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DNC and Podesta emails leak and subsequent false flag operation to  blame Vladimir Putin using Crowdstrike honchos

  Was it a false flag operation by rogues in one of three US intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA and FBI) which later produced Jan. 6 intelligence “assessment” ? Binney stated that if it were a “hack,” the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

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

Who are those Crowdstrike "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  CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Strzokgate FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case
Seth Rich murder Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Strzok-gate James "We are not weasels" Comey John "911 Coverup" Mueller History of American False Flag Operations
Hillary Clinton email scandal Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump James Comey role in preventing Sanders from leading the Democratic ticket Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco: Obama repeats Bush's WMD fiasco Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Obama: a yet another Neocon Nunes FISA Memo scandal FBI contractor Fusion GPS FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Deception as an art form Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of uppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism
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 Who hacked whom propaganda game 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 Demonization of Putin 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 Guccifer 2.0 false flag operation

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.

There are strong reasons to beleave that DNS email hack was not hack but an internal leak, Here is a twit from Kim dotcom  (quoted from Zero Hedge ):

©Kim Dotcom @KimDotcom

Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn’t even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why. Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied.

If this is true than Crowdstrike is really sinister and criminal organization which implanted Russian malware into DNC servers in order to frame Russians in the leak which from now on was presented as hack by Russian intelligence or some group pf hackers connected to the Russian government.

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 and major neoliberal MSM like CNN and MCNBC 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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[Feb 17, 2019] Two Trump Cabinet Officials Were Ready To Support 25th Amendment Coup As Rosenstein Tallied Votes

Notable quotes:
"... Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time." ..."
"... According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time." ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Two Trump Cabinet officials were "ready to support" a DOJ scheme to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump , according to Bloomberg and Fox News , citing closed-door testimony from the FBI's former top lawyer, James Baker - who said that the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The testimony was delivered last fall to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Fox News has confirmed portions of the transcript. It provides additional insight into discussions that have returned to the spotlight in Washington as fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe revisits the matter during interviews promoting his forthcoming book. - Fox News

While Baker did not identify the two Cabinet officials, he says that McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page approached him to relay their conversations with Rosenstein, including their discussions of the 25th Amendment scheme. "I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the Deputy Attorney General, he had stated that he -- this was what was related to me -- that he had at least two members of the president's Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment," Baker told the Congressional committees.

The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a sitting president from office through various mechanisms - including the majority of a president's Cabinet agreeing that the commander-in-chief is incapable of performing his duties.

Rosenstein - who is slated to leave the Justice Department in the near future, has denied the claims. Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time."

McCabe, meanwhile told "60 Minutes" in an interview set to air Sunday night that Rosenstein was concerned about Trump's "capacity."

According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time."

"Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president?" asks CBS News anchor Scott Pelly, to which McCabe replied: " That's correct. Counting votes or possible votes. "

The New York Times first reported last year that McCabe alleged in memos that Rosenstein had talked about using the 25th Amendment to oust Trump -- or wearing a wire to surreptitiously monitor the president -- in the hectic days in May 2017 after Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director. At the time, Rosenstein disputed the reporting. - WaPo

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the 25th Amendment scheme a " bureaucratic coup " led by enemies of President Trump. On Sunday morning, Graham said he would subpoena McCabe and Rosenstein "if that's what it takes" to get to the bottom of the 25th Amendment claim.

On Thursday, the DOJ issued a statement claiming that Rosenstein rejects McCabe's version of events "as inaccurate and factually incorrect," and also denied that Rosenstein ever approved wearing a "wire" to record Trump.

"The deputy attorney general never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references," reads the DOJ statement. "As the deputy attorney general previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."

McCabe, meanwhile, walked back some of his "60 Minutes" statements . On Friday a spokeswoman for the former Deputy Director said: "Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented," adding "To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions."

Baker acknowledged during his testimony that he was not directly involved in the May 2017 discussions, rather, McCabe and Page approached him contemporaneously following a meeting with Rosenstein in the days following former FBI Director James Comey's firing.

"I had the impression that the deputy attorney general had already discussed this with two members in the president's Cabinet and that they were onboard with this concept already," said Baker.

Question: "Do you know what direction that went? Was it Mr. Rosenstein seeking out members of the Cabinet looking to pursue this 25th Amendment approach or was it the other way around?"

Baker: "What I recall being said was that the Deputy Attorney General had two members of the Cabinet. So he – how they came to be had, I don't know, but "

Question: "So he had two members, almost like he was taking the initiative and getting the members?"

Baker: "That would be speculation on my part." - Via Fox News

Baker also suggested that "Lisa and Andy" did not know the names of the Cabinet officials who were on board with the 25th Amendment scheme.

Baker testified in October that the alleged discussions took place during an uncertain and anxious time at the FBI and DOJ after Comey's termination, and that the mood was "pretty dark":

Question: "Did people tell you that the DAG (Deputy Attorney General) was upset?"

Baker: "Yes."

Question: "Did they tell you that he was making jokes?"

Baker: "No."

Question: "Did they tell you that..."

Baker: " This was not a joking sort of time. This was pretty dark. " - Via Fox News

Pretty dark indeed.


Moneycircus , 6 minutes ago link

John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations , was the most insightful political analyst besides Mae Brussell.

Speaking less than 6 months after 911, he understood more then than most commentators do now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrFm1E74wYU

"Our choice now seems to be between a "new war" and a new world. As always, the forces of reaction and wealth are telling us we have no choice but war, and no right or power to decide. They are calling for a secret investigation, a secret conviction, a secret method of execution, and a totally secret war abroad.

"The American people as a whole are the only ones in the world who have the right to decide on a national response to this tragedy, and it must be one that takes into account the rights of all the other peoples and nations of the world."

-- John Judge , 9/23/01

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/

loop , 16 minutes ago link

Funny to think that ***-lover Trump, with a JEWISH AGENDA , could have been brought down in a Jewish-led coup.

Priceless.

Sanity Bear , 24 minutes ago link

"the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein"

and we know that the claim was not a baldfaced lie... how?

Moneycircus , 33 minutes ago link

Always like this. Way Washington works. It's an oligarchy. Power = carrot and stick. Carrot = money to buy and bribe. Stick = kompromat and blackmail.

Why was J. Edgar Hoover the most powerful man in America? Did FBI cease to be the political police when he died?

Why are institutions like the CIA more influential than any politician? How was the public so easily misled about the coup that was Watergate?

Mae Brussell laid it all out on the table 40 years ago. Understanding is within reach if you want it.

http://www.worldwatchers.info/

[Feb 17, 2019] There's No Denying It; It Was Never Anything But a Coup!

Notable quotes:
"... In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com

In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well.

Now, after its own two years of investigation and 200 interviews, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr (R-NC) has said, "There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia." Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) said he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence, but declined to give his own assessment.

Veteran criminal attorney John Dowd, a member of Trump's legal team from June 2017 to March 2018, said,

"I know exactly what he [Mueller] has. I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is."

What will be the result of the probe?

"It's been a terrible waste of time.... This is one of the greatest frauds the country has ever seen. I'm just shocked that Bob Mueller didn't call it that way and say, 'I'm being used.' I would've done that.

"I'd have gone to [then Attorney General] Sessions and Rosenstein and said, 'Look. This is nonsense. We are being used by a cabal in the FBI to get even.' "

Asked about Mueller's final report, he responded, "I will be shocked if anything regarding the President is made public, other than, 'We're done.' "

At the same time, former NSA Technical Director William Binney has published new evidence which shows that the DNC documents posted by WikiLeaks in July 2016, were probably not hacked over the internet, by Russians or anyone else -- rather, the only available forensic evidence indicates that they were downloaded from within the DNC's network. His evidence is summarized in an article he co-authored with former CIA analyst Larry Johnson on Col. Pat Lang's "Sic Semper Tyrannis" blog yesterday.

[Feb 16, 2019] Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA

Feb 16, 2019 | disobedientmedia.com

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 4:53 am

Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/

[Feb 13, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis WHY THE DNC WAS NOT HACKED BY THE RUSSIANS by Binney and Johnson

Looks like Gussifer 2.0 person is a fake created to cover tracks and ofload the blame to Russians.
Notable quotes:
"... The phrase, "moderate confidence" is intelligence speak for "we have no hard evidence." ..."
"... Instead, the NSA only claimed to have moderate confidence in the judgement regarding Russian meddling. If the NSA had hard intelligence to support the judgement the conclusion would have been stated as "full confidence." ..."
"... Why does a cyber security company wait 45 days after allegedly uncovering a massive Russian attack on the DNC server to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the information held on the server? This makes no sense. ..."
"... We know one thing for certain -- CrowdStrike did not take steps to shutdown and repair the DNC network until 18 days after the last email was copied from the server. ..."
"... Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

By William Binney, former Technical Director NSA & Larry Johnson, former State CT and CIA

The FBI, CIA and NSA claim that the DNC emails published by WIKILEAKS on July 26, 2016 were obtained via a Russian hack, but more than three years after the alleged "hack" no forensic evidence has been produced to support that claim. In fact, the available forensic evidence contradicts the official account that blames the leak of the DNC emails on a Russian internet "intrusion". The existing evidence supports an alternative explanation--the files taken from the DNC on between 23 and 25May 2016 and were copied onto a file storage device, such as a thumb drive.

If the Russians actually had conducted an internet based hack of the DNC computer network then the evidence of such an attack would have been collected and stored by the National Security Agency. The technical systems to accomplish this task have been in place since 2002. The NSA had an opportunity to make it clear that there was irrefutable proof of Russian meddling, particularly with regard to the DNC hack, when it signed on to the January 2017 "Intelligence Community Assessment," regarding Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election :

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

The phrase, "moderate confidence" is intelligence speak for "we have no hard evidence." Thanks to the leaks by Edward Snowden, we know with certainty that the NSA had the capability to examine and analyze the DNC emails. NSA routinely "vacuumed up" email traffic transiting the U.S. using robust collection systems (whether or not anyone in the NSA chose to look for this data is another question). If those emails had been hijacked over the internet then NSA also would have been able to track the electronic path they traveled over the internet. This kind of data would allow the NSA to declare without reservation or caveat that the Russians were guilty. The NSA could admit to such a fact in an unclassified assessment without compromising sources and methods. Instead, the NSA only claimed to have moderate confidence in the judgement regarding Russian meddling. If the NSA had hard intelligence to support the judgement the conclusion would have been stated as "full confidence."

We believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces major embarrassment if he decides to pursue the indictment he filed -- which accuses 12 Russian GRU military personnel and an entity identified as, Guccifer 2.0, for the DNC hack -- because the available forensic evidence indicates the emails were copied onto a storage device.

According to a DOJ press release on the indictment of the Russians, Mueller declares that the emails were obtained via a "spearphising" attack:

In 2016, officials in Unit 26165 began spearphishing volunteers and employees of the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, including the campaign's chairman. Through that process, officials in this unit were able to steal the usernames and passwords for numerous individuals and use those credentials to steal email content and hack into other computers. They also were able to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through these spearphishing techniques to steal emails and documents, covertly monitor the computer activity of dozens of employees, and implant hundreds of files of malicious computer code to steal passwords and maintain access to these networks.

The officials in Unit 26165 coordinated with officials in Unit 74455 to plan the release of the stolen documents for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 presidential election. Defendants registered the domain DCLeaks.com and later staged the release of thousands of stolen emails and documents through that website. On the website, defendants claimed to be "American hacktivists" and used Facebook accounts with fictitious names and Twitter accounts to promote the website. After public accusations that the Russian government was behind the hacking of DNC and DCCC computers, defendants created the fictitious persona Guccifer 2.0. On the evening of June 15, 2016 between 4:19PM and 4:56PM, defendants used their Moscow-based server to search for a series of English words and phrases that later appeared in Guccifer 2.0's first blog post falsely claiming to be a lone Romanian hacker responsible for the hacks in the hopes of undermining the allegations of Russian involvement.( https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/grand-jury-indicts-12-russian-intelligence-officers-hacking-offenses-related-2016-election )

Notwithstanding the DOJ press release, an examination of the Wikileaks DNC files do not support the claim that the emails were obtained via spearphising. Instead, the evidence clearly shows that the emails posted on the Wikileaks site were copied onto an electronic media, such as a CD-ROM or thumbdrive before they were posted at Wikileaks. The emails posted on Wikileaks were saved using the File Allocation Table (aka FAT) computer file system architecture.

An examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May respectively. The fact that they appear in a FAT system format indicates the data was transfered to a storage device, such as a thumb drive.

How do we know? The truth lies in the "last modified" time stamps on the Wikileaks files. Every single one of these time stamps end in even numbers. If you are not familiar with the FAT file system, you need to understand that when a date is stored under this system the data rounds the time to the nearest even numbered second.

We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on Wikileaks and all 500 files end in an even number -- 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If a system other than FAT had been used, there would have been an equal probability of the time stamp ending with an odd number. But that is not the case with the data stored on the Wikileaks site. All end with an even number.

The DNC emails are in 3 batches (times are GMT).

Date       Count Min Time Max Time FAT Min Id Max Id
2016-05-23 10520 02:12:38 02:45:42 x    3800  14319
2016-05-25 11936 05:21:30 06:04:36 x       1  22456
2016-08-26 13357 14:11:36 20:06:04 x   22457  44053    

The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power or approximately 1 chance in 10 to the 150th power - in other words, an infinitely high order. This data alone does not prove that the emails were copied at the DNC headquarters. But it does show that the data/emails posted by Wikileaks did go through a storage device, like a thumbdrive, before Wikileaks posted the emails on the World Wide Web.

This fact alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts about Mueller's indictment accusing 12 Russian soldiers as the culprits for the leak of the DNC emails to Wikileaks. A savvy defense attorney will argue, and rightly so, that someone copied the DNC files to a storage device (Eg., USB thumb drive) and transferred that to Wikileaks.

We also tested the hypothesis that Wikileaks could have manipulated the files to produce the FAT result by comparing the DNC email files with the Podesta emails (aka Larter file) that was released on 21 September 2016. The FAT file format is NOT present in the Podesta files. If Wikileaks employed a standard protocol for handling data/emails received from unknown sources we should expect the File structure of the DNC emails to match the file structure of the Podesta emails. The evidence shows otherwise.

There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphising attack. Bill Binney, a former Technical Director of the National Security Agency, along with other former intelligence community experts, examined emails posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those emails could not have been downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphising attack. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics.

Shortly after Wikileaks announced it had the DNC emails, Guccifer 2.0 emerged on the public stage, claiming that "he" hacked the DNC and that he had the DNC emails. Guccifer 2.0 began in late June 2016 to publish documents as proof that "he" had hacked from the DNC.

Taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value -- i.e., that his documents were obtained via an internet attack -- Bill Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained in the posted documents based on internet connection speeds in the United States. This analysis showed that the highest transfer rate was 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than possible from a remote online connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincides with the download rate for a thumb drive .

Binney, assisted by other colleagues with technical expertise, extended the examination and ran various tests forensic from the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest rate obtained -- from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK--was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the rate necessary to transfer the data, as it was listed from Guccifer 2.

The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the Wikileaks data does not prove who copied the information to a thumbdrive, but it does provide and empirical alternative explanation that undermines the Special Counsel's claim that the DNC was hacked. According to the forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data, the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphising attack. The data breach was local. It was copied from the network.

There is other circumstantial evidence that buttresses the conclusion that the data breach was a local effort that copied data.

First there is the Top Secret information leaked by Edward Snowden. If the DNC emails had been hacked via spearphising (as alleged by Mueller) then the data would have been captured by the NSA by means of the Upstream program (Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, Oakstar) and the forensic evidence would not modify times - the data would be presented as sent.

Second, we have the public reporting on the DNC and Crowdstrike, which provide a bizarre timeline for the alleged Russian hacking.

It was 29 April 2016, when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated (see https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f ). No claim yet about who was responsible.

According to CrowdStrike founder, Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that :

Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.

( https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49902/the-russian-emigre-leading-the-fight-to-protect-america/ )

And what did CrowdStrike do about this? Nothing. According to Michael Isikoff, CrowdStrike claimed their inactivity was a deliberate plan to avoid alerting the Russians that they had been "discovered." This is nonsense. If a security company detected a thief breaking into a house and stealing its contents, what sane company would counsel the client to do nothing in order to avoid alerting the thief?

We know from examining the Wikileaks data that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35. No DNC emails were taken and released to Wikileaks after that date.

CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that :

Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49902/the-russian-emigre-leading-the-fight-to-protect-america/

Why does a cyber security company wait 45 days after allegedly uncovering a massive Russian attack on the DNC server to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the information held on the server? This makes no sense.

A more plausible explanation is that it was discovered that emails had been downloaded from the server and copied onto a device like a thumdrive. But the culprit had not yet been identified. We know one thing for certain -- CrowdStrike did not take steps to shutdown and repair the DNC network until 18 days after the last email was copied from the server.

The final curiosity is that the DNC never provided the FBI access to its servers in order for qualified FBI technicians to conduct a thorough forensic examination. If this had been a genuine internet hack, it would be very easy for the NSA to identify when the information was taken and the route it moved after being hacked from the server. The NSA had the technical collection systems in place to enable analysts to know the date and time of the messages. But that has not been done.

Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. It is not a pretty picture.

[Feb 13, 2019] My understanding is that the Democratic Party person who passed the USB stick to Craig Murray was not Seth Rich

Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Feb 12, 2019 10:54:05 PM | link

James @ 65, Spudski @ 54, Bevin @ 38:

My understanding is that the Democratic Party person who passed the USB stick to Craig Murray was not Seth Rich. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016 and Murray received the USB stick in September of the same year. So there were quite a few disgruntled Democratic Party whistleblowers at the time.

spudski , Feb 12, 2019 11:48:22 PM | link
@Jen 70

You're right - Seth Rich was not alive in September 2016. Craig Murray says he received a package in a wooded area near the American University in Washington DC in September 2016 from "the source" and that the leak source was the deed of a disgruntled Democrat employee.

james , Feb 13, 2019 1:12:42 AM | link
@71 jen / 73 spudski... i went and checked craigs site, but was unable to find him mentioning this.. i did re-read his post from july 3rd 2017 that came up in a search of seth rich.. The Stink Without a Secret

to quote from it.. "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 travelled 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." - why is that???

