.

Bobby Gladd , June 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Nice. Depressing that you have to point that out.

"If there were only one man in the world, he would have a lot of problems, but none of them would be legal ones. Add a second inhabitant, and we have the possibility of conflict. Both of us try to pick the same apple from the same branch. I track the deer I wounded only to find that y ou have killed it, butchered it, and are in the process of cooking and eating it.

The obvious solution is violence. It is not a very good solution; if we employ it, our little world may shrink back down to one person, or perhaps none. A better solution, one that all known human societies have found, is a system of legal rules explicit or implicit, some reasonably peaceful way of determining, when desires conflict, who gets to do what and what happens if he doesn't "

David Friedman, "Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters"

Oregoncharles , June 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

", unless one wishes to scale the mountain of deliberate, structural impediments to forming a viable, 50-state third party."

Excuses, excuses. You'd rather scale the mountain of impediments to reforming the "Democrat" party?

After many years of mountain climbing (figurative), and many, many discussions with apologists for repeating what didn't work before, I've concluded the real determinant is not a rational calculation implied by Gaius' above quote; it's personality. Some people have a much lower tolerance for betrayal, and a lower attachment to institutions, than others. Personally, I walked away in disgust when Slick Willy was president and I realized he was really a Republican – only worse, because of the betrayal. So did others.

Others don't react that way; instead, they stay attached to the institution and hope to overturn its power structure. I think Bernie's extremely impressive campaign demonstrated the essential futility of that approach. So did thousands of Bernie supporters who turned around and joined the Green Party as soon as he lost. (Oregon has other more-or-less leftwing parties, so I don't think we caught them all.) The proportion changes over time because it depends on the severity of the provocation; deliberately choosing the weaker candidate, and cheating to do it, even in the face of a Trump candidacy, was a very severe provocation.

OTOH, I'm beginning to wonder what it will take to finish the job; the total self-immolation of the Dems – or maybe of the country? Just as individuals have breaking points, so do populations; where is it? My worst fear, and I now consider it quite likely, is that we shoot right past overturning the party structure to outright violent insurrection. It's easy to joke about torches-and-pitchforks, but I'm getting too old for that sort of thing, and the human costs are truly forbidding.

Cujo359 , June 23, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Politicians, like most people, do difficult things for only two reasons. Either they have to do them, or they really want to do them. No one does them because they think it would be a fine idea if someone does them someday.

This means that any strategy like the one proposed in this article needs to explain how we're going to convince our congress people that they have to oppose their leaders, not that it's a good idea. When progressives are willing, in sufficient numbers, to either vote for and support someone else or keep their votes and support in their pockets will those politicians think that what we want them to do this. Short of that, no amount of pleading or shaking our fists is going to matter.

If enough progressives in each Democratically-controlled district are willing to publicly state they'll withhold their votes and support until this happens, it has a chance of happening. Otherwise, I don't see how it's going to be any more of a priority than all the other things we want that aren't being done.

Synoia , June 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Change the funding: Candidates can only accept money from natural people in the constituency they wish to represent.

Ed , June 23, 2017 at 6:14 pm

I think most voters are very wary of the government's ability to deliver anything in terms of actual services what they want is money from them in some form or another.

People will vote Democrat again and then they will vote Republican but there isn't going to be some sea change in the actual policies either way.

[Jun 23, 2017] Hannity starts talking about murdered DNC staffer again

Jun 23, 2017 | www.msn.com

Sean Hannity spoke about the murder of late Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich during his Thursday radio program, ending a temporary hiatus from the topic.

Hannity brought up the murder while speculating about leaks of damaging DNC emails that he believes may have come from "dissatisfied, disgruntled" staffers within the group.

"My guess is there are a lot of angry, disgruntled, whistleblowing truth tellers within the DNC that were there that saw the collusion, that saw that the fix was in against Bernie Sanders, that saw that there was corruption at the highest levels," Hannity said on his nationally-syndicated radio program.

Released emails via Wikileaks revealed an effort from top officials of the DNC to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the primary campaign despite the organization insistence it was neutral in the race.

"Now I don't know anything about Seth Rich in this sense. I don't have any information about why he was murdered except that it was suspicious," Hannity continued. "And suspicious meaning it wasn't a robbery as they've claimed but otherwise why would you not steal his wallet, his phone, his necklace, his jewelry and watch and everything else."

[Jun 20, 2017] In Final Oliver Stone Interview, Putin Predicts When Russia-US Crisis Ends

Notable quotes:
"... "You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him. ..."
"... "Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us." ..."
"... PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie. ..."
"... They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes. ..."
"... TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't. ..."
"... PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews. ..."
"... The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin. ..."
Jun 20, 2017 | www.forbes.com
But with Trump in the White House, the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory is one reality TV show the news media can't shake. Stone's love for foreign policy intrigue at least makes him a Putin kindred spirit here. America's age old fear of the Russians, has made Putin public enemy number one and Stone his sounding board. For some unhappy campers, like John McCain, Putin has " no moral equivalent " in the United States. He's a dictator , a war criminal and tyrant .

"You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him.

"Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us."

In the last installment of the Putin interviews, the Russian leader admitted to liking Trump. "We still like him because he wants to restore relations. Relations between the two countries are going to develop," he said. It's a sentence very few in congress would say, and almost no big name politicians outside of Trump would imagine saying on television. On Russia, you scold. There is no fig leaf.

In a recent sanctions bill in the senate, only Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against it, making for a 97-2 landslide in favor of extra-territorial sanctions against Russian companies, namely oil and gas.

Stone asked him why did he bother hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails if he believed nothing would change on the foreign policy front.

STONE: Our political leadership and NATO all believe you hacked the election.

PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie.

They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes.

Just then, editors cut to a video of Trump talking about Putin.

TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't.

PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews.

The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin.

See:

[Jun 17, 2017] Dumping the Democrats for good is the only way to resist Trump

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. is engulfed in a "crisis of governance" that has been "intentionally misunderstood" by the corporate media and the political elite, said Danny Haiphong , a contributing political analyst at BAR. Anti-Russian hysteria has been whipped up "to medicate political consciousness." "They don't want to discuss how Russia has absolutely nothing to do with the millions of incarcerated people in the U.S., or the fact that it is the U.S. monopoly capitalist economy, not the emerging capitalist economy of Russia, which has automated many of the jobs and siphoned much of the wealth that once belonged to a privileged sector of U.S. workers," said Haiphong. "This system has run its course. War is all the system has left." ..."
"... "If you are resisting Russian collusion with Trump, then what you are resisting is a fantasy," BAR executive editor Glen Ford told the opening plenary of the Left Forum. "And, if you are simply resisting Trump, the idiot in the White House, then you are simply a tool of a Democratic Party strategy." ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | blackagendareport.com

"Dumping the Democrats for good is the only way to resist Trump," said Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley , addressing BAR's panel at the Left Forum, in New York City. "What have they done since Election Day?" Kimberley asked. "They have refused to give even the appearance that they are willing to push for even meager reforms. We have to talk about replacing them and having a true workers party, a true peace party."

Political Elite Use Russia-Baiting to "Medicate" U.S. "Crisis of Governance"

The U.S. is engulfed in a "crisis of governance" that has been "intentionally misunderstood" by the corporate media and the political elite, said Danny Haiphong , a contributing political analyst at BAR. Anti-Russian hysteria has been whipped up "to medicate political consciousness." "They don't want to discuss how Russia has absolutely nothing to do with the millions of incarcerated people in the U.S., or the fact that it is the U.S. monopoly capitalist economy, not the emerging capitalist economy of Russia, which has automated many of the jobs and siphoned much of the wealth that once belonged to a privileged sector of U.S. workers," said Haiphong. "This system has run its course. War is all the system has left."

A Real Left Would Demand Peace

"If you are resisting Russian collusion with Trump, then what you are resisting is a fantasy," BAR executive editor Glen Ford told the opening plenary of the Left Forum. "And, if you are simply resisting Trump, the idiot in the White House, then you are simply a tool of a Democratic Party strategy."

Ford said the nation needs a rejuvenated anti-war movement, "or else we are defenseless against this kind of strategy on the part of the Democrats, who pretend that they are an alternative to the fascist-sounding and definitely virulently white nationalist forces in the Republican Party, but are themselves intent upon a war policy that can mean the extinction of the human race."