Jackrabbit , Feb 13, 2019 7:21:34 AM | link
james, jen, spudski, bevin

Look at the interviews of Seth Rich's family on Youtube. The interviews are just weird. And the Seth Rich family has acted in a weird way too.

pantaraxia , Feb 13, 2019 8:07:59 AM | link
Seymour Hersh, surreptitiously taped while discussing Seth Rich's murder.

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report (6:30 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJpQPGeUeQY

Jackrabbit , Feb 13, 2019 8:39:31 AM | link
As you consider the weirdness of the Rich family, also keep in mind the substantial efforts made to discredit and disable Assange/Wikileaks and Trump's call, in summer 2016) for Putin to release Hillary's lost emails.

The timeline is as follows:

January 2016
FBI report says Hillary emails contained highly classified info
By this time, Trump has all but locked up the GOP nomination - Michael Bloomberg makes urgent public announcement that may enter the race to prevent Sanders and Trump from winning.

February 2016
Never Trump Movement is born

March/April 2016
Trump hires Manafort

May 2016
DNC is hacked

June 2016
Trump Jr. meets with Russians that say they have info about Hillary

July 2016
Wikileaks publishes DNC emails (July 22)
Trump">https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html">Trump calls on Putin to release Hillary's lost emails (July 28)

July 2016
Manafort resigns/is fired

September 2016
Flynn signs agreement with Turk company Inovo BV: $500k "sweatheart deal"

October 2016
Assange's Internet access is terminated for the first time due to "election interference" by publishing DNC emails

November 2016
Flynn's agreement with Turk company ends on election day (Nov 8)
Flynn accepts position as National Security Advisor (Nov 18)

January 2017
Flynn is under investigation due to his work for Inovo BV
Chuck Schumer says Intel agencies "have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you"

February 2017
Trump fires Flynn after he is evasive/untruthful about his conversation with Russian Ambassador

>> Trump's positioning as pro-Russia was bolstered by his hiring pro-Russia Manafort who has links to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. This is a strange choice for the "America First" Trump campaign.

>> Assange/Wikileaks and Flynn are all ultimately snared by anti-Russia hysteria. Wikileaks would later be described as a "hostile intelligence agency" and Assange as a "Russian agent".

spudski , Feb 13, 2019 10:38:17 AM | link
james @75

CM does say this in a December 2016 post:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/
[The overall extract is between the lines below.]
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I had a call from a Guardian journalist this afternoon. The astonishing result "was that for three hours, an article was accessible through the Guardian front page which actually included the truth among the CIA hype:

"The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was "directing" the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims "bullshit", adding: "They are absolutely making it up."
"I know who leaked them," Murray said. "I've met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it's an insider. It's a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
"If what the CIA are saying is true, and the CIA's statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone if it was someone inside the United States.
"America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it's not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever."

But only three hours. While the article was not taken down, the home page links to it vanished and it was replaced by a ludicrous one repeating the mad CIA allegations against Russia and now claiming – incredibly – that the CIA believe the FBI is deliberately blocking the information on Russian collusion.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

jackrabbit

Thanks for the info. The Seth Rich story always bothered me. I also recall that in one article CM was quoted as saying that who he got the leaked materials was not "the source." Was the original source SR?

james , Feb 13, 2019 12:18:47 PM | link
@84/87 jr / @91 spudski... thanks for all that..

i tend to believe julian assange when he says the stakes are very high when one is involved in sharing information that could be detrimental others - a large organization in particular, and etc..

I suppose the 2 choices here are one believes either Seth Rich was murdered in a bad part of Washington dc - conceivable, or that someone knew he had passed the emails and wanted to kill him for it..

If you believe 2 - then you have to come up with a reason for why they had to kill him.. The reason jr appears to offer is it makes Russia and WikiLeaks the 2 main suspects, as opposed to seth rich.. and on and on it goes..

I lean towards the later view which jr articulates, but i don't expect to ever find out..

[Feb 11, 2019] Noticeble decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia creates preconditions for a loot and burn approach to governing the US.

Notable quotes:
"... Much the same could have been said about the last days of the USSR, or for that matter the last phase of the 30 Years War or the Napoleonic Wars. As back then, so now: The old elite and new authoritarians actively crushing the new group, well, they are are actively crushing _themselves_ at an even greater rate than they are crushing the new group. ..."
"... Example: Decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia. Waiting in the wings we see various groups that hate each other and propose what is pretty clearly a loot and burn approach to governing the US. They vary only in whom they will loot and what they will burn. ..."
"... Example: Decay of the media, which now knows it is as ineffective as Russian propaganda towards the USSR's end, and apparently either doesn't care or is unable to change. ..."
"... If resource scarcity prompts armed response, well, humanity has enough shiny new weapons _and untried weapons technologies_ to produce destruction as surprising in its extent as WW I and WW II were for their times [1] (or as the self supporting tercio was during the 30 Years War). ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Counterinsurgency , says: February 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm GMT

The third trend is the only place where hope can reside. This trend – what I have previously ascribed to a group I call the "dissenters" – understands that radical new thinking is required. But given that this group is being actively crushed by the old liberal elite and the new authoritarians, it has little public and political space to explore its ideas, to experiment, to collaborate, as it urgently needs to.

Much the same could have been said about the last days of the USSR, or for that matter the last phase of the 30 Years War or the Napoleonic Wars. As back then, so now: The old elite and new authoritarians actively crushing the new group, well, they are are actively crushing _themselves_ at an even greater rate than they are crushing the new group.

Example: Decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia. Waiting in the wings we see various groups that hate each other and propose what is pretty clearly a loot and burn approach to governing the US. They vary only in whom they will loot and what they will burn.

Example: Decay of the media, which now knows it is as ineffective as Russian propaganda towards the USSR's end, and apparently either doesn't care or is unable to change.

Example: Reaction to yellow vests in France, which drew the reactions described in Cook's article (at the root of this comment thread). "Back to your kennels, curs!" isn't effective in situations like this, but it seems to be the only reply the EU has.

New groups take over when the old group has rotted away. At some point, Cook's third alternative will be all that is left. The real question is what will be happening world wide at that point. If resource scarcity prompts armed response, well, humanity has enough shiny new weapons _and untried weapons technologies_ to produce destruction as surprising in its extent as WW I and WW II were for their times [1] (or as the self supporting tercio was during the 30 Years War).

Counterinsurgency

1] To understand contemporary effect of WW I on survivors, think of a the survivors of a group playing paintball who accidentally got hold of grenade launchers but somehow didn't realize that until the game was over. WW II was actually worse -- people worldwide really expected another industrialized war within 20 years (by AD 1965), this one fought with nuclear weapons.

[Feb 09, 2019] An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly told insurance executives in private not to worry about Democrats' push for "Medicare for All.

Feb 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , February 06, 2019 at 05:22 PM

Oops, Speaker Pelosi caught paving over Medicare For All

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/05/nancy-pelosi-medicare-for-all/

"An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly told insurance executives in private not to worry about Democrats' push for "Medicare for All." (The Intercept)"

Ryan Grim...February 5 2019...6:00 a.m.

"Less than a month after Democrats -- many of them running on "Medicare for All" -- won back control of the House of Representatives in November, the top health policy aide to then-prospective House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Blue Cross Blue Shield executives and assured them that party leadership had strong reservations about single-payer health care and was more focused on lowering drug prices, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Pelosi adviser Wendell Primus detailed five objections to Medicare for All and said that Democrats would be allies to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health care. Primus pitched the insurers on supporting Democrats on efforts to shrink drug prices, specifically by backing a number of measures that the pharmaceutical lobby is opposing.

Primus, in a slide presentation obtained by The Intercept, criticized single payer on the basis of cost ("Monies are needed for other priorities"), opposition ("Stakeholders are against; Creates winners and losers"), and "implementation challenges." We have recreated the slides for source protection purposes.

Democrats, Primus said, are united around the concept of universal coverage, but see strengthening the Affordable Care Act as the means to that end. He made his presentation to the Blue Cross executives on December 4..."...

Christopher H. said in reply to im1dc... , February 06, 2019 at 07:14 PM
so how do you feel about that?
Mr. Bill -> Christopher H.... , February 06, 2019 at 09:52 PM
Personally, I am aghast. The Congress critters are in bed with the medical monopolies. One example, among many:

The congressional endorsement of the ban on the importation of less expensive drugs, claimed as a matter of safety, is a travesty. In the last several months, I have had two of the drugs I take daily, recalled because the Chinese manufacturers shipped the drugs with a measurable concentration of a known carcinogen in them. Safety, my aching ......

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 09:55 PM
It was not the FDA that discovered the contamination, it was the EU.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:07 PM
Democrats in action on health care include Max Baucus,Tom Daschle, and most infamously, Billy Tauzin:

"Two months before resigning as chair of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which oversees the drug industry, Tauzin had played a key role in shepherding through Congress the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill. Democrats said that the bill was "a give-away to the drugmakers" because it prohibited the government from negotiating lower drug prices and bans the importation of identical, cheaper, drugs from Canada and elsewhere. The Veterans Affairs agency, which can negotiate drug prices, pays much less than Medicare does. The bill was passed in an unusual congressional session at 3 a.m. under heavy pressure from the drug companies.[4][5]

As head of PhRMA, Tauzin was a key player in 2009 health care reform negotiations that produced pharmaceutical industry support for White House and Senate efforts.[6]

Tauzin received $11.6 million from PhRMA in 2010, making him the highest-paid health-law lobbyist.[7] Tauzin now is on the Board of Directors at Louisiana Healthcare Group. "

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:15 PM
Baucus in action :

"Advocate groups attended a Senate Finance Committee meeting in May 2009 to protest their exclusion as well as statements by Baucus that "single payer was not an option on the table." Baucus later had eight protesters removed by police who arrested them for disrupting the hearing. Many of the single-payer advocates said it was a "pay to play" event.[44][45][46] A representative of the Business Roundtable, which includes 35 memberships of health maintenance organizations, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, admitted that other countries, with lower health costs, and higher quality of care, such as those with single-payer systems, have a competitive advantage over the United States with its private system.[47]

At the next meeting on health care reform of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus had five more doctors and nurses removed and arrested.[48][49][50] Baucus admitted a few weeks later in June 2009 that it was a mistake to rule out a single payer plan[51] because doing so alienated a large, vocal constituency and left President Barack Obama's proposal of a public health plan to compete with private insurers as the most liberal position.[51]

Baucus has used the term "uniquely American solution" to describe the end point of current health reform and has said that he believes America is not ready yet for any form of single payer health care. This is the same term the insurance trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), is using. AHIP has launched the Campaign for an American Solution, which argues for the use of private health insurance instead of a government backed program"

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:20 PM
Daschle:

"Daschle co-wrote the 2008 book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis ISBN 9780312383015.[55] He and his co-authors point out that "most of the world's highest-ranking health-care systems employ some kind of 'single-payer' strategy - that is, the government, directly or through insurers, is responsible for paying doctors, hospitals, and other health-care providers." They argue that a single-payer approach is simple, equitable, provides everyone with the same benefits, and saves billions of dollars through economies of scale and simplified administration. They concede that implementing a single-payer system in the United States would be "politically problematic" even though some polls show more satisfaction with the single-payer Medicare system than private insurance.[56]"

Health care giant Aetna will be the first official client for the former Democratic leader, who's now running his own consulting shop within the law firm Baker Donelson. Daschle will lobby for the health insurer on Obamacare implementation and Medicare and Medicaid rule changes, according to a filing with the Senate Secretary.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:38 PM
"For fifteen years, Tauzin was one of the more Conservative Democrats in the United States House of Representatives. Even though he eventually rose to become an assistant majority whip, he felt shut out by some of his more liberal colleagues and sometimes had to ask the Republicans for floor time. When the Democrats lost control of the House after the 1994 elections, Tauzin was one of the cofounders of the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate-to-conservative Democrats.

.......

However, on August 8, 1995, Tauzin himself became a Republican"

Republicans in action ..... ?

[Feb 09, 2019] Did The Department Of Justice Protect Brenda Snipes From Prosecution For Ballot Destruction by Elizabeth Lea Vos

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... it is important to remember that Wasserman-Schultz and Snipes are merely the public faces of an extensive, deeply problematic system of corruption. It is then also essential to understand who, and what mechanisms, have allowed figures like Wasserman-Schultz, Snipes, the Awan brothers, and others to go unprosecuted. ..."
"... As readers may recall , Snipes illegally destroyed ballots from the 2016 primary race between Wasserman-Schultz and Tim Canova. The Sun Sentinel explained Snipes's direct involvement in the destruction of ballots, writing: ..."
"... Canova's contention that US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have been responsible for preventing legal consequences for Brenda Snipes is profoundly concerning. Last year, Rosenstein faced heavy criticism in the wake of the publication of the infamous FISA Memo. Last year, The Daily Beast described the memo's account of surveillance abuse, saying: "[The memo] specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein along with former FBI Director James Comey." ..."
"... Needless to say, the fact that Rosenstein was directly involved with the strongly partisan activities documented by the FISA memo makes it unsurprising that he would interfere on behalf of associates of Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Setting the possibility that Wasserman-Schultz's brother may also have been involved in protecting Snipes from prosecution aside for the moment, Canova's allegations raise a myriad of new questions, including: who benefits from protecting Snipes? ..."
"... "In stories like this, the image painted of the Department of Justice is one of a federal agency that functions in a manner far more akin to organized crime than to a governmental body." ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Via Disobedient Media.

A vast caldera of public rage has rightfully been aimed at Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Brenda Snipes over the last few years. However, it is important to remember that Wasserman-Schultz and Snipes are merely the public faces of an extensive, deeply problematic system of corruption. It is then also essential to understand who, and what mechanisms, have allowed figures like Wasserman-Schultz, Snipes, the Awan brothers, and others to go unprosecuted.

This issue became clearer earlier this week when former congressional candidate Tim Canova Tweeted:

As readers may recall , Snipes illegally destroyed ballots from the 2016 primary race between Wasserman-Schultz and Tim Canova. The Sun Sentinel explained Snipes's direct involvement in the destruction of ballots, writing:

"Canova, who was checking for voting irregularities in the race, sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending. Snipes called the action a "mistake" during testimony she gave in the case, saying the boxes were mislabeled and there was "nothing on my part that was intentional" about destroying the contested ballots."

Big League Politics also reported: "On May 11, 2018, the Florida Circuit Court granted Plaintiff Canova summary judgment, and found that Snipes had violated numerous state and federal statutes, including laws punishable as felonies with up to five years in prison. The Court's ruling made clear that Snipes' destruction of ballots was illegal on several separate counts."

Disobedient Media spoke with Tim Canova, who told us:

"I was recently informed by election officials in Florida that it's the Deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, who would have been the DOJ official making the decision not to move forward with a criminal investigation in our ballot destruction case. I also believe that Steve Wasserman, an Assistant US Attorney at the DOJ headquarters in Washington, DC, may well have been involved in the decision, particularly since Wasserman spoke out publicly against prosecuting Awan in the days before Awan's sentencing."

A Floridian official set to prosecute Snipes was also said to have backed down after a trip to Washington DC, which involved meetings with the DOJ. Canova stated:

"Last May, the acting US Attorney for South Florida, Ben Greenberg, was about to open a criminal investigation into Snipes's destruction of our ballots when he flew to DC for a week of meetings at DOJ. When he returned, the investigation was off."

Canova's contention that US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have been responsible for preventing legal consequences for Brenda Snipes is profoundly concerning. Last year, Rosenstein faced heavy criticism in the wake of the publication of the infamous FISA Memo. Last year, The Daily Beast described the memo's account of surveillance abuse, saying: "[The memo] specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein along with former FBI Director James Comey."

The Washington Times reported: "The memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee shows that at least one questionable surveillance warrant application was signed by Mr. Rosenstein, who already had a difficult relationship with President Trump. The memo said information supporting the application was obtained from a partisan anti-Trump dossier funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic Party."

Needless to say, the fact that Rosenstein was directly involved with the strongly partisan activities documented by the FISA memo makes it unsurprising that he would interfere on behalf of associates of Hillary Clinton.

Setting the possibility that Wasserman-Schultz's brother may also have been involved in protecting Snipes from prosecution aside for the moment, Canova's allegations raise a myriad of new questions, including: who benefits from protecting Snipes?

Undeniably, the most obvious answer is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the alleged beneficiary of Snipes's illegal ballot destruction. Similarly, one wonders what connection such a decision may have with the DOJ's refusal to prosecute the Awan scandal, a move from which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz also directly benefited.

In light of this, we are led to ask: Who benefits from shielding Debbie Wasserman-Schultz from the blowback of multiple national scandals? What would induce the DOJ to prop up such an embarrassment?

Farts and Leaves,

"In stories like this, the image painted of the Department of Justice is one of a federal agency that functions in a manner far more akin to organized crime than to a governmental body."

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Taras Bulba

Dis ob Media-good report-thanks.

This abolute outrageous info about snipes, the wassermanschultzes, awans, dimocrats in congress shouts loudly that we really have no system of justice in this country, at least for the powerful and connected. This is outrageous-where in the hell is the DOJ, oh, that is the problem with ,rosenstein, prob the clintons, et al

My guess is wasserman schultz is mossad-to my mind, there can be no other explanation.

It appears that George Webb has been shut down, he was bird dogging this info, now daily caller luke has cut him off.

The vomit factor on this one is off the scale!

Ajax-1

At the very least, why hasn't Trump or his new AG fired Rosenstein?

space junk

Probably because the stay behind networks from the Sessions/Obama/Holder and even Bush eras, have so much entanglement into the system, that change cannot be made in quick order. One only can hope that T-man will chop off the head of the snake and not just the tail.

hooligan2009

the two key extracts from the article are these:

"... the Department of Justice is one of a federal agency that functions in a manner far more akin to organized crime than to a governmental body. The DOJ's refusal prosecute the Awans, and Rosenstein's alleged decision to prevent legal consequences for Brenda Snipes shows us that corruption allowed to stagnate in Broward County affected the whole country. "

and

"... the Department of Justice refuses to prosecute such crimes as detailed in the Awan scandal and as committed by Snipes, how can the public hope to hold their government accountable for election interference and other forms of corruption? "

the case is clear. the DoJ has, again, acted against the national interest and the staff involved are guilty of electoral fraud, sedition and treason. the awan brothers sold congressional secrets to Pakistan (and mossad probably).

cui bono? from not prosecuting these blatant, obvious AND DISCLOSED crimes? there is a fetid swamp of criminality here and a flagrant, in your face, contempt for the american people and their security.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? where is the oversight of this criminality? the inspector general? internal affairs? where are the lawyers that leap to defend civil rights abuses against covington schoolkids, but not issues such as this?

hooligan2009, 7 hours ago

h/t anthony aaron's link below

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-tale-of-the-brothers-awan/

" Congress paid the Awans more than $4 million between 2004 and 2016 at their $165,000 salary level, a sum that some sources suggest to be three or four times higher than the norm for government contractor IT specialists performing similar work at the same level of alleged competence. "

-ALIEN-

The US Dept of INjustice is a criminal organization, of course it is protecting those who subvert elections at the direction of the Oligarchs.

Our whole system of voting has been carefully crafted and tuned to ensure the USA Citizen has almost no effect on the functioning of government.

boattrash

One thing not mentioned in the article, was the dead body of federal prosecutor Beranton J. Whisenant Jr. found on the beach in Debbie's District...Dead from a suicide gunshot to the head...he used a "magic gun" I suppose, because local police think in "floated off in the surf" FFS

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article167403992.html

GotGalt

It is pretty amazing how the story of the Awan brothers is *already* swallowed into the black hole of media silence.

They are winning... :-(

[Feb 09, 2019] Americans Are Tired Of The Same Old Pandering And Stale Ideas We're Going To Keep Offering Them

This is from October 2017. nothing changed...
Notable quotes:
"... Voters by the millions dislike our cozying up to Wall Street, our hopelessly out-of-touch elitism, our support for never-ending military entanglements, our blindness to the plight of rural communities decimated by globalization, and our failure to expand opportunities for American workers. So what are we going to do about it? Well, after taking all this into account, after taking a good hard look at ourselves and doing some serious soul-searching, I'm pleased to announce that .... Democrats will continue to run on the same set of platitudes we've been trotting out since at least the 1990s. ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | www.theonion.com

If last year's election showed us anything, it's that anger and resentment are on the rise. I hear it from small business owners and working-class families, from millennials and retirees. There's a sense that we've lost our way, and that the blame rests squarely on our nation's leadership. Simply put, Americans are sick of being patronized and sick of the same old ideas that we, as Democrats, are going to keep offering them over and over and over again.

The frustration is palpable. People are fed up with the status quo. Citizens from all walks of life are sitting around their dinner tables, talking about how they've had it with all the usual proposals that, once more, we will be repackaging and spoon-feeding to them in a way that's entirely transparent and frankly condescending.

That's something every American can count on.

It's no wonder voters are furious. Politics-as-usual has failed them, and they desperately want change that the Democratic Party has no plan to bring about in any meaningful way. But let me assure you, when our constituents tell us they've had enough broken promises, when they say our actions haven't addressed their needs, we listen. We hear your concerns -- hear them loud and clear -- then immediately discard them and revert back to the exact same ineffectual strategies we've been rallying behind for years.

It doesn't take a genius to see what the polls are telling us. Voters by the millions dislike our cozying up to Wall Street, our hopelessly out-of-touch elitism, our support for never-ending military entanglements, our blindness to the plight of rural communities decimated by globalization, and our failure to expand opportunities for American workers. So what are we going to do about it? Well, after taking all this into account, after taking a good hard look at ourselves and doing some serious soul-searching, I'm pleased to announce that .... Democrats will continue to run on the same set of platitudes we've been trotting out since at least the 1990s.

[Feb 09, 2019] 5 Things To Know About Cory Booker

Feb 09, 2019 | politics.theonion.com

1. WHY DOES BOOKER WANT TO BE PRESIDENT?

Hopes it could finally be his ticket out of New Jersey.

... ... ...

[Feb 05, 2019] Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included

Feb 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:22 PM

Is anyone else tired of the longest, least productive waste of war in American history ? What have we achieved, where are we going with this ? More war.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:31 PM
We are being fed a fairy tale of war about what men, long dead, did. And the reason they did it. America is being strangled by the burden of belief that now is like then.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:46 PM
By the patrician men and women administrators, posturing as soldiers like the WW2 army, lie for self profit. Why does anyone believe them ? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, each an economic decision, rather than a security issue.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:48 PM
America is dying on the same sword as Rome, for the same reason.
Plp -> JF... , January 31, 2019 at 07:28 AM
Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included
Julio -> mulp ... , January 31, 2019 at 08:58 AM
Well done! Much clearer than your usual. There are several distinct motivations for taxes. We have been far enough from fairness to workers, for so long, that we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats.

So I would say high marginal rates are a priority, which matches both objectives. Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years.

Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.

Gerald -> Julio ... , January 31, 2019 at 04:14 PM
"...we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats. So I would say high marginal rates are a priority..."

Forgive me, but high marginal rates (which I hugely favor) don't "redistribute the accumulated wealth" of the plutocrats. If such high marginal rates are ever enacted, they'll apply only to the current income of such plutocrats.

Julio -> Gerald... , January 31, 2019 at 06:22 PM
You merged paragraphs, and elided the next one. The way I see it, high rates are a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth, and its diversion into financial gambling.

But yes that would be a very slow way to redistribute what has already accumulated.

Gerald -> Julio ... , February 01, 2019 at 04:48 AM
Didn't mean to misinterpret what you were saying, sorry. High rates are not only "a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth," they are also a reimposition of fair taxation on current income (if it ever happens, of course).
Global Groundhog -> Julio ... , February 02, 2019 at 01:39 PM
Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years. Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.
"

more wisdom as usual!

Although wealth tax will be unlikely, it could be a stopgap; could also be a guideline to other taxes as well. for example, Elizabeth points out that billionaires pay about 3% of their net worth into their annual tax bill whereas workers pay about 7% of their net worth into their annual tax bill. Do you see how that works?

it doesn't? this Warren argument gives us a guideline. it shows us where other taxes should be adjusted to even out this percentage of net worth that people are taxed for. Ceu, during the last meltdown 10 years or so ago, We were collecting more tax from the payroll than we were from the income tax. this phenomenon was a heavy burden on those of low net worth. All this needs be resorted. we've got to sort this out.

and the carbon tax? may never be; but it indicates to us what needs to be done to make this country more efficient. for example some folks, are spending half a million dollars on the Maybach automobile, about the same amount on a Ferrari or a Alfa Romeo Julia quadrifoglio, but the roads are built for a mere 40 miles an hour, full of potholes.

What good is it to own a fast car like that when you can't drive but 40 -- 50 miles an hour? and full of traffic jams. something is wrong with taxation incentives. we need to get a better grid-work of roads that will get people there faster.

Meanwhile most of those sports cars just sitting in the garage. we need a comprehensive integrated grid-work of one way streets, roads, highways, and interstates with no traffic lights, no stop signs; merely freeflow ramp-off overpass interchanges.

thanks, Julio! thanks
again
.!

JF -> Global Groundhog... , February 04, 2019 at 05:42 AM
Wonderful to see the discussion about public finance shifting to use net worth proportions as the focus and metric.

Wonderful. Let us see if press/media stories and opinion pieces use this same way of talking about the financing of self-government.

Mr. Bill -> anne... , February 03, 2019 at 08:15 PM
Jesus Christ said, in so many words, that a man's worth will be judged by his generosity and his avarice.

" 24And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26They were even more astonished and said to one another, "Who then can be saved?"

[Feb 02, 2019] "They Are Suspicious of Beto" Why Are Democrats Trying to Annihilate an O'Rourke Campaign Before It Has Even Started

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post, ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.vanityfair.com

"People on the left that identify as Democratic socialist, the left that supports Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for them, Bernie got robbed in 2016," said Michael Kazin, the Georgetown University historian and co-editor of Dissent. "They think the Establishment is always looking for someone to go against Bernie -- to run against progressives in the party and stop them from being ascendant. I think they are suspicious of Beto because he has taken oil and gas money, he's becoming the darling of big donors, and Obama likes him."

Being liked by Obama, who won two presidential elections and left office with an 90 percent favorable rating among Democrats, might not seem like a disadvantage in a Democratic primary. But to many on the left, Obama's sins are plentiful: he bailed out Wall Street, half-assed the stimulus package and health-care reform, deported more undocumented immigrants than any president, and prosecuted drone warfare that left piles of civilian casualties across the Middle East. What especially chafes Sanders-style progressives is that Obama cloaked a centrist neoliberal agenda in a soaring, feel-good rhetoric that charmed voters and made them forget about all the bad stuff.

Obama was cool. So is O'Rourke. The lines, then, are quickly being drawn: Beto is just a Davos Democrat on a skateboard.

"I'm not sure we need another Obama, or another of any Democrat we've had recently," Elizabeth Bruenig recently wrote in The Washington Post, urging caution before Democrats rush to O'Rourke's corner. "I think the times both call for and allow for a left-populist candidate with uncompromising progressive principles. I don't see that in O'Rourke." She labeled O'Rourke "progressive-ish," pointing to his "thin" statements on energy regulation and his membership in the New Democrat Coalition, "a centrist caucus with Clintonian views on health care, education, and trade."

[Jan 29, 2019] Once Barr is installed in office, stand by. The Department of Justice and the FBI will received the equivalent of a high powered enema. Both are sick institutions and need to have the feces flushed out

Notable quotes:
"... Then a funny thing happened. Robert Mueller's press guy issued an unprecedented statement calling the Buzzfeed story pure, unadulterated bullshit. Whoops!! ..."
"... How many of of the FBI and DOJ's top leadership from the Obama administration have gotten fired and are being investigated for criminal conduct? ..."
"... Enema works for me but reading reports on the analysis of Ohr's transcript, I'm not even sure an enema is going to be enough for the fbi. I think the only solution is liquidation. ..."
"... Bill Barr clean out the DOJ? I wouldn't count on it. He is a member in good standing of the swamp ..."
Jan 19, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Remember when Dan Rather self-immolated his credibility in a desperate attempt to take out George W. Bush? The Killian documents controversy (also referred to as Memogate or Rathergate) involved six purported documents critical of U.S. President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard in 1972–73.

Four of these documents[1] were presented as authentic in a 60 Minutes II broadcast aired by CBS on September 8, 2004, less than two months before the 2004 presidential election, but it was later found that CBS had failed to authenticate the documents.[2][3][4] Subsequently, several typewriter and typography experts concluded the documents were forgeries.[5][6]

Well, looks like Buzzfeed did not learn from history. Buzzfeed set the media world on fire on Friday with a story that appeared well sourced that claimed Donald Trump had directed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal that never came to fruition. The mainstream media went into hyper impeachment drive.

This was the nail in the Trump coffin as far as they were concerned. Trump was as good as dead.

Then a funny thing happened. Robert Mueller's press guy issued an unprecedented statement calling the Buzzfeed story pure, unadulterated bullshit. Whoops!!

The Trump is dead meme quickly evaporated. Why did Mueller do this? The answer is simple. Bill Barr.

The soon to be new Attorney General is known as a man of impeccable integrity with a minimal tolerance for bullshit. Mueller, as an old friend of Barr, knew that he had to do something dramatic to distance himself and his staff from this toxic story.

Once Barr is installed in office, stand by. The Department of Justice and the FBI will received the equivalent of a high powered enema. Both are sick institutions and need to have the feces flushed out.


Jack , 19 hours ago

"...Bill Barr. The soon to be new Attorney General is known as a man of impeccable integrity with a minimal tolerance for bullshit."

Mr. Barr seems as swampy as they get. He played a key role in the mass surveillance of all Americans and is the classic beltway sophist who has done much to reinterpret the constitution eviscerating the Bill of Rights. His past actions don't make him a man of integrity unless of course being in service to the national security state is considered virtuous.

I believe Mr. Johnson's optimism of Barr's nomination leading to a "high powered enema" at the DOJ & FBI is unfounded. IMO, none of the seditionists will be held to account. In any case POTUS Trump seems quite content with tweeting witch hunt rather than declassifying and ordering a prosecutor convene a grand jury and have Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and all the other putschists testify.

Fred -> Jack , 12 hours ago
"He played a key role in the mass surveillance of all Americans"

He served under H.W. Bush who lost to Clinton. Obama did just what, beside get great protection from Brennan, Clapper, Comey and a list of others you haven't named yet. How many of of the FBI and DOJ's top leadership from the Obama administration have gotten fired and are being investigated for criminal conduct? What kind of support do you think the Trump administration was getting from those outstanding civil servants for the past two years?

blue peacock -> Fred , 9 hours ago
"What kind of support do you think the Trump administration was getting from those outstanding civil servants for the past two years?"

Well, it is the Trump administration that nominated Sessions, Rosenstein and Wray and now Barr. How many of those fired have testified to a grand jury? They're nicely ensconced with their lucrative sinecures until the next Borg administration. Mueller has spent tens of millions in going after Trump campaign minions. Where is the witch hunt against Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Lynch, et al? Of course its not that POTUS has no agency here. He can order declassification and the appointment of a prosecutor with a stroke of pen. Tweeting however is more like his pace.

Pat Lang Mod , a day ago
Rather interviewed me in the library of the Army and Navy Club in DC at the height of the excitement over the obviously approaching US invasion of Iraq in 2002. At one point he asked me if the Bushies were going to invade Iraq. I told himthat should not even be a question. He did not believe me.
Bill H , 10 hours ago
The only difference is that Rather had some small degree of credibility before the incident in question. I don't believe that Buzzfeed has ever had a shred of credibility to anyone with the slightest ability to think.
Taras77 , a day ago
Enema works for me but reading reports on the analysis of Ohr's transcript, I'm not even sure an enema is going to be enough for the fbi. I think the only solution is liquidation.

This is a tragedy for past good /honest fbi agents but the fbi currently is a pestilence on this country which claims to be a nation of laws.

MP98 , a day ago
Bill Barr clean out the DOJ? I wouldn't count on it. He is a member in good standing of the swamp

[Jan 29, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don t be fooled by their progressive veneer by Bhaskar Sunkara

Highly recommended!
Taming of financial oligarchy and restoration of the job market at the expense of outsourcing and offshoring is required in the USA and gradually getting support. At least a return to key elements of the New Deal should be in the cards. But Clinton wing of Dems is beong redemption. They are Wall Street puddles. all of the them.
Issues like Medicare for All, Free College, Restoring Glass Steagall, Ending Citizen's United/Campaign finance reform, federal jobs guarantee, criminal justice reform, all poll extremely well among the american populace
If even such a neoliberal pro globalization, corporations controlled media source as Guardian views centrist neoliberal Democrats like Booker unelectable, the situation in the next elections might be interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin ..."
"... 2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker , Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC , all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders . It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.

Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin

memo10 -> Karen Maddening , 15 Jan 2019 14:05

Just like universal health care, let's give up, it's too hard, we're not winners, we're not number one or problem solvers and besides, someone at some time for some reason might get something that someone else might not get regardless if that someone else needs it. Let's go with the Berners who seem to believe there will never be none so pure enough to become president.

The corporate state does not cast the votes. The public does.

Leaning farther to the left on issues like universal healthcare and foreign wars would be agreeing with the public. Not only the progressive public, but the GENERAL public. The big money donors are the ONLY force against the Democrats resisting these things.

mp66 , 15 Jan 2019 13:38
2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy.
Pete Healey , 15 Jan 2019 13:31
Bernie's challenge will "morph into all-out war". "Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats", blah, blah, blah. But we're going to continue to play along? Why? Oh yeah, Bhaskar Sunkara will have us believe "There is no alternative". Remember TINA? Give it up, man, just give it up.
yayUSA , 15 Jan 2019 13:17
Tulsi entering is big news.
Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31
One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
memo10 -> L C , 15 Jan 2019 11:54

Vintage59 pointed out lots of things people have changed. Here's an exhaustive list of the legislation passed by people who didn't get elected but were more progressive than the people who did:

There is also a steadily growing list of Democrats who did worse in elections than a hypothetical Democratic candidate had been projected to do.

The party can either continue being GOP-Lite or it can start winning elections. It can't do both.

memo10 -> 2miners , 15 Jan 2019 11:49

Forget it Bernie and Co. -with the women haters in his ranks and his apparent tepid support from African Americans he's way off the pace

Way off the pace compared to who? Trump?

memo10 -> IamDolf , 15 Jan 2019 11:44

Nobody is going to get elected on a far left platform. Not in the USA and not anywhere. That's just a fact. And everybody is going to need $$$ in the campaign. Of course candidates are going to suck up to Wall street and business in general.
And we would have been a thousand percent better off with HRC in the white house than we are now with the Trumpostor.

We don't need a candidate with far-left platform, we need one that is left-leaning at all. HRC and her next generation of clones are mild Republicans.

memo10 -> xxxaaaxxx , 15 Jan 2019 11:40

Those who want to push the Democrats to the left in order to win perhaps need to stop talking to each other and talk to people who live outside of LA and NY. If you stay within your bubble it seems the whole world thinks like you.
How old will Sanders be in 2020?

The people (outside the coasts) lean to the left some big issues. Medicare for all. Foreign wars. etc.

A sane person might ask why in the hell the left-side party is leaning farther to the right than the general public.

memo10 -> Peter Krall , 15 Jan 2019 11:17

Sanders is a dinosaur. If there is a reason for Wall Street to be wary of him then it is that the mentally challenged orange guy may win another term if the Democrats run with Sanders.

Hopefully, Sanders will understand what many of his supporters do not want to see: At some time age becomes a problem. If the Democrats decide to move to the left rather than pursuing a pragmatic centrist approach, Ocasio-Cortez might be an option. If they opt for the centrist alternative, it might be Harris or Gillibrand. Or, in both cases, a surprise candidate. But Sanders' time is over, just as Biden's Bloomberg's.