[Jun 17, 2017] How Hillary Lost, In Her Own Words by Philip Giraldi

Jun 17, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Yes, I voted for Donald Trump. When people confront me and ask me why, I sort of shuffle off, head down, while muttering something about how "he wasn't the war candidate."

I even stuck with Trump until he launched cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria and overnight became the establishment favorite, with all the media and most politicians singing his praises for attacking a country with which the United States was not at war over an alleged atrocity that did not involve Americans-and could easily have been attributed to the terrorists that Damascus has been fighting. And then he did it again, using fighter bomber aircraft to attack a column of Syrian government-affiliated militiamen who were allegedly approaching and thereby threatening a position inside Syria where U.S.-supported "good" insurgents, accompanied by American advisers, were apparently hunkered down.

Someone should take out a map and show Trump where Syria is and outline its borders while explaining what "sovereign territory" is supposed to mean. If he could grasp the concept, possibly by relating it to Mexico, it just might suggest to him that we Yanks could actually be foreign invaders who have crossed a national border and are killing local people in gross violation of international law.

And then there is the foreign-policy finesse exhibited on his recent World Tour. It began with his predictable slobbering all over the Saudis and Israelis before stiffing the Palestinians. But then he elevated his game by angering the Pope, whining to the Germans because there are no Chevys on the streets of Berlin, pushing his way past the Montenegran Prime Minister and, finally, insisting on riding in a golf cart and arriving late to the photo-op ending the G7 meeting in Sicily while everyone else walked the 700 yards. His boorishness manifests itself as a nearly complete unwillingness to make even the smallest gesture that would ease the relations with other countries and leaders who are important U.S. partners. I guess he sees doing so as a sign of weakness. Class act all the way, Donald!

But then again, when I am really down on Trump and what he is doing or not doing, I think of Hillary Rodham Clinton. A good friend of mine Joe Lauria, formerly a Wall Street Journal correspondent, has recently introduced, edited, and provided extensive commentary for a book entitled How I Lost By Hillary Clinton . It is an indictment of the Clinton campaign "in her own words" and includes a foreword by Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, who discusses the leaks of Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta emails that together provide much of the material included in the text.

Lauria uses the source material to describe the Clinton campaign using her own speeches as well as the leaked emails of her close associates, and it really is refreshing to revisit what made the "inevitable" Hillary so unappealing, particularly as she is now trying to rebrand herself without assuming any serious blame for her shortcomings as a candidate. Along the way, documents reveal the road to Russiagate and Clinton's plans for more regime change, as well as expose corruption within the nominally "neutral" DNC, the latter of which led to the deliberate sabotage of the campaign of Bernie Sanders and the de facto anointment of Clinton as president-apparent.

The book is organized around two central themes, Hillary as an elitist and Hillary as a hawk. In his introduction, Lauria describes Clinton as "an economic and political elitist and a foreign-policy hawk divorced from the serious concerns of ordinary Americans-the very people she needed to vote for her." It is a fair assessment and in his introduction Joe also takes aim at Russiagate among other targets, asking why, after more than a year of investigation and assessment, there has been no National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the alleged interference by Moscow in the U.S. election. NIEs are meticulously prepared to provide detailed analysis of an issue, to include sourcing and reliability assessments. They are carefully crafted products of the entire intelligence community and they include dissenting opinions. That there has been no NIE on Russiagate is unfathomable, unless of course such a report would reveal that Russiagate is itself a complete fabrication.

Lauria particularly assails Clinton foreign policy, describing her as a neoliberal interventionist who was the principal driving force behind a series of U.S.-led actions that turned Libya into a failed state while she was also urging tough action against Russia and yet another regime change in Syria. Joe notes that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were arming terrorists in Syria on her watch, which she was aware of from DIA reporting, while also contributing generously to the Clinton Foundation, which notoriously intermingled its ostensibly humanitarian programs together with the political activities of Hillary and Bill. And the Foundation also rewarded the Clintons directly through generous salaries and substantial perks for the whole family, to include foundation-funded travel on executive jets, which totaled $12 million in 2011 alone.

The Clinton sense of entitlement knew no limits, with Bill once accepting a $1 million birthday present from Qatar, the principal funder of al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra. Citing email evidence, the book documents how major foreign donors to the foundation were able to enjoy special access to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hillary's closest associate Huma Abedin was point person for much of the activity and was paid a $105,000 salary by the State Department, plus an undisclosed amount by a consulting firm linked to the foundation, a double dip arrangement of questionable legality.

Between April 2013 and March 2015, Hillary Clinton gave 91 speeches and earned over $21 million. The three speeches for Goldman-Sachs that she made during that time, for which she was paid $675,000, are the best known, mostly because soon-to-be candidate Clinton refused to release the transcripts. But she also spoke to just about any group who would pay her upwards of a $200,000 fee plus expenses. This included several public universities. In her speeches, she sometimes complained about how awful it was that many Americans had begun to look down on those who have a lot of money, including a comment to Goldman Sachs that "there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives." She was referring to herself and Bill.

It was rare that Hillary's mask would drop and she would say what she really thought, though it did happen sometimes. A speech at an LGBT fundraiser in New York included the now infamous line: "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it they are irredeemable but thankfully they are not America." Or at least not an America that she would recognize.

Hillary's speeches and the emails of Podesta and her staff are quoted in extenso in the text and appendices. The most enduring impression is how boring most of what she said really was. Her political experience enabled her to say what her audience wanted to hear-no more, no less. She rarely spoke of actual policy in concrete terms and, for example, when speaking to Goldman Sachs, she was instead full of platitudes and generic praise for the "American way" of democracy promotion combined with good, solid, liberal, and free-market values. She included how the financial-services industry is in the forefront of all the positive changes taking place worldwide. There was nary a critical word about the role of the largely unregulated and predatory big banks in the great crash of 2008, and when she spoke of the suffering caused by that disaster, she was referring to the disruptions experienced by those in financial services and government who were made uncomfortable by being forced to respond to the crisis.

As Joe Lauria observes, Clinton's failure was clearly her inability to comprehend what many mostly white working-class people in the United States were experiencing. Her failure to see or understand inevitably became an inability to empathize with such audiences verbally in a way that would appear to be sincere. She came across as leaden and scripted. Her speeches increasingly became sustained attacks on Trump the man and his admittedly flawed personality, combined with appeals to women to vote for her purely because of her own gender. Her campaign was singularly lacking in any formula for addressing the real problems experienced by many in the country.

Speaking to bankers and other elitists from the Washington-New York axis and Hollywood was a lot easier for Hillary because she was, after all, one of them. She avoided campaign visits to working-class constituencies. And she compounded that with a bellicose world view that considered Washington's ambition to become some kind of benign but resolute global hegemon as both quite practical from a resources point of view and also the right thing to do, something that most Americans failed to relate to as a high priority.

So Hillary portrayed largely in her own words is well worth a read. Unfortunately for our country, there are a lot of Hillary clones still out there who have not learned the lesson of her defeat. Fortunately for conservatives, quite a few of them are still in charge of the Democratic Party.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

  • Nathan Meyer , says: June 15, 2017 at 11:39 pm
    I have little to argue with there; though the lack of a public NIE assessment on a subject does not mean that none exist? The tragic thing is that, bad as she is, Mrs. Clinton would have been better at performing the duties of the office than Mr. Trump. It was always a choice between flogged by Clinton or flayed by Trump. You can often survive a flogging, being flayed, not so much.
    EliteComInc. , says: June 16, 2017 at 12:15 am
    Exoneration is supposed to be freeing and yet,

    there's the sickening sense that there's a lot of trench-work to be done and it won't be pretty.

    "Fortunately for conservatives, quite a few of them are still in charge of the Democratic Party."

    it's where the rest are which should be disconcerting.

    Fran Macadam , says: June 16, 2017 at 1:53 am
    I share your view about the voting choices and what was surely our last, worst hope for change.

    But you know, causing disaffection among the "allies" who bear increasing resemblance to high maintenance satrapies making entreaties to the "benign hegemon" imperial court could be a good thing – the discontented gongs of divorce, breaking up that old gang o' mine.