It's true, but Trump is such a clusterfuck that an 80yo president is still be a better situation. Many countries have had rulers in their 80s at one time or another.

Trump is clearly showing early-stage dementia now. Compare footage of him 10+ years ago to anything within the last 6-12 months and it's obvious. The stress levels of being the POTUS + blackmailed by Putin + investigations bearing down on him . . . it's wearing him down fast.

L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

Vintage59 -> BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 11:05
Wall Street is a casino. The House never loses.
Vintage59 -> Lenny Dirges , 15 Jan 2019 11:02
Everything changes constantly.

Where has offering candidates who actually have a chance to win gotten us? Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ADA, Title 9, Social Security, and more. None of these exist without constant changes. All took years to pass against heavy opposition. None went far enough. All were improvements.

The list of wrongheaded things that were also passed is longer but thinking nothing changes because it takes time is faulty logic.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.

[Jan 24, 2019] Nancy Pelosi fits the classic Soviet politburo member with their private dachas on the Black Sea. Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump. ..."
Jan 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack , a day ago

Sir

Nancy Pelosi is worth several hundred million dollars. I don't think she's a Marxist in the classical sense. Although she would fit the classic Soviet politburo member with their private dachas on the Black Sea. I would argue she and her ilk across both parties have enabled massive market concentration across many many sectors just in the past 4 decades. They're elitists who back an oligarchy of their fellow elitists. They are the basis for the symbiotic relationship between Big Business and Big Government. As Steve Bannon calls them, they're the Party of Davos. IMO, the only difference between the two parties are their rhetoric. Both of course engage in identity politics with the Democrats focused on the SJW virtue signaling while the Republicans have for decades channeled the evangelicals.

Trump is an outsider. They consider him to be an uncouth nouveau riche. And are appalled that his media savvy upended their Borg candidates. Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump. This brouhaha over SOTU is just the first skirmish. I wouldn't underestimate Trump in these media centered battles. While the corporate media who as Bannon calls the opposition party creates the perception of a Trump administration in chaos, the Deplorables are still backing him. His approval rating at this midway point in his presidency is no worse than Obama and even GOP megagod Reagan. It's the reaction of the people from the heartland when he served the Clemson team Big Macs and fries compared to the derisive commentary of the urban/suburban crowd.

McConnell is also a card carrying member of the Party of Davos or else he would have jumped to invite Trump to speak from the Senate. But Trump's shtick is the people's leader. So he should speak from a heartland location. Your suggestion is a good one. Another could be a cornfield in Iowa, the first primary state where all the Democrats presidential contenders will be camping out soon.

[Jan 24, 2019] Intelligence agency officials carefully monitor the activities of the two main parties, keeping a vigilant eye out for any deviations from the national security consensus in Washington

Essentially they are trying to control the US foreign policy. That's a sign of the slide to neofascism as under neofascism intelligence agencies have a political role and are instrumental in crashing the dissent.
Notable quotes:
"... The Times article goes on to describe how FBI officials monitored the platform adopted at the Republican National Convention, reporting that the spy agency "watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia." That is, the nation's top police agency was concerned that the positions adopted contravened certain basic tenets of dominant sections of the foreign policy establishment. ..."
"... By what constitutional authority can the FBI, based on political positions adopted by one or the other of the two main capitalist parties, open up a secret investigation into treason and conspiracy? Such an operation bespeaks a police state and recalls the methods of the Stalinist NKVD. ..."
"... The operations of the FBI, encouraged, aided and abetted by the Times , recall the paranoid rantings of the John Birch Society, the ultra-right group formed in the 1950s, whose founder, Robert Welch, notoriously claimed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former World War II commander of Allied forces in Europe, was a "a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy." ..."
"... Claims that once were the province of an extremist group, on the fringes of American politics, are now embraced by the military-intelligence apparatus, appear on the front page of the most influential American daily newspaper, and dominate the network and cable television news. ..."
"... But these allegations have no credibility. Why should anyone believe claims that Trump, at age 70, after decades as a real estate mogul, con man and media celebrity, with a billion-dollar fortune, suddenly decided to throw in his lot with Vladimir Putin? Even the Times report itself concedes, in a single sentence buried in the 2,000-word text, "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials." ..."
Jan 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Times claims that Trump "had caught the attention of FBI counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton." Given that this was a sarcastic campaign remark directed against Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and delivered at a public news conference, Trump's sally can hardly be construed as evidence of a conspiracy.

The Times article goes on to describe how FBI officials monitored the platform adopted at the Republican National Convention, reporting that the spy agency "watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia." That is, the nation's top police agency was concerned that the positions adopted contravened certain basic tenets of dominant sections of the foreign policy establishment.

By what constitutional authority can the FBI, based on political positions adopted by one or the other of the two main capitalist parties, open up a secret investigation into treason and conspiracy? Such an operation bespeaks a police state and recalls the methods of the Stalinist NKVD.

The agency also investigated four of Trump's campaign aides over possible ties to Russia, and even made use of the notorious Steele dossier, consisting of anti-Trump gossip collated from Russian sources by a former British intelligence agent on the payroll of the Democratic Party.

After Trump fired Comey, according to the Times , "law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence."

The operations of the FBI, encouraged, aided and abetted by the Times , recall the paranoid rantings of the John Birch Society, the ultra-right group formed in the 1950s, whose founder, Robert Welch, notoriously claimed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former World War II commander of Allied forces in Europe, was a "a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy."

Claims that once were the province of an extremist group, on the fringes of American politics, are now embraced by the military-intelligence apparatus, appear on the front page of the most influential American daily newspaper, and dominate the network and cable television news.

But these allegations have no credibility. Why should anyone believe claims that Trump, at age 70, after decades as a real estate mogul, con man and media celebrity, with a billion-dollar fortune, suddenly decided to throw in his lot with Vladimir Putin? Even the Times report itself concedes, in a single sentence buried in the 2,000-word text, "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials."

While there is no evidence of a conspiracy between Trump and Moscow, the Times report itself is evidence of a conspiracy involving the intelligence agencies and the corporate media to overturn the 2016 presidential election - which Trump won, albeit within the undemocratic framework of the Electoral College - and install a government that would differ from Trump's chiefly in being more committed to military confrontation with Russia in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.

A secret security investigation by a powerful police agency directed against an elected president or prime minister can be described as nothing other than the antechamber to a coup by the military or intelligence services.

Historically, the FBI has been at the center of such dangers in the United States. Its founding director, J. Edgar Hoover, was notorious for his unchecked power, particularly during the period of the McCarthy anticommunist witch hunt, when he accumulated dossiers on virtually every Democratic and Republican politician and authorized widespread spying on civil rights and antiwar groups.

President John F. Kennedy was so concerned that he installed his brother Robert as attorney general - and nominal superior to Hoover - to keep watch over the bureau. That did not save Kennedy from assassination in 1963 , an event linked in still undisclosed ways to ultra-right circles, including Cuban exiles embittered by the Bay of Pigs disaster, Southern segregationists, and sections of the military-intelligence apparatus up in arms over Kennedy's signing of a nuclear test ban treaty with Moscow.

The New York Times report - and a companion piece published Sunday in the Washington Post claiming that Trump has kept secret key details of his private conversations with Putin - serve to legitimize antidemocratic and unconstitutional conduct by the military-intelligence apparatus .

These reports shed light on the striking complacency in the "mainstream" media over Trump's threats to declare a national emergency, using the pretext of his conflict with congressional Democrats over funding of a border wall, which has led to a three-week-long partial shutdown of the federal government.

If one takes for good coin the main contention of the reports by the two newspapers, their acquiescence in a potential Trump declaration of emergency rule is inexplicable. After all, if Trump is Putin's agent, then a Trump declaration of a state of emergency, giving him sweeping, near-absolute authority, would put the United States under the control of Moscow.

The explanation is that the Times and the Post welcome the discussion of emergency rule, to prepare the forces of the state for coming conflicts with the working class. Their only disagreement with Trump is over which faction of the ruling elite, Trump or his opponents in the Democratic Party, should direct the repression.

One thing is certain: if Trump declares a national emergency, or if, as the Post suggested in an editorial, his opponents in the ruling elite declare a national emergency over alleged Russian "meddling" as part an effort to remove him, it will represent an irrevocable break with democracy.

It is impossible to determine which side in this sordid conflict is more reactionary. The working class is confronted with two alternatives :

[Jan 22, 2019] Neoliberal Dems circled wagons and used Russiagate to avoid the necessary changes: they are now doomed

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ravioliollie -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 08:55

As usual, the pledge ultimately never changes, New jobs and No increase in taxes. Americans love tag lines even though our infrastructure, poor education et al is the result of fear of taxation. Both parties use the same tag line, we certainly get what we pay for.
TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47
Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.
The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

[Jan 22, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss.

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick

, 15 Jan 2019 09:44
The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

[Jan 22, 2019] Mounting a campaign against plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

Jan 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Mounting a campaign against [financial] plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

What our modernized liberal leaders offer is not confrontation but a kind of therapy for those flattened by the free-market hurricane: they counsel us to accept the inevitability of the situation."

Thomas Frank, Rendezvous With Oblivion

[Jan 21, 2019] Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy by Stephen F. Cohen

The problem is not Russia; the problem is the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. And related legitimization of neoliberal elite, which now Deep State is trying ot patch with anti-Russian hysteria
Notable quotes:
"... That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Baseless Russiagate allegations continue to risk war with Russia. Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy | The Nation The New Year has brought a torrent of ever-more-frenzied allegations that President Donald Trump has long had a conspiratorial relationship -- why mince words and call it "collusion"? -- with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

Why the frenzy now? Perhaps because Russiagate promoters in high places are concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller will not produce the hoped-for "bombshell" to end Trump's presidency. Certainly, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt seems worried, demanding, "The president must go," his drop line exhorting, "What are we waiting for?" (In some countries, articles like his, and there are very many, would be read as calling for a coup.) Perhaps to incite Democrats who have now taken control of House investigative committees. Perhaps simply because Russiagate has become a political-media cult that no facts, or any lack of evidence, can dissuade or diminish.

And there is no new credible evidence, preposterous claims notwithstanding. One of The New York Times ' own recent "bombshells," published on January 12, reported, for example, that in spring 2017, FBI officials "began investigating whether [President Trump] had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests." None of the three reporters bothered to point out that those "agents and officials" almost certainly included ones later reprimanded and retired by the FBI itself for their political biases. (As usual, the Times buried its self-protective disclaimer deep in the story: "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.")

Whatever the explanation, the heightened frenzy is unmistakable, leading the "news" almost daily in the synergistic print and cable media outlets that have zealously promoted Russiagate for more than two years, in particular the Times , The Washington Post , MSNBC, CNN, and their kindred outlets. They have plenty of eager enablers, including the once-distinguished Strobe Talbott, President Bill Clinton's top adviser on Russia and until recently president of the Brookings Institution. According to Talbott , "We already know that the Kremlin helped put Trump into the White House and played him for a sucker . Trump has been colluding with a hostile Russia throughout his presidency." In fact, we do not "know" any of this. These remain merely widely disseminated suspicions and allegations.

In this cult-like commentary, the "threat" of "a hostile Russia" must be inflated along with charges against Trump. (In truth, Russia represents no threat to the United States that Washington itself did not provoke since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.) For its own threat inflation, the Times featured not an expert with any plausible credentials but Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer with no known Russia expertise, and who was one of those reprimanded by the agency for anti-Trump political bias. Nonetheless, the Times quotes Page at length : "In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability to spread our democratic ideals." Perhaps we should have guessed that the democracy-promotion genes of J. Edgar Hoover were still alive and breeding in the FBI, though for the Times , in its exploitation of the hapless and legally endangered Page, it seems not to matter.

Which brings us, or rather Russiagate zealots, to the heightened "threat" represented by "Putin's Russia." If true, we would expect the US president to negotiate with the Kremlin leader, including at summit meetings, as every president since Dwight Eisenhower has done. But, we are told, we cannot trust Trump to do so, because, according to The Washington Post , he has repeatedly met with Putin alone, with only translators present, and concealed the records of their private talks, sure signs of "treasonous" behavior, as the Russiagate media first insisted following the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

It's hard to know whether this is historical ignorance or Russiagate malice, though it is probably both. In any event, the truth is very different. In preparing US-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits since the 1950s, aides on both sides have arranged "private time" for their bosses for two essential reasons: so they can develop sufficient personal rapport to sustain any policy partnership they decide on; and so they can alert one another to constraints on their policy powers at home, to foes of such détente policies often centered in their respective intelligence agencies. (The KGB ran operations against Nikita Khrushchev's détente policies with Eisenhower, and, as is well established, US intelligence agencies have run operations against Trump's proclaimed goal of "cooperation with Russia.")

That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present.

Nor should we forget the national-security benefits that have come from private meetings between US and Kremlin leaders. In October 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met alone with their translators and an American official who took notes -- the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished. The result, in 1987, was the first and still only treaty abolishing an entire category of such weapons, the exceedingly dangerous intermediate-range ones. (This is the historic treaty Trump has said he may abrogate.)

And yet, congressional zealots are now threatening to subpoena the American translator who was present during Trump's meetings with Putin. If this recklessness prevails, it will be the end of the nuclear-superpower summit diplomacy that has helped to keep America and the world safe from catastrophic war for nearly 70 years -- and as a new, more perilous nuclear arms race between the two countries is unfolding. It will amply confirm a thesis set out in my book War with Russia? -- that anti-Trump Russiagate allegations have become the gravest threat to our security.

The following correction and clarification were made to the original version of this article on January 17: Reagan and Gorbachev met privately with translators during their summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, not February, and Reagan was also accompanied by an American official who took notes. And it would be more precise to say that the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished.

Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of politics and Russian studies at Princeton and NYU and author of the new book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate . This commentary is based on the most recent of his weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War with the host of the John Batchelor radio show. (The podcast is here . Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com . )

[Jan 17, 2019] The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47

Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.

The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

Brassic , 15 Jan 2019 08:21
Excellent article. Thank you.

This is the realistic perspective we have to adopt in the US: the Democratic establishment is part of the neoliberal machinery that has generated Bush's wars, Obama's bank bailouts, deportations, and drone executions, and now Trump's anti-democratic populism.

[Jan 17, 2019] In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> cagnusdei , 15 Jan 2019 10:53

In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention, but were being counted by the media as having already voted for Hillary, which made it appear to many of the uninformed that Bernie didn't have any chance of winning, which may have been intended to keep Bernie supporters home on primary day under the assumption that Hillary was unbeatable.
ehmaybe -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:52
As sensible as your suggestions may be, what you're calling for would require at least three constitutional amendments to be practical - including scrapping the first amendment.

Maybe we should strive towards attainable goals instead?

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50
Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad. Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

ConBrio -> cnzewi , 15 Jan 2019 10:45

Progressive believe in inclusion and if that is "moralistic rhetoric" then so be it.

The litany goes "round and round.

Hillary Clinton:

" you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it!

"Barack Obama:

"Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion "

There's liberal "inclusion" for you!

memo10 -> GRBnative , 15 Jan 2019 10:34
Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message.

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance to those who don't care if you win?

Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting Trump, or any Republican.

[Jan 14, 2019] The Russia Hoax The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump Gregg Jarrett 9788925598352 Amazon.com

The books does not answer the key question: if it was not Russian influence, who of forign powers tried to influence the election: GB, Israel, Saudi, or all three. We have solid evidence of interference of British intelligence services into the election. Which means May government interference.
Also important to understand that FBI from the very beginning was apolitical tool. Nothing new here.
This dirty political witch hunt has one major goal to cement the cracks in neoliberal society that appear after 2008 Financial crash. This attempt failed and Pateigenosse Mueller is unable to change that. Confidence in the ruling neoliberal oligarchy collapsed and problem with the inequality laid now bare.
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

KB from Illinois 5.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed. Raises many questions about politically motivated investigations. September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

My interest in this book occurred by chance. Over the past couple years reading news stories on sites like Yahoo News I sensed a very overt stance against President Trump. It appeared very obvious to me, but I wanted some confirmation whether these views may have validity, or perhaps not. So I started to investigate other opinions via some of the conservative talk radio shows. Up until this time, I rarely listened to them. One was the Sean Hannity Show and Gregg Jarrett was sitting in for Sean on one of the shows. He mentioned his book and I thought it sounded interesting. My basic assumption even prior to reading this book was I never felt there was any illegal Trump/Russian collusion in our recent election. I couldn't see how it would ever be done in such a way that would actually affect the voting outcome (other than if it were some kind of ballot box type fraud). So I had doubts about all the related investigations. When this book was mentioned I figured it would offer some factual information to help me understand the investigations better. It did accomplish that. And much more awareness.

One of the major items about this book is that it is well researched and documented. This made me feel somewhat comfortable about its content. There is so much misinformation making its rounds today that knowing what is truthful and what isn't can become a real guessing game. I could even ask 'Did Mr. Jarrett fabricate his sources'? At this point I will go on faith that they are real.

Based on that assumption, he presents a very hard case about the Russian collusion investigation as not being quite what the U.S.A. people are being led to believe by the media outlets. So much so, I hope this book could be a catalyst for other investigations (assuming that isn't already being planned). As summarized in this book, a major point is about federal investigative departments having integrity in performing their duties, and doing so legally and without prejudice or political partisanship. This book does raise some real concerns.

The author states at the end of the book "The people who should read this book, probably won't". Unfortunately he is probably correct. As a country we seem so divided today politically. It is my impression that anti-Trumpers will probably not want to acknowledge any conflicting thoughts or facts to their beliefs. But this book could be a great exercise in broadening one's knowledge regarding the investigations on Trump. It would show a different viewpoint than that being touted by much of the media, and has the facts backing it up. At the very least, it can provide some food for thought.