    Jim Swarthout , says: June 16, 2017 at 3:32 am
    Hope this book made you feel better about your Dear Leader Donald! While I continue to dislike Hillary, and voted for her without any relish, the character, history, idiocy, and absurdity of DJT could make the most abject of politicians seem like Honest Abe. Even if you really, actually think 'Russiagate' is a "vast left-wing conspiracy," does that make you feel any better about this president? That's pretty cold comfort . . .
    Brandon Zicha , says: June 16, 2017 at 5:05 am
    . because conservatives have been such beneficiaries of the loss of the democratic opposition. Man, the conservative ideals are just going gangbusters!

    Or is this new GOP under Trump Conservatism. That would be news to me.

    genetuttle , says: June 16, 2017 at 5:16 am
    Reasonable 2016 sentiments might have paraphrased Churchill: Trump was the worst candidate for president, except for all those others.

    He has been narrowing the gap daily since then. Thanks for the reminder that he hasn't yet closed it completely.

    Mickey , says: June 16, 2017 at 6:39 am
    The alternative would have been a sane non sociopath adult. Even many conservatives recognize that fact. The white working class would be much better off with good health insurance, and maybe higher wages.
    Adriana I Pena , says: June 16, 2017 at 7:06 am
    Mr. Giraldi. NOTHING could be worse than putting Moe Howard in charge of U.S. military power.

    A fool is much more dangerous than a wicked man (or woman) because a wicked man can be trusted to know when he is cutting his own throat. A fool never.

    Jim Bovard , says: June 16, 2017 at 8:25 am
    Excellent piece. The opening chronology of Trump blunders & boneheadedness is an excellent setup for the Hillary demolition.
    EliteCommInc. , says: June 16, 2017 at 8:45 am
    There is no reason under God's blue earth that you should feel embarrassed about voting for Mr. Trump. Not a single one.

    Anyone listening to Sec. Clinton, speak she was unleashed over the last couple of weeks would know, exactly what this latest text is saying. Frankly, it's a bit frightening to hear that level of obtuse thinking. But then one listens to her hosts and the audience and its down right chilling.

    Whatever tentacles the liberal/republican/libertarian intelligentsia have born is long and deep even in the psyche of the people who benefit the least from such leadership.

    There are three articles about what is essential the primacy press concerning the global order and what all three indicate is that those running the show seem to have a common ethic about us poor people, if they could just get the rest of us to accept our lot in life as underlings of sorts all would be well.

    There are the clan of MustaphaMond. It is the nihilism of Buddhist, Hindi and other far eastern thought. And while it has been around for quite some time. It has never fully bonded with our politic openly in the US until now.

    When they talk about international law, they don't mean law, they mean the use of force to create order. And it should cause one pause as much as the common but ill used phrase "law and order" which stands for my oeder by force if necessary.

    connecticut farmer , says: June 16, 2017 at 9:15 am
    No new ground broken here. One nagging question remains: What DID Lynch and Clinton have to say to each other in that airplane hangar?
    Kurt Gayle , says: June 16, 2017 at 9:21 am
    Philip, I share some of your frustrations with President Trump. However, you should have mentioned that Trump (true to his word) has thus far kept us out of any new Middle East war and has (against a braying pack of Democratic, Republican, mainstream media, and deep state conspirator-jackals) continued to push for detente with Russia, the one power on earth with the nuclear weaponry to destroy us.

    Given your foreign policy expertise and concentration, it is understandable that you fail to mention that Trump has brought the burning issues of American jobs, trade deals, illegal immigration, and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure front and center via his America First agenda.

    About our voting for Trump, Philip: I don't think there's any need to "sort of shuffle off, head down, while muttering something about how 'he wasn't the war candidate'." On the contrary, we should stand tall for Trump, because against all attempts to stop him, he is still fighting to fulfill his campaign promises.

    Just to add: Some of the most dedicated, loyal fighters for good causes that it has been my good fortune to meet could also get a little "boorish" from time to time.

    greenbook , says: June 16, 2017 at 9:24 am
    Who cares about Hillary Clinton?

    You know who still cares about Hillary Clinton, Trump supporters trying to deflect from the obvious incompetence, continual stupidity, overt corruption, scandal genocide (plague is too kind a word), and worthless policy that was supposed to be the new era for conservatism.

    So instead of trying to defend the indefensible, it is back to campaign 2016 to make it seem like you had no choice to go for the worst one possible despite the glaring red warning lights everyone was saying. But that's ok. At least Trump isn't a warhawk, even if he undermines the constitutional limitations of power.

    collin , says: June 16, 2017 at 10:13 am
    You know an administration is struggling when they are comparing themselves to the election loser 8 months after the election. (In reality, I wish HRC would go away for 1 year. She can come back with her husband next year and be popular again.)
    mrscracker , says: June 16, 2017 at 10:35 am
    I voted for Mr. Trump, too. I'm not bit ashamed of it. I'd rather we'd had a different GOP nominee, but it was what it was. And I really like VP Pence.
    Hillary was a dreadful candidate but no matter who the Democrats nominated, I wouldn't be able to vote for them in conscience because of the Democratic platform.
    And can you imagine what the Supreme Court might look like after 4-8 years of Democratic administration?
    Trump has carried through his promise re. the Supreme Ct. So that's something.
    Alex (from SF) , says: June 16, 2017 at 11:28 am
    But then again, when I am really down on Trump and what he is doing or not doing, I think of Hillary Rodham Clinton

    That's nice, and we all deserve some time in our happy places. But the 2016 election is over, and the guy you voted for is setting new gold standards for both corruption and Saudi boot-licking. How about using the public platform you have here to hold your guy accountable, rather than indulging in a long, self-justifying digression about how HRC would have been worse? Someone with your background probably has a lot of interesting things to say about the blockade of Qatar and Trump's support for it, the status of the Iranian nuclear deal, and why Trump and the foreign policy establishment are so beholden to the Saudis. I'd like to read those pieces.

    Dana Pavlick , says: June 16, 2017 at 11:47 am
    Excellent précis of the cause of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential win: we voted for the uncertainty of Trump delivering the goods to the American people over the certainty of Hillary Clinton delivering us up to the high priests of Mammonry.

    The Establishment might consider that the narrative they sell us that we erred in so voting, is undercut by their arriving at the same conclusion by attempting a coup to remove him from office.

    TR , says: June 16, 2017 at 12:02 pm
    The indictment of Trump in the first several paragraphs depresses me immensely as does the concluding paragraph on Hillary clones.

    Didn't read the middle. Mankind can only take so much reality.

    Paul , says: June 16, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    A more than interesting piece. I wish you had spelled out the acronym DIA, but not having done so did force me to learn about an agency of whose existence I was ignorant. Apparently, NIE's are ordered up by senior government officials. Couldn't the White House order one and, following your logic, thereby exonerate itself? This is a genuine question? I would be grateful for your opinion.
    One Man , says: June 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm
    I know this is a difficult concept to understand, but it's possible to dislike Hillary AND not want Trump to be president. I'm glad Trump is president, but I'm glad he's so incompetent. I laugh at him every day.
    Dan Green , says: June 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm
    I thought from the start of that torturous campaign Hillary either isn't all that bright , or possibly she and Bill just live in their own corner of the world, or lastly some influences told her she was a shoe in and just follow the Obama prior agenda.
    Dave skerry , says: June 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    As a long-time subscrber to A.C. Giraldi is brightest ,straight shooter aboard. I couldn't vote for the "know-it-all" and had to vote for Bill's spouse. However, to pile- on I have to add that she was a "kiss-ass" Israel firster which made me hold my nose even tighter.
    Mark Thomason , says: June 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm
    Hillary was awful. That does not make Trump acceptable. Still it was a race to the bottom, and she bottomed out worse.

    We'd have had a much bigger Syria War. We'd be back in her Libya disaster. We'd have gone into South Sudan. She'd have armed Ukraine and sent Special Forces.

    She'd have done that trade deal in the Pacific, her supporters are now clear on that despite her lies during the campaign. That is a symptom of the overall neo-liberal bullet we dodged.

    She would not have a scandal about Russia, but she'd have one about Wall Street and open bribery of the Clinton Foundation cash for access and selling her office.