Grady T. Birdsong 5.0 out of 5 stars Tells the honest truth about corruption in our Government November 23, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

As Gregg Jarrett states in the Epilogue of this book, "The people who should read this book, probably won't... they are intellectually dishonest in believing that the president must have committed some crime in connection with Russia...There was never any plausible evidence that Trump or his campaign collaborated with Russia to win the presidency... Comey's scheme to trigger the appointment of his friend as special counsel was a devious maneuver by an unscrupulous man..."
As many of these events unfolded I have watched closely and performed my own "tests of reasonableness" from facts presented. Utilizing logic and common sense I often wondered if I was missing something? What crystal ball would have predicted that Donald Trump would run for the presidency? One example: The press told us he had been a political asset for many years and had been exchanging Intel with the Russians...
Then I heard about this book, purchased it and began reading it... I could hardly put it down... The information in it is astonishing! It is all to clear now...
Jarrett has researched, compiled and formatted an almost air-tight legal case (within this book) for prosecuting these "weasels." The astonishing levels of corruption and crimes committed by those in the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI are unprecedented. He has compiled an extraordinary amount of source information to back up his many claims throughout the book. I am totally perplexed that our so-called leaders in Congress are allowing this abuse to go unpunished... baffling? This disgraceful abuse of power documented by Jarrett will come back to haunt us! A well written expose by Mr. Jarrett!

E. Christine Hess 5.0 out of 5 stars Mueller, Rosenstein & the members of the Special Council SHOULD be on trial! November 24, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's research leaves NO DOUBT that drastic action needs to be taken to hold these people- PRETENDING to represent the law- accountable & end their "assassination" tactics on our tax dollar.
This is not Halloween, not a play. This is REALITY with our laws running amok!
And our Congress - our elected officials, supposedly servants of We, the People, - is not taking action?
How is this possible?

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The deep bias rooted in the Deep State, better known now as The Swamp October 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Incredibly well researched and well written book which explains methodically in an easy to read style the undeniable deep seated bias against President Trump at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI. They tried to first prevent him from being elected by exonerating Hillary Clinton of a long list of crimes committed during her tenure as Secretary of State and then smearing him with a politically motivated fake "Dossier". When that didn't work, they have tried to undermine his presidency from the start with an equally politically motivated Special Prosecutor investigating "Collusion with Russia" in an investigation which had no crime to investigate from the start. A must read for all Americans.

Andrew Maile 5.0 out of 5 stars A very informative, but yet digestible, read........ September 30, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This author writes with a very smooth, easy, but detailed style. The book brings in much law for the reader to digest, but, somehow, does not get a reader tangled up in the weeds. As for the thrust of the book: A detailed 'tick tock' of the day by day events that have taken America to the point we are today on this entire question of Trump, Russia, and the 2016 election.
This book really is vivid proof that the 'deep state' does emphatically exist. Not as a structure or organization with secret meetings,rituals or handshakes. But as a mentality, or common political/social view of government, stemming from the longevity of bureaucracy to feel invulnerable to popular will because of their simple edict that 'we'll still be here after you're long gone'. And from this, these bureaucrats build liaisons with favoring political elites that lead to deep, hidden, obscure --shall we say 'deep state'-- actions to pervert the popular will for the ends of a few.
This book vividly displays why bureaucrats (whose lifeblood is to promote more government) so turn their collective hand to supporting Democrats, the party of government. Yates covering for Comey and the blackmailing of Gen. Flynn, Comey leaking to a friend in Academia that provokes the appointment of his (Comey's) close associate --indeed, his mentor-- Robert Mueller. Senior bureaucrats (McCabe, Strzok) playing inside baseball to maneuver themselves for promotion in the expected new (Democratic) administration that they so much support and wish for. Indeed friendships with FISA judges to assure bogus warrants can be obtained against political enemies.
Where money and power are traded as coin of the realm in a way that is so antiseptic and hidden. Nobody says 'How much money will it take'; instead it's 'I can help you fund raise'. Rod Blagojevich was foolish enough to call a bribe a bribe...well, he's in jail, but Strzok's wife isn't.
It just goes on and on................it's simple corruption!!! And the band plays on......the human comedy continues........

JG Kuhl 5.0 out of 5 stars How about a media complicity sequel? September 3, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Excellent detailed and researched book that simply amazes me. Lynch, Comey, Clinton, Stzrok, Orr, Rosenstein, McCabe, Reid and Brennen all worked seamlessly to install Hillary and have a backup plan B to lay the groundwork to impeach Trump in case she doesn't make it. All under the oversight of Obama. Neat trick, but what follows is even more orchestrated: MEDIA COMPLICITY! You can't pull this off unless you have the full cooperation willingly or otherwise of: NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC, MSNBC, and most of all CNN, the New York Times, and Washington Post! Here's where the real story lies. The media and the Democrat party are simpatico, joint at the brain and mouth and one other orifice. This is the real story that Jarrett only pays passing attention to. Sequel maybe, I hope so. Jon Kuhl Papillion, NE & New England

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The Deep State Is Real September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book is very thorough and completely exposes the Deep State. If there were any doubts about the conspiracy to depose President Trump before reading this book, there certainly aren't any afterwards. After reading the book, I am very disappointed and discouraged to find that our government has such liars and criminals in the FBI, the DOJ, and the Congress. I have completely lost any confidence I had in the U.S. government and will never believe in it again, unless there is a complete house-cleaning in the FBI and the DOJ.

S. Martin Shelton 4.0 out of 5 stars This attack to undermine our democracy is unparalleled in the history of our republic. October 1, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Jarrett pens a comprehensive review of the Deep State's inordinate fraud on our Constitution -- perhaps the greatest attack on our constitutional republic in the history of our country. He writes in clear and empathetic style. His narrative evolves in a coherent and logical progression that details the conspirators' skullduggery in an "ABC" type of progression. He cites exactly who violated the relevant federal statute and why and how it was violated. Unfortunately, as of 30 September 2018 -- the date I'm preparing the review -- none of the miscreants have been indicted even though the documentation of evidence is ponderous.

Larry A. Whited 4.0 out of 5 stars One Less than Five Stars August 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's study -- and that is what this book is, a study -- covers two main aspects of recent history. First and foremost it is an in-depth look at the tactics and forces arrayed against President Trump. Intertwined with this comes by necessity a parallel look at Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, her presidential run, as well as a broader look at the activities of the Clintons with the nearly full support of those same forces that are now aligned against the presidency of Donald Trump. The nature of the often overlapping issues and the personnel involved has resulted in a fair amount of repetition of key points. This was not a lazy attempt to achieve a book-length manuscript, as Jarrett's original copy by his own admission in the acknowledgments was a hefty 100,000 words before the publisher encouraged him to trim things down.

It is unfortunate that this book will be dismissed by so many who are unwilling to understand and accept that the pervasive high-level animosity against President Trump has evolved into a direct and active threat against our country -- and this threat is compounded by a complicit media that is eager to pounce. The rule of law has been twisted and contorted if not completely abandoned. Trump is the primary target, but whether by design or happenstance it is the U.S. Constitution that is being the most assaulted. The danger of this cannot be overemphasized -- we are at a critical crossroads. Gregg Jarret understands this and was motivated to bring this truth to light. He is no sycophant of President Trump. His loyalty is to the rule of law and to our Constitution rather than to political agendas on either side.

I withheld one star because a great opportunity was lost. This book will never appear in classrooms, and it will likely be stocked in few law libraries. It most certainly should be, and it needs to be read and studied. The flagrant abuses of power by the DOJ, the FBI, and others need to be brought out into a bright light and the corruption purged. As a people we need to get our head out of the sand and realize what has been going on behind closed doors -- our future is most definitely at stake. The lost opportunity that I am alluding to comes down to the expressed (albeit well deserved) disdain and disgust that Gregg Jarrett now has towards those who are participating in this hoax that he has so thoroughly revealed. I fear even the preface itself will turn away those who most need to read this book.

What will be perceived as bias before the facts are presented and developed will allow or even cause those who need to read this book to close their minds, giving them the excuse they want to dismiss the evidence. If strictly the evidence and history had alone been presented with Jarrett's (again, well-deserved) animosity being held in check and edited out, then perhaps this book could have become a classic for later generations to study assuming that we survive these perilously subversive times. I did the math, and there are 771 supporting references -- an average of 70 per chapter -- documenting Jarrett's research, plus 12 references even in the epilogue. Obviously, we are not talking about willfully blind opinion with no basis in fact.

The antagonists who post their 1-star reviews with almost all of them having obviously never read the book (Re. few verified purchases) reveal a dangerous willful ignorance that they are happy to embrace. Their mindset should concern us all.

[Jan 14, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans

Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans" [Glenn Greenwald, T he Intercept ].

'But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal.

The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent."

Those of you who followed my midterms worksheets will recall that the liberal Democrat establishment packed the ballot with MILOs (candidates with Military, Intelligence, and Law enforcement backgrounds, or Other things, like being a DA), preparing the way for further militarization of the Party, and ultimately for war.

[Jan 12, 2019] Trump Goes On Epic Tweetstorm After NYT Reveals FBI Witch Hunt Escalation Following Comey Firing

This is the typical level of repression that exist in Police State: any politician who deviates from the "Inner Party" (aka Deep State) course is branded as Russian spy and "counterintelligence" dogs are send to sniff any dirty clothing that might exist to and this politician career.
Notable quotes:
"... counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence. ..."
"... "anybody who fires corrupt Comey must be a Russian spy." ..."
"... Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze! ..."
Jan 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

President Trump on Saturday lashed out after a Friday evening report in the New York Times that US law enforcement officials " became so concerned by the president's behavior " in the days after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, that "t hey began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests. "

According to the NYT, agents and senior F.B.I. officials " had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign " but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude.

What happened next? Well, a collusion narrative was born and carefully crafted as the paper explains:

The president's activities before and after Mr. Comey's firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

The odd inquiry carried "explosive implications" as counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence.

The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.'s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.

Even so, "...some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it ."

Then, in paragraph nine we read " No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. " Or, as The Washington Examiner 's Byron York sums it up:

Some were even more laconic, summarizing the "scoop" as "anybody who fires corrupt Comey must be a Russian spy."

Put another way:

Responding to the "bombshell" NYT report - which curiously resurrects the "Russian collusion" narrative right as Trump is set to test his Presidential authority over the border wall, the president lashed out over Twitter .

Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze!"

Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn't know anything (a lie), the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey's poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department).

My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats - leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!

I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!

Lyin' James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the "insurance policy?" This is it! -Donald Trump

Update: Comey has responded over Twitter with a pithy FDR quote:

Although we seem to recall that Democrats were Comey's enemy when he reopened Hillary Clinton's email investigation during the election.

While there is nothing new here confirming Trump was colluding with Russia, as Byron York asks following the article, was the New York Times story about Trump, or about FBI malfeasance?

[Jan 12, 2019] Trump Goes On Epic Tweetstorm After NYT Reveals FBI Witch Hunt Escalation Following Comey Firing

Notable quotes:
"... Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze! ..."
Jan 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

President Trump on Saturday lashed out after a Friday evening report in the New York Times that US law enforcement officials " became so concerned by the president's behavior " in the days after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, that "t hey began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests. "

According to the NYT, agents and senior F.B.I. officials " had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign " but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude.

What happened next? Well, a collusion narrative was born and carefully crafted as the paper explains:

The president's activities before and after Mr. Comey's firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

The odd inquiry carried "explosive implications" as counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence.

The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.'s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.

Even so, "...some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it ."

Then, in paragraph nine we read " No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. "

Or, as The Washington Examiner 's Byron York sums it up:

Some were even more laconic, summarizing the "scoop" as "anybody who fires corrupt Comey must be a Russian spy."

Put another way:

Responding to the "bombshell" NYT report - which curiously resurrects the "Russian collusion" narrative right as Trump is set to test his Presidential authority over the border wall, the president lashed out over Twitter .

Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze!"

Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn't know anything (a lie), the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey's poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department).

My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats - leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!

I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!

Lyin' James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the "insurance policy?" This is it! -Donald Trump

Update: Comey has responded over Twitter with a pithy FDR quote:

Although we seem to recall that Democrats were Comey's enemy when he reopened Hillary Clinton's email investigation during the election.

While there is nothing new here confirming Trump was colluding with Russia, as Byron York asks following the article, was the New York Times story about Trump, or about FBI malfeasance?

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 12, 2019] Democratic Party became the party of corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Monday, January 07, 2019 at 03:17 PM


-> anne... , January 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM

Did Krugman just issue a veiled warning to Pelosi, Schumer, and Clinton Democrats? Did he see this as a teaching moment for them? Has he turned from unabashed megaphone for establishment Democrats to an honest broker, willing to explain economics to Demcoratic Big Money parasites? Could be... If so, this might be a turning point for Krugman from partisan hack to honest broker!

As always, Robert Reich pulls fewer punches: "Do not ever underestimate the influence of Wall Street Democrats, corporate Democrats, and the Democrats' biggest funders. I know. I've been there.
In the 2018 midterms, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, big business made more contributions to Democrats than to Republicans. The shift was particularly noticeable on Wall Street. Not since 2008 have donors in the securities and investment industry given a higher percentage to Democratic candidates and committees than to Republicans.

The moneyed interests in the Democratic party are in favor of helping America's poor and of reversing climate change – two positions that sharply distinguish them from the moneyed interests in the Republican party.

But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations. They resist firmer regulation of Wall Street. They are unlikely to want to repeal the Trump-Republican tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/06/house-democrats-donald-trump-subpoena-tax-return-impeachment

And maybe, just maybe, Krugman, in a veiled warning to Democrats enamored with Trump's tax cuts, has decided to trump partisan loyalty with economic reality...as any decent economist should do.

EMichael and kurt will be disappointed, very disappointed that Krugman sided with AOC over corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats...

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 07:27 AM
There is no reason to think that mainstream liberals would not just go along with whatever direction the liberal establishment takes. OTOH, there is a major difference in the context between the rank and file of mainstream liberals and the actual liberal establishment itself. Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections. They are concerned with electability and the constraints of legislative process. There is nothing wrong with that. It is the role of the rank and file.

However, AOC is correct. It is radicals that bring about all significant change. Mainstream radical is an oxymoron. After radicals cause change then it is no longer radical, but it becomes mainstream instead.

In contrast, the liberal establishment is also concerned with electability because that is what they do for a living, either get elected or ride along on the coattails of the elected, but they are elites and elitists not to be separated from the status quo economic establishment without considerable consternation. However, the elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing. Still, it would be a rare elected official that would rather eat in a soup kitchen than a five-star restaurant both for the good food and for the good company. In both regards though that depends upon what your definition of "good" is.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:48 AM
"Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections..." And they are precisely they kind of "go-along to get along types" who let bad things happen...and then pretend to not understand what went wrong...Vietnam, Iraq, GWOT, Glass-Steagall repeal, trade liberalization/offshoring profits, banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 09:24 AM
There are leaders, followers, and radicals. One can choose to be any one or two or those they want, but no more than two. It is not very rewarding to be a radical from the back of the line unless there is also a radical to follow at the front of the line. Leaders that are also followers inherit the status quo and guard it like it was their own because it is. Radical leaders rarely succeed, but often die young.

Trump is a bad example of a leader, but he follows his nose at least rather than just the status quo. Trump has a nose for trouble and he cannot resist its stench any more than a jackal or hyena can resist rotting carrion. Fortunate for Trump the US has a long history of stockpiling trouble for future consumption that reaches all the way back to colonial times. Trump likes to think that orange is the new black, but the old black, brown, and red are still around and neither yellow nor orange can take their place.

The majority of people are just plain old followers. If people think that there is chaos in the world already, just imagine what it would be like if most people were not just plain old followers. The status quo always has the advantage of the natural force of inertia.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 02:14 PM
"...banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on."

Because you believe in government as done by Putin, Maduro, Saddam, Saudi Arabia, etc: jail, torture, kill enemies by the people in power being the law.

You reject the US Constitution where voters are allowed to elect Republicans who legalize fraud and theft by deception based on voters wanting the free lunch of easy credit requiring bankers have no liability for the bad loans from easy credit. You reject the US Constitution prohibition on retroactive laws criminalizzing legal actions.

Only if you were leading protests in the 90s in opposition to laws making credit easy for below $80,000 workers whether buying houses or trucks/SUV.

Only if you were picketing real estate agents and car dealers from 2001 to 2005 to keep out customers, you were not doing enough to stop easy credit.

The GOP was only dellivering what voters wanted, stuff they could not afford paid for by workers saving for their retirement.

Elections have consequences.

The elections from 1994 to 2004 were votes for free lunch economics. The GOP promised and delivered free lunch economic policies.

In 2005, voters on the margins realized tanstaafl, and in 2006 elected Pelosi to power, and Pelosi, representing California knows economies are zero sum, so she increased costs to increase general welfare. One of the costs was reccognizing the costs, and benefits, of the US Constitution.

In 2008, she did not try to criminalize past action, and when she could not get the votes to punish the bankers who bankrupted the institutions they ran by prohibiting bonuses in the future,, she insread delivered the best deal possible for the US Constitutional general welfare.

I think Bernie wanted all voters who voted GOP to lose their jobs, or maybe he simply believes in free lunch economist claims that welfare payments in Ohio and Michigan are higher than union worker incomes.

Maybe he thinks bankruptcy court nationalize businesses, not liquidate them.

Or maybe he figured the solution was a 21st Century Great Depression which would elect a socialist instead of a capitalist FDR, and he would get to run all the automakers, all the food industry, and employ all the workers deciding what they can buy?

I can never figure out how the economy would work if Bernie were running it. He talks about Europe, but never advocates the cost of EU economy that is part of EU law: the VAT. All EU members must have a VAT that is a significant cost to every person in the EU.

Free lunch economics is when you promise increased benefits with no costs, or lower costs.


Free lunch Trump and free lunch Bernie differ only in their winners, but their losers are always the same.

When progressives argue for unlimited increases in debt just like Reagan, they are rejecting the pokicies of FDR, Keynes, the US when the general welfare increased most by increasing assets faster than debt.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:53 AM
"'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train.
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 05:04 AM
"elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing."

So, the wealthy liberal elites who pay no taxes by cleverly paying all revenue to workers need to be punished because they pay too much to too many workers?

Warrren Buffett has never paid much in taxes even when tax rates on corporations were over 50% and individuals reached over 70%. Money paid to workers, directly or indirectly, was and still is the number one tax dodge.

Unless you go to a sales tax aka VAT which taxes all revenue, expecially business income paid to workers.

VAT is an income tax with zero tax dodges aka loopholes aka deductions.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 03:04 PM
""'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train."

In your view, its the poor who create high paying jobs?

It's wrong to listen to people who convince rich people to give their money to people paying US workers to build factories, wind farms, solar farms battery factories, transportation systems, vehicles, computer systems in the US?

Instead Democrats should listen to people who have never created long term paying jobs, but only pay elites who run campaigns using mostly unpaid workers, or workers paid only a few months every few years? Like Bernie does?

When it comes to how to run a "Green New Deal", I want the policy crafted by someone who listens to Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the CEOs of California energy corporations, tech companies, who are commited to consuming more and more energy that requires no fossil fuels. Listening to Home Depot and Walmart building managers and retail sales managers should be a priority. All these guys both focus on paying more workers, and selling more to workers paid more.

AOC and Bernie seem to listen to the Lamperts who are destroying the value of companies like Sears by "taxing" both the customers, workers, and owners, by giving money to people who don't work to produce anything.

I make going to RealClearPolicy, Politics, etc a daily practice to see how bad progressives are at selling their policies, making it easy for find all sorts of costs, without any benefits to anyone.

The New Deal was not about taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. The New Deal was about paying workers more.

In 1930, half the population still lived on farms. (They might work off the farm, but they were farmworkers first.) The problem for farmers is Europe had recovered from the war and was no longer sending gold to the US to secure loans to buy food, but instead repaying the loans by shipping high value food to the US, wine, cheese, etc, and that meant too much food drove prices down, which meant farmworkers earned less and less.

One of the first laws set minimum prices for food, enforced by destroying crops, or government overpaying for food like milk, cheese, bread, which the government gave away to the poor who could never buy this food. It was not about giving food away, but about paying workers, the farmers, ranchers, etc. Giving the food to the poor who could not afford to buy food was simply to avoid the attacks on FDR for destroying good food to drive up farmer pay. Which was the truth.

FDR talked about creating a healthy workforce to make America great, then about building a healthy soldier. Ike in the 50s and JFK in the 60s campaigned on creating healthy soldiers. And smart, educated soldiers and workers.

The policies of liberals was about better workers, richer workers.

Conservatives since Reagan has been about cutting the costs of workers. Sold based on consumers benefiting from lower cost workers, because consumees are never workers, workers never consumers, because if workers equal consumers, economics must be zero sum.

Christopher H. said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 09:20 AM
Well said. It is fascinating to witness how the liberal establishment is rallying around democratic socialists AOC and Rashida Tlaib.


https://twitter.com/MattBruenig/status/1082287736550293504

Matt Bruenig‏
@MattBruenig

By attracting the intense ire of the GOP, AOC activates the negative polarization of lib pundits and makes them look for ways to defend left policy items they'd attack in any other scenario. It's very effective at pushing the discourse forward.

6:47 AM - 7 Jan 2019

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Christopher H.... , January 08, 2019 at 09:25 AM
Sweet. THANKS!
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 04:55 AM
"But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations."

So, you think beef at $10 plus per pound, salad greens at $5 plus per pound, a fast food meal at $10 plus, is a winning issue for Democrats?

Or by powerful labor unions, you mean for only white male blue collar factory workers, long haul white truckers, white construction workers?

Making all work pay enough to reach middle class status at the low end will not happen by unions because many parts of the US, and workers, and jobs, will oppose unions. Instead, labor laws and enforcement to lift wages and working conditions rapidly in conservative regions are required.

Better to get the minimum wage in Indiana and Kansas to $10 than in California to $15.

More important to get farm workers fully covered by Federal law like factory workers, with exemptions only for farmer family members.

Raising incomes in low living cost regions will not raise prices much nationally, but increase living standards among the most disadvantaged who feel "left behind".

Automatic increases annually of 10% for 7 years, then indexed by cpi.

Constantly emphasizing this minimum is way below what the low wage is in SF, NYC, LA, but the goods produced will be bought and thus wages paid mostly by high income liberal elites. Conservatives sticking it to liberals!

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 09:26 AM
"you think beef at $10 plus per pound,"

Wow... you need to do a lot better at shopping sales. I wait for sales and then buy burger at $2.50, crud cuts at $3-4, and can frequently get t-bone and ribeye for under $5.

BUT, on the larger scale, what is the difference if I pay $1 a pound for burger and earn $20K a year, or I pay $3 for burger and earn $60K a year?

Inflation punishes savers? Really? What is the difference if I earn 3% at 2% inflation or 1% at 0% inflation? The answer is, none.

Julio -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 09:47 AM
"In that case, however, why do we care how hard the rich work? If a rich man works an extra hour, adding $1000 to the economy, but gets paid $1000 for his efforts, the combined income of everyone else doesn't change, does it? Ah, but it does – because he pays taxes on that extra $1000. So the social benefit from getting high-income individuals to work a bit harder is the tax revenue generated by that extra effort – and conversely the cost of their working less is the reduction in the taxes they pay."

This is not right. Heck, it's not even wrong.
Say the $1000 is for a surgery. The social benefit is the tax they pay on it? The surgery itself is irrelevant?

Krugman confuses the flow of money, which supports and correlates with production, with the actual production, the real "social benefit".

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Julio ... , January 08, 2019 at 04:17 PM
A point I try to make.

If you invent a widget that everyone on earth is willing to pay $1 over cost to get, congratulations, you just earned $7 billion.

Now, does that mean you get to consume $7 billion worth of stuff other people produce? I think so.

Or, does it mean you get to trap the world in $7 billion of debt servitude from which it is impossible for them to escape, because you are hoarding, and then charging interest on, the $7 billion they need to pay back their debts.

The key is to understand that money is created via debt. Money has value because people with debt need to get it to repay their debts.

If we all decide BitCoin is worthless, then BitCoin is worthless. It has no fundamental usefulness.

If we all decide money is worthless, then a bunch of people with debt will gladly take it off our hands so that they can repay their debt. Heck, they may even trade us stuff to get the debt... which is why money is NOT worthless.

mulp said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 09, 2019 at 05:15 AM
If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?

Say, the $7 billion in wages was to sing and dance so no matter where in the world he was, he was entertained by song and dance?

Economies are zero sum. Every cost has an equal benefit aka income or consumption. Work can't exist without consumption, consumption without work.

Money is merely work in the past or future.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 08:06 AM
"If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?"

Obviously, good. Which is what I say in my post.

"Money is merely work in the past or future."

Money is other peoples' debt. They have borrowed money into existence and then spent it into the economy, AND they have pledged to do work in the future, to get the money back so they can repay the debt.

That "doing work in the future to get the money back" is only possible if the people with the money actually spend it back into the economy.

The problem is that the people in debt also agreed to pay interest, and the people with the money want to keep collecting the interest... so keep holding the money... making it absolutely impossible for those with debt to pay it back.

I'm saying is that there is obligation on both sides. There is obligation on the part of people with debt to produce goods and services and sell them for money to repay their debts, AND for that to be possible, there is obligation on those with money to actually spend the money...

Contrary to CONservative opinion, money is not created by work, it is earned by selling, and that means for the economy to function, there has to be spending.

We need a tax code with very high top rates, but deductions for spending and capital investing... not to take from the rich, but rather to force them to spend and invest to get deductions.

[Jan 11, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, The Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic And Pro-War Than Republicans by Glenn Greenwald

Clinton Democrats (DemoRats) are so close to neocons that the current re-alliance is only natural and only partially caused by Trump. Under Obama some of leading figures of his administration were undistinguishable from neocons (Samantha Power is a good example here -- she was as crazy as Niki Haley, if not more). There is only one "war party in the USA which continently consists of two wings: Repugs and DemoRats.
Notable quotes:
"... Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham , one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton , who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon. ..."
"... That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" ..."
"... But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent. ..."
"... This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan ..."
"... While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining ..."
"... At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions. ..."
"... By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism"). ..."
"... All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties , but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington's reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump's Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" far more than they agree with the pro-war view that "the U.S. needs to keep troops in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and maintain our foreign policy interests in the region."

But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent.

A similar gap is seen among those who voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections (28 percent support withdrawal while 54 percent oppose it), as opposed to the widespread support for withdrawal among 2018 GOP voters: 74 percent to 18 percent.

Identical trends can be seen on the question of Trump's announced intention to withdraw half of the U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where Democrats are far more supportive of keeping troops there than Republicans and independents.

This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan:

With Trump rather than Obama now advocating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all of this has changed. The new polling data shows far more support for troop withdrawal among Republicans and independents, while Democrats are now split or even opposed . Among 2016 Trump voters, there is massive support for withdrawal: 81 percent to 11 percent; Clinton voters, however, oppose the removal of troops from Afghanistan by a margin of 37 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

This latest poll is far from aberrational. As the Huffington Post's Ariel Edwards-Levy documented early this week , separate polling shows a similar reversal by Democrats on questions of war and militarism in the Trump era.

While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining. "Those who voted for Democrat Clinton now said by a 42-point margin that the U.S. had a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria involving ISIS," Edwards-Levy wrote, "while Trump voters said by a 16-point margin that the nation had no such responsibility." (Similar trends can be seen among GOP voters, whose support for intervention in Syria has steadily declined as Trump has moved away from his posture of the last two years -- escalating bombings in both Syria and Iraq and killing far more civilians , as he repeatedly vowed to do during the campaign -- to his return to his other campaign pledge to remove troops from the region.)

This is, of course, not the first time that Democratic voters have wildly shifted their "beliefs" based on the party affiliation of the person occupying the Oval Office. The party's base spent the Bush-Cheney years denouncing war on terror policies, such as assassinations, drones, and Guantánamo as moral atrocities and war crimes, only to suddenly support those policies once they became hallmarks of the Obama presidency .

But what's happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he's willing to allow the Bad Countries to take over by bringing home U.S. soldiers; his efforts to establish less hostile relations with adversary countries is indicative of weakness or even treason.

At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions.

By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism").

All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way.

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Jan 06, 2019] The NSA's FOIA response that they have traffic involving Rich and Assange reinforces both Assange's assertion and Binney's analysis that the DNC was not hacked, the data was downloaded

Notable quotes:
"... A possible scenario then would be that, some time in late April or early May, the kind of surveillance on Assange and figures known to be associated with him which we can be reasonably confident was being carried out both by GCHQ and MI6 alerted people to the fact that there had been a leak of material from the DNC. ..."
"... The accident of Cameron's – characteristically foolish – statement and the Papadopoulos interview could then have led on to his meeting with Downer being set up, at almost exactly the time when 'CrowdStrike' was beginning to work on the DNC servers. ..."
"... Having gone down that route, the possibility of Seth Rich talking obviously became acutely dangerous to all kinds of people. ..."
"... If Seth had made no attempt to contact Wikileaks - and if the FBI didn't look at his laptop because "we don't investigate murders", then why does the NSA have 32 pages of secret/top secret memos on him? ..."
"... If Seth was the real leaker, he was in a position to blow apart the Guccifer 2.0 scam which was the centerpiece of the "Russia interfered" hoax. ..."
"... Also, I suspect that Shawn Lucas may have been one of the friends of Seth who - according to Sy Hersh's account - had access to Seth's dropbox. So that might explain his very mysterious death - a drug overdose involving multiple drugs in someone never known to use drugs. ..."
"... What is clear is that, both from a cybersecurity and other perspectives – the Awan family saga being an obvious instance, and the networks in which Huma Abedin is involved perhaps another – the whole Democratic apparatus in which Hillary was a central figure was as leaky as an old sieve. ..."
"... When the ex-GCHQ 'twerp' Matt Tait, then supposedly running a consultancy, 'Capital Alpha Security', which only ever filed 'accounts for a dormant company', and has now been compulsorily wound up, immediately produced evidence backing up the incoherent claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', it was clear that we were dealing with an amateurish cover-up. ..."
"... The notion that the name and patronymic 'Felix Dzerzhinsky' is likely to have been used by the Main Directorate, previously known as the GRU, could only have been dreamed up by people who are totally ignorant of the history of the relations between the General Staff and the 'Cheka' in the early Soviet period, or, at least, are relying on the ignorance of others. ..."
"... The next memorandum in the sequence, which is undated, introduces Paul Manafort and Carter Page into the 'rogues' gallery', and contains some very interesting observations about the cyber side. So 'Source E' – described as an 'ethnic Russian close associate' of Trump – supposedly explains that the 'intelligence network' being used against Hillary Clinton comprises three elements ..."
"... All this stinks of a hastily-organised cover-up operation, set in motion after it became clear that highly compromising material was going to appear on 'WikiLeaks' – but which moved into higher gear after the murder of Rich. ..."
"... As was very evident at the time from, for example, comments on the 'MailOnline' site, very many people who disliked Hillary immediately took for granted that Rich had been 'Arkancided', so his death then became further evidence of her innate villainy, and also confirmation that he was, in fact, the source of the 'WikiLeaks' material. ..."
"... How's this for a motive? Imran Awan ran the DNC servers. When it was discovered in May/June that the emails had been downloaded, a search was launched and suspicion fell on Seth. Worried that the Pakistani penetration of the DNC and the Congress might be uncovered, Seth was silenced. I offer this as one possible theory. ..."
"... I think it is very much a possible theory. And indeed, reading what Mark McCarty and Eric Newhill wrote, I think I may have greatly underestimated the extent to which people on Hillary's side could have thought Seth Rich too dangerous to be left alive ..."
"... One point raised by Eric's comments. It seems to me quite likely that the alarm was in fact raised by monitoring what came in to WikiLeaks, rather than what went out of the DNC. If this was so, however, it would be less likely that the monitoring was done directly by the CIA/NSA. It would be much more likely that this was in the first instance primarily an MI6/GCHQ function. ..."
"... If I had the talent and energy, I might write a sequel to the 'Quiet American', to be entitled 'The Noisy Englishmen.' It would feature a series of inept conspiracies, involving ludicrous means used in support of preposterous ends, necessitating one ham-fisted cover-up after another. ..."
"... The central characters might be loosely based on Christopher Steele, Matt Tait, Eliot Higgins, and our former UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, author of the July 2002 Downing Street memorandum, in which Sir Richard Dearlove was quoted explaining how, in Washington, 'the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy.' ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0 was nothing but an elaborate joke. ..."
Jan 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 2 months ago

All,

Ty Clevenger has posted the 4 October letter from the NSA on his 'LawFlog' blog.

See http://lawflog.com/?attachm... .

The request related to four categories of material. The first had to do with communications between Rich and a variety of people. It is interesting that the names of three figures with whom it is not suggested he communicated are Included, the precise phrasing being 'David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson are the attorneys who represented Hillary Clinton.'

Apparently Clevenger has been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to get the trio investigated in relation to the deletion of e-mails from the secret server.

(See https://www.washingtontimes... .)

The second category relates to material concerning phone calls involving Rich on the day he died and the previous day, the third to possible financial transactions involved him and an interesting range of people.

The fourth category covers correspondence involving people in or involved with Congress.

The NSA response refers to an earlier reply dated 7 November 2017 in relation to the first three categories. So far I cannot trace this, but I would assume that this refused access to the material – if it did not there would clearly be rather more than fifteen documents with 32 pages. So these presumably all relate to communications involving Congress.

Another important thread in all this relates to the 10 May 2016 meeting between George Papadopoulos and Alexander Downer. Information has been trickling out about what the former said in his interview with members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Thursday. And the episode is dealt with in a book by the 'Washington Post' reporter Greg Miller, released earlier this month.

The sequence appears to have been that Papodopoulos was quoted in an interview in the 'Times' on 4 May 2016 saying that our then Prime Minister, David Cameron, should apologise for calling Trump 'divisive, stupid and wrong'. Two days later, an Australian embassy official who knew him suggested that Papadopoulos meet Downer.

According to the version restated by Miller, the FIB 'Crossfire Hurricane' investigation opened on 31 July, following the 'WikiLeaks' publication of the DNC emails on 22 July – with supposedly a belated communication from Downer about the Papadopoulos meeting being an important trigger. If you work for the 'Washington Post', you will of course take all this on trust. Serious journalists would not.

While the complications of the role of the mysterious Maltese Joseph Mifsud still do not seem adequately ironed out, the suggestion that he told Papadopoulos that he had learned that the Russian government had 'dirt' on Clinton in the form of 'thousands' of her emails may well be true. Moreover, it would not necessarily be part of an entrapment operation.

It is perfectly possible that Mifsud did actually retail what he had heard in Moscow, and while this could have been inaccurate gossip, it could also have been accurate.

As I have said before, if there was anything I would find more surprising than the notion that the DNC material came to 'WikiLeaks' from the Russians, it would be that these could not penetrate the obviously appallingly lax security not just of Clinton's server but of the whole Democratic network. (People who could hire the Awan clan are obviously either totally inept at security or totally unconcerned about it.)

(For updates from the 'Daily Caller' on the Papadopoulos interview and Miller book, see https://dailycaller.com/201... and https://dailycaller.com/201... .)

At that point, one comes up against the question of how much substance there is in the claims by Yaacov Apelbaum about the central role in 'Russiagate' of the Hakluyt/Holdingham group, with which Downer was certainly involved.

See https://apelbaum.wordpress....

A possible scenario then would be that, some time in late April or early May, the kind of surveillance on Assange and figures known to be associated with him which we can be reasonably confident was being carried out both by GCHQ and MI6 alerted people to the fact that there had been a leak of material from the DNC.

The accident of Cameron's – characteristically foolish – statement and the Papadopoulos interview could then have led on to his meeting with Downer being set up, at almost exactly the time when 'CrowdStrike' was beginning to work on the DNC servers.

What could have been a piece of accurate gossip out of Russia – although of course it could have been inaccurate gossip or indeed planted disinformation – then encouraged the notion that the leak could be treated as a hack.