    It would have been even worse.

    Joe the Plutocrat , says: June 16, 2017 at 4:02 pm
    Really? This is rearview mirror stuff. What's next, attempts to indict HRC for "obstruction of justice" because her establishment bona fides – arrogance, incompetence, and greed made the 'alternative establishment' – equally arrogant, incompetent and greedy – candidate more appealing?
    james , says: June 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    The reasons why Hillary lost are like sands on the beach, numberless. The reason HRC lost is because she is a woman and this is America. Oh I know too simple, it is, but consider too that McCain lost. hm, ah you're crazy. Could be, but twenty plus years of demonization must have some effect, you think. If you really want to know why Hillary lost read, 'The Destruction of Hillary Clinton' by Susan Bordo. That is if you seriously want to know. Challenge the sands.
    BobPM , says: June 16, 2017 at 4:45 pm
    Really! "She would not have a scandal about Russia, but she'd have one about Wall Street and open bribery of the Clinton Foundation cash for access and selling her office."

    Talk about weak tea. Most actual investigations found the Clinton Foundation fairly clean and the access amounted to small ball compared to the displays of patronage demanded daily by Trump. Did you read the recent investigation into the purchases of Trump properties by anonymous corporations, have you looked at the Wall Street tycoons in Trumps cabinet, or the number of lobbyists. Please spare me the hand wringing over your hypothetical Clinton administration.

    Donald , says: June 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm
    I voted for Clinton as the lesser evil and still think that was right. She and that whole wing of the Democratic Party are awful. But Trump is worse.

    And anyway, it isn't terribly relevant. Your man is in and he might be the dumbest most incompetent blowhard to ever occupy the WH.

    Hexexis , says: June 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm
    Elitist, hawk, sense of entitlement? Gee, who's that sound like?

    Months after the election (cf. sedition), press still tryna produce a dichotomy betw. Hi-C. & Trump. I never bought it & never will. The two parties tortured us w/ a female impersonator & a male one.

    Apparently, it came down to how they got their enormous wealth. But Trump's been "the king of greenmail" (the MCA fiasco, 1988) for lots longer than Frau Clinton's been barking expensive speeches. So, Junior Nutz there more experienced: right?

    Jake V , says: June 16, 2017 at 7:12 pm
    Trump is turning out to be pretty much what I expected. Far from perfect, but what he's done is far more conservative than any other Republican would have done. Still far better than Hillary.
  • [Jun 16, 2017] Political Disorder Syndrome - Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal

    Notable quotes:
    "... It could be argued a polarized America has joined a polarized world in taking the course of least resistance and that is to do nothing. It appears most of the developed countries across the world are in exactly the same boat. With Trump's greatest accomplishment being the rolling-back of the Obama agenda the article below argues this may be as good as it gets. ..."
    Jun 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    Endgame Napoleon - Stuck on Zero , Jun 15, 2017 10:10 PM

    A lot of the debate by the MSM focuses on the careerist power struggle of elites at the top. That is not what brought Trump to power, nor is ideological purity of any kind the reason, although college students at elite universities may be motivated by ideology.

    Many people who voted for Trump said they had not bothered to vote since Perot. That was the last time serious economic issues were addressed head-on. There were many cross-over voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere, voting for Trump because their party, when not focused on one more layer of welfare/taxfare for single moms, focuses on racism, sexism and xenophobia.....

    ....in a "racist" era with a twice-elected Black president, where many government agencies have 80% Black staff and managers

    .....in a "sexist"' era where more than half of the MDs are women, as are half of the managers, in general, when wealth has never been more concentrated due to assortative mating

    ....in a "xenophobic" era, where even illegal immigrants are treated much better than millions of citizens, leading to $113 billion per year in welfare/taxfare expenditures for the illegal immigrants alone, not counting all of the freebies for 1 million legal immigrants admitted per year, particularly for those who reproduce

    CRM114 - Killtruck , Jun 15, 2017 9:08 PM

    When do you think it was crossed?

    End of the Cold War, I reckon. That's the last point when politicians being vaguely competent mattered.

    VWAndy - nmewn , Jun 15, 2017 8:56 PM

    Its a big club. An you and me aint in it. The left vs right thing is just a trick.

    Kyddyl , Jun 15, 2017 8:44 PM

    As I said in response to another article I've been off on a kick of reading about the American unCivil War. The heated rhetoric led up to violence far before either "side" was ready. It proved to be a messy disaster. Very few thought ahead far enough to even have their own families survive it. Be very careful of what you wish for. John Michael Greer's "Twilight's Last Gleaming" and "Retrotopia" should give us serious pause for thought. Our just in time grocery supply system would fail, fuel delivery from the few states with refineries would crawl and with all those nuclear power plants needing constant baby sitting everybody needs to settle down and really think this mess out. Inter US civil divisions would need careful and peaceful negotiations.

    Forbes , Jun 15, 2017 8:53 PM

    The messaging Henninger identifies was rampant for eight years of Obama ("Get in their faces!" and the Chicago Way--"They bring a knife, you bring a gun.") Social media is/was no different. Remember the Rodeo Clown wearing an Obama mask who was summarily fired. Any critique of Obama was automatically racist. I could go on and on with examples. The Left never policed its own, was constantly on-guard against the Right, with enforcement of political correctness job #1.

    The ankle-biting mainstream media is part and parcel the opposition and the resistence--and the Establishment Republicans at the WSJ are just now noticing?? Someone alert Captain Renault...

    Let it Go , Jun 15, 2017 9:00 PM

    In reality no intelligent plans have been written or are moving through the halls of Congress. It could be argued a polarized America has joined a polarized world in taking the course of least resistance and that is to do nothing. It appears most of the developed countries across the world are in exactly the same boat. With Trump's greatest accomplishment being the rolling-back of the Obama agenda the article below argues this may be as good as it gets.

    http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2017/06/polarized-america-taking-course-of.html

    TeethVillage88s , Jun 15, 2017 9:05 PM

    But, But, ... that sounds like RINOs, DINOs, NeoCons, Neoliberals, those that think Economics is a Hard Science... Sounds like Propaganda by the Most Powerful Corporations and Family Dynasties...

    "Political Disorder Syndrome - "Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal"

    PDS - won't get traction since TPTB have to approve of this kind of thing!

    http://www.lyricsdepot.com/jimmy-buffett/banana-republics.html

    - Borders Are Destroyed to Attack the US Labor Rate (Deserved or Undeserved) - Globalism, CAFTA, NAFTA, Fast-Track by Bill Clinton, deployed to destroy US Labor Rate & US Jobs & US Middle Class = PROOF that Democrats are Treasonous, are working against the Worker (Either Communist Worker or Other worker) - US National Security is destroyed by the cost of MIC, $1 Trillion Annually - US Constitutional Republic is Destroyed, replaced by Globalism Ideology & Propaganda Deep Program to hide this Fact from Middle Class, from Workers, from Job Losers, from Voters, from Students, from Youth who will not see the entry level jobs...

    IT IS A REAL MESS, Propaganda is the name of the Problem! We all know the history of Propaganda. We know that Hillary Clinton engaged in an INFO-War long, long ago. 1971 William Renquist Memo pointed out to Republicans that they must gear up for Foundations to fight Democrats who were much stronger in Political Organizations at this time.

    Makes you think.

    ElTerco , Jun 15, 2017 10:26 PM

    I think main street has been extremely patient. I think after three decades of being slowly and consistently shit on though, enough is enough, and they are starting to lose it.

    [Jun 15, 2017] The basic thread running through all of the workshops and demagogic speeches was the fiction that the Democratic Party -- a party of Wall Street and the CIA-can be transformed into a peoples party

    Jun 15, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
    Northern Star , June 13, 2017 at 10:51 am
    "The event was a political fraud from beginning to end. The basic thread running through all of the workshops and demagogic speeches was the fiction that the Democratic Party-a party of Wall Street and the CIA-can be transformed into a "people's party."
    LOL!!! Totally spot the F on!!!!!

    "Sanders lent his support to the neo-McCarthyite campaign of the Democrats and the military-intelligence apparatus, which sees Russia as the chief obstacle to US imperialism's drive for regime change in Syria and Iran. "I find it strange we have a president who is more comfortable with autocrats and authoritarians than leaders of democratic nations," Sanders said. "Why is he enamored with Putin, a man who has suppressed democracy and destabilized democracies around the world, including our own?"

    Sanders?? No fool like an old fool and tool of TPTB

    marknesop , June 13, 2017 at 11:42 am
    Oh, I doubt he's a fool; the creed of the western political class is recognition of its own and their interests over the interests of the majority. It is technically true that Putin is destabilizing governments around the world – 'democracies', if you will – but it would presuppose that western leaders are his accomplices. Because it is through them and their crackdowns and restrictions and surveillance, which they say they must introduce for our own protection (because, you know, freedom isn't free) that discontent and destabilization are born. Reply

    [Jun 14, 2017] Now some fragments of the picture of DNC hack fall into place and one interesting hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation performed by the CrowdStrike, the same firm which were later assigned to investigate the hack.

    Notable quotes:
    "... So from now on any contact with Russians officials are assumed to be poisonous, a threat to the USA security, and should be reported to Intelligence services. Like in the USSR were contacts with Western officials. ..."
    "... But now some fragments of the picture of DNC hack fall into place and one interesting hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation performed by the CrowdStrike, the same firm which were later assigned to investigate the hack. Which would be in best CIA traditions, stemming from JFK murder investigation and Warren commission. ..."
    "... This makes the refusal of the DNC to let the FBI examine those servers even more suspect. OTOH, one can see the thought processes in the DNC: A breach was discovered. If we blame the Russians not only do we further the neo-con agenda, but we also get to call anyone who publishes or cites the material taken from the servers a Russian tool. ..."
    "... In fact, if they knew they had internal leakers, it would still be worth claiming to have been hacked by the Russians, so that internally leaked material could be 'poisoned' as part of a Russian plot. ..."
    "... Talking points to this effect were ubiquitous and apparently well coordinated, turning virtually every MSM discussion of the content of the leaks into a screed about stolen documents and Russian hackers. It also put a nice fresh coat of paint on the target painted on Assange, turning the undiscerning left against a once valuable ally. ..."
    Jun 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    libezkova, June 14, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    ""I did not have communications with the Russians," Mr. Sessions said in response to a question no one asked - and despite the fact that he had, in fact, met with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, at least twice during the 2016 presidential campaign. The omission raised questions not only about his honesty, but also about why he would not disclose those meetings in the first place."

    That's neo-McCarthyism plain and simple. Congradulations! We got it. Now we need to fire all Russian sympathizers from the government service, assuming that they exist. A very nice 17th century witch-hunt.

    The only thing we do not have is resurrected Senator McCarthy (McCain is not good enough -- he does not drink).

    So from now on any contact with Russians officials are assumed to be poisonous, a threat to the USA security, and should be reported to Intelligence services. Like in the USSR were contacts with Western officials.

    That means that the joke that Russia Foreign Ministry played on April 1 (Google it) about ordering Russian diplomat contact for your political opponent proved to be true.

    But now some fragments of the picture of DNC hack fall into place and one interesting hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation performed by the CrowdStrike, the same firm which were later assigned to investigate the hack. Which would be in best CIA traditions, stemming from JFK murder investigation and Warren commission.

    And I am now not surprised that nobody investigated Comey for outsourcing (or forced to outsource by threats) the "DNC hack" investigation to the very questionable firm with strong Ukrainian connections. Which might well be hired to perform the hack and blame it on Russian to hide Seth Rich story.

    If Trump would not be such an idiot, he would site this as a reason of firing Comey (gross unprofessionalism and criminal negligence) and the level of fear in Clinton Mafia after that might help him to survive.

    The truth is that FBI never has any access to DNC computers. None. Unlike in case of Hillary emailgate, they never were in possession of actual hardware. And they never explored Ukrainian connection, so to speak. They took all results from Cloudstrike investigation at face value.

    So I suspect all opinions of US intelligence agencies about this hack are just a part of color revolution scenario: the attempt to delegitimize the sitting government and install a new government via a coup d'état.

    The fighting against Russiagate is about the defense of remnants of Democracy in the USA.

    Regurgitation of MSM stories, like Fred is doing, does not add much value to this blog. It is essentially a propaganda exercise. If your urge to share them is too strong, as Mr.Bill mentioned a simple link would be enough (actually the desire to read on this topic NYT might be considered as an early sign of dementia, or Alzheimer)

    libezkova -> libezkova ... June 14, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    An interesting comment from Naked Capitalism

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/200pm-water-cooler-6122017.html#comment-2829184

    Skip Intro , June 12, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    The NSA document was very important. It basically proved, according to Scott Ritter, that the NSA had no real evidence of any Russian involvement, and relied on speculation from a single source: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, which recently had to retract a similar claim about Russian hacking of Ukrainian artillery. The real story behind 'Reality Winner' remains, I am sure, unknown.

    This might well be a ploy to undermine the anti-Russia hype, though the media cartel has trumpeted it uncritically for the short-term rush of goosing the Comey spectacle.

    This makes the refusal of the DNC to let the FBI examine those servers even more suspect. OTOH, one can see the thought processes in the DNC: A breach was discovered. If we blame the Russians not only do we further the neo-con agenda, but we also get to call anyone who publishes or cites the material taken from the servers a Russian tool.

    In fact, if they knew they had internal leakers, it would still be worth claiming to have been hacked by the Russians, so that internally leaked material could be 'poisoned' as part of a Russian plot.

    Talking points to this effect were ubiquitous and apparently well coordinated, turning virtually every MSM discussion of the content of the leaks into a screed about stolen documents and Russian hackers. It also put a nice fresh coat of paint on the target painted on Assange, turning the undiscerning left against a once valuable ally.

    [Jun 14, 2017] NBC Butchered Putins Thoughtful Responses to Megyn Kelly. Good for Ratings - and Warmongers by Gilbert Doctorow

    Notable quotes:
    "... In the NBC version, Putin's answer has been cut to one empty introductory statement that "Russia is on its way to becoming a democracy" bracketed by an equally empty closing sentence. In the full, uncut version , Putin responds to Kelly's allegations point by point and then turns the question around asking what right the USA and the West have to question Russia's record when they have been actively doing much worse than what was in Kelly's charges. He asks where is Occupy Wall Street today, why US and European police use billy clubs and tear gas to break up demonstrations, when Russian police do nothing of the sort, and so on. ..."
    "... In a word, you intentionally made Putin sound like an empty authoritarian, when he is in fact a very sophisticated debater who outranked your Megyn at every turn during the open panel discussion in the Forum, to the point she was the laughing stock of the day. ..."
    "... Kelly is like all Yanks, she sells herself for Money. A hired serf does what its told, says what its told to say or they are out-the-door on their arse. She may be a cool smart lady but has to tow- the-line. tom • 6 days ago ..."
    "... "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be". ..."
    "... CONFIRMED: DNC paid the 'Russian' founder of CrowdStrike to hack its server so it could be blamed on Russia!... ..."
    "... She's a media whore...nothing more, nothing less.... ..."
    "... Putin was fantastic on Kelly's show he is greatly admired by millions and millions in the west. ..."
    Jun 08, 2017 | russia-insider.com

    An open letter to NBC News about Megyn Kelly's manipulative and shameful interview with Vladimir Putin Thu, Jun 8, 2017 | 7080 90

    Dear NBC News Team,

    Congratulations! You have graduated from fake news to falsified news, arriving at a journalistic level that is identical to that in the Soviet Union in its heyday.

    A couple of days ago, the political talk show moderated by Vladimir Soloviev on state television channel Rossiya 1 broadcast two versions of a segment from Megyn Kelly's interview with Vladimir Putin last Friday in the St Petersburg on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum. One was the complete, uncut version that was aired on RT. The other was the cut-to-shreds version that you put on air for the American audience. ( Watch here, beginning 4 minutes into the program .)