Having gone down that route, the possibility of Seth Rich talking obviously became acutely dangerous to all kinds of people.

An accurate account of what was happened was finally passed to 'Fox News', sourced in substantial measure from figures involved with Assange, but the company 'chickened out' in the face of pressure. The Malia Zimmerman story, incidentally, can be viewed at http://www.raidersmerciless... .

Dan Feidt~hongpong , 2 months ago
If the FOIA request is authentic then it would be in the FOIA logs of the agency which are themselves FOIA-able (in general anyway).

I would speculate that the material might show that they rooted around for stuff like this, due to the media attention, and thus, some records exist about the idea.

Also re the metadata timing, while the idea of fast copies is reasonable, it is also possible to write a small script which would calculate a fresh set of datetime values at a different rate than the original, wouldn't this be less than 30 lines? (like they could have simply overwritten the metadata date values, from slower copying to an illusion of faster copying.)

Publius Tacitus -> Dan Feidt~hongpong , 2 months ago
On the metadata, NO. I checked with Bill Binney.
Mark McCarty , 2 months ago
Excellent summary. How did the author get the info on NSA's response to the FOIA request? - cant find it otherwise online.

If Seth had made no attempt to contact Wikileaks - and if the FBI didn't look at his laptop because "we don't investigate murders", then why does the NSA have 32 pages of secret/top secret memos on him?

This article should have cited the Sy Hersh phone tape - Sy, via Butowsky, is the evident source of the Fox report:

Play Hide
Publius Tacitus -> Mark McCarty , 2 months ago
No, Sy was not the source for the Fox report. Two of the sources are closely tied to Julian's lawyer.
Adam Carter , 2 months ago
With the leaks already out, if they wanted to make an example, they could have made his life hell and heaped blame on him for them losing the election, they could have made an example out of him without taking needless risks and without leaving anything to ambiguity (so that it would unquestionably deter others from doing the same).

So, even if his death wasn't just him accidentally getting shot twice in the torso during a struggle following a bungled robbery attempt in which nothing was stolen... revenge still would have been a questionable motive.

I'd say more but it's probably best for the sake of self-preservation and to prevent opponents from strawman attacks if I don't. Good luck figuring out who could have had a motive.

Mark McCarty -> Adam Carter , 2 months ago
I don't think that revenge had anything to do with it. If Seth was the real leaker, he was in a position to blow apart the Guccifer 2.0 scam which was the centerpiece of the "Russia interfered" hoax. The conspirators would be much more secure with him out of the way. Also, I suspect that Shawn Lucas may have been one of the friends of Seth who - according to Sy Hersh's account - had access to Seth's dropbox. So that might explain his very mysterious death - a drug overdose involving multiple drugs in someone never known to use drugs.
David Habakkuk -> Adam Carter , 2 months ago
Adam Carter,

On the question of who might have had a motive to kill Seth Rich, some aspects of the background are worth bearing in mind.

It is very clear that Hillary Clinton divides opinion, very sharply – actually, in Britain almost as much as in the United States. On the one hand, I have found even people whose judgement I would once have trusted quite extraordinarily reluctant to accept that there was anything reprehensible about her glaring security breaches, let alone about anything else she has done.

On the other, there are many people who loathe her and her husband so much that they will believe any mud that is slung at the pair.

What is clear is that, both from a cybersecurity and other perspectives – the Awan family saga being an obvious instance, and the networks in which Huma Abedin is involved perhaps another – the whole Democratic apparatus in which Hillary was a central figure was as leaky as an old sieve.

In such a situation, if I was for example Vladimir Putin, and none of my intelligence services had been able to supply me with something close to a complete set of Hillary Clinton's emails, I would have wanted to know why.

But that, of course, emphatically does not mean that the Russians are a likely conduit for material to have reached Assange. And it also means that, if by any chance Putin and General Gerasimov, who has overall responsibility for the Main Directorate of the General Staff, had decided they wanted the material made public, they could have been expected to look for 'plausible deniability.'

When the ex-GCHQ 'twerp' Matt Tait, then supposedly running a consultancy, 'Capital Alpha Security', which only ever filed 'accounts for a dormant company', and has now been compulsorily wound up, immediately produced evidence backing up the incoherent claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', it was clear that we were dealing with an amateurish cover-up.

The notion that the name and patronymic 'Felix Dzerzhinsky' is likely to have been used by the Main Directorate, previously known as the GRU, could only have been dreamed up by people who are totally ignorant of the history of the relations between the General Staff and the 'Cheka' in the early Soviet period, or, at least, are relying on the ignorance of others.

In addition to this, we have the fact that the initial memoranda in the dossier published by 'BuzzFeed' and – supposedly – authored by Christopher Steele, are both a mess, and contradict the version put out by Alperovitch and Tait. The Ellen Nakashima piece was on 14 June, the first memorandum, which contained the 'golden showers' claim, is dated 20 June – which of course may not be accurate.

There is then a pause, until the first treatment of Russian cyber operations, in a memorandum dated '26 July 2015.' This is clearly a mistype for 2016, so that the date, if correct, is more than a fortnight after the murder of Rich, which was on 10 July. This memorandum makes no mention of the GRU, claims that 'FSB leads on cyber', and also that there had been 'limited success in attacking top foreign targets'.

The next memorandum in the sequence, which is undated, introduces Paul Manafort and Carter Page into the 'rogues' gallery', and contains some very interesting observations about the cyber side. So 'Source E' – described as an 'ethnic Russian close associate' of Trump – supposedly explains that the 'intelligence network' being used against Hillary Clinton comprises three elements:

'Firstly there were agents/facilitators within the Democratic Party structure itself; secondly Russian emigre and associated offensive cyber operators based in the US; and thirdly, state-sponsored cyber operatives working in Russia.'

The fourth memorandum, dated 19 July, which if accurate means it would have had to have been written before the second, then makes the accusations about the secret meetings between Page and Sechin.

All this stinks of a hastily-organised cover-up operation, set in motion after it became clear that highly compromising material was going to appear on 'WikiLeaks' – but which moved into higher gear after the murder of Rich.

The reference to 'agents/facilitators within the Democratic Party itself' reads as though it might well have been intended to provide a basis for a 'fall-back' position, if either the problems of the 'hacking' story became too glaring, or it became impossible to prevent more information coming out about the role of Rich in supplying material to WikiLeaks.

Also perhaps relevant is the fact that the initial meeting between Carter Page and Stefan Halper occurred at a symposium in Cambridge, UK, entitled '2016's Race to Change the World', which opened on 11 July, the day after Rich's death – and was also attended by Sir Richard Dearlove.

All this adds to the strong impression that panic which may well have been materially increased by Rich's murder could have been one of the reasons why the 'cover-up' took off into a kind of stratosphere of absurdity in the period that followed it.

Reverting to the question you raise of possible motives for the murder, precisely what the panic suggests is indeed that it is not obvious that anyone in the Democratic Party apparatus had any incentive to assassinate Rich.

As was very evident at the time from, for example, comments on the 'MailOnline' site, very many people who disliked Hillary immediately took for granted that Rich had been 'Arkancided', so his death then became further evidence of her innate villainy, and also confirmation that he was, in fact, the source of the 'WikiLeaks' material.

However, precisely because of the sieve-like nature of the Democratic Party apparatus, a situation had been created where there were actually a wide variety of people, in a wide variety of places, who could have been taking an intense interest in the kind of material which appeared on 'WikiLeaks.'

Such people might have been able, through all kinds of routes, to find out a good deal both about what had been leaked, how and why, and what might be leaked in the future.

While I agree that revenge is not the most obvious motive, there are two qualifications. As we have seen with MBS, people can badly misjudge the impact of their actions, which becomes more relevant if one starts casting the net wider in looking for possible suspects. Also, preventing further disclosures could conceivably have been a motive.

Equally, however, it is not entirely beyond the bounds of possibility that someone who was well aware of the conclusions people would draw could have seen having Rich murdered as a way of striking at Hillary.

A regrettable consequence of the way in which it has been possible to use atrocity to shape 'narratives', which has been facilitated by the increasingly patent disinterest of the mainstream media in trying to get at the truth, is that there are very many players who, for diverse reasons, could have seen their interests furthered by an assassination of this kind.

Publius Tacitus -> David Habakkuk , 2 months ago
How's this for a motive? Imran Awan ran the DNC servers. When it was discovered in May/June that the emails had been downloaded, a search was launched and suspicion fell on Seth. Worried that the Pakistani penetration of the DNC and the Congress might be uncovered, Seth was silenced. I offer this as one possible theory.
David Habakkuk -> Publius Tacitus , 2 months ago
PT,

I think it is very much a possible theory. And indeed, reading what Mark McCarty and Eric Newhill wrote, I think I may have greatly underestimated the extent to which people on Hillary's side could have thought Seth Rich too dangerous to be left alive.

And I also may not have have given adequate weight to the possibility that a not particularly unnatural fear could have overridden the patent dangers involved in following what I should perhaps have seen as an obvious logic.

One point raised by Eric's comments. It seems to me quite likely that the alarm was in fact raised by monitoring what came in to WikiLeaks, rather than what went out of the DNC. If this was so, however, it would be less likely that the monitoring was done directly by the CIA/NSA. It would be much more likely that this was in the first instance primarily an MI6/GCHQ function.

It may or may not be relevant here that Craig Murray has given a lot of people a lot of grief – not least, in exposing the way that 'loops of lies' about 'SIGINT' were used in the attempt to use the 'false flag' at Ghouta to inveige you and us into another disastrous intervention in the Middle East.

(See https://www.craigmurray.org... .)

Be that as it may, it seems to me a reasonable hypothesis that an enormous amount of effort – including both 'HUMINT' and 'SIGINT' – has been deployed by British intelligence agencies to ensure that all channels by which information could pass to and from Assange are monitored.

Of particular interest could have been the kind of covert means of organising payments which may have been used to transfer money to Seth Rich and his brother.

One might then be some way towards a better explanation of some of the absurd incoherencies in the stories told by and about 'CrowdStrike', which struck a lot of us quite early.

It is perfectly possible that 7 May is the actual date on which the company was called in. However, this would not have been because a problem with the DNC computer systems had been identified by that organisation – but because a receipt of information by 'WikiLeaks' had been identified, and probably by the British.

At that point, it is perfectly possible that Alperovitch et al identified many 'hacks' into the servers, some of which could indeed have been by organisations and individuals which could perfectly possibly be linked to the Russians (but with the fact not being palpable, because these would have looked for 'plausible deniability.')

Quite rapidly, the 'real' investigation, of which that by 'CrowdStrike' could have been a part, but only part, would have identified Rich. But this would only have happened in time for him to stop sending material originating later than 25 May. The search for a 'cover story' would have begun at some time during this period.

The first stage in this would have involved the instruction to leave all laptops in the office on 10 June. Thereafter, the attempts to create a 'cover story' developed rather rapidly.

It would then becomes unsurprising that a former GCHQ person – Matt Tait – should have played an important role, but also that the integration of the different parts of the story was, to put it mildly, imperfect.

Part of this, however, is also likely to have had to do with the fact that both Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele are, quite patently, incompetent.

Unfortunately, I was 'away from base', celebrating a birthday with old friends, with limited internet access, when the Colonel informed us that he had used 'Our Man in Havana' as a teaching aid.

But it has become clear to me that an enormous amount of damage has resulted from the fact that MSM journalists have read too much of the productions of David John Moore Cornwell (aka John Le Carré), and not enough Graham Greene.

I am still trying to think this through, but another Graham Greene novel – 'The Quiet American', of which the films are unfortunately awful, by contrast with that of 'Our Man in Havana' – comes into the picture.

A key point about this is that 'tails wag dogs.'

So, having been persuaded that I had underestimated the likelihood of people in the Hillary camp deciding that they had no realistic option but to remove Seth Rich from the picture, it also occurs to me that a corollary of your suggestion is that a lot of other people – among them, people involved with the Awans not in the United States – might have thought that they had an overriding interest in so doing.

Moreover, they could realistically have calculated that – as with Alden Pyle when General Thé escalates his 'false flags' – those who had thought they were in control would then have had no realistic option but to cover up.

To digress, it seems to me likely that this is the premise on which MBS has operated – and also, that a lot of people have given him every reason to think his confidence was justified.

However, sometimes, when the 'tails' have been able to wag the 'dogs' for a very long time, it goes to their head.

Pat Lang Mod -> David Habakkuk , 2 months ago
After contemplating the likely intelligence and propaganda efforts of HMG over the last 15 years or so I am puzzled as to motivation. Why? Why? The UK is now a regional power for which events in places like Syria would seem to have little to do with the welfare of Britain. Why? I suppose that the same question can be asked for the US and I have. In re "Our man in Havana" I think there are many issues raised in the work that apply directly to the trade of espionage.
David Habakkuk -> Pat Lang , 2 months ago
Colonel Lang,

The question why? is a very interesting but also very dispiriting one, but also one which it is quite hard to get one's head round. I hope to have something more coherent to say about it.

Among many reasons, however, there has been a kind of intellectual disintegration.

If I had the talent and energy, I might write a sequel to the 'Quiet American', to be entitled 'The Noisy Englishmen.' It would feature a series of inept conspiracies, involving ludicrous means used in support of preposterous ends, necessitating one ham-fisted cover-up after another.

The central characters might be loosely based on Christopher Steele, Matt Tait, Eliot Higgins, and our former UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, author of the July 2002 Downing Street memorandum, in which Sir Richard Dearlove was quoted explaining how, in Washington, 'the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy.'

Subsequently, of course, he set about colluding in the process. And, sixteen years later, Dearlove is still at it, with 'Russiagate' – and the product being actually accepted much more uncritically by the MSM than it was then.

And that is one of the problems – nobody any longer pays any penalty for failure, or indeed feels any sense of shame about it..

johnf -> David Habakkuk , 2 months ago
DH

I agree with this.

There is a 1990's British historian (whose name I've been trying to rediscover without success) who wrote a sunny book saying Britain should return to its imperialist ways to bring light to the dark and repressive world we live in. It was a great hit with Blair and his henchmen. Blair used its arguments in his notorious 1999 Chicago neo-conservative/liberal interventionist speech.

As the Colonel eloquently asks:

"I am puzzled as to motivation. Why? Why? The UK is now a regional power for which events in places like Syria would seem to have little todo with the welfare of Britain. Why?"

I'd draw attention to "The Brideshead Revisited" generation especially at Oxford in the early 80's. Unashamedly celebrating their wealth and upper middle class privately-educated backgrounds, they viewed themselves as a gilded, golden generation, preened in narcissism, adept at networking and self-promotion.

They are the generation now in power - politically, financially, in the deep state. Their fantasy of again ruling the world (with American and Zionist aid) has led to a series of catastrophic blunders and overreaches in both foreign and domestic policies. Our economic power - the base of any imperial power - is shrinking daily. All the Oxfordites (chief amongst them Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove) are still playing Oxford Union/PPE games and stabbing each other joyously in the back as though there's no tomorrow. It most ressembles the halluciogenic decadence of the court of late Imperial Rome.

(I don't include the Maurice Cowling-ites in this fandango because they strike me as more Little Englanders. Though Peterhouse is of course, shamefully, the HQ of the Henry Jackson Society).

Eric Newhill -> Publius Tacitus , 2 months ago
How did the DNC determine that Seth Rich did the download? They killed him on mere suspicion that he could have been the insider stealing data? That seems like an extreme response carried out on mere suspicion. The Awan/Pakistan connection was eventually revealed and it went nowhere; basically fizzled out in the media. On the other hand, if one of our agencies actually knew it was Rich passing info to Wikileaks via a spying program, and that Rich, as a Sanders supporter, was doing so because he harbored deep animosity toward the Clinton campaign and the DNC, then Rich would have to be silenced. This theory would implicate members of the deep state. Perhaps, that is too far fetched or disturbing to consider?
Fred S -> Adam Carter , 2 months ago
"Accidentally shot" in the back in a city with strict gun control laws at 4 am is rather humorous. How many people are robbed in D.C @ 4am?
PBlacque , 2 months ago
Can you please clarify one point. You say Guccifer 2.0's DNC emails released in mid June, 2016 contain "meta data" and then that Binney analyzed "data" from an intrusion on July 5, 2016. Clearly Binney couldn't have analyzed Guccifer 2.0's emails meta data (inconsistent timing) ... and could it be that Guccifer's hack was performed at the slower rate expected over the internet? Thanks
Publius Tacitus -> PBlacque , 2 months ago
But he went back and analyzed the docs released on 15 June as well. Please focus on the central point--the FBI claims that Guccifer 2.0 is a GRU front but the meta data on the documents don't support the claim that they were obtained via an internet hack.
Snow Flake -> Lefty , 2 months ago
Ellipsis, linguistically? Don't you automatically add what is omitted? ... Russia had (n't) anything ...

Guccifer 2.0 was nothing but an elaborate joke.

Lefty -> Snow Flake , 2 months ago
When I turn something I am writing into a non sequitur, or worse reverse its meaning, I call it a f*ck up (linguistically), correct it and thank anyone who cared enough to take the time to read me in the first place and to lend me a hand. What I try not to do is to hide behind a misapplied grammatical device. Know what I mean buttercup... ?

The NSA's FOIA response that they have traffic involving Rich and Assange reinforces both Assange's assertion and Binney's analysis that the DNC was not hacked, the data was downloaded. Assange's uncategorical denial that the Ruskies did it is important. It deserves to remain unambiguous and not to be subject to uncontrolled ellipsisical seizure.

Guccifer 2.0 seemed pretty earnest. As yet we don't have much of a clue who he was working for.

Pat Lang Mod -> Lefty , 2 months ago
PT's info is not from a FOIA request.
Snow Flake -> Lefty , 2 months ago
When I turn something .... Know what I mean buttercup... ?

No, I am afraid, you are way too sophisticated for me.