    The segment was Megyn Kelly's aggressive question to Putin, asking his response to what she said was Americans' understanding of his government, namely one that murders journalists, suppresses political opposition, is rife with corruption, etc., etc. In the NBC version, Putin's answer has been cut to one empty introductory statement that "Russia is on its way to becoming a democracy" bracketed by an equally empty closing sentence. In the full, uncut version , Putin responds to Kelly's allegations point by point and then turns the question around asking what right the USA and the West have to question Russia's record when they have been actively doing much worse than what was in Kelly's charges. He asks where is Occupy Wall Street today, why US and European police use billy clubs and tear gas to break up demonstrations, when Russian police do nothing of the sort, and so on.

    In a word, you intentionally made Putin sound like an empty authoritarian, when he is in fact a very sophisticated debater who outranked your Megyn at every turn during the open panel discussion in the Forum, to the point she was the laughing stock of the day.

    Who wins from these games? You are only preconditioning the American public for the war that is coming, whether by intention or by accident. And there will be no one left to have the last laugh after the first day of that war. So you can forget about your stock options and retirement schemes, ladies and gentlemen of the News Team.

    have a nice day

    Gilbert Doctorow

    Brussels

    Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. His forthcoming book Does the United States Have a Future? will be published on 1 September 2017.

    rosewood11 6 days ago

    The thing that everyone in the American media wants to ignore is this: If any President of any nation knew that one of the candidates in the national election of his biggest rival intended to start a nuclear war with his country as soon as they were elected, do you think he might be tempted to do anything possible to avoid the war? hillary clinton intended to go to nuclear war with Russia and everybody knew it. Why wouldn't Mr. Putin be tempted to try to keep her out of office. He says he didn't do so, and because I trust him (something I'm not so stupid as to do with hillary!!!), I choose to believe him. However, I wouldn't blame him if he had pulled out all the stops to keep her out of office, and can only thank him or any other "patriotic Russian" who saved America from a fate worse than death--namely having a fourth-degree black magic witch as President!!! And that's in addition to saving the lives of millions of people on both sides of the oceans.

    You mentioned in the article that RT ran an uncut version of Megyn Kelly's interview with Vladimir Putin. I tried going to the link you provided, but the show was in Russian without subtitles. Is there a version of the full interview offered anywhere with subtitles or voice-over for those of us in the US who would like to see it? I'd like to know what else Mr. Putin said. see more

    Peter Paul 1950 rosewood11 6 days ago

    Try you tube and enter "putin megyn kelly" and you'll find dozens of clips ... and as to why Putin never intervened may become clear if you take notice of the following .... already in the beginning of 2016 the Russians must have discovered that plans existed to murder Trump ... I read a leaked message that the Russians were ready for war should that occur ... and apparently sent a secret message ... long before the election they had already figured out that Trump was going to win the election because they knew of Hillary's true intentions also ... they had no need to intervene because there are and were forces opposed to her then existing plans to ignite war ... and there must be much more to that, because Putin sent an escort to Antarctica before Kyrill even went there .... and later met the Pope in Mexico ... Kyrill went on to declare a Holy War against Terror a year ago ... a long time before the election took place .... and Kerry slipped off on election day to visit Antarctica himself ... and fell out of bed and bumped his head doing so ... see more

    Peter Paul 1950 see more

    rosewood11 Peter Paul 1950 5 days ago I agree with Astrid (below) in thanking you for the youtube hint. You mentioned the Antarctic. I notice all the globalists seem to be making that a "destination," but I've never seen Putin go himself (good!!!). Anybody know what the fascination is--Is Steve Quayle right? see more

    Peter Paul 1950 rosewood11 5 days ago

    One can't really be sure who is right and if any kind of exaggeration plays a large part of all the tales that have become more public thanks to the internet ...
    ... it's shrouded in mystery that almost anything seems to make some kind of sense ... I first heard of the Nazi connection with the discovery and founding of Newschwabenland and Project High Jump with Admiral Byrd in a private conversation decades in my younger years, but only through the internet was it possible to find out more ... everyone seem so make it a great mystery that there is something there nobody dares to make official ... even Vault 7 appears to add to all the whisperings by adding a collection of photos without comment ... much room for speculation ... but it does seem to be of some importance ... see more

    Richard Burton rosewood11 4 days ago

    Kelly is like all Yanks, she sells herself for Money. A hired serf does what its told, says what its told to say or they are out-the-door on their arse. She may be a cool smart lady but has to tow- the-line. tom 6 days ago

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be".

    - Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey (1816)

    RussG 6 days ago

    Putin should sue NBC for falsifying his interview. And, Putin should never agree again to an interview by one of the US MSM. Vasya Pypkin 6 days ago Faked or falsified news. Could the author provide an example of similar news falsification by Soviet Union media. After many years I find that Soviet media actually was telling truth but smart assses among our population tended to believe lies by Western voices. Many who are still alive regret.

    Otherwise good article. The western media is nothing but lies cloaka. Soviet media also was not entertaining enough mostly talking about industries, crops, health and other substantial and important things while life was stable and predictable.

    Now Russian population is being constantly entertained, but there is little to report on industrial front and there is no confidence in future. Ruble is up and down and crude same. Was it worth to fjkuck up great country to have more entertainment and some artifial sausages varieties while losing what is the most important for human beings. Sorry for a rant. AMHants 6 days ago Surprise surprise, George Eliason - Op Ed News, was right, all along:

    CONFIRMED: DNC paid the 'Russian' founder of CrowdStrike to hack its server so it could be blamed on Russia!...

    http://themillenniumreport.... Nofearorfavor 5 days ago

    But we all expected this .... It is only that by law, Russia should be able to sue any newscast for editing and thus misrepresenting in particular -- the Russian president's words and thoughts, because of occupying the highest office in Russia. As Gilbert said, the gravity of what it could portend for Americans, is mounting daily...

    Rossiya 1 would perhaps be more cautious second time around ... make it a condition that what the president or any official of the Russian Federation said on tape, should be broadcast in full and no editing -- or face have their pants sued off . What a shameless and gutless excuse for a journalist this Kelly is!

    Strange Quark 5 days ago

    The West has never been a democracy! During the Cold War the so called "democracy" was just a voting facade to hide the fact that the West is OLIGARCHY. What choice do American citizens have in their elections? TWO (that is 2!) parties which both run basically the same imperialist, neocolonialist, hegemonic policy. And economic policy is also the same - neoliberal meaning privatization, outsourcing, policies that favor the rich and harm the poor... Only bloody revolutions can change things. You cannot change the system with voting pencils! Pencils have never changed anything anywhere. Robert Keith 6 days ago Megyn Kelly is, granted, a step above your run-of-the-mil, blond, airhead, TV talking head. I don't know whether President Putin suffered from the juxtaposition, what with her typical-for-TV mundane questions, but, probably not, because it allowed him to give down-to-earth answers to the questions that most Americans seem to be asking themselves, inane though they be. He is very skilled at this, because he makes himself available to his countryman in the same way on a regular basis it seems.

    If one searched elsewhere for the full video, which was available (on this blog), he came across very well, I must say. We will spare the readership any comment on the relative merits of his performance in comparison to what we night have heard from our Chief Executive.

    disqus_xp4GYx7DZk Robert Keith 6 days ago

    She's a media whore...nothing more, nothing less.... see more

    Isabella Jones 6 days ago

    Well, yes it's infuriating, but it was also so very predictable. When I complained about this wretched woman and her boring, predicted and repetitive questions leaving unasked anything to do with the forum leaders speeches and the masses of trade discussion that had happened during the meeting, I was told by many "that this is how Putin can show the West the truth".

    No - he can't, because we know they manipulate, cut, change, and frame it to make it look any way they want. Only those who need no convincing got to see the whole truth - and most of us know it already.

    The only thing to do is ignore America, treat it like the meaningless 3 rd World country it is rapidly sinking into - and get intelligent moderators from elsewhere. see more

    Peter Isabella Jones 6 days ago

    "... the meaningless 3 rd World country it is rapidly sinking into ..."

    *Exactly* the conclusion at which the known French demographer and historian Emmanuel Todd arrived in his 2001 book "Après L'Empire: essai sur la décomposition du système américain" ("After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order"). His scientific analysis was based primarily on purely demographic data, in addition to other factors: https://www.amazon.com/Afte... . An interesting reading.

    See also his 2003 interview on that topic to Neue Zürcher Zeitung, titled "Das eingebildete Imperium", https://www.nzz.ch/article8... the English translation "The Conceited Empire" is at http://www.countercurrents.... . see more

    Isabella Jones Peter 6 days ago

    Interesting. I had not heard of this man - so thank you for the link Peter. He seems to be thinking along the same lines as Dmitry Orlov, but coming from an Academic and Historian view point. Orlov just saw much of the Russian collapse - he has family in Russia, it is his native language, and he lived there during part of the 1990's if I understand him correctly. He drew a parallel between USSR and America - coming to the same conclusion as this Msr. Todd.

    We are all wondering, of course "when". ?

    It's like knowing the very obese man next door who already has heart and BP problems coupled with Diabetes, but takes no exercise and eats fast food like a hungry pig, is going to have a massive physical break down and die.

    It's just that there 's no way of predicting exactly when. Nofearorfavor Isabella Jones 5 days ago I remember when Putin agreed to be interviewed by Charlie Rose in Sep 2015, condition was that CBS produced the full 60 minutes uncut, which then ran into over 60 minutes. However found this interesting article on State of the Nation about the interview ... El Maestro wiping the floor with Rose and not doing anything to help along his flagging ratings ....now this Kelly tried to do the same and she fell flat on her face... no journalistic integrity at all ...

    http://stateofthenation2012...

    Pretty sorry ass she is ..

    L Garou 3 days ago NBC/CIA..

    Edward Mercer L Garou 2 days ago

    Clarification? see more

    L Garou Edward Mercer 2 days ago

    You can't spell M$M without the CIA..

    chris chuba 4 days ago

    My recommendation for anyone who is being interviewed for American TV is to find out how long the TV segment is and only allow the total interview time to be 1.5 times that amount to only allow reasonable editing, not the standard butchery. So in this case, a 15 minute interview would be sourced by 25 minutes, not the two hours that Putin must have given Kelly since he spent a day with her.

    In all fairness, they had to butcher the question on Russian democracy, journalist killings, etc because Kelly chose to spend 95% of the air time on moronic questions about 'election meddling' as if that deserved more than one question and the expected denial. What the heck did Kelly expect Putin to day about election meddling, yet she kept going back to it. see more

    Augustine 4 days ago

    Unlike in America, in the Soviet Union the people knew that there was no truth in the Pravda nor news in the Izvestya. Nowadays there are more Bolsheviks in New York than in St. Petersburg. see more

    Richard Burton 4 days ago

    nbc are msnbc the same degenerate-infested propaganda US/ BS.

    Putin was fantastic on Kelly's show he is greatly admired by millions and millions in the west.

    Of course the lying bums, the democrats hate it that their 'Miss Piggy' Clinton was beaten, they will keep on their crap for years, nbc and many other so-called news outlets are democrat-lapping rats who spew-out the lies, hate and shit everyday, those slime at cnn are the same pork as is the US poodle Canada's cbc. see more

    angrywhiteman 4 days ago

    More info on US democracy:

    BREAKING : This Powerful Seth Rich Video is GOING VIRAL http://truthfeed.com/breaki...

    Voter Fraud Federal Investigator Found Murdered http://yournewswire.com/vot...

    "The answer to why Seth Rich was killed, and why he gave to WikiLeaks is now out" https://kauilapele.wordpres...

    http://stateofthenation2012... see more

    Wanda Gumm 6 days ago

    Where Megyn failed, NBC succeeds in editorializing Putin as the village idiot. How long before these horse-driven dimwits drown in the cesspools they dig for others? I don't see any way out of this but war. It's not the fictitious 'deep state' Russia should be concerned with, but Trump himself. Playing the Elder.

    [Jun 14, 2017] If it looks like the Russians did it, I can guarantee you it was not the Russians

    Notable quotes:
    "... Some news now trickling into the blogosphere that the Democratic National Convention paid Crowdstrike – that's the cyber-security firm headed by Dmitri Alperovich with links to the Chalupa sisters and the Ukrainian diaspora in North America – to hack into its own server. ..."
    insider.foxnews.com
    Jun 09, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

    Jen , June 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Here's my good (?) deed for the day.

    Some news now trickling into the blogosphere that the Democratic National Convention paid Crowdstrike – that's the cyber-security firm headed by Dmitri Alperovich with links to the Chalupa sisters and the Ukrainian diaspora in North America – to hack into its own server.

    "DNC Russian Hackers Found!"
    http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=62536

    "CONFIRMED: DNC paid the 'Russian' founder of CrowdStrike to hack its server so it could be blamed on Russia!"
    http://themillenniumreport.com/2017/06/dnc-hackers-finally-identified/

    Global Commenter , June 8, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Earlier noted in this brilliant piece:

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/07062017-sanctioning-russia-analysis/

    Excerpt –

    "In the US, talk of a Donald Trump-Russian government collusion against Hillary Clinton gets more attention than some other possibilities. Cyber-security developer John McAfee said: "If it looks like the Russians did it, I can guarantee you it was not the Russians." There's a wave of anti-Russian sentiment, as evidenced by the lack of US mass media and body politic condemnation to former National Security Agency (NSA) Director James Clapper's bigoted anti-Russian comment.

    The subject of anti-Russian propaganda brings to mind the pro-Kiev regime leaning Atlantic Council and its cyber-security member CrowdStrike. Entities like them are silent in instances like when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko falsely stated that Jews in Crimea are prohibited from observing their faith, since that area's reunification with Russia."

    [Jun 14, 2017] To say that Trump is idiot in foreign policy without saying that Obama was the same dangerous idiot, who pursued the same neocon policies is hypocritical, because they are manipulated by the same people in dark suits and are just marionettes, or, at best, minor players. Other people decide for them what is good for America

    Jun 12, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    libezkova, June 10, 2017 at 03:22 PM

    There are several problems with Krugman both as an economist and as a political commentator.

    First he does not understand that neoliberal system is inherency unstable and prone to periodic bubbles and crashes.

    FED plays destabilizing role by attempting to save large banks. It essentially provided insurance for reckless behaviour. This is very "Minsky" -- "stability is destabilizing".

    If we believe Jim Rogers, FED policies created a situation in which the next crash is a real possibility and might happen within a year, or two:

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/jim-rogers-the-worst-crash-in-our-lifetime-is-coming/ar-BBCl6BS?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=ientp

    Politically Krugman switched to neocon views and sometimes is undistinguishable from Wolfowitz : " And consider his refusal to endorse the central principle of NATO, the obligation to come to our allies' defense... What was that about? Nobody knows..."

    NATO became obsolete with the dissolution of the USSR and now serves only as an instrument of the US foreign policy -- a tool for expansion and maintenance of neoliberal empire and keeping our European vassals in check.

    He also got into Russiagate trap, which is a sign of weak intellect (dementia in cases of Hillary and McCain), or of a neocon political hack. As Krugman does not have dementia, I suspect the latter.

    The standards he tries to apply to Trump would put in jail all three previous presidents starting from "change we can believe in" bait and switch artist.

    In other words his column is highly partisan and as such represents interest only for Hillary Bots and DemoRats (which are still plentiful and control MSM).

    For people who try to find a real way out of the current difficult situation (a crisis of confidence and, possibly, the start of revolt against neoliberal elite due to side effects of globalization) the USA now have find itself, this is just a noise. Nothing constructive.

    Trump position "get what you want with the brute force; f*ck diplomacy, UN and decency" is actually an attempt to find a solution for the problems we face. Abhorrent as it is. Kind of highway robbery policy.

    The key problem is whether we should start dismantling neoliberalism before it is too late, and what should be the alternative. Krugman is useless in attempts to answer those two key questions.

    And it is unclear whether it is possible by peaceful means. Those neolib/neocon guys like Bolsheviks in the past want to cling to power at all costs.

    Another question is whether the maintenance of global neoliberal empire led by the USA is now too costly for US taxpayers and need to be reconsidered. This is the same question British empire faced in the past. Do we really need 500 or so foreign bases? Do we really need to spend half a trillion dollars annually on military? Do we need all those never ending wars as in Orwellian "war is the health of the state" quote (actually this quote is not from 1984, this is the subtitle of the essay by Randolph Bourne (1918))

    What is the real risk of WWIII with such policies? Because there is a chance that nor only the modern civilization, but all higher forms of life of Earth in general seize to exists after it.