[Jan 06, 2019] DNC Emails--A Seth Attack Not a Russian Hack by Publius Tacitus

CIApedia story is a complete fabrication. And there might be connection between Seth murder and Avan brothers.
Notable quotes:
"... Now there is new information, courtesy of the National Security Agency aka NSA, that confirms that the NSA has Top Secret and Secret documents that are responsive to a FOIA request for material on Seth Rich and his contacts with Julian Assange ..."
"... While the content of these documents remain classified for now, they may provide documentary proof that Seth Rich "dropped boxed" the emails to Julian. If these documents are declassified, a big hole could be blown in the claim that Russia hacked the DNC. ..."
"... Is it really plausible that the perps would kill one person, fail to get anything of value from the homicide, then say "Oh shucks, that didn't work, won't do that again."? ..."
"... Yet there is no discussion of this of which I am aware, and the Wikipedia editors controlling the Wikipedia page for the murder of Seth Rich absolutely prohibit discussion, even on their "Talk Page" of such questions. E.g., their deletion of the question I asked here, under the heading "Why the "conspiracy theory" pejorative?" (which resulted in not only being deleted but a "Sanction" against me for daring to ask the question). ..."
"... CIA/NSA is already watching wikileaks due to Manning, etc) and "sees' that Rich has passed files. ..."
"... Intel filters up to Obama, Brennan, NSA people, Clinton and others that Rich has passed info to Wikileaks and then wikileaks announces and publishes the material. ..."
"... The DNC + Obama and other leftist deep staters concoct the Russian hacking meme to distract from the content of the material as well as to begin discredit Trump (and perhaps even develop a means of deposing him should he actually be elected). ..."
"... There is a connection between Seth and the Pakistani guy who had free rein with a lot of dem congresspeople's computers!!! His protector, Lil Debbie WS!!! There is a Podesta email where he states something to the effect that the person be taught a lesson as an example, guilty or not! ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

If Russia had actually "hacked" the DNC emails then the National Security Agency would have had proof of such activity. In fact, the NSA could have tracked such activity. But they did not do that. That lack of evidence did not prevent a coordinated media campaign from spinning up to pin the blame on Russia for the "theft" and to portray Donald Trump as Putin's lackey and beneficiary.

Any effort to tell an alternative story has met with stout opposition. Fox News, for example, came under withering fire after it published an article in May 2017 claiming that Seth Rich, a young Democrat operative, had leaked DNC emails to Julian Assange at Wikileaks. The family of Seth Rich reacted with fury and sued Fox, Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky, but that suit subsequently was dismissed.

Now there is new information, courtesy of the National Security Agency aka NSA, that confirms that the NSA has Top Secret and Secret documents that are responsive to a FOIA request for material on Seth Rich and his contacts with Julian Assange.

While the content of these documents remain classified for now, they may provide documentary proof that Seth Rich "dropped boxed" the emails to Julian. If these documents are declassified, a big hole could be blown in the claim that Russia hacked the DNC.


Keith Harbaugh , 2 months ago

There is a local angle to the Seth Rich murder story I have not seen discussed. Consider:
But the circumstances and facts surrounding the murder were strange. Seth was shot in the back. Nothing was taken from his body -- not his watch, not his wallet and not his credit cards.

The story promulgated by the MSM and Wikipedia is that the Washington DC MPD believe the crime was a botched robbery.

But attempted robberies are not normally a unique event. If it was a botched robbery, it seems almost certain that the perpetrator(s) would, having failed in this attempt, try again to execute a robbery.

And use the same MO (modus operandi). But I have seen no reports of other such homicide/robbery combinations. If this was truly a unique event, how would that be possible? Is it really plausible that the perps would kill one person, fail to get anything of value from the homicide, then say "Oh shucks, that didn't work, won't do that again."? There certainly are reports of serial robberies in Washington. Very hard to believe this is an exception.

Yet there is no discussion of this of which I am aware, and the Wikipedia editors controlling the Wikipedia page for the murder of Seth Rich absolutely prohibit discussion, even on their "Talk Page" of such questions. E.g., their deletion of the question I asked here, under the heading "Why the "conspiracy theory" pejorative?" (which resulted in not only being deleted but a "Sanction" against me for daring to ask the question).

Eric Newhill , 2 months ago
PT,

So is the theory, more or less, that

  1. As a Sanders supporter, Rich was appalled by how the DNC screwed Sanders (and maybe some other things he learned also contributed to his decision to engage in espionage against the DNC)
  2. Rich decides to expose DNC corruption.
  3. Rich downloads the files locally and then passes them to wikileaks.
  4. CIA/NSA is already watching wikileaks due to Manning, etc) and "sees' that Rich has passed files.
  5. Intel filters up to Obama, Brennan, NSA people, Clinton and others that Rich has passed info to Wikileaks and then wikileaks announces and publishes the material.
  6. The DNC + Obama and other leftist deep staters concoct the Russian hacking meme to distract from the content of the material as well as to begin discredit Trump (and perhaps even develop a means of deposing him should he actually be elected).
  7. Rich is the wild card. He could confess that he did it all by himself - and he could create a spectacle by explaining why.
  8. 8. They kill Rich to remove the only serious threat to their nefarious plot....?
Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
"Now there is new information, courtesy of the National Security Agency aka NSA, that confirms that the NSA has Top Secret and Secret documents that are responsive to a FOIA request for material on Seth Rich and his contacts with Julian Assange."

What's your source?

Publius Tacitus -> Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
The source is the letter that the lawyer, Ty Clevenger, received from the NSA. I have seen the letter.
Pat Lang Mod -> Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
You don't really expect him to tell you, do you?
KatieWeddington -> Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
Letter has been released. http://lawflog.com/?attachm...
Walrus , 2 months ago
Another case of "Arkancide"?
jnewman -> Walrus , 2 months ago
Vince Foster?
Pat Lang Mod -> Walrus , 2 months ago
The Serb?
amuncat -> Walrus , 2 months ago
There is a connection between Seth and the Pakistani guy who had free rein with a lot of dem congresspeople's computers!!! His protector, Lil Debbie WS!!! There is a Podesta email where he states something to the effect that the person be taught a lesson as an example, guilty or not!

[Jan 02, 2019] Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"

Notable quotes:
"... At risk of being censored and/or convicted of Thought Crime - it is *remarkable* how very highly disproportionate the number of Jewish Zionists is who are in the media and in Congress and in ThinkTankistan and shouting about Russian meddling, 'aggression,' and the like. ..."
"... I don't think Bill Kristol and David Frum and Jeff Goldberg are either honest nor primarily concerned with American national security, nor the lives of MENA civilians. I think they care only about using American blood and treasure to facilitate Israeli lebensraum, however bloody and expensive. ..."
"... Trump survives only if he dances for the Deep State *and* Likud. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Florin , Feb 21, 2018 9:00:03 AM | link

News "Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/meet-the-cabal-that-are-framing-domestic-american-activism-as-russian-influence-and-fake-news/

At risk of being censored and/or convicted of Thought Crime - it is *remarkable* how very highly disproportionate the number of Jewish Zionists is who are in the media and in Congress and in ThinkTankistan and shouting about Russian meddling, 'aggression,' and the like.

It's too bad it is forbidden to examine this phenomena as one part of the matrix of power and lies leading the US into conflict with Russia, no?

I don't think Bill Kristol and David Frum and Jeff Goldberg are either honest nor primarily concerned with American national security, nor the lives of MENA civilians. I think they care only about using American blood and treasure to facilitate Israeli lebensraum, however bloody and expensive.

Trump survives only if he dances for the Deep State *and* Likud.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/12/us-caught-faking-it-in-syria/

[Jan 02, 2019] The malware sample claimed to Russian in DNC "hack" is actually appear to be Ukrainian and was possible planted by Crowstrike to implicate Russians

Notable quotes:
"... War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 3:38:27 AM | link

https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

Conclusion regarding IP address data: What we're seeing in this IP data is a wide range of countries and hosting providers. 15% of the IP addresses are Tor exit nodes. These exit nodes are used by anyone who wants to be anonymous online, including malicious actors.

Overall Conclusion: The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don't appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

WJ , Feb 21, 2018 6:38:11 AM | link
War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality.
JC , Feb 21, 2018 9:20:58 AM | link
Interesting, too, that the Dark State appears to be sending out talking points this week to the effect that the alleged hacking of the DNC is an "act of war." IfI'm not mistaken, the US recently revised war policy to include cyber attacks, whether they actually happened or not, as being the same as a kinetic attack. Looks to me like we are seeing the beginning of a long-term pysop/PR campaign to build support for a "preemptive" strike against Russia and China that would, presumably, include nukes.

[Dec 29, 2018] The problem is in 2008 unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican economics to "deal" with the aftermath

Politically Obama was a "despicable coward", or worse, a marionette.
Notable quotes:
"... A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public policy courses. ..."
"... Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement, SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress. ..."
"... And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance. ..."
"... He had a mandate for change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes. ..."
"... Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. ..."
"... People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do. ..."
"... The citizens of this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities than they did. ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Health Care

"Democratic left playing a long game to get 'Medicare for All'" [Bloomberg Law]. "'We don't have the support that we need,' said Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who will co-chair the Progressive Caucus. She said that she'd favor modest expansions of Medicare or Medicaid eligibility as a step toward Medicare for All. 'I am a big bold thinker; I'm also a good practical strategist,' Jayapal said.

'It's why the Medicare for All Caucus was started, because we want to get information to our members so people feel comfortable talking about the attacks we know are going to come.'" • So many Democrat McClellans; so few Democrat Grants.

"Progressives set to push their agenda in Congress and on the campaign trail. The GOP can't wait." [NBC]. "While the party has moved left on health care, many Democrats seem more comfortable offering an option to buy into Medicare or a similar public plan rather than creating one single-payer plan that replaces private insurance and covers everyone. Progressives, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and her Medicare For All PAC, plan to whip up support for the maximalist version and advance legislation in 2019." • The "maximalist version" is exactly what Jayapal herself, quoted by Bloomberg, says she will not seek. Not sure whether this is Democrat cynicism, sloppy Democrat messaging, or poor reporting. Or all three!


Nick Stokes , December 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm

The problem is unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican economics to "deal" with the aftermath. That is the difference between a moderate recession(historically) and a collapse like the early 1930's had when the British Empire and the de Rothschild dynasty finally collapsed.

40% didn't want anything the Obama Administration came up with succeed. 40% wanted more than they could possible politically come up with and that left 20% to actually get something done. You see why the Democrats had to take losses.

Even if Health Care, which was controversial in the party was nixed for more "stimulus", Democrats look weak. Politically, Stimulus wasn't that popular and "fiscal deficit" whiners were going to whine and there are a lot of them.

Naked Capitalism ignores this reality instead, looking for esoteric fantasy. I would argue Democrats in 2009-10 looked for short term political gain by going with Health Care reform instead of slowly explaining the advantage of building public assets via stimulus, because the party was to split on Health Care to create a package that would satisfy enough people.

Similar the Republican party, since Reagan had done the opposite, took short term political gain in 2016, which was a mistake, due to their Clinton hatred.

Which is now backfiring and the business cycle is not in a kind spot going forward, which we knew was likely in 2016.

So not only does "Republican fatigue" hurt in 2018, your on the political defensive for the next cycle. Short-termism in politics is death.

A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public policy courses.

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Mr. Stokes (or David Brock I presume?),

I truly don't understand your point of view. I also don't understand your claim that NC deals in fantasy.

Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement, SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress.

There's even the bland procedural tactic of delaying the release of the Obamacare exchange premium price increases until after the election in 2016. He could have delayed that notice several months and saved Hillary a world of hurt at the polls. But he chose not to use the administrative tools at his disposal in that case. He also could have seen the writing on the wall with the multiple shut down threats and gotten ahead of it by asking Congress that if you are deemed an essential employee you will continue to be paid regardless of whether your department is funded during a shutdown. With 80% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck that would have been a huge deal.

And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance.

Obama took a huge organization that could have helped him barnstorm the country (OFA) just like what Bernie is doing now and killed it early in his first term. He had a mandate for change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes.

Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. By the time 2016 rolled around, there were estimates which placed 90% of the counties in the US as not having recovered from the disaster in 2007. Hillary ran on radical incrementalism aka the status quo. Who in their right mind could have supported the status quo in 2016?

The Democrats lost seats at all levels of government because of their own incompetence, because of their cowardice, because of their lazy assumptions that people had nowhere else to go. So when record numbers of people didn't vote they lost by slim margins in states long considered True Blue. There is nothing cyclical about any of that.

People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do.

The citizens of this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities than they did.

Obama and Hillary and all the rest of the Democrats stalking MSM cameras could have delivered on some of that but chose not to. And here we are. With President Trump. And even his broken clock gets something right twice a day, whereas Team Blue has a 50/50 chance of making the right decision and chooses wrong everytime.

Please provide better examples of your points if you truly want to defend your argument.

Carey , December 27, 2018 at 8:45 pm

What an outstandingly comprehensive recent history of
Our dismal-by-design Democrats.

My hat is off to you, Sir.

Expat2uruguay , December 28, 2018 at 7:44 am

And, that often mentioned reason for voting for Democrats, the Supreme Court. Neither Obama nor the Democrats fought for their opportunity to put their person on the Supreme Court. Because of norms I guess. Which actually makes some sense because it broke norms. Because they simply don't care

WJ , December 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

+100000

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I truly don't understand why you think any of that. Most mystifying is your claim that anyone thought ACA would provide short term political benefit?

You know how Obamacare could have given Hillary a short term political gain? If Obama had directed HHS to delay releasing any premium increase notices until after the election.

Otherwise, you'd have to support your argument a lot better. NC has the least fantastical commentary base of any website I've seen.

Yves Smith , December 27, 2018 at 8:09 pm

This is complete and utter nonsense. Your calling depicting NC as "fantasy" is a textbook example of projection on your part.

The country was terrified and demoralized when Obama took office. Go read the press in December 2008 and January 2009, since your memory is poor. He not only had window of opportunity to do an updated 100 days, the country would have welcomed. But he ignored it and the moment passed.

Obama pushed heath care because that was what he had campaigned on and had a personal interest in it. He had no interest in banking and finance and was happy to let Geither run that show.

As for stimulus, bullshit. Trump increased deficit spending with his tax cuts and no one cares much if at all. The concern re deficit spending was due to the fact that the Obama economic team was the Clinton (as in Bob Rubin) economics team, which fetishized balanced budgets or even worse, surpluses. We have explained long form that that stance was directly responsible for the rapid increase in unproductive household debt, most of all mortgage debt, which produced the crisis.

We discussed it long form in 2010:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/03/the-empire-continues-to-strike-back-team-obama-propaganda-campaign-reaches-fever-pitch.html

Better trolls, please.

[Dec 29, 2018] -Election Meddling- Enters Bizarro World As MSM Ignores Democrat-Linked -Russian Bot- Scheme -

Highly recommended!
Is this shadow of Integrity Initiative in the USA ? This false flag open the possibility that other similar events like DNC (with very questionable investigation by Crowdstrike, which was a perfect venue to implement a false flag; cybersecurity area is the perfect environment for planting false flags), MH17 (might be an incident but later it definitely was played as a false flag), Skripals (Was Skripals poisoning a false flag decided to hide the fact that Sergey Skripal was involved in writing Steele dossier?) and Litvinenko (probably connected with lack of safety measures in the process of smuggling of Plutonium by Litvinenko himself, but later played a a false flag). All of those now should be re-assessed from the their potential of being yet another flag flag operation against Russia. While Browder was a MI6 operation from the very beginning (and that explains why he abdicated the US citizenship more convincingly that the desire to avoid taxes) .
Notable quotes:
"... Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior. ..."
"... Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign). ..."
"... By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling." ..."
"... The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true). ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

For over two years now, the concepts of "Russian collusion" and "Russian election meddling" have been shoved down our throats by the mainstream media (MSM) under the guise of legitimate concern that the Kremlin may have installed a puppet president in Donald Trump.

Having no evidence of collusion aside from a largely unverified opposition-research dossier fabricated by a former British spy, the focus shifted from "collusion" to "meddling" and "influence." In other words, maybe Trump didn't actually collude with Putin, but the Kremlin used Russian tricks to influence the election in Trump's favor. To some, this looked like nothing more than an establishment scheme to cast a permanent spectre of doubt over the legitimacy of President Donald J. Trump.

Election meddling "Russian bots" and "troll farms" became the central focus - as claims were levied of social media operations conducted by Kremlin-linked organizations which sought to influence and divide certain segments of America.

And while scant evidence of a Russian influence operation exists outside of a handful of indictments connected to a St. Petersburg "Troll farm" (which a liberal journalist cast serious doubt ov er), the MSM - with all of their proselytizing over the "threat to democracy" that election meddling poses, has largely decided to ignore actual evidence of "Russian bots" created by Democrat IT experts, used against a GOP candidate in the Alabama special election, and amplified through the Russian bot-detecting "Hamilton 68" dashboard developed by the same IT experts.

Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

Russian trolls tracked by # Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise.

298 4:02 PM - Nov 10, 2017

Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior.

As Russian state-owned RT puts it - and who could blame them for being a bit pissed over the whole thing, "it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection. "

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.

Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agenc y. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone.

...

On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead.

In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

It worked. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones, which based its story on expert opinion from Morgan's other dubious creation, Hamilton 68. - RT

Moore ended up losing the Alabama special election by a slim margin of just

In other words: In November 2017 – when Moore and his Democratic opponent were in a bitter fight to win over voters – Morgan openly promoted the theory that Russian bots were supporting Moore's campaign . A year later – after being caught red-handed orchestrating a self-described "false flag" operation – Morgan now says that his team never thought that the bots were Russian and have no idea what their purpose was . Did he think no one would notice? - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 Replying to @dancohen3000

Disinformation warrior @ jonathonmorgan attempts to control damage by lying. He now claims the "false flag operation" never took place and the botnet he promoted as Russian-linked (based on phony Hamilton68 Russian troll tracker he developed) wasn't Russian https://www. newknowledge.com/blog/about-ala bama

89 2:23 AM - Dec 29, 2018

Even more strange is that Scott Shane - the journalist who wrote the New York Times piece exposing the Alabama "Russian bot" scheme, knew about it fo