    Concentrating of Trump "deficiencies" Krugman does not understand that Trump is just a Republican Obama -- another "clean plate" offering to the US electorate, another "bait and switch" artist.

    With just different fake slogan "Make America great again" instead of "Change we can believe in".

    And as such any critique of Trump is an implicit critique of Obama presidency, which enabled Trump election.

    Teleprompter personally was a dangerous and unqualified political hack, not that different from Trump (no foreign policy experience whatsoever; almost zero understanding of economics), who outsourced foreign policy to the despicable neocon warmonger Clinton and got us into Libya, Ukraine and Syria wars in addition to existing war in Afghanistan.

    Continuing occupation of Afghanistan (which incorrectly called war) and illegal actions in Syria (there was no UN resolution justifying the USA presence in Syria) are now becoming too costly.

    Afghan people definitely want the USA out and will fight for their freedom. Taliban has supporters in Pakistan and possibly in other Islamic countries.

    In Syria the USA now clashed with Russian interests which make it a real power keg. And to this sociopaths in CIA like Mike "Kill-Russians" Morell and the fact that CIA is not under complete control of federal government and actually represent "state within the state" force in this conflict, and the situation looks really dangerous.

    And please note that Russia protects a secular government, and the USA supports Islamic fundamentalists in Syria, to make Israel even greater. Instead of "Making America great again". Such a betrayal of elections promises... The same policy that Hillary would adopt if she sits on the throne.

    So to say that Trump is idiot in foreign policy without saying that Obama was the same dangerous idiot, who pursued the same neocon policies is hypocritical, because they are manipulated by the same people in dark suits and are just marionettes, or, at best, minor players. Other people decide for them what is good for America.

    The US army is pretty much demoralized and even with advanced weapons and absolute air superiority can't achieve much because solders understand that they are just cannon fodder and it is unclear what they fighting for in Afghanistan.

    Because in Syria the USA support the same Islamic fundamentalists it is fighting in Afghanistan. Or even worse then those -- head choppers like guys from Al Nusra.

    So we fight secular government in Syria supporting Sunni fundamentalists (often of worst kind as KSA supported Wahhabi fighters) and simultaneously are trying to protect secular government in Afghanistan against exactly the same (or even slightly more moderate) Islamic fundamentalist forces. Is not this a definition of split personality?

    EMichael - , June 10, 2017 at 04:24 PM
    Do you really think there are many people that are deluded enough to not know who and what you are?

    You are a cancer on this blog.

    libezkova - , June 10, 2017 at 11:35 PM
    William S. Lind on Hillary:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-trump-can-do-for-defense/

    "In the case of Hillary Clinton, not only does that mean more wasted money, it means more wars, wars we will lose.

    Hillary is a wild-eyed interventionist. She gave us the Libyan fiasco, and had Obama been fool enough to listen to her again, we would now be at war on the ground in Syria.

    The establishment refuses to see the limits of American power, and it also refuses to compel our military to focus on war against non-state opponents, or Fourth Generation war. The Pentagon pretends its future is war against other states.

    The political and foreign-policy establishments pretend the Pentagon knows how to win. They waltz together happily, unaware theirs is a Totentanz."

    [Jun 14, 2017] Bloomberg tried to keel Russian hacking story hot

    Is Mossad for some reasons also interested in fueling Russiagate ;-) ?
    Notable quotes:
    "... That's an extremely weak story from Bloomberg. The article itself doesn't actually refer to evidence on its own; rather, it comes from anonymous sources. ..."
    "... That's a maddening thing about this subject as it's treated by most mainstream news – it's called "Russian hacking" when, at best, it's an assumption that Russians, or at least the Russian government, were involved. ..."
    "... It's become the identifier for this issue, IOW, it's "Russian hacking", not "hacking of DNC" or "attempted phishing of voting machine administrators". ..."
    "... If the FBI is investigating these incidents, then its possible there actually is evidence we'll hear about eventually, but so far all we've see or heard is baseless assertions by the intel community. ..."
    Jun 14, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    voteforno6 , June 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Re: "Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known" [Bloomberg].

    That's an extremely weak story from Bloomberg. The article itself doesn't actually refer to evidence on its own; rather, it comes from anonymous sources.

    Also, it keeps attributing the source of the hacks to Russia, without even attempting to provide evidence of that. The closest it gets is mentioning that investigators attributed them to certain IP addresses.

    That's not all that convincing, as source IPs can be easily masked, which is one of the reasons why attribution is extremely difficult.

    There's much less in the story than meets the eye, particularly when it comes to placing blame on Russia (assuming that these hacks in fact took place, of course).

    Cujo359 , June 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    That's a maddening thing about this subject as it's treated by most mainstream news – it's called "Russian hacking" when, at best, it's an assumption that Russians, or at least the Russian government, were involved.

    It's become the identifier for this issue, IOW, it's "Russian hacking", not "hacking of DNC" or "attempted phishing of voting machine administrators".

    If the FBI is investigating these incidents, then its possible there actually is evidence we'll hear about eventually, but so far all we've see or heard is baseless assertions by the intel community.

    John k , June 13, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    There's a history of that

    [Jun 14, 2017] Strange Oversight by Comey tells us a lot by Ray McGovern

    Notable quotes:
    "... Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted? ..."
    Jun 13, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

    Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?

    Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

    BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

    COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

    BURR: "But no content?"

    COMEY: "Correct."

    BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

    COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

    Burr demurred on asking Comey to explain what amounts to gross misfeasance, if not worse. Perhaps, NBC could arrange for Megyn Kelly to interview Burr to ask if he has a clue as to what Putin might have been referring to when he noted, "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia."

    Given the congressional intelligence "oversight" committees' obsequiousness and repeated "high esteem" for the "intelligence community," there seems an even chance that – no doubt because of an oversight – the CIA/FBI/NSA deep-stage troika failed to brief the Senate "oversight committee" chairman on WikiLeaks "Vault 7" disclosures – even when WikiLeaks publishes original CIA documents.

    Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .

    [Jun 13, 2017] The shining city on a hill sustains royalty, secures Wahhabi aims, wars to end unjust peace , ousts Qaddafi with no regard for how much turmoil millions endure and drops 27000 bombs on 7 Muslim countries during 2016 a year of peace overseen by a peace prize winner!

    Notable quotes:
    "... Are there no longer any Sunday PM rallies in US cities against the electoral college which denied the dnc crooks their conned prize? ..."
    "... "As for that cherished image of a shining city on a hill*? As my fiend Richard Pitkin says, there is a little city-on-a-hill in all Americans. It is a complicated sort of truth about which even Russian journalists and scholars may have a say." ..."
    "... The biggest threat to the republic comes from the fuzz exploding from domestic faux media. So much for diminishing fuzz in the US! Russia's vapid "influence" compares little to the scam run by a pair of political parties owned by Wall St. *The latest refuge of Comey; rolling out Dutch Reagan's 'shiny city' scam......... ..."
    Jun 13, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    ilsm - June 12, 2017 at 04:57 PM

    Corruption and stagnation.......

    Are there no longer any Sunday PM rallies in US cities against the electoral college which denied the dnc crooks their conned prize?

    David Warsh, June 11

    http://www.economicprincipals.com/issues/2017.06.11/2006.html

    Not Russian fuzz! Why question RT?

    Undiminshed fuzz is all the US gets from the dnc corrupted media!

    "As for that cherished image of a shining city on a hill*? As my fiend Richard Pitkin says, there is a little city-on-a-hill in all Americans. It is a complicated sort of truth about which even Russian journalists and scholars may have a say."

    The "shining city on a hill" sustains royalty, secures Wahhabi aims, wars to end "unjust peace", ousts Qaddafi with no regard for how much turmoil millions endure and drops 27000 bombs on 7 Muslim countries during 2016 a year of "peace" overseen by a 'peace prize' winner!

    The biggest threat to the republic comes from the fuzz exploding from domestic faux media. So much for diminishing fuzz in the US! Russia's vapid "influence" compares little to the scam run by a pair of political parties owned by Wall St. *The latest refuge of Comey; rolling out Dutch Reagan's 'shiny city' scam.........